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POSTGAME: Really Proud of the Effort

Posted Oct 14, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' MetLife Stadium locker room following their 35-9 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

This is really a great win for us. We certainly needed one. We knew going into the game that Indianapolis was going to scrap. The young kid at quarterback [Andrew Luck] is going to be a stud. We knew we’d be challenged, but I thought our guys stepped up and really responded. The way we practiced and competed in the classroom and on the practice field gave us a chance to win. Our guys took advantage of it. This was a great team effort. I love the fact that we were 5-for-5 in the red zone, which was a big difference in the game. The Colts were 0-for-2 in the red zone. The offense being 5-for-5 was huge.

We had 253 yards rushing, which was tremendous to see. We’ve been making strides and have been close. Today, we were able to pop some and really get Shonn Greene going. Joe [McKnight] had a big run. I was really proud of the effort. We have to clean up a few penalties, but other than that, I was really happy with the performance.

On the performance of Greene…

We wanted to get that big back rolling, and we knew we were close. We’ve been working hard, and today we were able to get him going. When Shonn carries it that well and has that kind of production, it’s great for the entire team.

On needing a win…

It’s huge. We needed it. There’s no doubt. You can’t afford to lose three games in a row at home. We’re a tough team and can overcome a lot, but we really needed this win. We talked about it last night and knew what it meant. We gave them our best shot and it was good enough this week.

On this being a gratifying win because they won by controlling the clock on the ground…

We challenged our guys this week to win the time of possession. I don’t know the exact number, but it’s safe to say we won it. The attention to detail and everything else….we know we’re close and we kept believing in each other. That’s what makes our football team.

On the Jets defense…

Their quarterback is an outstanding young man. I’m glad we play him this year and not two years from now. He’s got all the talent in the world. That’s a good group over there. Reggie Wayne is a tremendous receiver. That matchup, him and Cro [Antonio Cromartie], was a fun one to watch. Each of them had their moments, but I thought Cro did well.

On Cromartie’s two INT returns for touchdowns being called back…

I understand the first one. It was a great block by Aaron Maybin, but you can’t give him the business after the play. I think that’s what happened there. I have a lot of respect for the officiating, and they called what they thought was appropriate. I might disagree a little bit, especially when he returned the other one for a touchdown. It was tough. It’s great competition. When you have two great players going at it like that, you’re going to win some and lose some. There’s a fine line. You have to stay aggressive, and I thought Cro did. He was penalized a few times, but when you’re going against a great player like Reggie Wayne, I thought it was great competition out there

On the fake-punt pass

Westy [Coach Westhoff] talked about it. We had talked about if we had that opportunity. It showed up. We got what we were looking for and Tim [Tebow] just made a great pass and [Nick] Bellore [caught it]. Woody [Johnson] before the game said, “Can Bellore catch?” I said, "Oh, yeah, absolutely," and I’m, "Oh, please, catch it." [laughter] He did a great job. We have to work on his moves. That little head fake, his body stayed in the same direction. We have to work on that.

On what he said to the team Saturday night…

I just gave them the normal coach jargon [joking]. I think that’s the way I usually speak to them. Our message has been the same since day one and that’s about staying together, building a team, just keep getting better, keep working, taking those steps forward, and at the end of the day, we’ll see where we’re at. We have a lot of talent on this football team and when we pull all this talent together, we definitely want to be a team, and I think we are a team that is better than the sum of our parts. I think that’s it. I think that’s what we want to be, a team that nobody wants to play and I think we’re on our way that way.

On if the pass interference penalties on Cromartie are helpful when covering a receiver…

Sometimes they are. Sometimes, we’ll see, obviously, Cro makes a ton of plays and he competes on the football. We really take a look at it, and if it’s a penalty, we have to get a little better with our technique, but I like how he stands up, he’s ready to roll each week. Really, he had a tremendous game. Obviously the penalties, we have to get better at that, but when you take on a guy like Reggie Wayne, he’s a tremendous receiver. It’s unfortunate those interceptions for touchdown got called back, but really, I’m happy for Cro.

On if he has heard anything about Bilal Powell’s injury…

I have not. I just checked with the trainers. Hopefully, I’ll have some more information tomorrow for you.

