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Rex Ryan's Thursday News Conference

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Here is the transcript of Rex Ryan’s news conference today from New Jersey, courtesy of the team:

First off, to start with, I’d like to say happy new year to all of the Jewish fans out there. Now I’ll read my report. Logan Payne‘s out still with that wrist. I think when he still has a cast on, we can assume he’s out from here on going forward. Nick Mangold did not practice, with his ankle. He seems to be getting better each day, but I did not practice. Guys limited today: Muhammad Wilkerson with the shoulder, and Plax[ico Burress] had a tightness in the hamstring, so we limited him today and he’s new on your list. Full participants: Cro [Antonio Cromartie] with his ribs, he practiced full today. DeVito, shoulder, David Harris, toe, Santonio Holmes, shoulder.

As far as Cro’s concerned, I thought today he had a really good day out there. He had like three interceptions today, so it was good to see. He’s got some little thing on, but he’s moving around well. We’re excited to get him out there. We’ll say last week, obviously, he had a tough week, like we all did. It wasn’t maybe his best. But the one thing I liked about it is he never flinched. He stayed aggressive.

Granted, we’ve got to clean up some things technique-wise, but we’ll do that. But the mentality of a great corner is you step right back up there. And they all get beat. Let’s face it, Revis gets beat maybe once a year, so those things happen. Even when [Cromartie] gave up the touchdown when he had dual possession, he’s making the play. So I’m excited to get him, really excited about that. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.

On why Cromartie gets called for as many penalties as he does and what his good traits are…

The first thing that jumps off and makes him special is his athleticism. It’s rare to find a guy that’s that good of an athlete. His size is obviously his strength. But I think it’s funny because you touched on it, that maybe that is part of his thing. When he puts his hand out, like there’s always contact, incidental contact down the field. I think for a bigger corner, a taller corner, his hands are a little higher.

I think sometimes that gets called more frequently. Below the waist is usually fine. There is nothing that’s ever called below the waist. That is something that we have to be aware of. We have to lower his hands a little bit. That’s the way the NFL’s always been played. If you’re up here high, and he’s so tall, he has a tendency to maybe get his hands a little high. So that may be work against him a little bit.

But remember, this guy is one of the true explosive athletes that are playing in this league. I mean, he is a rare guy just like [Darren] McFadden had rare speed. Unfortunately we saw that last week. Cro’s like that. Look at the way he’s returned kicks. That Indy game sets up for the gamewinning score. Just he’s got unusual athleticism.

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