Rex Ryan 12/8 Press Conference

Opening remarks…
James Ihedigbo did not practice (ankle, knee). First off, on the MRI he had no structural damage but he does have a high ankle sprain (and) knee injury.  We’re not officially ruling him out, but he probably will be out. Tony Richardson and LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) did not practice. (They don’t have any) injuries.  That was my decision.  Damien Woody (did not practice) with his knee (injury). We’ve run that play the past two weeks.  It’s a similar type of thing. Guys that were full: Shaun Ellis (knee), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Sione (Pouha) (ankle), and Brad Smith (hand).  That’s the injury update.

On if he’s concerned about the team’s swagger…
No.  I think that’s who we are.  We have a tough game this week.  (We’re) getting ready to play Miami.  This will be a big win if we can accomplish it.  It would be our 10th win of the season. Swagger or not, that’s who we are.  We’re not going to dwell on this loss the rest of the season. We got beat.  It is what it is.  We’re moving on.
 
On if he still feels the division is winnable…
That’s what you think.  That’s what I think.  You have to make sure you take care of business on Sunday.  You’re going to have to win all four of your games to have a chance at that. I think it is reachable still.
 
On his message to the team today…
You can ask our guys.  The big thing is we learn from this.  We know what happened.  That’s gone.  We’re not looking backwards.  We’re looking ahead.
 
On if the team has paid attention to what they need to do to prevent a late season collapse…
We certainly know what happened on Monday.  It’s full steam ahead against Miami.  It’s going to take everything we’ve got and we know that.  (Miami) is hanging on.  They’re in a similar situation that we were last year.  They’re going to give us everything they’ve got.  We’ve got to be good enough to beat them.
 
On why Mark Sanchez has struggled the past few weeks…
There are a lot of things that go into those situations.  It’s hard.  We’re trying to take shots and they have three (safeties) 20 yards down the field.  It’s hard to throw in those situations without turning the ball over.  He’s an outstanding quarterback.  I think if you look at how he responds to bad games, the first one that comes to mind, not that I’m really aware of these things, is the Buffalo game last year (when Sanchez threw five interceptions).  He goes out against Oakland (the next week), and had a 107.0 quarterback rating.  This year, we played Baltimore (and) it wasn’t exactly a stellar performance by anybody that day.  He comes out and has a (124.3) rating against New England in a victory.  We played Green Bay.  We get shut out.  He responds by throwing for (336) yards against Detroit.  He’s a guy that traditionally has responded well.  I hope that’s what happens this week.
 
On if he reminded Sanchez of his pattern of bouncing back…
No.  I told you guys that first.  Absolutely, I have that sheet to show him. 
 
On Sanchez not being happy with his Cincinnati performance and then having a bad game against New England…
Way to ruin it (laughter).  You couldn’t just let that one slide.  Maybe it’s after a loss and a bad performance (that he rebounds well).  That’s probably what I should have said there.
 
On Keith Fitzhugh deciding to stay at his current job rather than join the Jets
That’s one of the reasons why we wanted that kid.  He’s a tough guy.  He’s a guy with a lot of character.  He’s just a really outstanding young man.  The decision that he made was a tough one for him, but I admire his decision.
 
On Miami coming up early and practicing at the Giants’ facility…
They’re focused on their football team and I’m focused on ours.  I haven’t thought two seconds about it.
 
On if there is any advantage to a team coming up early…
I don’t see it.  We’ve done things going to Denver a day early.  They must have a reason.
 
On if there are any negative feelings towards the Giants for opening their facility to a division rival…
Officially, no (laughter).  I’m just kidding.  It’s their facility.  They can do anything they want with it.
 
On if the Giants should have asked the Jets before letting Miami use its facilities…
I don’t know.  They may have reached out.  Tom Coughlin isn’t going to reach out to me about that.  I don’t know if that was the case or not. 
 
On if he has ever heard of an NFL team using another teams facilities…
No.  I’ve heard of it during the Super Bowl.  We had to get out of Arizona one time.  I’ve never heard of that.  When we travel, we go to high school fields. 
 
On letting other teams use the Jets facility…
I don’t want anyone using our facility besides us.
 
On the Red Bulls (soccer team) using the facility…
The Red Bulls, possibly.  We’ve had some teams, but not an NFL team.  We’ve had some high schools in here, but this is our facility.  I would feel funny.  When we have the Super Bowl, I’m going to make sure we are in it.  I don’t want anyone in our facilities besides us. 
 
