Jets-Patriots: Locker Room Sound Bites

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Selected quotes from the Jets' and Patriots' locker rooms at Gillette Stadium following the Jets' season-ending 26-6 loss this afternoon:

Jets HC Todd Bowles on his assessment of the season and how close or far away his team is...
"Well, we are 5-11. Record-wise, we're far away. But, you know, chemistry-wise we are there. We have a few pieces here and there that we will assess in the offseason, and you kind of go from there. Obviously, I think we have a building block that we'll go off of and we will go from there."

Bowles on how QB Bryce Petty played in his third start of the season...
"It was  a tough night. I thought he did better than the past two weeks. But obviously we weren't good enough as a whole. He was just calmer when he was back there in the pocket, just calmer."

Bowles on the Jets' nine penalties and if he considered pulling any particular player due to multiple penalties...
"If I pulled out everybody that got penalties, we won't be playing with anybody."

Petty on if the Jets can become one of the NFL's better teams next year...
"We're already headed there. There's a quote from a book I'm reading that says good teams are where talent and vision meet action and great teams are where talent and vision meet adversity and persist through it. I think that speaks to this locker room. We faced a lot of adversity this year and we persisted through it. The great teams, the playoff teams know it, and we're right there. ... We're right there. We will become a smarter football team. The effort is outstanding, and the talent is unbelievable on this team."

DL Leonard Williams on if the Jets' defense was better this year than last year...
"I don't know about talent, but the way we play together, yes."

Jets DL Steve McLendon on why he's so optimistic about the future of the Jets...
"Because at the beginning of the season, everybody wrote us off to be 0-and-16. The biggest message early in the season was we've got to finish, we've got to finish. Now we've got to start fast, we've got to finish fast, we've got to continue to play fast, play hard. And the most important thing I've been saying all year long is we've got to play smart football."

Jets CB Morris Claiborne on if he wants to stay and play with the Jets in 2018...
"Oh, definitely. When I first got here, I jelled with all the players. I loved all the young guys, the young energy and everything the bring, the coaching staff, the training staff, everything about New York. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now."

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse, who arrived at the start of the season in a trade with Seattle, on ending the season early...
"It's different. It's not something I want to get used nor am I comfortable with. It's a good opportunity to get some rest in the offseason and get back to the grind to find ways to get better and help the team win."

Patriots HC Bill Belichick on his defense holding the Jets to 0-for-12 on third down conversions...
"I think this is something that we really worked hard on, talked a lot about defensively, especially last week, how we gave up four in a row to start the game. ... We talked a lot about how much just playing well on that down could change things for us defensively. I forget how many plays we had in the first half but it wasn't very many. We weren't out there a lot and our offense had some good drives. Again, it's just team defense. It's the rush, it's the coverage, it's jamming receivers, it's disguise. I thought Matt [Patricia] and the defensive staff did a good job of mixing it up and trying to keep the offense off-balance with a variety of calls and looks. But in the end, it came down to the players and their execution.

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