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Jets-Giants Postgame Interviews

Posted Dec 25, 2011

Transcripts of news conferences and locker room interviews following the Jets' 29-14 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Saturday afternoon:


First off, we have to give the Giants all the credit. They played a great game. Five quarterback sacks, a couple of interceptions, fumble recoveries. They really got after us on defense. Then offensively, they made some huge plays. That was pretty much it. They certainly deserve the credit. They were definitely the better team this year. Clearly, I was wrong. I will take the responsibility. It is on my shoulders and it should be. That’s just the way it is.

On how demoralizing Victor Cruz’s touchdown was…

Well, when he threw into double coverage, it was pretty demoralizing. They had 80 yards up until that point, if that. We had it in control. He threw it into double coverage and we missed a couple of tackles. The young man did a great job. He is a Jet killer, it seems, ever since that preseason game when we never know if he was a receiver or what. He showed today that he is a heck of a receiver and I give him all the credit.

On the number of Jets pass attempts…

We're not going to beat anyone if you throw it that many times, that's for sure. We averaged 4.3 [yards] a carry, we were running the ball effectively, but you fall behind like that and are behind a couple of scores, you have to speed it up and that’s why we did it. Obviously, we were really not built to play that game but it is what it is.

On if the plan was to attack via the pass…

No, that was not our plan. We thought we’d be able to run the ball on them. We liked some of our matchups that we had, but obviously we don’t go into a game planning on throwing it that many times.

On playoff aspirations being impacted…

I would say so. I am not going to say we are out of it, or maybe I should, but clearly if you don’t win this football game, it’s not in your control anymore. A lot of things have to happen. All I can say is we're going to compete to win. We're going to go down to Miami, they’re going to get our best shot and we’ll see if it is good enough and then we will see what happens, if we can make it or not. But clearly we lost control of our own destiny.

On if the Giants did anything differently in the second half to generate more pass rush…

Not really. They rushed the passer the way the Giants do with the front four. They did put some blitzes in but really it was their front four that played consistent pass rush. You fall behind like that in a clear passing situation, that’s when teams can tee off and they certainly did.

On if the team is as dejected as he is…

I'm sure they are. We're trying to fight for our playoff lives and so were the Giants. The Giants did a better job than we did. Tom Coughlin deserves all the credit. They were the best team in New York, at least this year.

On how he would evaluate Mark Sanchez’s play…

I think he got harassed. There were times when he looked outstanding and there were times that weren’t so good. I think you can say that really with all of us. When you are under that kind of pressure, it is tough to look good and that defensive line certainly deserves some credit.

On penalties…

Ten penalties are ridiculous. We had some that were just 5-yard penalties but those are huge. Again, that’s where you have to give them credit and give Tom Coughlin credit. His team wasn’t penalized nearly as much as our team was and that’s my responsibility.

On if his comment about not being built to throw 60 times a game was a reflection on Sanchez…

We’re not one of those teams that throw it. We can run the football. We threw it 60 times or I guess 64 times if you count the five sacks or whatever it is. Clearly that’s not who we want to be. We want to be more balanced. We know we can run the football. We’d like to be able to have it reversed. I’d love to see 60 rushing attempts.

On the offensive line…

I thought we did a decent job in the first half but it’s tough when you throw it that many times. I think that’s when you get exposed in a lot of 1-on-1 situations, and to the Giants' credit they won their fair share of them. It’s a team effort. It certainly wasn’t our offensive line’s fault. I think you have to credit the opponent.

On the decision to go for an onsides kick following the safety late in the fourth quarter…

We had the two-minute warning and one timeout but I just figured we had to give ourselves another opportunity to get the football and that’s why I went for the onsides kick.

On Giants RB Brandon Jacobs’ comments about him prior to the game…

We had a private conversation. That’s all I’ll leave it as. He doesn’t like me. I respect him, but I couldn’t care less about him.

On if the offense could have been more balanced late in the fourth quarter…

We could have but we thought we were able to move the ball when we were in the no-huddle. We did it right before the half but missed the field goal. We moved it down there again and got a touchdown so I thought we were able to move the ball pretty effectively in that situation. That’s why we stayed with it. Plus it gave us the possibility of having another possession.