On how pleased he is with the effort and the results in the last two games…

I think our effort has never been a question, but I think the way we’re going about our business is I think we’re really pushing each other on the practice field. I think that’s where it starts. The only way to get better is to go full speed against each other and take care of your teammates all at the same time. We understand the message. We are all about our team. Some days, it’s just like what I was noticing, Mark [Sanchez] threw only 18 passes. Well, he may have to throw 38, but that’s what it took this day. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team, and we understand that.

On Quinton Coples

We gave him a shot. We gave him some opportunities to rush the passer and the guy stepped up and responded.

On how it feels to be playing for a part of first place next Sunday…

It’s good. You’d rather be on top of it, but right now we’re looking up at them. But here we come. I don’t feel like tugging on Superman’s cape today [joking, but maybe tomorrow.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On the offense’s performance...

It was just a good start for us in the run game, finally got that going. I couldn’t be happier for the guys up front, and for Shonn Greene for really putting forth a great effort these last couple of weeks in practice first. Then, having all that come to fruition here in a game, it’s great. That was just awesome to see. Big holes to run through, great blocks up front. [Nick] Mangold started his 100th game, I heard. That’s awesome, that’s really fun. Shonn had a career day, so that’s great.

On if today was a must-win game…

We know it was a big game for us and our last one at home for a couple weeks, that’s how we approached it. We knew we just wanted to play well, have everything in practice happen for us on the field. I felt like that’s where it started. We had a tough one Monday night, a short week. But, guys really bounced back and played well today, defensively, on special teams. We were more or less efficient in the passing game and just kept us on the field so that was great for us. It’s nice a win going up to New England.

On Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill returning from injury…

Just being able to mix it up was nice. It was great. I’m sure Coach Sparano would say the same. It’s nice we got to save a lot of calls. We got to save a ton of calls. We’ll hopefully have some carryover, we’ll get plenty of time on task, as he always likes to say. The more time on task you have on specific plays, the better you feel about them. Going up to New England next week, that’s big to have those plays and we’ve repped them already. To have Dustin and Stephen back, that’s huge for the passing game, for the running game. Those guys really contributed today, and that other Hill, too [laughs]. He had a big catch for us, so that was nice.

On the offensive line…

This was a good team when it came to stunting, the Colts. They did plenty of stunts up front, so I thought our guys handled that well. They really watched the film together. This week they put in a lot of work with Guge [OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo]. That was important for us to put in the work, to see exactly the technique that they needed. Then, to come do it on the field, that gives them a lot of confidence in their coach and in our scheme, so that was perfect.

On the offensive substitutions…

It was nice. I think the biggest thing was communication. That’s important when guys run in, just to signal what they’re doing and who’s coming in. It seems like such a short distance when you watch from far away or you watch it on TV, but it’s a long way. So, you really have to make sure you’re yelling out, signaling everything, and relaying that information to the rest of the players on the field. But, I thought for the most part it went fairly well and its something that you got to just keep practicing because we really put an emphasis on it during practice and it showed up in the game.

On focusing on the run game today despite getting Keller and Hill back from injury…

We just ran the ball so well. Like I said, we saved plenty of calls. When you’re running the ball that well, you never want to stop. You want to keep those guys in a rhythm up front, keep those running backs in a rhythm. That was nice. Just like when you hit a bunch of passes in a row, you just got to keep feeding it, keep fitting it. That was great, that was really fun to see. There will be plenty of time for that stuff whenever we need it.

On the key to the offense today…

We really focused in practice on competing and not worrying about everything else, letting Sunday happen. Putting all the proper work in during the week. Spending time together, I feel like we’re growing closer as a team as the weeks go by. That’s one of the most important things as you make it through a season, to constantly grow together. It doesn’t always work out on the field, it’s not designed to. I mean that’s just the way it goes. But, to be able to bounce back after Monday says a lot about the locker room and the guys we have.

On responding today after the criticism he took during the week…

That’s part of the job, it’s alright. It was big just for the team in general. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy. So we just have to keep doing that, try to stay efficient. Block everything else out and just keep playing for the guys in our locker room.

On if the touchdown to Stephen Hill was a throw-him-open play…

I tried to and Stephen made a heck of a play, understanding the coverage, realizing how [Tom] Zbikowski was playing him and it really was a good spot for Stephen to slow down and try to reach for the ball. It was great coverage. Stephen made a really great play.

