Jets-Jaguars Postgame Interviews

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' locker room following their 32-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

First thing, I might as well get it out of the way because I know you're going to ask me about Nick Mangold. Sprained ankle; x-rays are negative. We will get an MRI tomorrow to find out a little more about it, but that's where we're at. Either way, it was an excellent game, great team effort. We did make some mistakes, had a few more penalties than we would have liked and the two interceptions. Other than that, I thought it was a pretty good day. For the defense, that's a New York Jet record for holding a quarterback to a 1.8 quarterback rating. It's not my personal record but we're working on it [laughs].

Again, it was a big-time game for us. Guys really responded. I thought the defense had a great week of practice. The preparation was solid. You knew Maurice Jones-Drew would come in here and pound that ball in there. I think [Darrelle] Revis was our best tackler against that guy. He got down there alone and made a great tackle.

Really, I was proud of our effort. We're where we wanted to be at 2-0, two home wins. We talked about getting better at home. This is our second home win so I feel great about that. I thought [Mark] Sanchez, the thing I was really most impressed with was the fact that Mark, when you see that two-man, don't be afraid to take off with it and I thought he had a couple of big first downs running. I think he had 27 or 29 yards rushing, which is good. It's harder to defend those running quarterbacks. Again, it was a good day.

On Dustin Keller…

That was a good game [laughs]. He's one of those matchup problems.

On Plaxico Burress…

I feel bad because Plax [Burress] goes out there and he's got no catches on the stats. No catches, but how many times do they roll coverage to him? He was taking double coverage a ton. On one of those touchdown catches they had two guys on him. He's great, never complained, never said anything. He just kept taking two guys with him the whole time. That opened things up for others. Quite honestly at the end of the game, Mark got hit. That was my fault. I was trying to get Plax [Burress] a catch. He got hit. He's fine, but he took a big hit that's for sure. That's my responsibility.

More on Dustin Keller…

I don't like talking about Dustin. He's not one of my favorites [laughs]. I'd rather talk about somebody on defense. Keller's a great player. We all know that. I learned my lesson with the Revis deal. I think Keller, he's up in a few years so I'm not going to say anything else about him [laughs]. We all know he's a tremendous receiving tight end and he's getting much better at blocking, so I'm really proud of the day he had.

On if the defensive performance was reassuring…

It wasn't like I was flinching. I knew where this defense would end up, where it always does. It was great to see them respond. When we tighten things up and we don't make mistakes and the communications good, we're tough to beat physically. We have a lot of talent on defense. We do a great job of coaching them with [defensive coordinator] Mike Pettine, [DBs coach] Dennis Thurman, [LBs coach] Bob Sutton, [DL coach] Mark Carrier, [assistant DL coach] Jeff Weeks, [assistant DBs coach] Jim O'Neil, Mike Smith — man, we have a lot of coaches [laughs]. And anybody else I left off.

On Muhammad Wilkerson…

That kid is going to be a heck of a football player. We really never brought him in here to be the answer as a pass rusher, just be a contributor. Chip in there, get some inside pressure and that's what he's done. He was actually on the outside there and did a great job in getting his first sack.

On the team's comfort level with Colin Baxter…

We do feel comfortable with him. That's why we picked him up. [Assistant GM] Scott Cohen does a great job with our pro personnel of identifying players. We have [Caleb] Schlauderaff, too. We like both those players. The reason we haven't gone with Schlauderaff is because he needs to grow his hair out. If you play center for the Jets, you have got to have the long hair [joking]. There's where Baxter fits the mold.

On if he knows how long Nick Mangold will be out…

I really don't. I hope he's back this week, but I'm really not sure. Baxter stepped in and did a nice job. It's a similar system. We got him from San Diego so the terminology's similar with [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] Schotty coming from San Diego. It was kind of a natural fit for him. The young man stepped in and did a nice job. He snapped the ball a little early one time, but other than that, I thought he played well for us.

On how motivated the defense was after giving up 390 yards against Dallas…

They're always motivated. As long as you win, we don't care if we give up 500 or 400. I mean, we'll take the victory anyway we can get it. Sometimes we're going to give up yards. These offenses are tough, [such as] New England. Three hundred ninety would be a bad day for some of these offenses.

On why he put Sanchez back in for one play after getting hit hard…

I sent him back out there and just said come on back. By then I was like "you know what, let's put Mark Brunell in there." He's a former Jaguar and let's just put him out there. We had the game in hand. Again, if it was up to Mark, he would stay out there the whole game.

On being proud of his defense…

I'm proud of them. You can't affect how you get on the field. You can affect how you get off it. That's got to be a mentality and that is the mentality around here.

