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IDZIK: All We Do, It's All for This Time

Posted Jul 27, 2013

Transcript of general manager John Idzik's afternoon news conference following Saturday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

It’s great to be back. All the things that we do in the offseason, I think the first time that I met you, we were just embarking on evaluating our staff, evaluating our roster, getting into free agency prep, getting into Indy [NFL Scouting Combine] prep, and then eventually the draft. It’s all for here. It’s all for this day. It’s all for this time. This is where you feel like you’re back to football. Tomorrow we get the pads on. We’re through this acclimation period now, so it’s been a nice phase in and I can tell you I’m not the only one excited. Rex [head coach Rex Ryan], his staff, our players, I think you’ve seen it, that we’re all extremely excited to get back to football and get going.

On when he expects Mike Goodson to report to camp…

I don’t know. There’s no timeline at all, so we’re just going to have to play that one by ear.

On how much background work they did on Goodson before they signed him…

It’s not isolated to one player. It’s not isolated to Mike Goodson. We do an extremely thorough job in examining background. I think as I said last time, we’re in a human business, so there’s a certain degree of unpredictability in anything you do. But you want to try to do as much background work on the people you bring into the organization, and that’s going to be consistent with anyone we bring in.

On preparing for losing a player…

I think we’re in a business of abrupt adjustments. You just get into a game, there are certain things you prepare for within the course of a play. It certainly holds true in personnel. It holds true in negotiations. It holds true in anything that we do. It’s just the nature of what we do, so you just have to be prepared to adjust.

On why Cliff Harris and Claude Davis were released after being arrested when Goodson was not…

We didn’t talk about their situation either at that time. Every case is individual. Every case has its circumstances surrounding it, so you take all that information in and you react accordingly. There were a lot of factors back then. We were just getting into a 90-man restriction. So there are a lot of factors that go into decisions that are made. It may on the surface look like a knee-jerk reaction to something that happened, but it’s an accumulation of things and information.

On if a player’s status on the team is one of those factors…

Of course you’re going to evaluate his status on the team, how long he’s been here, what he’s contributing, if you feel like it’s an isolated case, is there a pattern of behavior there, all those things factor into it, but his effectiveness as a player, as a person in the community, in the building, we take all those things into account.

On if he expects Goodson to report to training camp at some point…

I really don’t know. We don’t know and we’re just taking it kind of like we do anything else, day-by-day. We’re operating with the things that we have in front of us today, and until that changes, we’ll stay the course.

On if it’s his hope that Goodson will be with the Jets again someday…

Of course it’s our hope that Mike comes back and that he can contribute to the team.

On when he anticipates getting a deal done with Dee Milliner

Whenever there’s more than one party involved, you don’t have total control over it. So I really don’t know. All we can do is keep a constant line of communication open, which we have. I’ve talked through our differences and hopefully we will get where he belongs, right here on the field.

On if he is frustrated the team has not signed Milliner yet…

I don’t think it’s a frustration. I look at it as again we’re in an industry of adjustments. It’s not unlike we planned on seeing Aaron Berry compete through this training camp, and low and behold, on one our first drills, he goes down with a season-ending injury. Dee is not here right now. We adjust. I think we’ve done a marvelous job with that and we’ve maintained our focus right here with the players that we have on campus now, and we adjust going forward. I don’t think it’s frustrating as much as it is learning how to deal with what you have.

On if he is maintaining communication with Goodson…

I’m not going to get into it. That’s a private manner and I’d like to respect it that way.

On if the Jets suggested that Goodson should not report…

Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics. It’s a private, delicate matter, but I can say we were aware that this was going to happen. It wasn’t a surprise and we understood the circumstances around it.

On how the team writes contracts…

I think anyone, agents included, if they look at our contracts and our clauses and they contain guarantees, the type of language that is in it, we’re pretty consistent. So it shouldn’t be any surprise to identify or be hard to identify what is important to the Jets as far as contractual language is concerned. You look at our contracts and there’s going to be a common thread throughout.

On if he is surprised Milliner is holding out over a contract that is relatively small…

Well, it’s obviously not small to somebody, otherwise they would be here playing. You try to talk it through, and understand, and this is in general, whenever you are trying to do a contract with a player. We listen a lot and we try to understand their positions. Hopefully they listen to us a lot and understand our position, and we try to rationalize and get them in.

