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Rex Ryan on the 49ers & referees

Rex Ryan looks on during a game against

Rex Ryan looks on during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. (Sept. 16, 2012) Credit: Getty

49ers defense: “Both of their inside linebackers [Patrick Willis and Novorro Bowman] are tremendous athletes; run-hit guys. They fly around and never come off the field. You start with those two then you’ve got the bookends. Obviously Aldon Smith last year had the 14 sacks, half a sack from the rookie record. That’s impressive right there. Justin Smith is about as good as it is on the defensive line. You’ve got a Pro Bowl safety in [Dashon] Goldson, and by the way, [Donte] Whitner is the other safety. This is obviously a very deep and talented defense.”

Alex Smith and the 49ers offense: “Tremendous quarterback, great athlete. The thing that’s impressive - you talk about game-managers - this guy is more than a game-manager. But you look at a stat like 250 of his last throws, he’s thrown one interception. And he’s a good athlete. He’ll run with it when it’s not there. At receiver, clearly they made an emphasis on improving. They go out and get Randy Moss and [Mario] Manningham as a free agent. That was an area they wanted to improve. Crabtree is an outstanding route runner and he’s doing an outstanding job for them.”

Going forward without Darrelle Revis: “We’ve always said Darrelle, in my opinion, is the top defensive player in the league and it allows you to do different things. He’s not in there so your plan adjusts. But we are super fortunate to have Antonio Cromartie, who in my opinion is a No. 1 corner. That’s going to be his challenge and Kyle [Wilson] is coming in as a starting corner, and he has the talent. We have to take it all on ourselves; each guy has to pick it up a little bit. We’re very confident.”

Will the Jets have to blitz more often or be more aggressive to offset the blow to the secondary? “I like what’s in our back end, but you want to keep people off balance. Sometimes you pressure when they think you’re gonna cover; sometimes you cover when they think you’re gonna pressure. That’s what we always do. But that’s certainly a possibility that we can be more aggressive. I mentioned it with the ‘85 Bears. They had three college safeties and a college receiver in their back end, but the pressure was so intense that the ball had to come out early.”

The Jets' lack of a pass rush thus far: "It’s hard to rush the passer when teams are running the ball on you as well as they have. We need to get ourselves in position where we can beat guys one-on-one."

On the reports that the NFL is nearing an agreement with the regular referees: “If that’s the case, all we can do, and all I’m gonna do, is get my football team ready to play. No matter who’s officiating, that’s the job of any head coach. I can’t concern myself with who’s officiating or not.”


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