Jets-Dolphins Postgame Interviews

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2009 Week 8 - Jets vs Miami Photos

Transcript of interviews in the Jets locker room following the 30-25 loss to the Miami Dolphins at the Meadowlands on Sunday:    

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

First off, sometimes things just don't make sense. Statistically, this game is not going to look close. I truly feel that our football team is good enough to beat anybody in this league, but we also can lose to anybody in this league if we spot a team three touchdowns. That's about it going forward. It's a huge loss for us. Obviously, another loss to Miami. That's two for them that we've lost to them, so that's tough. Again, I think our guys will rally. I have a lot of faith in this team. We'll see what happens moving forward.

On Miami's two kickoff returns for touchdowns…

Well the first one, I think Jay [Feely] kind of kicked a low ball. He kind of drove it. It was a returnable ball and the kid [Ted Ginn] obviously did a good job. The kid made a play. The second one, I thought we had them down at the 20, but you've got to really credit that young man. He broke a lot of tackles, and then he was out the gate on us. The young man should get a lot of credit for that.

On the decision to kick it to Ted Ginn the second time…

We have a lot of faith in our coverage. We're one of the best coverage teams in the league. We thought that we had a good plan. We just think that our guys can cover the kicks, which we normally do. The kid made a great run on us, especially the second one. Again, you've got to tip your hat to them.

On why he didn't challenge the fumble recovery by Miami…

I was told that their tight end recovered the fumble, so it was the end of discussion for me. I would have. My instinct was to throw it. Then they're like, 'No. No. No. The tight end recovered it.' That's why I never challenged it. I thought we needed the timeout at the end of the game. That's exactly why I never threw out the challenge flag.

On if he received his information about Miami's fumble recovery from upstairs…

Yes and they were adamant about it.

On going for the two-point conversion in the third quarter…

I don't know. I always think that we can stop them. I just thought that we'll just start going for two. We had discussed it and we felt good about it. At the end, you can make that statement. You might want to look at why they went for two, but we felt good about it at that time.

On Mark Sanchez's decision-making during the game…

I thought he made a lot of great plays for us. We'll have to see. It's really hard to right now say specifically, 'Hey, I thought it was great,' or, 'It wasn't good.' I'd rather just watch the tape and give a more accurate answer on Monday.

On the defense not stopping Miami's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter…

Nope. They sure weren't. They outplayed us, I guess.

On the Dolphins sweeping the season series with the Jets…

It stinks. That's the truth. We totally outplayed them, but got beat. You have to give their kickoff return guy credit. It's almost four-to-one in yardage, but I'd rather be in their locker room with a win than here, even though I'd rather be in this one moving forward. We have a better record right now, so I'll still take this locker room.

On the disappointment of starting 3-0 and now being 4-4…

It's disappointing because I thought we were really in control of our division, and right now, we're not. I think we can get back on a roll. I truly believe that. Our M.O. is good. I think we can run the football, [Mark] Sanchez is coming around a little bit, and with Braylon [Edwards] and [Jerricho] Cotchery in there at wide receiver and Dustin Keller in there – who was big today – I feel confident in our passing game. I've always felt confident in our defense. Special teams is usually a strength, but obviously we've got to pick it up.

On the penalty by Ben Hartsock on the first two-point conversion attempt…

I was just told that it was on Hartsock. You guys might have seen it clearer from your perspective. I really can't comment on that.

On if confidence in team is overruling his "common sense"…

I certainly do have confidence. I have confidence in our coaches and all of that. For me to say something when I have the best special teams coach in the league in Mike Westhoff, I'll go to the grave defending what he says. I truly believe in him. If we think it's best to kickoff deep, then that's what we're going to do. I will say that if we scored at the end of the game, we were going to squib kick. That being said, this organization hasn't given up a touchdown on a kickoff in forever. It's just one of those things. It's amazing. Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense.

On the next two weeks…

We'll be looking forward to playing. Obviously, we've got a ton of work to do. We've put ourselves in a hole here. We're at .500, and the only way to get out is to come out playing with our hair on fire. That's the only way we can make the playoffs. We've got a hell of a schedule coming up.

