Rex Ryan 11/18 Press Conference

Opening remarks…
Dwight Lowery, he's out, so that concussion, he's still got a little ways to go there.  Guys that did not participate today (were) Marquice Cole with the hamstring (and) Jerricho Cotchery with the groin.  Guys that were limited (were) Matt Slauson (knee) (and) Eric Smith (ankle).  I expect both those guys are going to play, but just sat them like that.  I'd say the other two (are) questionable.  They're both probably questionable right now.  Guys that were full (were) Nick Mangold (shoulder), Josh Mauga (hamstring), Calvin Pace (foot), Darrelle Revis (hamstring), (Mark) Sanchez (calf), Damien Woody (knee) and then Tony Richardson and LaDainian (Tomlinson) obviously practiced today.  All those guys were full. 


 
On if LaDainian Tomlinson prevented a big hit on Mark Sanchez when he was sacked by Marcus Bernard…
You know what?  I really don't remember the play that you're talking about.  I saw the sack, but one thing about these guys, they do try to protect each other.  Now there's no question about that.  I don't recall the specific play, but I know LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) sells out big time for the team.
 
On Tomlinson’s blocking…
He's excellent.  When we talked, I know he's given up the one sack this year, but when we talked about LT (LaDainian Tomlinson), I saw him as an every-down back.  When you talk about third downs in particular, you not only have to be a great receiver out of the backfield in this league, but the next thing is you'd better be able to protect the quarterback.  That's what he does.  Oh, by the way, he's a great runner with it.  Those are things that I saw that he still did even when people said, "Well, his play is going down."  I was like, ‘Well, I still see a great pass protector, a great receiver and still a great runner.’  Without question, he's had that reputation of being an outstanding pass protector and he's still showing it this year.
 
On if he’s concerned Tomlinson’s yards per rush has dropped in the last four games…
Well, no.  He's still doing a great job.  I mean, let's face it.  He helped win several of those games by his receiving skills.  He's been everything and more than we expected.  The fact that they've taken the run away a little bit, teams have stacked it up pretty good on us.  You're not going to average 5.6 a carry or whatever, although there's one person in the NFL history that did that right?  Who did that?  5.6 (yards a carry?  Jim Brown (averaged) 5.6 a carry, but generally that doesn't happen. This young man here (Arian Foster) is averaging like five yards a carry for Houston (and) leads the league, 930 yards, ten touchdowns.  LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) has had an unbelievable year.  He's still running great and that average is really not a concern to me right now.
 
On Arian Foster leading the NFL in rushing and the Jets defense holding running backs to less than 100 yards…
Right, no question he is (leading the NFL in rushing), but yes it's something that you always pride yourself on keeping guys from getting 100 yards on you.  You want to be able to stop the run.  I think you build your defense that way and you build your offense to be able to run the football.  I think those are two things you take great pride in because I think that's throwback football.  That's old-school football.  I'm more of an old-school guy, more of a football traditionalist than maybe the new breed.
 
On the team’s confidence in Shonn Greene in short-yardage situations…
Both LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) and Shonn are both excellent short-yardage backs.  You mentioned LT, one of the greatest short-yardage backs in the history of this game.  But both of those guys, we feel great with both of them.  You get more the battering ram with Shonn Greene and you get everything with LT, so he can take you over the top.  He can beat you outside.  He can do all that stuff.  Where his numbers fall, we feel great about it.
 
On whether the team has been focused on keeping Tomlinson fresh…
Maybe it was.  Maybe it was having both those guys fresh by the time we go through the season that they're both fresh.  Last year, we kind of used Thomas (Jones) up a little bit where it became then it was just Shonn's (Greene).  That was more of a product (of the fact) that (if you) remember, Shonn was hurt,  Leon (Washington) got hurt and it was just the burden really fell on Thomas.  When Shonn came back, we knew he was a great back. I think that's where, at the end, we kind of adjusted a little bit where Shonn got the bulk of the carries.  I think this year, ideally, you'd like these guys to go into a game where you don't know who's going to carry it.  We just think both guys are capable of carrying it 20 times.
 
On if there is a carryover effect after playing almost a full fifth quarter last week and how to keep team rested…
I think you've got to be smart (about) what you're asking your guys to do.  I'll show you a little practice thing that we have here.  This is part of our practice.  That's a script.  For part of our practice, that's 40 plays there.  Those are walk‑through, okay.  I'm no mathematician here, but that's 30 plays.  That's what you did in the body of practice.  You've got to be smart with keeping your guys fresh, what you're asking them to do if you want your guys to play physical.  We took the pads off again today these next two weeks are going to be like that because the fact you mentioned the overtime, playing an extra period (and) all that stuff.  The fact we have two games in the span of eight days or whatever it is, nine days, you've got to be smart.  If your expectations are that your guys are going to play a physical, fast football game.  Then you've got to try to take care of them.  That's one way that we do it.
 
On if offensive philosophy is still Ground-and-Pound after Mark Sanchez passed for almost 900 yards in the last three games…
We are what we are.  We just want to win.  There are guys in this league that have thrown for 450 yards, and oh, by the way, (have) lost.  Sometimes, like I said, stats can be a misleading thing offensively because if you're getting your brains kicked in and teams are going to allow you to throw on them, that happens.  But to me, I always look at evaluating quarterbacks (baed on) win‑loss.  Right now our guy is seven up and two down, so that's pretty impressive.  Again, I'd rather run it 50 times a game.  If it's up to me, that's what I would like to do, but we do have an unusual group of receivers, talented group of receivers.  Our quarterback can throw it.  (We) do a great job protecting him, and that's fine.  We'll throw it.  If guys are going to put nine guys down there, then we'll do it.
 
