Jets-Dolphins Postgame Interviews

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2008 Week 16 - Jets vs Miami Photos

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets locker room following their 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon:    

HEAD COACH ERIC MANGINI

Today was somewhat of a microcosm of what we had been experiencing. We had opportunities and we couldn't capitalize on them. We made some mistakes that ended up costing us the game. I appreciated the way the team worked all year long. I like this group of people. I like this group of players. They work hard but collectively we just didn't get done what we needed to get done. I thanked them for their hard work and all of the things that they've done throughout the course of the season. Tomorrow we will start the evaluation process and get the problems we had corrected so that we can move forward for next year.

On pinpointing a common issue during the last four losses…

You wish there was just one thing that you could look to and say, 'that's the issue.' It's never one thing when you win and it's never one thing when you lose. It's getting a blocked punt on a base look. It's hitting a big play, getting an attack play, and then throwing a pick. It's things like that which are missed opportunities and generating opportunities for the opponent — hitting a fleaflicker, splitting two defenders on a fleaflicker that's underthrown. Those things are all in different areas, they are all different things, but obviously when you have them collectively they are too much to overcome.

On if he thinks he's coming back next season…

Yeah I do. Like I said, we don't discuss that, we have never discussed it throughout the course of the season. But that's my anticipation.

On personal disappointment of the season after starting 8-3…

I've talked about it all the time how it's a long season. Every single game is important. Every one has to be treated the same. If you have any lapses due to success or due to failure, it's going to be difficult to win. You have to do all the same single things every week to win the next week and the next week. That doesn't change. The season goes on and you have to be better, ideally, than the week before.

On a breakdown on the last interception…

We had scored Leon [Washington]'s touchdown in the same kind of way where you hit a big play, come up and then you run a play quickly anticipating that the defense won't be set. Leon's touchdown was a result of that. It was the same thing, just the pass version of it. The guy stepped in front late. He was moving out late and he didn't see him.

On Brett Favre coming back next year…

We haven't talked about that.

On knowing that before everyone leaves for the off-season…

We'll talk about it when we talk about it and he'll decide when he decides.

On if Favre mentioned his shoulder was hurting…

No.

On if he knew the Baltimore Ravens updates during the game…

No.

On when he found out that the Ravens won…

Just now, when you told me. I didn't know the score. I didn't want to know the score. It didn't affect what we were doing. That's how we coach the game and that's how we play the game.

On players knowing the Ravens score…

I didn't bring it up. Nobody else brought it up. I don't know if they knew or not.

On being aware of the New England Patriots win…

Yes, I was aware of that.

On working with Favre during the past year…

It's hard to hold that all up in a couple of sentences. He's a Hall-of-Fame player. He's got great energy. He's a great professional. He brought all of those things to the team. I think a lot of people learned things from him. I think we're a better team for him being here. I appreciate the relationship we had and the one he had with the team.

QB BRETT FAVRE

On how he feels after the loss to Miami…

It's disappointing because we expected to not be done at this point. You can point to a lot of things. The time that we spent together, players and coaches, working, it was quite a ride. I would love for it to continue. The hardest part is the finality of it, especially when you expect to go on. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I had a blast working with these guys. It was a lot of fun. It's disappointing where we are now, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

On his shoulder…

It's been better.

On if his shoulder is sore…

You could say that. That's been for quite awhile. We should know more tomorrow.

On if his shoulder affected his performance…

It would be easy to sit here and make excuses. I'm sure that during the course of the year that there were some throws that I know I could make, but I didn't. Other times, I made some good throws. I hope that it was not a factor in my throws this year. We'll know more tomorrow.

On if he is getting an MRI tomorrow…

Yes.

On if he is undecided about playing next year…

I am. The obvious choice would be a quick decision based on what happened. It's a hasty, irrational decision based on what's happened. I'll go home and get away for a week or so, we haven't really talked about it , and make the right decision.

On if he will make the decision before the Pro Bowl…

I don't know. I'll talk with Mike [Tannenbaum], Eric [Mangini] and Woody [Johnson] about it, but I don't know.

On his relationship with head coach Eric Mangini…

I had a lot of fun with Eric. I really respect him, his staff and the work ethic that he brings on the field. Guys practice every day. I really enjoyed that. There wasn't anything that I didn't enjoy about it. I just wish we could have gone a little further.

On what he will consider in terms of deciding to return for another year…

First and foremost, physically is something that I have to pay attention to. If I don't feel right — I'm 39-years old. That would be the first thing. Then we'll go from there.

