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Jets-Vikings Postgame Interviews

Posted Oct 12, 2010

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews following the Jets' 29-20 victory over the Vikings at New Meadowlands Stadium on Monday night:


That’s a heck of a win. That’s a tough opponent right there and this was a championship-type game. We had a team that went to the NFC Championship against a team that went to the AFC Championship. We knew it was going to be a tough game. They have tons of weapons over there. It was going to be a battle to the end. Our challenge to our guys was to keep digging, to dig deep and find a way to get it done. That’s what I’m proud of. We felt confident that we’d win the game, we just didn’t know how. That’s basically how it went.

That field goal kicker we picked up is not bad. Nick Folk did a decent job with five field goals. This is the first time that the Minnesota Vikings have given up over 150 yards rushing in 51 games, so you have to tip your hat to our offensive line. Our running backs did a great job. We had that little clock management issue right before the two-minute. I was like, "Let’s throw it!" but I never thought we’d snap the ball [early]. That was a huge, huge problem there, but we overcame it. We’re happy to move on at 4-1. We’re right on schedule. We want to have the best record in the National Football League at the end of the season, and we’re right on pace.

On the Jets special teams during the four-game win streak…

We had all four safeties out there on kickoffs. We had our nickels; we had all kinds of guys out there. It speaks volumes about our football team. We have a bunch of unselfish guys who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done — starters, whatever it takes. Most teams will put all backups in there, but we want to get our starters up in there. Jim Leonard made a great open-field tackle on Percy Harvin. That kid’s a heck of a football player. There’s a reason we tried to trade up to get him. It was a great win for us.

On Brett Favre…

We were brilliant in the first half, I know that much, but you have to play four quarters in this game. We knew that he’s a good as it gets. He put up about 20 shots to Randy Moss, but I thought [Antonio] Cromartie played outstanding, albeit that one touchdown. You take that many shots down field with one-on-one coverage against Randy Moss, and I thought he really did a tremendous job for us. Brett Favre’s an amazing competitor and a tremendous quarterback. Then you have Adrian Peterson back there, and it that’s a tough matchup. That football team’s really good.

On Darrelle Revis

I thought Revis played well. He gave up one completion at the end there that was a little surprising. He peeked a little bit. Favre stays alive so much, you have to plaster there, but I thought he did a good job overall.

On Cromartie covering Moss…

We knew that they were going to run vertical after vertical after vertical. When we put Cromartie out there, he did a great job against him when we played against New England in Week 2. With Darrelle’s hamstring being what it is, we weren’t going to take that shot. We didn’t want him to have to chase a guy 50 times who’s running 50 go routes. That was our main decision. But I thought Cromartie did an outstanding job.

On Vikings WR Percy Harvin’s first touchdown…

I’m not real sure what happened. We were real deep, playing a single high. I’d like our safety to be down a little lower than that, but you have to give them credit. They made a play there. I only saw what you did. I just saw the end result. I didn’t see who was to blame there. I just thought this was a typical Jet win. Resilient, team effort all the way against an excellent football team. I’m proud of the way our guys competed all the way to the end. We made a great defensive play at the end. We’ll take the victory. We’re not apologizing for anything.

On the delay starting the game…

We’re used to it. We had that first game where it was the exact same thing. It wasn’t the first time that it happened to us. Clearly, you can’t wait to get the thing kicked off. It’s like some caged animals. You just have to keep them in there and then release them.

On Favre’s interception…

We called it a 3-2-Kings-1. We were playing a Cover 1 and just wanted to get some pressure. Most teams would play coverage in that situation, but we wanted to change up our looks. We wanted to get pressure on Favre and get the ball out of his hand quickly. Dwight Lowery did a great job of breaking on it and taking it to the house.

On the Jets feelings at halftime…

We were happy to be up. We really had it going. Defensively, we held them to 56 yards or something like that. We had 206 on offense. We really dominated the game, but were only up nine points. We never had a great comfortable feeling until the end there.

