Chatham: Play your best at this time of year

1207-chath-320.jpg

Throughout his career, Chatham has played in many meaningful December games

Heading into their second December game last season, the banged-up Jets were 2-10 and the primary thoughts of Jets fans was their positioning in the April draft. This season, the Jets are 7-5 heading into their second December battle and the main thing on everyone's mind is that famous "P" word as the Green and White are in the thick of the AFC postseason race.

"You understand the importance of this month and just playing well," said linebacker Matt Chatham. "There is no BCS; there are none of those kinds of things. We all understand that it's all an upward thing, just playing your best at this time of year regardless of what happened in September."

Read below for the complete transcripts from inside the Jets' locker room

New York Jets' RB Leon Washington, 12.7

On the instability of the starting lineup…

It says a lot. I think the main thing, the positive things it says, is if you prepare yourself in practice and work hard throughout the week, when the opportunity comes you should be ready for it. That's all it says. We're a team and that's our first thing that we believe in. When we have an opportunity to make plays, we should go make them.

On how players feel about their practice performance affecting their playing time…

Pretty much all the guys have pretty good weeks throughout the season. It's just one of those things that as a runner, you're going to get out there and if you have a hot hand early on, coaches tend to stay with that guy. That's a good thing, it gives guys an opportunity when they're hot, and there's nothing wrong with that. We all understand that as a team and as an offense. We're cool with that.

On if he likes running receiving routes…

Definitely, I think that's a part of my game that I can improve on and get better each week and I can help the team by doing that, catching the ball in the backfield. That's an area I can improve on and get better all year long and that's what I look forward to.

On his first year so far…

It's been pretty good, but I haven't finished yet. I remember when I was a freshman at Florida State and I had a chance to play against Florida, when I was a true freshman, it was the last game of the season and I had a chance to play in the bowl game. I'm kind of doing the same things now; play hard, work hard all year and when the opportunity comes, make the best of it. As an evaluation, I'm not done yet, but I feel pretty good so far.

On if he's grown as much this year as he did that year at Florida State…

Definitely. Mentally, more than anything else I've grown a lot and learned about the game, I understand the game more and it has helped me a lot in my maturity.

New York Jets' LB Matt Chatham, 12.7

On playing meaningful games at the end of the season…

It is a relatively young team, but there are enough veteran guys that have been through it to know, regardless of what the situation is now, you understand the importance of this month and just playing well. There's no BCS, there are none of those kinds of things. We all understand that it's all an upward thing, just playing your best at this time of year, regardless of what happened in September.

On Buffalo…

You will find this across a lot of teams in the NFL. They're division opponents, so regardless if it's multiple players in Cleveland or some other match-up like that. Because they're a division opponent, they know a lot about us, regardless of what their situation is, regardless of the rest of the year.

On not looking ahead…

Anything that's outside your realm of control, you really shouldn't be talking about. Not just because it's a rule or anything like that, but it's negative energy. That's something I've always believed.

New York Jets' LB Jonathan Vilma, 12.7

On what is different about Buffalo…

I don't see much difference. I see them playing well, they're running the ball well, J.P. Losman has gotten better as a quarterback and they still have the big play ability with Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish has always been a challenge for us. For us, we see them as a good team, not much change and if anything, they've improved.

On if he takes Willis McGahee's success personally…

I don't take it personally, but obviously there is something to be said for someone who had 150 yards against us. I believe he had the most this year, so we definitely want to play him hard. We're doing a lot better in our run defense, so we'll see what happens.

On the trash talking he does with Willis McGahee…

You know I'm having fun with it. You have fun with it and that's what makes the game fun.

On what his conversations are like after the game…

It's like, "How's your family doing?" and the whole nine. We might talk about a couple plays where he got me or I got him and things like that.

On if it's true that Willis McGahee "owns him"…

I don't think so. I don't think he pays my bills, so I don't think he owns me.

New York Jets' RB Cedric Houston, 12.7

On why coach Mangini rotates starters…

I think he does it because we have three good running backs and it just depends on what kind of defense we're going against that week and a certain player might get more touches than another guy.

On if it took time to believe that coach Mangini wouldn't have a set starter…

It really didn't take any time to believe what he said, because I told us training camp was going to be tough and once it was over, we figured out that it was. Everything he told us after that, we pretty much knew it was going to go that way.

On practice affecting playing time…

If you get out there and you're messing up on your pass-protection or you're not running the ball as hard as you normally do, they take that stuff into consideration.

On not taking it personally if you don't get a lot of carries…

You have to know how the system works, you have to know how the coaches coach and you have to know how Eric [Mangini] runs this team. You can't get discouraged, you just have to go out next week and have a great week of practice. Hopefully, you'll get 25 [touches] again. That's pretty much how it works.

On being 100 percent when he finally came back…

You could say that. Three or four weeks before that, I had been practicing the whole time and feeling pretty good, so I just knew I had to have a couple good weeks of practice and coach was going to call my number. I was doing pretty good in practice, so I knew it was coming pretty soon.

On if his weight changed…

No, because I kept running and I ate as much as I normally did while I was getting a lot of reps in practice. I just cut down on my diet a little bit and practiced hard.

On dressing as Santa Clause at Robert Wood University Hospital…

It was great. Me and a couple of the guys on the team got a chance to go there on our day off. What else would you rather do on your day off? We had a good time with the kids. We gave them a lot of gifts and just had a good time. It was just like we were kids again, I had a good time playing with them. 

Thursday Injury Report Jets
Questionable: FB B.J. Askew (foot), CB David Barrett (hip), LB Matt Chatham (foot), Eric Smith (foot) LB & Bryan Thomas (shoulder)
Probable:*RB Kevan Barlow (calf), *CB Andre Dyson (neck), *DE Shaun Ellis (ankle), *RB Cedric Houston (knee), DB *OL Pete Kendall (knee), *WR Justin McCareins (foot), *DL Rashad Moore (hand), *QB Chad Pennington (calf) & *WR Brad Smith (shoulder) & *S Rashad Washington (illness)

Bills Out: LB Angelo Crowell (fibula)
Questionable: LB John DiGiorgio (ankle), RB Willis McGahee (ankle), CB Terrence McGee & S Donte Whitner (hamstring)

*Denotes players who participated in practice

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising