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POSTGAME: A Recipe for Not Being Successful

Posted Oct 13, 2013

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets locker room following our Sunday 19-6 loss to the Steelers on Sunday afternoon:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

This was a very disappointing game, not just for ourselves, but for our fans. This was the first time we have been beaten at home this season. Give credit to Pittsburgh. They came out and played exactly how we thought they would. We knew they’d be fresh and flying around, and they were. Mike Tomlin does a great job with that team. They outplayed us. We have to play with more consistency.

They beat us in the areas we thought were the most important going into the game, and those were turnovers and runs and completions. They forced two in the red zone, and we couldn’t get a takeaway on defense, which was frustrating. They won the runs-and-completions battle. When you do that, you’re going to win a lot of games. Unfortunately for us, we lost both of those areas, and the proof is in the pudding.

On not being able to find a rhythm on offense…

Sometimes, you have to credit the defense. Their defense is outstanding. It’s consistent and [has] played that way for 15 years. We knew that we’d have to be patient. It wasn’t going to come easy, but you have to give them credit. Obviously, they did a better job of executing than we did.

On the first interception by Geno Smith

You’d like to see us protect the football and be more conscious about it, but he’s going to try and make a throw that he thinks is there. In that case, with hindsight being 20/20, I’d like to have seen him throw the ball away there and not force it.

On if missed plays in the first quarter set the tone for the game…

I don’t know about that. That’s what Ben [Roethlisberger] does. He’s a big, strong guy back there, and I’ve seen him make those plays before. If we get that safety there, we’re up 2-0, and those plays usually result in a nine-point turnaround. That wasn’t the case, so it’s hard to say it set the tone for the game. I think our guys were ready to play. We’re striving for consistency and we’re not quite there yet. We have to get there in a hurry.

On why the Jets can’t put two weeks of good play together…

It seems like it’s different themes, but this season, it starts with the turnovers. If you’re turning the ball over and not getting the takeaways on defense, that’s a recipe for not being consistent or successful.

On the team’s injuries…

I’m not real sure. [Clyde] Gates went out with a shoulder. [Mike] Goodson just left with a knee. [Bilal] Powell, I think, was a shoulder. And then Kyle Wilson had a head injury. I don’t know the extent of those injuries right now, but I don’t believe any of those guys finished the game.

On not being able to build upon last week’s win…

Every week is different. You have to string some together, and we certainly understand that. Again, every week is a new challenge. We were on a short week and all that, but our preparation was all about Pittsburgh. It had nothing to do with Atlanta or anything else. You just have to go. We knew that team [Pittsburgh] was coming off of two weeks of preparation. We knew we’d get their very best. They’re a very prideful team and we got everything we told our team we would get, and that was their very best.

On if he thought about going for it on the fourth-and-one in the first quarter…

Yeah, but my thinking there was to take the lead. It was kind of windy out there. I thought our defense was playing well at that time. Let’s just get on the scoreboard.

On if the game plan was to be more conservative on offense…

I think being conservative that we wanted to run the ball a little bit more. I guess you can say that. We did want to run the football some. There’s no question. I’m not going to sit back and say I wish we would of run the ball more, but we thought we could create some plays for us [and] stay out of third-and-long situations, because this team, quite honestly, thrives in those situations. They’ve done that for years. I don’t think any team besides the Ravens feast on turnovers more than this team. It’s what they did again today. That was probably the biggest thing that stemmed the tide a little bit.

On what happened on the second interception when Smith took a big hit…

Again, you’re right. He took big shots, so you have to give him credit. That’s a team, again, we’ve said it now-you fall down a couple scores on that team, you better watch out. That’s the way they play and certainly they made a great play there.

On the touchdown scored on Antonio Cromartie on the third-and-one…

We made a couple errors in the back end today. There’s no doubt about it. We have to get them corrected. Going against New England next week, clearly we have to correct it. We turned the tight end completely loose, so there are a lot of issues that we have to get fixed. I’m not going to get into particulars of a coverage or whatever, but clearly, we have to play better.

