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POSTGAME: We Have to Look Down Deep

Posted Sep 30, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' MetLife Stadium locker room following their Sunday 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers:


I apologize for my language because I was going to say we got our butt kicked, but we got our *** kicked. There’s no two ways, in’s or out’s about it. It should be 7-3 at halftime, but it’s 10-0 because of mistakes we made. Then we come out, turn the ball over four times. Here’s the recipe for getting your *** kicked: 2-for-13 on third down — that’s 15 percent — four turnovers, a blocked punt when they rushed one guy, and giving up 245 yards rushing. How’s that for a recipe? It’s unacceptable.

We’ve got to look at it. It starts with the coaches. The players aren’t going to be in on Monday or Tuesday. They have to dig deep and look down at themselves. As coaches, we need to look at what we’re doing. I’ve never given up so many rushing yards in my life. What can we do to help? We can’t just say it’s poor tackling and this and that. There must be something to it, so we’re going to find out. Clearly, we’re not going to beat anybody when we play like we did today.

On why the offense struggled…

That’s a good question. I don’t know. We couldn’t convert a third down, we couldn’t protect, and we struggled running the football. Other than that, I don’t know.

On what it would take for him to make a quarterback change…

I’m not ready to make a quarterback change. We have to get better play at quarterback. We have to get better at a lot of things. You look at yourself first, and there are things that clearly we all need to do.

On how angry he is right now…

Pretty angry. I’m disappointed. I thought our fans deserved a heck of a lot better than this. We had a packed stadium and played like … we played terrible.

On if he had news on the foot injury to WR Santonio Holmes

No, I have not.

On if he thought of making a quarterback change in the fourth quarter to give Greg McElroy experience…

No, it would be hard to get McElroy because he’s not up. I did not think of that.

On if this was as bad a loss as he has had a Jets coach…

Yeah, no question. I can’t remember getting beat the way we got beat. I don’t think that’s ever happened.

On what it was like coaching the fourth quarter while he was angry…

It’s not a position that we’re used to being in or that I am use to being in. It’s not one that I ever want to go through again. My dad always said, "If you stay in it long enough, it’ll happen to you again." I certainly don’t look forward to that day.

On if he believes the second half was more about heart and toughness than X’s and O’s…

I can tell you this: it was certainly about execution. They out-executed us. Our guys are tough and have plenty of heart. We just never executed. We didn’t get off blocks well enough. We didn’t tackle well enough. We have to look at it from a schematics standpoint and determine if we’re putting our players in the best position to be successful. I don’t know that answer right now.

On if Mark Sanchez had an explanation for not protecting the ball…

It’s a huge mistake. He’s trying to make a guy miss, he’s trying to make a play down the field, but in that area, you just have to protect the football first. In his competitiveness, he’s trying to make a play for us. He makes that first guy miss, tries to keep the play alive, and it’s just unfortunate.

On if this is the same team he thought he had three weeks ago…

Obviously, I know the character of the men in that room and that’s what I’m betting on. We’ll get it done. We’ll get it fixed. It’s just not going to be easy. Obviously, if it was easy, we would’ve fixed it before. Clearly we have to look at it. We have to look deep and we have to get better. And like I said, our fans deserve a lot better than this. I know right now, we’re not even close to being one of the better teams in this league, not even close. But we need to start being better and we need to start now. At the end of the year, that’s where you want to be. Clearly, we’re not close to that right now.

On missed tackles…

It’s frustrating. There’s no doubt. It’s hard to practice because you can’t afford to get somebody hurt and all that. We can’t afford to keep missing tackles, either. One week, maybe you can accept it, but you have to keep going. I know we emphasize it, but clearly, we have to do a much better job of tackling.

On Sanchez’s completion percentage being under 50 percent for the third consecutive game…

I think a lot of it has to do with the kind of duress he’s under. When he can set his feet, he can make those throws. Now, he missed some today, hasn’t been as accurate as he’s been in the past, but it’s something that we clearly have to get better at. We have to take what we do on the practice field, bring it over to the game field. We weren’t great this week at throwing the football on the practice field. I thought we played better, I thought we did some good things on the practice field, I thought our defense was outstanding, communication, everything else, especially in the back end. Actually, we did decent back there, but it doesn’t matter. If you can’t stop the run better than we did, then it really doesn’t matter.

On if he would consider making changes in the starting lineups…

If we think that will help us, then sure, we’ll look into that. I’m not sure if that will help, but we’ll look at everything these next couple days.

On why he won’t consider making a quarterback change…

I don’t think that’s the answer. I think Mark’s the answer at quarterback.

