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QBs: Seeing Improvement in Everybody

Posted Jul 30, 2012

SANCHEZ: It's Awesome. We're Moving Fast.

Transcript of quarterback Mark Sanchez's news conference following Monday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

On where he sees the progress from day one to day four…

I think the most important thing is our tempo. Coming back from yesterday’s practice, the defense really had our number yesterday, so just coming back today strong, getting more completions, understanding the system and [making sure] everyone is speaking the same language. We’re improving by at least a down so that’s the important thing.

On how the offensive line is coming together and how important they are…

It’s absolutely one of the most important things. Those guys up front, they have their work cut out for them, especially against our defense with the multiple looks and multiple pressures. But they seem to be handling it really well. The best part about those guys is their willingness to communicate, to really talk and not be afraid to make mistakes in camp. They’re having a lot of fun with it and I know Coach Guge [DeGuglielmo] is doing a great job pushing them, so they look great up front.

On if he’s enjoying the tempo of the offense…

It’s awesome. We’re moving fast. I think it just keeps things more game-like because after a play during a game, you don’t get the chance to walk over, talk to Coach Cavanaugh and say, "Hey, what’d you see? Oh, well, I thought this and that’s why I threw it here." You don’t have time. You move on to the next play or you’re going to get a delay of game. You know things aren’t right, so you have to just erase that play from your mind no matter if it’s good, bad or indifferent, move on and hit the next play. Then when you come back during the break when Greg [McElroy] or Tim [Tebow] is getting reps, then I can talk to coach Cav [Cavanaugh]. It makes it more like a series in a game and I think it’s great preparation for the season.

On if he sees improvement in Tebow over the past couple of days…

I’ve seen improvement in everybody. That’s the most important thing. All of us are getting better. Tim specifically, he does a great job. Especially when he pulls it down to run, this guy can move. It’s not easy to track him. He’s elusive in the pocket and he’s made some really good throws, so it’s been a great improvement for all of us.

On if he’s getting comfortable with his thinking and what plays he can call in certain situations…

I’m getting there [laughing]. I’m getting there, but I don’t want to say I’m there yet. We’re still pretty early into this thing and I want to be sure before I say something like that. It’s a process and I want to know everything possible. I want to try to think ahead and try to anticipate calls, but I’m starting to see that this offense is going to be fun to watch.

On where the offense is at this point in camp…

We’re in day four and working hard. We’re working hard in the weight room, on the practice field and in the classroom. We’ve made great progress so far. We get a little day off tomorrow, so we get a chance to refuel and relax a little bit, take care of our bodies and be ready for day five.

On the possibility of Antonio Cromartie on offense…

I saw him out there, in the huddle. I thought he was messing around, so we promptly tried to remove him. Then we were told that he was a part of our team even though he was wearing that black jersey, so it was alright.

On the route that Cromartie ran…

I can’t tell you everything. That’s scheme. Cro [Cromartie] was on an extra special top-secret route that nobody knows except for me and the rest of the offense.

On how the running game is going to help the offense…

Ground and pound, it’s powerful. It’s explosive. We just have multiple options back there. It really starts up front and you should see the way Brandon Moore is moving. Nick Mangold is making calls. D’Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson] is coming around from the back side. Slauson is holding up in there strong. Wayne [Hunter] is blowing people up on the line of scrimmage and now you get guys like Terrance Ganaway, John Griffin, Joe McKnight, Shonn Greene [and] Bilal Powell. All these guys have a chance to really run, so they’re doing a great job out of the backfield as well. It’s not just running, they have a lot of skills and we’re trying to use all of them.

On how Tebow affects the run game…

He’s another option that you have to respect, that you have to cover and figure out a way to tackle.

On if he notices a difference in Rex and calling people out…

He has really made a point to hold everyone accountable, to not let anything slip through the cracks. He kind of reminded us on his first night, very similar to three years ago, that this is our one shot. Who knows how long we’re going to play this game. Who knows how long this exact group is going to be together. It may only be this year, to really take advantage of it. He wants to remind guys that there’s a difference between injured and being hurt. When you’re hurt, you tape it up, get some meds and you keep playing. When you’re injured, you rehab your butt off and you get back as soon as possible.

