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Cafe Rex Provides Buffet, Takeout for Leach

Posted by Eric Allen on August 13, 2010 – 8:55 am

Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach was at SUNY Cortland this week, taking in a few Jets practices. Leach, who led the Red Raiders to 84 wins in 10 seasons and had a quarterback pace the nation in passing eight of those years, likes the camp environment Jets head coach Rex Ryan has created in upstate New York.

“One thing that’s impressed me about this camp out here, and I’ve been to a lot of NFL camps over the years, is just the enthusiasm of the players and the coaches and everybody,” he said. “They’re having fun being here and they’re having fun playing here, which is not always the case. Sometimes it’s like going to work, but not here.”

While Leach and Ryan never served on the same coaching staff (Ryan was Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator in 1998 and Leach OU’s offensive coordinator in 1999), the pass-happy Leach sees similarities in their approaches to football.

“I like the way Rex plays defense, always have. They’re kind of like we are on offense. We’re trying to get the ball in as many people’s hands as possible and they’re trying to hit the quarterback with as many people as possible,” Leach said. “So I think it’s a shared philosophy, different side of the ball. I’m excited to see what they’re doing and I’m watching defense here to see what I can pick up. The Jets have been great as far as embracing me and letting me come out and watch.”

A matchup between Leach and Ryan isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, but I asked how the offensive wizard would challenge the defensive scientist.

“The biggest thing is you have to sort it out quick, that’s the challenge. They disguise it and then they’re going to try to get a piece of you at key times. There are always just 11 players and what you worry about is can you recognize it quickly enough,” said Leach, who coached Jets defensive assistant Brian Smith at Tech and coached against Jets assistant head coach Bill Callahan when Cally was the head coach at Nebraska. “You don’t care what you do, but your ability to recognize it quickly enough, that’s the challenge they give you. And then just the mentality.”

After Thursday’s morning session, Leach was set to visit with the Jets’ coaching staff a little bit more and review some film.

“I’m going to go watch and listen and steal as many ideas as I can and write little notes to myself. Yeah, I’m going to see what I can pick up,” he said. “Besides the fact that they do good things, just listening to people talk football gets me thinking, too, so between it all, maybe I’ll come up with something.”

Taylor Sharpening the Sword

Veteran OLB Jason Taylor, entering his 14th NFL season but his first with the Jets, says the Ryan defense is the most complicated system he’s had to learn in his professional career.

“It’s just different. There are so many moving parts and variables. I don’t know why, but this has been a little bit tougher for me to learn,” said the 35-year-old. “Right when I feel like I learn one thing, then we go to something else and I try to focus on that and I forget the old one. It’s just about getting the repetitions — not only physical reps on the field but mental reps, watching tape and watching other guys on the field.

“It’s starting to add up, but this training camp was important for me learning-wise. The physical part of it none of us like, but the mental part I need.”

The 6’6”, 250-pound Taylor, who has been slowed a little bit by a sore groin, is working on his technique as well as system comprehension.

“You work on some takeoff things and get rid of the false step on your takeoff,” said the former Jets nemesis, who racked up seven sacks and three forced fumbles last season for the Dolphins. “Obviously you learn the defensive system, and I really need to get to the point defensively where I’m playing the game and not thinking it. When you truly absorb the defense and understand it, then you can just read and react and kind of play more aggressively.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Cafe Rex Provides Buffet, Takeout for Leach”

  1. By wayne on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    It’s very likely that this team will have to go without Revis, we don’t know yet which Cromartie they’ll have, and possibly a rookie starting at one of the CB spots. The passrush which was so so last season, must significantly improve this season. There are just too many questions to be answered for there to be talk of SB…When the bell rings, I expect that this old vet,JT, will show up as he always has, on sundays…..I hope he can give this team at least 10 sacks.

  2. By GaryC on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    It would be wishful thinking but it would be a coup to the organization if they can bring in Leach as sort of a consultant to the offensive staff.Texas Tech was one of the top passing attacks for years while Leach was head coach.He made common quarterbacks very good quarterbacks at TT.would be very interesting to see what he can do with Sanchez and this group of wideouts.

  3. By Peter on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Hey RANDY, please forward this or tell REX RYAN that on HARD KNOCKS the ***(SLOW MOTION)*** shot of him walking EVEN made REX RYAN look ***(COOL and SLIM)***. That is the great thing about SLOW MOTION shots, they can make ANYBODY look COOL!

  4. By IRA on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    You mentioned Coach Callahan i can’t give him enough praise about his work ethic. He is one of the first coaches out for every practice along with Devlin to work with the o-lineman. He was very physical himself in showing players how to handle spin moves this morning. I have absolutely no concerns about the LG spot. To me it seems Slauson is ahead right now and will be the starter 9/13. It was great when LT leaped over the pile today for that goal line TD. To me it seems the players are just about burnt and ready to go out and play a real game. Like they say its GO TIME!!!!!

  5. By Peter on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    And speaking of HARD KNOCKS. Did you people see MARK SANCHEZ **(SLOW MOTION)*** walking shot when had his SUIT and SUN GLASSES on? I didn’t know SANCHEZ was that COOL either? What was that shot from? It look like SANCHEZ was going to movie premiere, or something FANCY. And I also like the part where the JETS were practicing and they played the M&M song. COOL!!!

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