On if he won’t consider making a quarterback change because Tebow is not the answer or because Sanchez is the answer…

I think Mark is the answer. Again, time will tell.

On if Sanchez’s contract is part of the reason why he won’t consider a quarterback change…

Contract has nothing to do with it.


On his emotions after today’s loss…

I think the whole team was ******. I know the whole team was. Guys are just upset and frustrated. This is not the way we imagined this game going and just left too many opportunities out on the field. San Francisco took advantage of them. It just wasn’t our best. That’s the unfortunate thing. We just have to get better and dig ourselves out. We’re 2-2. It’s not the end of the world. We have a lot of football left. It’s the guys in that locker room, myself included, that have to improve and turn this thing around.

On if today’s loss shakes the team’s confidence…

I don’t think guys’ confidence is shaken. I think everybody’s just a little frustrated, just upset and disappointed in themselves and in our effort today. I take that back, in our execution, not our effort. The effort’s always there. Guys always work hard. They get their workouts in all week. They’re studying and preparing for the game plan. We just didn’t execute well. It starts with the quarterback and I didn’t play well enough for us to win.

On why he thinks he didn’t execute well today…

We just missed a couple of things. Their DBs played well. I'm not as accurate as I need to be, so that has to change. It has to get better.

On his fumble late in the first half…

That was a huge mistake on my part. I know we’re in field goal range. It looked cloudy with my read. Guys weren’t open and I took off, tried to get us a couple of more yards and make it an even easier field goal and I let go of the football. That can’t happen. It should be 7-3 at halftime. Then our defense makes a stop after we don’t do anything on our first drive. Our second drive, we start rolling there and get intercepted on a screen pass. I try to keep chance and luck out of it, but that’s a pretty unlucky play. A great effort by them and they end up with the football after we start putting a drive together. Both of those situations, it’s really tough and I have to hold on to the ball.

On if he is concerned about his job security…

No, not at all. I just have to improve.

On his accuracy and the running game…

I felt good all week. I was accurate all week and it just didn’t show up in the game. Running the football, we have to keep at it. It’s not one of those things you can just abandon because we’re real close on some of them. We have to give ourselves an opportunity on third-and-short a couple more times and keep moving the chains. Just a tough outing for us and all around just a great effort by San Francisco, so not our best.

On the play when Santonio Holmes was hurt…

I thought it was his knee or something, but apparently it’s his foot. So he’s in there getting treatment right now and we’ll see what the final determination is there. That’s really too bad. You’d love him to hang on to the ball, but at the same time, when a guy’s going down and hurt, you kind of assumed the play was over. So it’s just another tough play.

On the possibility of being without Holmes for the next few weeks…

We have to play with what we got. It’s going to be on me to be much more accurate than today and last week and play well with the receivers we have. There’s some great ability in that room, in that receiver room, so they’ll have to pick up the slack.

On the approach to overcoming the injuries to Dustin Keller, Holmes and Hill…

None of those guys are just going to get better overnight. So it’s on me to lead this team and lead these guys, and play better than I did today, hang on to the football in key situations. Regardless of who the receivers are, that one’s my fault. There are some plays there that can just be better.

On his interception off of a tipped pass…

It’s a screen. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. You invite the rush and you throw it right over them. He made a pretty good play. They always try to tip it and usually that ball always goes right through. That’s tough.

On if the team needs to hang together right now…

Absolutely, and guys know that. The answers are in that locker room. Nobody’s just going to show up and fix everything. We’ve got to fix it ourselves, but we understand that, and we’ll be strong through it. At the end of the day, it wasn’t our best, but we’re 2-2, and we’ve got a lot of season left.

On if the Jets have enough firepower at the skill positions with the injury to Holmes…

Well, we’re going to have to. What are we going to do? We can’t just not show up. We’ve got to play and we’ve got to play better than we did today no matter who’s out there.

On a pair of third-down plays…

I’ve got to go back and look at the film, but we had JK [Jeremy Kerley] on one and got a holding, and then I missed Tone, I think, on one of the third downs and just threw it over his head. I’ve got to hit him when he’s open and got to get him open.

On if he feels more pressure after his struggles today in comparison to struggles earlier in his career…

No, they’re similar times. We’ve been on the other end of that kind of game before. I keep telling myself that. I keep reminding myself how well we were prepared during camp and each week how much effort Coach [Tony] Sparano puts into each game plan and how well players learn the system and stuff, but it’s nothing you can’t come back from. So that’s where my head’s at. Stay positive and rally these guys.

