Jets-Rams Postgame Interviews

a82c9081.jpg

2008 Week 10 - Jets vs Rams Photos

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets locker room following Sunday's 47-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams at the Meadowlands:

HEAD COACH ERIC MANGINI

With the completeness of the game, it's something we've been stressing week in and week out. I thought we took a really good step towards that last week against Buffalo. And then to come out this week, we had so many positive things in different areas, being able to create turnovers and generate points off those turnovers, being able to score on all of those possessions in the first half, being able to protect the all effectively and things that we've been focusing on. Keeping penalties down, keeping turnovers down — those are all areas we are looking to improve.

On defensive coordinator Bob Sutton…

Bob and the defensive staff have been very creative in terms of the pressure packages they have been putting together as well as focusing on the core that we've been doing well and making sure that we continue to do that well. So it's been a combination of game-plan-specific defenses as well as keeping the core intact. I'm very happy with the things we've been doing.

On S Abram Elam…

Well, he generates points. Abe got a lot of playing time last year. He's a really smart player. He works really hard at his craft and he gave us a lot of good plays last year. I didn't expect any dropoff when he went in for Eric [Smith]. It's just nice to see him doing the positive things he's doing.

On creating takeaways the past couple of games…

It's very similar to what we've been talking about in the press conferences during the past week. We've been focusing on the process, not the statistic. We're making sure that when we do get an opportunity to sack the quarterback, we find the ball. When we do get an opportunity to have help over the top in coverage, we take those chances to make a play on the ball. There's been a big focus on that as opposed to the statistic itself. I think that's paid off.

On the Jets' momentum going into Thursday's game vs. New England…

We're looking to be consistent each week. That's always been our mantra and that's what I want to see. There are so many positive things in different areas during different weeks. But to play a complete games and to play complementary games and to do it two weeks in a row, that's a good sign. We need to continue that trend against a very good team on Thursday.

On being tied for first place in the AFC East…

I've only had about five minutes to really think about it. It's New England. It's a tough game and a conference opponent. It's always a tough environment up there. I think that's what we anticipate and we don't see it any different this time around.

On making a lot of moves in the off-season…

In doing that, it was to improve the team, not to play against a certain team. What I'm focusing on is us playing at a certain level we've been playing at and carrying that through to next week and in the weeks to come. To me that's the important thing for our team: the consistency, the completeness and the complementary football.

On RB Thomas Jones…

Thomas is making things happen when there are holes there and he's making things happen when there aren't holes there. He's always been a tough runner. His ability to bounce outside and to create some things out there, the yards after contact, I think, have always been really positive. He wasn't voted captain, it was close, but he still has that leadership game in and game out.

On Jones setting the tone for the team early in the game…

I think that the way Thomas has been running throughout the season has really been a tone-setter. He feeds off of the offensive line and the offensive line feeds off of him. It's fun to watch his style of play.

On his team finding its stride…

I'm sure there will be plenty of things we will correct off this tape but it's the focus day in and day out. It's all the things we talk about, and I see us getting closer and closer to that. It's not a one-time thing, it's not a two-time thing — it's an everyday thing. That consistency is what will help us keep making progress.

On K Jay Feely…

I think that was the longest field goal in team history [55 yards]. [Reporter said it tied the team record]. Well, that's not bad, either. He had two long ones there and has been pretty consistent over the past two weeks, so it's been great to have that.

On opening up the passing game…

The focus is throwing to the guy who that's open, if it's short, if it's deep. It's where the opportunities are to make sure that we continue the drive and score points.

QB BRETT FAVRE

On if this was his most complete game of the season…

Absolutely. The mantra at halftime was to remember the Arizona game and we did. We played well enough in the second half to erase the Arizona game. Our offensive line and our defense today were outstanding. Thomas [Jones] and Dustin [Keller] were outstanding as well.

It sure makes life a lot easier from a quarterback's standpoint when you are able to pick your spots with the ball. We had a big play down the middle to Dustin, which was a result of the way we were running the ball and the protection. That's what we are capable of. Will we do it every week? No one does. Damien Woody said it best after the game when he said this is how good we can be. It comes down to us believing that we are capable of playing that way.

