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POSTGAME: We Helped Them, They Outplayed Us

Posted Nov 23, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' MetLife Stadium locker room following their 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving night:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

That was a nightmare of a game, to say the least. You turn the ball over five times and then blow coverage. We just got beat. I know we’re better physically on defense than how we played. The five turnovers …. that team is a good enough that they don’t need help. We did both — we helped them, and they clearly outplayed and outcoached us. I know our fans deserve a heck of a lot better than this, and I will say this: Our fans are going to get everything we have. We’ll find out what that means, if it’s good enough or not, but I can promise you that.

On the Jets beating themselves at home and taking themselves out of the game…

I thought it was almost impossible to score 35 points in a quarter, but they found a way to do it. You have to give them a ton of credit. That’s a great football team. Like I said, they don’t need any help, and when you don’t protect the football, 35 points in a quarter is ridiculous.

On what changed from the first to the second quarter…

You have to give them credit. They executed and we made some serious mistakes. When you make mistakes against that football team, they make you pay. And it’s not just us, it’s anybody. That is what really happened. Clearly, we blew some coverages and they won some physical battles against us. They did a good job of coaching and preparing their football team.

On if the Jets had a lack of mental toughness early in the game…

I wouldn’t say that. It’s 0-0 in the first quarter. Mental toughness doesn’t have anything to do with fumbling the football. You have to give credit to them. I don’t believe it was about mental toughness.

On QB Mark Sanchez’s interception…

What I saw is that they were playing what we call a hole coverage. The backside safety did a great job of selling the Cover-2 and then snuck down late in the down and robbed the route. That’s how they got the interception.

On if the playoffs are out of reach at 4-7…

I’m not thinking about that. We just have to play as good as we can. That’s the bottom line. We have to play as good as we can and we’ll see what happens. That has to be what we do. We have five games left. Let’s see how good we can possibly play and how good we can coach. I promise we’re going to keep coaching and I can promise you we’re going to keep playing. That’s what we have to do. I thought we did a lot of good things offensively, and then we shot ourselves in the foot. I was encouraged by some of the things we did on offense, but five turnovers, you’re not going to beat anybody.

On the injury to QB Tim Tebow

I was only going to play Tim if we absolutely had to have him. That’s why he wasn’t on the punt team and didn’t have any snaps on offense.

On how discouraged he is at the Jets' play this season…

Of course I’m discouraged. I’ll put it to you this way: We’re about as wounded as we can possibly be, but we’re not dead. I can tell you this: We will give everything we have, every ounce of energy we have, to get this thing going. That’s from a coaching standpoint as well as the players. If not, then we’ll make adjustments.

On Sanchez fumbling when he ran into G Brandon Moore….

My understanding is I thought he reversed out the wrong way. That’s what happened. It was a mental mistake and then he just tried to slide. When he did, he actually ran into Brandon.

On if Tebow’s rib injury got worse…

As the week went on, it seemed to get progressively worse. He practiced and things, but a couple of days ago I could tell he was hurt. His breathing was a little different. I was standing there and I was like, "I’m not going to play this kid." I wouldn’t play my son in that kind of situation. To Tim’s credit, he wanted to be there for his team. There is no doubt if you left it up to him, he was going to play. I was like, "Look, if we absolutely have to have him to win a football game or whatever, then we may consider it." But to me, that would be the only way that we were going to play Tim, the only way I was going to play him.

On why QB Greg McElroy was inactive if Tebow wasn’t going to play…

Again, all through the week, [Tim] practiced as the backup quarterback. The thought did go through my mind to possibly deactivate him. When he came out here, he felt that if he had to go, he could get it done. That was my decision.

On if he’s considering a quarterback change…

When you play a game like this, it’s hardly on one guy. Mark, he had a 94 quarterback rating. I thought he threw the ball well. The obvious interception, the defensive back, they did a great job with disguising the coverage. You show a Cover-5, what we call it, a Cover-2 basically, then he robs the post when the eyes come off. The young man did a great job. Again, Mark will be the starting quarterback this week and we’ll go from there.

On if he’s concerned about losing the pulse of the team…

No, I’m not concerned at all. Right now the results are not what we wanted, but this team is a close team. That’s why I know we’ll stay the course. We’re going to keep fighting and we’ll see what happens. But again, no, I’m not concerned with that.

On if any drastic changes will be made…

Each week you look at an opponent specific. You do different things. Defensively, you do different things based on who’s healthy, who’s not, how you attack opponents. You do the same thing on offense. Again, we’re playing the healthy guys we have. I think the change that you’re talking about probably would be at quarterback. You can’t blame it on just one individual. I think Mark does give us the best chance to win right now and that’s what we’ll do.

On why he believes Sanchez gives the team the best chance to win…

I believe he does. That’s probably the first mistake he’s made giving a handoff all season. It’s just an unfortunate thing that happened. He was actually trying to slide to protect the ball and it came out. Again, guys, it’s a one-in-a-zillion play. I’m not sure what happened on it, but that’s the reality of that play. In my opinion, it’s the first time that he’s made that mistake all season.

On if he was personally hurt by the crowd booing…

I don’t blame them. I don’t blame them for booing me. The one thing I know about our fans, our fans are passionate. They want to win. Again, I don’t blame them for booing me. My team never played very well today. I understand and I respect our fans. but one thing I’d say: They’re going to get everything I have, everything every man has in that locker room. That’s what I know will happen.

On if he expects to return next year…

I do. I think our team will play a heck of a lot better and I don’t believe anybody will ask that question by the time the year’s over. That’s my personal opinion.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On his mental error…

I was thinking a different play in my head. Just a mental error there. So as soon as I realized there was nobody to hand it to I started to run toward the line and tried to cover it up and just get down, and I slid right into Brandon Moore. That was kind of an unfortunate deal there. I’m not a big believer in luck, but that was pretty unlucky. It was really too bad.

On what was unlucky…

Just sliding right into him. I was just trying to get down, the play was over, just say uncle and do the right thing and go back, second-and-10, and fight another down, and then the thing came out, so you just have to take care of the ball.

On who he was supposed to hand the ball off to…

The fullback.

On if the crowd booing bothers him…

No. There’s nothing you can do about that except play better.

On his outlook knowing they’re 4-7…

We have some games coming up where we really have to eliminate some of this self-inflicted stuff. You eliminate some of those turnovers and we’re right in the game. If we do that, we take care of the football, myself included, we really have a chance at this thing. I think Coach said it best to the team and to you that these next five games, you have to give it everything you’ve got, really empty the tank and just put your head down and work and see what happens at the end of five weeks. Not worry about anything else, let everything else just fall into place and try and rip off five wins in a row and it starts next week.

On the Patriots scoring three touchdowns in one minute…

It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that. This is a team that you can’t turn the ball over against because they make you pay and it was a great display of that today. Hats off to them for taking advantage of opportunities that we missed and things that we screwed up. They make you pay.

On his interception…

I thought [Steve] Gregory and their scheme was great. I thought he made a great play and I was thinking one thing, they played another and tried to anticipate [Jeremy] Kerley down the middle and Gregory got me. So that was a good play by him. Those things happen. It was unfortunate.

On how different the game would be had he not thrown the interception…

Obviously, momentum would’ve been huge, we’d be up there, who knows, sky's the limit. So that’s never what you want to have happen down there tight like that and it was good coverage and a good play.

On if the Jets' series with the Patriots is still a rivalry…

Yes, they’re one of our division rivals. It’s always a tough game and we’ve come up on the short end here the last couple of times. We’ll worry about that another time and get ready for this next week.

On the Jets saying they need to beat the Patriots to win the division…

That’s not really in our hands right now. We just have to keep playing, win as many games as possible and see what happens. I guess, in that case, you’re right.

On if this is as low as he has felt in his career…

I don’t know, there were some low points my rookie year. You just keep fighting through them, go back and watch the tape. We moved the ball well, we ran the ball well. We just got down by so many points you can’t run the ball anymore after that. There were plenty of positive things and then just that second quarter that blew up. It was really one-sided in that quarter.