On Coach Ryan telling the team to not show up to the practice facility on Monday or Tuesday and his approach to responding to this type of defeat…

Well, I think his message there was really to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how you’re going to get better. And if we all do that and really stick to it, come up with a quick plan here of how we’re going to improve individually, we can accomplish what we want to, what we set out to accomplish this year. I’m sure a lot of guys will still be there working out, but he just wants to make sure guys let a loss like this sink in. Hopefully, we never have to feel like this again.

On if he had an opportunity to speak with Holmes after the game…

Yeah, I talked to him real quick.

On what was said…

It’s a private conversation.

On how Holmes feels…

He feels great. We’ll see.


On if this was not the result they wanted…

That is definitely true. We just have to go out there and execute better.

On the game plan…

Well every week is a little bit different. You have to go out and prepare. You have to game plan. You have to be ready on Sunday and you have to be ready to go and today we weren’t.

On if he expects to play more…

I am ready to do whatever they ask me to do. That is my mentality and that is the way it has been since I got here.

On what Coach Ryan said to the team after the game…

We just have to get better. We have the talent. He believes in all of us, we just have to get better as a team.

On if teams are expecting him to run the ball…

Yeah. I think they are probably game planning. Every game is a little bit different so you just have to take it game by game.

On what he expects teammates to do on their time off…

To focus on our responsibility and getting better. Just doing your job, not worrying about anyone else’s. Just doing your job and slowly getting better, having great days of practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

On if practice this week indicated how the game would go...

We just have to do a better job in practice. You can translate that over into the game. I think the work ethic is there, the talent is there. We just have to continue to execute and get better.

On what he thought seeing San Francisco run the wildcat…

Nothing. I am not worried about it. We have a great defense and they came up with so many stops for us. They do a good job for us.

On if teams are expecting the Wildcat whenever he is on the field…

I don’t know. I think we have done a pretty good job of changing it up, coming out of the backfield, blocking, doing different things. I don’t think they always expect it.

On his reaction to fans cheering his name…

I'm not worried about it. I'm just worried about staying focused and how I can help this team at a given time.

On if he can help the team by being on the field more…

I just want to help however they ask me to and when my number is called, to be ready.

On if this is a game to remember…

It depends on who you are. For me, it is not a game you forget about. I think losses more than anything drive you, push you to work harder, push you to lift more, push you to train harder, push you to go out there and get extra work in. I think wins are always great for motivation. I think the driving force for a lot of competitive athletes is losses because you don’t want to look like that again.

On if he is in a position to challenge his teammates…

Right now we have a lot of great leaders on the team who do a good job of encouraging and having a great atmosphere and great environment and pushing each other. I think that is one thing we have done well on this team so far and we need to continue to do it.

On Santonio Holmes’ injury…

I'm just praying for his health and safety and that he's OK and for his family and everybody that is watching him.

On the jump pass…

You don’t have to jump, but yeah, it is kind of a pop pass. It is something we've worked on for a little while. I felt we had a good look and execution. It's just unfortunate what happened next.

On if he was excited about his expanded role in this game…

I always get excited with whatever they ask me to do and whatever my role is for a game. You could have stuff in the game plan that could not get called. You could have something pop up if they see that something works. It just depends. I get excited any time they ask me to go out there and help the team.

On his relationship with Mark Sanchez…

Me and Mark have a great relationship. We're not worried about that. We are not worried about what others are saying. That is just between us. I think we are a lot bigger and our relationship is a lot deeper than just that.

On if this loss can help the team…

It could be one of the best things to happen to us all season. When you have defeats like this where you get beat up and you get beaten in every phase, it really is something you can rally behind and motivate you. Different teams I have been on with losses like this, I feel like we have rallied behind because you don’t want to feel like that again. It kind of puts you on edge a little bit. When you are in meetings you are a little more focused, on the practice field you are going a little bit harder, in the weight room you are lifting a little bit more. I think this could be the best thing that happens to us all year.

On why being on edge is good for a starting quarterback…

I don’t think being on edge as an individual player, I think as a team it is a different mentality. You have a chip on your shoulder. You want to go out there and play for your teammates and all the people that believe in you and prove wrong all of the people who don’t.

On the success that Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers had running the Wildcat…

As an offensive player, we aren’t worried about it. I wasn’t watching their offense. I know he's a great player and he does a great job. They had a great game and they did things well so good for them.

On if he could provide a spark for the team if he was able to play more…

I am just ready and willing to do whatever they want me to do.

On if he is supportive of Sanchez after a loss…

Absolutely, a supporter and a friend, someone that is obviously competing with me everyday, but our relationship is a lot deeper than just that. You root him on and you encourage him. If there is anything I can do to help him, I am going to do it.