On if this game gives the team extra confidence going into Thursday's game…

It gives us a lot of confidence. I think the best way to put it is that this game does a lot for you, but I don't think this team would ever get overconfident. We have been inconsistent at times this year, but we have put together two games, at least a game and a half, in which you can see what we are capable of doing.

New England — and I'll say it until they have been beaten — has been the cream of the crop, not only in this division but across the league. I know they've struggled a bit this season and I know Tom [Brady] being out makes a difference. They are still the best team in this division and one of the top teams in the league.

It gives us confidence, but it's what we do with it on Thursday night. It's a short week and time will tell whether or not that works in our favor. It definitely feels good to be at this point right now.

On what it's like to play in a game where everything is working…

It feels great. I'll say it over and over, and maybe it's because I've played for a long time and I've been fortunate from the statistical standpoint to achieve a lot of things. Throwing touchdown passes and for a lot of yards is fun, but there is nothing better than winning and being in a football game like that.

I'll say that because I'm 39 years old and have experienced a lot of things. When you are younger, you want to ball. If you are a fan and you are watching from the stands, you want to see long balls, you want to see empty sets and things like that. A lot of times, handing the ball off and getting 10 yards can be boring.

It's awesome to be in a game like that. First of all, it makes it a lot easier from the quarterback's standpoint to pick your spots. You may not throw the ball much, but every run we ran worked and our offensive line was outstanding. Our defense did an outstanding job against an offensive team that has historically been pretty productive. You would love to have that every week. That's not the case, but that's proof positive of what this team is capable of being like.

On if he was hit today…

I don't think so. We had that one fumbled snap when Rob [Turner] came in. Honestly, I don't think so. I felt worse before the game. I felt 39 before the game today, so believe me, I was hoping I didn't get hit today. And I didn't.

On how much not getting hit today helps him in preparing for Thursday…

It helps regardless. The guys up front, at some point or another, were saying that I didn't get touched today. Every offensive line takes pride in that, as they do the running game. They kept saying during the second half, "Brett, don't throw it." And we didn't, but it sure helps because physically, I felt my age today and that happens from time to time.

Being that it's a short week, that makes a difference. From a running game standpoint, it was a physical game. Nick [Mangold] got banged up, Thomas had some hard runs, Leon [Washington] had some hard runs, and that is where you give several game balls to each one of the offensive linemen and running backs.

I'm very proud of Dustin. That's what he is capable of doing. I told him I wish I'd had him when I was younger. There'd be a lot more of those. He'll have a lot of 100-yard games and a lot of big games. He has no idea how good he can be. He probably thinks he does but the guy has tremendous potential, he has great character. It was one of those games where you find out a little about certain players and what you can hang your hat on.

On if something was wrong with him before the game…

Something specifically? No. Feeling old [laughs]. Just old joints aching a little bit.

On if today's win serves notice to the rest of the division…

Yes and no. We won this game rather convincingly. I think we're 6-3, correct me if I'm wrong. Like I told Marty Lyons in there, it really doesn't matter. It does but it doesn't. It matters what we do from this point forward.

I know Bill [Belichick] and the Patriots are saying, "Hey, they have to be beat us, we own this division." And, they're right. What we've done up until this point matters but it doesn't matter. We have proved that we are a pretty good football team. We have to continue to prove consistency, not only to other teams but to ourselves. If we were playing games like we played today, week in and week out, we'd be hard to beat, very hard to beat. I hope we continue to play this way. Of course, time will tell.

On what it would mean to beat New England…

It would mean a lot. It's a different division for me, what I'm used to. But divisions are divisions. New England has been the top of this division for quite a long time. I think they're kind of hitting their stride right now. I know they think they can play a lot better. They probably can. We probably feel the same way about ourselves.

There's still a lot of football left. It's a big game this Thursday, obviously, but there's a lot of football left. You never know. You don't win games like this all the time. I've been on the opposite end of them. Whether or not this type of game catapults us throughout the rest of the year remains to be seen. It's an exciting time right now, the way we're playing, the opportunities that are in front of us.

