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What They Said: Transcript of Rex Ryan's Monday press conference

Head coach Rex Ryan

Opening statement:

Alright in the game I will tell you it was a lot of guys stepping in that I thought did a great job for us. I think, I look at Tyrod [Taylor]’s performance I would describe it as a gritty performance against a good football team, against a good defense because it was tough sledding. But he did a nice job I thought. I thought the offensive line going against that defensive front, you know we ran for 230 yards or something but I thought our guys did a real nice job handling it. They have three really good edge pass rushers. So I thought our guys did a nice job there. Obviously the two young running backs jump out at you, the play of Karlos Williams and then Mike [Gillislee] I think he did a great job. So real happy with the way our offense played. And then on defense I was really pleased. I thought the effort was outstanding, we wish we had a few plays back. But I thought in particular I thought Leodis [McKelvin] did a really nice job for us.  And then up front we rolled, obviously Marcell [Dareus] you expect to do a great job, but you are basically going against four pro bowl type offensive linemen, but when he went out I am looking out, oh boy here we go. But Corbin [Bryant] stepped in like he always does, did a great job for us. It seemed like the young guys we put in there, they were competing hard. I don’t know if we had a whole lot of production, but we were playing hard, staying on doubles, getting off, running to the football. So I was really pleased with how we played on defense. With that I will open it up for questions.

Q: Is Marcus Easley’s injury something that could go into next season?

A: No he should be back for next season, but guys this is a major, major injury. He had, obviously he will go on IR--I know we aren’t going to announce it, but you guys get it. He dislocated his knee cap, but also broke his knee in three spots. So it is a devastating injury there. However, they say he will be able to come back from it. So it is just going to take time, but he should be fine. We all know how tough he is, but when I heard that, they basically said it is two different injuries. One the knee cap comes out and then it breaks the knee. So it is just, man he is tough. But expect him to go on IR. I don’t expect Charles Clay to play this week that is with that back. Shady, with LeSean [McCoy] I am not sure, we will see how that goes during the week. If it is going to be on one of those things that if it is going to limit him, then obviously we will err on the side of caution there. We mentioned Marcell [Dareus] got, he had a pinched nerve, a stinger or whatever but it was longer than that. But we are hoping to get him back. We hope, he has been here, we hope to get him back. We had three other guys battling through it. Obviously with John Miller it seems like he is battling through that high ankle. Bacarri Rambo is one tough cat now. He is out there, was his tackling affected yeah, I mean he has got a banged up shoulder, a banged up knee. He is battling. Brookes was out there, he was battling Ron Brooks. We will see if he, went sent him to get the X-rays and all that other stuff, we will see how he is. Hopefully those guys will be able to play. I hope [Ron] Darby can play. Obviously this team they, their main formation is four wides. So you would like to have at least four corners that would be nice to have. So hope like heck Darby can play for us. Other than that I think that is it for the injuries.

Q: With Dareus there was a report he lost feeling in his fingers is that back, how bad was the situation or is it still?

A: Well that is scary, without question that is scary there is no question about it but it is a pinched nerve so the feeling has come back. But usually you call them stingers or burners or whatever we have probably all had them. You know you get oh, okay and that your arm goes numb for a little bit but then the feeling comes right back but that wasn’t the case. So that was….yeah I think it was a concern. I think he feels like, he is after the game oh I am playing. So we will see.

Q: Tyrod had 14 carries yesterday is that a concern to you?

A: Well yeah, I think we got a, we have to balance, and you are right Tyrod [Taylor] does take off with it, run for first downs but he has got to protect himself too. I think if there is anything that we can do it get him to really to where it is we got to protect our, you got to protect yourself. That is running out of bounds, sliding and all that. There was times where he wanted, you could tell, the competitor in him he is going to try and get the first but he is more valuable to us than that. So I think he needs to understand that, I need to tell him.

Q: The way you guys run the ball do you think Greg Roman needs to call as many read option calls as he does, since your backs have been doing so well all year?

A:  Well no I think there are some times, like there was a time we are going to win the game based on the look we got. We got Tyrod [Taylor] on the edge, he gets the first down. There is some of that, that goes into it. We don’t want to major with our quarterback being our leading ball carrier, we get that. But at the same time you don’t want to limit him too much to where he is not a threat to carry the football. I think that, I know how hard it is to defend against a running quarterback and I think you always want to have that ability. Albeit you know we don’t want to run him as much as we ran him yesterday.

Q: What do you say to him to have him not risk it?

A: Well I think part of it now looking at the season, we have, this is not the time. You know with, if we are trying to win a more significant game for us. Obviously that would be, you might consider something else. We want him to be the long term solution at the spot, so he has got to learn to protect himself and understand that we need him to be that.

Q: Does that mean just at the end of runs or not run at all?

