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POSTGAME: We've Got to Play a Lot Better

Posted Aug 11, 2012

Transcripts of excerpts from news conferences and interviews in the Jets' locker room at Paul Brown Stadium on Friday night following their 17-6 loss to the Bengals:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

Obviously, you give credit to Cincinnati. They played a really good game. They got after our quarterbacks pretty good. They had five sacks, so obviously they did a tremendous job there. They kept us out of the end zone, so that’s good. I think we did some good things. I’m curious to see the tape. I wanted our guys to play physical. It was kind of vanilla-ed up a little, but I wanted to see how physical we would be at the point of attack and also down the field blocking. Our receivers I thought did a nice job down the field, but we’ll see.

There were a couple real good individual performances. I thought Joe [McKnight] played extremely well. Obviously, [Tim] Tebow did a nice job. And that’s the thing, Cincinnati did a nice job adding in on their blitzes. They played a lot of Cover-1 and then added a guy in if the back was in protection, and the tight end. They did a nice job with that. When Tebow stepped in there, he can burn you with that. He did a nice job throwing the football. Unfortunately he had a big drop. On the interception, the young man [Bengals rookie LB Vontaze Burfict] made a nice play undercutting it. The ball’s got to be thrown out in front there. But I thought Tim played well, and I thought when Mark [Sanchez] had time, he threw the ball well.

You’re not going to beat anybody — I don’t care if it’s Pop Warner, a preseason game in the NFL or a regular-season game — if you get a punt blocked, the odds of you winning probably aren’t real good. I know you guys will come up with the stats for that, but I’m sure it’s at least 80 percent against you that you’re not going to win the game. That was unfortunate. We wanted to punt the ball out. They had no timeouts. The wind was at our back. Just get the ball out and go into halftime 3-3. But obviously Cincinnati made a nice play there, so you’ve got to give them credit. Then you go down and the rest is kind of history.

At times I was a little disappointed in the backup groups, the second group in particular on defense. There was a simple adjustment to make and we kind of missed it. Cincinnati made us pay for it on that drive. They made some big runs against us. Other than that, at times the young guys on defense stepped up. I thought they played well. Quinton Coples I thought had a tremendous game with a sack, a TFL, a forced fumble, a blocked pass on third down, some real encouraging things. That’s not surprising, but I was happy to see it nonetheless.

Obviously, we’ve got to play much better. We play the world champs next week. That’s what you’re looking for. You’ve got to make improvements and we need to make a lot of improvements to get to where we want to be on opening day.

On concerns about the offensive line...

The offensive line takes all the blame, of course, when your quarterback gets hit. On some of those, the ball has to come out. It’s really not all on the offensive line on a couple of those. Now there were also a couple where maybe it could have been, guys getting beat physically. You can handle a guy getting beat physically a heck of a lot more you can mentally. There was one sack against [Greg] McElroy where, shoot, I think everybody in the ballpark knew the guy was coming. He looked like that [Usain] Bolt guy ready to run a 100 [meters]. I think he’s coming and for some reason we missed it. That was unfortunate on the fumble. We have to do a better job on that.

I think sometimes it’s not unusual, the way you practice with the quarterbacks never live in those situations, they have a tendency to hold the ball a little longer. That’s why we put the buzzers out there in practice. We do all that type of stuff because guys are holding off not trying to hit the quarterback. When you get to the live action, when those guys add to the rush, they’re going to hit the quarterback and that happened today. Again I credit Cincinnati. I thought Marvin [Lewis] did a tremendous job with his team.

On the first offense executing offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s system...

I thought that looked pretty good. I thought we never had a problem with that. It’s unfortunate you put yourself behind the stick sometime on those third downs. You never want to start that way your first third down because you can get sacked. Those things happen. I thought we did some decent things. We moved the ball, at times pretty effectively, but something would happen where we just couldn’t finish the drive.

On the play of the first defense...

They were only out there for a couple of series. We made a couple big errors in some of those things, on a third down, in particular, when Bart [Scott] gave up a big one. That’s a technique issue there. They had 86 yards rushing and averaged 2.8. They had one carry for 11 yards. It looked like we played it initially well. And then we buried ourselves inside and the back was able to cut out.

Overall, I was pleased with how we played the run. But there are certainly some things we have to tighten up. The communication for the most part, I think, was pretty good. I thought we kind of played it pretty vanilla. I think our communication seemed like it was OK. Eric Smith wasn’t with the starting group. We purposely put out Yeremiah Bell to kind of lead that back end. I thought he did a nice job for us, and then also with [LaRon] Landry. Those two guys really haven’t had a whole lot of work together, so I wanted to start that game where those guys had to communicate, and I thought they did a decent job.

On if he wanted to see more explosiveness out of his offense...

