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Friday, July 26, 2013
Rex starts off with a pep talk

By Jane McManus

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan’s opening news conference at the 2013 training camp on Friday turned into a pep talk at some point, as the coach relayed the message he gave the team after it arrived Thursday afternoon.

He referenced “internal deals,” referring to the discord that has interfered with success in the past, as well the immense challenge that is in front of the Jets this season.

Here's how Ryan put it:

Ryan The first step was today's practice and all that, but we're trying to get to the top floor and we don't have the luxury of just hitting the button. We ain't taking the elevator up there. We're gonna take the steps and we're not going to miss one of them.

-- Rex Ryan
“We’ve got to be a team. More than anything else, we’ve got to be like this. Never any internal deals -- I don’t like to be around negative people; I refuse to be that way. There’s a mantra I have and that’s 'play like a Jet.'

“We have to play like a Jet, and that’s got to mean something. It can’t just be words. It’s got to mean something. That basically is what our fans deserve and what we deserve as an organization from our guys, is that we get everything they have. That they put it out there every single day for us, and we have to do it.

“I recognize right now -- look guys, this is the first step. The first step was today’s practice and all that, but we’re trying to get to the top floor and we don’t have the luxury of just hitting the button. We ain’t taking the elevator up there. We’re gonna take the steps and we’re not going to miss one of them. We know we have to hit every step to get there, and this is just one step today. And I was happy with the way practice went today.”

This is Ryan’s fifth training camp and, if he can’t find some way to position the Jets to win games despite some glaring weaknesses, it could be his last. Ryan said this camp felt different, in part because so few positions were set. There will be six or seven new starters on defense, while the offense is in flux as well.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation or camp where so many of those spots are up for grabs,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the MVP of the offense Friday was WR Clyde Gates: “The speed that he has is impressive to say the least.” Calvin Pace and David Harris stood out to him on defense.