New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan addresses the media during his conference call on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.
Q: Patriots. Jets. Is there any more to say than that? I'm sure you know the history of the border war by now?
RR: Oh yeah. You're exactly right. I kind of understood real quick last year. That's really [it]. My experience on it would be the two games we played against them last year.
Q: On his reaction to Wes Welker writing, 'One Game At a Time,' on the ESPN bus in response to his original posting.
RR: No, I got a kick out of it. I knew the bus was going up there next, so I wasn't sure who was going to be doing it, but I knew that they would certainly get a charge out of it and they did. But again, that's what I believe anyway. Wes Welker, the funny thing, you know, that's a guy that I totally respect. He's a tough as nails guy. Of all the guys he'll talk back and forth with me, with our assistant coaches, all that kind of stuff, and I appreciate that. Actually his college roommate is a voluntary coach here for us. Mike Smith is a guy that I coached in Baltimore that's with us here, and I know those two are best buddies. We go back and forth, but definitely a respect thing there.
Q: Have you learned anything from the last game when he had 15 catches?
RR: Yep. Let's not have that happen again. He's going to catch a ton of passes. Like I said before, I just hope he doesn't break the record like he did last time we played. At least that's what it seemed like. He's a match-up nightmare. Who you going to put on him, and all that kind of stuff? [Tom] Brady and [Wes] Welker work so well that if you press him he knows that he's going to shake man coverage, and when he gets the ball the way Brady delivers it, he gets the ball where he's got room to run. And that's what you've got to try and eliminate.
Q: How would you describe the similarities and differences of the two teams from your viewpoint?
RR: I think we're similar in both teams expect to win. We don't have the rings yet. But that's certainly both teams' missions. Do we go about things differently? I think that's just the way Bill [Belichick] is. I think he's always true to himself. He knows what he wants from his team, and all that. And I'm going to be true to myself, so I think we're a little different there; the way we approach things. But I think we're both after the same thing.
Q: How is your situation coming at left guard?
RR: Actually our kid played pretty good. Matt Slauson played pretty good. I know he got beat by Haloti Ngata in a one-on-one situation. That was a glaring mistake, but other than that I thought the young man played well.
Q: Did Monday's loss humble you at all?
RR: It humbled me because it was the first time we opened up our new stadium. The fans were into it from start to finish, and it's such a disappointment. That was it more than anything else. We lost to a pretty good football team. I believe the Patriots lost to them in the playoffs the last time I looked. We expect to win every game, and the fact we got beat, if you want to say humbling, it was humbling I guess, but to us we're going to lace them up again and we'll see what happens this week.
Q: Talk about your experience with Head Coach Bill Belichick off the field. How much experience do you have with him away from the game?
RR: Not that much. My brother Rob [Ryan] has two Super Bowl rings that obviously the entire family is proud of. He thought the world of Bill [Belichick]. What I understand is, my brother said, 'You think you're pretty good when you're a move or two ahead of somebody,' but he always said this: That Belichick was four or five moves ahead of that. I have always said that I think he's the best coach in the league, but again I'm here to beat him. It's not about my skills against his skills; we'd lose that. It's about his team and my team, and I have confidence in my team and I know he's got confidence in his team as well he should, but we get to see what happens on Sunday.
Q: We know you've had some talks with Adalius Thomas. How do you feel like you could turn his career around?
RR: Well, I don't know about all that. I thought he played pretty well. In fact, they (New England Patriots) almost won the Super Bowl against the Giants. He had a stripped sack. I think he just missed another one that ended up being a long gain. I had Adalius [Thomas] in Baltimore. I thought he did an outstanding job for us there. We tried to take advantage of what he can do athletically and I thought he played well. It was no surprise that New England picked him up, and I think he played better than people give him credit for up there. But right now, we're set pretty good with the guys that we have. I don't think Calvin Pace's injury is going to be that long. I don't think he'll be out that long. We have Jason Taylor and we have Brian Thomas, so we feel pretty good about our outside backers.
Q: So he's not in the cards right now?
Q: How did you enjoy the 'Hard Knocks' experience?
RR: It was okay. You know, it was fine. I know I got criticized a bunch by different people, including my mom. But you know what, I think they do a good job. The cameras you don't really notice, and all that. It was just an opportunity for the country to see who we are, and the kind of players that we have, and we feel that we have the best facilities in the league. We think we provide our players with the top care in the league, so it was something to try to show off and hopefully we got that point across to people.
Q: Do you regret it at all?
RR: No, not at all. To me we were just going to be ourselves. So whether they want to put cameras in front of you or not, then that's it. But again we did it more of the fact that it was an opportunity for us to show who we were.
Q: What's it going to take to get Mark Sanchez and that offense going?
RR: I don't know. I hope to find out on Sunday. I know we got to do much better than we did. The last two times we played New England last year, in the first half, if you combine both those first halves, we had 90 yards of offense. So, we better do better than that.
Q: How do you think Antonio Cromartie responded to being opposite of Darrelle Revis?
RR: Well we had way too many fouls. He had like four fouls on him, and he gave up a deep ball and things like that. You're going to give up completions, every corner does, but it's how you come back from it, and quite honestly we've got to get him to use his athleticism more. To be more physical at the line of scrimmage and use his feet down the field more. He's got such great length that a guy may have separation on you initially, but that doesn't mean you have to hold him or anything else because he's got great make up speed and he's got such length that he's able to make plays on the football, and that's what we've got to get him back to.
Q: Is he a guy that you could move to safety?
RR: I don't see that happening.