On if he is happy he returned for another season…

There is only one team that ends on a high note. This is not a high note, but I consider this season, when I look back at it, whether I play or not, I'm glad that I made this decision to come here and play. I knew the odds were against us. I knew the expectations were high, but I consider that a huge challenge.

One game, one season — I'm not going to hang my head. I can sit here until I'm blue in the face and say how I expected us to go on and how disappointed I am. I know that every guy in that room is, but it is what it is. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was a lot of fun. It was tough, but that's what it was all about.

On reservations in the second half knowing they could no longer make the playoffs…

I couldn't even tell you what Baltimore was doing. The obvious thing for us was winning. That was not taken care of. I give Miami a lot of credit. They deserve it. They played well. I wish them well. Good luck to them. It's easy to say that your team is flat or didn't play with emotion, but I never sensed that with this team. Today was no exception. I thought it was a very physical and spirited game.

On if the season has been fun for him…

When you lose, no. I love to compete. I hope that every guy in that locker room, if you talk to each and every one of them, they would say that they enjoyed playing with me. There is way more to this game than statistics. I can say that because I have all the good ones and all the bad ones. The memories that you make in the locker room, the bustrips and the planerides, practices, they can't keep stats for that. Those guys in the locker room will tell you I had a lot of fun and hopefully was a lot of fun to play with. Unfortunately we didn't get it done, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

On if there is a moment from this season that makes him glad he came back…

The Tennessee and the New England game were huge games for us. I look back at this season and it was quick, it was a whirlwind. There were highs and lows. As I thought about it this week, knowing it could be our last week, I'm glad I came. There are high expectations, which is fine. It didn't work out. That's disappointing. This team is a good team and we'll continue to get better. I can think of practices, meetings and games — it was all worth it.

On what he learned from the off-season last year…

I do know this: You never know. We've all made decisions at one point or another in our life and thought it was a done deal. It's funny how your mind wanders off, changes and argues with yourself. You never know. There are obviously a lot of reasons for what went on last off-season. We're all to blame, the parties that were involved. We've both moved on. Once again, I'm glad I came. It was not the 17 years in Green Bay. I really like a lot of these guys and the opportunities that were presented for me.

On if he will do anything differently this off-season…

I have no idea. I don't know.

On if he can picture himself playing with another team next season…

[Laughs] No, but then again I couldn't see myself playing with the Jets last year. Through this process that took place last off-season, the one thing about Mike, Woody and Eric — I felt like I was wanted again. They went all out. That was a good feeling. I know we're ultimately judged by wins and losses. I'm well aware of that. It was a good feeling for me. I can't thank this organization enough for that opportunity. I wish I could have held up my end of the bargain.

On his performance down the stretch…

Down the stretch, it wasn't good enough. I have no excuses. I would love to sit here and tell you that it was this and it was that, but I'm not going to do that. Bottom line is it wasn't good enough. I'm sure everyone is going to say he's old, washed up and gray. Maybe they're right. If I was an expert then I wouldn't have struggled down the stretch. The only thing I know is, do I feel completely healthy? No. Did I start the season completely healthy? Probably not. In my mind, I did everything I could do and it wasn't good enough.

On if his performance is an indication to those people who say he is old and washed up that they are right…

I'm never going to question anything anyone says. Just when they write you off, you're right back in the saddle again. Just when you think you're on, they start saying bad things about you. To be quite honest with you, I'm to a point in my career where I don't really pay attention. This is 18 years. It really doesn't matter what people think.

When I was in my second year, I couldn't wait to read the clippings. I couldn't wait to see the good things people were saying about me. Of course, I didn't want to read them on the bad days. At this point in my career, it really doesn't matter. Not that it mattered then, I thought it did. That's one of the things I guess I'll assess. If I am washed up, maybe so. If that's the case, maybe it's time for me to do something else. There's no reason in my mind I should play differently than I did earlier in the year.

On if the history of the franchise was a burden to overcome…

No, not for me. That question was obviously brought up. It was talked about. When I was traded to Green Bay, it had been quite a while since they had any success, 25 years. I thought "Boy, what a challenge." I was a lot younger. When I came here, I thought the same thing. I knew I didn't have 17 years to get it done, so we tried to combine a lot into five months. At times I pressed to make it work because of the expectations.

One thing I can say is there are no expectations from the outside that can be any greater than the expectations I have of myself and my team. Because of that, whatever happens, happens. Good or bad. I expect to lead this team. History, it's only what you make of it, like statistics. I didn't really pay much attention to it.

On a report that said he was not comfortable working with Coach Mangini at various points during the season…

That's news to me. I know our relationship has been a very good relationship, with all the coaches. I don't know where that would come from. I thought it was just a very good working environment with all the coaches. I have a lot of respect for them.