On what Coach Ryan said to the team at halftime…

Just to keep fighting and go after it one play at a time, one drive at a time on offense. Try to get the ball on defense, strip the ball, get an interception, whatever we can do try and turn this thing around. We really wanted to score that first drive coming out of halftime and we didn’t get it. It’s really too bad, just a couple of turnovers and the whole thing’s different. It’s upsetting.

On Tom Brady…

He’s one of the best in the game, there’s no doubt about that. His players are good. The coaches are good. They have a great scheme each week. They work hard and one of the most important things is they play real smart. They’re an intelligent bunch and they’re in the right place at the right time. They don’t make the mistakes that we made tonight and that’s why they’ve been so good every year. It starts with their coaching and their talent, obviously, as well.

On why the offense continues to turn the ball over…

I think that’s the million-dollar question there. That’s what we’re still working on. There’s no time to point fingers or be upset. We have to just keep playing, try to fix it on the fly, come back next week and try to play a clean game and see what happens when we don’t turn the ball over just like in St. Louis. We’ve done it before where we take care of the football, play good defense, special teams gets us in the right position, and we win games. That’s really the formula and we’ve gotten away from that.

On if he thinks the short week hurt the team…

I don’t think so. They had the same turnaround as well and they took care of the football. I don’t think that has anything to do with it.

On how he handles fans chanting for Tim Tebow…

The same way I’ve handled it before and just block it out. I don’t think about it, just keep playing, keep fighting for our guys and just continue to work, try to get better and eliminate some of these mistakes that have hurt us.

QB TIM TEBOW

On Coach Ryan stating that he did not want him to play with his injury…

I appreciate his concern. I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress but I just wanted to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation.

On if his breathing has been affected by his rib injury…

Yeah. They need a little time to get better.

On the nature of his rib injury…

Two fractured ribs.

On when he sustained the injury…

The Seattle game.

On if he remembers the play when the injury occurred…

I don’t remember the exact play, it was just during that game.

On if the injury occurred during a punt protection…

No, it was on offense, I think. I didn’t really know. I just kept playing and started to feel it later on.

On if he has been practicing…

Yes.

On if practice has been difficult because of his injury…

Some of it has been, yeah.

On if his injury will prevent him from playing in further games…

I hope not. I was ready to go if they needed me. Obviously, it was not ideal. I just wanted to be there for my teammates and do whatever I can to help.

On if he would have been able to play if this game was on Sunday…

I don’t know. I think that's up to the trainers and the coaches. It's the same for both teams. You go out there and prepare and do what you've been training for all year and we just have to get better.

On the crowd chanting his name…

I don’t pay attention to that. I just want to help support my team any way I can.

On how difficult the loss is for the team…

It's definitely difficult. It's not fun. It's not an easy loss. It's a game we had to be up for, a big game, on Thanksgiving, big stage versus a rival, and it is definitely disappointing for us.

On how the team will respond to the loss…

Hopefully we go back and keep working hard and have a great attitude and support one another and find a way to get better.

On his experience this season…

I think every experience you go through in life, you learn things. I think through this we will learn a lot as a team. I learned a lot being a part of that team and I think there are a lot of things we can take away from these first 11 games, positive and negative, and find a way to learn from it and improve as individuals and players and also as a team.

On if this year has been disappointing…

Anytime you lose, it’s always disappointing. You play to win. We’ve just got to find a way to improve. We’ve got five more games. Try to get some wins and keep it positive, keep working hard and keep getting better. We don’t know what our future holds but we’ve just got to try and improve every day.

On if this season has been disappointing for him personally…

I didn’t know what to expect, so everything has been new for me. I’m just trying to handle every situation as best I can.

On how long he expects his ribs to be an issue…

I don’t know. I'll just try to handle them as best I can.

On if he would have played only in an emergency…

That’s what they told me, yes.

On if he needs rest…

I guess.

On if he has any idea how many weeks that may take…

I’m not sure. You try to obviously do whatever you can for your team. So, sometimes there’s some setbacks with that, the St. Louis game a little bit and practice, but you just do what you can to keep going forward.

On if the 10-day layoff will be beneficial for his injury…

It’ll definitely help, yeah.

On if he will stay in New York for the 10 days…

Yeah, I’m going to be here.

