Two things came across loud and clear from Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s recently concluded conference call with reporters early this afternoon following the Monday night 31-27 loss to the Dolphins.
Rex is still ticked. And he’s putting it on himself as well as his coaches and players to get unticked quick.
"Absolutely, it was a humbling experience, and the competitor in me is mad," Ryan said. "It’s like OK, I’ve had bad games in the past, but I’ve never surrendered three leads in the fourth quarter to anybody."
Since he assumed coordinator status in 2005, that’s a true statement. In fact, Ryan was involved in only two previous games as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator when the Ravens lost as many as two leads in an entire game. In 2005 Baltimore beat Houston, 16-15. In 2007, the Ravens lost to the Browns, 33-30, in overtime.
Rex put the playcalling onus on himself around midnight in the Land Shark Stadium visitors’ interview room, and today he reiterated some things he wanted to have done better.
"We knew they had two outstanding backs. The thing I never gave enough credit to was Henne," he said of QB Chad Henne, who completed 20 of 26 passes overall and hit four third-down completions to move the chains, three coming in the last quarter. "He made some great throws during the game. He was on fire. And he made some good third-down calls. All we had to do was make one play, but to his credit he was making those plays."
Another area Ryan questioned himself on was on the week’s preparation.
"I wasn’t happy with our scout teams last week," he said. "I think we had a decent mental week, we had a couple of mental gaffes. But you can’t be a consistent defense if you don’t know where your guys are going to be. They’ve got to play off each other, and the only way to do that is they’ve got to go full-speed in practice.
"If I’m going to play a block a certain way, I think we’ve got to show that on the practice field. Maybe it looked different on the practice field than it did on the game field. Till we get that consistency, we’re not going to be a dominant defense. You can’t go at the pace of your scout team. You’re either coaching it or allowing it to happen. I’m not going to allow it to happen."
But the good news from the coach’s viewpoint is that in his experience his defenses always bounce back.
"I go back to last year, two times," Ryan said of the Ravens’ defense of ’08. "The Colts, they lit us up, and we played the Giants. Both times that unit responded. And I’m expecting this unit to really respond. I know we have the talent, the pride and character. We’re embarrassed by the way we played.
"I know we truly won’t get it back till we play Miami again, but this week right now presents its own problems. Buffalo has some outstanding weapons. We’ve got to get it done right now. We’re not looking past anybody. This is a must-win for us. I think we have to respond. And I think playing at home in front of our fans is going to be huge for us.
"This was a step back. Now we’ve got to make a huge leap forward."
WR Jerricho Cotchery was used sparingly at Miami due to the hamstring that had bothered him during the week, but Ryan said Cotchery didn’t aggravate the injury in the game. "We’ll know more later today. I think he came out of the game fine." … Similarly, nothing more on Brad Smith, who left the game with a foot injury.
Rex said he was "really encouraged" by the play of WR Braylon Edwards, QB Mark Sanchez and the offense. And on David Clowney, who had four receptions for 72 yards, he said, "I was proud of the way David played. He was the intended receiver four times and he caught four passes. He also had his guy burned a couple of other times and we couldn’t get him the ball.
"I truly believe we’ll bounce back," Ryan added. "As confident as I was last week that our offense would bounce back, I feel the same way about our defense."
The coach on the two successful fake punts called by special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff: "Mike does a great job of studying the opponent. We thought we had a couple of available. … To Mike’s credit, he saw the opportunity. He knows he’s got the green light from me anytime."
Sanchez: Another Pepsi Nomination
Sanchez received his fourth nomination for Pepsi Rookie of the Week. He completed 12 of 24 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown to Edwards, led three TD drives of 63 yards or longer, and made the longest completion of his career to date on the 53-yard connection with David Clowney.
Sanchez, who won the award after each of his first three games, has competition this week from Colts WR Austin Collie, Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin, Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno and Giants WR Hakeem Nicks. You can vote for Pepsi Rookie of the Week here.
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Buffalo Bills, Chad Henne, David Clowney, Mark Sanchez, Miami Dolphins, Mike Westhoff, Rex Ryan
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