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Rex Ryan: 'Right Now We're Very Confident'

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan was on ESPN New York Radio this week discussing the state of the Jets. Sports Radio Interview has the entire transcript. Here are some of the highlights:

On him still believing that his defense can and will get better:

“Well no I think we can definitely make it better, from the front end, the backers, to the back end. We weren’t getting off blocks, that’s not how we play run defense. Our pad level was high, we’ve got to get our pads back down, and we’ve got to start getting extension and ripping off blocks. I always call it walking off blocks; you shed a guy, but that’s all you do, you won’t get your body in position to make tackles and that’s really what was happening. Poor tackling, and our inability to get off blocks and shed blocks like we normally do, we weren’t as good at.”

On if he plans to play starters more than he might otherwise next week so that they can work on improving prior to the playoffs:

“Well, here’s the tough thing: this is not a preseason game by any stretch. So you’re trying to win, but you’re also trying to make sure you’re healthy for the playoffs. We’re already in so it’s a fine line, but it’s not like there can be wholesale substitutions. So there’s going to be a lot of guys playing, starters playing, things like that. I just want our guys to get back to the fundamentals of what we’ve taught since training camp and lean on that, lean on your technique, lean on those things that you know how to do, and rely on that and some standards we have on defense – flying to the ball, shedding blocks, not walking off blocks, and being a good tackling team. That’s what this thing is based on. It’s not just about scheme and that kind of stuff.”

On how confident his team may or may not be after all the ups and downs of the season:

“Well right now we’re very confident. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We’re confident that we can beat you with our offense, we can beat you with our defense, and we can beat you with our special teams. And I don’t know how many teams can really say that. We’ve done it. We’ve beat teams when the defense has kind of had to carry the day; same thing with the special teams; and same thing with our offense. So that’s what gives me confidence and gives our team confidence. Playoff time you’ve got to be hitting on all cylinders, and that’s what the mission is…”