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Rex Ryan Interview Transcript 8/19/11

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On Friday New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

Opening Statement…

I have notes. Okay, (so that we’re in sync) after we had that disaster the other day (joking). (Mark) Brunell, we’re going to watch him, he’s fine. With that finger, he’s okay. Plaxico (Burress) is good. That left ankle looked good. Trevor Canfield is out. He had that knee. He’s doing well though. Shonn Greene is out and I’m not even going to try to articulate that because I know (Director of Media Relations) Bruce (Speight) did yesterday, so you guys figure that one out, but he’s out. Joe McKnight is doing well. We’ll watch him today. He should be fine. Even for the game, all these guys, (Mark) Brunell will be good for the game, Plaxico (Burress) is good for the game, Joe McKnight we think is good for the game. Brandon Moore is limited in practice. We’re going to hold him, that’s the coaches decision, for the game. Courtney Smith kind of rolled an ankle. Here we go again (joking). We’ll re-evaluate him after individual. Of course Rob Turner is out. On defense, Marcus Dixon will be out. He had that swelling in his knee, but he will not play. Sione (Pouha), we will not play him this game, with that left knee. Bart Scott with the left leg, we will not play him. If this was a regular season game, all those guys would play. But we’re being smart with them. Calvin Pace has a left groin, we will re-evaluate him after individual (drills). Okay, so that’s it, you’re getting the exact notes they gave me.

On if there is a timeline on Shonn Greene returning…

No, here we go again. We think he’ll be fine next week.

On if Greene is in the building…

I never saw him today. Maybe we have him out of the building. I really don’t know guys. I’m not going to lie to you. I never saw him out there today. Whether he was in the training room or not, I’m not sure.

On if he knows where on Greene’s foot the infection is and how long Greene has been on anti-biotics

I think it has been a few days, and what it was, he practiced, he had had some problems, so they gave him a little thing in his foot. He was fine. The next day the pain (medication) wore off, it got worse, there was more swelling in it. So they drain it or something like that. I guess it got an infection so he’s walking around like this (hobbling). So that’s why he’s not out there. What they said is that he’ll have to have it propped up, so even if he’s not here, he’s going to have to elevate his leg for a little bit to get the swelling out and things. Nobody seems too concerned with it.

On the running back situation with Greene not being available…

We think McKnight will play. So we’ll have (LaDainian Tomlinson), we’ll have (Joe) McKnight, we’ll have (Bilal) Powell.

On if Tomlinson’s carries will increase this week over last week…

Yes I would think so. I don’t think he’ll get 22 carries, but I’m sure he’ll get a few.

On if McKnight or Powell will take over Tomlinson’s third-down role…

No, I think we’ll just let (LaDainian Tomlinson) go for like a quarter or so and then put those other guys in there.

On how much each quarterback will play this Sunday…

Well I’d like to see our starting offense and defense play into the second quarter. So whether it’s a quarter and a half, whatever it is, we’ll see how everything is going. Sometimes you can say, ‘Well, a guy is going to play a quarter and a half’, and one side of the ball has eight snaps, so they end up going all the way to halftime. So we’ll just play it by ear, but we’re definitely going to play those guys into the second quarter.

On if any players have earned more playing time this week…

I don’t know about earned. (They will get it) by default. Okay let’s go by default (joking). It might be a better word. Vlad Ducasse will be at right guard for Brandon (Moore) and then you’re going to have, obviously, (LaDainian Tomlinson) is going to be the (running) back. Plaxico coming off that ankle will be in the starting lineup. And then with Sione, Marcus Dixon and Bart Scott, you’ll have Mauga for Bart and (for) Sione we may go with (Martin Tevaseu) or Kenrick Ellis. One of those guys will be in there. In other words, it’s slashed. It’s not just one guy. I’m just not going to put Kenrick out there. He’ll be slashed with (Martin Tevaseu), and we’ll probably start (Martin Tevaseu). And then Marcus Dixon, obviously won’t be in there, he’s been running with the two’s, but he’s playing well. But that’ll be Ropati (Pitoitua), Kenrick and guys like that.

On if LB Josh Mauga has improved over this time last year…

Remember this time last year he got knocked out by John Conner. So it was one of those things where we knew he was playing good. Mauga was playing well, it was just that he ended up having that concussion. And that’s what went like four weeks into the season. We all saw it last year. He’s making plays, the kid just makes plays. He has great instincts, he has some coverage ability. He’s really, without question, our third (inside) linebacker. Without question. He’s done a great job.

On Powell’s progress…

He’s coming (on) a little bit. He does have some nice run ability. I like the fact that he tried to look up that safety, kind of like Shonn Greene-style. So he’s a big, powerful (running) back.

