Florham Park, N.J.– As soon as Nick Folk’s game-winning kick sailed through the uprights Rex Ryan and his players knew they were heading to New England, but after the crazy season the Jets have endured who could blame them for wanting to take Saturday night to enjoy their hard fought victory?
After the game Ryan and many of his players said they didn’t want to talk about the Patriots just yet, they wanted to bask in the glory of beating Peyton Manning for the night, but they accepted the fact that come Monday it would be all about the Patriots.
Today Ryan was ready to talk about Brady and Belichick and he insists this time he will be ready for them.
“We’re going, obviously, back up to Foxboro and after really looking at it I realize that I was out-coached in that game. I said that then, I’m saying that now.” Ryan said, “Belichick, I recognize the fact that this is a Hall-of-Fame coach and he’ll go down in history as maybe the greatest football coach in the history of this game or going to be close to it.
“He was at that level, that week and I was not. For whatever reason I never had my team prepared, the way it should have been prepared and that falls right down on me. I recognize that this week, this is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan, there’s no question it’s personal it’s about him against myself and that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
Ryan has made his share of headlines during his tenure here, but today he took the whole ‘put the spotlight on him’ approach to a completely new level. Today Ryan said the difference between these two teams comes down to the head coaches and whoever coaches the best will win.
“When you look at it both teams are very even, when you look at the players our teams are solid across the board. When you look at the assistant coaches, we’re on level ground.” Ryan said, “So this is going to be about me raising my level against Bill Belichick. Again I recognize that he’s the best, but I’m just trying to be the best on Sunday and I plan on being the best coach on Sunday.
“So that’s what it is, I recognize that my level has to come up and he’s going to get my best shot. He’s going to get everything I have on Sunday and if he slips at all we’re going to beat him.”
If this game truly does come down to who coaches better then Ryan knows he has his work cut out, he also knows how he plans on going about making sure he can win the coaching battle Sunday.
“It’s just going to be a ridiculous amount of preparation on our part, but (I) also have recognized that my job is to make it simpler for our players. No matter how difficult that may be, as a coach that’s your job. To get your players to play at the highest level possible and that’s taking away some of the gray area.” Ryan said, “They do a great job with their matchups and we have to do a great job of making it, whether it’s a complex plan or not it has to be, simple because we have to play fast and physical.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to dummy it up, you dummy it up against them you’ll get crushed, so we have to find that balancing act.”
When Ryan was asked to clarify what he means by ‘a ridiculous amount of preparation,’ he said, “Well I think it’s the preparation well be that, it will be intense and all that, but I have to work it down into not just what I would know or Pettine would know or Dennis Thurman would know, but what we would know on defense how we get it communicated with each I think is going to be the key.”
Ryan would never use this as an excuse, but the loss of Jim Leonhard just days before Round II had to be a huge reason for the communication issues and poor execution. Still without ever even coming close to bridging that topic, Ryan says it’s his job to make sure the players know everything he will ask of them.
“I know it wasn’t the players.” Ryan said, “My job as a coach is to get them to where they know their job and theirs no grey area and they can be physical and aggressive and clearly New England was like that, we weren’t.
“They (Patriots) made all the plays physically, they were prepared to do that… We don’t need to out trick them we just need to outplay them, we need to give our guys a chance. Obviously there’s a chess matches involved every week, but it was checkmate.”
Ryan was obviously humbled by the butt-whooping he received from Belichick the last time they faced, but you obviously don’t know much about the man if you thought he wouldn’t be voicing his confidence all week long.
“Again I know how to get this done and I believe in myself and I think we’re going to get it done.” Ryan said. He also made sure to inform us that he expressed his confidence to Belichick immediately after the 45-3 debacle.
“I also told Belichick after the game, ‘we’ll see you in round three.'” Ryan said. When he was asked if Belichick responded he said, “Yeah he just looked at me (rolling his eyes).”
Usually the questions being asked of Ryan are whether or not he is putting too much pressure on his players with his talk. It took awhile, but it appears some members of the media are finally understanding he wants the pressure on him so his players can just worry about playing as Ryan was asked if he was deliberately trying to direct the pressure at himself.
“I think the pressure should come on me because that’s it. I’m the guy that said that we’d be in this position again, by the way we’re here, and I’m the guy that said we’d see them again and I’m the guy that believes we’ll beat them. So it comes down on me, nobody else. ”
It’s been apparent that Ryan has embraced the pressure from his first press conference with the team, what’s also painfully obvious is this man and his players will never lack confidence, no matter the situation. In fact Ryan doesn’t even understand how someone could think this wasn’t a confident team, but one things is for sure, he believes in his confidence.
“Well since we beat them at our place already this year and since we split last season with them.” Ryan said, “Confidence, look we just beat Peyton Manning at Indy, I don’t know how many teams have done that. This team has won three road playoff games in two years.
“So, hey, we win this one we’ll be right back to where we always are. ‘Same old Jets,’ right in the AFC Championship game.”
“Damien (Woody) came through, his knee is okay. He was kind of wobbling around a little bit so we’ll see if he’s able to go or not. Brad Smith has the groin.”
Does Ryan think Smith will be able to play?
“I’m not sure” Ryan said as his face lit up “I don’t think they should prepare for the Wildcat (laughing).” When he was asked if that means that Smith will play Ryan said, “Probably.”
Ryan also said Sanchez’s shoulder was, “fine.”