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Rex Ryan Still Believes

The Jets have lost two straight games and gone nine straight quarters without scoring a touchdown. Their quarterback, Mark Sanchez, has looked shaky in recent weeks, to put it lightly. And if that wasn’t enough, the Jets were in the news this weekend after their strength and conditioning coach purposefully tripped a Miami Dolphins player during a live play. Any hope of winning the AFC East is just about out the window, and the road doesn’t get any easier. Rex Ryan’s group heads to Pittsburgh this Sunday for an important AFC tilt against the Steelers. Ryan joined The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio New York to talk about if any doubt has started to set in following the Jets’ two recent losses, how he doesn’t necessarily think Mark Sanchez is regressing with his development, how Sanchez needs to focus in on the most basic of fundamentals in order to turn his individual play around, why he publicly stated that he considered benching Sanchez when he in fact opted not to do so, his thoughts on LaDainian Tomlinson’s decline in productivity, the injury status of Damien Woody (hint: he expects him to play again this season), the Jets’ strength coach Sal Alosi tripping a Dolphins player during a punt return (video of the incident below), if the Jets plan to discipline Alosi, and how he’ll continue to be a big believer in his team and say as much publicly even if it means other teams are extra motivated to knock off the Jets.

On if any doubt has started to set in after the Jets’ two recent losses:

“No there’s no doubt. I feel great about our team, and the reason I say that is because when you watch the tape, there’s things that are correctable, and a lot of things. That’s why I feel that we just got to get a big win. I think if we can get a big win that will catapult us into doing what we can do. So I’m encouraged that I really believe we can get better.”

On if he thinks Mark Sanchez is regressing with his development:

“I think he’s got to get back to his fundamentals, and more than anything else – and it’s an old football cliche or whatever – but when all else fails, go back to your fundamentals and technique regardless of the position, but especially at quarterback. Like some of his throws, like Mark is not an inaccurate quarterback, but if your body is not in position to make a throw, then you’re not going to be accurate. So it’s about him going back, hitting his steps, positioning his body in a position where he can make an accurate throw. So you know, get back to those fundamentals, if it’s a seven step drop, hit your steps, take all that type of stuff, and I think he’ll get back to a place where he is more accurate.”

On why he chose to publicly stated that he considered benching Mark Sanchez:

“Well, I mean, it’s an honest answer. I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t answer it that way. I felt like everybody else I’m sure that we need a spark, we need to do something differently. And when I thought about it, I thought no, that’s not the right thing to do because Mark is our quarterback, and this young man has led us back in four games this year when we trailed in the fourth quarter. So I thought he gave us the best chance. But did the thought cross my mind? Yes, yes it did.”

On LaDainian Tomlinson’s decline in productivity and if he would attribute it to his age:

“Well you know what, and I even said this earlier at the press conference – if we had Jim Brown, he wasn’t going to get much yesterday. They did a great job up front, and I think you’ve got to give them credit first off.  But we’ve got to find ways to knock people off the ball and get hats on people to where we get out back to the line of scrimmage before he has to make a cut and things like that. Just fundamental football, and that’s what we’ve really got to look at what we’re asking our guys to do where they can be successful.”

On how he thinks his offense will be able to turn things around next week against the league’s best defense of the Steelers:

“Well we’ve just got to look at us. We’re not going to get…like scheming them and all that, yeah, we’ll be able to help out on that, I know these guys and all that. But it comes down to us. How are we going to play? Focusing on the little things, like we’ve got to find ways to get up to the linebackers; we’ve got to focus on ways to protect the quarterback better, and running our routes better. If I’m supposed to be on the numbers, I need to be on the numbers. Everything’s got to be precise, and that’s what will give you opportunities against this defense. But if we go out and don’t improve, and we go out and stay the same way we’re at, then we’ll get embarrassed.”

On what he can share about Damien Woody’s injury status, specifically if he thinks he’ll be sidelined for the season:

“I hope that’s not the case. He’s not going to play this week but I think he’ll get a scope and hopefully he’ll get back sooner rather than later. He won’t be playing this week, but I expect him to play before the season is over.”

On Sal Alosi tripping a Dolphins’ special teams player in the middle of a play:

“Well I think it’s got no place in the game something like that. Sal, to his credit, he stepped up immediately, took responsibility of it. I mean, I was shocked when I was told about it. I still haven’t seen it from a TV angle, I just saw it from the coach’s tape, but it was a mistake. It was fortunate that the young man never got seriously injured from something like that. But it has no place in the game.”

On if the Jets plan to discipline Alosi:

“I really don’t want to get into all the specifics until all the facts are out there. I don’t want to say something that’s not 100 percent accurate, so I’ll just wait until we’re comfortable making that statement. And obviously, the Jets and the

NFL are looking into this.”

On if he regrets all the bold talking if it seemingly makes other teams more motivated to beat the Jets:
“No, here’s one thing: I don’t think I’ve ever said a negative word about an opponent. I talk about my team. I believe my football team is an outstanding team, I think we have a lot of talent, I think we’re well coached, I think we have a great organization. And that’s never going to change, because I believe it, that’s what I’m a part of, but I’ve never said a bad remark about an opposing team. I’m going to be myself, I believe in this group, even they’re going to to be some people who want to jump off the bandwagon and all that, I think we’ll get it done.  I think we’ll get it done this year, and the year’s not over. So we’ll see when it’s all said and done. I opened myself up for criticism and all that kind of stuff, and if we don’t succeed, it’s going to fall on one person, and that’s me, and that’s who it should fall on.”

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