On if their philosophy regarding rookie contracts has changed due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement...

No, I think there is some more emphasis on contractual elements that perhaps weren’t quite as emphasized before, but they have always been around. I don’t think all of sudden with the new CBA, we’re seeing a proliferation of offsets for whatever else it would be.

On the use of offset language in contracts…

We’re not going to get into specifics.

On if he knew Rex Ryan was going to Pamplona and his reaction…

Well yeah, just run faster than the bulls. Yes, he let us know that he was going out there and I thought it was pretty cool. It had been a lifelong dream of his son Peyton. It was a family thing, and for them to do something special, that was pretty neat, but he let us know.

On if he was concerned of the potential danger of Ryan going to Pamplona…

I can say this, Rex holds the Jets, football, the NFL, to the same degree of importance that I do and that all of us do, So I don’t think that he is going to let anything get in the way. If he feels something is hazardous to his position here with the jets I don’t think Rex would do it. You know you trust him that way.

On if the distractions are lessened this year because of him…

I think it’s us, it’s all of us together. Life in the NFL, you are going to live with distractions and to the extent that you can maintain your focus on the tasks at hand, it sounds so simple, right? It sounds so trite, but it’s very difficult to do because we are covered the way we are, every movement that you do, and in our case here the competitions that are going on. But if you can just focus on the basics, and yes we have tried to instill that mindset not only with the players but throughout the organization and hopefully you’re sensing that.

On his role in making the starting quarterback decision…

Well, I have a pretty big role in that. I think we are going to discuss that much like we do anything. It’s going to be a collective opinion. We’re going to hash it out. And it’s not limited to quarterbacks. I know that’s front stage and center, but its every position, everything that we do, and it could be discussing schemes, different approaches to training camp. I think you have noticed that we changed our schedule around a little bit. We’ll discuss everything, and the beauty of our staffs, we have an extensive group, a lot of experience in the room. So we can trade that and that includes the quarterback situation. Obviously we are going to talk with Rex, with Marty [Mornhinweg], with David [Lee], we’ll talk with the entire offensive staff, our scouts, and we have all our scouts here. We have a lot input in that.

On who has the final say in the quarterback decision…

Again, it’s a collective effort. And I think if you discuss it on a daily basis, this isn’t a one-time event that comes up and we have to make a quick decision. This is over a period of time, so there is a lot of talk, discussion, debate that goes over these types of decisions. So when you ultimately make that decision, it may look like, ok on Thursday at 4 pm Eastern Time they made the decision on the starting quarterback. Well that’s an accumulation of a lot of information and discussion and that’s what I mean that it’s a collective effort and it’s collaborative all the way.

On if the head coach has the final say on the roster…

Yes. I mean when you look at who is going to play, Rex and I are going to talk about that freely. I like to believe, it has been the case so far, that if you put in that time and effort when you make the decision you feel like it’s a “we” decision, it’s not on one individual. It’s not like someone's going to drop the gavel and do something that’s counter to what the Jets want to do. We are all pulling in the same direction we are going to make the decision on our starting quarterback, the other 10 starters on offense, what we do schematically with those guys, it’s all going to be for the good of the Jets.

On if someone specifically has the final say…

It’s a collaborative effort guys. It’s not how it seems that you wake up one morning and everyone’s waiting out with bated breath on someone with the scroll [laughing]. That’s not it. Especially this decision, there is so much that goes into it, and it is not going to be a surprise to anyone in the room. So I don’t feel like when we make the decision and there is a lot of input. There is input from our offensive staff, there is input from our scouts, there will be input from, of course, me and Rex. We sit down and we talk about this on a daily basis. So I think when we reach the culmination of gathering all that stuff deciphering and making that decision, it’s not a surprise. There’s not a friction there or a surprise in the end where like, “Boy, I didn’t expect that.” Whatever we do, it's going to be vetted out to a point where everyone is involved, they’ll understand, and there won’t be any surprise in the end.

On when he expects Santonio Holmes to be back…

Shoot, we hope he’s back tomorrow, but it’s a tough one to gauge. I can say Santonio has been working his tail off. He was here voluntarily on his own working with [head athletic trainer] John Mellody and our staff. He’s really focused on it and he continues to be. But that’s a tough one to gauge. Another one I wish I had a timeline for you, but some of these things we just have got to let it take its course.

On whether there is a chance Holmes will miss the entire season…

We hope not. And again, we will take it through the summer. These next few weeks will be very telling. I can say, if you have a motivated staff, you have a motivated player, usually when you have all that pointing the same direction, there’s a good outcome and that’s what we’re hoping for.

On what position groups the team is trying to improve upon…

I don’t know if we’ll go position by position. What’s nice, we had a good look at everybody coming into training camp. In Braylon [Edwards]'s case, he certainly feels like he’s coming back home to the Jets. Had a lot of time, a lot of production here. Knows the room, knows Rex. I know him. We had him in Seattle last year. He certainly adds an element of experience and familiarity. You’ll see at wideout we’ve got a heady number there. Take a look at those and you’ll see a little ebb and flow throughout training camp. And that will be really respondent to how guys are doing. It’s a little premature right now. I’d like to get the pads on. Let the guys knock it around a little bit and see how they react.

On if bringing Edwards back was a sign that Holmes is not where they thought he was healthwise…

No, not really. It was independent of that. I think what we’re trying to do is build the best cast of characters we have at any one position and it was more a function of that than it was worrisome of one individual player. Just getting the most quality depth that we can.

On why they didn’t re-sign Edwards earlier…

I think we wanted to take a good look at some younger guys during the offseason. We continue to do that. Like I said, we’re probably relatively heavy at the position in numbers and that’s kind of by design so we can take a look at them. Once again, Braylon, we looked him as plug and play, that we would call him up the eve of training camp. We did keep in touch with him. He was keeping in great shape. You see him here. He’s in basically football ready shape. So we didn’t have any concerns that way. We felt that he was available for us.

On why he feels that Edwards can come in, learn and play in a new offense…

Braylon has played in a lot of different systems and he’s been successful in a lot of different systems. It was not really a leap of faith because we’re at the forefront of training camp. We can install things. Braylon is a quick study, I can promise you that. He’s been around football. He’s been around the NFL long enough, where you put something in front of him, he’s going to digest it and he’ll be fine with it.

Now applying it and applying it in this setting? I think it’s more important for him to be here in training camp. Are you questioning the guy's conditioning? No, you wouldn’t question his conditioning or work ethic in the offseason. If he’s going to be a quick study, you can sign him on the eve of camp. Now you get the pads on, you see how he reacts then. I think really in that way it’s an appropriate time.

On if this season is a one-year grace period for Rex Ryan…

No, I don’t think anyone looks at it as a grace period. Pressure is perceived, really. Our guys don’t feel pressure, Rex doesn’t feel pressure, and I don’t feel pressure. Our players, hopefully, we’re going to condition them that they don’t feel pressure. You can perform in whatever function you’re asked to do, whether it be the head coach, one of our players, or whether it be in my position. If you prepare well and you’re relaxed, you perform at your peak no matter what you’re doing. And I think that’s certainly an axiom that Rex lives by and an axiom that I live by. And you just let things roll and you go in confident and faithful that your preparation and your state of mind will allow you to perform well. That’s kind of where we are.

On if Edwards and Kellen Winslow look different this year compared to when they were in Seattle together…

Well, actually it worked out for Braylon. We had a number of veteran receivers in for training camp and he basically beat them out, that old notion of competition. He did well and Kellen did, as well. But if you noticed that roster, we had some pretty good tight ends. We’re happy to have both of them here, we really are. They’re vets, they were prepared. I think it shows, I think you’ve seen already in two short days on the field that they’ve made an impact, so we’re extremely pleased to have both of them on the Jets.

On if Edwards was brought in to mentor the younger receivers…

That’s definitely a factor, whenever you can get a veteran presence in a room. Santonio is that veteran presence, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a jersey on running around with a helmet. He’s been a great mentor. Both Braylon and Santonio will certainly add that element, especially when you have a relatively young bunch of receivers.
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