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Jets-Dolphins Postgame Interviews

Posted Jan 1, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' locker room at Sun Life Stadium following their 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon:


Obviously a tough loss to explain. You know, you give up nine points on three three-and-outs, that’s never a good thing. You've got to really credit Miami, though. They did a great job. Their kicker, [Dan] Carpenter — man, he was tremendous. He hit that 57-yarder into the wind. I think that gave them some momentum into halftime. Then they made some plays. Their three interceptions obviously were backbreakers. Again, they played well. They had a good game. They deserve to win. They made more plays than we did.

On Santonio Holmes not playing in the Jets’ last offensive series...

I looked out there and was wondering why he wasn’t out there myself, so I did not bench Santonio. You’ll have to ask him.

On if Holmes removed himself from the game at that time...

That’s my understanding. I wasn’t sure. I’m trying to follow the play and I noticed he wasn’t in there. Somebody told me that he was on the bench.

On if he noticed that Holmes had gotten into a verbal altercation with a teammate in the huddle...

No, I did not.

On if he was bothered that Holmes pulled himself out of the game, especially with possible playoff implications...

I’d hate to comment on it because I never saw it, guys. Maybe I’ll see it and talk to people about it. I’d rather not really comment about it until I know the particulars. I know he was on the bench when I asked where he was. That’s as far as I know. I don’t have any idea if it was injury-related or what it was. So I guess you’d have to ask Santonio.

On his thoughts about the season, especially with such high expectations...

That’s my responsibility. I’ll shoulder the blame — 8-8 is clearly not what we are trying to get to. We have to look at every aspect of our team, ask ourselves how can we get better. And we’ll do that. We don’t want to be average. We all know what we’re chasing. Clearly we’re not there yet and we've got to come up with answers. That’s what I’ve got to do.

On if after today’s game his confidence in Mark Sanchez is shaken...

I’ve told you guys I think he’s the long-term solution. I don’t think there’s any doubt. He’s won a lot of games for us and things. We had three interceptions today — two of them by defensive lineman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. That’s hard to explain. I know Mark. I think he’s got all the tools to be a great quarterback. He’s been a winning quarterback here. We've got to make sure we’re doing everything we can for the New York Jets to be successful.

On if he believes Sanchez has regressed...

Well, today wasn’t his best outing, let me put it that way. He was involved, I think, in 32 touchdowns this year and he had, I think, 18 interceptions. The numbers, we're going to look into it. Our biggest thing that we care about is wins. Obviously we never won enough to get into the playoffs and it’s my responsibility.

On with all of the turnovers and penalties, how much the team hurt itself in the game...

To the Dolphins' credit they had a 99-yard drive, or whatever it was. Seemed like a 21-minute drive. I don’t think it was but it seemed like it. Twenty-one plays, I think — it was ridiculous. We couldn’t get off the field on third down. And then offensively we had the false starts, we kept putting ourselves in a hole, we had a facemask penalty, we had different things. Every time you do that you make it difficult on yourself. At times we really moved the football. We averaged 4.8 a carry. I think that’s impressive. At times we look good. But you keep shooting yourself in the foot, those things are hard to overcome.

On a report that he is planning on revamping his offensive coaching staff...

[Chuckles] You know what’s great is, it’s interesting that those reports are out there. Somebody’s throwing darts or something like that. There’s only three people that make decisions for this organization. That person who reported it is guessing or something like that. I don’t know what to tell you.

On the changes he intends to make in the offseason...

I’m always going to chase the Super Bowl. I know I get criticized for it beyond belief and all that stuff. But if you don’t then you’re probably a loser, OK? I’m not a loser. If people don’t have the guts or courage to put it out there, then so be it, that’s on them. I will always chase the Super Bowl. I believe we’ll win the Super Bowl and I’ll believe it for the next 15 years. So you can get all the articles out that you want, that’s fine and dandy. But for me I’ll find a way to make this team better. We will, there’s no question about it. Mike Tannenbaum is the general manager. We’re side by side, and believe me, we will always do what’s in the best interest of this football team regarding every situation.

On what his team was lacking this year and what he’ll try to improve on...

We've got a lot of time to look at it. Up until this point we’re in the business to try to win games. Now’s the time we've got to look back, look at our football team, see how we can make improvements and always do what’s in the best interest of our team with the fact that we’re trying to win, we’re trying to get in the playoffs, and ultimately we’re chasing the Super Bowl.

On his emotional state after the game...

Anytime you lose, I’m not happy with it. Never. I’m not happy when we lose a preseason game, so you probably see the same emotions when we lose a preseason game. I don’t like to lose. To me it’s unacceptable. You've got to find ways to win games and that’s my job.


On the second interception he threw...