On his players' focus during the bye week…

I want our players to get away, feel the sting of this, and come back fresh. I want their minds away from football for a little bit, and then to come back ready to go against Jacksonville. You can look at it any way you want. I don't know how many touchdowns our defense has given up this year, but we've given up six where we haven't been on the field. We'd probably be leading the league or second in scoring defense if we'd take away those things when we're not even out there. Get them on the ground. Turnovers happen, but we have to get them on the ground. Obviously, this was uncharacteristic of our kick coverage.

On injuries…

We'll know more about it on Monday, but I believe everyone is healthy.

On if this recent stretch is a "humbling experience"…

You know me – I'm not a guy who lacks confidence. If we can put together one of the top defenses in the league, and combine it with our offense, which I think is excellent, and our excellent special teams, and I think our record should be better than what it is right now. That's humbling, but again, just like these guys got, they were going to get everything I had. Moving forward, everybody is going to get everything I've got. I've been down before and my back's been against the wall, but I'm going to come out punching and I believe our team will too.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On how tough this loss is to swallow…

This stinks, going into a bye like this. As a competitor and as an offense, we felt like we would win this game, no doubt. It came down to the wire on fourth down and trying to get the ball pushed and it didn't go our way. It was an uphill battle and we just need to improve in the first half. Really, that's where our mistakes were. There were a lot of highlights though. We didn't turn it over. We made some big-time conversions, like Dustin [Keller] on the conversion on the last drive, Braylon [Edwards]'s catch, Dustin's touchdown. It's just a tough one to handle, but we'll get better and we've got a lot of time to think about it and we'll come back and play well.

On what he was looking for on the last play…

I was looking over the middle, and then to the outside we had another crossing route coming. We had to get in the end zone. I think they hit us with a three-man rush, so I just tried to buy a little time and I saw Jerricho [Cotchery] for a split second when I started to scramble. Jerricho started going to the back of the end zone and I tried to just give him a shot. On the last play, the ball has to get pushed. Dustin ended up coming over after the ball too and he brought a defender. [Dustin] doesn't know [Jerricho's] going for the ball - they're all competing for it. When those initial two reads aren't there on the last play of the game, you just scramble and give your guys a chance and that's what we tried to do. Unfortunately, we didn't come down with it, but they made a good play.

On who the second look was to on the final play…

It was the inside receiver to the right, our right. The inside receiver and outside receiver were a no go. There was a crosser and Dustin was in the corner – the left corner of the end zone. He came back for the ball. I wish I could draw it up for you, but I can't.

On the pressure up the middle on the final play…

We were just getting pressure and I'm trying to buy time, but you don't practice plays like that. You just know that the ball has to get pushed, you try to buy as much time as possible, and when you see a guy open, you take it.

On the illegal-shift penalty on the last two-point conversion…

I have to let our guys get set before we motion. The clock was running down so I was trying to hurry and we were just trying to get set. It's one of those things where it's a unique formation that we had and a motion, but it's on the quarterback. It's little things that need to get better and attention to detail in those situations.

On the two kickoff-return touchdowns by Ted Ginn…

Well, it doesn't help what we're doing on offense, but at the same time we have to come out and play on all phases – special teams, offense, and defense. No let-downs in any phase or this is what can happen. That's just the way things went today, but those guys will clean it up and they've been solid all year. They've bailed us out all year, so we just need to come to play in all three phases.

On the sack on the last drive…

We went through two reads. I couldn't see the check-down and I just took off. It was a wide-open lane to run, but the guy made a really good play. If he doesn't grab me I walk into the end zone. He makes a great play. In that situation we have plenty of time to not take a sack and at least get back to the line of scrimmage. But we don't want to force anything into traffic and give ourselves a shot because it's a definite four-down situation. He just made a great play and grabbed me.

On his play in the first half…

I was just stagnant. There was one where J-Co was running wide open over the middle. He made a great cut on a guy. I was on my second read and I got caught in the middle and the ball came out short. Another one I threw right in the ground, the defender looked like he was going to go with the deeper route behind him, so I was ready to throw the underneath route. He spun right around on J-Co when I was about to let it go. I was trying to stop my motion and the ball came out. They were playing well on defense in the first half. We were stagnant, not as sharp as we wanted to be. Little things were going wrong – a batted ball, a flat route to Dustin where I threw it a little bit behind him, where he has to turn around instead of keeping his momentum and running up the sideline. Little things were not going our way, but we really picked things up in the second half. It was a heck of a comeback.

