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POSTGAME: We Thought We'd Find a Way to Win

Posted Oct 9, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' locker room following their 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on Monday night"

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

That’s a good football team that we played. The thing that is upsetting is the fact that we helped them. Clearly, that’s a good football team that doesn’t need any help. We’re kicking ourselves. We used a couple of timeouts that hurt us at the end.

It looks like we’re a little snakebitten with injuries, but that’s not an excuse. We had a guy here for three of four days [Jason Hill] that has to step up. With [Clyde] Gates going out, our personnel was kind of messed up, so we had to use him.

It’s kind of unfortunate. We lined up wrong and the kid [Arian Foster] hit us with a 50-yard run. That’s a good, very talented back and a talented football team. They made some plays. J.J. Watt’s the real deal. You would think the Knicks would pick him up too with all of the shot blocking he did. It’s not like he doesn’t do it to everybody, but he certainly did it tonight. He’s an excellent football player.

On the Jets' onsides kick in the third quarter…

That was me all the way. I came here to win. That’s it. Whatever it takes. Faking a punt in your own territory, going for it on fourth down in your own territory — I came to win. I think when you ask your players to lay it out there and do whatever it takes to win, that’s me included. Certainly, that was us. I went for it. It’s unfortunate we didn’t execute it. I thought we had a really good kick, and their kid [Shiloh Keo] made a really nice play on us. I’m never going to look back and regret going for something, I can promise you that.

On the Jets' interception before halftime…

It was one of those things. We had them on their heels. I knew we had timeouts but I was like, "Shoot, we’ve got them on their heels, let’s keep going." We felt great about it. I’ve been on the other end of it where you’re hoping a team calls a timeout. We had a play we really liked, and the kid [Watt] made an outstanding play on us.

On if he takes any positives away from the team being within six points with three minutes left…

No. It’s a win business. Absolutely not. We knew we would be in the game, but we thought we were going to find a way to win. That was our message of the week. Obviously, we were disappointed in previous weeks with that performance, but I thought our guys did a great job in practice. I think all of us were excited to play. Like I said, it never worked out. That is a good football team and at the end of the day, they made more plays then we did.

On if "willing to try anything” will become the team mantra…

You try to steal possessions if you can. The other thing is, that was us, we’re just going to go for it. I think I’ve always done that. I think we have a guy in Tim [Tebow] that gives you some opportunities on that punt team. While we won’t get a punt rushed, I wouldn’t rush us, because you never know when he’s going to fake it. We’re crazy enough to fake it anytime, no matter where the ball is.

On if he had intentions of using Tebow more during the game…

Again, I think each game you go in and you have a certain amount of plays, and whether you get to them or not, sometimes the game dictates it. Again, Tim’s a guy that we think is a weapon and we need to use him.

On Sanchez’s performance…

His numbers were 14-of-[31] for 230. It was very similar to the kid [Matt Schaub] that we played. But he had the unfortunate two tipped passes for interceptions. I think his day, minus those tips, obviously it looks a lot better. The numbers would be nice. Unfortunately, he had those two tipped balls. I think he played better than the numbers indicate.

On Jeff Cumberland’s attempted catch in the fourth quarter…

I thought he had a chance at the ball. You guys see it on replay, I don’t.

On the injuries…

I’m not real sure. Nick [Mangold] returned with an ankle. That was bad to see him with an ankle, but I was happy to see him return. I know Josh Mauga had ice on his shoulder. I don’t know how severe that is. I haven’t heard word on Gates or [Kenrick] Ellis yet.

On LaRon Landry sitting out for a few plays…

What you do is you use your roster. I’ve said that from day one. That’s what you try to do. Really, it was just a series where we were trying to get him a few plays off. We turned around and I think he thought he was off for the entire series, but we were putting him out in a certain grouping. Then we were looking for him and he was over there. I don’t know if the young man realized the grouping. I actually wanted him back out there. It was just a grouping I was trying to take him out of. Apparently, I wasn’t clear on those instructions.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On the interception before halftime…

J.J. Watt got his hands on a few passes tonight. That’s the way it goes. It’s going to be a bang-bang play and JK [Jeremy Kerley] was going to catch it. The ball’s going to be right on him and he’s going to have a chance on the safety there. Put us down in tight and maybe run one of our red zone plays and get a chance to call timeout. It’s really too bad. That happened quite a bit tonight so we got to find a way to keep the defensive linemen’s hands down.

On Jeremy Kerley…

He’s a heck of a player, we’re only getting better together. Under these circumstances, we’ve had a chance to really work together. He’s playing all over the field, not just the slot. He’s really getting a chance to use all of his skills. I’m proud of the way he plays. He really brings his effort. He’s a leader of that wide receiver group. It’s too bad we had another injury tonight in Clyde Gates. I thought Jason Hill played well. We’ve got to find a way to get him the ball there. It looked like he was coming open on the second-to-last drive on the third down, where we got sacked. All those guys are playing their butt off. I really appreciate their effort. Not just tonight in the game, but in practice as well.

