Rex Ryan's Wednesday News Conference

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Here is a transcript of head coach Rex Ryan’s news conference from Florham Park, NJ, courtesy of the team:

We made the trade, Derrick Mason going to Houston. Just a few thoughts that I had on Derrick. I have a ton of respect for him, one of 18 receivers in the history of this game to go over 12,000 yards. He’s closing in on 1,000 receptions. I always had a ton of respect for Derrick, and still do, as a player and a person. With that, though, we made the decision to move on from Derrick, to trade him. I think that gives more opportunity. It shows we feel really good about [Jeremy] Kerley. What he did in that Patriot game. We saw it coming on the practice field. It was hard to ignore, the kind of plays he’s making, so we’re excited about Jeremy.

On what did not work with Mason…

I’m not sure. As we know, I’m on record saying he’s going to catch 80 balls, because that’s the kind of respect I have for Derrick. I know the kind of player that I knew in Baltimore and here. I was excited to bring him in. It’s just one of those things. He was targeted 10 times in, I think the Oakland game, a bunch of catches and things. He’s still got a lot of ability. I think what we saw on the practice field was that Jeremy Kerley, I think, has a lot of ability. When you look at it, even this past week, we wanted to feature Jeremy in there. He was impressive. He was targeted three times, three catches. You can run reverses, you can do different things with Jeremy. At the end of the day, Houston gave us a call, and we’re like, “You know what, let’s go with Jeremy.” And that’s what we did.

On the perception that there was turmoil between Mason and the coaching staff…

I thought I answered it back then. I had a private conversation with Derrick and it’ll remain that way, but he was not benched because of comments that he made in the media and all that. That is not true.

On whether Mason bought in 100% to the program…

I mean, buying into what? Most guys want to play. In that particular game plan, we were much more — and you guys have all the numbers, I know you do — more regular personnel and two tight ends and things like that. Guys want to play. There’s no question. And then when you look at it, Jeremy had the 18 reps, and I think, Derrick had 6 or 7 reps I’m guessing, or something like that. It wasn’t that he wasn’t buying in. It was just that we saw a lot of Jeremy and we got excited about that.

On why he would give up on Mason after a slow start…

The one thing I wanted to make sure is clear is how much respect I have for Derrick. Always. Before, during and after him being a Jet and everything else. I’ve said, a tremendous player and a tremendous person, but we’re excited about moving forward with Jeremy. I don’t know how else I can tell you that. I think when you see him out there he’s doing a great job as a punt returner. He’s doing a great job as a third receiver.

On why he didn’t make Kerley the number three receiver and keep Mason…

You could do a lot of things.

On whether it would have been a difficult situation having Mason as a fourth receiver…

I think you’re right. That’s a valid question. It is. You’re fourth receiver primarily is a huge contributor on special teams. Right now, we’re kind of hanging our hat on special teams. That unit is playing spectacularly. They’re playing great. Generally, you want a Patrick Turner, a Brad Smith, Wallace Wright-type guy in your fourth spot, in your fourth and fifth receiver. That’s really what you look for on your team.

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