Jets-Patriots Postgame Interviews

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Transcripts of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference and selected player interviews following the Jets' 19-10 loss to New England on Sunday:    

HEAD COACH ERIC MANGINI

It was a very disappointing loss. We had some excellent opportunities throughout the course of the game to make a lot of plays and do a lot of very positive things. We weren't able to execute on those opportunities consistently. I take nothing away from New England. They are a good football team. They're well-coached and well-disciplined. Every victory, you're going to have to earn against them.

We had a lot of positive things today, but there were too many missed opportunities and too many things we could have controlled, whether it was penalties or putting ourselves in a bad position that we didn't do a good enough job with.

On the penalties…

In the second half, there were several times when we had bad field position, whether it was after the turnover or after a punt return. They're a tough team and they're a tough team when they have good field position. Any team, it becomes that much harder when you're dealing with a short field.

On the Patriots' defense…

They're game-plan-specific so there were a few things coverage-wise that were a little bit different. We were well-prepared for what we were going to see. They execute extremely well. They have a very good front seven. They cause problems for most people they face.

On running the ball three straight plays after first-and-goal at the 3…

We like the plays that we have. We thought we had a real good opportunity with them, so that's what we went with, and it didn't work out.

On if the offense was conservative…

We don't think it's a function of being conservative or not being conservative. It's really a function of what we felt was going to be the most successful at that point. We had been running the ball very well and liked our opportunity there and liked the way we were moving the football on the ground. We thought that was our best chance at that point.

On Patriots QB Matt Cassel…

Matt was very efficient today. It's what I expected in terms of his ability to function in that offense and his experience within that offense. He was very efficient in running it, just like he was last week.

On QB Brett Favre's performance…

A quarterback is going to have interceptions and he had some great plays, too, where he made some things happen outside of the pocket. Interceptions are going to happen throughout the course of a game, and with Brett, he's going to make some outstanding plays down the field and there are going to be some he'd like to have back.

On the Jets' approach to this game…

New England is a good football team and we understand that. You have to play good in all three phases of the game in order to beat them. We didn't play well enough in all three phases and make the plays we needed to in order to beat them.

On the Patriots' special teams…

Going into the game, we felt they had an extremely strong group of special teams players. They've got a core group of players that have been designated specifically for that. They've done a nice job with their punting and with their kicking, and that relates to the other two phases. We needed to do a lot more in the kicking game to offset all of the things they have.

On if the Patriots defense took WR Jerricho Cotchery out of the game…

I don't think it was purely a function of rolling up on him every time. It didn't look like that. There were different combinations of coverages on the receivers. I'll have to watch the tape to see it play in and play out, but it didn't appear that way throughout the course of the game.

On if the Jets were mentally prepared to face the Patriots…

Yes.

On if Cassel ran the Patriots offense similar to the way QB Tom Brady ran the offense…

Similar plays, similar things they've done. It's all part of the package we've seen over time. Tom may have gone different places with the ball in terms of his decision-making on various plays. That's going to be a function of each guy making those choices within the context of the same plays.

QB BRETT FAVRE

On the Patriots' defense…

They have a good defense. Their front-seven guys are as good as anyone in football in their scheme. They played extremely well. It didn't run as smoothly, obviously, as we would have liked. I give the Patriots a lot of credit, not only today. We played them in Green Bay a couple of years ago, same sort of deal except I think we lost 30-something to 3 or 7 or whatever [35-0 in 2006].

They're as fundamentally sound as any team you're going to play. Talentwise, they're solid. We knew we had to play our best football to win and we didn't do that. We had a lot of opportunities, but once again we didn't make the most of those. I give them credit because they were able to overcome adversity and just hang in there.

I think we, as a team, should see that there's a lot of room for improvement. But we're not far off. When we will turn that corner, I have no idea. We battled back and did some good things, but ultimately we didn't score enough points. We had the opportunities. We just have to find a way to clean up some of the mistakes we made, and each person, starting with me, has to find a way to make one or two more plays that are there. It's not like we have to find those plays. Those plays were there for us tonight.

On if he would have liked to pass more on first-and-goal from the 3...

I would have liked to have scored. Had we run it in on the first, second or third down, then it's a great call. I don't second-guess Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer]'s calls one bit. Would I have liked to have thrown it? I'd like to throw every play, but you're not going to win that way. We have the offensive line to do it, we have the running backs to do it, and I know what Bill [Belichick]'s saying over there — they have the defense to stop it. They stopped it today. There's no guarantee a pass would've worked. So yes, I would. It has nothing to do with second-guessing his decision. I thought we could run it in as well.