On playing the Dolphins for the second time this year…

We're not happy. We wanted to win this game, not just because we lost to them earlier, but it is a division game. We have a bye week coming up. We wanted to win this game. It's a tough situation overall, but this is a team that is capable of bouncing back. We know we have the talent, we just need to put it all together on game day.

On the two-point conversion play-calling…

Those were the right calls. We wanted to be within a field goal. We have got to convert on those. On the fade route they had pretty good coverage, but I need to throw it a little higher. The other one was the illegal shift and we ended up kicking it. Those were the right calls all the way.

On the two-point conversion fade route…

I guess the percentages are not in our favor on that kind of ball, but I've got to give [Edwards] a better chance. I can't just leave it up like that. He's trying to go up for the ball but he needs more help from me. When I do give him a chance, he is unbelievable, like on that touchdown pass.

On getting hit in the first half…

That did not feel good. I don't know who it was, but you know when you're throwing the ball and they get under your arm and you can't bring your arm down, you're kind of left out to whatever they're going to end up doing to you. It did not feel good.

On the type of injury from the hit…

It was pretty much a whole-body ouch [laughing]. You know right away whether you are really injured our just hurt. It was just a "hurt" thing. There was nothing like sharp pain. I'll be sore for a couple of days, but it's just part of the game.

On the pressures of playing…

That's the kind of pressure you're under every week, every play, every game. It's this kind of league. The guys around me are keeping me excited. Inside, it's about mental toughness at this position. It doesn't affect the way I am playing. We just need to keep rolling, come in, be accountable, and do your job. This is the most fun I have ever had in my entire life. It's difficult when you lose, but there's nothing else I'd rather be doing then try to come back and win a game on a Sunday after Halloween, the first day of November. Just trying to win a game against the Miami Dolphins in our stadium. On fourth down, give me the ball, I want to throw. Next time I am going to get it. That's just the way it is. We need to keep a positive attitude, look inside ourselves, study up and get ready to play the second half of the season.

On eating a hot dog on the sideline last week…

There was somebody in the stands today dressed up like a hot dog and someone standing next to him dressed up like me, which was hilarious. In the fourth quarter we are trying to drive and win the game. I look up and see these people and think, "Oh, my God. We go down and score and we're still in the game." It's one of those moments when you stand back and look at every thing and think, "Wow, that's pretty funny." You live and learn from last week, and don't let it happen again.

On the bye week…

I am heading home tomorrow. We'll go to meetings. We'll work out, watch this game, relax, see some family. I'll take my computer and get ready for the next game. There is a lot of film to watch from these first games so I can learn and get better, and see what these defenses are trying to do.

T DAMIEN WOODY

On special teams…

Our special teams have been playing great all year and I was sad to see that happen, but those guys made plays. They made just enough plays. There are always three areas in a football game – offense, defense, and special teams, and they made just enough plays in the special teams category to win the football game. They got two of them and that's why they won the game.

On the slow start to this game compared to the high-scoring second half…

This was just a battle in the first half. The second half is almost like a blur. There was so much going on, so I have to go back and look at it and see what happened. I know the two returns were big. It's frustrating losing games like this. We dominated, basically 400 to 100. That's dominating a football game. You have to play football in three areas, and if one area is lopsided, it could come back to bite you.

On the inconsistency with each unit…

One word: consistency. You have to be consistent. If you want to be an elite football team, you have to be consistent in all phases. You're going to have breakdowns and stuff like that. Those other guys get paid to make plays too, but we've got to be more consistent week-to-week. That's what we're lacking, consistency in all three phases. When we play consistently in all three phases we're a good football team, but when we don't, this is the end result. Guys are just pissed off knowing that we had a chance to beat this football team and it just didn't materialize.

WR-ST WALLACE WRIGHT

On the Jets' special teams today…

I take pride in special teams, so when a guy runs back two kickoff returns, in my mind we're responsible for the loss. That killed us today. That's just how I am. They can say everybody contributed to the loss, and maybe people contributed to the loss. We had some penalties today, but in my mind we lost the game. That's how I look at it. That's unacceptable, two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a game.

On the two kickoff-return TDs…

You have to wrap up and tackle the guy. Two guys had him wrapped up, he got out. You have to tackle better. Everybody has to do their job. If you have to contain, you have to contain, don't let him get outside. The kick has to be where it's supposed to be. If you have him you have to wrap him up and bring him to the ground. We didn't do that. If it is a bad kick, so what. We still have to cover it. We can't let them run down for two touchdowns in one game. When we get back tomorrow, we're going to watch the tape and figure this out. In my mind, we lost the game. That is how I look at it.