On if they missed Kellen Winslow

Again, we’re not going to make excuses for anything. Pittsburgh outplayed us and I think that was the most important thing.

On if they missed Kellen Winslow because he was leading the team in receptions…

Going into the game, he was obviously leading the team in receptions, but again, we have a lot of good football players and this is the National Football League. Things happen and [the] next man has to step up and be ready to play.

On if he thought Pittsburgh made adjustments that caused Roethlisberger to get in rhythm…

No, I just think that they were trying to get the ball out of his hand pretty quickly. There’s no question. And I think when you look at the start of the game, they had four of five screens, almost, in the first 10 plays. They were trying to slow us down a little bit. There’s no question. You have to stop the run on them. I think we did that for the most part, until the last drive when we had to stop them. That was hard to take. Again, I give them credit. Roethlisberger is a heck of a quarterback and if he’s in rhythm, he’s hard to stop.

On if he sensed any letdown from the team coming off the win last week…

No, it’s big win? I was asked how big a win that was, I was like, ‘It’s a regular season win. It was on the road, so I guess that makes it big, but to me it was right on to the next game.’ That wasn’t the case though. We knew we’d be playing a fresh team coming off a bye. We knew that, but no, there was hardly a letdown. We know we’re a team that each week has to improve. We’re not where we need to be and that was obvious today.

On if they have to live with Smith’s interceptions since he is a rookie quarterback…

No, we have to get better. There’s no doubt. We have to get better and I believe we will. We knew it was going to be a big challenge playing against that defense.

QB GENO SMITH

On his first interception…

I wish I could take back the throw. It was an attempted throw-away and the guy who I least expected to even get over there and make the play got over there. That’s not to make an excuse. It can’t happen. We’ve said that time and time again, especially in the red zone or in critical situations. Those can’t happen and we were beat by a team that was better than us today.

On how much not having Kellen Winslow and Santonio Holmes affected the offensive game plan…

I think for the most part we were able to move the ball. Coming into this game we expected [it] to be a grind-it-out kind of game. Their record doesn’t indicate the type of team they are. They have a great, smart defense and they came out and played smart today. We can’t talk about the guys that we don’t have. All we can do is use the guys that we do have and allow them to step up and I think for the most part they did. Aside from a few plays here and there, we did a pretty decent job moving the ball but we didn’t get it done overall.

On if he was trying to throw his first interception away…

Yeah.

On where he was trying to throw his first interception…

I was just throwing it over their heads and [Ryan] Clark got over and made the play.

On how he can become consistent…

Well, it starts with practice. It starts with being consistent in practice and that’s what we try to preach here, is to always come out with the right mindset, being enthused for practice and it carries over into games. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline. It takes a tremendous amount of focus and effort. That’s all there is to it. You’ve just got to be consistent. It’s always those two or three plays in every single game that seems like we’ve got to avoid. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Today we didn’t and I think we need to improve on that.

On why he didn’t have success throwing downfield today…

I think they did a great job just keeping guys in front of them. Like I said, their defense is smart, led by Troy [Polamalu] and Ryan Clark. Those two guys are, like I said, two of the best guys back there. They read and recognize plays better than most safeties do so they were able to keep guys in front of them and we had to dink and dunk it slowly matriculate and move the ball down the field, which we did for the most part, and then sometimes once we got down there we had the two turnovers which were bad on my part. Other than that, it was the game we expected, a hard-fought, grind-it-out game.

On what he saw from Dick LeBeau’s defense…

Well, you can tell those guys had time to prepare. They covered our verticals pretty well, carried the seams. I think that’s a testament to, like I said, having guys like Troy and Ryan Clark who’ve played in this league, who have seen those plays time and time again. They kept things in front of them. They didn’t allow us to hit the big play, something we’ve been accustomed to doing so far this year. It really made us, like I said, stay focused and stay disciplined and just drive the ball down the field. I think we should have done a better job of converting on third downs, staying ahead of the chains. Overall we didn’t get it done. There [are] a lot of things that can be said about why [we didn’t], but we’ve just got to get the job done.