On his third-quarter interception…

I just underthrew him. I saw the guy. Maybe I got a little greedy, I could have dumped it in the flat. I think if I had made the throw I wanted to, there's no guarantee it would've been caught, but it would've been a much better opportunity. I just underthrew him. I saw the guy and misjudged him. I just made a bad throw. I'd like to tell you something different, but it was a bad throw.

On WR Chansi Stuckey…

I like everything about him and I like everything about our receivers. I really like our team. Liking a team and winning are two different things, but I like the effort that these guys give. Each person that I throw to or hand to or blocks for me does something a little different.

Stuckey's one of those guys who just seems to be around the ball. He's a small guy, but he's in and out of tight spaces pretty quick and catches the ball. He's a very smart guy. All our receivers are very smart. No one is making excuses, but I think that each week we should see improvement from our end from working together.

I just got a chance to start working with LC [Laveranues Coles] last week for the game. Stuckey works a little bit of defense and a little bit of offense. How we use each and every one of those guys at which particular time remains to be seen. I think if we can get on the same page very quickly we can be pretty productive.

On if the Jets missed an opportunity to make a statement…

It's a setback. We lost, period, regardless of who's in or out. I can only assume what Bill was telling those guys this week, but he used Tom [Brady]'s injury probably as a positive for the rest of those guys — rally the troops, so to speak.

I think Eric [Mangini] said it well this week: Tom, as great as he is, doesn't cover on kicks, doesn't rush the passer and doesn't catch the deep routes. He does a lot of other stuff very well, don't get me wrong. But we still have to play all those phases and play them well. You're not going to beat them if you don't, I don't care who. It obviously becomes a lot tougher if Tom's in there. I can't say that I'm not surprised it was that type of game today. Matt [Cassel]'s first start, I thought he played well. You wouldn't assume it would be as explosive, maybe not the first game. That's just an assumption.

It's a setback because I feel like this team is capable of winning every game. I think that's the mindset we have to have. I'm sure that's the mindset in the other locker room has. What do you do in a situation like this? Hopefully we rally together and find a way to overcome it. It's one game. There are 14 left. Who knows what's going to happen? Nothing good will happen if we don't do it together.

On the experience of this home opener, with the expectations being high…

The expectations that I've always put upon myself are the same. I expect to win. I expect to play at a high level. This obviously was different for several reasons. When we teed it up, kicked it off the first time, it was back to football. I really felt we had a chance to win this game. I know you win some, you lose some. There were some great things in this game. The home opener, we'll have seven more. Hopefully, a couple more after that. It's not the start we wanted, that I wanted. I think there's a lot of room for improvement. This team can be pretty good.

On if this loss feels any different for him…

It hurts the same. I'd like to have come back and won every game. You don't like to dwell on the losses. That's why I came back. It was fun out there today. No doubt it would have been a lot more fun had we won. But that's the way it goes.

Once again, I enjoy these guys, I really do. It makes it easier. I enjoy working with them and enjoy competing with them. It's disappointing. I know what I have to do and hopefully the rest of our team knows — that is to get better. It can be as long or as short as we want to make it. It's two games, we're 1-1, long ways to go. The more you lose, the longer it gets. I'm not here to lose.

On what the Patriots did to take away Jerricho Cotchery…

They mixed it up today. I'm sure when I look at the film tomorrow, I'm going to see Jerricho open at times, going to see LC open at times and Stuckey. The play I threw to Jerricho that was called pass interference, he wasn't open. It was just a double-go play, throw it to LC or throw it to Jerricho. The corner was actually higher on LC, so I took the tighter shot.

It was something we had talked about, just take a chance. He goes up and makes the play. They call pass interference. There were some plays that were designed to just take a shot. They didn't change dramatically, but they rotated in coverage a little bit and mixed it up, rolled to LC, rolled to Jerricho, depending on the situation in the game. I thought they disguised well. Once again, I think when I look at the film, there will be times when he was open and maybe I didn't see him.

On the Jets' offensive philosophy…

I'm fine with it. My job is to come here and run this offense. Believe me, regardless of the plays that were called, there were some opportunities. I looked at the pictures on the sidelines and there were some opportunities for some big plays. That falls back on me. It can go both ways. We didn't score enough points, obviously. Someone is blamed on it, and I think that goes to our whole offense. There were plays to be made, and they just weren't made.

WR LAVERANUES COLES

On how disappointing it is not to capitalize on a wounded team …

It has nothing to do with them. I don't see why you would say they are wounded. They are still a great football team. I don't see one player winning any games. He [Tom Brady] doesn't play all three phases. They have a great football team without him.

