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Jets Rex Ryan On Tim Tebow And The Patriots

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan spoke with the media Tuesday evening about Tim Tebow, mini-camp and tight end position.

Opening remarks

First day of mandatory camp, obviously excited about that. Its really no different than our OTAs because were a team thats had 100 percent participation, so its very similar to what weve been doing these last several days. But again, its always a good thing. You realize youre getting closer and closer now, so Im looking forward to that. Today we put in I think five different coverages with moving parts so that ought to be interesting today. (Were) just trying to challenge our defense mentally, throwing a lot of new things at them (to) see what we can handle. Were doing a lot of shifts and motions on offense. I wanted to challenge the defense that way so well see how they respond. Sometimes in a game youll make adjustments in a fire storm. Maybe its one or two defenses. Well, today its five or six. But, (we) put it in there and theyre feeling pretty good about themselves, well see what happens today. I have a funny feeling theres going to be more questions about former players than there are current players, but with that Ill answer your questions.

On Tim Tebow

Well again, its not a surprise to me that Tim would be picked up. Obviously, as Ive said before, (hes) a tremendous young man, very competitive. Im happy for him and look forward to competing against him.

On his reaction to Tebow signing with the Patriots

To the Patriots? Well again, Im happy for him. You look throughout our league now, youve got Tim with New England, youve got Dustin Keller in Miami, youve got Mike Pettine and company in Buffalo. Theres a lot of my former guys throughout the league. Youve got Shonn Greene in Tennessee that were going to go up against. But with that, I always wish those guys the best unless they play against us obviously.

On whether Tebow succeeding in New England would reflect poorly on him

No, again. Im not worried about anything really. Again, like I said, Im happy for the young man to get another opportunity in the league. Weve already mentioned that it didnt work out here. Obviously, Tim had more success in Denver than he did here, so it is what it is.

On if he is curious about how New England will use Tebow

Not really, no. If they want to replace (Tom) Brady with him, thats fine. (joking)

On if he hopes the Jets quarterbacks will separate themselves at minicamp

Again, we dont have to make a decision right now, and we wont. I think itll be clear when that time comes and you usually probably play a game or so and well see what happens when you get into live competition. I think its probably the best way to judge a guy, anyway.

On if Stephen Hill will practice today

Yeah, I believe he will be. I expect (him to), I dont know how much, but we have enough guys over there so I dont know how many plays that will be.

On what players will not participate

(Santonio) Holmes we know wont be there. Gosh, injury report. There are guys limited. (Jeremy) Kerley will be out there. Clyde Gates I think is going to be out, he had a hamstring. If he does do some, itll be very limited I believe. But I think hell probably be out. And theyll be, I call (Ryan Spadola) Spicolli, I think hell be out, he did a little something with a hamstring, the kid from Lehigh. Hes been doing decent, too, hes catching the football and things. There will be a few guys out, there will be a few guys limited. (Antonio) Garay will be limited. Garrett McIntyre will be limited. But for the most part, guys will be out there competing.

On what he is hoping to see with Kellen Winslow and Mike Sims-Walker

I hope both of them are like they used to be, because thatd be good. Theyll be trying out for a few days and (the team will see whether they will be) signing here. But well see. It is a good opportunity to evaluate some guys. Obviously Kellen Winslow was a tremendous player in this league for a long time, one of the premier receiving tight ends in the game. So well see how he responds. Obviously its going to be recovery more than anything else, how healthy he is. Because clearly the skillset that he has, the young man was a tremendous player.

On how much preparation time will be have to be spent on Tebow

Well, I think now, I think the whole league is game-planning for running quarterbacks, if you will. So I think thats something that weve been doing. I think during the course of the year, Geno Smith could be that guy that can do it. I think a lot of teams, many teams are having those type of quarterbacks now. You look at E.J. Manuel that Buffalo picked up. Obviously (Colin) Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, RG III (Robert Griffin III), those are the guys that jump to the top of that list. So I dont think anything specifically youre going to do with Tim that the league really isnt preparing for now, and I think thats changed. I dont think last year, going into the season, Kaepernick wasnt really a known commodity I think. Russell Wilson certainly wasnt as a rookie quarterback. RG III, I dont think people really knew what to expect. But clearly now it seems like thats a trend in this league and you have to be ready for it.

