Welcome from One Bills Drive. Bills/Patriots Week continues with a busy Wednesday. We'll keep cranking out the posts here on the BN Blitz Blog.
Rex Ryan just kicked things off at the podium with his news conference. Here are the running highlights...
On Belichick saying he'll take his record vs. Rex... I'd take his record, too. I'd take the wins.
On why his D has been better vs. Brady than others... I'd like to think my defense is better vs. most teams.
On how much he dislikes the Patriots... I'll say this: I respect them probably as much as any team in the league. But I don't fear them, I'll tell you that much. We don't fear anybody. In fact we're looking forward to it. I get it. They've got the trophies, the records... But we have the same record in that stadium on Sunday. It's a brand-new team. We'll see what happens. ... I'm excited about this game. It is a personal challenge because you want to go against the very best. I'd rather have a win against a first-ballot Hall of Fame coach in Belichick than a slappy coach.
On why players expect to win... They see the practice I guess. They know the talent we have in the room. ... We expect to win, period.
On if he has a relationship with Bill... My brother coached under him for a few years and won 2 Super Bowls so I knew him through my brother. We've gone against each other a zillion times. He knows I respect him but he also knows I that I'm going to try like hell to beat him. They have to earn the victory and they have over the years. But they're going to get every single thing that I have, every single thing that my players have and our coaches have. And if they beat us, they beat us. But we don't concede anything. We're not beat just because they get off the bus, like some teams. ... All I said is I expect to win, I don't care who we play. I expect to win. Sound different? I don't care if I sound like whoever. I'm just being me. The game's at our place on Sunday. Let's see what happens. ... This year's a different year. We'll see who's the king of the mountain at the end of the season.
On if he gets a different joy from beating them... It's only happened three or four times in my career. So hell yeah there is.
On if he's ever looked at Belichick's quieter approach and thought 'He has four Super Bowl rings' ... No, I get it. But do you think if we muzzled it, I'd have four Super Bowl rings? If we would, I wouldn't say I word. That ain't going to help. I admire Belichick for the way he is and the way he controls that organization. It's clearly driven through him. That's his blueprint for success. That's who he is. For him to be somebody else, for him to come out and be like somebody else would be a mistake. Same thing for me. This is who I am. It's different or whatever, and I get it. I don't have the four Super Bowl rings but neither does anybody else. They can try. Hell, there's a bunch of his guys who have gone on and left and they try to him but they ain't him. So it doesn't work for them. So if you are yourself, you have a chance. If you're acting like somebody you're not, you have no chance in this business.
On the challenge... We accept the challenge. I can speak on our fans' behalf, our players' behalf, our coaches' behalf: we accept the challenge.
On Belichick's crowd noise comment... I don't know what they're anticipating. I'll say this: I have a funny feeling it's going to be as loud as any game I've ever been in, in my life. That's how I feel. We've been challenged.
On facing Tom Brady... I'd much rather face Steve Grogan. That's just my personal thing. But I get it, I see exactly where our players are coming from. It's about the competitor in you. You do want to face the very best. And you want to compete up against them and see where you stack up. We said from Day 1 -- haven't altered our story one bit -- take a look at our first two games, we play the two teams who represented the AFC in the AFC Championship Game. So we'll see where we stack up against the very best two last year. So we're not coming off that statement. At the end of this game, we will see where we stack up against the very best of the best.
On playing keepaway with the run... You'd love to be able to do that: control the game and keep Brady on the sideline. That's everybody's gameplan going in. Will they play us the same way they played Pittsburgh? I doubt it. I don't think you'll see near as much two-man as they ran. But again, they may. Our quarterback can take off with it and they know it. So I don't anticipate they'll be giving us the same looks they gave Pittsburgh. But I could be wrong.
On Graham... Still in that concussion protocol. We'll see how it goes during the week.
On Rob Gronkowski... This dude, he's going to make catches. There's no question about it. But you just don't want him to go crazy on you with three touchdowns. Obviously, you're trying like hell to eliminate that. But is he as big a challenge as you'll face in the league at tight end? Absolutely he is. His size, his speed, his strength, this just in, he's pretty good. ... We're not going to ask one guy, 'Hey, this is your guy.' Shoot, he'd have to look like King Kong or something. 'You got him! You've got the Gronk!' Put Kong on him. I'm not going to get into how we're going to cover him.
On if there could be three guys on Gronk... There will be some snaps when there's three guys on him.
On players saying they want that challenge of Gronkowski... Oh yeah, everybody does. But here's a common theme thing you'll see. Most secondary coaches that I've ever been around, early in the week, they'll say 'Hey, let's get up on him! Let's press these guys. We'll do this and that.' As the week goes on, it's 'Well, let's back him off a little bit.' And then all you hear gameday is 'Get your ass back!' That's true.
On if marvels at his skill... I marvel at the fact that he's a second-round pick. This is a guy who was supposed to have back issues, all this kind of jazz coming out, let's have the draft over again and see where he gets taken.
On if he's his kind of guy/doesn't care what people think... Of course he is but he's on the other team so you can't stand him.
On if he has learned the Patriots' RB's name... Yeah, Blount. That's who it's going to be. That's who it would've been in Week 1. He's a big, stud RB. That's the guy. They threw in this other dude, but guess what, he's not going to play. He'll play on third down and those kind of things. But they're going to put Blount back there.
On if McCoy didn't have his timing down... Part of it, too, is the conditioning part of it. There's nothing like playing in games and getting into football shape. No fault of his own, he had a pull.
On the fundraising campaign to bring Guinness Book of World Records to stadium to measure decibel level... That sounds good to me. I'm expecting our fans to be extremely loud. ... If last week was any indication, we don't need to sell seats. They stand anyway. Our fans are into this one. I was blown away by it, I was shocked by it. Oh my goodness. Maybe if you've got some youngsters behind you, you want to give them a chance to watch the game, too. But I've never seen anything like this. .... The commitment they had to this franchise is unwavering so I knew that. But the intensity they brought was surprising. I was blown away by it.
On players staying focused when emotions are high... That's the whole thing. You have to be dialed in on your assignment. Alignment, assignment, technique, it's always about that. Will we feed off each other, feed off our fans, of course we will. We're playing a team that has won our division for years. We know we have to be at our very best. Is passion part of it, yes, but our job is the most important thing.
On having Dareus back... There's a reason he made what he made. One of the premier tackles in the game. The other guys played extremely well and we'll rotate guys, these guys change the tempo on you. Can play fast or control it. But we've got to be rolling fresh bodies in as well, so those other guys will be major contributors for us.