On if he regrets all the talk leading up to this week’s game and saying whatever came to his mind during the week…

It wasn’t just a thing that came to my mind. I don’t want to be the second-best team in this city. No chance. I’m not signing up for that. We’ll play them again. We’d be more than happy to go play them right now, but we’re going to have to wait four years. I’d like to play them again this year, but we’ll see. That’s a good football team. I’m never going to concede anything. I will concede that they were better today. No question about it. They did a better job coaching and all that stuff and that’s where it starts.

I’ve said a lot of good things about Tom Coughlin before and it’s because I mean them. He’s a heck of a football coach. We did get another opportunity to be down one score when we got the interception. I thought that was a bit of a surprise that they threw it. We had some opportunities but we just didn’t come up with the victory today.


On no longer controlling their playoff destiny…

We had a good opportunity to control our own destiny. It’s completely our fault. Hats off to the Giants for playing better than us and earning the victory. We just had too many mistakes. You hate having to watch other teams and seeing what happens and hoping for certain teams to win. We had a chance to control our own destiny. That’s never a good thing, but at the same time, we’re mathematically still in it. That’s the way we have to approach it. We have to win our game. That’s the one thing we can control. After that, we’ll see what happens.

On what happened offensively after their first scoring drive…

We just made too many mistakes, whether it was down on the goal line or fumbling the snap. That can’t happen. There was miscommunication between JK [Jeremy Kerley] and me down the field. I was thinking one thing, he was thinking another and then it was [Kenny] Phillips back there making a great play. Those things can’t happen.

It looked like we had a little momentum going into halftime. We got down close enough for a field goal. I probably could have run closer on one and given us another chance at a first down. We were well within field goal range and converted there.

Third down overall was poor. We had poor execution on third down. I don’t remember the final number, but I think we had 21 chances and I don’t remember the conversions [4-for-21].

On what their plan was offensively going into the game…

I think the situations for us dictated the pass later in the game. That’s why the numbers were so high. If you’re looking at the third quarter, I think there were two or three straight series we went three-and-out and I left a lot of completions out there. I missed a couple of throws accuracy-wise and physically. We just missed some things in the passing game and that can’t happen when you’re playing a good defense like that. When they leave a couple of zones open, you have to capitalize and we didn’t do that. That led to having to throw the ball late.

We drove the ball down the field a couple of times. When we got the ball back with five minutes left, people are saying, “Why don’t you run the ball? Why don’t you run the ball?” It’s easy to say that now, but we had just driven the ball all the way down the field throwing the heck out of it. We were going with what was working. If you look back, who knows what could have happened if we kept running, but that’s not fair. That’s not fair to Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer]. I thought he called a great game. We just didn’t execute the plays that were called.

On if his shoulder affected his play…

I think I lost my base a little bit on a couple of throws. They had a good pass rush and their front four did a great job. I just have to be better in the pocket and set my feet into some of those throws and be more accurate.

On if his shoulder is feeling OK…

Oh, yes, I’m feeling great.

On if he suffered any new injuries…

No, sir.

On if he was checked for a concussion…

No, sir. Are you asking if I had a concussion? They just came in to talk to me. I guess they have someone in the booth who calls down and says, “He got hit in the head. Talk to him.” I was in the middle of talking to Schotty about plays, so the doctor looked at me and asked, “Are you OK?” I said, "Yes, I’m fine." He asked if I was dizzy and I said no. I guess, technically, that was a check.

On what happened on the fumbled snap…

Nick [Mangold] took the blame for it, but that’s really on both of us. That can’t happen, not in a crucial situation like that. We’ll look at the film and see what happened. That was really too bad because we had a good opportunity to score. We ended up getting the ball right back and it keeps us in the game, but that could have helped us get the lead. We really let one go there on the goal line.

On what the Giants secondary did to take Plaxico Burress out of the game…

They read some things pretty well. They played well in their zones and dropped out underneath in coverage. They were trying to pressure the back a little, too. They changed up their looks quite a bit and they did a great job with their schemes. Hats off to them and their defensive coordinator.

