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REX: We’ve Got to Step Up and Deliver

Posted Mar 25, 2014

On the signing of unrestricted free agent QB Michael Vick...

First off, you’re getting a guy that is obviously a proven winner, a guy that is a dynamic player and for us, it’s going to give us a guy that’s going to provide great competition and I think that’s going to be a great thing for us and it’s going to be a great thing for Geno. Those two are going to push each other and the end result will be good for the football team. As I’ve said before, I think it’s going to be really interesting to watch that competition unfold. Geno Smith’s going to be hard to beat out. I’ve said that for a long time and that’s how I feel about it, but it is going to be great competition.

On if Vick have a chance to be the Jets' Week 1 starter...

I would say yes. Anybody, we want that competition and we’ll let it all play out.

On who takes the first snap of training camp...

Oh, my gosh, here we go. Really? I think we do know, but we’ll let it play out. I think it’s still early in the process, but there will be a competition there and at every other position.

I think competition is good for everybody. When you look at it, whether you’re a quarterback, a right tackle, whatever, competition brings out the best in everybody. I think it’s a good thing to have. We feel good about our quarterback situation. We feel really good about it.

On Vick as a player...

He’s athletic. You see all that athleticism that he has. He can still run, moves well in the pocket, I think he’s more accurate throwing from the pocket. He has a big arm and he can still run. I like the fact that both those guys can run zone reads and all those type of things that help your running game. Having a mobile quarterback I think is harder to defend than a guy that’s maybe a stationary pocket guy. With that said, I’d probably rather defend a mobile quarterback than Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

On Vick's experience in OC Marty Mornhinweg's system...

That’s huge. Now you have both your guys have experience in the system and there’s not a learning curve. That’s why I think it’s going to be great competition. This is going to be both guys are familiar with that.

On winning now...

You guys know me. I think I put my expectations and everything else have never changed, I want to win and I expect to win and I think it’s ... I’ll say this: It’s time to deliver. It’s time to deliver for this community, for New York, for this entire area and we’ve got to step up and deliver. I’m not running from it, let’s put it that way. I expect a lot out of this football team. I know the commitment’s there. I know the hard work, the energy, the passion, all that type of stuff is there. Our guys want to win and we expect to win and that’s what we aim to do.

We want to have sustainable success. There isn’t a one-shot deal. Our plan is to have sustainable success for the present and the future.

On seeing Darrelle Revis in a Patriots uniform...

I think he’s not going to look good in the uniform. That’s kind of how I see it, but we’ll see. I recognize that he’s a great player. He certainly was when he played for us. We’ll see how he does up there.

On if he wants to bring in more wide receivers...

We just want to build a good football team, and if a guy can help us at receiver, offensive line or whatever it is, we’ll be open to it. We have a lot of time left in free agency, we have the draft coming up. we have some guys that can play.

On making the playoffs...

I feel like I have to make the playoffs, always. Your goal is not to be 8-8. We want to win. This year’s no different than it’s ever been for me.

On the Eagles reportedly being close to signing Mark Sanchez...

Whoever it is is going to get an outstanding young man. The guy’s got some physical tools. He’s competitive. Up until last year, he’s durable. Unfortunately he had that injury, but he’ll do what it takes to get back, get healthy, and I wish him the best.

On how tough it was to release Mark...

That’s the worst part of the job as a coach. You never get used to it, at least I haven’t, that’s for sure. We accomplished something that I don’t even know if we’re the only rookie head coach/rookie quarterback to go to back-to-back championships or not, but it’s a small list. That’s a pretty good accomplishment. He played a lot of good football. Unfortunately, people remember one play. Mark played well for us. We had some success, albeit not ultimate success, but we did have some successes together.

On Vick's presence having negative development on Geno Smith...

I definitely don’t see that. His experience in the system, the fact that he’s played that position for a long time I think will help. They’re going to push each other. Geno Smith, people throw out the numbers there and they don’t look that impressive, but when you realize the last month of the season how we all saw him improve and how we improved as a football team, it leads me to think that this young man has got a bright future.

On if Geno will be hard to beat out and has a leg up in the QB competition...

I saw him grow by leaps and bounds, just the way he played the position. He played smart, he protected the football. The last month of the season, he had the No. 2 [QBR] in the league.

On looking to add another wide receiver...

We’re not done. I’ll bet you anything we end up making another move at receiver, somewhere along the line. It might not be the moves you want us to make, but ... how many picks we have now, 12 picks? I bet we take a shot.

On Sanchez...

I hope it all works out for him. He’s a tremendous young man. I have a ton of admiration for him. With that being said, I don’t want him in our division. I don’t want him doing well then.

On Geno Smith...

This is a strong, resilient young man and a guy that thrives on competition, loves competition. I think he’s excited about this.

On the Jets' QB situation...

We have two guys that do a tremendous job and maybe three guys [including Matt Simms]. They do a great job and you’re sitting back going, in an ideal situation, well, they both earned the job. That’s the best way to do it and then you can’t go wrong. [Vick’s] experience will help. He’s played a lot of games under Marty’s direction. All of his experience will be good.

But I think everybody’s going to be surprised at where Geno’s at. I’m happy where Geno left off at and we’ll see where he is when we get back, but I’m excited about him. I was so excited about the progress he made at the end of the year and the guys, our beatwriters, they know. We saw it coming. I went on record as seeing it coming, but everyone saw it coming, all the Jet fans saw it coming. He was getting better and he was like this [hand held high].

