Transcript of Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan's media session Wednesday at One Bills Drive. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Head coach Rex Ryan
Q: Coach Belichick said that he’ll take his record against you.
A: I would take the record too. I mean no question I’ll take the wins if that’s the case. No question about it.
Q: Why do you think your defense has been more effective against Tom Brady?
A: I hope my defense is better against most quarterbacks or most teams. I think that if, probably historically you’ll probably see that. You know against everybody it’s probably better.
Q: Some of your players have been vocal with their dislike of the New England Patriots. How much do you dislike the Patriots?
A: Well I mean I dislike the fact that I haven’t been that successful against them, there’s no question about it. Hey look I’ll say this, I respect them probably as much as any team in the league. But I don’t fear them I can tell you that much. We don’t fear anybody. But in fact we’re looking forward to it and I get it, they got all the trophies and they got the record says what it is. But I think we got the same record as we had in that stadium on Sunday and it’s a brand new team and we’ll see what happens.
Q: Is this fun and how much do you relish this?
A: Well I relish any challenge and so this is a big challenge. So I think as a competitor I absolutely…You know I’m excited about this game man, I mean this will be great. There’s no question about it and it is a personal challenge because you want to go against the very best. I’d much rather have a win against, and compete against a first ballot hall of fame coach in (Bill) Belichick than a slappy coach. I mean I’ll take the victory but I mean shoot he’s gonna get what I got and he knows it.
Q: Why do you think your players believe that they expect to win?
A: I don’t know they see the practice I guess. I mean they know the talent that we have in the room, they know the coaching staff that we have here, and they know our fan base. So I would…I mean yeah, I mean heck we expect to win period.
Q: Do you have any relationship with Bill Belichick?
A: We don’t admit anything. [Laughs]. Look I mean my brother coached under him for a few years, they won two super bowls together and all that stuff. So obviously there’s the…Yeah I know him through my brother. But we’ve gone against each other a zillion times. He knows I respect him but he also knows that I’m gonna try like hell to beat him. That I’m not beat just when the…They gotta earn the victory and they have over the years. But they gone get every single thing that I have, every single thing that my players have, and our coaches have and then if they beat us, then they beat us. But we don’t concede anything. We’re not beat just because they get off the bus, like some teams.
Q: You sound like Coach Belichick.
A: I don’t care what I sound like I mean I’m excited about it and like I said…all I said is I expect to win. I don’t care who we play. I expect to win and you know sound bit, whatever…I don’t care if I sound like whoever, I’m just being me. But shoot, it’s…you know the game’s at our place on Sunday, let’s see what happens.
Q: Is there a more satisfying team to beat than the Patriots?
A: Probably none more challenging. I think when you look at the last ten years it’s easy to say that the Patriots have been the most dominant team in the National Football League, the past ten years. But this year’s a different year. I might want to just put that little cameo out, it’s a different year and we’ll see who’s the king of the mountain at the end of this season.
Q: But is there any added joy in beating them?
A: It’s only happened three or four times in my career so…Hell yeah there is.
Q: You and Bill Belichick are on opposite sides of the spectrum in regards to talking with the media. Have you ever wondered if what he’s doing has a correlation with his four super bowl rings?
A: Yeah, no I mean I get it. But you think if we muzzled it I’d have four super bowl rings? If we would I wouldn’t say a word. But I can honestly say that ain’t gonna help. The thing, I admire Bill Belichick for the way he is and the way he controls that organization. Because it is, it’s clearly driven through him, that’s his blue print for success. That’s who he is and for him to be somebody else, for him to come out and be like somebody else, that would be a mistake. The same thing for me. This is who I am, and it’s different or whatever but…and I get it I don’t have the four super bowl rings, but neither does anybody else. You know and they can try…hell they have a bunch of his guys that have gone on to left and they try to be him, but they ain’t him. So it doesn’t work for them and so if you yourself, you got a chance. If you’re acting like somebody you’re not, you have no chance in this business.
Q: Where does the anticipation level rank in regards to other games you’ve played?
A: I mean I guess it’s like anticipation or whatever, yeah I’m excited about it. There’s no question but we have a lot of work to do. I mean we haven’t even…we start practicing basically today so we’ll have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do before I get dialed in. But I know how I’m gonna feel on Sunday, I know how our players are gonna feel. We’re all…and guess what I know how fans are gonna feel. We’re all gonna feel that we’ve been challenged. Okay that’s one thing. I know we’ve been challenged. We’ve been challenged because here comes the super bowl champs, the defending super bowl champs, in our backyard. So that’s a challenge in itself right there. So are we looking forward to the challenge and all that type of stuff? We accept the challenge, I’ll tell you that much. We accept it and I can speak on our fans behalf, our player’s behalf, my behalf, our coach’s behalf, we accept the challenge.
Q: Bill Belichick said every road game is the same. Do you think he’s in for a surprise on Sunday?
