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Sun., Apr. 26, 2015 12:00 AM to 10:59 PM EDT
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Rex Ryan Conference Call Transcript
Q: The Patriots are going to go through a walkthrough today, walkthrough tomorrow. I’m curious, with the short week, how have you set up your practice schedule?
RR: Very similar. We’ll have walkthroughs every day and then we will have a little practice. Ours is about timing and things. We’ll have a little bit more than that, but not much. You just got through playing a game, and it’s about keeping your players fresh. Obviously they have to mentally be focused. It’s a new opponent, so I think that’s the big thing. So, we’re very similar.
Q: How much information are you trying to plow through from the Bills game and everything you gathered from the Patriots in the pre-season?
RR: Well we know New England. New England is very multiple as far as their offense, and defense for that matter, in terms of what they do game plan wise. They may show something one week and then next week be completely different. They are very multiple, and so you may get four wides, you may get whatever that maybe you haven’t seen. But we have gone against each other enough to know that that’s a possibility. But yeah, you will look at the Bill game and you will go back and look at games that you’ve had against them, and you’ll look at other things as well. I think we know each other well. The personnel is different. There has been a lot of talk about their personnel being different, but we’ve got seven new starters on defense and five new starters on offense and two backups to some of those starters on defense. That’s probably new personnel.
Q: What did you think about Mike Pettine’s defense on Sunday against the Bills and how it worked against the Patriots offense?
RR: Well, Mike does a good job at things like that. Obviously [it was a] very competitive game. It looked like they were ahead of them, but we’ve seen Brady do that time and time again, where you get that lead and then all of the sudden here he comes and boom, he marches them down the field. That’s Brady being Brady.
Q: What did you see from the Bills game in terms of the struggles that Brady had adjusting to his new targets?
RR: Well I don’t know that I would classify Tom Brady struggling. I’d have to see that to believe it. I don’t think he has ever struggled. So, to me, what I saw was a team that could really run the football, and I think in the past they have run the ball, but not with the conviction that I saw in the first week against a pretty darn good front. That’s something that obviously looks like New England is going to run the ball more than they’ve done in the past. I saw where two receivers, [regarding] your comments that it was a bad game [for receivers], I saw two receivers had over 100 yards. So, [laughing] Oh my goodness. But again, you’ve got a couple of Wes Welker clones over there in [wide receiver] [Julian] Edelman and [wide receiver] [Danny] Amendola. It’s difficult, no question.
Q: How important was it to get some positive momentum with the win Sunday after the type of offseason the team experienced?
RR: Well we have way more positive momentum than people give us credit for. We were 3-1 in the preseason. I think that’s good. You know, it beats the alternative. Inside our building, it’s been nothing but positive. We’ve had probably as good of an offseason as anybody in the league when it comes to our players coming in for voluntary work, the type of work they are doing, our minicamps and then training camp. We had great competition at several positions, and we have a close football team. So I think this is…I don’t know what the general, I mean I think I know what the general consensus is out there, but it’s not even close. We’ve had nothing but positive vibes through our locker room.
Q: The general consensus has not been good.
RR: But it’s beautiful, not one person has been in this locker room saying it. We’re excited about how we did. If you watched us in any of our preseason games, the way we competed, even in our third preseason game against some guys that weren’t making the team, they wanted to play like Jets and they’re playing their tails off. I think that’s what you can expect from this team.
Q: When you look at the tenor of your media coverage in New York, you were very celebrated coming in, but recently the coverage has put you in the cross hairs. When it is all said and done, you will have a hell of a book to write about your time there, no?
RR: I’m not worried about. I’m not worried about that. I think there is a lot more left here to go. As I said, when all this came down, I said, ‘Hey I’m taking this like it’s my first year.’ That’s where it is. That’s where my energy is, that’s where my focus is. It might not be outwardly in the media or whatever, but it is certainly the same in the building, and that’s where it is. The great thing is we get to prove it. We’ll go on the field, and I think this team is a way better football team than people give it credit for. I think we were 32nd in the power rankings, and I’m sure we’re 31st this week. So, we’ll see.
Q: I saw [Buccaneers defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy say that he was impressed with how Geno Smith responded to being hit often early in last week’s game. Were you surprised with how Geno reacted, or did you know that was how he would respond?
RR: Well we weren’t surprised because this is what we saw all during training camp until the young man got hurt. So, this is the player that we saw, and in fact he has a huge arm, he can throw the ball with anybody in the league, and he does have some poise. He went through eight days of our practices in training camp without throwing an interception, and going against a pretty good defense. So that tells you about this young man, and we’ll see. He hurts his ankle, he is 6-7 throwing the ball against Detroit, he hurts his ankle, and then he goes in and plays against the Giants and he wasn’t even close to 100 percent [healthy]. His timing was off, he wasn’t driving the football, and they did a nice job against him. Again, we’ll see. But to say that we were surprised, no not at all.
Q: How did you feel about Muhammad Wilkerson guaranteeing a victory against the Patriots?
RR: Hey, there you go. Well, you know what? I think you’re never going to win unless you believe you can. And that’s it. We’ll have a team out there, and we’ve never gone into a game we didn’t think we could win. Ever. I know I haven’t. Now, do we recognize that it’s a huge challenge? Yeah, I guess. We’re going in on a short week playing against arguably one of the best teams in the National Football League with the best coach, and, if he’s [Tom Brady] not the best quarterback, he’s right there with Peyton Manning. But, it’s like, give me a break. We know what we’re going up against, but I’ll be danged if we’re going out there to lose a game. We’re coming up there to win the game. That’s the way we always do. Now, it doesn’t happen all the time, but we’re certainly coming up there with that in mind. I mean, shoot, we know we’re playing the Patriots, an excellent football team with a great coach, a great quarterback, some great players over there. You’ve got big Vince [Wilfork] and everything else, but that doesn’t mean anything to us. We’re going in there and trying to win.
Q: Do you ever run out of things to come up with when you are playing the same team so many times in a short period of time, and how much does that challenge to come up with something new excite you?
RR: Well, look you are always looking at ways to improve or whatever, and I think you are always going to do that. Especially when you play against somebody like [Tom] Brady and [Head Coach Bill] Belichick. If they know 100 percent what you are in, you’re in trouble. I hope they don’t know what we are in 100 percent of the time. Obviously we can’t do that. We have to be multiple in what we do.