On how it felt to have the running game go well and have Keller and Hill back…

It felt good just during the week of practice, knowing exactly who was going to be in. When I go through the game plan, I’m looking at specific plays and knowing exactly who’s playing X and who’s playing Z. When you watch the film that way and know that it’s not "Oh, it could be this, it could be him, too. It could be him if somebody goes down." It’s tough, and it’s hard for Coach Sparano. He’s like, "Hey, we could run this out of a two-tight-end set, we could run this out of a two-back set depending on what happens with Dustin." Well, it’s tough to game plan that way.

Then, you really have, if there’s 110 plays and half of them are two different personnel [groups], that changes your entire practice script. You have to rep some of those plays over and over and over just to get those guys time on task. It was nice during the week, long answer. But, yes, it was nice to have those guys back and it really helped.

On if he envisioned this offense running the ball and use the running game to set up the pass…

Whatever we need to win. It’s not necessarily today, today just happened to be a great day running. Look at the Buffalo game, we threw the heck out of it and were really successful through the air. If that’s what we need, then that’s what we have to do. Then, our other win against Miami, just grinding it out and finding a way to win late in the game or in overtime if we have to do that. Wins come in all shapes and forms, so we have to be ready to play specific to that game.

But I was just proud of the way we rushed it today. A good running game, good defense with three takeaways, solid special teams. Those are all a quarterback’s best friend. I know that from playing a couple of years now and that can’t make your job any easier, so I’m very thankful for those guys and the way they played.

On if this is the best he has ever seen Shonn Greene run…

He had three against Washington last year. When I saw that on the board, that was the first thing I thought of: when he busted that run when we would've rather had him fall down in that situation last year. It’s great for Shonn. He’s a heck of a player and he just keeps grinding. He just keeps grinding, keeps playing hard and that wasn't easy. A couple of those running backs went out, so Shonn’s picking up the load and he’s picking himself up off the ground and running it five more times in a row. That’s not easy for a running back, but he kept on going.

On if he could sense the Colts defense wearing down as the game went on…

I just felt like we were getting stronger. Once we identified them upfront, blocking-wise, we just kept getting stronger. Shonn broke some tackles, Joe [McKnight] busted a long one, so I think it was really just focusing on our guys and just being happy for them.

On if Greene was complaining at all about having to run the ball so much…

Shonn doesn’t say much, you guys know that [joking].

On Greene was grumpy about having to carry the ball over and over…

No, he’s a funny guy. He’s great. The running backs and I had dinner this last week and I think Shonn got the biggest steak you could possibly have. So if he was tired, it was from that and not rushing the ball too much. He eats like a lineman. He needed it all today though, so that was good for him.

QB TIM TEBOW

On what he saw on the fake punt…

I felt like we had a good look. They did a great job getting off the line and Nick [Bellore] was wide open.

On the importance of the fake punt…

It felt really good. I felt like it gave us a lot of momentum and we punched it in for a touchdown. It was a good play for us.

On how much of a gamble the fake punt was…

If it works, it’s never too big of a gamble. I guess any time you fake a punt, it’s going to be a little bit of a gamble. Coach Westhoff is pretty gutsy and I like that.

On if other teams will catch on to their fake-punt play…

We just have to keep trying to go out there and giving different looks. Sometimes we’ll have to play it safe, punt the ball, and don’t let them return it. I feel like we got a lot of fair catches today, I don’t know if they returned one. That’s pretty good when their signaling your gunners and get down there and get good field position.

On if Nick Bellore can play receiver…

[Laughs] He’s got good hands. I thought he had a chance to make the punt returner miss. We’ll give him a hard time about it.

On being creative…

We have to keep being creative and keeping them off balance and have the ability to do different things when I’m at the line.

On if Bellore is his favorite receiver…

[Laughing] He was today.

On how often they worked on the fake punt in practice…

We work on it a lot. That play just got put in this week. We’ve been working on some for a while, but that was just put in.

On if there was an option to run on the fake punt…

Once I make the call, it’s just a pass.

On if he was concerned passing to a linebacker…

Did I have any concerns? No. Nick’s very trustworthy. Plus, he was so excited all week. It was fun.

On if he needs to see a certain coverage to make the play…

We’ll go out there. Coach Westhoff changes around the different looks and we have to be prepared because we’ll see some teams play completely different. We have to be prepared for whatever they come out in. We just go over a lot of different looks and are prepared for whatever they do, so we can adjust.