On when he fractured his ribs…

In Seattle.

On if there is extra urgency to get back in the lineup…

In my mind, I’ll be ready to go when they need me. Whatever I can do for the team, that’s my mindset. That’s what I was ready to do tonight.

On if his condition worsened during the week or just did not improve…

It’s hard to say. Obviously, playing St. Louis and then trying to go and practice, it’s tough to let it get a chance to heal, so I’ll just try to do that.

On if his ribs are cracked or broken…

I fractured two ribs in Seattle.

On if he has ever had fractured ribs before…

Yes.

On if this time is any worse or better…

Different spots.

On if he remembers what the healing process was like last time he had the injury…

I had fractured this one [the second rib] the last game of the year, the Patriots, so the season was over.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On how frustrating the loss was…

It’s frustrating. You go into a game, first quarter you’re playing well, and then all of the sudden it goes bad. They scored on all three phases; on special teams, on offense, and on defense. It’s frustrating. We have to go back and look at it and get back to the books, understand what went wrong, and understand what we need to do better. We have five weeks left, so we just need to go out and continue to play football.

On who would be responsible for the missed coverage…

That’s the safeties, the corners, including me, and the linebackers. We have to make sure we’re all communicating on the back end. We communicated from the standpoint of making sure Eric Smith and I were in the right position, but we put Bart [Scott] in a bad position. The hardest [assignment] was on him. He tried his best to make sure to get over, but we as a secondary put him in a hard place.

On what he was saying to Mark Sanchez…

I was just telling him that the biggest thing for him is to make sure he’s confident, make sure he comes out on the field the same way he came out in the first quarter. Something we have to do better is making sure we don’t turn the ball over, and I just wanted to make sure that he’s always keeping his head up. He’s a guy that we have to make sure is playing at a very high level at all times.

G BRANDON MOORE

On Sanchez running into him…

I think it may have been a miscommunication. We were supposed to hand the ball off.

On the number of turnovers…

We turned the ball over four times in the first and gave up two touchdowns. You are not going to win any football games. It was totally unexpected. That’s what it was.

On the running game…

I thought we ran the ball well like always. We did some things to move the ball.

On if the turnovers were a sign of the team not being prepared…

This was totally unexpected. We don’t expect to turn the ball over like that. It’s something that we preach coming into the game as far a self-inflicted wounds and protecting the football. It was a big point of emphasis. It was unexpected.

KR JOE McKNIGHT

On the turnovers that resulted in touchdowns…

When we turn the ball over that many times the only thing we can do is get ourselves back together. You have to get back in there and capitalize on the next drive. We just let some turnovers get away and they got ahead. We can’t play like that. We can’t win a game with five turnovers.

On the outlook of the rest of the season…

We have to come play next week. We still have five more games. We're not going to not play football. We're going to continue playing.

On how he felt about the way the team preformed…

It's embarrassing when you give up five turnovers and 35 points in the first half. We didn’t even give the defense a chance to play great. We didn’t even get a chance to let them see what we can do. We just have to fix the problems and try to come out next week and play better.

WR JEREMY KERLEY

On the game…

I thought we would have come out swinging a little harder. Things didn’t go our way early and we just couldn’t get a grip on it.

On the upcoming games…

We just want to fight hard, stick together, keep playing hard, let the chips fall from there.

On falling behind early…

Waking up and getting out of bed, I never would have thought it. Things went south kind of early. We just couldn’t recover. I liked the way we fought on defense. They played hard, as well as we did, too, on offense, but it just wasn’t our day.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On the reasons behind the teams performance…

I can’t explain it. It's just crazy to have that many turnovers the way that we had them. We were just killing ourselves. I can’t tell you what it is, but the offense just handed them points. Not to take anything away from them, but the self-inflicted wounds are just killing us.

On how Coach Ryan felt about the game…

I’m not going to quote him word for word, but he's disappointed in us. He has higher expectations for us and we have higher expectations for ourselves. For how we feel about ourselves and what we're capable of, and to do that, it's just embarrassing.

On if they are optimistic of a playoff run…

We have five games left. Things are still possible, but not that likely. All we can do is give our best effort.

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