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SCRIMMAGE: Warmup for Cincinnati

Posted Aug 5, 2012

Transcripts of news conferences following the Jets' Green & White Scrimmage on Saturday night at Cortland Stadium:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

All right, first off, obviously this quarterback controversy with Matt Simms. Or was it Phil Simms? I don’t know, but he looked pretty darn impressive. It’s good to see, because you know what’s funny? You get a guy like Matt, really has taken very few reps, all of a sudden you throw him in a live situation and what’s impressive is not only the physical part jumps out at you but it’s the mental part. And that’s what you look for in some of the guys that are battling for a third spot and all that kind of stuff. That’s exactly what you look for. So that was good.

I knew we’d have some ups and downs through practice, whether they were some good things offensively, good things defensively. But that’s to be expected. I like getting the scrimmage in where you actually get the live tackling because the one thing you don’t want to do is show up at the first preseason game and all of a sudden you can’t tackle anybody. So we kind of got that out of the way. That was good.

And then unfortunately, I don’t know about Tone [Santonio Holmes], I heard he might have broken a rib or something, I’m not sure about that. Other than that, it is again the usual things, it seems, like some pulls here and there. I don’t believe we had major injuries outside. And again, I don’t know if Santonio did break a rib or not, but the fact it was sticking out of his thing, it was probably an indicator [joking]. But again, I’m sure he’ll be fine, but we’ll have to check on him later. Other than that, he had a good day.

(Jets reported later that Holmes' X-rays were negative, he had no broken ribs, and he's listed as day-to-day.)

On if they can still work on the passing game without Holmes…

Well, you’d love to have your No. 1 guy out there, your big gun out there. And he looked good today. Clearly, you saw that he and [Mark] Sanchez connected several times. It’s not ideal but you’ve just got to play the hand that’s dealt to you.

On if Holmes has had an X-ray…

No, I mean it’s just one of those things where literally, he got hit in the ribs, made a real nice catch, converted that third down. But there’s some concern that he may have broken that rib.

On when Holmes will return to practice…

I’m not real sure. He’s a tough guy but I don’t think he’d be running out there tomorrow or the next day. But we’ll have to see.

On if he was happy Nick Mangold decided to go see his sister at the London Olympics…

Absolutely. And again, it wasn’t me, I had nothing to do with it but suggest the obvious. The fact his sister is in the Olympics, competing in the Olympics, is an amazing thing. So, yeah, I’m happy that he’s going, no question.

On Sanchez not having three of his starting offensive linemen tonight…

Well, it's tough, I was kidding Tony [Sparano], "I love you but I’m betting on the defense tonight." Because you do have three offensive lineman out. And I tell you what, they did a good job, because we’ve moved them all over the place. You’re seeing Vlad [Vladimir Ducasse] play right guard, left guard. [Matt] Slauson playing left guard, center. And we’re moving guys all over the place. Austin Howard playing right tackle, left tackle and you name it. Even Griff [Robert Griffin] was in there playing right tackle, right guard.

And sometimes that happens. To get through a game, you only have seven up normally, sometimes guys are going to have to move, change positions. But mentally, I don’t think there were too many mental mistakes. So at least from my vantage point, it looked like we were on the right people, which is saying something.

On Caleb Schlauderaff’s snaps…

Clearly you have to make sure you work on it all the time and that’s the type of thing where you do move a guy. The high snaps, I think we’ll get the ones underneath but when he’s in the shotgun he had a couple of high snaps as well. We have to make sure that comes with reps and really working. Hopefully, we’ll get that fixed and if not, you’ve got Matt Slauson, who I also feel comfortable with.

On the defense…

I feel great about the defense. I think getting LaRon [Landry] into the mix a little bit more as we get going will help. You’re seeing [Demario] Davis is finally healthy, away from the hamstring, so he’s getting reps and things. But I think we have a deep football team. On defense, I think our secondary’s pretty well loaded and I like the depth on our defensive line, linebackers as well.

