Transcript of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's afternoon news conference following the Jets' Sunday midday training camp practice at SUNY Cortland:
I would say finishing blocks, things at the second level, route discipline. What that means is too short, too deep, rounding it, those types of things, just details. Those are the things that I thought watching the film and being out there on the sideline that we needed the most work on. It wasn’t about effort. Our guys gave tremendous effort out there and played really hard. It wasn’t really about execution or any of those things. Guys at times executed pretty well, but we really didn’t scheme one second for that team and played as vanilla as we can play.
On his assessment of
I thought that he played about 75 percent good, which is right around maybe where he was grade-wise, which is pretty good up front. That’s telling me that three out of four times it went pretty good. He played with tremendous power in the game. I realize that it was said out there that we didn’t push anybody but I would urge you to pick a phone up and call the people down there [in Cincinnati] and ask them that question. I believe Coach might have said something about bringing a film in. He should do that. There were a lot of people pushed.
I thought our double teams were tremendous and Austin was a part of that but there were several times there where Austin really just did a hell of a job out there. There were a couple of plays that I know Austin wished he had back and those are the things that we have to get better at. In other words, I’ve spoken to him about that, just the consistency thing. Over the course of a 70-play game — in this case I think he played around 38 plays — you don’t want to have five or six that don’t go the right way.
On if Howard can push for a starting job…
There’s competition all over the place right now. Right now he’s out there and obviously Wayne [Hunter] hadn’t been out there practicing so Austin was playing right tackle. When Wayne was there, Wayne was doing a very nice job so we were up here talking about Wayne at that point. I’m just anxious to get Wayne back and see the competition go at that point.
Austin doing what he’s done right now, quite honestly, it’s becoming a little bit of a habit in that the competitive drills that we’ve had, scrimmages, and this [preseason game] here, he’s kind of done the same thing in those competitive drills. In other words, he’s flashed and peaked and played good for a little while and then he’d have maybe a play or two where it’s not so good, but then he’s played pretty good. That’s a good sign. It’s a show-me game and I’m getting a chance to see it with my eyes.
On rotating Howard and
We just had Wayne out on a little bit of a count right now. Just getting him out there today was good. It was good to get him back in.
On pass protection against the Bengals…
Not breakdowns. There was one protection breakdown. That happened to result in a turnover when they hit [Greg] McElroy on the review. That was a protection breakdown. The who is not important. That was just a protection breakdown. Other than that, the first one was a pressure that they came with that we really hadn’t spent a lot of time on. Obviously, we hadn’t spent any time on it. It was the first time they had seen it.
Another one, it was a shame because
So these are the things that when you don’t practice live — and we’ve had that once or twice but not in that situation, one of them was a goal-line deal — but when you don’t practice that way, you don’t understand it so it’s good to get it in the game.
On if Keller was open because the design of the blitz called for him to be uncovered…
He got sacked. They trigger-blitzed. They screwed it up somewhere. I’m sure you would have to ask Marvin [coach Marvin Lewis] that, but somebody has to have a guy. He’s bigger than life running in the middle of the field. We just didn’t have the time to be able to get him the football there. The pressure blitz came from the other side and what they did was they added on. When they added a guy on in that situation when the tight end blocked, the guy that was defending the tight end added on. It took a little bit of time and that was how we got it.
On him being quiet about running the Wildcat while Coach Ryan is talking it up…
I’m a quiet guy [laughter]. Rex [Ryan] is the boss. He can put it out there. I think it is common knowledge that we might do something like that. I’m more concerned about letting them worry about it than giving them the answers to the test. With the guy that we have, obviously it’s going to be out there that we’re going to do something like that. The how is the question.
On how he reacts to people who say that the Wildcat can’t work in the NFL any more…
I have no reaction.
He threw a couple of hots very well. He checked us in his first throw to
I thought he made some good decisions. The ball that he threw over there to Stephen on the sideline that resulted in a drop was a heck of a throw. He went through his progressions really well there. There’s maybe one or two that Tim would probably tell you himself that he wishes he had do-overs on but he also made some huge plays for us. We had several what we would call explosive plays by the way that we measure them. Not enough, but we had several of them and Tim had three of them.
On Hill’s inconsistent game against Cincinnati…
He’s a rookie. He’s a young guy going through training camp for the first time. He’s getting better and better every day out there. I’ve been really impressed with him. I’m proud of the way he works. This kid, he wants to be good and he works like that every single day. We’ve put a lot on his plate. He hasn’t had the time that everybody else might have had. To his credit, he really understands it. Out there today, we had a little miscommunication once but that was really one of the first times that has happened. What I liked more about Stephen’s deal the other day was that after the drop, the very next series I went right back to him with an under throw and he caught that ball in traffic and went up and got it. That was a good sign.