On if the interception before halftime was avoidable…

It’s a quick throw. On any of those underneath routes, if you don’t get those guys hands down, that’s just the way it goes. J.J. is smart. He knows when he’s not getting a pass rush. Our offensive line, for the most part, played really well tonight. They kept that guy out of there. They did their very best against a good pass rusher. He’s going to get some plays, it’s just inevitable. He’s a hell of a player. He knows though, as a good rusher, that when he’s not getting any pressure and they stone him up front, then he’s just going to wait back, sit there, and time his jump, and just watch for my arm to be cocked and ready to throw. He just jumps up and tries to tip it. That’s part of his deal and we’ve got to find a way to keep their hands down.

On the fourth quarter interception intended for TE Jeff Cumberland…

Could it be more in front of him? Sure, but it’s third down and half a mile or whatever it was. So we have to get some yards and put us in a position to go for it on fourth down and that would have been it. But Jeff made some great catches for us tonight. He’s not going to make them all, nobody is. We’ll just keep repping it, keep working it, and try to put it in front of him.

On if he takes solace in the game being close with several key players being injured…

We’re not worried what anybody else thinks. I know we have great personnel, we really do. We have good players, guys that want to win, they want to play. When those lights come on, those guys come alive. They worked their butt off all week in practice, especially the wideouts. They’ve been taking a lot of heat. Everybody’s telling them that they can’t play, they can’t do it like the other guys can. I’m just proud of the way they fought. We’re in it at the end of the game.

It was eerily similar to a couple of years ago where we hit Tone [Santonio Holmes] for a touchdown. The gamewinning drive was right before an interception on a sacked-caused fumble from Mario Williams. It looked like the game was going to be over and boom, we get the ball back. I mean, almost identical. This time we came up short. That’s the way these go. We’ve just got to hang in there and be in it in the fourth quarter like we were tonight.

On having to call timeouts due to confusion over substitutions…

We’ve got to clean that up. When they call personnel, guys got to know who’s in and who’s out. It’s got to be a lot sharper than that.

On if he can see Antonio Cromartie being more involved in the offense…

He looked good. I mean, he almost had it. We’ll see how his role progresses. That’s another guy that just wants to play and wants to help this team as much as he can, so those are the kind of attitudes we have in our locker room and that’s when you have something to work with. So that’s nice.

On the interception at the end of the half when Watt tipped his pass…

The ball’s out of my hand and the next thing I know, it got tipped. I felt good throwing it to JK. I knew he was going to take a hit and he did, too. He was ready to catch the ball and get down and give us a chance to call timeout and run a red zone play, and hopefully punch it in there, and really have some momentum coming out of halftime. So it was an unfortunate turn of events, but we really started rolling there and opened it up a little bit. It was nice to get into a rhythm like that, so we’ll just keep rolling.

On the pass to Cromartie down the sideline…

Yeah, he had a chance. I tried to give him a chance at the ball. He was open.

On if he could have thrown that pass more inside to Cromartie…

I guess. Maybe a hair.

On if there is something to be taken away from the loss…

The objective is to win, so of course everybody is upset. But at the same time, we know that you’ve got to give yourself a chance to win and we did that tonight. Were there mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Can we clean some things up? Of course. I’m proud of the way guys hung in there. You’ve just got to be in it and give yourselves a chance. We did that. We just have to be better in the red zone, as well.

On if he feels the offense will have to use an out-of-the-box approach going forward…

I don’t know. I think a lot of our regular stuff worked well, too. We got the ball downfield throwing it a little bit, getting our guys in space. I thought Kerley and Jeff [Cumberland] and Chaz [Schilens], Clyde [Gates], everybody did well in their roles. As far as the other stuff goes, you have to talk to Coach [Tony] Sparano and whatever he wants to do.

On how much he missed Holmes with the game on the line…

Look, can Santonio help our team? Of course. I mean, he was playing really well. At the same time, there’s no what-ifs and hypotheticals. We’ve got to roll and I thought we did. We played well until the end there. We’ve got to find a way to get that ball to Jeff clean and we’ll have a chance. I’m just upset, obviously. It’s a loss. We really did hang in there and we’ve got to just keep fighting, come in with a good attitude, like I know we will next week. It’s a short week, and we’ve got a good Colts team that’s really energized, so we’ve got to keep playing well.

QB TIM TEBOW

On if he has been practicing long throws…

Yeah, we were working on that a few days ago. It was something that we thought we might get an opportunity to do. We actually haven’t thrown it inside, we’ve been throwing outside. They gave us a look and the free safety went to the other side and brought some pressure, so we had a shot. We just have to keep working hard so we can hit it.

On if he knew how much he would play tonight…

Going in I had no idea when I would go in. With what the situation would be, I just try to be ready at all times.

On if it is hard to gain a rhythm after only playing a couple of snaps…

When you’re in there, you get more of a rhythm. You try to stay in the game as much as possible, staying warmed up on the side lines, and I have had this experience before during my freshman year at Florida.