On people writing off the Jets after the game against New England…
It’s funny because we have a quarter of the season left.  Just like (New England’s) football team made improvements and beat us, we can still make the same improvements.  To write us off might be a little premature.  We have one loss.  That’s what it’s based on.  It’s funny because Arizona was crushed by the Jets and New England and they made it all the way to the Super Bowl.  If it wasn’t for Santonio Holmes making that catch, they would probably have a ring on their finger as Super Bowl champs.  Your team can improve, stay the same or get worse.  I think our team will improve. 
 
On being 1-3 against teams with winning records…
Those are facts.  We’ve played some good football teams.  We have Miami coming up this week, then we have Pittsburgh and Chicago, both with winning records.  We will see what happens in those. 
 
On if there is concern regarding the team’s performance against winning teams…
I think Monday’s game is Monday’s game.  No one played well.  We’ve already talked about that.  To look back at how we played during the first game of the season against Baltimore, I think our defense played well.  We had a lot of penalties, but we got better at that.  I don’t think we’ve had nearly as many defensive penalties as we had that week.  Going against Green Bay, our defense played well.  That’s an outstanding offense and our defense played well enough to win.  We never showed up offensively the way we needed to in order to beat a team like that.  Every team has concerns.  No team is undefeated.  We can look back at different things, but I’m not concerned with the fact that we have a 1-3 record against outstanding teams. 
 
On offense having slow starts during the first quarter and if that relates to the coin toss decisions…
I’m not sure, but I give in.  We are going to take the ball.  If we win the toss, we will take the ball.  That’s a definite.   I’m tired of hearing about it.  There is some truth to it on starting fast.  Maybe I’m not sending the right message by not taking the ball.  We’ll find out if that works and if it does and we get off to a fast start, we’ll do it the next week as well.  We’ll be on defense anyway.
 
 
On if he has taken the ball after winning a coin toss since he became head coach of the Jets…
No, never.
 
On Defensive Backs Coach Dennis Thurman and the performance of the safeties…
We are challenged as a coaching staff to try and get things fixed.  There are things that are more technique, but truly blowing assignments completely, I don’t know if that has been the case.  It’s been some technique and the finer points of what our coverage would be.  For instance, there are different times if you’re going to get what we call a ‘Speedo’, a certain route combination, that a safety will drive a ‘Speedo.’  Then there are other times, depending on coverage, where he won’t on the exact same rout combination.  Those are the finer points of playing that position that you have to know.  Some of that has been getting done and some of it hasn’t.  Those are things that we have to keep building on.  All of us will be challenged, Dennis (Thurman) and myself.
 
On his comments that Thurman is the best secondary coach in the league…
I agree.  I know he is. 
 
On how he can think he is the best secondary coach based on the performance of the secondary…
I think you have to look at (Thurman’s) body of work.  I think that’s where you get who’s good and who’s not.  I think the body of the work of Dennis Thurman, that speaks for itself.  That’s the same guy that taught Ronnie Lott how to study tapes.  The same guy that coached Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed.  If you look at it statistically, this is unfamiliar ground for us.  We’re usually first or second in the league for pass defense.  We’re not there yet.  Dennis Thurman, our secondary coach, we ought to be proud to have him. 
 
On accepting the ball if we win the coin toss…
I haven’t spoken to (Coach Brian Schottenheimer) about that this year.  I think when we first mentioned it, he wants the ball, but I was like it is much better to take it during the second half.  It’s much better to play defense first.  We will try it.
 
On the team’s physicality in the New England game…
I’m not even going to talk about it.  I’m moving on.  This week, we will play physical.  We are playing a physical football team.  We are really similar teams.  They want to run the football and we want to run the football.  They play physical on defense and we play physical on defense.  It’s going to be a good match up. 
 
On whether he has communicated with Jim Leonhard
I spoke to him before the Patriots game.  I went to the hospital and saw him in there.  He’s in great spirits.  He’s all upset and wishes he was playing.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to join us on the field sooner than later. 
 
On Santonio Holmes as a punt returner…
He’ll definitely be back there part of the time with Jerricho (Cotchery).  You saw Joe (McKnight) back there.  Joe has improved so much being on the scout team and doing all the special teams stuff.  We saw it a little bit when he was running the ball this past week.  He can be an option there as well, but Santonio is certainly a guy that gives you that explosiveness back there. 
 
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