You’d always love to see us be able to throw the ball down the field. That starts with protection first. We were going to try to get the running game established, try to run the ball quite a bit. I thought we did that at times. I thought we ran it pretty well. If you would’ve asked me, we weren’t going to score 30 points tonight. We kind of simplified the game plan.

I know nobody’s worried about the Wildcat. It’s real easy to stop. That’s why I got a call at 7 a.m. the day before we played, by Marvin not wanting to see the Wildcat. I guess I’m the only guy who thinks it has a place in the NFL — me and every defensive coach in the league. So I think that’ll help us, too. Again in this situation, we wanted to play football. We wanted to hit somebody else, run our base running plays. We did and I thought at times our guys really got after it, so we’ll watch the tape and see if that’s true or not.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On how it felt to play tonight...

It felt good. We’ve got some things to clean up, protection-wise. We’ll get after that this week and make corrections. Anytime you get a chance to play, shake the rust off, scramble around, and get a first down, that is fun. It was fun to get back on the field with these guys.

On having little time to deliver a pass...

We had some good pressure. They got after us tonight. We’ll take a look at that. I was really proud of the way our receivers ran routes. I thought they did a really good job.

On no push from the running game...

It was a little sluggish. It was our first go-around. The important thing is to remember what we have done in practice. When it comes to a game, we can’t just make things up. You have to stick to your technique and your coaching. The biggest coaching point to take away from this game is that once the lights come on, it doesn’t change anything. You’ve got to be the same guy.

On if he worries about where the big plays will come from in this offense...

The big plays will come to us. The running game will get going. Things will open up in the passing game. Tim [Tebow] alluded to it as well. We’re not game-planning for [preseason]. A couple of things caught us off guard. That’s part of a preseason game. Was it our best? No. We’re not going to crawl in a hole. We’re going to move on and get better.

On how much he can gauge from tonight’s performance...

We’ve got to handle it when someone can’t play during the season. I’ve got to step up. I was proud of the way we did that tonight, but we can do better.

On what he sees himself focusing on before the next preseason game vs. the Giants...

I like to watch the film first. I thought my reads were pretty solid. I thought the accuracy was there. I didn’t have too many checks, but the couple I had were OK. Other than that, keep progressing — keep moving forward and mastering this offense.

QB TIM TEBOW

On his assessment of how things went...

I felt like we did some things pretty well as an offense. I felt like there were things that we need to improve on. I felt like personally, I did some things pretty well. Obviously, I want that last throw back. It was a very good play by their linebacker. I felt like we got in and out of some checks pretty well. I felt like we had good field position a few times and we moved the ball, but you want to be able to capitalize with touchdowns. There are definitely a lot of things to learn from and improve on and get better at.

On how his first-half scrambles unfolded...

They were just pressures — man pressures. They were hugging a backer and someone came free and so I just tried to break through and make a play and make them miss. I was just out there playing a little football and having a little fun.

On how he felt in the pocket throwing the ball...

Tonight I felt good in the pocket. From the first play, checking to the slant. Going hot to Joe [McKnight], to the one to Stephen [Hill]. It felt pretty good. The one that I felt like I really wanted back was the last play to Jeff [Cumberland]. One, we are in the red zone, so there is no reason to force it. I tried to put it low and outside, but that was a heck of a catch by that kid [Vontaze Burfict], and that was just a stupid play by me.

On if he just tried to zip in the pass that was intercepted...

I tried to put it low and outside, but the kid was undercutting it the whole time and their corner was behind it, so I should have tried to check it down to Joe [McKnight] on the swing route or tried to ground it or make a play running it. It wasn’t a good decision by me.

On if anyone took a shot at him during his plays on the punt team...

No, not really. It was pretty easy. We just kind of ran down there. They fair-caught it on the first one. Leonard did a pretty good job trying to hold me up, so I was well contained on that one. It was all good.

On if he was surprised about how comfortable he was, given the limited amount of reps he's had in training camp...

I was comfortable with the plays and how Coach [Tony] Sparano was calling it. It felt like the execution went pretty well, but of course you want to get points and score touchdowns. I think that will keep coming as this offense gets along. We will continue to build better connections and we’ll find those big plays down the field.

On how he sees the progress in his delivery and throwing motion...

I feel like I’m getting better every day. I felt like today was one more stride to getting better. I felt like my timing and rhythm was pretty good for the most part. Besides that last one, which I should have gone to my check down or ran it, that was probably the only one I was late on with rhythm, and it got me in trouble.

On if he has to make a conscious effort to be more compact with his delivery...

No, not now.

On any nerves playing in his first game with his new team...

I’m just excited. I was just excited to go play and be alive for a few snaps. I think I had a few snaps in training camp, but it was fun to play a little — five snaps of football — it was fun.