A: Well no, no. I don’t, you never want to take that out of his game because that will take away from really some of the special things that he can do. I think that takes away from it but being mindful of protecting yourself and yeah I get maybe we don’t want to have quite as many quarterbacks run but on the scrambles for sure he has got to sometimes throw it away, sometimes take what you can get. But protect yourself.

Q: There was one scramble late in the game where I don’t know how many other guys can make that play?

A: That is exactly right. That is what you never want to leave. Because quite honestly I think that play right, one of the reasons we won the game. Because it was a huge play at that time of the game. We needed, I think we were up three points, all the way pinned back. And when he made that run it was like oh we can breathe a little, that clock was going down. I think that was I am not sure what the score was then but it just seemed like such a huge play at that time.

Q: Has Gillislee showed you enough to earn a spot on the roster next season?

A: I would absolutely agree with that. Absolutely that, here is, you look at this guy he is going into, look what we have been able to do running that football. Like you know we have fallen short in a lot of areas but the plan coming in, we, I think we have run the ball the way we expected to or even exceeded what we wanted too. We are running at a great clip. Mike [Gillislee] is certainly a guy that has just burst on the scene. But yeah I would think without question he is a guy, him, Karlos [Williams], LeSean McCoy we are in pretty good hands there with that backs that we have.

Q: Is seems typically that third running back contributes on special teams as well, what can Mike do there and what about Boobie?

A: Yeah and Boobie [Dixon] has done a great job you know for a number of years here and you are right. Maybe it is of us looking for us to expand Mike [Gillislee]’s role as a special teams player. That could definitely be something that we look into. There is no reason to think he wouldn’t be a good special teams player.

Q: You said yesterday you don’t want to be the spoiler you want to be in the playoffs, but how sweet would it be to be the spoiler next Sunday?

A: I think first off it is about getting the win and we know we are facing a team that is red hot. A team that is probably as talented as anybody out there. When you look at it even from a statistical stand point I think they are sixth and eighth, one is defense is sixth, offense is eighth in the league, or whatever. This team is a complete football team, no surprise they have the record they have. But just to get a win, I don’t care if we play East Carolina you want to get a win period, no question about it. The spoiler I think it probably you know maybe, who knows, to me I think just us getting a win against a good football team is great.

Q: You were pretty excited after beating them last time, do you think that maybe knocking the out of the playoffs?

A: No I don’t think so. No.

Q: Could that be extra motivation for players though?

A: That is a possibility. I think guys do get revved up for, you know you are playing against a team, you admire where they are at you wish that was you in that situation it is not. But this is your last shot at it this year, so you get to play against a team that has everything riding on it. We know we have nothing on it statistically you know from we can’t advance or whatever. But it is a lot for us being professionals that we are going to try our best to win this game.

Q: How difficult is it to call a defense when you have second and third stringers across the defense?

A: Probably as not as easy as everybody thinks, I guess. But you know what, it is where we are at. The thing like I said, what I admire about our group is they are playing hard. And I mean some of these young guys have stepped in. I mean we got [AJ] Tarpley playing all over the place. You know he’s pulling the old Manny Lawson. So he played WILL, MIKE, SAM just throw him anywhere, I don’t know if you guys know we had him when he had his interception he is actually dropping in the post as the safety on that. So the kid, I just love the way he plays. He is, do I wish he had a bigger NFL body, yup and that is what the offseason is about. You know build him up, get bumpers on him, all that, get him bigger, stronger, absolutely. One thing I know he is, he is a football player and has instincts so I love that kid. I think he is doing a great job for us. And the other guy some guys you are just giving opportunities to guys that have earned it off the practice squad, now they are jumping in there, they are getting their feet wet, you know in a real game.

Q: Why can’t Cyrus get in at right tackle?

A: Well that’s is a good question. I think there is a little more comfort level with [Jordan] Mills it seems like. But it also the fact that, that role is, playing that role he does a have a role for us. There is no doubt and it is a big thing and it is not just doing it as a tackle or whatever. But I feel good about the way he is contributing, I do.

Q: Any relief knowing the game is not getting flexed to the Sunday night slot?

A: It is for me I can promise you that, absolutely. Now would have it been good for ours fans to get a night game and things like that. Yeah but let’s wait till next year. Let’s see if we don’t get one for next year that would be great. But for me yeah I am happy it is at one.

Q: Where do you think John Miller is from the excitement you felt at the beginning of the season to now, is he where you want him to be?

A: No I love where he is at. I think he is has exceeded where we thought he would be. Guys are going to struggle, especially young offensive linemen. He has played, he has exceeded where I thought he would be. He has done a tremendous job for us. I would not be surprised if he is on the all-rookie teams and all that. I think he is a deserving guy of that. He has played really well. And with a high ankle, that really guys every game he is tweaking it, that is just part of the nature of playing that spot. It is hard to get, it is hard to get completely healed from that and he it out there battling like crazy. So I have been really proud of him.

