I think just watching the tape again, you really see, number one, how hard our guys played, obviously. The fact that we said last night that we needed everybody and that was clear and evident on tape as well. Obviously, you’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Falcons, the way they battled and fought back. That’s an excellent football team, very well coached. But again, I think it’s just that the resolve that our players had really was outstanding.
We get to enjoy that game for about a couple of hours and then it’s on immediately to Pittsburgh. For the coaches, quite honestly, with us, after you watch the tape we’ve already been hard at work preparing for Pittsburgh.
On if he has an update on
No. I’ll tell you what, he wasn’t able to finish the game, obviously, so that doesn’t look good. But I don’t have what the injury status is right now. Obviously, tomorrow we’ll have that.
You guys know how I feel about the betting deal. It means nothing to me. I think when you look at it with Pittsburgh, certainly this is an extremely proud franchise when you look at the Rooneys, you look at Mike Tomlin, Dick LeBeau and then Ben Roethlisberger, that defense, [Troy] Polamalu and all them. Certainly there’s a lot of players, a lot of talent on that team. And that organization is a class act without question and we know how much we respect them.
But again, with us, they’ve had two weeks to prepare for us, we’re coming off a short week so we know we have to get on top of them immediately as far as our preparation goes. I like the fact we’re at least playing at home. It seems like every time we play Pittsburgh since I’ve been here, I think three times, it seems like we’ve been on the road every time.
On any thoughts on
Just that it was a tremendous game for him without question. The 80 percent completion rate and extremely accurate with the ball, made some great decisions. I thought he ran hard. So I thought it was just a great game on his part and obviously, really a lot of guys stepped up and had a tremendous game for us.
On if he is interested to see how the team responds to having success…
Well, I’m interested to see how we respond but certainly it’s not like we feel like we’re King Kong or something. We know it took a great effort last night, but it’s going to take the same kind of effort this week. I do feel great that we’re playing at home. I think that’s going to help us. Again, Pittsburgh travels well. My shoutout to the fans is let’s not see a whole lot of black and gold out there if we can avoid it. But really I think that’ll help us. I got a memo from the league, they said we can win two games in a row [joking, laughter]. I think that’s going to be what I talk to our team about.
On if he regretted not going for the two-point conversion to put the team up by 14 in the fourth quarter…
Yeah, when they went ahead by a point [laughter]. Absolutely, that is when it dawned on me. But really at that stage, obviously we were thinking about it, but I was like you know what? It’s still too early in the fourth quarter, so let’s just take the one because a lot of things can happen. But yeah, obviously when they scored I was like, "Oh gosh, I should’ve gone for two." But that’s with hindsight. Again, there was really never a panic. We knew we had the ball and plenty of time and had all three timeouts. I'm just really excited the way we handled that two minute situation. I thought Marty [Mornhinweg] did a tremendous job of calling the plays and then really our offense, quite honestly, did a great job of executing.
On what happened on the fourth-and-1 delay-of-game penalty on the team’s first drive…
No, I tried to draw them offsides because I was trying to get them. And I’m like it’s even a better angle if you get it back a little bit further. We knew we had the field goal, but I was like let’s just try to hard count them, draw them offsides. But it came in so late that that really wasn’t it. I should’ve been on top of that more so, but clearly we weren’t going to go for it. I was just trying to draw them offsides. At that stage you want to get points. You’re playing on the road, you’ve had a great drive, so let’s go ahead and get some points. That team, I think going into the game, I think they had an edge in the first quarter of 34-0, so we wanted to score first.
On the defense…
The hiccups I think a lot of times you’ve got to credit your opponent, because quite honestly they have a lot of weapons and it’s hard to defend that team. There’s not doubt. The one big wideout is an absolutely beast, Julio Jones, so I think that’s the guy you have to focus on. That’s the one you have to get two on him and then, obviously [Tony] Gonzalez does what he does. He’s tremendous still. So, it’s a talented [offense], and Roddy White, it’s a tough team to defend let’s just put it that way.
On the defense performance…
We did OK, I guess, but I would’ve liked to have played better. We have to tighten some things up, but again I want to give the opponent plenty of credit. It’s not every day you give up that many first downs and 360 yards or whatever they had, so you have to give them credit. But it also shows that we have to improve. We have to learn from it. There’s several mistakes that we made that helped the cause a little bit. So, we’re going to learn from it then we’re going to move forward.
On the teams they have defeated being a combined 3-11…
Well again, that’s something we can’t affect who we play. Whoever is on the schedule, that’s who we’re going to line up and play. Again, you can try to discredit us all you want, that’s fine, it’s no big deal to us. We know what we have in our building and that’s it. You can take any stance you want on it. Those are facts, there’s no question, but if you think the Atlanta Falcons are only going to win one game or whatever, then I don’t know, I think they’re a better football team than that. But again, that’s for you to write and that’s all fine and dandy. We really don’t care though, to be honest with you.
On if the Jets have embraced an “us against the world” approach…
We really don’t care what people that don’t believe in us say. We care about what our fans think, we care about what our locker room knows to be the truth. I think it’s interesting, there are different ways to look at the preseason. I don’t disagree that wins and losses and things like that can definitely be misleading. But if you really look at the games, in particular, I knew that this team was on the right track. I think that’s where it is, I think it shows up in the games, in the preseason games. It also shows up on the practice field. That’s why we knew we were much better than what we were given credit for.
With that being said, we’re not even close to where we have to get to, starting this week against Pittsburgh. That’s kind of where our focus is. To say absolutely, what the national media and people like that think about us, the negative comments and all that kind of stuff, to think it doesn’t put a little fuel to the fire, of course it does. With that being said, we know they’re not in the meetings, they’re not seeing what we’re seeing. Again, I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t add something, it doesn’t spark you a little bit.
No, not that I know of. Obviously, guys want to get out there. They want to play. There is no question they want to play. They want to be part of it. The thing I will say is he made a huge catch when we got the touchdown. It was a huge play in the game and that was great to see.
No, I’m not really sure. We were trying to use all three of our backs, and quite honestly, we never had a whole lot of plays on offense. We had a tough time getting off the field. Going into the game, we were leading the league in first downs given up on defense and we gave up a boatload. So it was hard to get the ball back. But again, I think Mike and really all the backs, we were trying to use every one of them.
On if he was surprised the Falcons went for it on fourth down at the end of the first half…
Yes, I was surprised because I thought we were pretty stout out there. I was surprised that they didn’t go with the points. But again, Mike Smith knows his football team. I’m not questioning the move, but you asked me the question, and yes, I was a little surprised.
I told you we’re going to use our roster. There’s no doubt we’ll use our roster. If we think we have a certain matchup, then we’ll go ahead and use it. But don’t think that means anything less of Antonio Allen. In fact it’s just the opposite. I’m sure he’ll be the starter this week and we’ll go from there, but we have some good players and we’re going to use them.
On why he threw the challenge flag on the Roddy White fumble…
I never really saw a whole lot. I just figured I’d take a shot at it. It was a huge play. Quite honestly, I never liked the defense that we had out there. It seemed like we had some confusion. But I figured it might be a shot to throw it. Obviously I was wrong in making the challenge instead of just getting the timeout. We were going to do one or the other. I figured I’d take a shot at it. I hadn’t seen a clear view of it, so I was wrong. But that was what went into my decision.