JT [Jason Taylor] got some pressure on me, I was trying to get rid of the ball, save the sack and throw it outside to John Conner and Randy Starks was just right there. To get intercepted three times on checkdowns is frustrating and it’s pretty rare. I have to go back and see whether it was an accuracy issue or maybe just take the sack on that one, but we were really trying to avoid sacks at all costs. It was really too bad but it was a good play by JT and Starks happened to be right there.

On the three interceptions being on checkdown plays...

That’s the first time I’ve ever had that happen. I’ve got to look at the film and see what occurred there. I think the third one down in the red zone, at least just give ourselves a chance on the next down. Even if it’s fourth down we know we’re probably going to end up going for it so you don’t want to give one up like that. I might have thrown it behind Shonn [Greene] a little bit, we’ll see it on the tape. But it was really too bad because we played well at times and in spurts, which is the story of the season. We played well in spurts but just not consistent enough to win and I’ve got to play better for us to win. I can’t throw it to them three times.

On what he took away from Coach Ryan’s message to the team after the game...

I think that it’s important anytime the season ends, whether you win your last game and the Super Bowl or you lose the AFC Championship game, or you lose and you don’t go to the playoffs, you’ve got to figure out how you can help this team. You’ve got to ask yourself the tough questions and figure out what you did well and reinforce that, but obviously what you can clean up. Whether it’s taking care of the ball, or footwork, your pocket movement or your decisions down the field, those are all important things speaking from the quarterback perspective.

I hope guys take that to heart, I think that’s important and I think it was the right message because as this offseason starts you have to improve individually first. Then you come back together for the eight or nine weeks that we are together and then improve collectively and bring those improvements that you made on your own back to the team setting. That will be our goal and we’ll come back stronger and better next year. We know we can and we’ll get things right. It doesn’t feel good now, obviously, but I have a lot of confidence and faith in this organization and with the players in it, so we’ll be just fine.

On what happened in the huddle with Santonio Holmes...

The only thing I’ll say about that is that it’s an emotional game. The stuff in the huddle, I don’t really talk about that publicly. That’s kind our thing on the field and I don’t really want to say too much about it. That’s really for those guys in the huddle.

On if he feels like he needs to work on his confidence level...

No. I’m confident that we can win. I’m confident that we can win the game after the third interception. We’re rolling down the field and we get a touchdown, I’m confident and there’s no lack there. You can always work on fundamentals, your footwork and reinforce the good things that we did. We scored down in the red zone most of the time during the season and having our best red zone production year as a team and personally. There’s a lot of good things from the season, it’s just the consistency part that’s got to get better, and we will. We’ll all work individually and get better as a team when we get back together.

On how difficult it was for the team with Holmes being a team captain and leader...

I’m not going to talk about that too much. I’m just going to try to stay positive here and talk about the good things from the game and how well we played in spurts. We just weren’t consistent enough.

On if he’ll talk to Holmes...

Of course we’ll talk and I’ll talk to a bunch of guys about the season. What their thoughts are and how they view how the season went and what their personal opinions are of things and the way they went, winning and losing and how close we were. It’s not just Santonio, we all want to talk about it and discuss those things.

On if Holmes was yelling at him...

Like I said, there’s a real emotional side of this game and when it happens in the huddle, it’s really for those guys in the huddle and I’m not going to expound upon that.

On if he was surprised Holmes was taken out...

I don’t know what happened there. We were in the middle of a two minute drill and we’ve got to keep playing. A couple of plays he was in and a couple of plays PT [Patrick Turner] came in and ended up catching a touchdown so I don’t know what happened.

On if he feels they have the pieces to be a championship team...

Absolutely, I just think we weren’t consistent enough. We really weren’t. Through the season we really hurt ourselves, whether it was turnovers like today that are on me, three of them, or penalties or incompletions. Whatever it is, we just didn’t seem to do it on a consistent basis and the last two years we did find a way to do that. We have a lot of talent. We have guys that can make plays, we have guys that can create after the catch, we have guys that can block up front and we have running backs that can really run the rock. We just didn’t play our very best.

On if he feels like the team lost confidence in him...

I don’t think so but I think that’s something you’ll have to ask those guys. You saw the way the guys were playing in that last drive we had. It was probably one of the best drives of the game after three turnovers. I think that if there was any lack of confidence there we might not have been able to drive the ball down the field. Guys still want to play and want to win and they know that I’ll keep fighting for them and keep playing hard.


On failing to reach the playoffs...

Obviously we have kind of slid in the past couple of years and we’ve had a nice little run. For [Jets Head Coach] Rex [Ryan] and [owner] Woody Johnson especially, and the rest of this team, guys like LT [LaDainian Tomlinson], it’s really disappointing. We’d like to at least get in the playoffs for those guys.

On the conflict in the huddle involving Santonio Holmes...

