Rex Ryan Wins First Game As NFL Head Coach


Rex Ryan Wins First Game As NFL Head Coach

So far so good for the Rex Ryan era in New York.  The Jets stunned the Houston Texans 24-7 on the road Sunday behind steady play from rookie quarterback Rex Ryan and a suffocating defense that held the supposedly explosive Texans offense to just 188 total yards.  Ryan of course, was the longtime defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens before finally being given his first head coaching opportunity with the Jets after previous coach Eric Mangini was fired.  He has to be excited, but as you’ll hear during his appearance on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York, it’s not time just yet to bust out the anointing oil. Next up for the Jets – a home match-up against the rival New England Patriots.

On the confidence he showed in Mark Sanchez to make some critical throws during the Jets victory over Houston:

“Right.  Well he’s got to play the position and the great thing is it’s just football and that’s what he’s done his whole life. Unfortunately he had that one play where it got picked and he might have had another throw that he thought he could have thrown better, but other than that I thought Mark played really well.”
On if there was anything he’d liked his team to have done better on Sunday:
“Well you know, you can always find a couple of things, but it was a stretch.  It really was.  We played exceptionally well in all phases of the game and again, that was against a good football team.  That team I’m sure will have their fair share of wins before the season’s over.  But our guys, we went there for a purpose and I think our guys did a great job of executing.”

On how his defense was able to perform so well despite not having their two top pass rushers from a year ago – Calvin Pace and Sean Ellis:

“Well, your unit is not about just one player or two players.  In this league, you’re going to have circumstances and injuries and things to key players.  Just like last year, we missed more games to starters when I was at Baltimore than any defense in the National Football League.  Yet it’s about the pride in the unit and the guys that are filling in, they understand that they got to do an outstanding job, they got to keep that level where it is or even exceed it. S o, that’s just something we expect our guys to do and when you got that Jets decal on the side of your helmet, that’s going to mean something.”

On if next weekend’s game against New England game is a litmus test for his team:

“I don’t think so.  I mean, maybe it is for the general public, you know what I mean?  I would think without question it is.  I think just like there are some people that wanted to see us play against Houston. and then now there’s going to be some, well it was only Houston. Only Houston?  They were predicted by a lot of people to win their division, they’re one of the toughest teams to play at home.  So you know, we accomplished all that and we beat them soundly.  But this one is a game that I’ve been looking forward to personally for a long time.  And you know, I’m the infamous timeout game and all that stuff. I mean, am I over at?  I’m never over that game.  I carry that chip with me.  You know, everybody knows that I blew that timeout call but everybody forgets the next play, when we got another chance to play that situation, we hit them for a 3 yard loss except their right guard moved early, but everybody forgets that.  So this will be a statement game for me.  You know, I’m not ducking that and I’m willing to concede things.  I know they’re better than us at two spots for sure – and that’s quarterback and head coach, but I’m not willing to concede anything else.  They got a lot of great players over there.  You got Randy Moss – he’s probably better too.  You know, Wes Welker, a lot of different guys, Pro Bowlers all over that team.  But guess what? You’re facing a good football team. S o we’re concerned with them.  We respect them and all that but they’re going to respect us as well.”

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