K JAY FEELY

On the kicking game…

We were No. 2 in the NFL on kickoff coverage coming into this game. Obviously, we were doing a really good job. What Ted tries to do is go to the wide side because that is where he is good. That's where he can use his speed. We wanted to kick it in the middle and corral him. We had opportunities, we just didn't make the play.

On how deflating the loss was…

Unbelievably deflating. We put our team in a terrible situation. The defense did a good job on the field and made plays. We did the opposite, giving up plays. We showed a lot of poise coming back, but unfortunately we weren't able to finish that, get a score and win the game.

On what ST coordinator Mike Westhoff said…

He was very upset and unhappy, rightfully so. We want to be a special teams unit that helps us win games.

DE SHAUN ELLIS

On going into the bye week…

Personally, I wish we could go out and play next week. After a loss, we don't want to sit and wait. We have to go into the bye with that on our minds. We have to reflect on the good things, correct the bad things and continue to improve. It is a long season. We can come back out and make a run for it.

LB BART SCOTT

On losing despite dominating the statistics…

It's tough. They're a great team. They'll probably contend for the Super Bowl. They have a tremendous offense – great running backs, a great quarterback, a great tight end. They are stacked across the board. I'm serious. They are great.

On giving up only one touchdown on defense…

We have to play better on defense. On third-and-10 we have to get them off the field. They converted those third downs. We have to break up the pass and get our offense the ball back and give them that opportunity.

On the loss being a humbling experience…

Like I said, they have a great team. They have a tremendous offense and they showed it today. They are Super Bowl contenders and they will probably take it all the way.

On bouncing back after the bye week…

You have no choice. You have to keep moving. The degree of difficulty gets a bit harder. You have to try and run the table. You see the Ravens won. You still have opportunities to compete for the division, but you have to start thinking about the wild card and things like that. We can't afford to give away any games. We have a tough schedule, but we have to come back and try and get as many wins as we can. We're not out of it, but the degree of difficulty went up after today.

On feeling like the team "gave this one away"…

Of course. In this span, we've given up a couple games – the Buffalo game was tough and this game was tough. Those games will come back and bite you in the butt. Even if you want to go back to the Monday night game, losing a tough game with a couple seconds left on the clock, one drive we could have stopped and won the game. Those are three games that can come back and bite you in the butt because they could have went the other way and things are just more difficult now.

On coming out swinging next game, like head coach Rex Ryan said…

There's no lay-down. Nobody's going to stop playing hard; we just have to get it fixed. We have to make a team earn the right to beat us. We can't beat ourselves and shoot ourselves in the foot. We have to anticipate on game days to make great plays. We can't make it come down to a last drive or something like that when we should have put a lot more points up on the board. We need to get turnovers on the defensive side. We can't give up long third downs to a great quarterback.

LB CALVIN PACE

On the game…

We still had a chance to not let them score the final touchdown, that would have been nice. They did. We just have to find a way to force a turnover defensively. We played well, but didn't win. Give Miami credit. They found a way to win.

On the rivalry between the Jets and Dolphins…

It's a rivalry. We know these guys, we've all played different places and we talk. It's nothing personal, we respect them and I think they respect us. It's good to have a rivalry. We lost, give them credit. They found a way to get it done. Ted Ginn had a big day. We have to put this behind us, go into the bye and get better. Work on some fundamentals and come back ready to play.

On the talking the Jets have done in the first half of the season…

If we're going to talk the talk, we have to walk the walk. We just have to keep fighting and stay confident. Ultimately, nobody feels sorry for us right now. We have to take it one week at a time.

LB LARRY IZZO

On the game…

It's on us. The defense played well enough to win. Offensively, we played well enough to win. This game is on us. That's something that we've been strong in all year and for whatever reason we couldn't get it done today.

On the kickoff coverage vs. Ted Ginn…

He can run, but we had guys that had opportunities to get him to the ground. We didn't get him down. We had lost leverage on the first one when he was out on the edge. You can't do that. On the second one we had six or seven guys, including myself, to get him down and we didn't get it done there. When your defense plays as well as they did, it is really unfortunate that we weren't able to do our job.

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