On Jet WR Santonio Holmes’ play in the first half…

He looked sharp. He made a couple of big catches on third down for us. That’s just the tip of the iceberg here. We had a couple of balls that I thought we could have caught. Not just Holmes, but overall we could have caught a couple of key balls on third down to keep drives alive. It would have made it easier, but the result is what we’re looking for, and that’s to get the win.

On concern about the Jets' red zone production…

You’re always concerned with that. You’re down there, you’re dominating the game and you’re coming away with three’s…and we are fortunate to do that. You make an assumption that you’re going to make those three’s. We’re blessed to have an outstanding kicker and Nick did an outstanding job for us. You have to give the opponent credit on that. They kept us out of the end zone. That was unfortunate. If we could have knocked a couple across, we could have made it much easier.

On Jets injuries…

Not that I know of.


On offensive miscue in the second half…

I snapped it too early. That was definitely a mistake — a clock-management type of thing. When we’re in a tight ball-game like that, those things can hurt. We got away with one there, but that’s something that will show up on film — as will many other mistakes — but none of those things can take away from the feeling we feel right now. We’re so excited about this win and the way we just hung in there at the end because I really don’t think I would have been able to sustain this thing last year and I don’t think we would have won this game. I think it’s a testament to our leadership and our coaching this year. We’re just really doing a great job down the stretch, but that’s just one of those things we need to clean up, for sure.

On if he felt some of the offense’s struggles in the red zone could be attributed to the Vikings’ defensive schemes…

It was a third-down thing and a red-zone thing. We’d been sharp the last three weeks, but they’re a stingy defense. They are a bend, don’t break defense and they don’t give up big plays. We did a good job especially when it started to rain really hard right before halftime. I thought we might have gotten a call on Jerricho [Cotchery], when he ran kind of a stick route. I thought we would have gotten a call there. Then the one on Dustin [Keller], I just threw that one too far out in front of him in the rain. That would have been a huge conversion right before halftime that would have given us a lot of momentum, especially since we were going to get the ball back right after halftime. We just weren’t our best in the red zone. We weren’t our best on third down, but when we really needed it that last drive, the line held up tight. Braylon [Edwards], Jericho and Santonio [Holmes] made some big-time grabs, and we won it.

On if he felt the offense’s struggles in the red zone may have cost the team the game…

We needed to score touchdowns. That’s the goal and that’s what needs to change next week and the weeks to come. The most important thing is that we weren’t giving the ball up and we were getting points so that was nice. We weren’t turning it over. I think last year, in a game like this I wouldn’t have had the patience to be able to check the ball down — in the rain — to LT [Tomlinson] and at least give us a chance on the goal line and to keep balls high and outside for Braylon and not under-throwing anything. It was huge to just stay in it and win this thing.

On if, having watched Vikings QB Brett Favre in the past, he thought about Minnesota mounting a comeback…

To be honest, when you play against a great quarterback, you always know he’s on the other sideline, but you don’t really think about it during the game. I think, Coach Cavanaugh told me the most important thing before this game. He said: It’s not Mark Sanchez versus Brett Favre, at all. That’s not what this game is. If you get caught up in that, you’re going to make bad decisions and you’re not going to play the way you’ve played all season. It’s the New York Jets versus the Minnesota Vikings. You’re going to play the way you’ve played all year. We’re going to be smart, take care of the ball, take our shots when we need them, and win the game. That’s exactly what happened, so I think that’s one of the most important things I’ve heard all night.

On being surprised that he has no turnovers five games into the year…

You’re surprised? [laughter] Sometimes last year it felt like I was giving it away like it was my job. It was just poor decision-making. Now I trust the backs to get out, I’m hanging in the protection and giving our guys chances and they’re really coming up with big plays. I think the most important thing to take away from tonight is sure, no turnovers, but we have a lot of improvements to make. We had a lot of penalties and self-inflicted wounds. My accuracy wasn’t the best tonight. They hit me a couple times early, got some good licks and slowed me up a little bit. It wasn’t my very best. It’s imperative that for the next few weeks and this week before the bye week that I’m real accurate because some of those tipped balls could be devastating for us.

