Green & White QB Interviews

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Transcript of interviews with Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez after Thursday night's Green & White Scrimmage:    

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On his performance today…

Well, I thought there was good and bad. Offensively, first and foremost, we didn't turn the ball over, which is good. With a defense as talented as ours, if we don't turn the ball over, we put ourselves in a very good position to win. The thing we need to get corrected is first and second down efficiency. We were left with the third-and-longs throughout the evening and there were some self-inflicted wounds. There were a couple sacks, a couple of penalties that took us from second-and-short and third-and-short to second-and-long and third-and-long. (There were) some good things to build on a week into camp and definitely some things to improve upon before we get ready to strap it on for live ball against St. Louis.

On if the penalties were discouraging…

Anytime you're moving backwards or not having the successes you want, I wouldn't use the word discouraging, but it's frustrating at times. Like I said, we'll look at the film and there were a lot of good things. A lot of the young guys in particular did a lot of good things. Erik Ainge led the touchdown drive that Paul Raymond scored on. It was a very well-executed play. We'll look at the film. There'll be some good stuff and some bad stuff. We'll correct it and move on.

On grading himself in the quarterback competition…

We're being graded all the time. Personally, it's my good fortune of being a veteran and this being my third quarterback competition in four years. I think in my first couple of years, I was always watching the other guy. Well, what'd he do? Now I have to one up him. Now, I wish Mark [Sanchez] all the success when he's out there. I'm sure he does the same for me. Ultimately, I want to perform well for my teammates and coaches. The focus for me is more on myself than on what he's doing. Obviously I support him, but I'm not always counting and keeping score in that respect. 

On the no-huddle offense…

Well, I know that's something I feel comfortable in. It's year four in the system. I think Coach [Brian] Schottenheimer and myself have a pretty good relationship coordinator-to-quarterback, where I kind of know what he's thinking and he knows what I'm thinking and what I prefer. It's something that we both feel comfortable in and hopefully something that puts stress on the defense and puts them on their heels.

On if he would have liked one more series today…

Honestly I wish I could have taken every rep — ones, twos and threes. That's the nature of the business. We have four QBs and we've got to get everybody reps. I'd love to be out there as often as I can. It was pretty quick. They called it a first half and a second half, but I don't think that was quite a full game.

On gelling with his receivers…

Absolutely. We've been getting a lot of reps with the ones and we're really doing some pretty good things. It's very, very encouraging what we're seeing out there. Obviously today wasn't maybe what we had hoped for offensively at times, but I have a very good relationship with those ones and I've been going with the twos for three years previously. So I think we have good relationships across the board.

On the third-and-long pass to Chansi Stuckey…

It was third-and-long and we got backed up a little bit. We ran a double move and the defense brought the house, which is a good move on their part. I just threw it out there and was hoping that Stuckey could go get it. We've got a lot of people with talent. I'm not sure if there was some contact. I know a couple of guys were calling for a flag. First and foremost, avoid the sack because that would have backed us up even further and just get Stuckey a chance to go get it. 

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On the scrimmage…

I thought that we had a couple of good drives going. We got stuffed a little bit by the defense on some tough third downs, but that is a good sign for our defense. They had a great day. We have to convert on some of those third downs, but overall we were smart with the football and didn't have any turnovers, so that was good.

On his accuracy…

I felt great about throwing the football. It was spinning well and it was coming out of my hand great. [I had some] good protection. They were awesome, whether it was the first or second unit. Nick Mangold and Rob Turner both showed up big. That is very reassuring for a young quarterback. They did a great job with their protection calls.

On the benefit of tackling during the scrimmage…

It was good to see how those short passes worked like the one to Leon [Washington] and another one to Jehuu [Caulcrick]. In regular practice, you don't see those plays develop. You throw short passes to guys and you say 'Who knows where that would have went?' The coaches tell you that it is a great play (and to) keep doing it. It almost feels like I didn't really do anything on that play. But here you throw it to Jehuu and he runs it up to field for nine yards and you get a first down. So it is really important to see, especially for a rookie. If it's not open down the field, just get the ball out of your hands and keep it underneath.

On executing the no-huddle offense…

I thought it was good. The most important thing is being loud and letting them know you are in control. We had one penalty in that situation, so that was great (but) we do want to eliminate that penalty. It is just a good experience because your voice has to drown out everything else. You have to let them know you are in control and that package is a no-huddle package, but it doesn't mean we're in a rush. You can use the whole play clock. It is like hurry up and then relax. I thought I handled it very well.

