Rex Ryan has always been known for his positivity, and his positive outlook continued to be on display when speaking to the media following Saturday’s Green and White Scrimmage. With much of the focus on the offense’s inability to score a touchdown, Rex Ryan instead praised the defense’s effort and singled in on some of the offense’s more encouraging signs.
“Overall I was really pleased. If we’re looking at it from the numbers standpoint, we never threw X amount of touchdowns, alright, no touchdowns, but it was much more competitive than that,” noted Ryan. “I think our offensive line did a nice job protecting the quarterback against traditional rushes, four-man rushes, five-man rushes. It got a little dicey when we had some exotics out there. Dennis (Thurman) put in a couple things. That was a little tough, but other than that I thought our protection was decent. … I was happy with the way our defense tackled. And then obviously the communication I think really from both ends, I think our communication was good.”
One of the highlights of the scrimmage was a goal line stand by the defense – the offense ran the ball four straight times and the defense kept them out of the end zone. It was no doubt disappointing for an offense that wants to be a major threat on the ground, but by the same token it is a sign that one of last year’s elite run defenses is ready to pick up where they left off. Ryan’s stance on the outcome of the series mirrored that excitement.
“It was awesome,” admitted Ryan. “I love it as a defensive coach. You want to punch it in there. I love the fact that Marty (Mornhinweg) ran it four straight times. It was like, ‘No, we’re going to knock it in there.’ To the defense’s credit, that wasn’t the case. I was happy to see it. The collisions down there are pretty fierce.”
All eyes of course were on Geno Smith, whose performance Rex Ryan described as “pretty decent”. Smith’s highlight was a deep completion to Stephen Hill, but he was also nearly picked off by Darrin Walls. Rex Ryan suggested that he liked what he saw in pieces, but the next step is putting it all together.
“I thought we ran the ball at times effectively,” noted Ryan. “And some of the times I thought we threw it well. Just put it together, keep working and I think good things will happen for us.”
A few players that turned heads according to Rex Ryan were wide receiver Greg Salas and safeties Rontez Miles and Jaiquawn Jarrett. With Decker and Kerley the only locks to make the roster at receiver and Calvin Pryor almost certain to sit out Thursday’s game, the trio should see plenty of opportunities to continue impressing in the first preseason game versus Indianapolis.