On if this is what he hoped for when he came to the Jets…

Yes, it's what I hoped, for sure. No one likes losing. I came in here to do one thing — to help this team win. I've said that from day one. If it's handing off, if it's throwing, if it's blocking, whatever it is, leadership — all those things. I hoped we would be in this position, and we are. It's a result of a lot of guys. Really, it's a good group of guys, a great group of guys. Fun to work with, great coaching staff, a lot of fun. That makes it easier, but definitely winning, that makes it a lot easier.

On his reaction if someone told him after the Week 2 New England game that the Jets would be 6-3 at this point…

I hoped that we would be in that position. As I sit here, there are a couple of games, mainly the Oakland game, that we wish we had back. What happened in the past, including this game, is over and done with. It's the position that we want to be in and [that] any team would want to be in, either leading or having a chance to lead. I'm pleased with it, and once again, it is what it is.

RB THOMAS JONES

On the offensive line…

They did a great job. I'm lucky to be able to run behind those guys. They're one of the best offensive lines in the league. They came off the ball well. Tony Richardson is one the best fullbacks in the game, so I'm lucky to run behind him too. I think we've developed a nice chemistry since we've been able to play together for a while now. Getting into the middle of the season, I understand how they block and they understand how I run. Everything worked out well today. They did a great job.

On the first offensive drive…

I think anytime you can move down the field on the first drive and get points, it sets the tempo of the game. You impose your will on the other team. Throwing the ball, you can get a quick play and get a touchdown, but by running the ball, you physically have to dominate the other team. I think that's what we were able to do on the first drive.

On if the first drive affected him mentally…

Obviously it was the first carry, so you get a feel for what the defense is doing. You rush and you know there's potential for big runs the rest of the game. It gives you confidence as you go into the next couple of quarters of the game.

On his first touchdown…

The line was coming off, and I was in the zone making my reads. I think on that first touchdown, Laveranues Coles was on the side that I ended up cutting back to. He did a great job of blocking the corner and pinning him inside, so I was able to get outside of him.

On his third touchdown…

There was a crack, and I just tried to get skinny and get in there. I was able to get through the line. Someone from the backside hit me, but I just kept my feet and my legs going. I know Tony Richardson and a couple of other guys came from behind to help me out. I guess anytime you can get in a situation like that – impose your will on the other team and push into the endzone like that – it's kind of demoralizing to the other team.

On preparing for the next game…

You really don't have a choice but to be ready to play. The game will be here [soon]. Tomorrow, we'll watch a little bit of film and see some of the good things we did, but will move on to New England. I'll just be working out, watching film and getting ready for the next game. It's coming and will be here before you know it.

On getting acupuncture or a massage before the next game…

I don't know if we even have time to do that. The game is going to be here quickly. It's more of a mental thing. Physically, you're sore from hitting for four quarters, but we know the magnitude of the game and what it means. We know we have to be ready to play.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On the game…

We were solid on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. You can't ask for much more on either side. Coach [Brian] Schottenheimer told us to put our offensive arsenal on the board. We went out there and made some good plays. Hopefully we can carry the momentum into the next game.

On his performance…

I've dreamed since I was drafted to have the opportunity to make plays like that, and finally it's coming true. I'm going to try to make the most of it and continue to do that. With more repetitions, I will get better and better. Hopefully that will continue throughout the season.

On playing the Patriots…

We are looking forward to it. It's going to be a huge game for us. The talent is there. We are really good players, we can do anything. We are going to go out and give it everything we've got.

FB TONY RICHARDSON

On the team's killer instinct…

That's one thing Coach Mangini really stressed this week was finishing. That's the biggest thing we need to do. It's the one thing he preached all week, finish, finish, finish, finish. We have the ability to obviously start fast, but to finish the game was very important for us today.