On the start of the game…

Last night we challenged our team that if there was one streak we wanted to break that was it, struggling offensively as they always put it. That is really a team deal. It's not just on offense, it's a team statistic. It was great. We received the ball and Cro [Antonio Cromartie] had a great kick return. Obviously, we had a great drive and the touchdown, captain to captain, Sanchez to Santonio [Holmes] so that was big. I will say this, it would be ridiculous if we don't comment on how good Cromartie was today as a kick returner and then the two interceptions. We've got to do something. There is always someone on the radio saying we don't score with returns and things and he's right. We never scored again today. I think we got it down to the six-inch line or something.

On Antonio Cromartie being able to bounce back after the Dallas game…

He might not have had his best game, but there are very few corners that can line up and play as much man as we do, and still be out there swinging. He never flinched. The only thing he did wrong in that game before was he turned the wrong direction. He went up and made a great catch and he turned into the receiver with the ball and that allowed him to get dual possession. But if he had turned away it would have been an interception. I hope teams keep taking shots at Cro.

On the play of Eric Smith…

Eric has done a tremendous job for us. We thought that we would be fortunate to get either safety back, Eric Smith or Brodney Pool. We're fortunate they both came back. So it was great, we were actually in a three-man rotation back there today and that worked out well. We've got three big-time safeties in my opinion.

On considering running the ball after Sanchez got hit hard…

You do look at it. I was trying to get Plax a 1-on-1 shot. He had been taking double teams rolling coverage to him almost the entire game, so I was trying to get him an opportunity. Unfortunately, the guy had a good pass rush and got a good hit on Mark.

On his concern with the win making the team feel overconfident…

You can only play who is out there. Our goal is to win a Super Bowl and we have a long road ahead of us. You have to go cross-country… we know how to travel to the West coast and we've got to go play Oakland and they have done a good job. Hugh Jackson is another guy I coached with, just like Jack Del Rio, just like Marvin Lewis, just like Mike Smith. Just like a whole list of guys that I have coached with. I'm sure they're proud to have coached with me [joking]. But really, we are a confident team. We will always be confident, and I see that as a positive, not a negative.

On Mark Sanchez's impression of Dustin Keller…

Obviously those guys have been around now for three years together so there is confidence with them for sure. But the great thing is Mark is trying to throw it to the open guy. Sometimes coverage will dictate where our outside receivers are going to be and they will get more opportunities and sometimes it will be the inside receivers. With the way they were playing us today, it seemed like Dustin had a few more opportunities than the outside guys. Again, the great thing is with our group, now we're throwing it to the open guys and sometimes the coverage will dictate who will get more opportunities.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On winning by a large margin instead of a tight game…

Well, I just have to be patient, and especially when you score on that first drive and you're feeling good, you can't give them two cheap throws. One to Mathis, he made a pretty good play, but it's third and long, protect the ball and we'd blow this team out earlier in the game. They played tough, they played hard, but we just had a great game plan for them and you can't give them any cheap ones and that's frustrating. But we got back on track and won the game.

On if it was in the game plan for him to run…

They dropped so much in coverage, they didn't want to play these guys man to man, I wouldn't if I was a defense. These guys are so good. And you play zone like that, you let a guy like Dustin Keller free down the middle a couple of times and we have some big plays. But when nothing was open, they dropped real deep in their zones, I just took off and ran.

On scoring on the opening drive of the game…

[The] opening drive, that was huge. Rex challenged the offense last night in the hotel and he said we're going to take the ball, we're going to receive the ball, which we never do. So he put the challenge on us and we answered the call, now we just need to stay consistent in the first half, and that's on me.

On the play when it looked like he hurt his arm…

I just took a good shot on the arm when I was in the motion. Anytime you do that, it's always scary, but it's no big deal.

On trying to get Plaxico Burress a catch late in the game…

You know what, it's disappointing, but he's a pro and he was great about it. I even went up and talked to him after. I said, "Hey man, I'm sorry, they're dropping everybody off. They're not going to play us post safety right now. As soon as they do, be ready for the ball, but if they don't, just be patient." Dustin is having his day, and we'll move on. So it'll be fine.

On if Burress was upset that he didn't get many opportunities…

No I don't think so. We won the game. That's the most important thing and he's going to get plenty of catches and plenty of touches, and it's a long year. So we'll be fine.

On if he knew that he hadn't yet thrown the ball to Burress in the fourth quarter…

Yes, I knew. But that's just kind of the way that it worked out today. They kept everybody deep, made us stay patient. I gave them two cheap ones, and that's what happens when you force the ball down the field like that trying to get it to your receivers, you get intercepted. So it's all right, it's one game. He didn't get any catches, I threw a couple picks, we'll both bounce back.

On the touchdown to Santonio Holmes…

He's the only one who can catch it. Jeff [Cumberland] did a good job of running his route on the inside, but no question it was a tight throw. Santonio, I don't know how tall he is, 5'4"? All 5'4" of Santonio went up and got it. It was a nice catch.