On if he is getting tired of having to say he has to get better after losses…

I think I’m just frustrated to lose the game. Regardless of what happened in the game, a win’s a win and a loss is a loss. That’s what I’m most frustrated about. I do understand that there are growing pains and there are things to learn with this offense and with this team, but we don’t go out with that mindset. We want to win every single game, every single series, every single down. That’s our mindset and that’s what we’re going to stick to.

On his second interception…

Yeah. I got hit but even in that situation, just find a way to maybe throw it in the ground or not throw an interception and [I] didn’t get that done.

On the highs and lows of the last two games…

I think you can say it’s a high and a low, but my demeanor has never changed, either or. To be honest, we wanted to win this game and we’re not really focused on last week’s win. We’re focused on today’s loss. Today we didn’t get it done. Nothing that we did last week will help us today and nothing that we did today will help us next week, so we’ve got to put this behind us as we did with the previous game and get back to work and prepare and give it our best shot next week.

On if he learns from previous games…

I’ll watch the tape and I’ll learn from it. Once we get into the next week of practice, I completely put those things behind me because other than those learning experiences that I’ve had plenty of, they really don’t help me going into the next game. Defenses are going to scheme us up different. Teams are going to play us different. There’s different personnel. We’ve got to be prepared for it.

On how much he dissects his interceptions to avoid them in the future…

Like I said last week, it’s a mindset. I came into this week with the same exact mindset — take care of the ball. It’s just unfortunate that on two occasions, I didn’t get that job done. Like I did the weeks before, I’ve got to put it in the back of my memory bank and put it behind me but always remember the times and when I go out there on the field, just be mindful of taking care of the ball, not taking sacks and not throwing interceptions.

On why the offense struggled in the second half…

Hats off to the Pittsburgh defense. They played a tremendous game, including that second half. They came out and they made it tough on us. They made us be consistent on every single down and they made us drive the ball on every single down. That’s really it. Other than those two turnovers, which were my fault, they just played us hard and we knew that coming in. We knew it would be this type of game. They’re that type of team. They’re always hard to beat. You never really blow them out. That’s not the character of that team. They compete every single week. They showed up today and we didn’t get it done.

On how much he is looking forward to playing New England again…

I look forward to it, to go out there, have another opportunity to prove myself, to go out there with my teammates and try to get a victory, it’s one that we really need, especially with our record right now. We need to start putting together a few wins to set ourselves up for the future.

On how much not having Winslow hurt the offense…

We practiced without Kellen. We all love Kellen and we wish he could be here with us, but he’s not. We’ve got guys who are capable of stepping up. We’ve got plays set up that we can get the ball in the other guys’ hands and guys have just got to step up.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On if his knee injury affected his play…

The knee didn’t affect anything at all. It was just me [needing to have] better technique on that one play and that’s it.

On if he was fooled by the play-fake on the third and one play that went for a touchdown…

No, we were in cover zero. I’m not even worrying about a play-fake. I’m thinking more of a quick gain because of the cover zero that we were in. Thinking about coming in a little quicker but, then they had enough time to get a ball down the field.

On when he knew that he would play this game…

I knew Saturday that I was going to be able to go. I felt good and got a chance to run around for a little bit on Saturday and I felt pretty good.

On getting ready for New England next week…

You have to. This game is over with. Once it [the clock] hits zero, this game’s over and you have to start preparing for the next one. That’s always been my mentality. We have to go back to through the game film tomorrow and then look at it. For me, this game is over. We make the corrections. My goal is to move on to the next opponent.