On if the finish to this season will effect his decision to retire or not…

I feel there's obviously unfinished business, just because I expected us to continue on. I think there was a point where everyone expected us to continue on. Whether or not that weighs in my decision, I'm sure it does to a certain degree. I do feel like there's unfinished business. There's a lot of potential. I know that word was one of those words. When you talk about potential, you go, 'oh boy,' but, there is a lot of potential on this team.

On what he thinks an MRI would show…

I haven't had any surgeries in my career, I've been pretty fortunate. I hope it's not one of those things that all of a sudden just pile up at once. I don't know. I know my body. I don't know as much as an orthopedist, but I know it didn't feel like it should. I do know that. Whether or not it would require surgery that is something else I would have to weigh on whether or not first of all I would want surgery. Second of all, if I need it, would I play or not? It's one of those things. I'm 39. I don't want to have to have a bunch of surgeries to continue playing. I really don't know what it would show.

On if his family has indicated what they want him to do…

The only thing they indicated to me is that they wanted me to beat Miami. Of course I not only let this team down, I let them down. I don't know which one is harder to face. We haven't really discussed it, we haven't really discussed next year. We've kind of grown passed it. Once again, you never know. As I've said earlier, my intentions were to beat Miami and that was it. That was the only thing I was thinking about. I didn't want to think about when it was over.

On what hurts in his shoulder…

It hurts in the back, it hurts down the biceps, occasionally my neck. Other than that, it's fine.

RB/KR LEON WASHINGTON

On the game...

We worked hard. We had a good week in practice, one of the best weeks all year long. We came out in the game and didn't execute. You have to execute to win the game. It's tough and it hurts a lot when you work so hard. In December, we had the chance to control our own destiny and that's where you want to be. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. We took teams not lightly, but we went into games and didn't execute.

It's hard and we are not making excuses for ourselves. We didn't come out and play the game we needed to play. We prepared well in practice. We practice really hard but when we get into the game, we can't translate it. That the most disappointing thing.

On the season...

We practice hard and we work hard. This team works really hard. It's hard to pinpoint the problem. When we get into the game, we are not getting it done for some reason. We are not taking advantage of the opportunities that are given to us. Special teams has been big for us all year long. In the second half of the season, we kept coming up short. The offense was not capitalizing and turned the ball over, and the defense not taking advantage of opportunities when teams were backed up. All three phases were not taking advantage of the things we had earlier in the year.

On the last five games of the season…

We couldn't execute, not on the basic fundamentals but on each play. You take each play one at a time, and when you don't execute each play, it becomes critical, especially in December. You make mistakes and you're not able to capitalize when you do have the opportunity. It makes it hard. Each team that you play in the NFL, regardless of their record, you have to execute. If you don't, it leads to plays that don't give you a chance to win.

WR LAVERANUES COLES

On if it's justified with Chad Pennington winning the division and advancing to the playoffs…

That's not left up to me. That is one of the decisions that the front office makes. I don't get to make personnel decisions. All I do is work here and play ball and that is the way I look at it as a business. Those decisions come from the front office. It's not in my hands. All I can do is go out and play the best that I can play on Sundays.

On his feelings after today's loss to Miami…

Saddened for the guys. I know all the hard work the guys have put into the season. I watched and went through the same things the guys went through on a daily basis. Going through Coach Mangini's camps, practices up to this point have been nothing easy. It's one of those things, you know all the work you put into something and not to be where you want to be is saddening.

On what he will say to Pennington when he has a chance to speak with him…

I am proud of him. I am happy for him. The people in New York booed him and bashed him when he was here and doubted him. For him to get to this point, I am happy for him. I am disappointed for my teammates, but more so as a friend, they came in and played hard. They came in and got the win.

TE CHRIS BAKER

On today's game…

This is the NFL. It's tough to win and nothing is guaranteed. That's the way it is right now.

On Brett Favre returning next season…

He has control over that. It's going to be his decision, but we just finished playing 20 minutes ago. I am sure he is going to figure out what he is going to do.

On if he is returning next season…

I just extended in the fall, so it's either I'll be here or I won't. We'll see how that goes.

On the Baltimore game…

I pretty much figured it out when they showed the score in the first quarter and we didn't see it again for the rest of the game. We knew New England had already won and when they didn't show the score again in the second half we knew it obviously wasn't going too well. It wasn't too hard to figure out.

On the season…

I've never been part of something where we've almost gotten up to the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the AFC. We won [nine] games so it's obviously difficult and frustrating, but we've just have to learn from it and try to not let this ever happen again.