I’m not going there. I really don’t know the whole story of anything with the stuff that went on in the huddle so I can’t really comment on it. I don’t want to say something that’s not true so I am just not going to go there.

On the penalties committed by the offense...

We got a different look from their defense. We have a lot of plays that can be changed at the line of scrimmage and it kind of seemed like we’d be going through the cadence and when we’d get real late in the cadence and the offensive line is waiting for the next rhythm to hear, they would jump and get ready to block for Mark [Sanchez]. The Dolphins would adjust their defensive front at the last second so Mark would try to adjust the play and you can’t hear very well. We made those adjustments and we didn’t have as many of those false starts in the second half.

On the frustration of not meeting expectations set during last summer...

It’s very frustrating. We had higher expectations than anyone in the NFL I’d say, or at least anyone that was willing to talk about it. To not even make it into the playoffs when our goal is to win the Super Bowl is just really frustrating. Obviously as a player you want to compete at the highest level and that is the Super Bowl. You want to do it for all your teammates. You want to do it for Rex [Ryan] who has our backs 100 percent and for Woody Johnson that gives us anything we could ever need to be a Super Bowl team. It’s just really disappointing.

On Rex Ryan’s postgame comments in the locker room...

He talked about each guy needing to take a long look in the mirror during the offseason and evaluate themselves as an individual player and as a teammate. We have a lot of great players on this team but next year we definitely have to come back better as a team. You can have all the greatest individuals in the world but if they’re not great team players, you’re not going to win anything.

On what the Jets were missing this season...

Finishing, finishing for sure. The penalties in the first half definitely killed us. Turnovers, all that stuff just killed us. It all added up to one bad conclusion.

On rebuilding team unity during the offseason...

Obviously it’s a long process and it’s going to take us meeting in the offseason even when we’re not supposed to. We have to have guys that are buying into the system. Everybody has to be on the same page. Everybody has to want the same thing. We had that the last couple of years but just came up a little short of our goals. This year, at times I felt like we had it but at times I felt like we didn’t. From start to finish, we have to be a team.

On when he felt the team losing its season...

It’s crazy because I never felt like we were losing it. I felt like we always had a chance and we did. Even today we still had a chance. I don’t know what happened with the other games but we had the chance. By losing this game, we gave ourselves no chance at all.

On the notion that all 53 players aren’t working together...

There’s not [a noticeable problem]. That’s one of the issues. You can’t just pinpoint one thing. You are not going to blame one player either. We’re all in this together and you can’t blame it on any one thing. You can’t say that it’s because this group didn’t do that. That’s what makes it even more frustrating is that you can point out what the real issue is.

On the league’s perception of the Jets given their swagger...

There may be. That’s the way that Rex does it and he’s not going to change. As players, we have to do a better job of backing him up and unfortunately this year, we really didn’t.


On reaching a career milestone during a loss...

It was something I actually wanted to do, you know. It’s good to get that individual goal. But it is disappointing teamwise, that we came up short and are not making the playoffs this year.

On the game being so close to pull out...

We felt like we were in control of the game almost the whole time. That long drive where they kept the ball the third quarter almost into the fourth quarter. I think that switched the momentum. We took the lead, but still at that point, we still felt like we had a great chance. We were moving the ball pretty good. We weren’t putting it in the end zone but we were moving the ball well. It was positive that we continued to move the ball.

On the play near the end zone where Dolphins LB Marvin Mitchell made a play...

It was a missed opportunity. That’s something we worked on all week. We knew what kind of coverage they would play. We just missed the opportunity. Usually, when you miss opportunities like that, it comes back to bite you.

On Mark Sanchez’s performance and if he is the Jets quarterback of the future...

I can’t answer that question. I don’t make decisions around here. You know, but I know the guys in this locker room are behind him. They play hard for him. They want him to be successful. And that’s all I can say about that.

On his plans for next year...

I’m just going to leave it up to see what happens. I’m not going to say yes or no. Because at this point I’m emotional and I do not want to say anything just off emotion. So I’m going to take a couple weeks. Talk about it with my family, see what my agent has to say, and make a decision from there.

On the verbal scuffle in the huddle...

Let me just say there were some guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone [Jets WR Santonio Holmes]'s demeanor. When you have a group of guys that’s fighting their butts off, and one guy, for whatever reason, their demeanor’s not with them, you’re going to get some guys to say something to him and tell them how they feel. That’s what you got today.

On what was said...

Yeah, things like "Come on man, let’s go." Just that type of thing.

On his perspective as a veteran leader...

I’ll tell you what, it’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. You're a captain, guys looking at you. You've got to lead by example. You've got to play your tail off until the last play. And when that doesn’t happen, you will have guys look at you in the way that captains shouldn’t be looked at. You should always put yourself out there as a leader.