On if there were opportunities that the Jets missed…

Yes, and I don't think it's just us. If you have anyone to blame, you can blame it on me. I always take the blame for my team. I had quite a few mistakes. I could have got us going and I wish I had another couple plays to help us get us going in the right direction.

On the expectations coming into this game…

It's only one game. You always expect to win, but we didn't win. Our season doesn't hang on one game. We still have 14 more games to play, I still have 14 more games to play, and that is the most important thing guys understand is that we get back to the drawing board and try and get better.

On why he thinks the team had a hard time moving the ball…

It can be a combination of a lot of things. Once we get back and look at the film we will be able to understand it a little better. I can tell you the effort was there. Guys really wanted to do it and sometimes that can be what kills you. Guys really wanted to play their best, play hard, and sometimes it's the combination of making mistakes instead of being relaxed and just playing football.

On what mistakes he made…

Anything you can see on the field. There were dropped balls. I know there are a lot of mistakes that could have helped us win and the blame falls on me.

WR JERRICHO COTCHERY

On the loss to the Patriots…

Every opportunity you get to make a play against these guys, if you don't, then they take advantage of it. We had some opportunities to make some plays but we just couldn't make them.

On Brett Favre…

I credit them on defense. Those guys made some good plays out there. They stepped up big-time in making those plays and taking away opportunities. Most of the credit goes to that defense, but we still have to step up and make some plays as an offense. When a defense makes those plays, you have to keep those guys off the field.

On the defensive coverage…

They did some things to take away Laveranues and me out there. We still had some opportunities to make some plays. That's the most important thing. In the end, they stepped up and made plays. At times they doubled me, at times they doubled LC. We were trying to run our offense and make things happen. We have great players and plays to counter that.

On the Jets' offense…

We have a chance. We believe in our offense, and we believe we can stick the ball in there. They stepped up big-time on the goal line stand. Sometimes you make the plays and sometimes you don't. You have to go back on film and look at it. A lot of times it's technique and a lot of times it's just overdoing it.

On not capitalizing on opportunities on offense…

A lot of credit goes to their defense. They stepped up and made plays. It's a one-on-one battle at each position out there on the field. One guy has to win that battle. In a lot of the situations, we lost them.

LB ERIC BARTON

On the game vs. the Patriots…

We played hard, but we didn't make the plays we needed to win the game and that's about it. We'll go and look at the tape and try to correct it.

On Coach Mangini after the game…

He said keep your head up and move forward. It's Week 2 of the season, not the end of the world. Let's go back to work tomorrow.

On Matt Cassel's play…

He played a hell of a game. Everyone knows he's a capable quarterback and he made the plays out there. He didn't turn the ball over and he led his team to victory.

On the loss…

It's only one game. Guys try to make it bigger than it is. It's a division game and we would have liked to have won it but we have 14 more games left.

On the Patriots' last scoring drive…

Obviously, it was disappointing. We didn't execute the way we would have wanted to and we'll try to do better next time.

On the differences between Cassel and Tom Brady...

They are both efficient and protect the ball and they're both winners. He played well today. Hats off to him.

G ALAN FANECA

On the loss to the Patriots...

It's tough. They came out and played well. We left plays on the field. You're not going to win a game like that against a team like that by doing that.

On the disappointment of this loss…

It's disappointing anytime you don't come away with a win. We could have played better. We could have done things better, especially on offense. We were hurting ourselves too much out there. We put a couple of drives together that looked good. We didn't come away with a touchdown early — that definitely would have helped. It hurts a little more when you leave plays out on the field and you know you could have done things better.

On any difficulty of syncing up with QB Brett Favre…

No, that's not it at all. It was everybody, all 11 guys. It had nothing to do with Brett.

On the playcalling from first-and-goal from the 3...

I'm an offensive lineman. We want to pound it in.

LB CALVIN PACE

On the Patriots' play without Tom Brady…

Tom Brady is a great player and everyone knows that, but he's one man. They still have a great defense. They still have [Randy] Moss and [Wes] Welker. They still have a stable of running backs. He's just one man. I think they did a good job of coming together and everybody else chipping in and making Cassel's job easier.

On the Patriots' final scoring drive…

It was disappointing because we had a chance to get the ball back to the offense. We just had to get off the field. They were going to run the ball. They weren't going to do anything crazy. That's all on the defense. We have to do better next time.

On the Patriots' starting field position...

It's hard going there when they are playing with a short field, but that being said, I think we did a good job holding them to field goals. Ideally, nothing is obviously better than three points but again with nine minutes left they can't get that drive. We had our opportunities.

I can't say anything negative about them. They did what it takes to win and we didn't do enough.

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