On expecting the defense to be ahead of the offense at this point…

Yeah, you would, but in all fairness we put the ball on the 30-yard line a bunch of times and it’s hard to travel that distance against a good defense. It’s early in the season and we don’t have everything in, obviously, on offense, but again I was happy with some of the things we did offensively.

Did I expect the defense to dominate the scrimmage? I did, just because of the fact that you guys mentioned. We have a lot of guys out and the defense doesn’t really care who they face, they’re going to go out and play. I thought Joe McKnight had a great run against the first defense and clearly it’s the first down and he fumbles and we need to make sure he protects the football.

On playing 2-man coverage against Tim Tebow

Mike Pettine is a smart guy. He’s got that degree from Virginia and all that stuff. Tebow’s like, “Mike you’re playing 2-man against me and you know you can’t play 2-man against me.” It doesn’t surprise me that Pettine would try and find an edge.

On Tebow’s performance in tonight’s practice…

I’ll tell you what, the number one thing that jumped out at me about Tim was when he had the high snap. It was actually going to be a direct run to him, what we call a power play, and he looks and by the time he caught it, he made a quick decision. He made the guy miss and ran for a big gain. Those are the things, he’s a threat every time he drops back. You don’t know if he’s going to run it or throw it. It looked like he had a deep ball, he had a nice touch on the deep ball, but he’s got to get it out a little quicker and those are the things we’re still working on. Overall, I was happy with the way he and Mark looked.

On if practice ended early was planned…

No, I wanted to get 60 snaps. That’s basically what we’ve done the last couple of scrimmages and I think we were right at that.

On how faster tempo is allowing for more snaps…

That’s what seems weird, like I mentioned before, that sometimes you can run twice the snaps. If we could have stayed out there forever and had 120 snaps, I don’t think we want to do that.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On how the game went …

Just like your first scrimmage. There were ups and downs. From an offensive perspective, I thought the tempo was great. We were in and out of the huddle. There were a couple penalties and a fumble, but no interceptions from the quarterbacks, so that’s a positive. I thought we ran the ball well at times. We had one long drive with a touchdown to Bilal [Powell] to cap it off. [Matt] Simms had a great touchdown [pass]. Overall, it was not a bad day. We had a good look at a lot of younger guys and new faces with [Nick] Mangold, Brandon Moore and Wayne Hunter out. It was a good run.

On missing three starters on the offensive line…

It presents a good challenge, but for us it was something that these young guys were excited about. You always want to have your starters there to get a look at what kind of team you have, but you also need to know what the guys behind them are all about. This is a great opportunity for Vlad [Ducasse], Caleb [Schlauderaff], Austin Howard and guys like that to play and really show their stuff. I thought they did well considering the circumstances and we moved the ball pretty well at times.

On getting into a rhythm during the scrimmage…

It starts with the play calls. Coach Sparano got us off to a good start. He trusted us on a fourth-and-3. We converted to Dustin [Keller] and just kept the ball rolling from there. We had a couple of good runs. We had a penalty. Things like that build up. You build a little momentum, you see guys really put a hop in their step and move the ball down the field. I was proud of the way our offensive line played and we had a great time.

On how well Tim Tebow played…

He looked good, just like Simms and Greg [McElroy]. We all showed that we can take care of the football and get it down to our backs. Tim ran the ball really well. It was touch football for him today, [otherwise] he still might be running.

On if it would bother him to come out of the game in certain situations…

No, we hurt ourselves at times with a fumble and false start. We ended on third-and-long a couple of times with a drop. We have to covert on second-and-long plays to give us an easier third-down or third-and-manageable. When we did, we saw what could happen. We can move the ball down and score.

On his touchdown pass to Powell…

It was a great job by him staying with his route. It was really late. The offensive line did a great job holding up. He snuck free in coverage and made a great catch.

On if Keller can always be counted on to make important plays…

Sure, Dustin is one of those guys who is a special talent. He has always been there to make big plays for our team. He seems like one of those guys who finds a way to get open. He really studies hard, cares about this team and wants to show his very best on game days. He does a great job for us.

On if the team ran a simple offense today…

More or less. We’ve only had seven days of install. We inputted whatever we did there into our game plan and it went well.

