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MIKE T: Terms of the Otah Trade Weren't Met

Posted Jul 31, 2012

Updated, 8:23 p.m. ET

Transcript of an excerpt from general manager Mike Tannenbaum's news conference at SUNY Cortland on Tuesday afternoon:

On the situation regarding the trade of Jeff Otah...

Jeff didn't fulfill the terms of the trade so he's en route back to Carolina and he'll remain with the Panthers.

On the Jets' next step at tackle...

We'll keep looking for opportunities to improve the team as they may come along and we'll go from there.

On if he had an opportunity to extend the seven-day deadline on the trade...

I'm not going to go into those conversations I may have had with Carolina. Today was the deadline and the terms of the trade weren't met, so he's now going back to Carolina.

On why the Jets thought Otah's knee would be good enough that they could trade for him...

Jeff gave us a really good week. He worked hard. He was a really nice guy. Beyond that, he's a member of the Panthers now. He did everything we asked for the past week and the terms of the trade weren't met.

On why a seven-day period was in the terms of the trade...

The way it works is when you have trade papers, that's a contract between Team A and Team B, and you can negotiate whatever you like. We've had those situations in the past all the time. That was just kind of the dynamic of this trade that we were able to get the period that we got and those terms weren't met. Sometimes you can get a longer period of time and sometimes you can't.

On if he'd be comfortable going into the season with Wayne Hunter as the starting RT...

Yeah, he's done well. We have other guys that are on the team that are competing. Austin Howard, I think, has had a couple of good days. We're always going to look to improve the team. If we're having this conversation a month from now, there'll be players on the team that aren't here [now] regardless of whether maybe being on the streets or with another team.

On what, if Otah failed a physical seven days ago, could changed in seven days for him to pass it...

We had seven days, we took the seven days. We believe in our staff. Jeff worked really hard. And again, the terms weren't met. Our feeling was, if we have the seven days let's take them all and see where it goes.

On if it Otah's situation was due to conditioning or his knee...

Again, the terms of the trade weren't met so he's a Carolina Panther as of now.

On WR Santonio Holmes saying he felt like he was a "scapegoat" at the end of last season...

Going back to last year I think we all could've done things better, starting with myself in terms of how the team was made. Moving forward, I think he's done a lot of great things for us in the offseason program this year. I've seen him work with his teammates, he's been very coachable, so what happened last year, I think we all could've done things better and now we're going to move forward this year.

On if Holmes' comments will reverberate within the team...

No because we've had very good conversations with Santonio, we've all learned from 2011, starting with myself, and now we're going to move forward.

On if he'd prefer Holmes no longer comments about last season…

Well, like I said, from where I sit in the world, seeing him every day of the offseason program interacting with his teammates, he has really done a nice job for us. He has gotten off to a good start here in camp. I think he will play really well this year.

On if coach Tony Sparano was hired to promote team unity…

I think when we got Tony, we were unbelievably fortunate. Tony has been tremendous. He is smart, he is a leader. He is nurturing in his own way. I have learned a lot from him being a former head coach, knowing the division. I can’t tell you how lucky we are having Tony in our organization.

On if he was specifically hired to promote team unity…

No, he was brought in to run our offense.

On the progress of camp…

I thought our guys came in in shape. Obviously, a few guys we had to put on PUP, but by and large I think our offense has been very competitive, and I think they’ve answered the challenge for the most part against our defense. Not every period, but it’s been competitive, which we thought, and I think Tony has brought a toughness and I think that’s transcended really the whole team in terms of the competitiveness of practice. I think Bart Scott in particular has done well, as well has Aaron Maybin. I think there are a few guys that are ready to distinguish themselves. You know, we meet every night and evaluate the roster and I’m really happy with the direction we’re going.

On Sparano impacting not just the offense…

Without question, I’ve seen him with the defensive players. I’ve received feedback from the defensive players and the pace we’re going through things, and the tempo of practice I think is good for conditioning. Obviously, you don’t want guys to get hurt in one practice from hamstrings but I think it’s helped the conditioning of the whole team. The pace and the tempo have been really good for us.

On Braylon Edwards becoming a Seahawk…

Actually, I didn’t see that so it’s news to me. Braylon did a great job when he was here. He’s a good player and I’m sure he’ll play well for Seattle this year.

On bringing in veterans for the wide receiver position...

I would never rule anything out this time of the year at any position. I guess does that include [Antonio] Cromartie? Does that count? [joking] No, but I’m excited to see Jordan White. He’s a really tough, smart guy that was really productive in college and can play the slot really well so I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field as well. Like any position, we’ll see how the rest of camp goes.

On Darrelle Revis

I’m glad he’s here. I had a good conversation with Darrelle when I saw him in the cold tub a couple of days before we got up here and then I watched him on the conditioning test. He was in great shape, just watching him. From a general manager’s standpoint, I’m glad we drafted him and I’m glad he’s on the team. Those are the type of guys you want in your program.

On Revis’ contract…

Yeah, anything that relates to his contract we’re just not going to address, but like I said I’m really glad he’s here. He’s been a great team member and just watching him in the conditioning run this year I know he’s ready to play at another high level, which is all that he’s done since he’s been here so I’m really glad that he’s here and excited that he’ll be a part of the season.

On Tim Tebow

Tim is a really hard-working, competitive guy. He’s still learning the offense and it’s early from that standpoint and I think when the games start he’ll be exciting and he’s a quarterback that can help us in a lot of different roles.

On Matt Slauson having to compete for his position after starting the previous two seasons…

Matt’s done a lot of good things for us. He’s played hurt and he’s tough and started playoff games. When there are young players that are emerging like Vladimir [Ducasse], those are the balances of a guy that’s an incumbent versus a young, ascending player, and those are the decisions we talk about in the offseason.

