New York Jets: Rex Ryan Previews Game Against the Steelers


Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan watches play on the sidelines during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan talked about the upcoming game against the Steelers yesterday when he met with the New York media. Take a look at what he had to say:

On what he has seen from the Steelers receivers…Oh man. First off, you know Ben (Roethlisberger), there are teams that are vertical passing teams in this league and there are guys that do a great job, vertical throwers, in this league. That’s him. He’s about as good as it gets throwing the deep ball. He bides time, all that type of stuff. And they’ve always done it. Historically, they have done a great job finding ways to get guys open. But they have a lot of vertical threats. You look at a guy that plays very little, (Darrius) Heyward-Bey, there’s a vertical guy. (Markus) Wheaton, you mentioned (Martavis) Bryant from Clemson I believe. There’s a whole list of them and they can all run (and) stretch you vertically. And so I think that’s the biggest challenge – you’ve got a great vertical thrower, guys that can fly and then, oh, by the way, they have all kind of combinations off of it, screen games, check downs to the back, and they still have Heath Miller, who might not be as fast as he once was but he’s crafty, he gets open (and) he catches the ball. It’s really a challenge.

On if it is scary to have cornerbacks that have not been with the team long who have to play against the Steelers passing attack…I get where you’re coming from, but scary doesn’t come to mind. Yeah, you’re concerned, but it’s more about what you’re facing. The guys we have in the building, there’s some good players over there that we have and it’s the collective effort of all 11. It doesn’t just fall on who’s playing right corner or left corner or whoever. We have some guys that can play. They all can play. At times Phillip (Adams) has done a good job. You had last week with Josh Thomas and (Marcus) Williams, they haven’t been with us the whole time but they’ve been with us long enough. They know what we do. We’ve got great coaches over there with Dennis Thurman, T-Mac (Tim McDonald) and Brian Smith, guys who do a good job and they buy in. They’ve learned the system. Now it’s more of a physical thing. Get out there and have at it. And we’re confident in our guys.

On how he expects the absence of Troy Polamalu to effect the Steelers…Yeah, he’s just a special player. (He’s) just a guy. He’s so instinctive that that’s hard to make up for, there’s no question. I think more than anything they’ll probably miss that more than anything else. And I’m sure, I don’t know the young man, but I’m sure he has that leadership too because he’s so passionate about the way he plays. So that, you’re always going to lose something there.

On if it is tough to see the Steelers having success in developing receivers…Well, I guess you could look at it that way. There are different ways of looking at it. I think maybe you could say we’re really doing a great job of developing this position or that position. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss, but the effort’s there, there’s no question. We had the young man get hurt from UCLA (Shaquelle Evans). We’ll see how he comes back. But you’ve just got to keep firing. There’s no magic formula for it, even though Pittsburgh’s got a pretty good run at it, it kind of looks like they have it. But at the end of the day, you get fortunate. And obviously, they have done a great job of developing their players, especially at receiver, and finding guys, there’s no question, I’m not taking that away from them. But part of it, too, is sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

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It certainly won’t hurt with Polamalu ruled out for Sunday’s game. He can change a game with one play, easily. Will that open up much for the passing offense? We will see. But coach Ryan is right, talking about how “instinctive” Polamalu is. He seems to be everywhere the ball is, doesn’t he?

The deck isn’t stacked very well for coach Ryan and his team, with unknown cornerbacks on the outside. Needless to say, this one is not going to be easy, but the team will be ready.