On what he said to Hill after he dropped the pass…
I didn’t say anything to him because I have seen him catch too many of them so I didn’t say anything to him. There are some times you need to say something, but that wasn’t it.
On if he would use Tebow in a situation where pass protection is lacking…
No, not in that situation.
On how training camp is different with the reduced number of practices...
For example, our defense has been together for four years. Our defensive coaches and some of those players, the
I am not saying they don’t need that kind of time, but obviously install comes so much easier to them. They can do faster, where from our end we are not able to do that. Because it is the second time around, or maybe the third time, as opposed to some of them who it may be their 11th or 12th time. Bart was with Rex, he has heard it, I don’t know how many times, so those kinds of things there are a little bit different and we are not able to maybe go as fast, but that is okay. This is what training camp is for. I think prior to the new change you had a couple of practices so maybe you might have gotten more in, you might have been able to do a little bit more at that point, but everybody is playing by the same rules so it is fine.
On any unintended consequences such as injuries or conditioning challenges because of the new offseason rules…
No. I can’t comment on that. I am sure everybody right now is learning as we are doing. I don’t know about any of the injury things. That is over my head.
On Sanchez’s performance against the Bengals…
I thought he did well. One of the biggest things I wanted to make sure with Mark was just the communication between us, him get the play and get the team in and out of the huddle. We only had one formation blunder the other night. Even with the twos, threes, it was with everybody and we only had one formation blunder and that wasn’t necessarily a blunder. He lined up in the right spot but with the wrong letter if that makes sense.
That being said, we had one presnap penalty, one false start which hurt us, but those were the kinds of things I wanted to see. His command in the huddle, him getting the team in and out, me and him having dialogue on the sideline, those were the types of things I felt really good about. He got into a rhythm. He had a few very nice balls there, timing throws, and he threw a couple of square outs. I thought he got out in rhythm and he handled a really nice protection pickup out there at one point where they came with a Will free safety and he was able to get the thing blocked up and put the guys in the right protection and get the ball off. He threw it to [Patrick] Turner in the under area of the field there.
I thought he did a nice job, as good a job in 14 plays as you can do. Mark is pretty hard on himself. I am sure he would tell you that after going through the film with us, there was a couple of things that he could have done a little bit differently. I thought he handled it well.
On Sanchez wearing a wristband during the game and whether that will continue…
Honestly, that is a good question. The conversation was about how we hadn’t used it yet. One of the things I didn’t want to do was, I use the word binky a lot, everyone that has raised kids knows that word, I kind of didn’t want to start with the binky. I kind of wanted to start with the verbiage, keep throwing it at him and throwing it at him and letting him handle it that way and he kind of likes that. I said this last week, I believe, when we talked.
It's just that the words are coming out of his mouth so much easier. I could start a sentence and all of the sudden he can nod his head and he can finish it. That's good. We're making progress there. All of a sudden we put this wristband on him the other night and he and I talked about it and I am like, "Do you want to use it or do you not want to use it?" He said, “To be honest, I really don’t, but let’s use it and see how it goes.”
It helps in some situations only in that rather than me give him the whole play, and him give them the whole play, it helps that way. Some people like to have the play the way I am giving it to them in practice because when you get it that way instead of getting the number, you get the play in and it starts to draw a picture before you get into the huddle.
On if Sanchez will use a wristband during the regular season…
I am not sure. Honestly, that is a conversation he and I have not had yet about that. I think we need to go a little bit deeper into the game and play a few more snaps before that. In the game the other night because we didn’t plan for the game, we had a couple of things we had to stop and look at. If we get on first-and-10, we are thinking about this. On second down, we are thinking about this. I was kind of able to give him a few of those calls on first or second down that we might throw, and then I got his opinion on a couple of things.
On who would have the final word about Sanchez wearing a wristband…
He would. I would do whatever he feels comfortable with.
I have been impressed with what Bilal has done in two areas to be honest with you. He is a lot shiftier player. I did a lot of work on Bilal when he was coming out of college. I actually spent an awful lot of time with him. We had him up for a top-20 visit and we visited him at the Senior Bowl and a lot of different stops along the way because he had the one really good year there, that final year. I was impressed and have been impressed with his suddenness and his vision. I think he sees it pretty good from what I have seen so far.The other thing I have been impressed with is his willingness to block. He has done a good job as well as all of the backs right now. [RBs coach] Anthony Lynn has done a good job with those guys, getting them in the right spot there. Joe McKnight did a good job the other night blocking. Bilal did a good job. Bilal, at one point in the game, had to block a defensive end. It just happened in this game we would not have done it in a normal situation but it just happened and he did a good job. I have been impressed with that part of it. Mentally, he has done a really nice job.