On the chemistry with Wallace Wright…

I don't know how that happened. It just seemed that he is someone who has been getting open. Another guy that is really coming around is [David] Clowney just in these last two days, really. (He has had) big time catches, so I have been connecting with him as well. On those short passes, run-pass option, make a one-step throw and Wallace Wright seems to be there.

On playing with the first team…

It's good. The huddle is great. There is one voice in the huddle and that's the quarterback. That's what you want. Guys are attentive and understanding the play call. We are eliminating mental errors and stuff like that. It was a good day. It was great. Every chance you get you want to turn those drives into touchdown drives or field goal drives and score points. Handle those no-huddle situations with the ones as well, then find those guys like Leon [Washington], Thomas Jones and let those guys work for you. We just have to improve.

On if he thinks that he made a statement today…

Oh, I don't know. It's obviously too early to tell and that's for Coach Ryan to decide. They'll judge whether this is a statement or not. The bottom line is I took care of the ball, was fairly accurate and had some good drives going. We just have to finish those drives and take our next step as a team.

On whether the dropped passes were frustrating…

No, it's a part of the game. It was the first scrimmage, so there is nothing to worry about there. Those guys are solid receivers, so we are not worried about it one bit.

On his progression through training camp…

I think that I am understanding the offense very well. I think that really showed today. They gave me the chance to run the no-huddle. It was important to see that Coach Schottenheimer was comfortable with me doing that. I feel great about what is going on. I took care of the ball and that is most important. Like I said, the big thing we will take away from this scrimmage is that the defense had a great day overall. The offense had some self-inflicted wounds that just hurt us a little bit. (There were) some penalties here and there, some conversions that we would want to get and we will be finishing those drives and try to take that next step.

On his level of anticipation coming into today…

We had like an hour just to relax. We had a team meeting and I had like a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was like gameday. It was game on and I tried to lay down a little bit, relax my mind and came out here ready to work. I was on today and felt great.

On being an NFL quarterback…

This is your livelihood. This is the best thing that could ever happen. It's pretty special. At the end of the day, you want to do well in the scrimmages but you get to go home and lay your head down at night as an NFL quarterback. That's all I have ever wanted to be. I won't ever forget that, the giddiness you get before games. It is fun and that is why you do it.

On the drive with two incomplete passes in a row…

It was just a hot route. I read the blitz and threw it to Jack [Simmons]. It was my bad yesterday. I threw one that was real high and he came in and brought it in and this one was right on. Those things happen. It was a quick-hit play. We both made the right read and we just have to finish it. We'll get that and Jack had a great time, so he'll be just fine.

On Wallace Wright's background…

I know he was a special teams guy, came from North Carolina, but that's what this kind of camp is about, getting to know these guys and feeling their routes. I think he is doing a great job. All I know is that the Wallace that I see in this camp has done awesome. He's been there when I look for him making big time catches on the sideline and over the middle. He is not afraid to go in the middle that is big time. He's a great receiver and he is doing well for himself.

On what he was focused on in addition to accuracy…

Sure, it was that and managing the club, running the no-huddle with seamless transitions, switching in and out personnel, motioning, keeping things like that under control. And that is just some of the things that get away from rookies. You come in and everything is just chaos. You have to be the one, when everyone is screaming and yelling and flags are flying, with the tunnel vision. I felt that I really did that today. I was seeing things clearly and was really in control. I was happy with my performance. We have to go back. There were obviously many mistakes that we have to clean up, but I felt really good.

On if the scrimmage was a faster pace…

No, I felt good. I felt like I could slow the game down and just relax and play. That's exactly what happened. I talked to Coach Cavanaugh about that. The way that clock, the play-clock, the way our defense forces you to play fast, it just forces you to do what you have been saying the whole time. You just get there. You get clear-headed. It felt great.

On the rookies singing last night…

They called us up there and I was singing "In the Heat of the Night." I even said on Twitter that it was a B effort. Some of the guys were booing and Kerry Rhodes said 'Hey, it's not bad' and everyone just yelled at him (laughter). It was pretty funny. That is what being a rookie is all about, brining helmets in, cleaning up after the guys. That is how it goes.

On singing a duet with Chris Pizzotti…

I was doing the background and Pizzotti was supposed to come in with the chorus and the lyrics, but he kind of bailed on me. We have a rookie show coming up here soon, coming to a YouTube near you (laughter).

On the crowd…

What a turnout. The fans were in these far stands and they couldn't even see the game. That was unbelievable. Mr. Johnson even said that to me. He said 'Wow, I didn't think these people would come in.' But that was great.

On his schedule for Friday…

I am going to Cooperstown, NASCAR, or just relaxing and rehab and look at film. I have to do that first. I get to lift in the morning. That is it though.

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