Good Read.....enjoy if you don't have access to the NY Post.
With Jets training camp getting started today, head coach Rex Ryan tackled a Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby:
Q: Have you thought about your address to your team, what youíre going to say?
A: I just go in there and tell how I feel, from the heart. Iím not a guy that has to be write it down on paper three months in advance. Or ďthis coach said this, I want to use that.Ē Iím not a phony. Iím the real deal.
Q: Might you bring up the fact that nobody outside thinks your team is worth a damn?
A: It may be brought up (smile).
Q: Mel Kiper called your team a glorified expansion team. What would you say to that?
A: I can say this ó that weíre going to be a heck of a lot better football team than people give us credit for, and thatís fine. Right now, people are going to say what theyíre going to say, and thatís great. If weíre flying under the radar, thatís also good. I remember similar comments when I took over the job in í09, and I think the job that I have now is very similar to that. That youíre coming into a situation that people donít know really what weíre going to be like. They think they do, but they thought they did then also. And I knew weíd be the team that nobody wanted to play. And thatís how we ended up being. And we ended up being one game away from the Super Bowl. Now is that going to happen? I donít know. But Iíll say this, that I know how to get there. Iím taking the exact same approach.
Q: You donít think Mark (Sanchez) is a broken quarterback?
A: No. Look, do I think he had a bad year? Absolutely. A lot of us did. Our football team had a bad year. Did he make some huge mistakes? Absolutely. Do we have to get better play at that position? Of course. We do.
Q: Do you ever tweak him about the buttfumble?
A: Nah. Hey, that was just one of those things. I mean that whole game now, there was a buttfumble, there was a fumbled kick, there was a blown coverage, there wasÖ you name it, all in the one quarter. It was 0-0 after the first quarter (chuckle). I donít know what it was after that.
Q: What were thinking going into the locker room at halftime?
A: Couldnít believe it. I mean, you can get mad, you can get all those things. I did all of the above.
Q: Was that the angriest youíve been, do you think?
Q: What was the angriest youíve been?
A: I think the angriest I was is when we mismanaged a two-minute situation against New England. We had the ball going in. I think that was probably the maddest Iíve ever been.
Q: Are you going to talk to Mark about his infamous butt video?
A: Nah, you know what? Heís already addressed it. Hey look, everybody makes mistakes.
Q: In your mind, what are the five biggest questions that need answering heading into the summer?
A: Well I think the obvious one is who the starting quarterbackís going to be, I think thatís a given. I think our receivers, somebody has to step up. Jeremy Kerleyís I think a proven guy as a slot receiver, but we got to step up at other spots. Maybe the health of a Santonio Holmes. Iím hoping heís ready to go Opening Day, I think thatís a huge guy for us ícause heís a bona fide No. 1 receiver.
Q: Do you think heís on target for Opening Day?
A: I believe so.
Q: Other questions?
A: I think itís more about competition. Thereís nobody [that] can tell you who our starting team is. Thereís not one person in the building can tell you that. And Iíve got to be the guy putting it together, so if I canít do it, I know nobody else can.
Q: How are you going to handle a summer quarterback controversy?
A: When itís a clear decision to be made, weíll make it. If itís not, weíll keep it going, because I think thatís a decision that is crucial for the success of your team. But itís not a whole lot different from í09, in my opinion, when you had quarterback competition. I donít see it as controversy, I see it more as quarterback competition.
Q: But itís a tricky thing to decide when to pull the plug on the Sanchez Era, so to speak, and hand it to a rookie, right? The timing of it is tricky.
A: Well, weíll see.
Q: Tom Coughlin did it with Eli Manning and Kurt Warner nine games into the í04 season.
A: Yeah, I remember when he did it, ícause we [the Ravens] were the next opponent. In that first game, when he had like a 0.0 ó the Blutarski ó had the 0.0 quarterback rating, it probably never looked good (smile). But it looks pretty good now, heís got two Super Bowl rings.
