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Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan QA

    <span>              <span style="">Can you talk a little bit about the 3-4 and what it is you like about that defense?</span>                 

"Number one, in most defenses, you can see who the four rushers are. In a 3-4, you can bring anyone you want and that's a little more challenging to an offense than just a standard 4-3. Again, we're multiple and we'll give all kinds of different looks and I know that Gregg (Williams) is starting to be real multiple too out there. One week it was nothing but straight 4-3 and then the next week 3-4 and then a combination of things. I think that's what the league is trying to get to; more of the mixing and matching."

Do you see other teams going more to that kind of defense?

"I absolutely do. With the success of Pittsburgh and Baltimore, I think a lot of teams are trying to do that. All they have to do is play those teams and then they realize that it's a pain to prepare for. I can definitely see where the league will move in that direction."

Did the Saints use the 3-4 last week more than you expected?

"Yeah, they did. The first week was more of a true 4-3 and then there was more 3-4 and more multiple. I think they have some real versatile players. They moved Bobby McCray quite a bit – he's playing defensive end, he's playing linebacker, he's moving around. I like the personnel there. I think Gregg is a super coach. He'll have his guys moving and be multiple and they like to pressure. That doesn't surprise me. As soon as he went there, I anticipated that he would be this aggressive."

How much did you have to change the culture there coming to the Jets?

"I was just going to be myself. I've had success throughout my coaching days just being myself. I think I had a vision for this football team of what it would look like and how I wanted to play, and our guys believe in that and we're playing to that as well. That's just to be aggressive; play loose; play fast and fly around and enjoy what we're doing, enjoy each other and be good teammates. That's what we're doing."

Were you trying to do what you guys did with the Ravens or is it something totally different?

"That's what I did with the Ravens for 10 years in my part of the game. The thing about being a head coach is that instead of just being where you can affect one side of the ball, what I've tried to do is to give that kind of attitude to the entire football team. I'm not calling a single play on offense. Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan – we have a lot of great coaches on offense – Henry Ellard, Anthony Lynn – all these guys over there are doing an outstanding job. But what I can put in is the style of play and my vision for that unit. I think as a football team, I know what that looks like and that's what we're trying to get to."

How much of that did you pick up from your dad or is it more from your other coaching stops?

"Everybody is influenced by where they grew up and who they were under and I'd be no different. Obviously when your dad is Buddy Ryan, you'll pick up a lot from him. I coached under my dad for two years and without question, I learned more football from him than anywhere else. But I'm true to myself in that I'm going to make my own way and do my own thing. If I see something, I'm going to be creative and maybe do things a little different. Clearly I have been influenced by my dad and some of the other coaches that I've been around. I've been around some outstanding coaches. John Harbaugh – even the short time I was with him, we were together at the University of Cincinnati and at Baltimore and I just love his personality and everything else. That was something that I wanted to drive into our football team; we had a saying in Baltimore about building each other up and that's something that we're doing here as well. The offense will build the defense up and the defense will build the offense up and special teams will build both up. Really, that's just how we carry ourselves – on the practice field, in the classrooms for preparation and on gameday."

How did working your way up through the college ranks benefit you?

"I coached eight years of small college football, no higher than I-AA, and there are a lot of good coaches in those leagues. I worked under a legendary coach – a guy named Roy Kidd – who will be in the College Football Hall of Fame, I think he's close to 400 wins in his career. He was a mentor of mine as well. I think it was good. At the time, when I was seeing all these other coaches bring their kids in, I wished that would've been me but now that I look back on it, it definitely helped. I had to get there on my own. Now I say that, but I never would've gotten to the Arizona Cardinals if my dad wasn't the head coach. I know that people say nepotism or whatever, but all we had was the top-three ranked defense in the league that first year. Now in the second year, we couldn't stop a nosebleed, but we had a ton of injuries and that kind of stuff. But it definitely benefited me having to go up through that. You take nothing for granted and some of the things – you take the game today where you see some the wildcat stuff, and that doesn't really affect me because I've seen that. I've been in small colleges where each week is different; one week you may see four wides and the next week you see wishbone and the next week you're seeing I option or whatever. I've pretty much faced it all in college and I think that was great experience for me."

You don't strike me as a big disguise coach. Would it be accurate to say you're pretty up front about the way you approach things?

"You might ask their offense if that's the case. I think we're as hard to prepare for as anybody because we're as multiple as it gets, but I know exactly what you're saying how from a style standpoint I look at it as though it's not about you, it's about us and that is true."

One of the interesting subplots to this game is you running the defense for the Jets against Sean Payton running the offense for the Saints and it seems like a great chess match. How excited are you about that? Does that get your juices flowing a little more?

"My juices are always flowing, no matter who the opponent. This isn't my first time going against Sean; I was the defensive coordinator when we came up there with Baltimore. I have a great deal of respect for him. I know Sean at one time considered me being a defensive coordinator if he would've gotten an opportunity as a head coach somewhere and I was all excited about that but it never happened. It was later when he had moved on to be a head coach and I was already a coordinator in Baltimore. But I have a great deal of respect for him and I think the feeling is probably mutual. I'll be honest with you; I'm really not looking forward to this one. I wish we could play somebody else but this is going to be great competition and I'm certainly not ducking it; that's for sure."

You've played against Tom Brady already this year and I know you've coached against Peyton Manning before. How good is Drew Brees and the caliber of game he's playing right now?

"He has always been good. When we played them a few years ago, they were sailing. I told our reporters here that up until last week, he had thrown at least two touchdowns in a thousand games in a row because that's what it seemed like. I don't know what the stat is but every time you turn around, the guy is throwing a touchdown pass. He's just a great quarterback. He knows how to play the position; he knows how to read defenses; it's hard to get to him; he doesn't take sacks and he's smart with the football. He has a lot more talent than people give him credit for as well. He's a nightmare to go against, but I think we'll do some things defensively that probably aren't really traditional so it's going to be a lot tougher. If you play traditional coverages against him time after time, he's going to wear you out."

Is there a high risk and reward in blitzing a guy like Brees a lot?

"We don't look at it that way. With any quarterback, we're going to try to hit. We're going to try to make sure that he's not comfortable back there, no matter what it takes each week. If that means that we can rush three or if it means we have to rush four, five, six or seven or eight – whatever it takes, we're not going to let him sit back there and beat us to death, I promise you that."

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