A: I don’t know we’ll see. I don’t know what they’re anticipating but I’ll say this – I have a funny feeling it’s gonna be as loud as any game I’ve ever been in in my life. That’s how I feel because again we’ve been challenged.
Q: What’re your thoughts on facing Tom Brady? A lot of your players mentioned they wanted this challenge.
A: I’d much rather face Steve Grogan. Somebody like that. That’s just my personal thing. But I get it, I see exactly where our players are coming from. Again 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 all along, we said from day one, haven’t altered our story one bit that we are gonna look at…you know take a look at our first two games, we’re playing the two teams that represented the AFC in the championship game. So if we’re in this conference we’ll see how we stack up against the very best two, last year anyway, and so we’re not coming off that statement. But we will see at the end of this game, we will see where we stack up against the very best of the best, you know what they had last year. The defending super bowl champs, and the Colts who went to a championship game. So we’ll find out where we stack up.
Q: The Steelers has success last week running the ball against New England. How much do you think the run game is crucial this week?
A: Well I mean obviously you’d love to be able to do that. Control the game and keep (Tom) Brady on the sideline. That’s everybody’s game plan going in. How they’re gonna play us…Will they play us the same way they played Pittsburgh? I doubt it. I don’t think you’re gonna see near as much two man as they ran. But again they may. You know we got, our quarterback will take off with it and they know it. So I don’t anticipate we’ll be getting the same looks that they gave Pittsburgh. But you know I could be wrong.
Q: Any update on Corey Graham?
A: No. I know he’s still in that concussion protocol and we’ll see hopefully you know…we’ll see how it goes during the week. But obviously the focus, as it should be, is the protection of the player.
Q: Rob Gronkowski is very hard to cover. How important is it to shut him down?
A: I will say this, that’s a true statement. He is hard to cover, there’s no question about that. I mean shutting him down and all that…this dude, he’s gonna make catches, there’s no question about it. But you just don’t want him to go crazy on you. Three touchdowns, whatever it is. I mean obviously you’re trying like hell to eliminate that. But is he as big of challenge as you’ll face in the league as a tight end? Absolutely he is. His size, his speed, his strength. I don’t know, this just in – he’s pretty good.
Q: If Corey Graham is unavailable does the complicate how you deal with Rob Gronkowski? Do you ask just one guy to cover him or is it multiple?
A: No we’re not gonna ask just one guy, hey this is your guy. I mean shoot he’d have to look like whoever, King Kong or something. You know you go you got him, we got the Gronk, we’re putting Kong on him. So ...
Q: So how can you, go back to how you’ll…
A: I’m not gonna get into how we’re trying gonna cover him.
Q: Sure you are.
A: No I’m not.
Q: You mentioned there might be three guys on him.
A: They’ll probably be some snaps when three guys are on him.
Q: A few guys have said they want the challenge of covering Rob Gronkowski. Is this something they come up to you and say they want?
A: Oh yeah everybody does. But it’s just like, I’ll tell you what, here’s a common theme that you’ll see – most secondary coaches I’ve ever been around early in the week they’ll say hey, let’s get up on, we’ll press these guys, we’ll do this and that. As the week goes on, let’s back them off a little. Then all you hear on game day is get your ass back, that’s what they say. So that’s true.
Q: I know Rob Gronkowski is on the other team, but do you marvel at his skill level at all?
A: I marvel at the fact that he’s like a second round pick. This is a guy that’s supposed to have back issues all this kind of jazz coming out. Let’s have the draft over again, see where he gets taken.
Q: Is he your kind of guy in a way?
A: Of course he is. But he’s on the other team so you can’t stand him
Q: Have you learned the Patriots running backs name since Monday?
A: Yeah (LeGarrette) Blount. I mean that’s who it’s gonna be, that’s who it would have been week one. So the other kid is who he is. But I mean come on, Blount’s there guy and I know him. He’s a big, tough, stud running back. I mean that’s the guy it’s like we throw in this other dude, hey guys guess what he aint gonna play. He’ll play on third down, he’ll do those type of things, he’s not gonna be on there. They’re gonna put Blount back there.
Q: How prepared do you think your team is for Sunday?
A: We just started our plan so I don’t think it’s gonna be…You know I think that’s probably a better question later in the week. But going into it I mean I’m sure we’re gonna feel very prepared. I mean we’ll study the heck out of these guys. Our guys I know will do a great job in their preparation and you better against these guys and I even challenged the offense. We know how they prepare. They’re gonna have their films and everything else on how we protect the football, our receivers. You know (Charles) Clay, hey he laid it on the ground. Well guess what, they’re coming after it. So we’ve got to be mindful of that as well.
Q: How much of that preparation relates to how successful you’ve been against the Patriots?