On Bilal Powell taking some reps with the first team…

I think Bilal came on really strong this camp. This offseason in OTAs, he really was explosive. He’s a lot faster. He looks like a different guy and it’s because of his confidence. He just looks a little more explosive, like he’s having a little more fun and that’s everyone, but specifically him. Ganaway, he’s a funny guy and a great guy to be around. He’s always smiling. He’s about as positive of a person you can think of and a tough guy. He’s going to win. He’s a competitor and those are the guys you want to hand the ball to. That just gives us two more options and it’s great for us

On if there’s a sense of urgency because of the way last year ended…

I think it’s just our makeup, our mentality. We want to hold each other accountable, hold ourselves accountable. I think after having two successful years making the playoffs and giving ourselves a chance, not having it is like not even swinging the bat when you’re up at the plate. It’s like watching three strikes go by. You don’t even give yourself a chance. Just get in the tournament, and Rex [Ryan] doesn’t want us to miss that opportunity because just as I said before, this stuff doesn’t happen forever. You can’t do this forever. You get one shot, and we really need to take advantage of all these practices. These games are only getting closer. Coach [Tony] Sparano keeps saying that. They’re not getting farther away, so you have to take advantage of every day.

On when everyone ran for the ball following [Isaiah] Trufant’s interception…

Coach Sparano has placed an emphasis on turnovers. Whether it’s a fumble or an interception, everybody is immediately on defense. Everybody has to put a hat on the ball and everybody is trying to make the tackle. To make the point, it’s exaggerated, but it makes sense. Everybody runs on offense, so you try not to avoid it.

On if the offense or the defense won today…

What did Rex say? We did pretty well. The defense looks good.

On if he thinks the offense will be wearing the black jerseys on Wednesday…

That’s up to Rex, it’s above me.

On if he has thought about the learning curve of other quarterbacks who haven’t broken out until their fourth or fifth year and how it applies to him…

I think it takes time. It takes a confidence level and that only happens through getting more and more reps. As guys mature, get a little older, and get more familiar with the defenses they see, get more familiar with their surroundings, [learn] what a pregame routine is like, when they really nail down their own routine, they find themselves and start playing better. They just feel more comfortable. They suddenly become more accurate, and people take notice of it in that fourth, fifth or sixth year. But it’s a process. A lot of them who had early success might have sat for a couple years and watched somebody do it for two or three years, and then came in and really took the league by storm.

On how he compares to Eli Manning…

That fourth year, I think he threw one pick in the playoffs when they won that Super Bowl, one [interception]. I think he might have thrown 20 in the regular season. I’ve been there. Plenty of quarterbacks have been there, so you see the margin for error in this league is so small. Once the quarterback, the offense and the coordinator really realize that, take advantage of it and show it on the field, they can win a lot of games and be very successful.

How the tempo in practice translates into success…

It’s just a mentality. You get into the routine of “OK, let’s talk about the play. What did you see? What did I see?” And before you know it, it’s been 2½ minutes in between plays and guys are walking around. If you get guys really going and establish that tempo immediately, it just becomes a habit, and it can only help us.

On if it will have a tangible effect on his play…

I hope so. I hope it simulates the game and anything you can do. Just like when you throw an interception in practice, how are you going to react? What you do in practice, you end up doing in the games. So if you’re hanging your head, throwing a lot of balls and getting really upset, you’re probably going to do that in a game. So you’re focus, even in practice when it feels like it might not mean anything, it’s real. [You have to] treat it like a game. That’s where Coach Sparano is at with us.

On if he looked at what Eli Manning did in his fourth year…

You see guys elevate their game in the playoffs. You look at other careers. That kind of stuff gets brought to your attention, especially when you have similar career tracks to somebody else in the league or a similar upbringing, just like [Andrew] Luck and [Eli] Manning. They’re both first round picks. They both stayed for their senior year. You just kind of pick up on similarities like that. I’ve looked into it, seen how successful he has been and how he has really weathered the storm and played really well. His game is unbelievable. He’s doing a great job.

On if Eli’s success gives him hope…

This whole thing is a learning process, and it really is a marathon, not a sprint. So keep your head down, keep working, smile, and have a good time with it.

On if he gave Tim a tough time about his run off the field…

We gave him a hard time, but it’s all in fun. He’s been great. We just joked about it. I’m sure Greg will have something to say about it. [Joking]

On if it puts additional pressure on him…

I’ve been doing some extra abs lately, so I feel good. [Laughter] I’ll probably buy a Bowflex or something.

On when his Baywatch moment is going to be…

Tim reminded me that I’ve had those kinds of spreads already, so we went back and forth. [Laughter] There’s a time and a place.

