Panthers 17, Jets 12: Rex Ryan Post-Game Press Conference

Opening Statement…
It’s disappointing not scoring a touchdown this game, as well as the first two. I think our offensive line did a much better job in pass protection. I think the first group gave up one sack. The protection was good. I loved the way Mark (Sanchez) threw the football. He was 11-of-18, but we had three drops that we know of as well as the interception that was (also) a drop. His numbers would look a lot more impressive if we caught the football. We had a couple of nice, 10-to-12 play drives over 60 yards, and then we found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. We had a penalty with (Matt) Slauson, which clearly we can’t do. We have to get better at that. We had some drops that really hurt us.

Our defense was going against Cam Newton, who can make some plays and certainly did today. He was able to create on some busted plays, but overall, I thought the defense played well. We have to get off the field on third down, which has always been a staple here. We will get better on third down defense. That has to improve.

We did have them backed up. You play to your strength and don’t let them in the end zone, but unfortunately we gave up two touchdowns, and that was the difference today.

On the final offensive drive of the first half and why the team did not use the two-minute offense… We were going to (run our two-minute offense). It was kind of an iffy situation. We knew we were bringing out the ones again. At that time, we were thinking about using it depending on where that (first) play went. If it went for a first down, we were going to keep the drive going and use our timeouts. Then, we decided to go into the half. We were getting the ball to start the half. That’s what we told our guys, too.

On injuries to LB David Harris and TE Dustin Keller

No updates. The only thing I heard (is that) Keller (has) a hamstring and Harris (has) an ankle. We’re hopeful they’re not serious, but we’ll find out. (Josh) Baker’s injury looks like it’s going to be more serious. I’m not sure right now what it is, but when he came off that didn’t look good, that’s for sure.

On if he is concerned about the offense…
No. We have work to do, but I think we made some improvements. I really think we’re going to get this thing turned. We have to. There were some encouraging things, and I think it started with the way Mark threw the football and the way we protected him. I thought those were some real positives. At times, I liked the way we ran the ball. You have to give the opponent credit. They were good enough to win the game.

On whether the throw to WR Stephen Hill in the end zone was catchable…

I thought so. It looked like the ball went through his hands. You’d like to see Mark deliver it on his body, but he still has to catch that ball.

On whether he was counting the pass to Hill as one of the three drops…
Yes.

On if there is concern about the confidence of the offense…
No. If anything, we’re going to draw some confidence from some of the things we did today. Clearly, we’d like to score. I hate losing. We all do, our fans included. We know we deserve more, but we’re making some strides. By the time we get going, we will be a confident group. I don’t think there’s any doubt. Have we had our entire offensive package out there in the preseason? No. Do we feel comfortable with our offense? I would say yes. I know our defense is looking forward to it as well because, quite honestly, it’s tough to defend. We’ll see once we get it cranked up, but again, there were some encouraging signs today. I thought Austin Howard had a nice game for us. There will be some starters that play in that last preseason game. Some of these rookies, in particular, (are) guys that we’re counting on. We don’t want them to be rookies when they get into that first game, so let’s get them some experience. Some of those young guys will play.

On the extent of David Harris’ injury.…
To be honest, I have no idea right now. He came out with an ankle (sprain). I don’t know if it’s a high ankle (sprain) or (a) low ankle (sprain). I don’t believe it’s broken though. I haven’t heard that. That’s why I’m hoping that that’s good news.

On whether it hurts the offense’s confidence to get the ball close to the end zone on a turnover and not score…
You have to give the (Carolina) defense credit too, but clearly you want to knock that thing in there. There’s no doubt. We did have some decent drives that got us down there, but without question, you want to find ways to score. I think it comes down to execution again. We’ll see it when we see the film, but I thought we had what we wanted and never executed on one. We’ll see.

On Quinton Coples’ play…
I wasn’t as happy this game as I was previously. I thought he got winded a little bit. He kind of had a woe-with-me when we took out the starters. Hey look, you’re still a rookie, you have to play the whole game and then some. They ran the ball on us with our second group in there and I never like to see that.

On Tim Tebow’s play…
It was kind of good news, bad news. At times, Tim looked terrific. (He) absolutely did. He did energize the crowd. He made some huge runs and was able to scramble, get out of trouble and still had some nice passes. (He) just was a little inconsistent. The one interception that he did throw, he was able to scramble, buy some time and just never got the elevation on the ball he wanted. Overall, I was happy with the way Tim played. He competes like crazy as we know. He looked like he had a couple of those passes off when (he threw) both of them in(to) the end zone with what almost looked like a chance. That was impressive. I don’t know how many quarterbacks can stand back there and get away from the rush (and) buy time like he was able to do. I was impressed with it and there was one ball, he threw it so hard,
I was just glad it never hit a cheerleader to be honest with you. Overall, I thought he threw the ball (well). At times, I thought he threw the ball really well.

On whether Tebow will play against the Eagles
We’re going to sit Tebow. I think it’s time to let Greg (McElroy) and (Matt) Simms play. That’s what we’ll do. Having a game just four days from now, those guys (Sanchez and Tebow) had a lot of action and it’s time to let McElroy and Simms go.

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