On the grade he would give the offense’s performance…

I don’t know. We’ll see. We have to watch the film first. I was proud of our effort, tempo, the leadership qualities the quarterback group showed, and our communication up front. With the coach to the quarterback, I thought Coach Sparano’s calls were great. I also thought the pace at which we played was great. We’ll watch the film and worry about it tomorrow.

On the scrimmage preparing the team for the preseason game at Cincinnati…

It was good for us to just get moving again and to see things at full speed without defensive coaches and players standing in the secondary waiting for their reps like in a regular practice, without guys behind you and coaches right behind you to talk to. It was more like a game and we keep inching closer to that. Cincinnati will be a good test for us and we’ll get a good dress rehearsal there.

On Nick Mangold going to London to see his sister compete in the Olympics…

It’s great. Everybody was totally on board and we all understand it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As much as we would love to have him, we completely respect him and are wishing Holley [Mangold] the best.

QB TIM TEBOW

On his and his unit's plays at the scrimmage…

I feel like they went pretty good. We’re dealing with a lot of unique situations, some guys out and stuff. For the most part, I felt like we did pretty good. Early on, I felt we had some good drives going and we weren’t really able to capitalize. We had a fumble going in there. We had a pretty good drive going. I didn’t get too many passes off today. I felt like when I threw them, I threw them pretty accurately. It felt like we made some pretty good plays overall as an offense. We’re going against a really good defense. Overall, I think it was a good day, we had fun out there.

On if it’s difficult for him not being “live” during the scrimmage to showcase his strengths…

It makes it hard, just because you can’t really do too much. With something like this, you just try to get some passes off. I think I only threw maybe three getting them off just because it’s so hard with something like this. Especially because you’re going against a really good rush. I think there were a few times for Mark [Sanchez] and Greg [McElroy], too. They probably wouldn’t have been sacked in there and they were called sacks, but that’s just how it is in something like this. But you just have to make the most of it.

On if the play with the high snap was a designed run…

It was a designed possible run, possible pass. It had the option of a designed run, yes. Or if we get a certain look, it had the option of audibling to a pass as well. But on that one, it was a run, yes. But it wasn’t designed to go that way [laughter].

On the fan’s cheers when he took the field…

It’s so great. You have a lot of great, passionate fans out here. It’s great to be surrounded by great fans and I feel like they just supported all of the New York Jets out here today. I think that’s good for our team.

On if today’s practice had the atmosphere of a real football game…

I think when we went live the other day, that felt like real football [laughter]. Today, it could get a little bit frustrating. I was giving Coach Pettine a hard time because on one of those third-and-5’s he played 2-man against me and put Marcus Dixon as a spy, dropping the nose guard. I said, “Come on, Coach Pettine.” They tag off and it’s a 5-yard gain. I hopefully would have been able to get a few more on something like that. So it was fun, although hopefully not as realistic as you would like it to be.

On if he thought he had connected on the long pass to Dexter Jackson

I did. I thought we had it. I couldn’t see it from my angle. Was it close?

On being told that the pass went off Jackson’s fingertips…

Oh, yeah. That’s something that when you get that opportunity you want to take it. I think [Antonio] Cromartie was on him too, right? He runs a great route and it’s something that I thought we had really good timing on. Probably, if he gets a good ball. We just have to be able to hit those. If he hits it, it makes a big difference. I felt like it was good, I felt like he did a good job to get around Cromartie and I tried to look off LaRon [Landry] and try to give him a catchable ball out there.

On if he takes positives on deep-ball near misses and runs that could have been longer…

Well, I think as far as the scrambles and the runs you have to. I think in the passing game, just because you’re still trying to get used to a lot of guys, and just with the rotations of different centers and everybody in there, you have to kind of try to put it all together and execute as well as you can. I think for the most part we did a pretty good job, but you want to be able to hit those.

In some situations out there, they’re playing us in 2-man quite a bit and those are pretty good running situations as a quarterback, but since you can’t really run in a drill like this it makes it a lot easier to cover you, so that ball down the middle to Jeff [Cumberland], that’s probably, in a regular situation, one more where I’d be thinking of pulling it down. But that’s the way it goes in scrimmages like this.

