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IDZIK: Keep Pushing Forward, Getting Better

Posted Jun 14, 2013

Transcript of general manager John Idzik's news conference following Thursday's midday minicamp practice inside the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center fieldhouse:

We tied up our offseason program and mandatory minicamp. We thought it went pretty well. We introduced a lot of things over the last couple weeks, especially this last period of the offseason program where we got down to football brass tacks. We installed a lot, on purpose, filled their heads with a lot to think about the next five, six weeks before we go to camp. I felt like it went really well.

On if it has been a rough stretch for receivers dropping passes and if he's concerned...

It was. There’s a couple factors there I think. One, we have a new offensive system, practically the entire side of the ball, except for the receivers coach, the new coaches on the staff. So there’s a lot of newness that way in just the installation. We’re relatively young. And we had some soft-tissues type stuff, some minor stuff, that kept guys out, so it limited their reps a little bit. I think all things considered, there’s a lot going on. Like I said, we’ve filled their heads to the brim with that and you may miss a little time, some may miss a little time with a strain here or there, that factors in.

But is that a concern? That may be a little strong. It’s still early. We’re in the installation phases. There is an orientation of sorts to our offense for the young guys to the NFL. There are a lot of factors going on and we’ll just keep pushing forward.

On if the team plans to sign Kellen Winslow…

We’ll talk about that. What’s nice about minicamp environments is you get three days. Unlike when you bring veterans in or street guys in for free agent workouts, you may get them out on the field for 45 minutes, an hour. In minicamps we get three days with them and we’ll get to teach them some things and see how they apply it. We thought Kellen did a nice job given the fact that you get off a plane, you get into a meeting and a couple hours later you’re out on the field. I think all things considered, he did a pretty good job.

On the contract status of the three unsigned draft picks…

We obviously continue to talk that through. We’re not really going to comment on negotiations, but we would anticipate having everybody there ready for training camp.

On if he anticipates Santonio Holmes missing training camp and preseason or regular season games…

We’re just taking those things a week at a time for him. The next five, six weeks are going to be important for him. He’s going to be around here rehabilitating. He’s been very diligent about that. We’ll just see where that goes. Hopefully by the time we reach camp or into camp we’ll have a lot more information, that’s for sure. I think this will be good time for Tone to continue his rehab to take it down the home stretch.

On if he asked Holmes to stay in New Jersey to rehab at the facility after minicamp…

Actually that’s voluntary time. That’s up to Tone. He’s been diligent about it. It’s important to him. Obviously, it’s important to us, so it’s nice to have him around.

On if he was "taken aback" when David Garrard wasn’t physically able to play anymore…

I don’t know if it’s taken aback. It’s more when you have a player that’s been out, he had the knee injury and coming off that, hadn’t had a chance to practice for any length of time, hadn’t been through game situations, so really hadn’t tested it. We both knew, we meaning the Jets and David, we both knew that there was the unknown there.

But he felt good, we felt good about it. We really didn’t get into full mode, but by the time we got into more football-type activities, then it started to surface. I don’t know that we were surprised. We were both hopeful. But that’s one of those things where you take a shot at it, you go through the paces and see where it leaves you.

On if he was aware of the severity of Garrard’s knee injury when they signed him…

Well, I didn’t sleep in a Holiday Inn [Express] last night, so I’m not going to play doctor [joking]. Seriously, though, we obviously do our homework whenever we sign players. Just generally speaking, we’ll go through the [medical] reports, we’ll go through durability concerns, we’ll go through everything, so yeah, we had a pretty thorough knowledge of what was going on.

On if they have thought about bringing in a veteran quarterback…

We just got through three pretty intensive days of competition. We’ll look at it at every position every single day. I know you guys have heard it before, but in order to improve, and right now we feel we have a pretty healthy competition going on at that position.

On the status of Mike Goodson

Mike Goodson is a New York Jet. So we’re continuing to develop him like all the others.

On Goodson’s legal situation and if he can guarantee he will make the team…

There are no guarantees in life. There are certainly no guarantees in the National Football League. But the legal situation, we'll just let it run its course and we'll respond accordingly. The same way with the league, the same way with the club. We’ll let things take their course.

On if the team was aware of Goodson’s background when he was signed…

We’re not going to comment on anything specific to any player. I would say, just generally speaking, that we do our homework. We do our homework with respect to medical concerns, we do our homework in respect to background checks and all that. We’re in a human business, so when you’re dealing with that there’s unpredictability. There’s always going to be a certain degree of risk or unpredictability with what we do. And we like to believe, based on the information we gather, we take calculated chances with players, with people and with employees, at the end of the day we’re going to get the type of people that we feel can help us.

On the Garrard and Goodson signings seeming like bad risks from the outside…

That’s from the outside. From the inside, we have a lot more information and we continue to gather that information. Some of those things will work out and some won’t. You just keep pushing, you keep prodding, you keep exploring for any opportunity you get to improve the club. So if that means signing a player of David Garrard’s ilk, bringing him in and giving him a chance and it’s a good chance for us, we’re going to take it, and we’ll see where it leads. I know there’s perception from the outside. We know what goes on from the inside and we’re good with it.

On the hiring of Rod Graves…

It’s exciting. I’ve know Rod since actually my teenage years. We were ballboys together back in the old Philadelphia Eagle days. We’ve known each other for a long, long time. We’ve known each other in different aspects, in scouting. He actually came through when I was coaching and I knew him back then. He was scouting a few of our players. I’ve known him side by side and in personnel circles, and of course in our time together in Arizona. I’m grateful to have him on board.

On the reversal of roles with Graves since he worked under Graves when Graves was the Arizona GM…

Yeah, role reversal, but I think we’re all teammates. That’s the way we look at it, that’s the way we looked at it in Arizona, that’s the way we look at it here. We’re all together. It’s nice to be teammates with Rod.

On contract negotiations with Geno Smith

Well, again, we’re not going to get into any contract discussions or negotiations. You know, nothing is standing in the way, but we won’t get into any specifics of what we talk about.

On his impressions of head coach Rex Ryan…

He’s been fantastic. From day one, I kind of jumped in midstride and we started hiring coaches together, interviewing and hiring coaches together, going to free agency, evaluating our roster, draft, postdraft signings, minicamps, now we’re getting into more football type things. In a very condensed period of time, we’ve had a lot of varied experience together and it’s all been good. He’s a joy to work with. As you guys know, he makes it fun. I think he’s been energized. He’s a great teacher. My observations have been that he’s been energized by the whole thing and certainly I have, too. It’s been a joy to work with him.

On his expectations for this season…

Our expectations are to not look too far ahead. I think there is a danger in that. We’re just going to take it a meeting at a time, a practice at a time, a day at a time, a week at a time, and keep pushing it forward and getting better. And I believe that’s happened this offseason. I think our fans have seen that this offseason, some of the moves we’ve made, going through the draft, the postdraft, now getting into minicamp practices. You’re going to have your learning curve, so to speak. I think we’ve made real progress. The team certainly feels it. We feel it. I trust that our fans will see that, too.

On if the team is better than the one he inherited…

Well, that’s tough. I’ve only been here five, six months. I don’t know if it’s a continuum of sorts. I just look at the team as we sit today. We’re pleased with the direction we’re headed.

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