FLORHAM PARK, NJ — When Rex Ryan speaks, everyone listens. On Tuesday, Ryan spoke with members of the media via conference call to discuss a variety of issues, mostly due to the release of the 2011 NFL regular season schedule. The Jets, as the only team to be a part of the NFL’s final four two years running, feature five nationally televised games in prime time.
Despite reaching 39 days of the NFL lockout, the league released the team’s schedules perhaps in hopes of creating a positive buzz around a negative situation. No matter the case, Ryan opened up on a variety of topics including the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, the sibling rivalry between Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the off-season, and his take on the Jets’ 2011 schedule. So without further adieu, here are a few quotes from Ryan’s conference call. Enjoy.
On playing in 5 prime time games this season:
We hope this trend continues for a long time. If you have five prime time games, people want to watch you and people anticipate us having an outstanding season. And the fact that we’re the only team to make it to the final four two years in a row obviously speaks to that. This is to be expected, but it’s still exciting also.
On opening the season against his brother:
It’s going to be a littler different. The fact that the game is on opening night and the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 will put a little damper on [the trash-talking]. I certainly don’t want to do something that would take away from [honoring the anniversary of 9/11]. This game certainly won’t be about my brother and I. I think there probably won’t be as much trash-talking as maybe what’s gone on in the past.
To be honest, that team is going to be ready to go. He’s going to have them buzzing. He’s a tremendous coach and we know he’ll have his team ready to go. Our focus is going to be on us and not on them as much.
On playing the Cowboys, America’s team, on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11:
I feel honored that we’re going to playing, right there in our stadium. That’s fantastic. It’s obviously going to be an emotional night for everybody, not just in the New York/New Jersey area but in the whole country. I feel honored we’ll be opening up the season playing at home.
On playing three straight road games for Weeks 3-5:
You start off going to Oakland then come back and play at Baltimore and at New England. Quite honestly, that’s a difficult stretch, three road games in a row. But at the other end of it, you’re going to have other games at home. That’s a tough stretch but again, they’re looking at it like, ‘Oh man, we’re going to have to play the Jets.’ It goes both ways. We have no excuses, we’ve never made any excuses, and we’ll be ready to play anywhere.
On what the Jets have been doing to prepare for the draft:
We’re really dialed in on the draft. [General Manager] Mike Tannenbaum, [Vice President of College Scouting] Joey Clinkscales and all our scouts do an unbelievable job. The other thing that we do is we include our coaches. For instance, we did the secondary today, so [Defensive Backs Coach] Dennis Thurman, [Assistant Defensive Back/Quality Control coach] Jim O’Neil and [Defensive Coordinator] Mike Pettine were all in there as well and each guy has reports to do. I actually did about 30 reports, myself. Mike had me do some defensive players. For some reason I didn’t do too many reports on offensive players. You get everybody’s opinion, everybody reads each others’ reports. We feel like we have such a thorough process, we have [prospects] coming in, speaking to the coaches. We’re really prepared for this. We feel good about it. We just finished up our initial board where you go through all the positions today. We feel great about our process, and we feel great about our board.
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