TEBOW: I'm Getting More Comfortable by the Day

Transcript of quarterback Tim Tebow's news conference following Monday's morning training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:

On how the first few days of camp have gone…

I feel pretty good. Definitely ups and downs, but I feel like we’re getting better as an offense. Individually, [we’re] doing some things well. [We’ve] got to continue to understand the offense and keep learning, but I felt like it was pretty good. I felt like today went pretty well.

On if he’s getting more comfortable with the offense…

I'm getting more comfortable by the day. I think just the plays and everything, that’s the easy part. I think it’s the adjustments vs. our defense, the checks, the audibles and different things like that, especially when you’re going with some of the younger guys. So you might be trying to get to the line of scrimmage and tell someone to do and be able to get it up and get the play off and so you just really have to know and know fast. ... So I think it’s a great test because you’re going up vs. a defense that does a lot more, even on day four of training camp, than a lot of defenses would during a game.

On his long running play during practice…

I guess running comes pretty naturally. I’ve been doing it for a long time. But on a play like that, one of the guys got in quick so I had to step up and didn’t really have an option and then just tried to give a little head fake and then I had open room, so based on the coverage it was pretty easy and sometimes that happens.

On if today was his best day of practice…

I think you’d have to go and look back at the film. But from feeling it, I didn’t have a super lot of passes. Probably more runs in there, but I felt good. I felt pretty good about my checks and some passes. I would have liked to have one or two of the passes from skelly [pass skeleton drill] back. But for the most part I felt like I did pretty good in team and threw it pretty accurately. So I’ve got some things to improve on but I thought I did OK.

On when he’ll get some wildcat repetitions…

I’m not sure. I just think we’re still putting in the offense and trying to understand that first.

On the hardest part of camp…

I’d say the thing I’m working on most is just the offense. In that I mean, your progressions, vs. coverages, your checks, all of those things. How it all changes based on the defense. Just making good decisions and checking the ball down and certain things like that.

On if he looks forward to the wildcat packages…

I just look forward to whatever opportunities I get and whatever my role is I have fun doing anything out there. That’s just my attitude, it’s how I’ve always been. So I look forward to whatever role I have.

On if he’s feeling comfortable with special teams…

I’m getting more comfortable. It’s still pretty new to me. What I’m doing is kind of like being a quarterback out there with all of our calls, checks, audibles, fakes and it’s pretty fun. I’m getting more used to it every day.

On the offensive line…

I feel like they’ve been doing a really good job. Coaches are throwing a lot on their plate early. Especially with how many fronts were going against. We’re going against pretty much every front that a line is going to block in a season already and they’re doing a good job picking it up and battling and fighting. Yesterday, especially, we had quite a few long runs that running backs were busting out and so I think that they’re doing a really good job.

On the differences between practicing against the Broncos defense compared to this year…

Yes. I don’t mean that one is better than the other. I just mean differences in our defense, they give you a lot of different looks, a lot of different stems, fronts, coverages, a lot of different things like that, which is awesome because as a quarterback, as an offense, very few teams you go against give you that many looks. I think it’s great for an offense. Especially on day four. That’s what you’re going against, that’s what you’re checking off of. I think it prepares you for the preseason and then for the regular season.

On the differences between the Broncos and Jets locker rooms…

I feel like there was really good chemistry in Denver. I feel like there’s a really good chemistry here. Obviously this is day four so it’s early. I think one of the things about a season and a team and how good you can be is how much you come together during a season. Through the ups, how you handle it, and through the lows, how you handle it. Does it bring you together? Does it pull you apart? I think that’ll be key for us. Right now, I think it’s been great. I think guys are really encouraging one another, they’re pushing one another, there’s great attitude, there’s great enthusiasm. I think that starts with the coaches and it trickles down to the players and everyone in the organization.

On his shirtless run through the rain…

[Laughter] It was funny. A few guys gave me a hard time, but honestly I don’t think anybody knew until they saw it that night on ESPN. It was funny. More than anything it was probably just Mark [Sanchez] and Greg [McElroy] giving me a hard time and then everybody else catches on after that.

On what made him run off the field with his shirt off…

That I was running and my shirt felt like 20 pounds because we had been in the rain and then I was signing autographs for like 20 or 30 minutes. I didn’t really think you all would be filming it and taking pictures.

On his improvements with throwing…

I feel like I’m improving every day. I feel like this offseason I made a lot of strides. I feel like there’s some stuff that I’m still working on. Especially with the way that we do drops and your progressions through your footwork and the timing because so much of it is the timing for our plays and our drops. So that’s something that I continue to work on, especially after practice when I get a chance to work on that as well.

