Monday Player Interviews

Transcript of interviews with selected Jets players during Monday's locker room media period:        

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On the loss to Baltimore …

There were no surprises. We had some opportunities. We weren't as effective in the first half as we would have like to be. We came back in the second half, made some plays and battled back. I was proud of the way we battled back and competed all the way to end.

On the offense's improvement in the fourth quarter …

As the game was winding down, it was a two-possession game and we had to go no-huddle and try to increase the amount of snaps we could get in a limited amount of time. We upped the tempo a little bit and fortunately it played to our advantage.

On his first NFL start …

It was a learning process through 60 minutes. I started out making some simple errors early on, whether that was jitters or the lack of experience. As the game progressed I was able to calm down, see things more clearly and the game slowed down. I was really excited and really happy with the way we battled down the stretch. It says a lot about this ballclub and gives us some confidence going forward.

On adjusting to the speed of the game …

It was faster. It was a lot faster. Regular season is faster than preseason. Preseason is faster than practice. It was an adjustment I needed to make in the first half. As I got in there and took more snaps, things slowed down.

On preparing for Miami …

The one thing that is clear and Coach Mangini said it in his press conference after the game is that Chad [Pennington] is the starter. If Chad is able to go, Chad is the starter. That puts me as the backup. What I will do is prepare the best I can to be able to play. If it's me who ends up getting the opportunity, then I will try to be as ready as I can. If Chad is ready to go, I'm sure he will go and he's obviously a great player.

On discussions he had with Pennington during Sunday's game …

We visited about some of the things he saw from the sidelines. He has a very unique perspective because he has been in there and he had the opportunity to see a lot of things from the sideline Sunday. We just talked about some of the things he saw. He was awesome. He is a great teammate, to be as supportive of me as he was on Sunday. It's just unfortunate that we weren't able to come out on top.

On Ray Lewis' game-sealing interception …

Baltimore dropped quite a few guys into coverage. When you get down into that part of the field where you're knocking on the door, they're not going to back up a lot. It was a tight window. I put just about everything I had into it and Justin [McCareins] made a great effort to get to it but the ball was a little bit high. Ray Lewis, like he was most of the game, was all over the field and made a great play. ... A one-handed catch in the back of the end zone. That is tough to take.

WR JERRICHO COTCHERY

On the possibility of QB Chad Pennington returning to the lineup against Miami …

It is important to have everyone healthy, especially when you're playing a division rival. Everyone is going to do their best to get back on the field as fast as they can so we can have all of our players out there on the field and so we can get a "W". Chad is one of our main leaders on offense. To have our guys healthy and ready to go for next week would be a big plus.

On the team's 0-2 start …

We are fine. We laid it on the line yesterday and I think everyone feels confident we can work through this. We are 0-2, but we played two great teams as everyone can see and we made some huge strides. Looking at the film we did some great things. We have to be more consistent with our execution throughout the game.

On the offense's turnaround in the second half …

We weren't consistent [in the first half]. Coach Mangini talked about it at halftime, how we moved the ball a little bit in the first half and then we had one bad play get us off track. He said we can't have that. In the second half we were more consistent with our execution and we were able to move the ball and not have bad plays stall drives. We have to be consistent with that throughout the game. If we can do that then we can put more points on the board and get some W's.

On Kellen Clemens …

We saw his toughness. He got hit quite a bit, but he stood in the pocket and made some tough throws. Down the stretch he led the team. We talk about how when the starter goes down the backup has to come in and there can't be a dropoff. Yesterday he came in, made some tough throws and made plays. He made plays as a quarterback, which is a good thing. He almost led us to a victory. We have to continue to work and keep our same approach and I think we will be fine.

LB JONATHAN VILMA

On the defense not recording a sack or interception in the first two games …

It is frustrating because we work on it a lot and we practice it. Those are things that you have to keep harping on and keep working on and they will come. We have to keep working at it in the games and get the opportunity to make them.

On QB Kellen Clemens …

He got one full game under his belt and I thought he did a very good job for his first game. You can tell things were a little fast for him in the beginning, and once everything slowed down for him, he was able to make a lot of great throws. He gave us a chance to win and that's all you can ask for. He didn't turn the ball over six or eight times or anything like that, he just went out there and did what he had to do. If he goes out there this week against Miami, we know he has one game under his belt against one of the better defenses in the NFL, so it will be good.

On the defense's turnaround in the second half …

It's kind of hard to explain. We didn't make too many adjustments. We just went out and played the second half and kept focusing on our goal, which was to win. We wanted to win and we wanted to play well. We wanted to hold Willis [McGahee] and we did a good job with that. Halftime wasn't anything special. We didn't go in there with a big rah-rah speech at halftime to get us going. We just came out and played.

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