Rex Ryan Press Conference: Jets-Bills Post-Game, 11.27.11

Here is the full text of the press conference held by New York Jets coach Rex Ryan after his team defeated the Buffalo Bills Sunday, 28-14.

Opening Statement…
We’ll take it. Wow. You have to give our guys a lot of credit. That wasn’t an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. Both teams knew they would get the other’s best shot. I absolutely love the way our guys responded. We really have to credit our offensive line. The protection was tremendous, especially when we had to have it in the second half. Mark (Sanchez) was so poised back there and made some huge plays. When you look at his numbers in the second half – 9-of-15 for 114 yards and two TD’s, a 123.0 quarterback rating – that was big time. We always say that he’s at his best in big moments, and you certainly can’t get a bigger moment than the one we had today. Tone (Santonio Holmes) showed up on ‘Tone Time,’ but I really couldn’t be happier about the way the offensive line performed. They did a tremendous job.

Obviously, the way we were able to run the football. Shonn (Greene) averaged close to six yards a carry, which was tremendous. Defensively, the one thing we can say is that we finished. It might not have been the prettiest way, but we did finish. I’ll take that every day of the week. We get a lead, and (then) we had to close it out, and we did. At the end, we gave up some things, but Buffalo is a tough, scrappy team. They’re well-coached. Chan Gailey does a tremendous job with that group. He had a nice game plan and has some good players over there. They have a nice system. We knew it was going to be a dog fight, and it certainly was.

On Jets Antonio Cromartie returning a punt…
Jimmy (Jim Leonhard) got the wind knocked out of him. He tackled a guy, got hit in the ribs and had the wind knocked out of him, so that’s why he wasn’t back there returning.

On Jets Placixo Burress third-down catch on game-winning drive and Buffalo WR Stevie
Johnson’s dropped touchdown on final drive…

I don’t know if (Johnson’s drop) is going for a touchdown, but in that area, you’re giving up some things. You’re giving up the slants, but obviously you want to make some tackles there. The middle of the field is something that you give up, but I don’t think he’s going in for a touchdown there. I don’t agree with that.

As far as the catch Plax made – I don’t know how many receivers in the league are going to make that catch now that (former Philadelphia WR Harold) Carmichael isn’t playing for the Eagles anymore. He was about 6’9", but the way he (Burress) went up and made a ridiculous one-handed catch and got both feet in bounds, that was a tremendous effort. Both of those receivers (Burress and Holmes) kept going and kept playing hard. I’m really proud of both of those receivers.

On the poise shown by Jets Mark Sanchez…
That’s who he is. He’s a stud. Sanchize. The first half wasn’t the best half, but we knew if we just hung in there…we have complete faith in Mark. He’s done it before. I think he’s had more fourth-quarter comebacks over the last two years than any other quarterback in the league. That speaks enough about Mark.

On whether today’s game had a ‘playoff feel’ to it…
There’s no doubt. You have to win. You have to beat those AFC teams. We understand that. They understood that, and that’s why we got their best shot. That’s why we gave them our best shot. We’re fortunate. That’s a good football team. They’re well-coached. That was a huge victory for us, and now we have two wins over Buffalo, a team that we could see at the end right there with us in the playoff run.

On the yards allowed on first down by the Jets defense…
I’m not going to get into specifics and things, but it wasn’t necessarily a surprise that they were able to complete some of those passes for short yardage. They were in front of the sticks, so we’ll accept some of those things.

On whether he saw Bills Johnson’s touchdown celebration and if it motivated the team…
I never saw it, but I’m glad he did it.

On whether today’s win was a pivotal point in the season…
We just need to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s pivotal, pretty, ugly or whatever. We’ll take it. This part of the season, you have to win. We wanted to win those games we lost previously, but it never happened. We have to look forward. Any time that we spend dwelling on what’s happened in the past is not productive. It’s straight ahead, no fair dodging.

On whether he thought Burress was aware of Johnson’s touchdown celebration… I don’t know what he did on the sidelines. You’ll have to ask Plax because I have no idea.

On being told what Johnson did…
Oh, did he really? (long pause) Well, I have no comment.

On competition between Jets Darrelle Revis and Johnson…
I don’t necessarily know that he got the best of Revis. Revis gave up a touchdown. It’s the first time that’s happened all season. He’s human. He’s still way better than any corner in football – head and shoulders better. I’m not going to say that the kid got the best of him. He had 75 yards receiving. I don’t want to say anything that we did or whatever, but I’ll give the young man credit. He made some great catches. I think the guy is a great talent, but he never got the better of Revis.

On the significance of Burress catch on the Jets final drive…
It was huge. We were going to have to kick. We were going to have to launch that field goal from 50- something yards, which I think our guy (Nick Folk) is going to make. While I think Folk could make it, now it allows you to go for the win. Your big-time players make big plays in big moments and look at that play. Like I said before, there are very few guys in this league who are going to make that catch. We’re fortunate to have Plax and it was a great effort. Then to follow it up, such poise from Mark, who found room and made a huge throw to Santonio in the end for a touchdown. I’m sitting back going, ‘Run it, run it, run it…or throw it for a touchdown!’ (laughter) So we’ll take it.

On whether Sanchez still makes him nervous…
The only time I get nervous is when he doesn’t get up. That’s what makes me nervous.

On Jets Mike DeVito’s knee injury…
I’m not real sure. I don’t know about that right now.

On how important it was to tie the game at the end of the first half…
You know it’s going to be a dogfight, so everything you can get is critical. Obviously, that was big.

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