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Rex Ryan talks about facing the Saints, his brother

Posted Oct 30, 2013

New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan spoke with New Orleans media via conference call on Wednesday, October 30

New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Can you talk about when you and your brother square off against each other?

“Usually we talk a little noise to each other, things like that.  It really is a special thing when you consider how fortunate we both are to be in this league.  There are a lot of great coaches that are coaching football and yet here are two of us, twin brothers.  I don’t know how many twin brother combinations there have been in the league, but certainly to make it this far and have the success that we’ve had throughout our careers and things (is special).  As Rob will quickly point out, he has two Super Bowl rings and I have one.  I understand that. But it’s really great.  I certainly appreciate the kind of coach my brother is.  He is outstanding.  I think New Orleans probably sees that also, the job that he has done and really his (entire defensive coaching) staff, not just him, obviously you have a great coach with him in Joe Vitt, (and then)) you got the crime dog (Wesley McGriff) with him in the secondary.  It is a great combination there and to go from a historically being a bad defense into where they are now.  I think they are ranked 12th in total but fourth in scoring.  They are creating turnovers.  They are getting sacks on the quarterback. It’s an outstanding defense in preventing points and everything else.  But the job that they have done has been outstanding and it doesn’t surprise me because I know my brother.  And then you have the combination of oh by the way, then Sean Payton over there on offense, that’s a combination.”

Did you worry about your brother living in a place like New Orleans?

“Why? How big he could get?  I think he probably fits right in.”

What have you seen from Keenan Lewis in facing him in the past and now with the Saints?

“Well he always had talent, (he’s a) big long body guy.  He does a great job of, when you look at corners, can he find the football? Can he catch it?  He can do both.  The system, the aggressive thing, I thought he was a good player in Pittsburgh and obviously he is doing a great job there in New Orleans.”

What are your thoughts on going against Drew Brees?

“Yikes.  That is pretty much it.  The dude is a surgeon.  He just picks you apart.  He can make all the throws, all the protocols and things, poised, sees the field, so accurate.  Other than that he’s not very good.  He extends plays.  It’s as good as it gets.  I’m just happy Miami never got him because we would have to play him twice a year, now it’s only once every four years I think.”

Brees has kind of made a 5,000 yard, 40 touchdown season almost like routine over the past few years.

“Yeah I hope he doesn’t do it this week because if he saw us play pass defense last week I know he probably already left to come here.  I have a feeling we will play a little better than we did this past week, obviously we have to. But he is an amazing guy, just the consistency.  Like you said, it is almost taken for granted.  His numbers are historic that he puts up.  Man, I was hoping he wasn’t going to make the trip.”

Can you talk about how you and your brother are different and the same?

“I think we are very similar.  I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.  Our personalities, even the way we sound and everything else (are similar).  They say we are fraternal twins, (but) I’m not sure about that.  He’s his own man.  I think he has been influenced by (Bill) Belichick quite a bit (also).  But it’s different.  He’s his own man (and) he is going to play his defense the way he sees it. He is outstanding obviously.  I’m going to do the same thing, but don’t kid yourself, we will copy things from each other.  We talk all the time and stuff.  I know one thing I think we probably have respect to the league as being pretty decent on defense, both of us.  One thing I think he’s going to be an outstanding head coach.  I think he is a great motivator.  He gets guys to play.  He gets guys to believe in themselves.  I think that is a big part of it.”

Did you guys have any interesting conversations before he agreed to take over the worst defense in NFL history?

“No.  I know one thing, he’s not afraid of a challenge.  There is no question about it.  He loves the fact that Sean Payton was the head coach and then the guys he would be around on the other side of the ball.  I know he was excited to have Joe Vitt coaching with him.  I think it was just that with the challenge and all that.  Certainly a Ryan is not afraid of a challenge so he just jumped right in.  The one thing about it to me, this team should be undefeated but they let one game get away, really, New England?  What a job they have done and arguably the best team in the league right now.”

How often do you guys talk during the season and does that shut down in advance with a game like this?

“It will shut down because of a game like this, but we will get a jab or two at each other there’s no question about it.  Now it is all about business.  Obviously we need a win and they need a win and that’s really what it is about.  It’s about our teams than it is us.  I think that’s where we want the focus to be.  With that being said, I’m sure there will be a playful jab every now and then.”

What have you liked with Chris Ivory?

“When he has been out there he is just a battering ram as you guys know (from covering his during his tenure in New Orleans).  He is a very physical runner. I love that about him.  I love that passion that he brings.  I think he’s an improved pass protector as well.  He is a tough dude, tough, strong, physical back and that’s what I like best about him.”

How much of your coaching and Rob’s coaching is directly influenced by your father?

“I would think a huge part of it.  I don’t think there is any doubt.  I learned more football from my dad than anybody.  I’ve been around a lot of great coaches, teachers, and mentors, but none bigger than my dad.  I’m sure he would say the same thing.”

Did you know that Rob Ryan is one of the most popular costumes for Halloween in New Orleans this year?

“That’s funny.  But (in addition to) his personality, you got Sean (Payton), you got him, you got Joe Vitt, there are some personalities but I think with the players and all that you have a couple coaches there too.  I think that’s really funny.”

When you face each other this week, do you think either side has an advantage knowing each other’s tendencies so well?

“No, I think it is just another game.  When the ball is snapped it is just going to be another game. There is no doubt.  We will see each other on the sideline and things like that, but it is just another game.  We are going to try and beat each other’s brains in and you want to have your hand raised in victory at the end of the game. That is the most important thing.  You hate it, because you pull for each other so bad.  Every single week I don’t care, during the game I’ll be on the sidelines and they will be flashing (other) scores, (and) I’ll be looking at one game.  I just care about New Orleans and that is the truth.  I want to see how he is doing.  I want him to be doing great.  But when you play against him it’s like you go from one extreme to the other.  We have to win.  You don’t really care that that is your brother over there and then after the game it is just whatever happens happens.  Certainly you want to be on the winning side of it for sure.”

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