On his throwing mechanics…

I’ve definitely been working on it. I hope there’s improvement. I feel like I have improved with it. I’m trying to get it quicker, more compact. Ultimately, you just want more accuracy and to get it out faster. Hopefully that’s happening.

On his relationship with Mike Westhoff…

It’s good. Coach Westhoff’s great. I mean, you talk about someone with passion. He loves what he does, and it’s funny being around someone like that. You get so excited, talking to him about special teams or just ball in general and he just gets fired up. Even walkthroughs at night or whatever it is, he just loves what he does and it’s just fun to be around someone like that, it really is.

On if there was any reluctance to start with the punt team…

Not really, he and Coach Ryan came to me with their ideas with some of the stuff and so I said I’m here to help the team-whatever I can do. So you know, I’m pretty excited about that.

On fan reactions during the first day open to the public…

I don’t really pay attention to that. I didn’t really know until someone reported it so I [heard it] but if anything I just find it funny. There will always be fans giving you a hard time.

On Coach Sparano’s criticism…

Yeah, I tried to throw the post and I was supposed to take the checkdown. Just trying to force the post. Had a cross that I probably should have taken that was underneath and I think making good decisions and not trying to force it deep, although I felt like we had a good shot for it. It’s not that I was throwing into coverage or anything bad, it was just hey, know the situation, this is third-and-short, third-and-medium at the time, and take that check down. We probably have a better chance to convert so let’s play the odds out there.

On Dustin Pedroia hanging Tebow’s shirtless picture in his locker…

[Laughing] Wow. Oh man, no I didn’t hear that but thanks for telling me, that’s pretty funny.

On his plans for the day off tomorrow…

Just probably get a light workout in. Probably get a run maybe, come out and try to toss it around a little bit. But for the most part just try to recover, take care of your body. I think that’s a big thing. I’ll probably watch a little film and I think there’s a lot of things that me and Mark and Greg can learn from watching old games that Coach Sparano has been coaching different teams in Miami, with [Chad] Pennington and [Chad] Henne, and so kind of looking at game film, so that might be a good opportunity to watch that kind of stuff as well.

On if he is able to go out in public…

[Laughing] I probably won’t, would probably order into the room, or go to the [cafeteria].

On if that is tough…

Sometimes it is. Just if you want to go watch a movie, the Dark Knight or something. It’s just something you just have to think about and plan for. It’s not like I get frustrated doing it, it’s just sometimes you just want to relax and be normal because that’s how I view myself you know. So sometimes you’d just like to be able to do more normal stuff that you can’t.

On if he was able to go to church in town yesterday…

I mean, we were so busy from 6 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. so we didn’t really have too much time for that.

On if he has any plans to making that a part of his training camp experience…

Well, I know we’re going to try and do a team bible study and they’re going to try to bring our chaplain in, but I don’t think going outside has really been a plan.

On churches asking him to speak…

I think that depends on who the audience is, what the day is, it depends on a lot of things. So it’s hard to answer, not really sure, but try to find something that is somewhat inspirational and somewhat provides hope and has a lot of faith involved in it, too.

On if he ever gets fazed by all of the coverage and attention…

Sometimes it does get a little comical and funny to me. But for the most part, it’s really trying not to think about it or worry about it or pay attention to it. I really just try to be myself and live as much of a normal life as I can without having any of this change who I am or what I do or why I do it, and it’s something I take pride in.

It’s just not changing, especially my values, my faith, anything like that, but also just what I do and how I do it and just try to be the same person all the time. Just being someone that’s authentic and genuine and real and not someone that does one thing and in front of the cameras and does something different when I’m around teammates or not doing what I like to do, just being myself. It’s just something that I don’t want to change no matter what anyone writes about me.

On if that has been tested…

I feel it’s probably been tested out all through college and the NFL, because there was always scrutiny. People just want to find something about to write that’s negative or find something about you that they can post. There’s other things, but I just want to be who I am and not change regardless of whatever happens.

On if he has seen the shirtless video…

Have I watched it? No. What would I think? I would be like that’s me running in the rain [laughing]. I can’t tell you how many times probably at Florida or at Denver after practice I would do sprints back and forth with that and jog off the field and never think about it again, it would never get reported, but now it does. But that’s also what I mean about not changing. It’s who I am so.

On if he will stop taking his shirt off…

[Laughing] I’m not going to change that. I’m taking my shirt off. [joking]

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