New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answered questions from local media via conference call on Wednesday.
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan Conference Call
(on if he's as irritated as he was after last Sunday's game) "No, I don't think I'm as irritated as that, but I think the initial shock of that kind of loss gets you a little bit. Obviously, we have to get a heck of a lot better and we have to do it in a hurry. This football team we're playing, arguably the best team in the league, I don't know what to say but I'd much rather play my son's high school than the Houston Texans. They're on our list, and here we come that's our next opponent. Certainly we have to improve a great deal to compete with them."
(on his success against the Texans and what he expects from Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' defense) "I think if what I expect from (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) is probably that they'll continue the same formula because right now they're probably one-two in every category almost defensively, fifth in sacks all that stuff. It starts with the personnel and when you look at their players. Obviously (DE) J.J. Watt, if you have a vote for Defensive Player of the Year how do you not give it to that young man? Seven and a half sacks already, 10 hits on the quarterback, 10 tackles for loss, six PBUs, two for interceptions, he's really struggling out there is what it looks like to me. He's been absolutely tremendous. You look at two good edge rushers with the young men (OLB) Connor Barwin from Cincinnati and then (OLB Brooks) Reed. You've got (CB Johnathan) Joseph out there at corner and (ILB Brian) Cushing as a middle linebacker flying around and kind of the heartbeat of that defense and then the (DE Antonio) Smith kid. Where do I stop? It's loaded and then having Wade out there coaching it, who is arguable one of the top coordinators in this league and has been that way for years and years. It's about as tough as it gets."
(on if this Texans defense reminds him of any great defenses he's been around) "I've been around some great ones. Obviously I was around the 2000 Ravens defense. That was built a little differently. That was with two giant tackles and obviously Ray Lewis in the middle and things. It was built different, but it's certainly an excellent defense and time will tell if it can be a historic defense or not."
(on the Texans' physicality) "I look at it this way, you can just look at the production and how that team is. Look at their win-loss totals and everything else. I thought this team last year when you're watching the playoffs, I thought they were the top team in the NFL. The exception, they never had (Matt) Schaub at quarterback. If Schaub is at quarterback, I don't know if this team doesn't represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I'm not sure, but it certainly looked like that. The defense was playing fantastic. (DE) J.J. Watt at the end of the year was just coming into his own and that's kind of where he's taken off from. Then when you look at it with the running game you got that zone running game with (RB Arian) Foster and (RB Ben) Tate, both those guys are outstanding runners. Then you come with that hard play action that's been a staple of this offense for a long time and you have (WR) Andre Johnson and Schaub at quarterback. It's pretty tough, when you're number two in scoring offense and number one in scoring defense, that's a pretty good team."
(on if what ails the Jets starts with getting the running game going) "You certainly have to have at least that threat of being able to run. I think that allows you to make some plays on the outside. You get the one on one coverages and things like that. So certainly that's something that we have to do if we're going to be good and when we've been good it started with the running game on offense and then played lights out on defense."
(on the backups who are replacing the Jets' injured players) "Well, we're going to find out. Losing Santonio Holmes for the season obviously is a huge loss to our football team, our offense, obviously because he's a guy that if you play Cover 1, he's going to beat you, no matter who is playing corner. Then losing (Darrelle) Revis for us; let's face it, Andre Johnson is as good as it gets in this league as a receiver. But we would actually put Revis out there by himself and not saying not to worry about it, but a lot of straight man-coverage against him and bet you we're the only team in the league that would do that. We have lost two really good players but it's not an excuse for our team. We still think we can be effective. Kyle Wilson is the young man that steps up; former first-round pick and he's a good player in his own right. He will replace Revis and then it's kind of a receiver-by-committee, whether it's Jeremy Kerley, whether it's Chaz Schilens. Stephen Hill, our number two pick this year in the draft, is with a hamstring (injury). We'll see what happens there. Clearly, nobody can replace those two guys but that loss has to be picked by our entire football team and each guy has to get a little better."
(on San Francisco 49ers CB Carlos Rogers saying his defense quit) "I totally disagree. Did they beat us up pretty good? They absolutely did. They won that game, no question. I think he was expecting more from our defense than we put out there. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But to say we quit, I think that's not accurate because that's not the case. Hopefully people think that's what this team is going to do and then we'll shock everybody."
(on if Houston QB Matt Schaub looks for comfortable to him on film than in the past) "Looks like the same guy to me. The guy was a great quarterback then as well. That's one of the top quarterbacks in football ever since I can remember. He looks like the same guy to me; one of the top quarterbacks in the league. I don't know what you guys thought he looked like two years ago but I certainly know I thought a great deal of him."
(on what he likes about Houston QB Matt Schaub) "The number one thing is this guy's an accurate quarterback. I think that's the biggest thing when you look at Schaub is his accuracy. Obviously he's very comfortable in the system. He's a hard play-action-fake guy. He runs a lot of bootlegs. It's hard to get to him. He gives so much ground on the boots. He's a guy that's very comfortable. There's guys that are maybe better athletes, that can run faster but when you look at him, he's a difference-maker at that position. The fact that he's playing on the road normally is a big advantage to you as a team but he's thrown one interception in the last 178 passes. We need to get him in an off-day, that's for sure. But we'll see what happens."
(on how he feels about the progress of Jets QB Mark Sanchez to this point in his career) "I like the fact that he's got four road playoff wins. I think that speaks volumes of this young man. He's a guy that gets better when the game's on the line. He's a super competitive guy. That's what you want. You want a guy that can get it done; even if it's not going great for three quarters, he's a guy that can get it done in crunch time and that's something you love about him. He is a good athlete. He can move a little bit and when he can set his feet and we have time to throw the football, he is accurate."
(on what stands out to him on film about Texans DE J.J. Watt) "Well, the first thing, you love the fanatical effort. The guy plays with his hair on fire and that's something you notice. But the size, strength, athleticism; it's rare to find a guy with that kind of combination. I know my brother was wanting him when he was in Dallas. He lost out in that battle. They took that tackle instead. We kept saying, 'You got to get this kid, you got to get this kid.' And sure enough, Houston ends up with him. He might be the first overall pick if you're having that draft all over again. He might be the first overall pick. Certainly, he makes a huge difference and an impact. Really, it's a guy, as a defensive coach all my life, it's one of those rare guys that comes along once in a long time and he's doing a tremendous job."
(on if Texans DE J.J. Watt reminds him of anyone) "I'd say maybe like Dan Hampton. That kind of length and size and power. That's the kind of guy he reminds me of."