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Conference Call: Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan

Posted Dec 13, 2012

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

(on the Jets defense the past few weeks)

Yeah, the last couple of weeks, but we have a tradition here, we’ve been pretty good for a number of years. We expect to play good defensively. It’s more of an aberration that we were playing so poorly early in the year. I think we’re getting back down to where we expect to be.

(on third-down play)

Just playing Jets football.

(on if Braylon Edwards will suit up on Monday night)

I certainly hope so. I know he passed his physical here and he seems to be doing a good job getting the treatments. Shoot, I know he’s cleared to practice today. Obviously, we’ll be smart about it and we’ll let the trainers determine how much we do practice him. I’m optimistic he will play on Monday.

(on if it was a no-brainer to bring Braylon Edwards back)

Well, I’ve always liked Braylon (Edwards). Braylon obviously did a nice job here, the two years that he was here. I have a lot of confidence in him. I think Mark (Sanchez) has a lot of confidence in Braylon, so you’re not bringing in a guy that is brand new to your organization. He knows the way we operate here, he’s familiar with the quarterback. The offense is obviously different and different terminology, but Braylon is a sharp, young man and I’m sure he’ll pick it up.

(on the proposal that the league might expand to 14 or 16 teams in the playoffs)

Well, if I’m one of those teams that would make the playoffs, absolutely. You know what I mean? We would have made the playoffs last year, so yeah, I would have signed up for it. Whatever they think, I’m confident that the commissioner will do whatever is in the best interest of this league, because this is a great league. The changes that he has made, I think have been positive. Player protection, all those types of things, I think is good for the league, obviously, because it’s all about the players. You don’t have a league without these players. I think that’s a real positive thing. People with a much higher pay grade are going to make these decisions.

(on if he thinks that the team is poised for a late-season run)

Again, we’re just focusing everything on Monday night, that’s our attention. I know we have three games left in the regular season, but every bit of our energy is focused on this particular game. Whatever is in the past, we can’t dwell on or look at or whatever. We’re just focused right now on one game.

(on his impressions of Jake Locker)

Big, talented, physical guy. Almost has a mentality of a running back when he takes off with it. Obviously, he’s a great athlete, he has a big arm. He’s a guy, certainly, you have to worry about. Not only with his arm, but his scrambling ability as well.

(on if Jake Locker’s turnovers recently are to be expected of a first-year starter)

Well, I think with anybody, we’ve certainly struggled with our issues with turnovers. Sometimes young quarterbacks and all that type of stuff, they make mistakes. You can’t buy experience. Right now, he’s certainly an NFL quarterback and he’s a phenomenal athlete. I think this guy is going to be an excellent player for a long time.

(on if he had a great deal of respect for the way Mike Munchak coached his offensive line in the past)

No question, we used to butt heads all the time. His guys were physical, they get after it. Right now, they’re doing a phenomenal job. They’ve lost four starters on that line, and yet they still get after it. It’s a tribute to him.

(on if he’s noticed an improvement in the Titans defense)

Yeah, statistically, I don’t know where they’re ranked or whatever, not that high statistically, but if you look at the weeks that I see on the tape, the last four weeks, they’ve been playing well. It’s a young, talented group. I’ve really been impressed with the kid from UCLA, (Akeem) Ayers, and that (Zach) Brown kid, he can really run. But Ayers in particular, he’s all over the place. He can play the pass, he’s got four or five sacks, can be a nickel rusher. He’s all over the place with tackles. He’s been impressive. I like both of their ends, (Derrick) Morgan and (Kamerion) Wimbley. Then the two tackles inside, (Jurrell) Casey and (Sen’Derrick) Marks, they’re disruptive guys inside. This is a talented, young group.

(on if he expects that Tim Tebow will be the backup quarterback)

Yes, I do. I think he’s getting better coming off the broken ribs and all that. He got more reps last week, and I felt good about him before the game, and that’s why I made that decision.

(on Greg McElroy’s play)

I think he was 5-of-7 and 22 yards. That doesn’t seem impressive, but I love the way he managed the game. He came in, he’s a guy that has really been our third-string quarterback all season. Those guys don’t get hardly any reps, if any. Really, no reps. With him, you always knew that he would be prepared. He prepares like he’s always going to play. That’s the way it should be. When he was the backup quarterback, I felt I needed to make a change, and I did. I was confident in Greg (McElroy), this whole team is confident in Greg. He went in, and did a nice job for us.

(on why he decided to stick with Mark Sanchez)

Mark Sanchez won a lot of games for us. He’s won 39 games or something in his four years here. He’s won four road playoff games. That’s hard to do, there are very few guys that have done that. He’s got the talent to be a good one, there’s no question. I just think we need to focus more on eliminating the one or two bad plays he was making. I think he’s done that. He’s a young man, very athletic guy, can make all the throws. We know he has the skill, he’s won a lot of games. It’s not like we’re waiting on him to win games, he’s won games here.

(on Yeremiah Bell’s play)

Well not really a surprise, we brought him in to be a starter, and that’s exactly what he’s done here. A tremendous person, tremendous leader, really been happy to have him. We have three safeties, we really like all three of our safeties. Eric Smith does a ton of roles for our football team. When he went down, it really hurt us, especially on special teams. Eric does a lot of things for us. We have a hired killer in LaRon Landry. This guy is one of the rarest hitters in this league. He is a big-time hitter. He plays by the rules, but he is going to blast you. He’s made several impact plays here.

(on if he has any empathy for Mike Munchak’s situation with his job potentially on the line)

I don’t know about that. I’ve been up to my hat in my own issues. I really haven’t worried about anybody else. We’ve just been trying to get our team to improve, and that’s really where my focus has been.

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