On if he thinks that teams are targeting him…

I don’t really care if they do. You get throws. You’re going to get thrown at. I think in this game I got thrown at eight times. They completed three of them, one for a touchdown. You want to come in and try to compete in order to do the things that you try to do.

On if the defense did enough to win…

No, I don’t think we did enough to win. Our job is to keep them out of the end zone and we didn’t. They scored on a third and one. It’s something that we can’t have, especially for me, giving up a first down. That’s something that I take a lot of pride in, especially giving up the first down.

T D’BRICKASHAW FERGUSON

On what went wrong today…

Execution is always going to be important. If you’re deep in the red zone and the ball gets turned over, that’s going to be an issue. If there [are] penalties, that’s going to be an issue. If there are missed assignments, that’s going to be an issue. I think all of that played a role today and unfortunately, that led to our loss.

On what they can learn from the loss…

Well, nobody likes losing. We haven’t watched the tape yet, but we know, even without watching the tape, that there were things that didn’t go according to plan. Like I mentioned, penalties, turnovers, missed assignments. All of those things play into the loss.

On what they need to do to prepare for New England…

We’re going to take what we can from this game, but we have to turn the page. We have another tough opponent that we’ve played [before]. We know this opponent. We know that they’re going to be ready for us. We played a tight game against them earlier this year.

RB BILAL POWELL

On Pittsburgh’s performance…

They just came out and played a good game. My hats off to [their] defense. We just got to go out and continue to execute, convert third downs and just don’t turn the ball over. We would’ve been good.

On how Pittsburgh made it difficult to move the ball down the field…

We just have to execute. It was a good game plan for us coming in. [The Coaches] put us in a good position to go out and make plays. We just have to go out and execute.

On the play of the offense today…

I know we’re a good offense. If we eliminate the turnovers and mistakes, I think we’re one of best offenses in this league, if we’re able to do that. We’re going to go and make some corrections tomorrow and move forward.

On if he was surprised that the offense did not score a touchdown…

It’s disappointing. That’s our expectation. To get in the end zone and put points up. Like I said, we just have to go in, correct some things and keep moving forward.

On the severity of his injury…

No injury. I just took a little hit, came out and took a breather. Came in and everything is good.

G WILLIE COLON

On if they felt they could run on the Steelers defense…

I definitely feel like we could have stayed with the run game. I thought we were being efficient in that aspect of the game, but all we can do is our jobs and [execute the plays called]. We have a lot of faith in our OC [offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg] and his ability to call games. I’m always going to stand behind him.

On if he expected to have trouble against the Steelers defense…

I felt for the most part we did our job. It was little things here and there. This is one of those games we lost, it’s not the end of the season. We have to learn from it and move on and get ready for New England. That where our eyes are at.

On how disappointing of a loss this was…

You don’t want to lose at home. I felt like everything we wanted was there for us. We slipped up. We have a quick turnaround. We need this one next week. That’s what we’re focused on. We’ve got to bury this one. It stinks, but it is what it is at this point.

On what they can learn from this…

You can’t turnover the ball. We’ve got to do a better job in the run game. We’ve got to give Geno [Smith] more time. That’s what we [have] to do. It’s not about pointing the finger. I was always taught when you point the finger, you better start with the thumb. That’s how I approach every game and that’s my attitude.

WR STEPHEN HILL

On if Pittsburgh’s defense caused confusion…

No, I don’t think they gave us confusion at all. I really didn’t see much behind me. I’m running routes against 24 [Ike Taylor]. He played a pretty good game. That’s all I can say on that.

On the hit he took just before halftime…

I just got the wind knocked out of me. I’m not sure what safety [Troy Polamalu] it was, but just the wind got knocked out of me.

On missed opportunities against the Steelers’ defense…

You’ve got to [make the most of] your opportunities [in] every game. Any time that you have a good opportunity to score, to make big plays, you just [have to] take [advantage of] those. They [Steelers] did a great job. Definitely tip our hats to them. They played a good one.

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