On if he was aware of the lightning during the last drive of the first half…

Oh yeah. It was nasty out. I was just trying to signal over to Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] on the sidelines because it was so hard to get those snaps. It was like that day in training camp, that day with all of the rain. I’m thinking just don’t fumble the snap. I’m going Joe Namath hands, just trying to hang onto the thing. I was just hoping we’d stay in shot-gun and then we had to run the spread out. It was just terrible conditions. I thought our guys did a great job of just hanging onto the ball. I tried to put the ball in spots for them and I missed one to Dustin [Keller]. So that would have been huge for us. It would have been big-time momentum, so we’ll clean that up and get Dustin rolling again.

On getting hit hard on the first play in the second half…

Anytime you get big hits on the quarterback, the whole team feels it. It’s not a situation you want to be in often. Our O-line did a really good job. It was just one of those plays where they let me out on the edge hoping he’d buy the run fake. He did a really good job of not buying the fake at all and making the play. Other than that, I think they hit me one time early. It just takes the wind out of your sails but you just have to get back up and say “alright, let’s fight through this thing.” And then it was third-and-18 or whatever it was. They are never fun, but I thought we did a great job up front. Jared Allen, for Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] to shut him down like that, was huge. [Matt] Slauson is improving every game and Brandon Moore is rock solid. He’s a pretty underrated player. He’s a really good guard. And Damien Woody, he’s been in situations like this, in tight games, and he knows exactly how to play them. Nick’s [Mangold] anchoring the whole thing down so it’s great.

On the inclement weather attributing to his incomplete passes…

I don’t think so. I think I just missed a couple. There’s no excuse for it. It’s got to get better and it’s got to improve. We’re happy with the win and we’ll clean up a lot of those mistakes. When you make those mistakes like that, it’s great to make some mistakes and then win. That’s huge because in this league, you make mistakes and you can lose easily. As long as we take care of the ball, we have a shot.

On the sidelines dynamic with the shifts in momentum…

[Brett] Favre got hot there for a little bit and it looked like their offense was finding their groove. It was important for our guys on offense not to get down. There’s nothing we can do about that. All we can do is cheer our guys on, be positive when they come to the sidelines and go out and do what we’re supposed to do and that’s score when we needed it most. That was on the last drive. It’s important as a quarterback to stay up, to stay upbeat, keep your head up, encourage guys, get them fired up and say, "OK, here we go." I couldn’t have done it last year, I don’t think. It’s one of those things you have to feel and experience. You have to have the confidence before you can tell the other guys so it was good. You just have that feeling in the back of your mind that this is going to be fine. We’re going to get the ball back when we need it, score when we need to. We’ll get out of here with a win — an ugly win — but a win.


On what he was looking for as his interception play developed…

On film, they had a tendency when they’re driving [to pass], in that type of alignment that they were in on that play. I just played what I felt, played what I saw and made a break on the ball. The pressure got there and he had to hold the ball a split second more than what he probably wanted to and the rest was history.

On clinching the game with his interception return…

I really can’t describe it. I haven’t ever been in [that] situation before. It’s all really new, so I’m just trying to take it lightly. I made a play and [now it’s time to] go back to work. That’s kind of how I feel.

On battling back against Brett Favre’s three-touchdown second half performance…

It’s really just that we have to keep our composure. I think it’s the biggest thing, and make sure everyone is on the same page and communicating. We did surrender some points and there were some things we could’ve done better, but when it comes down to it, we just have to make a play. We have to believe in each other and that’s what I felt like we did.


On if they planned to have him on Randy Moss the whole week or if it was related to Darrelle Revis’ injury…

No, that was the plan. I felt good about it. Coach Ryan and Coach Thurman felt good about it and I was just trying to go out there and play football.

On if it benefitted him that he had faced Moss previously this season…

It benefitted a little bit. At the same time, you knew exactly what they were trying to do with him. They were going to try to take shots down the field. Our biggest thing, our defense as a whole and our secondary, was try to stay in front and try to make plays when the ball is in the air.

