1495 Sports is proud to bring these quotes from Day Two of New York Jets Mini-Camp, as head coach Rex Ryan speaks prior to the team heading to SUNY Cortland for the rest of training camp.
*On the black jerseys:
“I borrowed the idea from Tony Sparano, he did this in Miami. He put a team in a different color jersey. So whatever the emphasis is, like in training camp, let’s say we have a red zone emphasis, ball security (emphasis), trying to create turnovers from scrimmage (emphasis) or something like that, the group that I think did the best in the drill, I’ll put that unit in the black jerseys the next practice. That’s where it started. I put it on the defense today because I’m a defensive guy. That’s why they were out there with them today. It’s just a little fun thing that will maybe pick up the practice and stuff like that. It makes them think of what the emphases are. That’s a good idea, so that’s why we broke out the jerseys today.”
*On whether the players needed the black jerseys to learn points of emphasis:
“No, and this will be for training camp really. I just put them on there today. I think it’s just something that’s a little different. The one thing about football players and probably players in other sports is guys love competition. It’s just a way of when they’re on the field and that offense is in the black jerseys, oh, they got the better of the defense and stuff like that. It just adds to anything. Back in the day, you could give them a tee-shirt, something like that or a hat, but that would be on your salary cap probably now, so we don’t want to do that. This is just a way of adding to it a bit. It’s a fun deal. They can get after each other more. I think when you’re at Cortland, you just have each other and it’s kind of a way to get on the guy next to you and stuff like that. I just think it will be a good deal.”
*How he felt the team performed in mini-camp:
“I’m excited about where this team is. I really am. I think anytime you put in a brand new offense or brand new defense or, in our case, a brand new offense, I’m excited about how far we’ve come. All the formations changed; everything, the motions, the tempo, the verbiage and all that kind of stuff. Are we there yet? No, but we are way ahead. We’ve made strides. I like it. I like the fact that our guys say that ‘I have to come back in shape in the summer because I have to work at this kind of speed.’ This is what we expect every day. We want to be a great fourth quarter team. To do that, you have to be in shape. I think the way the offense practices is going to prepare the defense as well. Hopefully that will help us in those fourth quarter games.”
*On Tim Tebow today:
“I am sure you guys noticed that Tim ran with the ones today, just like I said yesterday (joking, laughter). I told you he’d be getting reps with the ones (joking). Apparently, I need to be in more offensive meetings, so I missed that one. But really, we talked about it. Obviously, he’s going to get some work when we go to wildcat with the ones and when Ton (Sparano) thinks to put him in there some plays. I just wanted you guys to know that it’s not a quarterback controversy. This is the way it is going to be. It’s Mark Sanchez that is the starting quarterback and Tim’s behind him.”
*On why Tebow was in two non-wildcat snaps with the first team:
“I think Tony (Sparano) put him in there for a couple of shots. It was funny because it caught me by surprise and also caught Pettine by surprise because the first call was a two-man. I’m like; you’re never going to call two-man against Tim Tebow. There’s no chance because he’s going to turn and run with it. All of the backs, your whole DBs, the whole secondary have their back turned to him, so that’s something you would never do. It was just one of those types of things. When he saw it, he (Pettine) goes I never knew Tebow was in there. I’m like; I never knew either, but Tony (Sparano) has a plan for everything. I’m sure if there were a couple of things he wanted to see specifically, because the first thing he even asked me was Rex would you really call that against Tim. I said no, there’s no chance we’d ever call that against Tim, so I think he had a call set up that was maybe expecting man coverage, cover one or something like that, but he got two-man instead.”
*On the team’s chemistry compared to last season:
“It was about as low as we’ve had, coming out of that Miami game. When you guys (the media) are like, ‘Well what was the deal?’ I never had an answer for you. So I think that was a low point, obviously. I really think things have been blown out (out of proportion). I don’t think it was as bad as some people say it was. But, there were certainly some issues that we had to get corrected. When I look at it, we had a fresh start. When they came back, I believe it was April 16, and we said, alright it’s behind us. Now we’re focused on right now. And every team’s the same. I think part of the mistake that I made was the fact that I thought we had things going pretty well. I felt great about the team chemistry even though you lose a lot of players, I still felt good about it. But, you’ve got to go back to square one. Every year you have to go back to square one. Each team is different, personality’s different, all that kind of stuff. I can just tell you right now, what I’ve learned from it – I’m on top of it, and our coaches are on top of it, and our players understand it. I mean, it’s embarrassing to them to think something comes out negatively about this football team when they know, that this is a close group. A lot of these guys have played together a long time. They have a bond with each other. But that’s something we’re going to get back to. Again, I don’t know how many wins we’ll have, but I know we’ll have that corrected. We will have a close football team. We’re not going to beat ourselves with some of the in-fighting or all that other stuff. That’s a thing of the past. Again, I don’t think it was as bad as maybe people want you to think. I don’t believe it. But, it certainly was there.”
*On his message to the players before leaving today:
“I talked about trying to get in great shape because I mentioned already today that I want this team to own the fourth quarter. That is something that we need to do. And I think you do that by making strides in the offseason with your conditioning, with all those types of things. And it’s really on them because right now it’s almost like the old college deal about a dead period. As a coach, you can’t contact your players. It’s on each other. We need to come back in shape. I think with the way the new rules are, with the training camps, it used to be before you could probably be a little heavy going into a camp. At least that was always my excuse. (laughter) As you go in there, you’re going to drop a few pounds and all that. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. You only have the one padded practice and then you have a walk-thru practice. I think that’s what we have to understand. There are not as many reps as you’ve done in the past. So, you’ve got to do the extra things in the conditioning and you have to get yourself ready.”
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