Rex Ryan Talking About His Rookie Class


Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s great isn’t it? Football is always close when we can start the day with words from our guy, head coach Rex Ryan.The Jets had the chance to work out their rookies on the field as a team for the first time, and as always, Rex wasn’t shy about initial thoughts. First on Trevor Reilly:

Well, I think the first thing when you look at him, people are going to focus on his age because obviously that’s unusual (to) get a guy that basically was on a three-year mission (and) has two children. With that, he’s a mature guy. As he told us all today, he was an All-American, honorable mention. So he slipped that one in there (joking). Because I asked all the guys, I said, ‘You know, you guys are all pretty good players. Every one of you. But, (are) any of you in your college’s Hall of Fame? So we all know where I was going with that one, right? Well I happen to be in mine, let me tell you what it’s like (joking).’ But then this kid’s like, excuse me – this young man – goes, “Yeah coach, I am.” I’m like, how can you be in your Hall of Fame? There’s no way.” I think he’s on the Wall of Fame (joking). I said, “Did you give a speech for it?” He goes, “No.” I said, “You’re not in then.” He ruined my story (joking). Anyway, other than that I’ve been impressed with him. He’s a smart guy, we knew it. He plays hard. He’s kind of got like Garrett McIntyre (in him). (He’s) just a tough guy and just loves to play. (He’s) physical and really fit that profile that we’re looking for. And he played multiple positions. They played him out in space, they can use him as a rusher, different things. So that’s why we were excited to get him. Today (we) had to get on him because he went and I guess tagged a guy off a little bit too hard for our liking. That’s part of it, too. These guy’s (are) learning how to practice like a pro. When you come back in here, you’re not going to make the team by going out and making a tackle today. You’ve got to take care of each other and learn to take care of your teammates. Way more than half the practices in the NFL are without shoulder pads, so you have to change it up a little bit and take care of your teammates. So, that’s part of it.

Interesting comment he makes to Calvin Pryor:

(He) looks pretty good but I told him today, ‘You could have picked one today. We’d be okay if we picked that ball, you don’t have to go hit somebody.’ But (he was) good, very impressive. I’ve been really impressed with him mentally. That’s all that we’ve really had. But mentally, (he’s) sharp. He’s into it. He did some personal protector on the punt team. He’s catching it to where he doesn’t just learn his position but he’s learning how the defense works and I think that’s been impressive.

Interesting how he wants ball skills in his head from minute number one. We will see what difference, if any, that makes.

And on Jace Amaro:

Well, just like today, I don’t know how many balls he caught, you guys would know, but it was a bunch. And I was like, ‘Hmm, looks like (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) thinks we’ve got a new toy and we’re trying to feature him,’ and things like that, which was pretty obvious to me. But really (he’s) a guy with that kind of size, his kind of receiving skills, (being an) excellent route runner, I think absolutely will add to our passing game. And those guys are hard to cover. You’re almost in between. If you cover with a small guy, they put small guys out there, you’re able to run the football. If they put bigger guys (on the field), then you’re able to throw it on people. Even with those kind of matchup issues that it presents, certainly I’ve had to face that before against certain teams. I feel great about it because you have (Jeff) Cumberland, you have Jace and obviously you’ve got a young man I’ve been impressed with is (Zach) Sudfeld. He looks really good, too.

Obviously this is all initial. But it is still great to be talking actual football again.