On if Greene’s injury creates a chance for Powell to get more touches in the game…

Well, we had planned on playing him anyway, but you’re probably right. He probably will get a few more carries.

On how much Plaxico Burress will play on Sunday…

I think we’ll leave him in there, let him play a bunch. I think we were working him pretty good these last couple days. In fact our (defensive backs) were like, ‘Man!’ I’d like to see us throw the ball a little more to him.

On how much he wants to see Burress in a game situation…

I think we know what we have, but absolutely you want to see him out there. It’d be great to see him going against another team. That’ll be great.

On whether he will be comfortable if LaDainian Tomlinson has to be the main ball carrier for an extended period of time…

Yes, obviously, you have a (guy) who has been there and done that. We know what he is. With us, we were going to put him in this other role, not because it’s time in his career to do that. This guy can still be an every-down back. I just think, for our team, it fit us better that he would be more of a third-down specialist, a reserve back (role) and let Shonn (Greene) take the brunt of the other snaps. (With) LT (Tomlinson), we’re blessed. We’re about as deep as it gets at running back, but obviously, if something were to happen to Shonn on a permanent basis, then LT would go in there. We’d feel happy that we had LT in there. With the depth that we have with Joe McKnight and Powell, I think it’s really good.

On OL Robby Felix…

I like the way he jumped in the game. I thought when Rob (Turner) went down, Robby just jumped right in there, like it was no big deal. You look at what he’s been through in his life, it really is no big deal. You’re going in to play football. That’s how he took it. He’s a smart kid. He’s learned both center and guard and I think that’s good. I have confidence in him. It’s funny, poor (Matt) Kroul, we’re like, ‘Hey, by the way, Matt, you’re going to be a center, also.’ (He’s like), “Oh, great.” The first day, he said all he was worried about was, “Get the ball back. Just get the ball back.” I think he has that kind of ability where he can be in that kind of mix, as well.

On LaDainian Tomlinson’s initial reaction to being asked to be a third-down back…

It’s funny because it was more of a (mutual decision). I can’t remember exactly when, but it was like, “Let’s let this guy take it. You be the third-down (back).” You know what I have always said about him, the way he handles protections, (catches) out of the backfield, and is still able to run the football like he does, he is special. There is no doubt. Whether it’s as an every-down back or just in that role, he’s special. I was shocked, but I really wasn’t shocked because it’s LaDainian. This guy is a tremendous person, player and a team guy all the way. What’s best for the team, he’s all in for. Obviously, if you said, “Hey, you’re going to be carrying it 30 times a game,” (Tomlinson), I’m sure, would be fine with that also.

On whether he is concerned about Greene’s infection spreading to other players…

No, in this building, we have Reynaldo (maintenance services). We have all these guys. We clean this place better than anybody. You could eat off these floors. They clean it like crazy. This building, we try everything we can to make sure that that never happens. We’ve never had an issue like that and, hopefully we never will. You can’t take care of this building better than we do, in my opinion. Even from the floor in our training rooms, there is no carpet. There is absolutely no carpet. It’s for those specific reasons that we, obviously, want to keep infection out of the building.

On Aaron Maybin’s progress…

The poor guy, he’s behind a little bit, to say the least. He’s doing a good job rushing the passer. (Jeff) Weeks has to be smart with him. He’ll probably have two wristbands out there or something (smiling). Obviously, we’ll let him play, but he’s not anywhere close to being able to (completely understand the defense). “Hey, you have (this offensive formation). What do you do?” “I have no idea what I do.” He’s still in that (phase). He’s just been here a couple of days. Obviously, we’ll have to make sure he’s up to speed, maybe give him his own (plays), like here’s what we’re going to call when he is in there.

On Nick Mangold’s status for Sunday’s game…

Yes, Mangold will be in there. Without question, he’ll be in there with the first team and he’ll take those reps.

On WR Coach Henry Ellard having to manage the new wide receivers …

I know. All we did was give Henry two guys that had Super Bowl-winning catches and those Pro Bowl guys (joking). Now, I (understand) you. Henry has a great reputation. Obviously, we all know him as a player. He was a tremendous player. Then, when we met him, he was a knowledgeable guy. That’s a different room (the wide receivers room) because sometimes you have different personalities, but he can handle it. He’s smart. The guys see (that) he’s smart, he’s been there, he’s done it all, so I think that’s important for that room, specifically. It’s kind of like a (defensive) line room, it takes certain guys that can handle that.

On whether Greg McElroy might take snaps with the second-team offense because of Brunell’s injury…

No, I would like to see Brunell get those snaps then we’ll close out with McElroy and, hopefully, not get him smashed (laughter).

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