Jets-Jaguars Postgame Interviews

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Transcripts of Jets head coach Rex Ryan's news conference and interviews with players following the 24-22 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday:    

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

I want to thank the crowd. I thought the crowd was tremendous today. It was a huge advantage for us, and they certainly did their part to win this game. They were fantastic and behind us the whole way. It's unfortunate. Jacksonville did a great job. It took us some time to make some adjustments. Those guys did a nice job. Maurice Jones-Drew is a great back, and their quarterback [David Garrard] made some great throws in the game. The tight end [Marcedes Lewis] caught some balls. That's a tough team. I know Jack [Del Rio] well. He's a heck of a coach and his team was prepared.

We knew it would be a slugfest, and they certainly didn't disappoint. We were on our heels in the first half, and I thought our guys responded well in the second half until the final drive. We made some mistakes, and they took advantage of them. You have to give all the credit to Jacksonville. They earned the win. We have to find a way to finish games. You fight your tail off to put yourself in a position to bounce back, take a lead, and win a game, and we have to find a way to hold it.

On the Jets second-half timeouts…

There were 12 guys on the field, so you can snap it and get the penalty, or you can call timeout. That's inexcusable. We've had that happen twice on defense this season, and you can't do that. Be professional. Know who is in the game and who is out of the game. We've got to make sure it's getting done. The one on offense, Sanchez did a smart job calling a timeout because we had 12 guys on the field. That kills you. You can't burn timeouts like that. I don't know what the specifics were, but I looked out and there were 12 guys on the field. Mark had no choice but to call it. On defense, we were changing personnel, but our guys have to be smart. We have never had a problem like this before, so we have to address that.

On the Jets playoff chances…

Not very good. We just spent all of our room for error. It's ridiculous. You have to give credit to Jacksonville. We were in the exact same boat. They found a way to finish the game and we didn't.

On Jones-Drew taking a knee at the one-yard line…

I was hoping he would score. We called a "free way" on the play before, try to make it look good so the guy scores, but on the first tackle attempt, he went down. I was like, 'What the heck are we doing?' We couldn't even get that right. Then he did a smart thing going down. I thought he was going to score on the first carry, but then they had a chance to talk to him, and it was a smart play. We tried to make it look good. You don't make the tackle; you let him go and try to strip the football, and that's about all you do. If you can't strip the football, you let him score.

On allowing another team to score…

In that situation, you don't have a choice. They're already down there deep in field goal range, and an NFL kicker is going to make that kick. You figure you have two minutes left, and our offense was doing a great job moving the football. I was going to put it in our offense's hands down by six. I thought that gave us the best opportunity to win the football game.

On the Jacksonville pass to Lewis on the final drive being a result of a blown coverage…

I'll say this: He ended up in single coverage.

On the Jets defense allowing an 80-yard scoring drive…

It's as tough as it gets. You have to tip your hat to them. They did a great job. That's the first time a team that I have coached has given up 100-yard rusher in probably 50 games. You have to earn it, and he definitely did.

On if the Jets defense has lost its edge…

We have to learn to finish and that's it. For us to become a great defense, we have to finish. A good start would have been nice also, but we have to finish. Sometimes, games happen like this. It's a 60-minute game. I've been down at the half before when things aren't going well, but I knew we'd respond and we did. When it comes down to that situation where we just went ahead, we have to learn to win games. We have to go out and win the game. We can't wait for somebody to make a play. We have to go make it and be in attack mode. Right now, there's something missing and we have to find it.

On Braylon Edwards dropping the two-point conversion pass…

Yes, he was there and it was a great play. The kid made a great hit on him and he was off the ground. The guy just made a great hit on him. Braylon put us in a great position to win the game and made that great catch on third down. He has been tremendous for us. I definitely would've liked to have seen him catch it, but obviously, with him, you almost take for granted that he's going to come down with it. He's such a competitive guy, and if we all played like him, we would have won.

On if he feels there is too much to overcome with this team…

I think I know what you're getting at, but we have to find ways to win and that's it. We have no excuses. No excuses and that's it. I know we have a good football team and I believe that. I know hearing me say that each week is getting old if we're going to lose, but this is a good football team and we're not dead yet.

On if he envisioned losing five of the last six after a 3-0 start…

Quite honestly, no. And the ways we've lost? Absolutely not. We've had our moments, but it hasn't bounced our way.