On if he wants to keep around the team’s core of receivers to grow with Sanchez…

In a perfect world, for 10 years, you’d line up, and you’ve seen some of the great quarterbacks in different eras do that. In the salary cap system, you want to keep as many of your good players as possible. It’s hard to do that. We’re certainly going to try. We’re excited about the receiver group with Chaz [Schilens] Jeremy [Kerley] and Patrick [Turner]. We’ll see what Stephen Hill can do this year. To sit here and say "Hey, they’re going to be here for 10 years with Mark" is a heavy lift with the constraints of the cap.

On if his signing so many players to long-term extensions hurts team depth…

You can’t pay them all. You can’t have the perfect player at each position. We talk about developing players on the fly. I think that’s one of Rex’s strengths. You go back to what he did with the Ravens and he played with a lot of young players who were either not drafted or drafted late. To have sustainability, there is no question, the only way the math works is you need young players to play. They’re not going to be perfect from day one and there are going to be bumps.

When you look at guys like Kyle Wilson, Kenrick Ellis, Vlad Ducasse and Joe McKnight, the commonality of those two draft classes was this was the first year they had an offseason program. When you drill down on John Conner, Vlad, Joe and Kyle, this is their third camp and only the first year those guys had an offseason program between the lockout and their rookie years. Those guys are playing more confidently and they’re more prepared. I really attribute that to the offseason program. Our attendance was spectacular. We have great teachers as coaches, so they benefit from being around them every day. Those two draft classes in particular have gotten off to a good start. In my opinion, that’s the reason why.

On Sanchez’s performance in camp …

It’s been kind of a carryover from the spring. He has done well. There have been a couple of balls I know he wishes he could have back. By and large, it’s been a good camp. Just watching Mark in the offseason, he has grown up just as a person. He’s still the fun-loving guy. I’ve still seen him do some things that young people will do [laughter]. He’s been great. His preparation, his work ethic, he has done well and I think he’s going to have a really good year.

On if it’s a make-or-break season for him as GM…

I think every year is an important year. This is just the next year. If we don’t win the Super Bowl, then we don’t reach all of our goals from the last year. Our job is to put a good team on the field year in and year out. I’m confident about this team, I’m excited about this coaching staff, and I think we’re going to have a good year.

On if he’s working out any players today…

Not today.

On bringing in another player now that Otah was sent back to Carolina…

I wouldn’t rule anything out. Nothing is imminent. Again, there’s going to be competition from within as well as on the street. We’re encouraged by Austin Howard. It’s early in camp, but there’s some encouragement there. We’ve identified some teams that have depth. Sometimes these things take a while, but I think Wayne [Hunter] has done a good job and Austin in particular has probably done better than we thought he would.

On why Ducasse has moved around from guard to tackle…

We just thought that his best position was guard for a number of reasons. So far, we’re encouraged by him.

On why the Jets are saying they’re happy with Hunter but he’s still in a competition…

Right, I did read those. Look, Wayne’s done a good job for us. In road playoff games, we’ve all seen Wayne do well. I’m just saying if there are other opportunities out there to add good players we’re not going to rule that out. But certainly when we signed Wayne to an extension it was based on good film and winning road playoff games at right tackle. So he’s off to a good start as well.

I’m just saying if there are good players on the offensive line, we wouldn’t rule it out. But there are young guys from Caleb [Schlauderaff], Austin, Vlad, Dennis [Landolt], so some of those guys are going to dress for games this year and they’re going to play. That’s not to rule out that we won’t bring someone else in but offensive line in particular you have to keep building your depth because over 16 games, they’re going to play. If they’re not going to play this year, then certainly they’re our future.

On if Hunter has the inside track to start…

Yes, no question, he’s our starting right tackle until that changes. We’ve been very clear with Wayne, where he stands, but yes, he’s our starting right tackle.

On what he means when he says they’ve been very clear with Wayne…

When we bring in a guy like Jeff Otah, we’ve told him what we’re doing. The nice part about Wayne, if you’ve asked him, is he knows he can play better as well. He didn’t play well last year, I think we’ve all acknowledged that. Again, I think it’s reasonable to think he will play better and we can win with him. We have in the past with that set. If there are opportunities at any position, we’re going to look at players but he certainly has the inside track as our starting right tackle.

On why he believes Hunter can still develop into a good player…

Well, I don’t think he has to develop. I just think he has to play consistently. His “A” game is more than good enough to win with. He has shown a very high level. Again, in the hardest conditions possible he has played well for us. Last year, like a number of players, it wasn’t their best year.

On if he’s as confident in Hunter as OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo is…

Yeah [laughing], that’s Guge, he’s a very confident guy. Look, when we signed Wayne, that’s the best sign of confidence we can show. I’m just saying if there are other opportunities out there we wouldn’t rule those out so I am confident in Wayne Hunter.

On if he agrees with head coach Rex Ryan that Kerley needs to improve…

Yes, you know Jeremy has a great work ethic from the standpoint of his punt returns in particular. That’s a skill development. We’ve always felt a great work ethic will make you better, and you looked at Jeremy and he just got better and better as a punt returner. So knowing that outstanding work ethic he has, the fact that he’s had these smaller nagging injuries was a surprise to us, but with that said, he played well for us last year and we’re projecting a significant role for him and I think we are just anxious to get him out there in our new offense in an important role. Knowing the way he’s approached things in the past, I’d be surprised if he wasn’t ready for us.

On if the disappointment is because of his injuries or the grasp of a new system…

Well, I think one plays into the other in that the more he’s out there, the better grasp he’ll have of the system. Especially in the slot position, it’s such a nuance position and it’s the relationship with the quarterback and understanding that they’re seeing things the same way and it’s just repetition upon repetition.

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