On Sanchez’s mentality during the game…

I think that he mentally kept focused. He tried to encourage guys and be into it and I think he kept a good mentality throughout.

On if he would be able to provide a spark to the team…

I just want to do the best I can with whatever role that they give me, provide enthusiasm and energy every time I get the opportunity but also from the sidelines or wherever I am, just be a good teammate, encourage guys and when, given opportunities, just try and make the most of them.

On if it was frustrating to watch the game because he was not given much opportunity to play…

It is just frustrating to lose and to lose like this. I think more than anything, whatever role you are asked to do, it is frustrating to be a part of it and I think we just have to rally around it, get motivated, stay motivated and use it as a chip.

On if it felt this low last season at Denver before the season turned around…

It didn’t feel good then, that's for sure. It was something that you can’t worry about the whole season or the end of the season what people are saying. You have to worry about right now what I can control. It is not what anybody out here is saying. It is doing my job, getting a little bit better everyday and that was kind of our mentality and I feel like we are taking it one game at a time, one play at a time, one day at a time and without that I think that is when things can get to you and that is when you have to stay focused.

On missing players due to injury…

For all of those guys that get injured, first and foremost you should care about their safety and their health. I am praying for them as people more than just as football players and that is how I look at them as friends. They are not just teammates. Whoever is out there, we just want to find a way to give these fans something to cheer about and try to win football games.

On not getting to play consecutive snaps…

You try to get as much into the game as much as you can, the momentum and the feel of it as you can on the sidelines. You try to be as into it as you can. Obviously, it is not as easy as if you are out there. But I feel like having to do this role before, you try to stay into it as much as you can.

On if he feels he plays better when he gets hit…

Sometimes I have played better after getting hit a few times and getting into it that way. Sometimes it just makes you on edge a little bit more. Sometimes I play better after getting hit once or twice.

On if today is superior talent having a superior day…

They are a very good team, no question about it but one or two more plays early in the game and that game is a lot different. Sometimes a few things go wrong and spiral out of control but we have a lot of talent in this locker room and a lot of great players. If we could've just executed a little bit better early, I think it is a much different game.

On how he gets more playing time…

I am not worried about how, I am just worried about doing the best I can in whatever role I am given.


On the defensive performance…

I thought we played OK, not to the Jets' standards. I think the biggest thing for us is we just have to make sure when we make the tackle, we need to make the tackle. I think we had too many yards after contact especially in the first half. I think the biggest thing for us is we have to get back to the basics and do what we know to do. Right now we’re sitting at 2-2 on the season and we have a big game coming up on Monday night.

On not returning to the facility until Wednesday…

I’m coming in on Monday and Tuesday. I have to get ready to watch film. I have to learn from my mistakes in this game and make sure I get ready for the Houston game on Monday night. The biggest thing is we’re going to be in, especially the defensive backs, we’re going to be in. We’re going to be trying to watch film and make sure we’re communicating the right way and doing the things we need to do. I don’t know about everybody else, but I know I’m going in to make sure I do what I need to do to take care of my body and get ready for the game.

On showing leadership…

I think leadership has to show throughout, no matter how the game goes. You win or lose, leadership has to be there. We have to make sure we’re doing the things we need to do. I think the biggest thing for us is we just have to continue to play for all four quarters.


On his performance…

I thought I did a good job of understanding what they were doing on offense when they were taking shots. My overall technique, I got my hands on the wideouts throughout the time. Overall, I’d rather take a win any day than a single performance.

On difficulties on defense…

We just have to stop the run. Once we stop the run, that tailors to our defense, as far as making him throw the ball. Again, we just have to watch film and get some things corrected. Overall, just play our technique and our defense will be fine.

On what he is going to do differently this week…

Look back at the game and see what I could have done better. Obviously, I have some points of emphasis this week coming up, but every week is the same for me. I analyze the film and figure out what I can work on. Obviously, I self-scout and have some points of emphasis for the week at practice, and ultimately go out there and get better.


On the injury to Santonio Holmes…

I saw him but I don’t know what’s going on. Obviously, it looked pretty bad. If he’s going to come out of the game, he’s a pretty tough guy, it’s got to be something that’s not so good. So we’ll see.

On the offensive struggles…

It was rough. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. We didn’t stay on the field, we had turnovers, guys got hurt, their team capitalized on what we did wrong. It wasn’t a good feeling.

On the lack of execution for the offense…

When we were out there, we executed, we had drives and then they went horribly wrong. Then we would get back out there and we’d have a drive and it would go wrong. It seemed like we executed to a point and then we shot ourselves in the foot. Give them credit, they capitalized on what we did bad. If we had done what we were supposed to do it, wouldn’t have been that score at all.

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