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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, Im sure (they) feel the same way. This is the best time as a coach because its all football. The whole day is football. You have all your players and its teaching its the whole deal. I think as a coach, it doesnt get much better than this.

On his message to the team when he addresses them to open training camp

Ill speak from the heart and the big thing is, its just going to be about teamwork and itll be about competition. I think thats the big thing about here, where you come here with this football team. And its been well written, theres four or five new starters on offense, about seven or eight, who knows how many new starters on defense. Well ok, thats all fine and dandy, but every single player is going to have to earn their job. Now is Dbrickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold or David Harris pretty secure? Or (Antonio) Cromartie? Yeah, Id 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) doesnt have to worry about is getting a fair shake. Hell definitely get that opportunity.

On whether the quarterback competition is different than other position competitions

Clearly it is because thats 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 theres 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

Theres a lot of factors that go into it. Thats a leadership position as well. There may be more grey area with that than there would be with say, right guard. I think thats safe to say.

On whether this feels like its a make or break year for him

Im just excited to be here. Its no different than past years, with maybe theres 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. Thats 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 its balanced. Theres no team that spends twice as much as any other team. Theyve 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

Thats something you want to do sooner rather than later, but I think the big thing is to make sure that theres fair competition and you feel good about the decision. When I make that decision, clearly Ill feel great about it. And not just me, but Ill lean on several other people. But, it has to be the right decision.

On the 2009 quarterback competition

Its 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 its 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 dont think there is. If that is true, that someone doesnt have a chance, than he really shouldnt be here. So I feel good about it and I think thats why the competition, whether youre competing for a starting job or youre competing for a backend roster spot or whatever it is, I dont 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 Im 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 itevery single game is important. Youve got to focus on that, your attentions 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)? Ive always been a passionate guy. I love coaching. I love this opportunity. I understand to be one of 32 guys, but its more than that. Im the head coach of the team I want to be the head coach for and thats the New York Jets.

On if he thinks CB Dee Milliner will sign by tomorrow

Im not sure. Im a little disappointed hes not here. But again, Ill coach the guys that are here.

On how he evaluates QB Mark Sanchez and QB Geno Smith

Well again I think youve got to get them in live situations to really feel good about it and certainly well 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, Im not sure when hes going to be cleared but I will say this he has been at the facility just working his tail off so hopefully hell get cleared soon and be ready to get out there with his teammates. I know thats what he wants, but hell 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. Well make sure that were 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 hes there on Sundays. I think well have to look at him, maybe some other vets and players, Willie Colon and different players. Ill 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. Thats 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, thats Braylon Edwards and Im proud that hes back on this football team.

On why Edwards will be on a pitch count

Well, hes had some bumps along the way and things like that and well see how it goes.

On if Milliner has been cleared to practice

I dont think hes done the physical or anything yet.

On if he expects Milliner to be able to participate in some parts of practice

Well, well see when he gets here to camp.

Source: New York Jets Media


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