On the emotion after the third touchdown…

Favre obviously really likes to throw it into the end zone, but when you can run it into the end zone that can really kill a team's will. We were very excited to punch it into the end zone. The thing we worked so hard on in training camp was getting down to the goal line and running it in. That's why there was so much emotion and passion on that last play.

On the offensive line…

It's kind of hard to envision what might happen because there's a lot of football played between all of us, but we knew that once we got clicking we had a chance to be pretty special. Obviously, you just don't know how things would turn out, but we're fortunate that we're able to run the ball effectively. Days like today you can put into your hip pocket so anytime you get into a tough, grind-it-out type of football game you know that you've done that and been there and can do it again if need be.

On the last touchdown…

It was all of us. When we run the football and run it effectively, it takes everyone. TJ [Thomas Jones] will be the first one to tell you that. His will not to go down was the thing. If he goes down that play doesn't happen. His work ethic and leg drive along with us escorting him on in there made us fortunate enough to get on in there.

RB LEON WASHINGTON

On the production from all three phases of the game…

It's not about St. Louis. It's not about the game plan. It's about the guys in this room and what we can do as a team. It really gave the offense a lot of energy to go out and execute in the first half, and then on the first and second drives we got points. The defense played well, the offense played well and the special teams. That is two weeks in a row where you get a really good effort collectively as a unit.

On the offense's execution…

That is what it comes down to. We have good players in this locker room. We have guys, we have leaders, we have young guys, we have talent and then when you can execute the game plan and what the coaches give you, it's really hard to lose the game. We realize that and we see the potential that we have, but it's based on production. The last couple of weeks we have been doing a lot of good things in showing positive production. We look forward to it.

On the New England Patriots…

New England on Thursday [is a] big game. [It's] Thursday night up in New England. We are all aware of what is at stake, but it's going to be challenging for us to go out this week and prepare for these guys. It's a quick turnaround. They have the same thing happening to them for us. We look forward to it. It's a tough game and that is what it's about in November and December in the National Football League. [It's about] going out and playing tough games in November and December.

T DAMIEN WOODY

On Thomas Jones' performance…

[It was] great. It's good for the offensive linemen to have your homeboy have stats like that. He went hard. The guys up front all the way around did a great job of blocking. He has great vision, he found holes and he exploited them.

On facing New England…

We are in a tie for first, so it's just one game at a time. [If] we go up there and get a victory we'll take sole possession of first, but the season is far from over. With each game we get one step closer to what we truly want to accomplish. We've got to get ready to go. It's a great win, but as the season moves along and you keep winning, they get bigger. We have a big one on Thursday.

On if he feels the offense is jelling as the season moves along…

Definitely. We have some really talented guys up front. I think we are starting to show our identity. I think we are definitely able to run the football, and if we can run the football the way we do, it starts up everything else. It takes pressure off of Brett [Favre] to go out there and make a whole bunch of plays, and it keeps our defense fresh. It's just good all the way around for our football team. We just have to continue to get better, but by no means are we a finished product. I like where we are headed.

On scoring on the opening drive…

It feels good, because early in the season that was one thing we were struggling at doing. We hadn't scored on the opening drive, but the past few weeks we have been able to do that, so we have to continue that trend because it builds confidence on the team. If we can take the opening drive and score a touchdown, or whatever it is, then we can feed off of that and keep going.

LB ERIC BARTON

On being positioned to take over the division after today's win…

We have been working hard and executing the game plan. Luckily, we have won a couple of games. We have a tough opponent coming up. We are going to execute in practice and go out here and try to win a game. It's a division game. It's important to us, important to them, and we'll see how it goes.

On being excited for the upcoming Patriots game…

You are excited for any division game. That's all it is. It's a division game. We have a chance to move up and they have a chance to move up. We have to go up there and play our best football.

On preparing for Patriots QB Matt Cassel…

I am sure he has a lot more confidence now. He has been playing longer and they have been winning. We have to go back to the drawing board tomorrow to see how we can stop that offense.

On if 6-3 is the best position for the Jets heading into the Patriots game…

Of course not. We have three losses. We are in position. The destiny is in our hands. Whatever happens is up to us. We have to make the decision of how we are going to play football. It's up to us now.