Q: But youíre confident youíll know when the right time to make that switch ifÖ
A: Absolutely, if thatís indeed what happens.
Q: Is it safe to say itís Sanchezís job to lose?
A: I think itís competition. And I think to say, ďWell itís this guyís job to lose,Ē gives you the indication that itís his job. No, nobodyís like that. I mean, DíBrickashaw Ferguson maybe you can say that, and probably Nick MangoldÖ and Muhammad WilkersonÖ Cro [Antonio Cromartie]Ö David Harris. But weíre saying, you know what? Thereís competition. And there is. Because what happens if a guy shows up and heís not in shape, and heís not as good as what you anticipate? Weíre going to provide an opportunity for everybody to have a chance to compete.
Q: Your first impressions of Geno Smith?
A: Can really throw it. He can throw it with anybody in the league. I think heís shown poise and things, so I think heís got a chance to be a good one.
Q: Geno not being at Jets West?
A: I think in the offseason, itís the playersí time to get away, and do whatever. Nobody says, ďHey, you need to do this or that.Ē Itís their time away.
Q: You donít think heís missing out on bonding, or anything like that?
A: You know what? I think obviously heís going to do what he thinks is in the best interest of himself, and thatís every player.
Q: No [Darrelle] Revis ó how will that affect what you do defensively?
A: Weíre blessed with depth at corner. We havenít had Dee Milliner out there, but heís one of the two [best] corners that Iíve seen come out in the draft in years, so weíll see how he does. Obviously, thereís a change, but the manís played a lot of football at the highest level in college, so I expect big things from him. I like the way Kyle [Wilson has] come back, I like Aaron Berry, I like Ellis Lankster.
Q: So there is life after Revis?
A: Thereís no question. No question.
Q: Will it be strange seeing him on Opening Day?
A: No question.
Q: You wonít try to challenge him, will you?
A: I personally wonít (smile).
Q: Are you going to have a top-5 defense?
A: Am I coaching it?
Q: That was a loaded question.
A: Yeah. Please.
Q: Itís a young defense. More blitzing this year, correct?
A: Absolutely. I love the challenge. Is there going to be six starters, seven new starters? Whatever it is. Oh well, theyíre still going to have that Jet decal on their helmet. I personally can affect that, and I know how itís going to go.
Q: Ok, howís it going to go?
A: Itís going to be where it always is.
Q: How much of a difference can Marty Mornhinweg make?
A: I think Martyís an outstanding coach. When you look at his rťsumť, year in, year out, heís a top-10 guy. Heís proven it, heís a developer of quarterbacks, a developer of systems. And we have a lot of excellent coaches that are with him, and me. Itís easy for me to say, ďYeah, weíre going to have a great defense, you have my name on it.Ē Itís also got Dennis Thurman with it. Itís always had Dennis Thurman with it. I feel great about that. We got a great D-line coach, Karl Dunbar. I feel great about my coaches. And then on offense, you have David Lee, whoís got a reputation throughout this league as one of the premier quarterback coaches in the league. And with Marty Mornhinweg. I think the quarterbacks are in pretty good hands.
Q: Chris Ivory?
A: Big, physical runner.
Q: Maybe a bigger Thomas Jones?
A: Possibly. Itís hard to say bigger, ícause Thomas Jones has the biggest arms Iíve seen. He was like 210 [pounds], but he looked like he was 230, you know? But Thomas ran extremely hard, but I see him similar.
Q: Is Stephen Hill ready to take the next step?
A: We need somebody to step up, thereís no question, whether itís Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates, somebody needs to step up. And Iím confident somebody will, but somebody needs to.
Q: Sheldon Richardson?
A: Great motor, tremendous first-step quickness, change of direction athlete. Heís a buzz saw. Heís an energizer, plays with great tempo and passion. I think heís going to be a great fit with us.
Q: When he was drafted, some said he was not a fit for yourÖ
A: I think itís hysterical. When has a guy that can play defense not been a fit for me? I donít care if heís 5-foot-4!
