Questioning The Enemy: Jets Hope Cromartie Is Healthy

Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan and linebacker Bart Scott answer the tough questions.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 11:59 am | Categories: Mike Duffy, Questioning The Enemy, Week 4 vs Jets

With the New York Jets coming to town this weekend with several former Ravens on the roster, there is a lot of history between the two AFC rivals.

As such, Baltimore media got a chance to speak with two key members of the Jets who spent time with the Ravens – Head Coach Rex Ryan and linebacker Bart Scott – to discuss the Week 4 showdown.

Here are some of the highlights:

Head Coach Rex Ryan

Is there more urgency to get cornerback Antonio Cromartie back after seeing Torrey Smith have a big game last week?
“Well, we’d love to have him out there, that’s for sure, but we’re not just based on one player. If we want to shut them down, we can always put [Darrelle] Revis on them. We’ll do what’s in our best interest. I think, the guy that I’d be more concerned with would be [Anquan] Boldin. He’s the proven commodity.”

What was it like to see the Ravens’ offense with some deep threats?
“I will say this: I was a little shocked when I saw it. (laughing) When I saw this kid catching three touchdowns in one quarter, and he really could have had five… But, he’s a fast guy, and all that kind of stuff, but I don’t think he’ll have equal success this week. If he does, then I’m just going to stay in Baltimore.” (laughter)

Why hasn’t the run game been successful lately?
“First off, I think you have to run the ball. (laughing) I think that would be… You look at our attempts, it’s not close to where we have been the last couple of years, but your opponent has a lot to do with that as well. We’ve been down in a couple of games this year, so that kind of dictates that we’ll have to throw the ball more than we have done in the past.”

Does it still bother you that you didn’t get the head coaching job for the Ravens?
“No, Now, it’s… I appreciate the opportunity that Baltimore gave me. I mean, I was there for 10 years and they were great to me. Would I have loved to have that job at the time? Oh, heck yeah, absolutely. Was it painful that I didn’t get it? It really was. But I’ll tell you what made it good for me is the fact that they gave the job to John Harbaugh. John and I have worked together since the University of Cincinnati. I was happy to coach under John. I learned a lot of great things from him, and I think they made a great decision. If they weren’t going to give it to me, I’m glad they gave it to John.”

What improvements have you seen from Joe Flacco from Day 1 until now?
“It’s funny, I have to give a lot of credit to [Director of Player Personnel] Eric DeCosta and [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and all them because when they came out and said, ‘We’re thinking about taking this quarterback named Joe Flacco,’ I am like, ‘Joe Flacco?’ I go, ‘Who?’ Then we were watching the tape and all that, he gets in, and the first practice, I am like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ He was clearly head and shoulders above the other quarterbacks we had. We should name him the starter. It wasn’t close. That was my opinion. It hasn’t changed. He can make every single throw. He is cool. They call him ‘Joe Cool’ and all that for a reason. He is poised, but he can make every single throw. He is just a talent. He is a much better athlete than what you would think a guy that is 6-foot-6, 240 pounds is. He can run – he is kind of a long-strider – but he is an excellent athlete.”

LB Bart Scott

What do you expect it to be like on the field Sunday night?
“I mean, we danced this dance a little bit over a year ago. So, I expect it to be pretty much the same. You know, friends off the field, but opponents on the field. And we have an obligation to ourselves and to our teams to try and get a victory. It’s more important about trying to get a win other than worrying about who played where, who coached where. It’s not about that. It’s about getting a much important ‘W’. Somebody’s going to be at 2-2.”

What happened with the run defense against Oakland last weekend?
“Well, you know, we had a couple of big plays. You know, you break that down and you can break half of those yards off of two or three plays – one where we lost the edge and [Raiders RB Darren McFadden] just made a play. He’s a great player, and sometimes you give up long runs. When you give up a long run of over 70 yards, your average isn’t going to be great. Before that, we were fifth in the League in rush defense. But when you give up a bunch of yards… I don’t think we’re the 31st run defense in the league, but that’s what our stats are, so I guess we are. But we know better than that.”

What do you think about John Harbaugh getting the Ravens’ job over Rex in 2008?
“Man, I think everybody’s past that. Everybody’s happy where they’re at. At the end of the day, I’m happy that the Ravens have prosperity post-Rex, post-me, and whoever. And we’ve experienced our own amount of success here as well.”

Why do you think the talking back and forth has been diminished this year?
“You know, last year it was a little bit more emotional, because it was our first time seeing each other, and whenever you leave somewhere, you always want to prove that you can still be successful and that and egos and pride get involved. But right now, it’s not more about that. You’re playing this game more level-headed, for what it’s worth, and the importance of it [is] not so much being caught up in the emotions of who you’re playing against. It’s about what it represents for your football team.”

Were you surprised with the Ravens’ offensive explosion last week at St. Louis?
“I mean, it happens. When things get to rolling, and you give up big plays and you get big plays, they come in bunches. And we all know [Joe] Flacco’s always been… The best ball, I think, he’s always thrown was the deep ball and the deep out, which you have to have an extremely strong arm and accuracy. And we always know that, if you can run out there, he can get it to you.”

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