Rex Ryan 12/2 Press Conference

Opening remarks…
Damien Woody did not practice today with that knee injury.  Guys that were limited: Marquice Cole (hamstring), Jerricho Cotchery (groin), Shaun Ellis (knee), Dwight Lowery with that concussion.  He did not have contact today, but we expect that he will be able to do that tomorrow.  Guys that were full: Drew Coleman (groin), David Harris (calf), Jim Leonhard (calf), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Calvin Pace (foot), Sione (Pouha) (ankle), Mark Sanchez (calf), Brad Smith (back) and Matt Slauson (knee).


 
On if he expects Damien Woody to play…
I expect him out there.  He had some swelling his knee.  He played the whole game.  Generally, if a guy finishes the game that means he’ll probably go the next week.  Not in all cases, but I think he’ll go.
 
On bringing Khris Brown in for a tryout and if he is worried about Nick Folk’s confidence…
We have to do what’s in the best interests of our football team.  Quite honestly, if Nick misses extra points, we’re going to have to do something about it.  I have confidence in Nick Folk.  The percentage might not be as good as some of these kickers in the league and that’s because we’ve attempted a 61-yarder.  He’s missed a couple of 50+ yarders.  Nick’s an excellent kicker.  I was concerned when he hit the upright on an extra point and I was concerned that his kickoffs weren’t as good as they’ve been.  We’re going to make sure we’re aware of who’s out there at all positions.  (It’s) similar to when we released Danny WoodheadKevin Faulk was down and they (New England) picked up Woodhead.
 
On if anything is physically wrong with Folk…
No.  He’s healthy and he kicked great today.  We’re doing (our) due diligence right there. 
 
On preparing for this type of game…
I think it’s great. This is where you want to be, in this spot.  We’ve earned this spot at 9-2, so has New England.  Somebody told me it’s the fourth time in NFL history that two teams have had a 9-2 or better record going at it in the regular season.  That’s impressive.  It should be a great game.  There’s no doubt about it.  Both teams are at the top of the league in wins.  This is exactly where you want to be.  I’ll sign up for it next year, too.
 
On if he has embraced the spotlight on him…
I don’t know that I came in here embracing the spotlight.  I came in here embracing the opportunity that I was given.  I’m just going to be myself.  I had a vision for this football team and the organization believed in it and that’s what we put out there.  A spotlight (is) on me, but there are a lot of people here obviously.  That’s a part of this job, but that’s not why I embrace it.  I just came in here and embraced the opportunity that I had to be a head coach in the National Football League.  That’s what I embraced more than anything.  The fact that we gathered the talent that we have, not just from the players standpoint, but the kind of coaches we have on this staff and I’ve been fortunate to be with, it’s been a great run so far.
 
On if he is comfortable in the spotlight because he grew up around football…
That could be it.  I think the big thing is that I can just be myself.  Woody Johnson was ok with that.  Just let me be myself and I’m comfortable that way.  If I had to pretend to be somebody else and try to run it this guy’s way because I was around my dad (or) Brian Billick, that doesn’t work.  I’m just going to be myself and that’s why I’m comfortable in these situations. 
 
On being forthcoming with injuries…
I think they pretty much know what’s out there.  I don’t think it’s a competitive advantage.  If I thought that, then I’d be, ‘I’m not sure about this guy’s injury.’  The fact that I will be up front with injuries, I’m not going to get myself in trouble, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Be honest with it and that’s it.  New England’s honest.  They say he’s got a body injury (laughter). 
  
On Mark Sanchez playing in big games…
I think when you look at Mark, even when he was in college, he played best in the biggest games.  This is as big as it gets in the regular season.  We can say it’s not and it’s just another game.  Oh, really.  We’ll take the win, you take the loss and we’ll see how you feel about that.  This is a huge game in the regular season and he’s always performed well in those type of games. Last year in the playoffs, he played great.  We lost the AFC Championship game not because of Mark.  Mark played a great game.  He’s that competitive.  He wants to do well and he does do well in those type of situations.  I expect him to have a great effort this week.
 