Yeah, he had that little dropoff, but quite honestly, Johnny Unitas would've had a dropoff. We had a lot of injuries. No excuses, but that’s reality. We’re looking out there and we had picked a guy up off the street two weeks ago and he’s your starting wideout [David Nelson]. We beat the Saints and completed eight passes and not one guy was in our training camp that caught a pass. We had those issues as the season went on. It’s hard to get timing. It’s tough enough to be a rookie quarterback, but when you hadn’t even worked with this guy in training camp, it’s tough.

But then he came out of it and that’s the thing that was so encouraging to me. As a football team, we came out of it, and we all saw it coming. That’s why I was so confident at the end of the year that we were playing our best football. I think that’s why if I could say anything to our fans, it’s, "Hey, look, we can’t wait to get started. We can’t wait."

I saw it through our entire football team, that it was one of the rare times when the season’s over, you’re beat to death and, all right, I need a little break, this will be good to get away from it. Our guys wanted to keep going with it. Every one of our guys would have said, "Let’s start the season right now." That’s the feeling that we had on this football team and that’s why, watch out for the Jets, man. I’m just telling you.

On if he's in favor of an expanded NFL playoff field...

Absolutely! Absolutely! When you look at the fact that there are probably bonuses tied into it? Absolutely! I don’t think you want to do it where it’s like hockey and basketball and it seems like three quarters of the teams make it. But I think it’s a good thing. You don’t want it watered down enough to where it’s like "that team didn’t deserve it." You always want it to where it’s like "Yeah, every one of these teams really deserves it."

On his tattoo...

Guys, the tattoo is still there. I’m not going to say anything about the Sanchez tattoo. It was my tattoo, and it’s still my tattoo. I may alter it, who knows? I may put 75 on it and honor Winston Hill. I think that’s the idea. That’s what I’m going to do.

On how he sees the rest of the AFC East...

I think the division goes through New England like always. I think that will always be the case as long as Tom Brady is there and Belichick and all that. But Tom Brady, as long as he’s there I think they’re probably the favorites. But this thing, you mention Miami, the talent they have. Buffalo had a zillion Pro Bowlers. Obviously that’s a pretty talented team as well, especially on defense.

On how he now looks at Darrelle Revis...

If he wasn’t signing for me or my brother, it was like, I never care, if he’s playing for somebody else.

I recognize Darrelle as a player. Last year was kind of weird when we first started the season and that was the first time it happened that he was in a different-colored jersey. But once the ball is snapped, it’s like, he’s another guy wearing number 24 out there. Obviously you know what kind of player he is, but he’s somebody else’s player now. That’s where I look at it. This is two different teams in two years for him and not us. He’s not ours. Maybe when he first went to Tampa I still saw him as my player, but that’s not the case now. It’s somebody else’s player. I recognize the kind of player he was when we had him, and like I said he’s the enemy now. That’s the way you look at it.

On who will win an Eric Decker vs. Darrelle Revis game matchup...

I guess we’re going to find out. Twice a year we’re going to find out.

On Mike Goodson's status...

He’s under contract. We’ll see how he comes in off this injury, how he rehabs off this injury.

On if he's received any clarification on Goodson's legal issues...

No, I have not. I hope he’s healthy. Dude can fly.

On if he thinks Sanchez will be a starter again in the NFL...

I do, I absolutely do. I think the best judge of quarterbacks is probably their record. If you play the position right, you protect the football, it builds. That one position … His win-loss record is not by fluke. The guy has talent. The big thing about Mark, when he learns to protect the football better, that’s probably the thing that’s missing more than anything.

On the finality of not having Sanchez on his team now...

When you take a guy you hope that it’s … That was my first draft pick, me being a coach, that was my first pick. You have the vision that this guy is going to be with you for 10 years. I’m sure every coach has that. Very few make it that far. I think in an ideal world, that’s what you would have liked.

On anything he told Sanchez before he left...

Mark knows how I feel about him. I think it’s good for him that he moves on and he’ll have a chance to start again. He had success here. I’m sure he's got some great memories here and some great moments, and that’s more than a lot of people can say. He took a team to two championship games as a young quarterback. Not everybody can do that. He had some big wins here, a lot of come-from-behind wins, things like that that he can be really proud of. But he’s also got a chance to start again somewhere else.

On if teams have to watch out for the Jets in 2014...

I believe we’re going to be one of those teams. We’re on the rise. I don’t think there’s any doubt. It’s just the way we are. I know the kind of commitment our team has, I know the passion we have, I know the mentality that this football team has and will have, the new guys coming in. We want to do some special things and that’s the kind of commitment our team has. We want to do those things. I think that’s where it starts.

We have a lot of talent. No coach can win without talent. There are some that can’t win with it, but no coach can win without it and we have talent. It’s more about the guys we already have. What we pick up from free agency or the draft moving forward I think will add to it. But it’s about the guys we already have. That’s why I’m so excited about it. You guys know the way I was at the end, I wasn't running from it. I was telling you we’re going to show you how far we’ve come. I felt it on the practice field, I knew it, I knew we were heading in that direction.

On the urgency he has for the coming season...

There’s always that sense of urgency. Now, though, I think we’re so young and trying to put it together, we kind of had a lot of growing pains last year. At the end we knew what we were doing and how we were playing. We had a great sense and feel for each other that this is how we’re going to win and we saw it. We knew we were getting better. I think our guys, I can’t tell you the enthusiasm that they have. And they know we’re getting better. It wasn’t just lip service, it was, hey, guys, we see it and they saw it and they all felt it. … Look, I see it. Nobody is really talking about us and that’s fine and dandy. They’re going to.

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