Q: Quinton Coples, outside linebacker?
A: May be inside, may be outside.
Q: Youíre going to move him around?
A: No question. May move Sheldon Richardson around. We may have a lot of guys moving around.
Q: So youíll be back to your mad scientist ways with those guys.
A: No question. Yup.
Q: Why do you think Woody [Johnson] kept you and fired Mike [Tannenbaum]?
A: I donít know about that. I think Woody knows the passion and all that, but if he didnít think I can do the job, I wouldnít have been here. Thatís as simple as that. Because Woody is passionate about a couple of things ó finding a cure for Lupus is one, and the New York Jets. I mean, huge. He loves the Jets. He wants nothing more than to bring his fans, the New York Jet fans, a winner. And, if I wasnít the guy that he thought could get it done here, I wouldnít be here.
Q: Do you think you have to make the playoffs to keep your job?
A: You know what? It ainít about me. It ainít about me. I canít wait to get going.
Q: Do you think you need to do anything differently?
A: I just need to coach. I need to teach, I need to coach. Thatís what Iím going to do.
Q: Thatís not different.
A: Some of the changes I made always were for the betterment, I thought, but it just never served me well. I need to be in a classroom teaching every day, and thatís what Iím going to do.
Q: So you got away from that, you mean?
A: Because I tried to be more of theÖ in way more offensive meetings, all that type of stuff. I thought trying to be the role of the head coach, I was mentored by, ďHey, you need to be the head coach.Ē Yeah, I am the head coach. This is my football team and everybodyís going to play to my mentality. And I think thatís the job of the head coach. Thatís why I know weíll be aggressive, and I know weíll be confident, and I know weíll be popping out of our skin to play . Every single one of íem. Not just defensive players, but the entire football team.
Q: You believe the mistake you made last year was?
A: Was pulling back too much.
Q: Delegating too much?
Q: What would you say to Jet fans who have lost confidence in Rex Ryan?
A: Hey youíll see. Youíll see. And itís comin.í And itís cominí soon. When we open up the season, everybodyíll see. Thereís no hiding it then.
Q: You donít fear losing this dream job?
A: No. Not once. I never feared it the day I took the job over, when I had a choice on where to go. I set the expectations for this franchise. I did. And Iím not shying down one bit from it.
Q: How much fight is left in Rex Ryan?
A: Youíre going to get everything. Youíre going to get 230 pounds worth (smile). All youíre going to get is everything I have. And thatís what the Jet fans are going to get, and thatís what this football teamís getting.
Q: So to answer the question, other than 230 pounds, how much fight is left in Rex Ryan?
A: I think more than anybody else in the league. And I get a chance to prove it. And I think our football team, not just the fight that I have, but I think the fight of the 53 that make this team, is going to be right there. Theyíre going to have the same fight that I have.
Q: It sounds like youíre taking this as a personal insult almost that people are doubting you.
A: They doubted me when I took the job over, and we were one game away from the big game, we just got to find a way to get through it. Again, Iím confident not just because of me, but Iím confident from the entire organization, from the top man down. The 53 players ó I know Iíll have a group of guys that is going to have the same exact mentality. I donít know how many wins, but I know one thing ó everything that we have, thatís what our fans are going to get.
Q: You think in the last two years we havenít gotten everything?
A: I donít know. Certainly havenít had the results that we had. The message will be clear to the team what I want. And Iíve used this before about like weíre on the ground floor, and we got to get to the top, thatís where we want to get to. But you got to earn every step of the way. And you canít just hit the elevator and take it to the top floor. You got to walk those steps. And thatís what we have to do. And itís through work, preparation and competition. And thatís how weíre going to get there.
Q: Will you be less tolerant of certain things this year?
A: I donít know, weíll see. I always get saddled as a playerís coach, and Iím happy about that. But, I think Iím as demanding of my guys as anybody. Do I get on íem? Absolutely. Yeah, Iíll be tough on íem. Again, if all I want is everything they have, and I tell Ďem that clear: ďThese are my expectations from ya, and those are your teammatesí expectations of ya, and if you donít give it to us,Ē thatís when I have a problem with a guy. If a guy makes a mistake or drops a ball or does whatever, yeah it makes me mad, but I donít get on that person. But if theyíre not giving it to us the way I think they can, I have issues.
Q: Your reaction when the Aaron Hernandez story broke?
A: I have no more insight on it than you do, or anybody else does. I saw it just as you saw it and just as a fan of football saw it. To me, Iíd rather focus on our football team and something that I know a little more about.
Q: How much easier will it be defending the Patriots without Hernandez?
A: I think first off ó they still have [Tom] Brady? The last time they donít win our division, Brady wasnít the quarterback. Thatís how good this guy is. Heís going to go down as maybe the best quarterback in the history of this game or certainly in the conversation. So, until heís not in there, itís never going to be easy to defend them (chuckle) ever.
Q: But it is easier without Hernandez.
A: I donít know about that. I donít know about that. As long as they got that guy at quarterback, it doesnít matter.
Q: Do you think the divisionís wide open?
A: When you have Tom Brady in New England, and you have Bill Belichick in New England, you have to go through them. Nobodyís gone through those two. Now am I going to concede that to íem? Hell no. I came here to beat íem. And thatís what I plan on doing.
Q: Now that youíve lost 120 pounds, whatís next for you is ESPN The Magazine body issue.
A: Oh no question (rolls eyes).
Q: You wouldnít do that?
A: I donít think so (chuckle). I donít think so. Thatís one that, people would be like, ďIíll stop my subscription right now.Ē They will absolutely not have that in there.
Q: Matt Harvey?
A: What a pitcher! Itís interesting, but they got a couple of young guys in the farm system and all that, they gotten the [Zack] Wheeler kid, they could be an interesting team in a couple of years.
Q: Youíve seen Harvey pitch?
A: The guyís sick. He throws like 97, 98, something like that, and heís got great control, great movement. What a stud.
Q: Your best Jet moment.
A: I think our best one obviously is to beat New England in New England to get to another [AFC] Championship, that was huge, OK? Beating San Diego to go play Indianapolis for a championship was huge. When Thomas Jones hit that fourth-and-one, great moment. When Cro returned that kick, and then [Nick] Folk hit the game-winner, great moment. I think the biggest moment for me might have been New England my first year. That Game 2, and itís crazy. What made it a great moment was I have never been in a stadium ó since that time, either ó that was so energized. Like it was ridiculous. Like the passion the fans hadÖ Oh my God, it was like literallyÖ it felt like an earthquake! And Iím going Zero blitz. Every snap. Iím just sending everybody after Brady. And it was like, ďOK pal, you know whatís coming.íĒ It was just an amazing feeling, that it never mattered. Another time was that first year, the last game of the old stadium, when we had to get in. I donít care who we played that day. We could have played the all-time great ó we were beatiní that team. The J-E-T-S chant, all through warmups. The Cincinnati Bengals never had a chance.
Q: But Fireman Edís not there anymore.
A: It wasnít Fireman Ed, it was the entire stadium.
Q: How do you get that back?
A: We have to earn that back. We get that stadium ó and Iím confident weíll get it back ó when we get it back like that, weíll be tough to beat.
Q: Some of the old Rex is coming through here.
A: Thereís no question. Thereís no question. No doubt.
Q: At times at the end of last season, you almost seemed beaten down a little bit.
A: I was pissed. I donít know, something was just missing. Iím not dwelling on it. No, thatís behind me. I think if I look back too much, I canít move forward.
Q: To you this is not a rebuilding situation?
A: Nope. Now is it different? Yeah, itís a lot different. We do have a lot of new guys. We lost a lot of good football players, but we brought in good ones, but itís different. The team is much different.
Q: Why are you the right man to lead this Jet team?
A: I know Iím the right guy. No coach has got more passion than I do about his team, and about his organization. And so I think thatís why Iím the right guy to lead this team.