NFL Combine 2013: NY Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan

USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was faced with several questions regarding Darrelle Revis during his presser at the NFL Combine on Thursday.

Opening remarks…

"It’s neat seeing John come up here and he’s basically talked about the mentality and the direction of our team. It’s great. It’s funny, I realized there are a lot of similarities between John and I. Obviously (when) we grew up, our fathers were coaches in the National Football League. In fact, both of our dads coached for the New York Jets at one time. We’re similar in the fact that we grew up with a great passion being around football all of our lives. We’re both about the same height. He’s super smart and I’m super average probably (joking). But really, there are a lot of similarities between us. The main thing we have in common is the direction of this football team. We want to win and we want to have a team that basically earns the loyalty and support of our fans. We’re going to have that team. I believe that. I’m excited about the direction of our team when I look at it, the mentality and the type of offense that we’re going to have, an attacking style, that’s the same thing with our defense (and) our special teams, all of it. I’m excited about it and I think our fans should be excited about it as well."

On how Quinton Coples played in his rookie season…

"He’s a young man who I thought really came on. As the year went on, I thought his play started to take off a little bit. He’s certainly a guy that we’re excited about. He’s just scratching the surface. We’re kind of approaching him the same way we approached Terrell Suggs (in Baltimore). I remember Ozzie Newsome coming to me and saying, "Rex, we’re going to put Terrell in your room. So you take a guy that’s a rush linebacker-type guy and you put him in that defensive line room. We did the same thing with Quinton. I see him as a guy that can maybe be more of an edge presence than he was that first year, but having him go through that, putting him over a guard, putting him over tackles, even over centers, I think it’s good because when you put him over tight ends, it’s a lot easier to knock those guys back and you have a lot of confidence when you face those double-teams. That was kind of what we did with him, but I’m expecting big things from him. Like I said, I think he’s just now scratching the surface."

On the Darrelle Revis trade rumors…

"It’s funny. The thing pops up, and I think it’s interesting, as John talked about, the very first day he gets the job and this is what I was telling Darrelle. When I called Darrelle, (I said), ‘Darrelle, let’s face it, the man hasn’t been on the job for 24 hours and now you’re going to get traded?’ I thought that was kind of interesting and I said, ‘It’s not accurate. Plain and simple it’s not accurate.’ I told him that. If he was going to be involved in a trade, I think he and his agents would know about it, as would the general manager and myself, I would think. So there was no validity to that trade. I don’t know where things like that get drummed up from. Maybe somebody is a big fan of a certain team, and is playing fantasy football, and would like to have him on his team. I’m not sure."

On if he would be opposed to trading Revis…

"I’m going to coach whoever is here, but John and everybody would be involved in that. Certainly, to sit down and say absolutely not, we’re not going to do it, I’m not going to say this player or that player, but if we got Jim Brown in that trade, we would probably look into it (joking)."

On what he told Revis …

"I provided him with the answer that I know to be true, which was that was not accurate."

On whether Revis will ever be on the trade market…

"I don’t know how to answer that question. I think John did a great job of answering it. One thing I’ve learned in five years as a head coach (is), a lot of things that you think this (about) what your team is going to look like and all that type of stuff, a perfect example is when I predicted we would win the Super Bowl, and we come back and have 19 unsigned free agents, which is probably not ideal. It was probably not what I was thinking it was going to be, but nobody has that answer. Obviously, Darrelle is a tremendous football player and we can’t say that enough. I’m glad he’s under contract for the team that I coach. He’s a tremendous player."

On what he learned about Revis’ trade value by watching the defense play without him in 2012…

"(It is) no shock to me. You guys see it every day. You guys know how good Darrelle Revis is. I think we all see it. I think the young corner from Seattle (Richard Sherman) sees it. He’s compared himself to the best. He even sees it. Everybody sees it. Clearly, he’s a tremendous player. You’d like to sit back, and right after an injury like that occurs, you want to cry and all of that stuff on the podium. And you’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, we’re going forward, it’s business as usual.’ It’s not business as usual. It’s hard to replace a guy like Darrelle Revis, and then Santonio Holmes on top of that. It’s funny because everybody wants to say you’re making excuses, never make excuses. Trust me, it was a big difference."

On if it’s in the organization’s best interests to make a decision on Revis this off-season based on the structure of his contract…

"I’m confident in our organization that every decision will be in the best interest of this football team, every single decision we make. We might not bat 1.000 on all those decisions, but I know one thing, it won’t be for a lack of effort, and us trying to do what’s in the best interest of this team. I know that and I see it from John. There’s no question about it."