On throwing footballs more during pregame…

It was just me being cooped up in the hotel room all day. I was just excited to come out here and play on Monday Night Football. I was amped up and excited. I don’t have to sit in a hotel or in here all day. I’m still a little kid at heart playing football.

On if he thinks he can offer the team more in an expanded role…

No, I just want to be ready when my number is called and however I can help this team. When I’m out there, I’m going to give my heart and soul on every single play.

On his thoughts about the game tonight…

It was a lot of courage and a lot of effort that we showed. It wasn’t always perfect. We didn’t always execute the way we wanted to. You can never question our toughness or our character.

On what the team’s emotions were after Joe McKnight kick return for a touchdown…

Oh, we were amped up. We were excited. Huge return. We’ve been waiting to see Joe take one to the house. We all know he can, and so it was good for Joe and good for us, as far as momentum, to see that. I thought we had a chance at that onside, but I guess they made a really good play on it.

On what he saw from Houston on the fake punt…

They had a really good look to stop it, we just knew we had some good blockers in Konrad [Reuland], Mac [Garrett McIntyre] and some of those guys. It’s funny, [Houston] was kind of calling it out, too. They were like, “Oh, we think he’s running here or here.” I just ran behind Mac and we got it. We knew it wasn’t a long way to go and those guys up front do a great job.

On if he was itching to play more in the fourth quarter…

I was hoping, with a few opportunities I could have punched one of those in. I just have to keep working and get better.

On if he thinks he needs more reps…

I don’t know. You try to do the best you can with whatever reps you get. You just try to stay after it, keep working, whatever you have to do.

On if he thought his pass downfield to Jason Hill in the first quarter could have changed the game if it was completed…

Who knows? It would’ve been a big play in the game. He might’ve had a chance at maybe breaking it. Who knows? We just have to keep working, get better.

On if he’s still excited to be a Jet…

[Laughs] Yes, I’m excited to be a Jet. Do I have to say it like 50 times now? [Joking]

On if he was hoping to stay in the game during the fourth quarter when they had the ball in the red zone…

I was excited for the opportunity, there’s another one, that I got with those two plays. I should’ve punched it in when I had the chance.

On if he knows when he might enter the game…

No, that’s just something that happens through the feel of the game. I just try to stay ready.

On if he thought he would get more than one chance to pass…

I didn’t know. You just never know. You just try to be ready whenever your number’s called.

On if he ever asks to be put in the game…

No, sir.

On if he would ever ask his coaches to be put in the game…

They're a lot smarter than I am, so I just do what I’m told.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On if the team took a step in the right direction…

Definitely, I think we took a step in the right direction. I think the biggest thing is just trying to build on it and play the way we know we are capable of. We still have some things we want to clean up and try to get better on and just continue to work. This game we fell hard on the back end, too. We missed a couple of plays out on the field and when we just go back and look at it, I think we will get a whole lot better too.

On if he will be playing more snaps at wide receiver…

I don’t know. I’m focused on being the best corner I can be right now and that is about it. Whenever I get that chance and when my number is being called to play on offense, I will go out there and handle the play.

On if the momentum of the game shifted after McKnight’s kickoff return…

We stepped up. We made the guys punt the ball and then Joe had a 100-yard kickoff return. I think the defense stepped up a lot more, got them punting the ball to us and got the offense back the ball in short field. We have to capitalize on things and make sure that we get there and can’t have any miscues. We played a whole lot better as a team, as a whole team tonight, but it is something to build on, something that we definitely want to do coming into the next week versus Indianapolis.

WR JEREMY KERLEY

On if he’s feeling more confident in himself…

Definitely, but any way I can help the team, that’s what I’m trying to do. A guy is down, you definitely have to step up. This is my opportunity. I’m just trying to seize the moment.

On the importance of special teams and Joe McKnight’s kickoff return for a touchdown…

Very big for us. Anytime that Joe gets the ball in his hands, we expect that from him. He’s a big time playmaker. He showcased it tonight, as he does time and time again. Those guys block well on special teams. I know we’ll get more out of Joe.

On if they purposely went after Johnathan Joseph…

I don’t think we necessarily went after him a lot. It just happened that the play was made over there. That’s where the opportunity presented itself. That’s where we made the play. We weren’t targeting anybody. We were just making plays as they came.

RB-KR JOE McKNIGHT

On his kickoff return touchdown…

My double team made a great block. Mac [Garrett McIntyre] and Konrad [Reuland] made a good block on their double team, and Bilal [Powell] and Nick Bellore made a good block, so I was just 1-on-1 with the kicker, so I had to make him miss.

On if he thought they would come back after his kickoff return touchdown…

Yes, I thought we had the momentum after that. I thought the momentum was in our hands, but we just have to finish. We have to play all four quarters.

On the team’s effort…

It was a great effort. We gave some plays away and now we know we just can’t give so many plays away. We have to play every play every game and just finish.

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