A: I can tell you this you know you look at from this year, right now, how different it is. Every plan changes based on you personnel, based on what you have, what you maybe are short in in some areas, and how they play. So each…Falling back on past history I don’t think is necessarily an indicator of what you’re gonna do game plan wise.
Q: Can some of LeSean McCoy’s struggles on Sunday coincide with the offensive line problems you mentioned or him working on timing with the fullback?
A: Well you’re right though I wasn’t happy with the line’s consistency. There were times we did really well but we gotta be, like fundamentally we have to play at a much higher level this week, we recognize that. But I think part of it too is the conditioning part of it. There’s nothing like playing in games and getting in football shape, where you miss that much time. Obviously no fault of (Lesean’s) own, I mean he had a pull. I think that plays into it.
Q: How much of a concern were John Miller and Seantrel Henderson after week one?
A: I mean I don’t think any concern. I just think we need to really hone in fundamentally I think is…you know that’s where these guys challenge you. You make a mistake on this bunch, they take advantage of it. So we got to be…have everything tightened down and get out and play to our ability.
Q: Have you heard of the go fund me page to bring the World Record Book here to measure how loud the fans are going to be on Sunday?
A: Ohh I like the sounds of that. That sounds good to me.
Q: What are your thoughts on the fans starting this go fund me page for the Guinness Book of World Records?
A: I’m anticipating it to be extremely loud. We’re gonna pump up the volume in our speakers all that type of stuff (in practice). When our defense is out there play it as loud as we can. So I’m expecting it to be extremely loud. You know our fans have been challenged, you look at it this way, alright we’ll see what happens. But I mean if last week was any indication, I mean we don’t need to sell seats our guys stand the whole time anyway. You know I’m looking back I’m like golly take a little breather if you want. But man forget it, our fans are into it. I have a feeling they’re gonna be into this one.
Q: Do you think the fans will ever sit down again or stand for your entire career here?
A: I have no idea, honestly I couldn’t tell you. I was blown away by it, I was shocked by it and oh my goodness you know sometime…maybe if you got some youngsters behind you, maybe you wanna sit down, give them an opportunity to watch the game or something. But we wanna build those young Bill fans too. But I don’t know it’s like, that was crazy, I’ve never seen that before.
Q: Is this the type of game that made you want to be the coach here?
A: I wanted to be the coach here regardless and I think it is a part of this community that was a big part of it. But the number one reason was our ownership that was why I wanted to be part of this, and our organization, that’s why I really wanted to be a part of this. Is this a bonus thing? Look do I wish the Patriots were in a different division? Yeah, probably. I mean play somebody else, not gonna mention names. I’m not gonna pull the Arkansas coach. One of my best buds is coach there too, he’s a great one. But I mean hey, you can get beat by anybody, but it’s the world champs you gotta play twice or whatever than that’s a little tougher. But you know what, hey bring it on.
Q: Is there anything that has surprised you now that you’re in the regular season about your time here in Buffalo?
A: Well I mentioned that the crowd, as pumped as they were throughout the game. Cause sometimes you see guys, you know people can do in spurts or on third down or whatever. I was kind of shock that way. But the commitment that they’ve had to this football team, this franchise and all that is unwavering. So you knew that was coming in but I think just that intensity that they brought that first game was really surprising and I was blown away by it.
Q: Will Buddy Ryan be at the game this Sunday?
A: No he won’t be at this one. He’s got another big one Thursday night, Clemson at Louisville, so he’ll be at that game.
Q: How important is it for the players to stay focused during these more emotional games?
A: Well that’s the whole thing you gotta be…that’s a great point because you have to be dialed in on your assignments, still a lineman assignment, technique, it’s always about that. But is it, you know I think it’s good to have that kind of passion and energy and all that stuff. Will we feed off each other, will we feed off our fans? Of course we will and that’s part of it. It’s not just that it’s the defending champs, it’s the fact that we’re playing against a team that has won our division for years. Even though this is a brand new thing or whatever but we know we’re gonna have to be at our very best and that’s what we wanna play against, and we wanna show our very best against this football team. Is passion part of it? Is all that part of it? Yes, but our job is the most important thing.
Q: Nothing against Stefan Charles or Corbin Bryant but how big of a benefit is it having Marcell Dareus back?
A: Well I mean there’s a reason he made what he made. I mean he’s one of the premier tackles in the game. So having him back obviously is a great thing for us. The other guys played extremely well but having that big guy back, and obviously we’ll rotate guys. You got to keep them fresh or this is a team that changes the tempo up on you quite a bit. They can go faster than any team in the league or they control it, they slow it down, they do a great job that way. But we’ve got to be rolling fresh bodies in as well so those other guys will be major contributors for us.
Q: Are you making penalties more of a priority after last week?
A: That’s something we’re definitely you know trying to do a better job of and obviously when you look at them, some penalties debatable or not, whatever. You know you just try to learn each week and get better and better and better and we know we have to do a great job fundamentally and the rest will take care of itself.