Coach Rex Ryan and wide receiver Santonio Holmes took part in confernece calls on Wednesday.
COACH REX RYAN
Are you okay after taking a spill last week?I'll be honest with you. I am questionable for this game. I took a big lick. It's funny, I've been hit a bunch of times but I've never been run over. That was a first. That was a big dude. He is like six-foot-seven. I just hope I don't get hit by Marcus Gilbert or Max Starks like that, with their size. It was pretty funny. I guess when I was a little heavier I would have been able to take the hit a little better.Re: Transition to the less boastful Rex Ryan:I am doing good. I will say this. There is no truth to the rumor that we are placing a bounty on Coach Tomlin. I am not saying that. That is probably the rumor we do not want to get started. But I am doing good. I am down 105 pounds, and I feel fantastic.Re: Last week's offensive performance:Well, with how impressive we were in the preseason, I guess we were due to score. We had a great training camp. Our guys really work hard, and our coaching staff does a tremendous job. I felt confident that our offense would be successful. That was a great start.What do you have to do to beat the Steelers on Sunday?I am glad we aren't playing the AFC Championship game there, because I wouldn't have an answer for you. I've lost two times on that field in an AFC Championship game. Pittsburgh is one of the hardest places to play. Their fans are fantastic. They are an outstanding football team, and they play extremely well at home. There are two stats that tell that story. They really jump out at me of what it's like to play in Pittsburgh. Last year they had 35 sacks as a team. That ranked them right where we were, in the middle of the pack. But at home, they had 28 sacks. They would have ranked second in the NFL with that particular stat. They feed off that energy from the fans. It's really a great place to play, a great atmosphere. The other thing is that I think Ben Roethlisberger has a 107.0 quarterback rating in Pittsburgh. That's pretty impressive as well. Re: Your cornerbacks matching up against the Steelers' receivers:We will find out. Their group is explosive. Their speed is incredible. I think Antonio Brown is one of the most underrated players in the league. He made the Pro Bowl last year as a returner but he is the only guy in NFL history, and I told my team this, to have 1,000 yards as a returner and in the same season have 1,000 yards as a receiver. That tells you what kind of athlete he is. Then they have Mike Wallace, who can blow the top off of a defense. Those two are impressive. Emmanuel Sanders doesn't get as much attention as the other two, but he is a tremendous receiver in his own right.Are offenses transitioning in the NFL?Some of these quarterbacks in this league are so big and strong and they can take hits and know how to take hits, where before, if you ever ran the option in the NFL you would have been crazy. That's kind of the way the game is going. Teams are running the zone reads and throwing screens. I think two of the dying breads – we are running some Wildcat, but that's kind of single-wing football. When you look at the Steelers and the Jets, you still have old school kind of values. Both teams want to run the football, and both teams want to stop the run. By the way, we are ranked 32nd in the league in run defense. That's something I thought I would never see. Both teams pride themselves in being able to run the football. I think it starts that way. We are kind of blue-collar teams, and our fan base appreciates that as well.Re: Replacement officials in first game:To be honest, all I am worried about is trying to get our football team ready. That's where my focus is, and that's the truth of the matter.Does the receiver that always goes deep and runs the fastest always draw the double team?We are fortunate that we have some great man-cover cornerbacks. A lot of times we don't double team. A lot of times we will put our guys out there on their islands, especially Darrelle Revis. We will see. Certainly, we have to mix things up with the Steelers. Their two receivers [Brown and Wallace] are explosive guys. Then you add Sanders, which makes it difficult. And they have Jerricho Cotchery. I have a ton of admiration for him. He is a tremendous receiver as well.Re: Issues with Santonio Holmes last season and are there any now:I really like him. I think he's a good person, a good competitor and one heck of a football player. I like having him on my team.Re: Your message of playing as a team opposed to playing to win the division:When I made the guarantee of the Super Bowl, we had come off of going to two AFC Championships and we lost both of them. What else is their left? I felt it to be true, that if we could get in the Super Bowl we could win. So I made that statement. If it wasn't going to be successful, I thought it would come down on just me. That's where I was wrong. It never just came down on me. When you talked to our players and watched our players, I thought we played tight. I think that had a lot to do with it. It was an unnecessary burden that I put on my players, and I've learned from that. Re: Revis' status:He can resume some physical activity. But he will not practice today:Re: Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark:Those two guys, I wish I wasn't playing against them. But I love watching them play. They're phenomenal. Clark is a tremendous player. He is a big time hitter. I've always liked him. Polamalu is about as instinctive of a player that I've ever seen. He's just a force. You have to know where he is at, because he can ruin a game for you. You have to be very mindful of him. He is just such a great playmaker, whether he is leaping over the center to make a tackle or he is doing whatever. I don't know if those plays are called but he is about as talented of a guy and instinctive of a guy as I've ever seen. He is a big hitter. You are going to see two big hitters this week in our safeties, Yeremiah Bell and Laron Landry. You are going to have four real hitters out there this week. Re: Offensive line success last week:Our guys did a tremendous job against the Bills. It starts up front. I think we are the only team in the NFL with three Pro Bowl offensive linemen, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Brandon Moore. We lean heavily on those guys, no question about it. Our other two, Matt Slauson and Austin Howard played extremely well. We will see. This game presents a completely different challenge, because of all the zone blitzes, cross-dogs and SAM strong safeties, all the type of things that you are going to get from a Dick LeBeau, Pittsburgh Steeler defense. It creates a lot of problems. It's going to be a huge challenge for us.Re: Comparisons between Maurkice Pouncey and Mangold:They are a little different but I will say this, and you can take them in any order you want, but they are clearly the best two centers in football, without question. I don't know what you can say more about both those guys. I've seen Pouncey reach three techniques. He's a guy that will clean things up. If he isn't covered, he finds work. He's just a tremendous player. I really liked him when he came out of college. He's just a great football player. Mangold is the same way. He is a tremendous player. That's going to be a great battle, watching Mangold against Casey Hampton, two of the best in the league going at it.
WIDE RECEIVER SANTONIO HOLMESRe: Preparing to face Pittsburgh:I feel it's all in the practice and preparation. The way we practice is a very big key to how we play. That's the philosophy of our offense and our team. We definitely will try to get after these guys as quickly as we can. Having our scout team offense and defense give us the proper looks and work as hard as if it's game day really prepares us for what we face on Sundays.Re: Facing Steelers S Troy Polamalu and the challenges he presents:The only challenge he presents is how we prepare for this game. He's a playmaker, he's all over the field and he can cause havoc for their defense and their team. But, our job is to outsmart these guys, run the basic plays that we know how to, complete passes, run the ball up and down the field, have fun doing it and be positive about everything that we do. That is going to be a big key, not losing focus. Re: The talent of the Jets secondary and facing them in practice:As of right now I don't get to play against those guys very much because we have a scout team that prepares us like they are the defensive team that we're facing. But seeing the other guys during OTAs and training camp, knowing that we've got a physical group of guys that can get after it at the corners and come down and hit guys from the safety position, I feel real comfortable about having this group of defensive backs to lead our team. They're doing a really good job of it. The key is staying healthy and playing physical and fast.If you face Steelers CB Ike Taylor on Sunday, how will that matchup go?We'll just have to see. We've studied each other, we've practiced against each other, we've trained together over the past six, seven years with each other and there's a lot of history there. My job is to beat him and his job is stop me. What happens on Sunday will determine that.