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Rex Ryan On Early Impressions Of Geno Smith

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan spoke with the media Wednesday about how the offense is coming along and an update on the quarterback competition.

Opening remarks

I think you see the guys are flying around. (They are doing a) good job at competing against each other and thats how its been throughout the OTAs. Thats good to see. Putting the ball down in the red zone as a team period, sometimes you kind of hold your breath hoping guys dont run into each other and all that stuff. I thought that they did a decent job of that. We want to be more multiple this year on defense and I think we were, the last couple years for sure. (We are going to) try to create a little more confusion where you dont necessarily know exactly what were in. Were trying to do that a little bit more. That seemed to work. I understand we lined up offsides a couple times today. One cost us a touchdown, an interception for a touchdown, so weve got to make sure were doing the little things. Its easy to say dismiss it but youve got to correct it. So, thats something we have to get better at. I dont know what else to say. I saw that Deacon Jones passed. Thats obviously unfortunate. What a tremendous player, you guys have heard me talk about him before. You talk about one of the really true pass rushers in the history of the game. A double-head slap, a lot of things outlawed and all that kind of stuff. I think as a football fan, a lot of people are going to miss him. Probably the tackles that he went up against, and he went upside their head, probably dont miss him as much as the rest of us. With that, Ill go and open it up for questions.

On if there has been an OTA where the offense has won

I think theres days where it is kind of up and down, back and forth a little bit.

On if there has been an OTA where the media has not attended where the offense has won

Sure. You know you can say that. (smiling) Without question, weve had our moments. We had a two-minute drill and [Mark] Sanchez through a great pass for a touchdown in a two-minute drill last week. I think, for the most part, its good competition. The wins and losses, the Jets always win, so I always feel good about that. There is a lot of competition out there and you know (we are) still taking care of each other and I think thats a big thing weve learned to do.

On the status of the wide receivers

Stephen [Hill] should be back. You know him and (Clyde) Gates I think will both be back next week. You know Stephen actually had some swelling in his knee. Its kind of a precaution, he dove for a ball. Sometimes we talk about taking care of each other. You have to take care of yourself too. (There is) sense in him doing that. So he kind of had some swelling in the knee. Well bring him back and Clyde Gates had a little hamstring. He tried to come back but well bring him along and hopefully get him out there next week. And then as far as Jeremy [Kerley], Jeremy hasnt missed anything. Today, he had a little bit of a heel issue. We ended up backing him down. And of course Santonio [Holmes], hes doing a decent job, well see how hes doing for training camp. Maybe theres a possibility he starts out on PUP, I am not sure but he seems to be doing well here.

On the difficulty in accessing the wide receivers due to injuries

Well I mean thats brutal. If we had to play, again, there would be major concerns. If we had to play this week, now some of those guys would probably be able to play. But again, obviously youre going to look a lot different when your top four guys are out there than you would right now.

On evaluating the wide receivers

They havent been hurt the whole time. We had some guys that were really making strides, I thought. I really liked the way Gates was progressing and Stephen Hill was really progressing, I thought. That was really encouraging to see. Obviously both those two guys have top-end speed with anybody in the league. Youre looking at two guys (we) really want to take a jump, those two we want them to take a big jump and we need them to. That hasnt changed. We saw some of it coming and then obviously with them having to back down through OTAs its been disappointing.

On if Mike Goodson needs to catch up

Well he has actually done a good job, mentally with some things. Weve seen when he is out here the explosiveness that he has, everybody knows about. Its no surprise, he averages over six yards a carry. We anticipate that, we see the great speed and in all that. Obviously today he had something that I was aware of, he wasnt out there today. But again, well see how it is. The guy does have the physical talent that really impresses you

On if Goodson will be participating in tomorrows OTA...

Again, maybe not out here tomorrow but I expect him to be at the mini-camp coming up.

On the discrepancy between the offense and the offense

The defense made some mistakes also. Some of them they stumbled into. But I think thats where were at. Obviously thank goodness were not playing this week or next week. The defense I think, you could see the speed of the defense and I think thats pretty obvious. The talent, the improvement, some of the strides some of the young guys have made. I know the bust, the draft bust I read all of those things about Demario Davis. Well see if hes a bust. Well see if [Quinton] Coples is too. I have a funny feeling theyre not. I have a funny feeling theyre exactly what I said they were. And I think were starting to see it. Were seeing double A, Antonio Allen, come around. A lot of these young guys are stepping up a little bit. [Darrin] Walls was eighth on the depth chart now hes running with the first group or the sub team. So I think theres some guys who are really making some strides, obviously youre going to know a lot more about your team when the pads come on. But to this day there are some guys who have really done some nice things out there for us.

On media reports on the possibility of the team naming a starting quarterback prior to training camp

I dont believe thats the case. I dont think were close to that right now. And obviously the process is, you dont have to make that move. Until we feel 100 percent comfortable with that decision, then well just leave it to competition.

On the standings of the quarterback competition

Its way too early to say. Some days this guy looks good, some days this guy looks good.

On how the injuries at wide receiver have made it difficult to judge the quarterback competition

I should have said that. I mean thats my answer. Well just use that. Thats outstanding. (smiling) Thats way more articulate than I could put it, which is not surprising to anybody. But really thats fair. Both guys (Sanchez and Smith) are, and all the guys are learning a new system. And its a long process. Like I said, once it is totally 100 percent clear who the guy is, then we can look at making that decision. Then I can make that decision. But right now this is just the early stages of it. I think there is a long way to go. I think Ill be a lot more comfortable seeing guys in a live situation also.

On how he knows it will be a clear decision who will be the starting quarterback

I never said it would have to be a 100 percent. For me to make the decision to say the competition is over, its going to have to be a 100 percent clear to me. And if its not, then were going to keep competing until whenever.