On if teams are covering Dustin Keller differently than they did earlier in the season…
Well, they were definitely noticing him.  There's no question about that.  Again, a lot of times your coverage will dictate sometimes where the ball goes.  If you're going to play quarters coverage, you can take away tight ends (and) some inside receivers.  If you want to play Cover Two, then you've got a better chance of taking away the outside receivers.  It's kind of a combination of those things, but Dustin is still a huge threat for us.  (He) helped win a game for us against Detroit with a huge catch.  He's doing a great job and when the opportunity presents itself, I think Dustin will be ready to go.
 
On if he has seen a shift on how teams are covering Keller since the start of the season…
Well, yes.  Just recently the last couple teams have really focused on, if you're going to throw the ball, it's going to have to be wide.  Again, that's fine for us.  We're able to do some different things on people.  Whoever is open, we don't care.  The ball is going there.  So if it goes to Braylon (Edwards), if it goes to Dustin (Keller), if it goes to J‑Co (Jerricho Cotchery), if it goes to Tone (Santonio Holmes), whoever.  This week in particular, be patient.  This is a group that plays a ton of zone coverage.  It's hard to get the ball over their head. 
 
On Santonio Holmes wanting the ball when the game is on the line…
I think all our guys want it.  I really do, but when I see him, it's like there's something different.  It's hard to explain, but it's like this guy is almost with his demeanor, his eyes, his everything, it's like "Give me the football."  You know what I mean?  It's almost like he's convincing you.  ‘Sold. I'm buying.’ It’s almost something you have to see.  You can't fake it.  This guy wants it.  He's the guy on the baseball field with one out left.  He's begging to get the ball hit to him.
 
On if he will activate Patrick Turner if Jerricho Cotchery can’t play this week…
We're definitely looking at that possibility, but, as of yet, we haven't made 100 percent that decision yet.
 
On if he knew Holmes is the type of player who wanted the ball when the game was on the line before trading for him…
Well, I saw it up close and personal unfortunately that he can make a difference.  He can make a difference as a receiver.  Really, the video of that game, just like any other fan and anybody else, when they had him mic'd in the Super Bowl and you saw that, that's who he is.  He didn’t want it just for the one pass, he wanted it the whole drive.  That's who this guy is.  I see it on the sideline.  It's an amazing thing to see.  (It) really is.  It's so genuine.  He just wants to win and he'd be more than happy if one of his other teammates made the plays and all that.  When you see it, you sense when that game is tight and somebody has to step up, he wants everybody to know that he's the guy that's willing to step up.  I'd like to see him step up in the weight room a little more, but that's another story (smiling). 
 

On if he notices that Holmes has a certain calm about him during the game…
Oh, yeah.  He builds guys up, too.  Something that we talk about as a team, something that we want to be (is for) guys to build each other up.  He's one of those guys. 
 
On if Sanchez throws to Tomlinson too much…
I don't think so because what Mark is looking to do is throw the ball to the guy that's open.  He'll have progressions down the field first and then check it down to LT (Tomlinson).  Some of those catches are targets that he's actually looked through his progression, checked the ball down as the last part of his throw, or his progression.  The ball in LaDainian's hands is a good thing.
 
On if he would consider Jeff Cumberland as a receiver...
Right, I can see that, but I feel pretty good about Patrick Turner if we had to pull a guy up.  I think Cumberland is going to be a terrific player.  I think he's a tight end, a receiving tight end.  We did that the first week of the season, we had him ready to go as a slot receiver, so that's a possibility, and so is Joe McKnight.
 
On the challenge of the last seven games of the season…
I'm really not worried about all those teams right now, I'm just worried about Houston, and that's where our focus is for this entire football team.  When we get to them, we'll address that.  You don't even think about it.  I know that they're on the schedule, but I haven't spent two seconds on them.
 
On if he is focusing on backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky with Matt Schaub’s status uncertain…
I expect him (Matt Schaub) to play, and if he doesn't, that's fine with us.  Clearly the backup is not going to be as good as the starter, but we'll see.  I expect to see Schaub. 
 
On if it matters that Orlovsky is left-handed…
No, it doesn't matter.  Certainly some guys have tendencies.  You look at (Matt) Leinart and all that.  He'll have tendencies that you'll be very aware of, and the other guy, I can't pronounce his name.  You'll watch.  You'll do your due diligence and watch them, but we're not going to game-plan him.  If they want to go the other way, we'll be able adjust and move on the fly.  It'll be a good thing for us if he can't play.
 
On why offense has struggled in the red zone and if they have made any adjustments this week…
I think first off with Cleveland, they're one of the best teams in the league in red zone defense, so they had us pretty good and they did a great job down there.  It's just one of those things.  Ideally, you'd like to run the ball more down there.  If I'm tipping my hand, that's really what we want to be down there, run the ball a little more and then be able to throw it up.  We've got some great targets.  We've just got to find a way to get it in there.
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