On if tackling problems could be traced to the extra time off during the bye week…

You guys can write what you want and I don't blame you. You can be critical of our situation, but I don't believe that was the issue. I think it's Maurice Jones-Drew that might have been the issue. Again, I know it's going to be written that way, but I truly never believed it. We had two more extra mini-camps than anyone else, and I just thought that we needed some time. That was why I made that decision months ago and I'll stick by every decision I make.

On Mark Sanchez's performance…

Cool. Calm. He did a great job. Obviously, the interception was something you don't see very often. That kid made a heck of a play and I was happy that we got him down. If you look at him, on all the third downs he was making some big-time throws in big-time situations. That's why at the time, while I don't normally concede anything, I had a lot of confidence in our offense. If we were down by eight, I thought we could drive the length and score and get the two points. I felt good about that. But again, I think he's playing well.

On his message to the team…

We still have a ways to go. We're barely breathing for the playoffs. We're going to find out what kind of men we have in this locker room, and I know the kind of guys we have. I believe in the character of our football team, and I know New England is going to get all we have. We'll see if it's good enough. New England is playing great, but again, we expect to win every game. We go into this one, we expect to win. It's right there. We just didn't finish, and that's something we have to learn to do.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

I've got a couple of things to say real quick. You guys will probably have some questions after. This should hit on everything. There are just some things I'm thinking here real quick. We'll change it up. Ok? First play of the game, early mistake. It can't happen. It put our offense in a tough spot. A great read. J-Co [Jerricho Cotchery] runs an awesome route and it's just a physical mistake and underthrown ball. The best part about it, the mental side of it, I battled back all game, played smarter the rest of the game, proud of my effort.

Second thing, the interception, the defensive end makes a pretty good play. The guy got up there and just spooked me off the edge there and made a great play. In the big scheme of things, it didn't hurt us. We got the ball back. Our defense played their tail off and got us the ball. The last drive of the game, just unbelievable effort, the offensive line — I've got some guys written down here: [David] Clowney, J-Co, Dustin [Keller], Braylon [Edwards]. Those third-down conversions were unbelievable, a great effort. Clowney comes in and makes one huge catch. It changes the course of the game and keeps our drive alive. Then the O-line, giving you tons of time on that drive. At the end of that drive, we scored. T.J. [Thomas Jones] punches it in.

The two-point conversion, I've got to put it on Braylon sooner. He makes a good effort going after the ball, but that ball has got to be there sooner so nobody can knock it out of his hands. The bottom line to this whole thing, to this entire game, to our entire season is find a way to find a way. Coach challenged us already. We've got to find a way to win some games. Right now we're finding ways to lose, but we're in a position right now to sink or swim. I know we've got a lot of fight in us. We've got some great veteran leaders and they've been in spots like this before, so we're going to call on their leadership, call on our coaching. Great job today, too, from Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] and Cav [Matt Cavanaugh], just unbelievable playcalling in that last drive, so sink or swim, find a way to find a way.

On why he decided to have an opening statement today…

It just hit me after this game the way our season is going, the message that we want to send. That's the bottom line to us. That's what Rex said to us. He said, "It's sink or swim." This is it. It's up or down, win or lose or whatever you want to call it. We're in a position right now where we need to win some games and win a lot in a row.

On his emotions as he watched Jacksonville drive down the field at the end of the game…

It was frustrating because we need to convert that two-point conversion to help our defense out. That's a bad throw. It's too soft of a throw and it's got to be on Braylon. Then they need a touchdown, maybe they force a ball here of there, our defense isn't in that position at the end of the game, so I hurt us.

On Maurice Jones-Drew falling to the ground on the 1-yard line...

The smartest play of the game, a heads-up play. We've practiced that play on offense. If we ever get in that situation, we hope our guys do the same thing. That's an MVP play right there. That is tough for some guys to do, but great play by him, very smart.

On if he had a sinking feeling when Jones-Drew fell to the ground on the one-yard line…

They played it smart. We used our timeout. He knew exactly what to do. That's a guy that kept his head in the game and wasn't worried about scoring a touchdown and adding to his stats. That's all you can say about it. It was a smart play.

On if he knew he wouldn't get the ball again after Jones-Drew fell to the ground on the one-yard line…

That would run out the clock. We don't have anymore timeouts left.

On calling a timeout while down at the goal line…

We were trying to look at a certain defense they were going to give us. It didn't happen the way we wanted it. We wanted to call timeout and we ended up scoring, so it was the right call.

On if he knew there were 12 men on the field at the time he called timeout…

No. I think somebody ran off. We tried to do a no huddle then Schotty saw it. That was a heads up play by Schotty. He came in on the headset and said, "Call timeout." That was it.

