Rex Ryan On The QB Competition At Training Camp
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan spoke to the media Thursday afternoon about the opening of training camp and what he expects from the quarterback competition.
On how excited he is for the start of training camp?
I think for any coach in the league, I?m sure (they) feel the same way. This is the best time as a coach because it?s all football. The whole day is football. You have all your players and its teaching ? it?s the whole deal. I think as a coach, it doesn?t get much better than this.
On his message to the team when he addresses them to open training camp?
I?ll speak from the heart and the big thing is, it?s just going to be about teamwork and it?ll be about competition. I think that?s the big thing about here, where you come here with this football team. And it?s been well written, there?s four or five new starters on offense, about seven or eight, who knows how many new starters on defense. Well ok, that?s all fine and dandy, but every single player is going to have to earn their job. Now is D?brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold or David Harris pretty secure? Or (Antonio) Cromartie? Yeah, I?d say so. But that really is it. People are going to get a fair shot here and I think every single player is going to have to earn their way.
On how he feels the quarterback competition and if Geno Smith is going to get a fair shake?
I think it will be a great competition and one thing he (Geno Smith) doesn?t have to worry about is getting a fair shake. He?ll definitely get that opportunity.
On whether the quarterback competition is different than other position competitions?
Clearly it is because that?s the only thing that anyone wants to talk about. The fact that, really the quarterback is the face of the franchise (or) is perceived that way, so obviously there?s going to be more written about it and more scrutiny about that position.
On what factors go into choosing a starting quarterback compared to other positions?
There?s a lot of factors that go into it. That?s a leadership position as well. There may be more grey area with that than there would be with say, right guard. I think that?s safe to say.
On whether this feels like it?s a make or break year for him?
I?m just excited to be here. It?s no different than past years, with maybe there?s a little more to it. The fact that, yeah there are a lot of new faces and what? Ten new coaches or whatever it is. That?s different. Man, am I excited to be here.
On whether the Jets have enough talent to be a playoff team?
Every team in the league (has the talent), this is the National Football League ? it?s balanced. There?s no team that spends twice as much as any other team. They?ve got the same salary cap for every team in the league. Every single team is talented, including us.
On when he hopes to name a starting quarterback?
That?s something you want to do sooner rather than later, but I think the big thing is to make sure that there?s fair competition and you feel good about the decision. When I make that decision, clearly I?ll feel great about it. And not just me, but I?ll lean on several other people. But, it has to be the right decision.
On the 2009 quarterback competition?
It?s hard to say. We went in in ?09, it was going to be a fair competition. I thought it was, but when we made the decision to go with Mark (Sanchez) it was the right call at the right time.
On whether he will emphasize opportunity in his message to the team to begin training camp?
Well now that you bring it up, I probably will (laughter). You know it?s funny, but realistically they are going to get a great chance here. All these guys will. Is there really a player on this team that has no chance of being on the team or make the roster or make a developmental squad? I don?t think there is. If that is true, that someone doesn?t have a chance, than he really shouldn?t be here. So I feel good about it and I think that?s why the competition, whether you?re competing for a starting job or you?re competing for a backend roster spot or whatever it is, I don?t know if there is ever going to have more competition than were going to have this training camp.
On how he thinks about job security?
Well, I think the first thing is I?m in it to win. Shoot, my goals are set different than this or that or whatever, job security. I never took this job for job security. I would have been in a different line of work had that been the case. But I love the competition. But I think the only way to get there I think is you have to take it?every single game is important. You?ve got to focus on that, your attention?s got to be one week at a time and then you add them up at the end.
On if he feels reinvigorated with the roster turnover...
There (are) a lot of new faces without question. But to say that ?Do I feel really (reinvigorated with the change)?? I?ve always been a passionate guy. I love coaching. I love this opportunity. I understand to be one of 32 guys, but it?s more than that. I?m the head coach of the team I want to be the head coach for and that?s the New York Jets.
On if he thinks CB Dee Milliner will sign by tomorrow?
I?m not sure. I?m a little disappointed he?s not here. But again, I?ll coach the guys that are here.
On how he evaluates QB Mark Sanchez and QB Geno Smith?
Well again I think you?ve got to get them in live situations to really feel good about it and certainly we?ll do that.
On if WR Santonio Holmes will be at training camp to do his rehab and when he expects him to be cleared to practice?
You know, I?m not sure when he?s going to be cleared but I will say this ? he has been at the facility just working his tail off so hopefully he?ll get cleared soon and be ready to get out there with his teammates. I know that?s what he wants, but he?ll definitely be here.
On WR Braylon Edwards?
I think Braylon, obviously you guys know how I feel about Braylon. I love the competitiveness, the toughness that he brings to your team. We?ll make sure that we?re doing right by him as well, kind of like LaRon Landry, we had kind of a pitch count on him in practice to make sure he?s there on Sundays. I think we?ll have to look at him, maybe some other vets and players, Willie Colon and different players. I?ll lean on the medical staff who I think is as good as any in this league. But Braylon is in phenomenal shape. I think he weighed 214 pounds or 215 pounds. That?s quite a ways down from where we last saw Braylon. But just that toughness, you talk about a guy that I think represents the Jets way of doing things. (He) certainly represents me on the field with the way I want my guys to play, playing like a Jet, that?s Braylon Edwards and I?m proud that he?s back on this football team.
On why Edwards will be on a pitch count?
Well, he?s had some bumps along the way and things like that and we?ll see how it goes.
On if Milliner has been cleared to practice?
I don?t think he?s done the physical or anything yet.
On if he expects Milliner to be able to participate in some parts of practice?
Well, we?ll see when he gets here to camp.
Source: New York Jets Media