On if Moss and him are friends…

We talk a little bit, but during the game we are competing and trying to do what we need to do.

On if he’s disappointed with his performance…

Not really. I gave up a touchdown. It’s a play that was a well-thrown ball and a great catch. You have to tip your hat to Brett Favre and Randy Moss. They’re going to make a lot of history this year, those two together. I’m just going to try to go out there and do my job and the coaches are satisfied with what happened out on the field.


On not getting as much playing time as LaDainian Tomlinson

I’m on this team to help them win football games. I’m not worried about all that who-starts and all that stuff. Whenever I get the chance to, I try to go in and do my best.

On his go-ahead touchdown run…

As an offense, we were kind of sputtering out drives, getting caught up in third-and-longs, so that was a good lift for us.

On how the team feels after four straight wins…

We feel good because this is one where we had to dig and it took the whole game. It took everybody we had. It was one of those games where we got tested and we came out on top.

On running for over 150 yards against Minnesota’s defense…

It feels good, but I think we can do that against any team in the league. We have one of the best offensive lines and our wide receivers block on the edge. You don’t get many teams with wide receivers like ours [who are] willing to go block on the edge for us. With that combination, we’re pretty good.

On going up against Adrian Peterson…

We don’t worry about who’s on the other side. All we can control is what we do, so we really let that be and we do what we can do when we have the ball.


On his first game…

Oh man, the first game was a lot of fun. We hit a few passes here and there [and also] missed a few. Overall, it was a great team effort. We came out with the victory on Monday night in my first game back, so I’m definitely excited about that. I’m ready to keep it rolling.

On how he felt…

I didn’t feel like myself. I may have looked like it on the field, but [I’m] just getting in the groove of it, trying to feel where I’m at. I’m definitely satisfied with how it came out. I can’t complain about anything. I just have to be ready to roll. [We have a] short week coming up [and we] have to go to Denver.

On the timing with QB Mark Sanchez…

Everything was on course. He found me [and] put the ball where he needed to put it and I made a few catches and a few drops. It’s football, it happens.

On why he didn’t feel like himself…

[It was my] first game back. [I was] trying to feel myself [and] didn’t want to overdo it. The coaches allowed me to do as much as I could and I was definitely grateful for that.

On what it was like to be out there on the field with the team after watching them the first four weeks…

It was a lot of fun to see those guys flying around [and] hitting each other. The coaches, all the guys on the sideline, everybody was into the game. The quarterback [Mark Sanchez], he was a little upset at times when things weren’t going his way, but that’s what quarterbacks do and we need a leader like that to be on our sideline.

On settling for field goals instead of touchdowns…

Give credit to the Vikings defense. We can’t fault anybody but ourselves for the mistakes that we made. The opportunities that we had, we didn’t capitalize on very many of them, but a win is a win.


On the defensive stops at the end of the game…

It was getting scary out there man. Mark [Sanchez] was starting to feel it. They have a great quarterback [Brett Favre]. That team has a lot of grit and great players and we knew it was going to be a championship mentality and we were not able to capitalize on some of the plays we made earlier to put them away. You let a team like that hang around and he [Favre] keeps slinging the ball to Moss [Randy], it can get real interesting.

On some of Brett Favre’s Monday Night comebacks…

We knew that he is a gun slinger and he might throw us one. We planned our technique and believed in it and Dwight [Lowery] was the hero.

On the Randy Moss touchdown…

[Antonio] Cromartie is right there and they kept taking vertical shots. When you have a great vertical receiver one on one the odds of the defender coming down with the interception is low. You have two great things that can happen. You have an interception or you have pass interference.


This was a disappointing loss. We were a good football team playing another good football team. Thirteen points in turnovers is all you need to know in a closely contested game. [That is] not good enough and it starts with me. I didn’t think we were ready coming out of the locker room to play this football game. We have to take that long look, the long plane ride back and get ready to start work this week.