On what he has learned from the game today…

That this is the way that these things go, a tough league to win in. You can't make mistakes early like that. When they score off of your turnover, it puts us in a huge whole. Those seven points early, it might as well been a pick six. That's the way it feels as a quarterback and that's the way you look at a game. You've got to put the ball out there. It was a physical mistake. It's unfortunate, but it happened and we battled back.

On if there is hope for the season…

Absolutely. There's no doubt. I feel like playing again to tell you the truth. These games are so close. When you lose like that, it's tough and you just want to get back out on the field. Sunday can't come soon enough. I'm excited to play a big time team in a new place. This is an important game for us, but we just need to play and find ways to win.

On if he will watch the Patriots game tonight…

It's about cleaning up mistakes from this first. We'll get on the Patriots as a team when we need to tomorrow.

WR BRAYLON EDWARDS

On suffering tough losses…

It's extremely tough. This one was close, they've all been close. The thing about these losses, you can't spot people points and you can't make crucial mistakes in games like this. It's the NFL, it's not college. These guys will capitalize and it will come back to haunt you. That's just what happened today, the little mistakes came back to haunt us in a big way.

On the attempted two-point conversion…

It was a simple throw. It was a little bit behind me. I had a hand on it but the safety came out of nowhere and put a helmet in my ribs. It was a good play. He gets paid to make plays and he made a good one on that.

On Jacksonville taking a knee on the one-yard line rather than scoring…

That's great NFL football. He's a student of the game and someone taught him well for him to make that move. There's a lot of guys who would have gone in the red zone and score a touchdown, leaving us with 1:30 or 1:40, or whatever it was, left to try and go down and win this game. That's textbook football and I take my hat off to him and whoever's been teaching him.

On disparity between his play of the first and second halves of the game…

That's football. You never know when it is going to come to you. It's a situation where you've got to keep your head in it so that when it does come, you will be ready. So we were ready, we made plays. We fumbled, but luckily that fumble didn't hurt us. The next drive our defense went out and forced a three-and-out. We got the ball back, we just didn't make enough plays early on to win this game.

On the play where he landed hard on his side…

It was a weird landing. I actually landed under my back and shoulder area. I came right back. It was a quick loss of breath but it was nothing serious.

On learning to "finish games" as Rex Ryan alluded to earlier…

No need to learn to finish games. What we need to do is stop going out there and expecting to win games. We need to stop thinking that they're just going to happen. We go out there like "Oh, we have the best rushing attack" and "Oh, we have a great defense" and "Oh, we have great weapons" like that's somehow supposed to win us a game. You have to go out there and execute from start to finish. We have to go out there with an attitude, now that we're 4-5.

We're not impressive. We're not scaring anybody. We're not intimidating anybody coming onto the field. That 3-0 start is a wash. That's over with. We have to go out there and play football from start to finish. We can't rest on our laurels and expect teams to go "Oh, they have …" because we don't have anything right now. We're a team at the bottom, starting from scratch, with seven games left. It's time for us to look in the mirror. If we don't do something soon, this one is over with.

On if Mark Sanchez told him he, Sanchez, was to blame for the two-point pass...

Um, no. It's football. Guys have to make plays. Wherever the ball is, it's my job to catch it. If it's a little bit behind me, so what? Make a play. I don't discredit Mark or myself, I just credit the safety who put his helmet on the ball in my ribs and the ball came out. It was a great play by him.

On the losing streak since his arrival in New York…

They did lose to New Orleans right before I got here, so don't try and blame it all on me. I'm humoring a bad situation. It sucks. I'm watching Cleveland lose, and I'm out of that situation but I'm here and we're losing. So it's not my fault per se, it's a team game. But I don't want to seem like the black sheep that I left their team and now I come here and now we're losing consistently. You hate to feel that way. No one has blamed me. This is a great organization and a great team but at the end of the day, I'm doing all I can. I'm out there working at practice and working on the game, trying to make the catches that come to me. I'm out there working hard and that's really all I can offer this team or anybody else.

WR JERRICHO COTCHERY

On if he has ever seen a player take a knee before the one-yard line…

I've seen it before. [Brian] Westbrook did it about a year ago. He had an opportunity to score and he just got down so that they could run the time out. It's one of those plays that I've seen before. It's just a smart play on [Maurice] Jones-Drew's part.

On what the team has to do…

Look in the mirror and evaluate yourself. Every guy on this team has to look in the mirror and evaluate themselves and see if he is doing what he needs to do to give us a chance to win the game on Sundays. When we do that, we can go back to work tomorrow and see what we can do from there.

