Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Coverage of Rex Ryan's Press Conference


Here's a play-by-play from Rex Ryan's first press conference as the HC of the NYJ.

10:05: Woody Johnson seems pleased with Ryan, confirming that his 3-4 defense is a reason for the hire, and he loves the hire.

10:07 AM: Ryan: "I plan on being here a long time."

10:07 AM: Ryan: "I'm going to surround myself with the best people I can find, and my coaches won't work for me, they'll work with me." He goes on to praise Callahan and Westhoff and mentions that Mike Pettine will get the DC job.

10: 08 AM: Ryan: "My job is to provide the players with everything they need to be successful."

10:09 AM: Ryan: "We'll be aggressive on all three sides of the ball." "We will be an aggressive football team and a physical football team.

10:10 AM: Ryan: "We're either going to go walkthrough speed or full speed."

10:11 AM: He seems to like a run-first offense, an "all-weather offense."

10:11 AM: "I just knew where I wanted to be...There's no reason we shouldn't win immediately...The only way I know how to face a challenge is to face it head on. The message to the rest of the league is the Jets are coming, and we're going to give you everything we got.

10:12 AM: "We want to be known as the most physical football team in the NFL...You take a swipe at one of our guys, we'll take a swipe at two of yours."

10:13 AM: "It's on. I can't wait. We're bringing in as good a coaching staff as we can find. We're going to try to do the same thing with our players."

10:13 AM: He keeps stressing the team, and having all three sides of the ball work together, being special in their own way.

10:14 AM: He just mentioned he wanted the press conference to end, so he could focus on football.

Question time for Rex Ryan.

10:15 AM: On Brett Favre: He talked about how good Favre played last time he faced Baltimore. "I know how good a competitor he is," and he left the door wide open for him to play quarterback.

10:16 AM: "When you look at my background, I feel I've been successful at all stops along the way."

10:17 AM: "I will be meeting with Brian (Schottenheimer) soon...Tremendous coach...Certainly, I want to sit down and visit with him, face to face. If anyone has gone through what Brian has--I know the disappointment he's feeling, I felt the exact same thing last year in Baltimore."

10:19 AM: "There's a million decisions that have to be made, and obviously Brett is a huge decision."

10:21 AM: Asked about Same Old Jets, and how to change culture. "This is a good football team. There really doesn't have to be a drastic change. I think oyu're goin to see a drastic change with some of the play of defense...We're going to be attacking to the whistle, not just to the whistle but through the whistle." He seems excited about the talent in place already, mentions Jenkins, Rhodes, and Revis, whom he calls "the best corner in football."

10:22 AM: On Vernon Gholston. "I don't think he's scratched the surface on what type of player he can be." He compares him to Terrell Suggs, telling a story of how he first was told to coach up Suggs and told him he would be the rookie of the year and then coached him up, and he thinks Gholston and others will be able to contribute.

10:24 AM: "I challenge our fans...You see the value in your fans by how you play defense at home...I know the Jets fans. This is going to be great, man...The style of defense we play, with our fans, whooo, it's going to be rough on people."

10:25 AM: "I have high expectations of our fans. We don't let them score at home."

10:26 AM: "Anybody would want Brett Favre to be their quarterback. Anybody. Not just me." Goes on to qualify that statement by saying he hasn't talked to Favre yet and he doesn't know.

10:27 AM: "I'm going to be myself. That's been pretty successful for me...I'm a guy who's very confident...in my coaches and players' abilities as well."

10:28 AM: "Our corner will be able to tell you Kris Jenkins' responsibility on every play." Talks about how defensive meetings will have all his players invoved, and that players will be accountable to each other, and they will know what everyone is doing on every play.

10:29 AM: "I'm excited to see Kerry, to coach Kerry. Ed (Reed) has a reputation for being a freelance guy, but everything is in the structure of our defense...We'll set traps, and Ed took advantage...It's all 11 doing what they're supposed to be doing, in a fashion that is physical and aggressive always."

10:30 AM: "Joint effort" with coaches, scouting department, but Tannenbaum will have the final decision, "just as any GM would."

10:31 AM: "I think Brian's an outstanding coach. He's here already. I would be doing myself a disservice by not talking to him and seeing if he wants to be a part of this Jets family, and again he's already here, and obviously he's one of the top coordinators in football, so of course I give him that opportunity to say no or yes." He also denied having any coaches forced on him, and that any report that says that is false.

And with that, the press conference is over.

As for my early thoughts about Rex Ryan as Jets coach? You can clearly see why the Jets liked Ryan. He's the anti-Mangini. He said in his presser that there are read-and-react coaches, and he is not one of them. If the ship is going to trash, Ryan will be much more animated than Mangini ever was.

He made several statements that fans have to love. We have yearned for a physical and aggressive defensive unit for years, and if there's one thing Ryan made a point to stress, it is those two things. One of my favorite quotes from him was this. "We want to be known as the most physical football team in the NFL...You take a swipe at one of our guys, we'll take a swipe at two of yours."

How can you not love that?

He also made it a point to indicate the returning talent already in place. He called Revis "the best corner in football," and he also praised Jenkins and Rhodes. And he's right. There's plenty of talent in place. Just imagine what the defense can do with an aggressive attitude and hopefully some new talent. And what if he can actually help turn Vernon Gholston around?

The fact that he challenged the fans to step it up on defense was a smart move. Fans love to think they are involved, and your average Jets fan wants to yell and scream on defense. Home field advantage was largely better this past season than it had been recently, and with a new coach, some new hype, and a new style, it could improve. Woody Johnson thought Ryan could reinvigorate the fan base. That is absolutely possible.

But, remember, the last coach that had as many soundbites and who was considered a players' coach was Herman Edwards. So keep a level head before you get your hopes too high. His comments on Favre weren't particularly impressive, but it is his first day here, and what he says publicly and what the Jets want to do privately could easily be too different things.

During the press conference, he also mentioned a KILL philosophy rather than a KISS (keep it simple, stupid) one. "Keep it Likeable and Learnable." Not nearly as fearsome as the anagram itself, but if it works, it works.

There's only so much you can learn from a press conference, but he comes exactly as advertised. He may or may not be successful, but he's definitely going to be a fun guy to root for, just like his father Buddy was.

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