On the miscommunication between him and Kerley on the interception…

I’m not going to get into it too much. He’s a great player. That’s something we’ll work through. We have to be better than that. It’s something where we need to make sure we all know what we’re doing.

On how much he takes this loss on his shoulders…

At the end of the game, people will point to those last couple drives. But we were in it at the end. That third quarter and the tail end of the second quarter, we really did lose momentum. Not scoring at the end of the half to tie it up, that hurts. Then coming out in the third quarter and going oh-for-my-first-seven-passes or something like that, that digs a pretty big hole for your defense when you keep going three-and-out like that. It really makes your offense stagnant.

That’s where we lost the game, in my opinion. That’s where we missed some real opportunities to at least change field position; at least back them up and maybe they’d make a mistake or something. We can’t just keep missing throws like that, missing third-down conversions. At the end of the game, we’re usually better than what we were today. It just didn’t pan out for us. We’re going to do our best down in Miami and make some corrections from this game, celebrate this holiday, get away from it for 24 hours, get right back in it and see what happens.

On the looks the Giants gave the offense…

They had some good pressures but nothing crazy front-wise. I think their corners started to feel what we were doing. Once we threw the ball, we were throwing the ball so much. They did a good job just staying on top of routes, trying to read me and see when I was throwing inside or underneath. Really, jumping on those routes and being ready to rally to the football. Both corners played great, [Corey] Webster and [Aaron] Ross played great. It was a good challenge for us. Unfortunately, they got the best of us today, but they deserved to win.

On Rex Ryan taking the burden for the loss….

The head coach and the quarterback, we get the blame for a lot of this stuff. That’s the position we’re in. I’m OK with that. I need to play better anyway, we all need to. Rex understands that he put a lot out there. He was really excited about this game. These last two games really were must-wins. So was last week. We just missed some opportunities, we didn’t execute when we needed to.

The head coach and the quarterback get the blame, but that’s part of the position. If you can be the head coach and the quarterback when you’re on your way to the AFC Championship Game and ripping off wins in the playoffs on the road, it has to be balanced and it has to be fair. That’s fine. You have to be leaders in both situations and that’s what we’ll do.

On getting the ball back late in a one-possession game...

It’s right there. When we got the ball back from the defense when they stopped them three-and-out real quick, we missed a screen pass. They sniffed it out pretty good. Then the next two incompletions, that really hurt us having to punt the ball right back without really moving the ball down the field and getting into scoring position. That hurt. Then the safety was the final deal. Really, that’s too bad. I thought we had a good chance, even after a lot of mistakes. OK. We’ll be right back in this thing and hopefully things work out for us. But we have to win down in Miami.

On playing Miami…

We always know when we play Miami, they’re a great team, they’re going to be well-coached. That rivalry is intense. They always play with a lot of passion and this week will be no different whether they’re playing for the playoffs or not. They want to beat the Jets and we want to beat the Dolphins. That’s the way it goes. It's going to be a good challenge, it's not going to be anything easy down there, so we’re going to have to play well.

On if he would have done anything differently on the fourth quarter safety…

If I hold onto the ball it's a safety anyway.

On if he felt the play was a safety…

I couldn’t see if I was totally in the end zone. I was trying to just get rid of it as fast as possible, hopefully on the 1[-yard line]. Anytime it's close like that, they’re going to go with a safety, I’m sure.


On his thoughts about the game…

This was a big game for us. In big games you can’t make mistakes. As well as we did play on defense, there were a couple of plays that we gave to them. The Giants took advantage of our mistakes.

On Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz…

He’s a good receiver. He had the best day with three catches for 164 yards. He had some big runs after the catch. He scored and he did what he had to do.

On Cruz’s 99-yard touchdown…

You never think a play is going to happen like that. We have to be better. We can’t miss tackles and we just have to get the guy on the ground.

On David Harris’ interception…

At that time, we really regained momentum back. We needed a key play and that’s what we were talking about on defense is trying to get a turnover. We wanted to get the ball back to the offense.

On what they need to improve after today…

We made mistakes. Around November and December, we can’t be making mistakes. That is what is comes down to. We need to be more consistent and do our job.