On getting hit on a throw to Plaxico Burress…

I wish we would've scored the play before. [Dawan] Landry made a pretty good play to slow Plax down, kind of disrupted our timing a little bit. It's the way it goes. You get hit in the game. That's the way things happen. It always looks worse and sounds worse when you're throwing, and it's your throwing motion. Everybody is real sensitive to that. It's fine, just another hit in the game. No big deal.

On if he needed to have an X-ray after the game…

No. It's fine.

On how it feels to win by a large margin…

It should've happened earlier. We should've been up 29-3 or whatever we won the game. We should've been up like that in the first half, if I don't turn it over. Can't get greedy, can't try and force it down the field and do too much, just let our guys work and let our run game develop. I think we did that in the second half. I just had to stay patient in that second quarter.

On head coach Rex Ryan challenging the team…

Last night, he said, "We're going to take the ball from the kickoff if we win the toss." It was perfect. It worked out great. We answered the call. Now we just need to stay consistent. We can do it every time when we're focused and the ball is the most important thing. I've got to protect it better than that. These first two games, it's no good, and I can't take those on the road. We're going to need to tighten things up on offense to play well these next three weeks.

On playing three straight games on the road…

I'm glad we've got the momentum from these two wins going into it. We've got to put an emphasis on penalties and turnovers because they're drive killers. They prevent you from scoring points. It's no good for us. We need to be real sharp on the road, and the noise and all that. We need to be ready to play.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On his performance against Jacksonville…

They pretty much gave us the middle of the field and they were playing a lot of zone. They just left the middle of the field wide open so that left a lot of things wide open for me.

On Coach Ryan stressing the importance of getting off to a quick start…

He gave us a fact that a lot of us didn't know about. In the last 16 games we haven't scored a touchdown in the first quarter. It was huge for us to come out and establish that early on. It was nice to put an end to that streak.

On the team's performance against Jacksonville…

The defense did great with the four interceptions. When you have that many turnovers we need to put more points on the board. Offensively, I think we were moving the ball pretty well, but a lot of penalties put us in bad situations.

C NICK MANGOLD

On why he is on crutches after walking off of the field…

Just precaution. I felt like I could give it a go, but it didn't want to agree with me on that. I don't know, we're just playing it safe

On if he felt like he could play while he was on the sideline following the play…

Couldn't really put too much pressure on it. It's not going to do well, trying to go against other guys.

On what type of injury it is…

We'll get it all tested out tomorrow, get a better idea.

On if it can be a variety of things…

I guess. I don't know. They haven't given me a medical degree yet, so we're still waiting on that one [joking].

On if the bone is not broken…

Yeah. X-rays were good, so that's a good start.

On if his ankle feels worse now than it did when he came out of the game…

It's probably about the same, but it's nice and numb now, so that's a good thing.

On how frustrating this injury is…

Very frustrating. It's not what I want. It's not what I expected. It's difficult.

On if there was a lot of concern for him because of the team's lack of depth at center…

No more than anybody. We've got a great locker room, with guys that care about each other. So I think, no matter who it would be, it would be the same level of concern. I know that the other guys are going to be ready and they're going to get the job done if need be.

C COLIN BAXTER

On his experience of getting into the game…

I was nervous at first. But overall it was exciting and it was a fun moment. It was a cool way to kickoff the season really. I would rather get put in late in the game when we're up by a lot. When someone goes down, next man comes up and you have to go in there and perform.

On working with QB Mark Sanchez…

It was a little bit of getting used to Mark because I never took a snap with him before. I feel like once I settled down, it smoothed out a bit.

On his thoughts when he saw starting center Nick Mangold go down…

I saw him down and I was thinking, is he going to get up? But he didn't.

CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE

On his performance today…

It was good. The defense, we did a great job of recognizing plays and going out and just playing solid. A lot of stuff we clicked on was play recognition and just going out and attacking.

On his first interception…

For the first one, they had a big third down-to-go down. They ended up running a double post from a formation we've already seen on film, so it was just something where once I saw the inside guy come outside and try break for the inside and do a double post, I just tried to jump on it.

On his second interception…

The second one was just in man-to-man coverage. It was third-and-short and they were either going to try to go quick or hit him with a deep ball, so we just all played our technique and we came away with a big play.

DL MUHAMMAD WILKERSON

On the play where he earned his first-career sack…

The center talked to the guard to help with the protection. I knew the guard was going to come down to help him, so I just popped my hips, got outside of the guard and got the quarterback.

On the feeling of getting his first sack…

It was awesome. It felt great to get there and get my first-career sack in the NFL. It felt really good.

On what the reception was like on the sidelines after his sack for a safety…

They were just congratulating me. It was my first sack so they were congratulating me. They were happy for me.

On if he feels like he is beginning to get into a rhythm…

Yes, my job is just to try to [help]. You have to feel comfortable out there. You can't play uptight. I'm just trying to help out the defense and make plays with the other 10 guys.

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