On how much the loss stings…

It stings a lot. I don't even know what to say. We had opportunities to win the game and we are just not getting it done. We're not making the plays that we need to make to win the game. In crunch time other teams have been doing their part and we haven't been doing ours.

On the team's consistency…

If you want to win games in this league, it has to be a cohesive effort. When the defense is playing lights-out, we have to be playing lights-out. We haven't been able to get on the same page. That's the story. It's been the story all year. We haven't been doing what we need to do on offense consistently. Until we get consistent, we're not going to be able to do anything.

DE SHAUN ELLIS

On what adjustments were made at halftime…

We changed some things coverage-wise. We just played better. The mentality was changed and we played better. It would have been a big swing if the game would have went our way. We had a chance to make up for the first half, but we didn't.

On if they second-guess themselves…

You don't second guess, you just continue to work. We just have to worry about the task at hand. It's just mind-boggling how games play out with us. There have been a lot of huge errors on our part. It hurts to have a great team like we have and us not getting the results. It's tough. We played well at times. We played a full, complete game and when it is in our hands to win it, we let them go down and score. A lot of stuff is frustrating. You can see the pain on Rex's face. He's a good guy. He's doing everything possible to try to get us ready. As a whole we are not tuning in and making it a one-play-at-a-time game and focusing in. When you come out as a defense and you give up 21 points, that's not good.

On if the team is making mental errors or physical errors…

We're not getting blown off the ball. Guys are not beating us physically. We just have to play smarter.

LB BART SCOTT

On if he has ever tried to let a player score…

I don't know. Never been there in a game.

On if they made a lot of adjustments at halftime…

We just made the plays. We just made the plays and tried to get them on the ground.

On how discouraging the final drive was…

It's tough. We lost the game. It was in our hands and we lost it.

On if he felt confident that they would win when Jacksonville had 80 yards to go…

I don't know. You hope to get them stopped, but there was plenty of time on the clock.

On how tough it is to let the other team score…

It's really tough.

On if letting the other team score goes against every instinct he has…

It's tough. You just go out there and do what you're told to do and try to execute.

On if this is one of the tougher losses of his career…

I'm not ecstatic. Of course it's tough.

On letting Jacksonville drive 80 yards for a score despite saying they are one of the best defenses in the league…

Well, maybe we're not one of the best defenses in the league.

LB CALVIN PACE

On if he's surprised about the way they are playing after starting the season 3-0…

Well, nobody ever plans to be in the situation we're in, playing for your life. We put ourselves in this situation. The mental errors and lack of tackling in the first half were ridiculous. We came out in the second half and got stops. Then when we needed a stop, once again we didn't get it, so they won. Bottom line is they beat us and we didn't do enough today to be a factor in the game.

On the difference between the first half and the second half defensively…

We got humbled in the first half, so we came out with more fire. I will say that they came out with some of the things they weren't showing on film and that happens, but we still have to find a way to regroup. We came in at halftime and drew some things up and it was a little bit better in the second half, but none of that matters because when we needed to get off the field we had mental errors. We just let them go 80 yards with ease. It's unacceptable.

On if the poor tackling in the first half was the product of a long bye week...

You can say that. In the NFL, you're never going to be tackling in practice. You're never going to have the opportunity to take someone to the ground. It's not a safe thing to do. All week it has been said that we have to find a way to tackle this guy and we didn't. Bottom line, we didn't and it's tough that we were put in a predicament where we had to get off the field. We just didn't do anything today. We didn't make enough plays to get back in the game.

On Rex Ryan's comments that something is missing and what he thinks it is…

A killer instinct. They wanted to win and they took it upon themselves to drive the ball down our throats. Simple plays that we've seen all week, it's not the most complicated offense in the world, but they executed it and we didn't. I don't know how much more we could prepare. I don't know how many more blitzes we could put in. It doesn't matter if you don't do your job, and that goes for everybody.

CB DARRELLE REVIS

On what happened on the long pass to the tight end to put Jacksonville in field goal position…

I have no idea. I was covering my guy, so we'll see it on film and correct it then.

On how damaging this loss is to the Jets' playoff hopes…

Honestly, it hurts really bad. We thought we were the better team. We were very prepared this week and we didn't make plays when we needed to. Down the stretch, that last drive just killed us. We didn't try to stop them, or keep them out of field goal range, but the time was ticking and it was too late for it.

On the missed tackles…

It hurt us. Maurice Jones-Drew is a shifty guy, a strong guy. He's like a bowling ball out there. We didn't secure tackles when we needed to and he got loose a couple of times and made big plays.