On how involved he will be in making the decision on the starting quarterback

Im sure it will be, it wont just be me saying no its this and thats it. It wont just be my evaluation, but at the end of the day, I guess it will be if theres a split camp or whatever, then I will make that decision.

On whether the tie goes to the incumbent

(Laughter) I dont know. Well do what we normally do. Flip a coin and say thats pretty much it (laughter).

On if Matt Simms is ahead of Greg McElroy on the depth chart

No. We just put it out there. I remember somebody was asking me well does Geno ever get to run with the first group? Is he out there? Well, yes he is. Days flip. Thats definitely not the case. Theres still competition for those spots.

On whether he has seen signs that Sanchez is learning to throw the ball away

Well, I saw it even today in the red zone. Thats why I said hey look. Its not there. You made a good move by not trying to force the issue. And I think he did that a few times. That is encouraging to me. An incompletion is not the worst thing that can happen to you, as we know. We have to eliminate those mistakes down there in the red zone, those turnovers. And thats clear to not just me but everybody. I was encouraged by some of those things. The defense did a great job on some coverages that they did, so get rid of it. Dont make it a horrendous down.

On Steve Youngs comments that Sanchez was a broken down player last season and if he is different so far this season

Clearly, it wasnt just Mark, we werent playing well. I think when you come back you have to erase the computer. You start all over again and I think Marks done that and I think a bunch of us have done that. Thats the way it is. I think the old Satchel Paige line, Ill just add, obviously you learn from whats happened in your past, but as Satchel Paige used to say, sometimes when you look behind (hesitating) now Im totally going to butcher it (laughter). He said it like this, something might be gaining on you. I think he said it that way first. (hesitating) Then he said, if you look back, something could be gaining on you (joking). If you focus so much attention on what happened in the past you lose sight of whats in front of you. And I dont think thats what were doing now. I think everybodys excited about where we are. The preparation has been outstanding and well move forward.

On his early impressions of (Geno) Smith

I think first off is, sometimes you want to see when a young quarterback comes in, is it too big for him? I dont think its too big for him. I think because there is a lot on your plate. You come in, you learn 50 plays or something like that, almost immediately you learn different protections. I think hes doing a great job. Hes on top of that. I think the way he throws the ball, obviously you notice his physical skills. He can throw it with anybody and I think thats been impressive as well.

On Stephen Hills injury and the swelling in his knee

No, I think hes fine. I think thats why were backing him off. The swelling, the fluid any other word you want to say, thats what happened there.

On whether Smith has to take the starting job from Sanchez to be the starter

I think well just let that process play out and, at the end of the day, make the right decision for us.

On whether Vladimir Ducasse has returned to left tackle

Weve been moving him around a little bit. We feel really good about where Willie Colon is right now. We picked up (Stephen) Peterman. We drafted (Brian) Winters and things. But theres a chance as anywhere when you dress youve got to be able to play multiple positions. Hes competing at guard and tackle. Primarily youre seeing him at tackle right now, but he has been there at guard. Hes worked at guard as well.

How big of a year is it for the 2010 draft picks to breakthrough in starting roles

Well Kyle (Wilson) started almost every game for us last year.

On whether Wilson started only because Darrelle Revis was hurt last year

Well, but thats true and I dont think he would beat Darrelle out even this year. Just throwing it out there. (laughing) I see him as much improved. I dont think there is any doubt. And it would be interesting to see if you talked to some of the other guys, how they feel about him. Talk to Cro (Antonio Cromartie). Talk to a bunch of them because I think you see him really taking to it. And you expect him to. And you do expect those guys, if youre going to do it, you have to take that step forward. But, (Im) very confident in Kyle. Obviously Vlads (Vladimir Ducasse) got to move forward. Part of the thing thats held Joe (McKnight) back is that hes had some issues injury wise, health wise and things. Obviously (he) led this league in kick returns (average), so thats been a real positive. But, were waiting to see it because with his kind of ability you expect to see him do other things. He should catch more than one ball a year. Hopefully, this will be the year that he takes a big step forward.

On his body language being more positive since the NFL Draft press conference in April

I just feel great. I do feel great about this team. I feel great about getting back and doing what I know to do. I have a lot of faith in the coaches I always have. But I think for me, its better that I do what I do. And thats coach and teach every day and the same things in the meetings. I feel good about it. Maybe the guys arent learning as much, but I feel good about it.

On a defensive player saying that he is so involved with the team and that they can see his genius as a defensive mind

That dudes starting (joking) (laughter). I dont care who it is. Hes staring. Aaron Berry? Aarons starting.

On whether he feels back at home with the defense

Yes. I definitely feel that way.

On his impressions of Sheldon Richardson so far

We havent put the pads on, but hes explosive and I know you guys recognize it too. Its not hard to recognize a guy that plays with that kind of energy, that kind of enthusiasm. We talk about it here, playing like a Jet. Nobody likes that term, but its a huge term to us. And sometimes when you go out, you send scouts out, you talk about, hey, look, we shouldnt have to teach desire and effort and all of that type of stuff. Certainly this is a guy you dont have to worry about. How athletic is he? You guys saw him in college. He actually played middle linebacker some. Its not surprising that were seeing what were seeing. He just jumps in there. You put him all over the place and hes just hitting it and hes going 100 mph. When you put him in there with a Quinton Coples, with Big Mo (Muhammad Wilkerson), Kenrick (Ellis), all those type of guys, the energy, and not just them. But from Snacks (Damon Harrison), from, we got (Antonio) Garay on the field today, which is great to see. But all those guys. I mentioned it before, the job (defensive line coach) Karl Dunbars done. You see just the energy that those guys are playing with. They push each other. And thats when you know youve got a great unit.

Source: New York Jets Media


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