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McElroy Moves Forward to Start No. 2

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Greg McElroy’s debut as an NFL starting quarterback Sunday had its share of highs and lows.

Early on he led the Jets on two touchdown drives, but when it was over, he’d been sacked 11 times and the Green & White fell 27-17 to the San Diego Chargers in their last home game of the season at MetLife Stadium.

This afternoon McElroy spoke with reporters for the first time since the defeat and said for the offense to have some success moving forward, the unit needs to be more united.

“I think we all just need to do a better job of just trying to work together,” No. 14 said. “Not on any one person in particular. I need to do a better job. The wideouts need to do a better job. Everyone needs to do a better job.”

Head coach Rex Ryan gave the players off Monday and Tuesday and McElroy spent the two days away from football with his family, who visited him to attend Sunday’s game and be there with him during the Christmas holiday.

“It was a blast to be able to spend some time with them,” he said.

Returning to the gridiron today, the second-year pro was encouraged by his teammates’ attitudes and focus. He was also pleased to know that he will remain the Jets’ starter this week in their regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills.

“It’s just an opportunity and that’s the only way to look at it,” he said. “Just enjoy this opportunity because you’re never guaranteed anything.”

The 24-year-old participated fully in Wednesday’s practice, but was listed on the injury report with an abdomen injury. He said he was feeling a little sore and wanted to bring the injury to the team’s attention just in case it became worse as the week progressed.

“I felt fine and completely at ease today,” McElroy said, “no problems.”

The Jets’ season began with a 20-point victory over Buffalo. However, much has changed since that outing. McElroy was the third-string quarterback at the time and wasn’t even active in that first meeting. Yet this week he’s the starter and from his perspective, it’s not standout DE Mario Williams and the Buffalo defensive line that’s impressed him on video but instead their secondary.

“They’re doing some different things from what they were doing at the beginning of the year,” he said. “It’ll be a great challenge for us.”

While the outcome of Sunday’s game at Ralph Wilson Stadium won’t necessarily erase the sub-.500 seasons both teams have produced, the Jets are hoping to end theirs with a victory.

“This will be the last time that these 53 guys will be out there, because the team is never the same year to year,” G-Mac said, “so this team wants to go out feeling good about what we’ve accomplished and wants to play one more game as best as we possibly can.”

And for the Green & White to make sure they close out 2012 with a W, the QB knows it all transfers back to execution and fundamentals.

“We just need to capitalize when opportunities are there and we need to limit our negative plays,” McElroy said. “That’s a big part of it. If we do those things, then I think we would have had a better showing on Sunday. But we’re not worried about last week at this point. We learned from it. We endured the feelings and disappointment for 24 hours and now we’re moving forward.”
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