On turning it around in the second half…

We just focused on adjustments that we needed to make. Coach came in here and talked and said we're still in the game, so just come out and make some plays in the second half. This is a must win. We fought back to a point, but it wasn't enough for us to get the win.

On not being able to finish games…

I agree with coach. We have to finish and we have to finish strong. It's not just a word — finish. That game is over and we'll get more into the film study and the preparation for what we're trying to accomplish during the week for these teams on Sunday. We have to go harder and we need some wins, especially if we want to make it to the playoffs.

On if they wore down at the end…

I don't think so. I don't know what it is. Like I said, I have to look at the film. Most of the time I'm covering my guy and I hear the crowd roar and then I turn and look. We just have to look back at the film tomorrow.

S JIM LEONHARD

On the season…

Right now we put ourselves in a big hole. We're not out of it yet. We need to fight the rest of the way out. We've got the guys in the room that can get it done. We've just got to keep fighting and stop hurting ourselves.

On today's game…

Defensively we came out so flat it was unbelievable. It's tough to win a game when you play that way in the first half. We thought we had it back, but we gave up that last drive. It's tough to win when you play the way our defense did.

On the last drive…

They hit a couple of plays to keep the drive going. I was trying to get the coverage switched. In hindsight it would have been best to burn a timeout. It was loud. We struggled to communicate, but it was on me. I'll take a lot of that blame. Like I said, in hindsight, burning a timeout would have been the best because that really hurt us. We were trying to set the coverage and then get it switched, but that didn't happen. That's on me. When you play like that, it really hurts you.

On the severity of his right thumb injury...

I'm not exactly sure. We are going to find out. They took some x-rays early. We'll find out more tomorrow. It doesn't feel good, I'll tell you that much. It was on the touchdown. Missed tackle and a touchdown — it doesn't get much worse than that — and hurt your hand.

On the Jets' intensity…

For whatever reason, we came out flat and they got us on our heels. It took us until halftime to get it back for some reason. It's tough. We made adjustments in the first half. We made the same adjustments in the second half. We were just on our heels. They were calling good plays and hitting us. When we came out in the second half, we thought we had it taken care of. But to give up that one last drive, it really hurts.

On the Jaguars' first drive of the game…

Coming off a bye week, we were fresh. We were definitely prepared. We just came out flat for whatever reason. To give up that many points in the first half, you put yourself in a big hole. We climbed out of it, but we needed to make that late stop. If we are the defense we think we are, we need to make that last stop and get a win.

On the defense's execution…

For whatever reason, they got us on our heels. We'll take a look at it. They executed better than we did. That's all I can say right now. We will take a look at the film. Once we picked that intensity up we were fine. Like I said, on that last drive we needed to make plays however we needed to do it.

On attempting to let Maurice Jones-Drew score…

We were trying. You just know if we make that tackle, they run the clock out. We were trying to let them score, but apparently we could not get that communicated across the board. They were able to run the clock all the way down. It's tough. You know the situation and you hope he doesn't. He did a great job, exactly what he's supposed to do. He's a smart player and obviously he made up a great play. They got the win because of it.

On the coverage confusion…

We initially set the coverage late. I was trying to get the coverage changed, but it was too late. It's on me. Knowing we had a timeout in hindsight, we should have burned a timeout and got the communication set. We can't allow a big play like that. It kills you. It puts you in a bad spot to win the game.

On fixing the mistakes…

It's hard to say. It's not something with a magical cure. You just have to go out there and execute your job all the time. Come crunch time, you have to make plays. You have to be the guy to step up. You can't be looking for someone else. In this defense, if you do your job, good things are going to happen. For whatever reason, we are letting games slip away late. You can't have that in this league.

S KERRY RHODES

On what adjustments the team made at halftime…

We just played football. The first half we didn't play well. We didn't execute the coverages. We didn't tackle. It was a combination of everything in the first half. The second half we came out the way we should and they didn't do anything until the last drive.

On how discouraging the loss is…

Very discouraging. It's a team where if we played well we would get a win, but we didn't play well. We stunk it up as a defense and came out the second half well, but fell too far behind and couldn't get back.

On if it is humbling to be below .500…

I don't know if it is humbling, but it's pathetic. It is a place that we didn't think we would be in at this point. Reality is where we are. We are 4-5 and not a good football team right now.

On if the loss will linger with the team…

We have to look at the film. We could have stopped them on third down, but we didn't. They made enough plays to win today. We shut them out the second half, they didn't do anything. They made enough plays to get there.

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