Q: How do you feel about Dan Carpenter missing five extra points this season?

A: It is…you know I know it is killing him, there is no question about it. He is a much better kicker than that. You know it is a concern, sure it is a concern, but he has just got to work through it. How much of the off season injury and all stuff plays into it. When you really can’t work that is something that he can probably answer a lot better than me. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that was one of the things that is maybe contributing to him having an offseason.

Q: What level of insurance can you give him that he will be the next kicker?

A: Well I think with anybody, and this is any player what you look to do is regardless of the position you are going to look to give your team the best possibility of being successful. Dan [Carpenter] has had a history being successful kicking here, so that is something you can’t ignore also. Has he struggled this year, yes he has. But I think you know I don’t see Lou “The Toe” Groza coming in, if that happens then okay. We will see what happens.

Q: You don’t want Lou coming here.

A: Is that right.

Q: Just check the numbers.

A: Back in the day you are probably right, they would kick 60% and we would all be like he is a superstar, in the Hall of Fame or something.

Q: What is your reaction to Bill Polian calling your offensive line unathletic and aging, did you scratch your head on that one?

A: I did a little bit. But you know what people have the right to their opinions, there is no question about it. Obviously you get a lot of opinions about a lot of different things out there. But I like the way our offensive line has played. I mean obviously I think statistically we are number one in the league in rushing. Not just in rushing but also rushing average per attempts. So I think that is a good sign your offensive line is doing something. I can the benefit I have is were, we see our guys every day. Whether Bill Polian saw them this game, that game or whatever maybe they never played well I am not sure. But obviously he is a hall of fame, he is in the Hall of Fame for a reason. The guy is a great evaluator and things like that. But I think if he had the benefit of being around this group as long as I have, I think he would see this group is pretty darn athletic and pretty good. I think we have an outstanding center, I think we got in my opinion one of the best guards in Richie Incognito, an outstanding young right guard, an excellent left tackle, and our right tackle we have had three different guys play that position but all three have been okay in my opinion.

Q: You mentioned Rambo’s injuries are you concerned with his tackling and the overall tackling?

A: Well I think there was guys that really tackled well, and there were some guys that really couldn’t. But I think if you are leading with one shoulder you are probably not going to tackle real well.

Q: Why not put someone else in there if he is really hurting?

A: Well that is a good point. It for some reason it never jumped out at me at the time. But I think you can see a Meeks, Jonathan Meeks a lot more opportunity this week. And Bacarri [Rambo], I love him. I mean he is fighting his tail off. But there comes a thing where it is like you know I recognize the toughness and everything else but if he is going to be hampered as much as what it looked like then I have got to go with…I want to get [Jonathan] Meeks more work anyway.

Q: What is your feeling of Duke Williams play this season?

A: I like, Duke [Williams] has settled into the role we have given him. I think he is in what we call a speed package and I thought Duke has played well in that speed package. You know he does, he has had some real good moments on special teams as well.

Q: Can you give us an update on some guy you lost early on in the season, Ty Powell and Jarius Wynn and how much you missed not having those guys this year?

A: Well first off I think both those guys are good football players. I don’t think there is any doubt. I think Ty Powell was having a great camp and you throw in the fact that not just on defense as a special teams player. He is one of our best special teams players and so obviously that was a big loss for us. And then with [Jarius] Wynn I think he was one of the first substitute defensive linemen off the bench the year before. So we know he is a good football player. Where both those guys are at I am not sure right now. Obviously when the season is over you start getting a better handle of where those two guys are and all those guys that are on IR.

Q: Where does Percy Harvin fall into that, have you talked to him?

A:I have talked to him a couple times, just texts back and forth, actually not really talked to him I think I have talked to him once, texted him a few times. It has been more about a personal variety than it has been about where he is on the injury front.

Q: Do you get the sense he wants to continue playing football?

A: No I get the sense he wants to play. I think he had the surgery because he wants to play.

Q: What was the reason for Greg Salas to get as much playtime as he did over Dez Lewis?

A: Well I think we did try to get Dez [Lewis] out there.

Q: Salas played 42%.

A: Did he? I actually am surprised by those numbers myself. So it’s, I have no idea. I think Dez [Lewis] was probably primarily one position where [Greg] Salas was trying to learn everything. This is not unusual for this kid. I actually picked him up, well not me, but we picked him up when I was with the Jets, four days of practice, he ended up starting for us against the Saints one time. So the kid is a sharp guy, a really smart guy. I think Sanjay [Lal] probably caught him up to speed quick. It was probably that more than anything else. It is not that, with Dez is it more one position specific.

Provided by the Buffalo Bills.

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