On what adjustments need to be made…

That has to be left up to the management and everybody else. I just have to come in and do my job and not worry about everything else. That's not my decision to make.

G ALAN FANECA

On if he knew that Baltimore had already won its game…

No, no I didn't. I saw one score flash on the board and it was 7-3, Jacksonville.

On what the team can do to retool for next season…

You take the things you learned this year and you take that into the off-season. You take that into your off-season training program and flip it around and use it as a positive so you won't have this feeling next year.

On if Brett Favre made the Jets a better team this season…

Definitely. He came in and changed the offense and made us do some things we previously weren't able to do. I think he came in and did a lot of positive things.

G BRANDON MOORE

On believing in the Super Bowl hype after the Tennessee win…

I am not falling for that one. That is the easy way out. It's like trying to blame coaches for losing. I don't think that has anything to do with it. If you can't handle winning games, you are not ever going to win in this league.

On if Coach Mangini's future with the Jets was discussed with the team before the game…

No, nothing was said.

On if the Jets knew about the Patriots' victory before the game…

It kind of got through the locker room that they won, but we still had Baltimore, and we still had to not let the Dolphins win the AFC East championship in our house. Whether they won or lost, we still had some incentive for this game.

T DAMIEN WOODY

On today's game…

We'll be watching teams in the playoffs and we'll be sitting at home. Bottom line is we just didn't get the job done. To be in the position that we were in and then all of sudden just have a meltdown over the course of the last five or six weeks, or whatever it was, it's really hard to swallow right now.

On who is responsible for the team's finish to the season…

When you have whatever happened the last stretch of the season happen, it's because of everybody. It's not just coaches. It's players, it's everybody. Like I said, when you lose no one did a good enough job. Regardless of perception, players didn't play well enough and coaches didn't coach well enough. It's just an all-around problem. No one got the job done.

The off-season is going to be hard to swallow because of where we were at. The hardest part about it is we'll be watching teams in the playoffs that we beat and those sorts of things, but at the end of the day we didn't finish coming down the stretch.

DT KRIS JENKINS

On if he saw improvement from the Dolphins from Week 1 to today…

They have been good, just as good the first time we played them. They came and had a completely different scheme than what we saw the first time. They threw some new wrinkles in there, some things that we weren't up on. They made some big plays. Last time we played them it came down to the wire. This game was pretty close until the end and that's how it goes. That's how a division is, it's tough, it's competitive.

On shouldering the blame on Coach Mangini…

Mangini is my head coach. I would never turn my back on Mangini. I don't have anything bad to say about him. You have to understand this man has a position where not only does he have to deal with the coaching staff but he has to deal with 53 egos every single day. He has to scout every single day. I don't care what anybody says. I have a lot of respect for him for what he does and the thing is he is a young coach. He's not going to be perfect.

I don't care what everybody tries to paint a picture of. He's learning like everybody else. He is working on it just like everybody else. People have to give him credit for that. I am not trying to be funny, but I know since I have been here, New York loves perfection. I think this is a perfectionist city. There is nothing wrong with that, but I am not going to look at him with any [problems] because everybody else chooses to. If that's what they feel like they are going to do, then let them do that.

CB DARRELLE REVIS

On if he feels more anger or disappointment…

I think both fall into the same category. We had big expectations at the beginning of the season and we brought a lot of new guys in here. Everything was rolling great. We started out 8-3 and we went into a slump during the second half of the season. It was tough, but you have to be positive, don't point fingers and move on.

On if being in this position is surreal after being 8-3…

Yeah, it is to a point. In the NFL you go through ups and downs and you have to keep working. It's sad that we couldn't pull it out. We could have stopped this a long time ago by clinching the playoffs like other teams did. It didn't happen, but we have to move on.

S KERRY RHODES

On how it felt to have former teammate Chad Pennington put them out of the playoffs…

It wouldn't have really mattered. It is a good story. Whoever came in here today had a chance to put us out. It just happened to be Chad. It's a feel-good story for him, but for us it was just another quarterback who came in and did it.

On if the losses on the West Coast were the ones that did the Jets in…

You can look at all that stuff. The West Coast games were tough and we went 0-4. We didn't get it done against teams we could have won against. The West Coast was tough for us.

On pinpointing one thing about today's loss…

No, you can't pinpoint one particular thing. We'll sit back and reflect on this season, and still may not know what was going on. We didn't get it done today and we'll be at home watching the playoffs next week.

On if things never got back to normal after the Tennessee victory…

I don't know. You'll never know. After that game, we were in a good position. We just didn't get it done. el

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