On having to prepare to face Tebow not only as a running quarterback

Well be ready because were prepared to face (Rob) Gronkowski and (Aaron) Hernandez so I think well be prepared to play Russ Francis if he comes back to play tight end. (joking)

On his advice to Coach Belichick on handling Tebow

Oh please. Hes not going to listen to me and he shouldnt. Hell just do what we he does and that makes sense.

On Tebow potentially transitioning to tight end

Again, all these questions are probably better served asked (to) New England and Belichick. Im sure youll get the answer from him. (joking)

On whether he is serious about getting an answer from Coach Belichick

Thats as good an answer (as) youre going to get from me. (joking)

On judging your running game without practicing in pads

I think its pretty much impossible without pads on because you want to stay away from those types of collisions. Until you really put the pads on, what youre going to run on the perimeter basically is all you can do, maybe some draws and stuff like that. I think until you get the pads on, you get more of a true appreciation for what your running game can be.

On whether its frustrating as a coach to not have any spring practices with pads

No, I think as long as its a level playing field its really not a frustrating thing. Everyones dealing with the same rules. Im just happy weve had 100 percent participation. I think that probably puts us ahead of things. Im extremely happy where we are right now.

On whether anyone is excused or is every player in for camp

Everybody is here. We have one issue that will come up the last day. A young man had a personal issue, a death in the family, so those things obviously, something like that could change things.

On whether it is advantageous to try out players on consecutive days to gauge where they are health-wise

I think so. I think you get more of a true idea of where they are. Part of it is, a lot of times in this league the skillset isnt what gets you out of the league, its the fact that its hard to recover. Ive been around a lot of great veteran players (where) really thats sometimes a sign that its time to retire or move on. You just cant get ready. Well see. Hopefully, these young men will be fine and ready to go.

On if they might have noticed the severity of David Garrards injury if he tried out on consecutive days

Yes, maybe so. Im not sure.

On the competition at safety

I think youre exactly right. Thats an excellent competition going on right now with Antonio Allen, with Jaiquawn Jarrett, with (Josh) Bush and guys competing. There is this young man, (Bret) Lockett from UCLA, whos doing some nice things (and) Donnie Fletcher. Theres some good competition at that safety position, certainly. The thing that I like doing is firing a bunch of new stuff at them. Well see how they adjust because thats what happens in a game. (Over) the course of a game, (when) somethings not working, you have to make a change in a firestorm as we put it.

On Jarrett

So far, hes been doing a tremendous job coming in (and) learning a brand new system. The thing that we know he can do is that he was a hitter. When you put the pads on I would anticipate this guy going like this (shoots his arm out), because certainly thats what he did at Temple. He put some shots on that were impressive to say the least. When youre looking at Mo (Wilkerson) and him, its like, Wow these two guys can really play. So, well see what happens, but Ive been pleased with him.

On whether the coaching staff worked on Tebows footwork last season

I think without question, and you have to give the young man credit, he put in tons of work, and our coaching staff put in tons of work trying to improve him from a technical standpoint. Like weve said before, this is a tremendous worker (who) wants to get better and certainly there are some things that he can get better at, but really with everybody, any young player theres things you get better at. It wasnt overlooked. We spent a lot of time trying to develop him and, to his credit, as a quarterback, he really spent a lot of time trying to get better.

On the expectations for the team being different than they were a couple years ago

Its the same job its always been with one goal. Expectations may be that the general public out there maybe has certain (expectations). I cant speak for them. You know what the expectations are there, but I certainly understand our expectations. We know that we have to, as we say, out-work and out-prepare everybody and thats going to give us an opportunity, I think, to be successful. Obviously, were no different than 31 other teams in this league. Theres one ultimate goal and certainly well be striving for that goal.

On the tight end position

With Jeff Cumberland, obviously hes the starter right now. If we were going to have a game tomorrow, he would be our starter. Then you have Konrad (Reuland) and Hayden (Smith), guys with experience. Then you have the (Boston College) kid (Chris Pantale) and the coach (Mike) Shanahan, (who) are working their way out there. And well see about Winslow. Im excited about seeing Kellen.

On not having a player at tight end whos been a consistent NFL starter

I think with any position, well see. I know we work extremely hard up top in the pro personnel department trying to (see) if theres somebody out there who can potentially help our football team. Were open for anything, whether it be a tight end, a receiver, a tackle (or) a whoever, a defensive tackle, well certainly look at all possibilities. But again, Jeff Cumberland, I think is a big fast guy that I think has improved over the years. His blocking, I think has really improved. Ill be excited to see how he progresses.

Source: New York Jets Media


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