On coming off a bye week…

I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

On the change in Brett Favre’s throwing during the second half…

There was no magic at half time. We shared where we were at and what we needed to get done. Against a good football team, you can’t turn the football over and give up three points on a long return. You just can’t do that. There is no magic there.

On Randy Moss’s performance…

I thought he was into the game. It was very difficult for us to establish any kind of rhythm in the first half when the defense was primarily on the field.

On Favre being prepared to play…

I thought he was prepared. I thought that he knew what was going on. He took that sack early. We missed the protection there, but we worked on it all week. One of our guys blocked the wrong [player]. He pointed the guy out that he was going to block and then didn’t block him. I thought we were right on and that he was seeing [what he had to get done]. Did he have great command of the football? I didn’t think [so]. He made some nice throws, but I bet there is a bunch he will probably want back.

On if Cooper went in after Cook struggled…

Every time you start a game with three procedural penalties [you are going to struggle]. I understand what the first one was and we talked about that. We talked about how the ball couldn’t be thrown to a quarterback or a quarterback couldn’t be a receiver. We had some procedure issues getting the ball snapped. Whether it was crowd noise or the [weather], there needed to be a change.

On the weather…

That would be bad to use that as an excuse. We weren’t ready to play offense in the first half and it wasn’t good enough.

On Favre talking to the team…

I would keep that between the team and Brett.

On the emotions the team is feeling since the meeting with Favre…

It was a regular work day for us. We do a little Dallas work in the morning because we have to. It was a Monday night game. We met with special teams and had team meetings, It is our base format that we do all the way through the preseason. The only different event was after I was done talking, Brett had a few words to say. There is nothing wrong with this crowd’s fight, it’s just a matter of fighting, swing and coming out of the door.

On Favre’s health…

I don’t know. You will have to ask him about that.

On making an adjustment in the second half…

I wish I could tell you there was. If we blocked the right people in the second half [it would have been better].

On Favre apologizing…

I’m not going to characterize that in any way. I’ll be happy to talk to you about the game. That’s family business. This is team business.

On the concern Favre’s situation will carry over into the season…

We can’t afford to have it carry over into the rest of the season.

On the two-point conversion…

Could you use one? Could you use two? Nine and something minutes to go in the fourth quarter and typically you are going to go for two. One was the same as two. We went for two. I might not be able to give you a clear answer, but we would love to have two and we were down two have a tie.

On Favre’s knee…

I just know he wasn’t able to continue or finish playing decent football.

On the first play of the game…

We started with a guy like Percy [Harvin] and the ball in his hands and [Randy] Moss with the ball in his hand second, we had a chance to get some people flat-footed and playing the line of scrimmage. Obviously it didn’t look that good. Reverses are usually that way.

On the team since game one…

I see some growth in the special teams and some decent growth in the defensive side of it. Still some struggle with some rudimentary stuff offensively. On defense, that’s on me. That is my fault.

On the way the Vikings played into the second half…

As I have mentioned, there no problem with how these guys compete. It is a matter of too little too late. You never know which plays in a 60 play game are going to be the important ones so you have to play your first one just like you play the 50th one.


On how much he understood the offense…

Throughout the game they were trying to keep me in tune and make sure I know what plays they were calling. It’s been a long week. I’m kind of worn out. It’s frustrating. I put a lot in this. I played the Jets twice in the last month and I kind of figured how they were going to play and how they were going to match us. I just wanted to stay on the same page as the offense, make sure I know because the game was coming in just three or four days. It had my nerves going. I studied hard this week to try to get them, and all the plays I didn’t get, but some of them I knew. I’m not saying we ad-libbed out there, but it was a tough week.

On his touchdown catch…

Just a go. They called the play. I think throughout the game we were trying to hit those deep balls. I’ve said time and time again, the Jets are a good team. I can’t take anything from them. With the corners, [Darrelle] Revis and [Antonio] Cromartie, that’s a nice combination. They kind of remind me of the old Kansas City Chiefs when they had Dale Carter and James Hasty and it was hard to throw on both sides. I give credit to both of those guys and what they’re doing. Hopefully, I’ll see them again and just keep battling.