On S Kerry Rhodes coming up with big plays today…

It was great. Kerry is an extension of Coach [Eric Mangini] out there. He gets guys lined up when things are going bad. He is one of our leaders. It is great to see him make plays. He is a great player.

On the play of the Jets defense in the first half…

It is never easy. Sometimes the ball just bounces your way. St. Louis is an explosive team. They give a lot of teams fits. We were lucky enough to execute today. Luckily, the ball just bounced our way.

S ABRAM ELAM

On his contribution in today's win…

I try to take advantage of my opportunities. Coach [Eric Mangini] puts us in positions to make plays. Each time my number is called, I try to go out and play to the best of my ability.

On the defense…

We are going out and executing the game plan. We take advantage of opportunities on turnovers and put points on the board.

On the strip-sack returned by Calvin Pace for a touchdown….

I wanted to make sure I came under control and made the play on the ball. It was a great opportunity. I was glad Calvin Pace was able to pick up the ball and put some points on the board.

S KERRY RHODES

On the defense's success against the run…

It makes it easier on the secondary. We're back there and we can't even sniff out a tackle. We're not even worried about anything. We let the front handle that. We just try and tighten up on the back end and as the weeks go on we keep getting better at it. If we keep getting better and continue to hold up our end of the bargain it's going to be good for us.

On coming up with his first interception of the season…

Oh man, it felt like I had a fat ape, or gorilla on my back. Everyone kept making it a bigger deal each and every week but the fact that I was able to get it today was a good thing. It helped us get a win today and that's the main part.

On the defense's increase in takeaways…

Turnovers are kind of like a hitter in a slump. If he keeps on concentrating on getting a hit he doesn't get it but when he just goes out and swings that bat likes he's been taught he gets a hit. We're just doing the things that we've been doing, trying to put pressure on the ball. The last couple of weeks we've been getting after it and that's good.

On becoming an elite defense in the league…

We're striving towards that. All along we've known we've got the players that can get it done. We know we have the scheme and the coaches that can get it done. These things need to go hand in hand together and now we're on the same page as the coaches and that's the big thing in this league. You can't have players out there worried about what the coaches are going to call. The coaches see what we're about and we know what they're about and it's been good.

NT KRIS JENKINS

On today's game…

I think it was a very good win. I've said it in the past, we are really excited to turn that corner. Collectively, as a team, we are really starting to believe in one another. I feel like it was a great game. I know my stats won't show the same performance, the same type of stats as last week.

Don't get me wrong, I had fun last week, but that's the type of game you don't get as a nose tackle but once in a blue moon. I went out there and played the best I could. The defense played great. Linebackers were flying around, defensive backs were flying around. This was a solid team game. You have to enjoy what you saw out there because it wasn't one individual effort that stood out. We as a team, everybody, did well.

On Thursday's game against the Patriots…

Right now I'm trying to enjoy this game, but you can't really enjoy the win because we have a big game coming up on Thursday. It's going to be a tough one, but I know we are preparing for it a lot. It's a big division game and I know we have to go into their home. We know what kind of football they like to play. It was good to win, but at the same time we understand that we have a big showdown coming up and we are going to do what we have to do to get ready.

On the defense causing turnovers…

I really liked that. It helps keep the offense on the field and gives them more opportunities to work, and that's what we need. We need to keep the ball in their hands and give them the chance to make things happen.

OLB CALVIN PACE

On the game…

We wanted to try to go out there and help the offense, as for as giving them great field position. In the second half they made some big plays, but we were able to slow them down. We tried not to let their offense sustain drives and to keep them out of rhythm, and we did that today.

On the team playing well…

It's a huge difference. It took us awhile to get here. I think we are gelling more and everyone is on the same page. The work we put in during the week is carrying over to Sunday, and we hope to keep that rolling.

On the touchdown…

I thought it wasn't going to happen, or that it was a dream. I heard the crowd roaring. I saw the end zone, and I was slow getting there, but I finally made it. It was the biggest moment in my career.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising