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IDZIK: Ready to Start Anew and Get Rolling

Posted Feb 21, 2013

Transcript of general manager John Idzik's news conference Thursday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at the start of this year's NFL Combine workouts:

Good afternoon, I’m John Idzik with the Jets. [laughter] I’m glad to see all of you here and it’s good to be here. We’re kind of back in our element. We’re really just grinding and interviewing players and watching players, so this is a welcome site for a lot of us, the kickoff to a stretch run, so to speak, for our draft preparations.

I’ve been on the job with the Jets now for about a month and it’s been very productive for me and very enlightening. I’ve already spent a lot of time with Rex Ryan and his staff. We finished finalizing our coaching staff about two weeks into it. Then we spent a solid full week in the bunker with our pro [personnel] guys going over free agency, and of course our roster with the coaches. We finally spent a good portion of two weeks in the bunker with our college guys in preparation for the draft and the combine. I’m happy to be here today and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

On evaluating the unrestricted free agents on the roster…

Yeah, Shonn [Greene] is an unrestricted free agent and anywhere we have unrestricted free agents at running back, or offensive line or safety, we will certainly evaluate our own in comparison with what might be out there in free agency. We do spend a lot of time doing those positions.

On Darrelle Revis

Yeah, Darrelle Revis is obviously a great football player. He’s a great New York Jet. He’s a tremendous asset to our football team and our organization. With respect to clarity, I don’t know that anything has really changed because we’ve always wanted Darrelle to be a part of our team. That has never changed. I think there has been rumors or stories published and it’s really hard for me or anybody in our organization to speculate and answer to all rumors or stories that we hear. With respect to Darrelle, we’ve always wanted him to be a part of the New York Jets. Our focus with Darrelle right now is to aid him in any way we can with his rehab so he returns to the player we all know he is. As such, he will be a tremendous asset to us.

On if he will entertain trade offers for Revis …

Specifically Darrelle, I don’t think it’s something that’s limited to one person. With me and my job and Rex [Ryan] and everybody involved, we will always field calls and always have internal discussions about how we can improve our team day-to-day, position-by-position. That’s an ongoing process. That’s not isolated to any one player or any one position. That’s just something that we do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis particularly at this time when you’re going into free agency and the draft. There’s a lot of what-ifs, if you will, that we will be discussing internally.

On if another team presented an attractive offer…

I’m not going to get into speculation as a rule. I don’t think that’s too prudent to do that. Any player on our roster, we go forward with the assumption that they’re New York Jets until we are presented with a situation we have to evaluate. Right now, Darrelle Revis is a New York Jet. We’re proud to have him, we’re happy to have him, and he’s a tremendous asset to us. That’s how we’re going into this thing.

On if both the Jets and Revis are comfortable with the current situation…

I think you’d have to ask Darrelle that. I can’t speak for Darrelle. I can say from our perspective that we’re very comfortable with Darrelle as a New York Jet. Our focus is going to be on getting him back. He has a pretty significant injury to rehabilitate. I think that’s our focus right now is to get him back to the level he was playing at before so he can help us.

On the difficulty of setting trade parameters for big-name players...

I don’t know that it’s tougher to gauge. Trade value is always a two-way street. You can do it one way, but obviously, if you’re entertaining a trade for any player, it’s what the others perceive. Again, we’re not privy to that until those discussions would happen.

From our standpoint, Darrelle Revis is a New York Jet. We’re glad he’s a New York Jet. We want to help him get healthy and I look forward to getting him back in the building. With this dead period in the offseason, you feel empty, I was able to send out an introductory letter to our players but we’re limited on what we can say. I can’t wait to see Darrelle in the building, I can’t wait to see his teammates in the building so we can get this thing going. We’re really excited to do that.

On trade speculations…

I don’t want to get into speculation, but again I think you can understand it and respect it that we won’t ever get into contractual discussions publicly. We won’t get into speculations publicly but we will deal with the here and now. I think that’s the most truthful way. Otherwise, it can be very misleading and we don’t want to do that.

On if the team’s preference is for Revis to rehab in New Jersey…

Whatever is best for Darrelle, and we’ll talk that through with him. Again, if he feels comfortable rehabbing where he is, what we want is a good end result just like Darrelle does. What’s good for Darrelle is good for the New York Jets. Obviously, the more time we spend with Darrelle one-on-one is a good thing.

I think as we get into the offseason program, it is all voluntary, but you would hope that most of your players want to be there and be in the building and get the juices flowing with our staff and everybody that we have. We have a fine medical staff. We have a great training staff. We have tremendous facilities so we feel that we have a lot to offer Darrelle and all of our players. We would hope that they would be there.

But at the end of the day, it's what’s best for Darrelle. How can we get him to clear medically and get back to the field to where he was before as quickly as possible.  

On if the Jets want to extend Revis' contract...

Again, I'll never get into contractual situations publicly and I hope you can respect that. Again, suffice it to say Darrelle Revis is a great player, he's a great New York Jet. We're in the business quite simply of acquiring, developing and maintaining great players. Darrelle Revis certainly fits that mold. We're happy to have Darrelle as a Jet and we hope to have Darrelle as a Jet.

On improving the roster by going after needs while creating competition at other positions...

I don't think you isolate it to any one or a few positions. We're going to have a general mantra here with the New York Jets and it's going to be "Competition Through and Through." That's going to be true this year in 2013 as we enter free agency, it's going to be true as we go into the draft, it's going to be true as we come out of the draft, it's going to be true as we go into training camp and into the regular season. And if we have success and we win a championship, it'll be true after we win a championship.

I think it's going to be something constant, and that's that we want true competition at every single position. And are there positions of need? Of course. There are positions of need that you're going to focus on. But I just want to give the flavor of what we're going to be about. Even if you think there's an incumbent, we don't want complacency. We want the type of players that even if they're arrived in this league and are performing at a high level, it's inherent in them to thrive on competition, and we're going to try to provide that to them. But yes, we'll focus on need positions.

On what surprised him about the reaction to his remarks about Revis back at his introductory news conference...

I guess the magnitude of the story that quite honestly I didn't think was that big, because I think it was pretty apparent from my standpoint and certainly from Rex's standpoint that Darrelle Revis is a highly valued player for us. And for that to surface when it did, it was literally my first day on the job. I just had walked into the building and I kind of joked that I was trying to find my office. That to me [did not allow] in much credence. We didn't even have a chance to get know each other as a staff much less dive down into specific players and situations. So it's been a rather dominant topic but hopefully everyone knows by now how highly we value Darrelle.

On evaluating Mark Sanchez after the 2012 season...

I don't limit it to last year. I think it's a full book. Mark Sanchez has been in the league for a couple of years, and I think everyone, Mark included, recognizes that he, our offense — shoot, our team as a whole — has to perform better than we did in 2012. And we're going to do that. We're going to do everything to increase the competition so that he plays better. We've got a new offensive coordinator, we have a new quarterback coach, we have staff changes that I think will be healthy for Mark and so that we can again get the juices flowing and turn the page into 2013, not look back to 2012, start anew and get rolling.

On the attributes he and Rex Ryan want in the Jets' offense and team in 2013...

We speak about it on a daily, hourly basis. I think Rex coined the phrase and it's pretty effective: Play Like a Jet. And I think what he means by that is, as I'm going through free agency meetings and we're reading reports on our New York Jets and reading reports on prospective free agents and we spend a lot of time reading reports on all these draft-eligible players, that's a constant phrase that we have. It's something we want embedded in everyone that's on our team and specifically those that are evaluating players is play like a Jet.

I think what it means is it's really a reflection of him, [but] it is a reflection of the New York Jets and how we're going to be. We're going to be attacking, we're going to be aggressive, we're going to be physical, we're going to play smart. There's a litany of very key adjectives that we have for the type of player, the type of people, the type of scout, the type of coaches we want in our organization. And that's reflective of how Rex is, and I think that's why he's an excellent leader to have to spearhead that charge.

On if the Jets might use their franchise tag on a veteran in the coming weeks...

Again, I hope you would respect the fact that we're not going to lay our plans out publicly, but we do have a number of unrestricted free agents, a few restricted free agents. We'll give them a lot of inspection between now and March 12, the opening of the 2013 league year, and first of all determine who we want back, what are our alternatives, either potentially through free agency or the draft, and lay it all together. As far as specific tags or what-not, I'd rather not get into that publicly.

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