On what it was like catching Brett Favre’s 500th career touchdown pass…

I’ve been in the league long enough, he’s been in long. It’s just going out there and making things happen. I think we shot ourselves in the foot in the first half. I think the first half was just a blur. We kept shooting ourselves. So really, we played a half of football, the Jets played 60 minutes of football. We just have to get back to work. There are some things that I’m used to from up in New England and coming to Minnesota that I just have adjust to.

It’s been a hard week of me trying to adjust to moving, leaving my family, learning the playbook, making sure I get treatment, and then staying after practice with the coach to make sure I’m getting the plays down. I think they expected me to get 20, 30 plays and to be honest, I don’t even know, but I think I doubled that.

On how Favre is emotionally…

I really don’t know. What goes on in people's personal lives, I try and stay out of it. I just try to be a friend, be a teammate. I know he has a lot on his plate and things do happen, but we’re just going to stick by him. As simple as that.

On comparing Cromartie and Revis…

Well, Revis is still more physical than Cromartie. But Cromartie has some very good hips and he moves pretty well. There is a difference between the two. I was telling [Percy] Harvin all week, “I don’t think that Revis is going to cover me.” It wasn’t anything disrespectful. I had a hamstring injury and it took me a whole month to get back and I think his was 2½ weeks. He played the whole game and I have to commend him for that. That takes a lot of guts definitely to come out here with a hamstring injury.

On mentoring Harvin…

I told him that this is my 13th year, this is his second year. I don’t really want him to get discouraged with the Vikings bringing me in. I’m here to help, not to take his spot. The knowledge that I have of the game and the things I’ve learned as far as reading coverages and watching film and things like that is just something that I tried to rub off on him. Hopefully not just him, but the guys can learn. I’m still learning, too. People think I’m a teacher and things like that, but I’m still a student of the game.

On why the Patriots traded him…

Tom [Brady] sent me a text message today. Tom, I know you’re watching, brother. I appreciate that text. Sorry we didn’t bring it home buddy, but I appreciate the text.

On how dangerous the team can be…

I think that collectively, if we put our hearts and souls into what we’re trying to do, I think that the sky is the limit for this team. I’m speaking on behalf of the offense. Hard work does pay off. We have “Big Brown,” that’s Adrian Peterson. I’ve been watching him since he was at Oklahoma and I’m a big fan of his. Percy Harvin when he was at Florida. Then Favre speaks for himself and then the offensive line. We have a great core of guys and I think that we just have to get to work on things like the first half with the false starts and things like that. Collectively we just need to get back to work and be mentally focused playing on the road and that’s hard to do.

On being happy in Minnesota…

I’m definitely happy to be back home. I thank the people for the phonecalls, the letters and everything for me coming back home, but I don’t think that it means anything when you lose. I think that next week we’ll be in the Metrodome and hopefully they’ll have that thing rocking because we need to get on a roll and we need to get on a roll fast. Falling back one win, three losses, that’s something. We need to dig ourselves out of the hole. I think with the group of guys that we have, we can dig out. I think we can.


On the Jets defense…

You know when you’re playing a defense like the Jets, it’s going to be famine, famine, feast. Keep working, keep hitting them, taking 2, taking 3. Eventually, it will open up. Watching film, these guys are a good, solid defense. We have seen guys move the ball on them. You just got to be patient and wait for it to open up.

On the second-half momentum…

That’s the momentum we need to be a productive offense. The defense is playing outstanding right now. We’ve just got to do our part.

On the offense scoring in the second half…

If we continue to play like we did the second half, I’m happy about that. We've just got to get out of the funk of starting the first half like we have.

On struggling with all their talent…

It’s tough when you've got all the talent in the world, but struggling to get a W, it’s tough. You can’t get down about it. You have to continue to learn, correct some things and keep pushing.

On what Coach Childress said at halftime…

He came in and said he put it on himself. He was disappointed. It does not have anything to do with him. He doesn’t have anything to do with false starts and things like that. That’s all within a group on the field.

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