On Sanchez not being happy with how he played on Thursday and saying he was going to watch the film right after the game…
That’s the way competitors are.  When we had those (kickoff) returns against us (by) Miami (in 2009), I guarantee Mike Westhoff never went home.  He grabbed that film.  He couldn’t wait.  He had to get it corrected.  I remember being a defensive coordinator and playing poorly.  I remember we won a game once, (but) played poorly on defense and I couldn’t stand it.  I had to watch that film that night. That’s the way Mark feels. That’s how competitors feel.  You have to fix it.  The week before was the defense.  That whole defense felt like that.  Now, it’s Mark.  I know he feels accountable to the rest of the team, as do all the other players (and) all the coaches.  We’re accountable to each other.  That wasn’t a great performance by Mark this past week, especially by his standards.  I expect him to be right on top of his game.  In all fairness to Mark, it was a short week.  Maybe your preparation time isn’t what it should be.  He’s only played 26 games in the regular season as a quarterback.  He probably needs that extra prep time rather than being forced into those really quick weeks like it was.
 
On Danny Woodhead’s success in New England…
I think when Kevin Faulk got hurt and he was put in that role, it’s not surprising.  He’s a talented kid.  He does a great job in those situations.  He’s a good receiver out of the backfield and running in the seven-man spacing.  This guy is tough.  As we all know, he’s a tough kid.  He covers kicks.  Do I regret cutting him?  Yeah, absolutely, right now I do.
 
On Sanchez’s performance in the second half of the New England game this season…
I think the whole team played well.  I think we had two penalties and never turned the ball over.  I think he had a 120 (passer) rating.  I know he played really well.  I thought we played great in the second half, especially.  I thought we had a great half of football. 
 
On if the win over New England did anything mentally for Sanchez…
No.  He expects to play well, no matter who you play.  That was it.  We were playing a great opponent and he played really well in that game.  He gave us a chance to win and that’s what we expect from him each week.
 
On if anyone told him he needed to change his personality to get a head coaching job… 
After I failed at some interviews to land a job, my wife’s always like, "It’s not in the game plan for you to get the job."  I realized that I want to get a job, but I want to get a job where I can be myself and where I don’t have to be this way reading out of a book how to coach.  That’s not going to work for me.  That was it.  I never lost confidence in myself.  As I looked it, they messed up.  They should have hired me.  That’s the kind of competitor that I am that I was just needing an opportunity.  It wasn’t the time I thought it should be, but it was right on time.
 
On why Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson embraced his personality…
I don’t know.  The big thing is they  probably believed in me and they thought I would be good for this organization.
 
On if he thinks his success will make it easier for other people with similar personalities to get head coaching jobs…
I hope so. One in particular (Rob Ryan), so we’ll see. 
 
On the different coaching styles of Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick…
It’s just like in anything in life.  We got to the same point.  They may have taken a straight line and ours may be a little crooked, but we still got there.  It doesn’t matter how you get it done, you just have to get it done. 
 
On New England’s winning streak at home…
I don’t know what you’re talking about that they have been exceptional at home.  They’ve only won 25 in a row. That’s okay, but I don’t want to (say) it’s great (laughter).  They have a great team.  That’s how you win at home.  If you are going to beat them, you better bring a great team with you.  That’s what we plan on doing.  I think we have an excellent football team and we know we are going against an excellent team.  We’ve won eight in a row on the road.  This is going to be a huge challenge for us, but we are looking forward to it. 
 
On the flexibility of Darrelle Revis without Randy Moss
I think the game plan specifically is that Darrelle (Revis) will not be on Randy Moss, unless he goes to Tennessee (laughter).  We are not saying who he is on or is not on.  Does it give us a competitive edge?  I doubt it.
 
On Deion Branch…
(He’s) pretty darn good.  All you have to do is watch the Detroit game (11/25) and look at the plays he made.  In the first game back, I think he only had two touchdowns (laughing).  He still has vertical speed.  He can still run and do a lot of things underneath.  He’s a courageous kid.  He’s doing a great job for them. 
 
On if New England’s offense is more dangerous without Randy Moss…
I wouldn’t say that.  I think Randy Moss was one of the most dangerous players in the league.  I don’t know if that’s really fair.  Branch is an excellent receiver. 
 
On New England’s defense ranking…
I think (the ranking) is misleading because they are creating turnovers.  The biggest thing that (makes them) a good defense is that they win.  They’ve won nine games.  That’s where stats can be misleading.  This team has found ways to win.  They took a young group of guys, especially in the back end, and now they are getting better and better.  This is probably the best their defense has looked.  The numbers say one thing, but their defense is much better than what their numbers say. 
 
On Devin McCourty…
We liked him, coming out of Rutgers.  (He’s) an excellent young man and he had a really good look on his face.  He’s a hard worker.  The thing that really impressed me was that he had over 100 plays during a couple of games for Rutgers.  (He) just kept playing on all the special teams and on defense.  This kid is a football player and we’re impressed with him, no question.  We had him and Kyle (Wilson) touching each other when they came out.  Both will be excellent corners. 
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