On if he views the fake punt as the turning point of the game…

I don’t know if I view it as the turning point. I think it gave us momentum. We were able to punch it in and score a touchdown, which is big. It gave us one more possession.

RB SHONN GREENE

On how the team was able to have a breakout rushing performance…

Just us believing in ourselves and not giving up. Just hard days at practice. When you’re down and the running game’s not going as well as you want, it’s easy to just give up on it and just be like, “whatever,” but we keep working every week at practice. We keep just grinding and grinding and saying it’s going to come along and it did today.

On if it was nice to have a big game as an individual…

It was pretty nice to get a win. What was it, [35-9] or something like that? It was nice to put points up on the board and that’s what we want to do. We want to execute, stay on the field, keep our defense fresh and put points on the board.

On if he found more holes today…

Yeah, my offensive line did a great job today. Lex [Hilliard] did a great job at fullback. The wide receivers blocked down the field. As one offense, one unit, we did a great job.

On if this is the best the running game has looked in a while…

Yeah, I think so. I think it’s important that we keep just working hard at practice and keep this momentum.

WR JASON HILL

On his touchdown catch…

It’s something we practiced during the week. I’m obviously limited. My base isn’t as big as our guys who have been here throughout training camp. So, that was one of the plays we worked on, just made it happen. Mark [Sanchez] found me and I’m glad we scored.

On if the short-range passing game was in Sanchez’s comfort zone…

Yeah, but at the same time, we’re taking what the defense gives us. You want to be aggressive, but you want to be smart aggressive, and I think that’s what we did. Our running game was wide open today and thankfully so, because we rode it until the end.

On if he knew the team’s passing game would be limited this week…

No, I wouldn’t say that. We came into the game with equal opportunity. I think Shonn [Greene] took off and Joe [McKnight] took off. We rode their backs today.

On how he worked to get on the same page with Sanchez…

Just in meetings. Doing the things that you do, the weekly meetings and everything. I think he respects the way I work, early and late, making sure I’m on top of everything, and be professional. So far, so good.

G BRANDON MOORE

On the running game…

As a coach, going into the game, that’s a team, we weren’t ranked, they weren’t ranked high at all in running the ball. They ranked about even with us on defense and rushing on offense. We wanted to be able to run the ball and I think we did that.

On if it feels good to finally get a win…

It was one game, but it feels good to know that you can do the things necessary that you’re capable of doing. The more people that tell you you’re capable of doing it, you feel like you are. When it hadn’t really panned out for you, it’s good to finally see those things you hear those coaches say that you believe in come to fruition in the game on Sunday.

On if having Keller back helps with blocking…

I assume, I guess he must have done OK. A couple of times I pulled around and he was locked up on his guy. I mean, it definitely helps having an experienced guy like him be able to be back and give us another weapon.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On if he agrees with Coach Ryan’s comment about him stepping up…

I would agree with it. I’m just trying to do my best and make sure that the other guys are doing the same, make sure they’re playing at a high level, too. I think we’ve got young guys with Ellis Lankster, making sure Kyle [Wilson] is playing, and he’s playing pretty well right now too. We’re just trying to make sure those guys know that we’re playing together and we know what we’re supposed to do and that they’re playing at a high level.

On how much a win the next two weeks would mean…

I mean, for us, we only focus on one week and that’s this week right here against the Colts. Right now, what we’re looking at is we’re one game back from being in first place. The biggest thing is we have an AFC game coming up. We have to make sure that we come in and try to win this game at home and just take care of what we need to take care of from that point on.

On potentially playing offense on Sunday…

Honestly, I don’t really know. They just told me to be ready if they need me. That’s the route I’m taking and that’s how I’m going about it, just make sure that I’m mentally and physically ready to go when my number is called.

S LaRON LANDRY

On if the win boosted their confidence…

It’s definitely a confidence builder, but you can’t get overly excited. You play week in and week out to win ball games. It’s definitely a must do, our job is to win. It’s a confidence builder. We needed a change, we just have to build on it.

On what Coach Ryan emphasized at halftime…

Just keep fighting, Stay in it. We have a lot more ball to play. We had a great first half, but we have to finish. It’s not how you start it’s how you finish. We finished today.

On if this was a much-needed win…

It’s a must-need-win week in and week out, so that’s the way I view it. I can say everybody’s working on the same goal. Win week in and week out and get to that championship. That’s what I mean. We have to win week in and week out.

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