On Ryan saying he would never play 2-man against him and having Coach Pettine play 2-man against him…

[Laughing] I don’t know, I gave him a hard time at halftime, though. We were laughing about it, but you know it would be fun to see.

On how he feels on offense up to this point in camp…

I feel pretty well, just as far as my knowledge of the offense and executing it and seeing the right reads out there today. I know we didn’t put up the points that we wanted to and get it in the end zone. As far as the three passes I threw, I felt pretty good about those and felt pretty good about the decisions. Probably would have liked to have thrown one of them a little quicker, but I felt pretty good about it.

On if there is one area of improvement he needs to emphasize…

I think if I had to choose one, it would be just rhythm and timing, just in our passing game. Just in understanding Coach Sparano’s timing, the rhythm, from hitch to hitch, the checkdown and getting that. I think that’s what I will continue to work on because it’s something that I’ve done less of in my career. So to be able to do play-actions, dropping back from under center, five-seven[-step drop], and not just being in the gun. I mean, I don’t think you saw me throw one pass out of the gun today, so that’s something that we’re definitely working on.

On the two fumbled snaps…

One of them was a second sound, a miscommunication, he didn’t know that we were going on that cadence, so we didn’t get the ball off. But I’m not too worried about it. Obviously, you don’t want it, but we were just rotating in different guys and trying to mix up cadences.

On the one pass he wishes he threw quicker…

The one to Jeff down the middle. I was trying to wait until he got on top of Ellis [Lankster], but Ellis is pretty fast and he’s a good player so he stayed on top of him high, and when they’re playing 2-man on that, it was kind of my option, but I probably should have just run it.

LB AARON MAYBIN

On how things went for the defense…

They went OK. I think that overall we did some good things, but there are also some things we need to get corrected, some big plays we gave up. There were positives and negatives that you can take from it.

On if this was good right before a preseason game…

Yeah, for the entire time up until this point you really are in these practice situations. So to get a chance to get into this game setting, you have some fans out there who are energizing us a little bit, then you’re also putting yourself in a situation that you're going to see in a preseason game, which is helpful.

On what it’s like not being able to tackle Tim Tebow when he takes off to run…

It’s frustrating sometimes, but at the end of the day it’s good for us because it’s not often you get to have a look at a quarterback who’s as mobile as he is, and being as we are going to play against some mobile quarterbacks, for example Week 1, we have [the Bills' Ryan] Fitzpatrick and he’s not a guy who likes to sit still. He likes to move around a little bit. So from that stand point it’s good for us to get that look in practice-like situations. I think it’s also positive in the sense that it keeps us hungry because we don’t necessarily get to put hands on him the way we want to.

On the team trying to convince Nick Mangold to go to the Olympics and if he’s happy that Mangold decided to go…

I’m not going to say that we were trying to convince him, but anytime you look across the line of scrimmage and you see that Nick Mangold isn’t there, it definitely makes things a little bit easier. We’re really excited for him and his family. It’s a huge honor for his sister to be as far as she is right now. We’re definitely supporting them and we’re excited for them.

On Santonio Holmes’ potential injury …

That’s tough. We definitely have had some injury problems at that position. Anytime that someone goes down, one of the big things that Rex [Ryan] preaches is the next man up. You have to be ready to step in and fill the void. Once somebody goes down, that’s a position I was in last year when BT [Bryan Thomas] got hurt. Obviously [Holmes is] a huge figure on our offense and he’s somebody that we definitely count on a lot, but, like we said, we’re looking forward to somebody stepping in and picking up the slack until he’s back.

On how tough it is to not tackle the quarterback during practice…

Yeah, me and Rex were talking a couple days ago. Me and that slow-down button don’t get along too well, but I’m learning. I tell him every day I can change [laughter]. It’s a slow process, but I think at the end of the day we’re excited to be out here flying around, moving around, and having the chance to be in those live situations. You try to pull up as much as possible, but at the end of the day, you try to make sure no one gets hurt.

Preseason Live: New York Jets

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