On being amped after his long run...

Sometimes I just get excited. I love playing the game of football. I know as a quarterback, you want to have ice water in your veins in the calm before the storm, but I’m an excited, passionate football player. All pregame I am excited and ready to go play. That’s just me. That’s who I am. So, sometimes I just have to let it out a little bit.

On sitting and watching, with that pregame excitement, before getting a chance to play...

Obviously I want to go play, but I’m just ready to do whatever. I obviously wasn’t ready enough, because after the first three-and-out, when the punt team went out there, I was looking at the sheets looking at what they were doing and I was like ‘Oh shoot, I’m supposed to be out there.’ I got out there a few seconds late because that was the first time in my life that I had to be out there for special teams. So, I have to remember that better next time.

On if Coach Westhoff gave him a little grief about that on the sidelines...

He was pretty cool. He was laughing about it. I told him what happened again.

On having his best moment of the night, despite the dropped pass, because of the fluidity of how the play unfolded...

I felt like it was good timing and it was a good read. He had already come up with a really nice catch. He’s still working and getting better. He’s going to be a great receiver. I know he was really excited to make a big play and make Pacman miss and he was going to try and take it to the house. I felt like we had great timing and great rhythm and he ran a great route to get Pacman off. I have 100 percent confidence that he will make that play every other time we go to him.

On where the points will come from in this offense ...

I think they will come just by continuing to work and get better. Obviously, we didn’t do anything to game-plan for this week. We came out here and it was just another day for us. It was kind of like another practice. There was no game-planning. Things will definitely change when the season gets here, especially with us game-planning.

On wanting to run some Wildcat plays before the regular season begins...

Whatever the coaches want to do. You know and I know that I'm going to give my heart and soul to doing it the best that I can. They are a lot smarter than me, so I’ll let a decision like that and let them make it.

On how it helps to have this game on film now...

Being able to go back and look at different checks that we had and some of their blitzes that they were bringing and how they were hugging some of the 'backers, just the timing of throws. Did we have some bad ones? Did we have some good ways? Anytime you can go out there and play and have stuff on film and come back and look at it is always great.

On the part of his throwing progress that he's most pleased about...

Probably my rhythm and my feet from my drops from under center. I think I only had one play from under center today. For the most part I was taking the ball from under center. The footwork from the drops and still being in balance and rhythm and timing, all that leads to your throw and accuracy.

On if he feels his accuracy is markedly better than last season...

I feel like I have improved in a lot of ways, but that is one of them, yes sir.

DE QUINTON COPLES

On if he knew he'd be getting snaps all night long in the first preseason game of his career...

Yes. The coaches told me I was going to play all four quarters. I was well-prepared to play.

On rating his first NFL performance...

I did very well. I don’t have a grade for it, but I was very productive. I also have a lot to improve upon as well. It starts on Sunday when we go back to practice. I look forward to looking at this game on film and correcting my mistakes.

On whether he pressured himself or enjoyed the moment...

Coach [Karl] Dunbar told me to take a deep breath and let it go. I’ve been practicing hard. I’ve been getting the feel of the game. I go against a Pro Bowler [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] every day in practice. He told me to relax and take advantage of my opportunities.

S LaRON LANDRY

On how it feels to get back out there and play…

It feels great. Like you said, I’ve been battling with health issues. It’s been a roller-coaster these past two years. This is my first time getting some live action in a while, going on IR last year, and it feels great to be back out there again.

On playing in Coach Ryan’s defense…

I’ve been a fan for a while. I followed him since my brother was with him in Baltimore. I’m glad to be a part of the Jets.

On playing in a talented secondary…

We have a great secondary as a whole. [Darrelle] Revis and Cro [Antonio Cromartie] are lockdown corners and you’ve got YB [Yeremiah Bell] as well as Eric Smith. I’m just an addition to what they already had.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On if it felt good to play against another team….

It felt good. It was different, it really was. We definitely looked forward to this. It felt good to be getting back in the groove and getting back to football.

On if he is looking forward to playing with all of the starters…

We're looking forward to it. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I think we're communicating very well from the back end and moving to the front so I think everything is moving fast for us.

On what it will take for the defense to get back to the level they were at previously…

I think that is the biggest thing for us. Right now we're playing fast, everybody knows where everybody is on the field. Everything is simple for us. We just have to play football the way we know how.

C NICK MANGOLD

On what the team will do when it resumes training camp...

We’ll go back to camp at Cortland and watch what we did this time and get ready for the next one. We'll keep making steps and getting better.

On what he takes from the Bengals game...

You put some stuff on film. You see a good measuring stick. Learn from it and move on from the next one.

Preseason Live: New York Jets