On how much this loss hurts because it was to the Giants…

I just wanted to win the game. It didn’t matter who we were playing. We needed this game to get to the playoffs and it just happened to be my old team. Like I said, we just didn’t get it done today.

On losing two straight games…

We’re just going out, laying it on the line. For some reason, we go to practice and everything looks good and we come out to the game and it doesn’t go as well as we were hoping. You just have to keep pushing and keep working when things aren’t going the way that you would like and hopefully get better. We kind of came out and got off to a fast start like we wanted to, and just really couldn’t get into a rhythm from then on.

On playing against his former teammates…

They know me. I think they know what kind of player I am, the coaches also. I think they were weary of me going down the field and making plays. They weren’t going to let it happen. We had it a couple of times in the second quarter where I caught the ball out of bounds, where we caught them in some single coverages, but for the most part they were just really in a lot of doubles on the outside, just really weren’t going to let me get into a groove.

On no longer having control of the playoff picture…

You can’t blame nobody but yourself. We let it get away from us. Everybody came into this season 0-0 and the first goal was to win the division, get homefield advantage, and we didn’t accomplish any of that. So you just have to be an evaluator of yourself and go back and get better.


On the offensive playcalling…

As players, all we can do is try to execute the play that is called. We're not in the business of complaining about playcalling. For me, I can't worry about stuff like that because you get affected by other things. You start saying, "Well, we need to run the ball" or whatever it may be, and you get affected by throwing the ball. We have to try and execute whatever play is called and never question the playcalling.

On the passing game...

We thought we had favorable matchups with them. We felt like we could throw the ball on them and make some yards that way, along with mixing in the run. It didn't happen that way.

On the Jets no longer controlling their playoff destiny...

That was something we talked about. We knew what was in front of us. Usually we play well when we have our backs against the wall and we have to win. We didn't today and it's disappointing. I'm not going to lie to you, it's very disappointing.


On allowing big plays on defense…

You can’t make mistakes. You can’t give up big plays. If we tackle, they probably don’t score in the first half.

On Victor Cruz’s 99-yard touchdown reception…

He caught the ball and we missed tackles. It wasn’t anything spectacular. He caught the ball, turned to the outside and outran us.

On no longer controlling their destiny for the postseason…

It’s frustrating. I don’t know what else to say.

On if it’s frustrating to be a defensive player when the offense is struggling…

No. If we don’t let them score, it doesn’t matter what our offense does. We would have won with the seven points we already had.


On coming out of the game…

I was going back in and they called down from upstairs, so I had to go into the locker room. Then I came back out.

On what happened on the Victor Cruz touchdown…

They just made a good play. It was a good throw and a good catch. They saw that we were rolling the coverage the other way and they just made a good call right there.

On not controlling their destiny for the playoffs…

It’s tough because we had it in our own hands and we let it slip through. All we can do now is hope and pray that someone else helps us out.

On holding Eli Manning to 9-of-27 and losing…

You would think we would win the game, but unfortunately we didn’t. Like I said, they made more plays than us and they deserved it.


On the big plays the defense allowed…

They're a good team. We have to tackle better and communicate better.

On if he was surprised the Giants were passing on David Harris’ interception…

Not really. They probably wanted to get downfield and get another score. They probably thought we wouldn’t expect it. David made a great play with that one-handed catch.

On his outlook going into the final week of the season…

We're going to keep fighting. Our backs are against the wall and we have to fight. We have a big division opponent next week and even though we don’t control our destiny, we need that game.

On if they gave the Giants the game…

They played a great game. They had a few big plays when we missed tackles. Both teams played hard, but they won. There’s not really anything else to say.


On the loss…

I’m not going to get into the outcomes and things like that. We don’t have much too much time to lick our wounds. We have to get ready for next week and everything. But yes, it’s definitely a disappointing way to finish off at home.

On their playoff chances…

Honestly, all we can do is finish off as strong as we can finish and hope that things work out. I’m not as optimistic as I was before the game, but at the end of the day, as long as we have a chance, we have to keep on fighting. That’s all we can do.

On his unnecessary-roughness penalty…

I guess they thought I hit him out of bounds or whatever. I didn’t hear a whistle and I wasn’t sure that he was out, so I had to make sure.

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