On the twitter feud between Sherman and Revis…

"The guy is a heck of a football player. I don’t know him well enough to compare him to Darrelle Revis, but if you’re putting yourself in that company, that’s the company you want to be with, that’s for sure."

On the prospects for the team in 2013…

"Each year is different. I can honestly say that we’re going to get our shots. We’re going to get our swings. I did figure this out. I’m not in the prediction world. I’m usually not real good on my predictions, but a prediction I will make, on how many wins you’re going to have and all that, I figured it out. I’m going to make the prediction after the season and I’ll tell you exactly how many wins we’re going to have. I think that prediction will be accurate. One thing I will say is this, and we all feel this, I know I feel this, and I’m sure that many people in our organization feel that same way. We’re stepping up to plate with a bat in our hand and we’re not going to let any strikes go by without swinging. We are going to take our cuts. We may take a cut at a ball in the ground as well, but we are definitely going to take our cuts. When we talk about being aggressive, I don’t know if we really know what that looks like. To me, I have that vision. Some may say, "Well, you’re aggressive on defense." I don’t think we’re close to being as aggressive as we’re going to be this year in all three phases of the game, and I’m looking forward to it. How many wins? Nobody can tell you that. But I know one thing, we’re going to take our shots."

On whether Mark Sanchez enters the season as the starter…

"Number one, you heard what John talked about, the competition. We’re going to bring in competition at every position, not just the quarterback position. That is what we want to do here. So to say, Mark Sanchez, or this quarterback or that quarterback, I think there’s clearly going to be competition at that position."

On whether Sanchez’s best days are ahead of him…

"I always think a young player can improve. I don’t think there is any doubt. I think if you look at Mark, what is he, 25/26 years old? In the life of a quarterback, I don’t think that’s over the hill by any stretch."

On whether he talked to the players who were recently released…

"We did. John and I both had conversations with all the young men that we released. You mentioned Bart Scott, there were a lot of guys that did some tremendous things for us - the efforts of Eric Smith and Calvin Pace. Bart Scott, you’re right. I brought him to New York when I came here. He was one of the guys I thought that I really needed to put that defense in and basically get that kind of mentality and that kind of passion through to the players as well. When I came in here to New York, I brought a guy on the front end in Marques Douglas, Bart Scott at linebacker and Jim Leonhard in the secondary, all three levels. Combined with the talent of the group we had in place, I knew it wouldn’t be long until we were considered an outstanding defense. I think we’ve been pretty consistent with that. We might not have been as good the last year or so, but I think anybody that plays here understands that this is who we are. Now, we’re just going to make sure we have the same kind of commitment through the entire football team."

On if some of the recently released players might return…

"With the way everything is (now), it will be interesting to see how free agency goes. Sometimes opportunities come back around to you, so certainly we wouldn’t close the door on any of those things."

On Buffalo’s addition of Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator…

"I think number one, they got a heck of a start. They have a lot of outstanding players in the building already, so I think that’s the main thing. Then obviously with Mike going over there to put in this style of defense, I think will be interesting. I think it’s going to help them."

On impact of Pettine being in Buffalo will have on the division…

"I’m not really worried about them as much as I’m worried about us. To me, my focus is on this football team. As much as I care about Mike Pettine, I don’t really care about him now wearing another color jersey. I do care a great deal about Mike, but our focus is on making our team better. We’re assuming every team is going to get better, but the team that has to get better clearly is the New York Jets."

On whether Tebow will be a part of the quarterback competition…

"Currently, when you look at everything, Tim is under contract to be a New York Jet. We’ll see how things go in the offseason, but Tim is under contract."

On whether Tebow will be a part of the competition at quarterback…

"I think everything is too early to tell right now. We really don’t know how the offseason goes, how the draft goes, how free agency goes. There are a lot of variables involved in things. Before I go on record with any statement like that, I realize now that it’s a long process."

On how well Stephen Hill needs to play this season…

"It needs to be a lot better than year one because Stephen is a guy that has a lot of ability. His ceiling is really high. Like many guys as rookies, many receivers coming into this league as rookies, a lot of inconsistency. Some weeks he was outstanding, other weeks not so much, but I expect him to improve by leaps and bounds going into year two."

On whether Hill had too large of a role too early…

"I don’t know. That’s a possibility. I think when you look at it. Actually, let me go back on that. No, he never did because he had two touchdowns his first game, so I’m glad we played him. In Week Two, maybe, but when you look at it, you see what he has - that height, that speed, those intangibles like that. It is a process. There’s no question about it. I’m always reminded that Jerry Rice never started as a rookie. I don’t know who was coaching him, but it does show you the greatest receiver of all time never even started as a rookie. So it is challenging. Guys really do make improvements going into year two and I expect Stephen to do that."

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