On why Holmes was upset...

You know what, that’s something you’re going to have to talk to Tone about. He didn’t say anything. I think, once again, it’s demeanor. Body language tells players everything. I think that’s what it was.

On how he would describe the demeanor and body language...

Not really into the game. Just feeling like it’s over. Feeling sorry for themselves. That type of thing.

On if it was the bad passing game that got to him...

I have no idea, honestly. I have no idea. But even if it was, we were still in the game. We were still in the game.

On advice he wants to give Holmes...

My advice to him, I’m going to talk to him. We’re going to keep it between us, the advice I’m going to give him. I don’t want to put it out in the media, the stuff I will tell Tone. But we will have a conversation.

On what is holding this team back considering the high expectations going into the season...

Whenever you don’t win, the problems you’re having start to creep in and peek their heads out. When you’re winning, everybody squashes them because guys say, "Well, we’re winning, I’m not going to worry about that, we’re winning." But as soon as you start losing, that’s when things start to happen. So you know, that’s all a part of a team, but you don’t want it to get to a certain point where it affects the locker room.

On the difference he sees in Sanchez this year compared to last year...

I do believe he has tried to make the strides as far as knowing when to take chances and when not to take chances. We have guys who know that concept of the offense and what everyone is doing. Taking his game to the next level as far as getting us in the right place and what have you, and really being able to take in the whole entire playbook. So that’s the progress Mark has made.

On ending the season this way and his expectations...

It’s disappointing to say the least. Because I'm at a loss for words as far as what to say about that. It’s just disappointing. We still had an opportunity to finish strong and we didn’t do that today. It was very disappointing the way we did it.

On what happened to this team over the course of the year...

I think it’s a little bit to go around, obviously. But we didn’t perform in the big games like we were supposed to, the wins we needed to get. We lost to the Patriots twice. We were terrible on the road. A team like that can’t make it to the playoffs. You have to be able to win road games. You have to be able to win in your division. We split in our division as far as splitting with Miami, we went 3-3, so we’re not going to make it to the playoffs like that.

On how much time he will take with his family to decide his future...

I’m not sure. I’m sure it will be three weeks, four weeks maybe. We just need to see what happens, because that will determine if I continue to play. The situation, as you guys know, when I first came here, I wanted to come to a team that obviously was going to be a contender. That’s not going to change. If that opportunity really doesn’t present itself, then you will know what’s next. I won’t be playing. Right now I’m emotional. I do not want to make an emotional decision if I’m going to continue to play or not. That’s not fair to my family and everyone who knows me. I just need to take time to calm down and get my thought process back right.


On the plays he made today...

We made a lot of plays and still lost.

On where the team goes from here...


On his goals going into next year...

Just to be better than I was this year.


On the loss to the Dolphins...

We made the adjustments we needed to make at halftime. We were playing well, but in the second half we just fell apart.

On if he is stunned the season is over...

This can happen. These types of things can happen. It’s very upsetting, but you can only do your job. If you do your individual job then it bounces collectively to the team. This year was up and down for us a lot. You need that unity and I think sometimes we didn’t have that unity as a whole to finish out this season the right way we wanted to.

On the offseason...

As we move forward as a team there are going to be changes. You are going to see some different faces and then you just move forward and look forward to next year or actually this year since its 2012. Let’s move forward and focus as a team.


On how disappointed he is at how the Jets' season turned out...

It’s definitely disappointing. The thing is, a rivalry like Miami, you want to come out and put your best effort forward. That’s what’s disappointing. We needed to do our part and win the game so we had a chance. We weren’t able to do our part and win.

On the team embracing the Dolphins' Jason Taylor after the game...

Well you know, Jason was a teammate and we’re happy for him. He’s a great teammate, a great guy. They get a victory on his last game and we’re happy for him.


On thoughts about loss of last week’s game and today’s game...

I mean, we’re done. It’s frustrating. The season is over.

On if the entire season was a disappointment...

It was definitely disappointing. We didn’t accomplish our goal. We didn’t make it to the playoffs. We didn’t even get close to our goal of making it to the Super Bowl so it was disappointing.

On personal goals for next season...

It’s too soon to think about it right now.


On the Dolphins’ offense and his interception...

I think we played well the first half. The second half we played pretty well but they got that one long drive and I think that was kind of a turn in the game. Also, I think with my interception the QB just read it wrong. He thought I was just staying inside but I went outside and we were actually in 2-man. But overall their offense at the end of the game, they executed and they did what they needed to do to win the game.

On looking at the season and what they need to work on to get better next season...

I think it all comes out to every individual looking at the film and seeing what he can do better. I think if every guy takes it upon himself to do what they need to do in order to get better we would be a lot better.

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