Monday Player Interviews

Transcript of interviews with selected Jets players during the locker room media period Monday afternoon:     

WR LAVERANUES COLES

On the mood in the locker room …

It isn't good. If you care about the game then you are definitely not going to be in a good mood. I know I'm not. You try to smile to cure the pain, but right now it hurts because we know we are better than this. I feel we are better than this. This is a position we put ourselves in and we have to lean upon each other and try to help each other get out of it.

On the offensive struggles …

Point the finger at me. Anytime something is not right with the offense it is my fault. Anytime things aren't going well and we aren't clicking it is on Laveranues. Blame me because it is up to me to make plays and help this team win games and evidently I haven't done that enough, so it is on me.

On accountability and whether he can "make every play" …

I surely can try to. That is part of my job description and I want to help this team win. If it takes me trying to make every play, then I'm going to do my best to try and do that. It starts with every individual looking himself in the mirror knowing he is giving everything he can and trying to correct what he has done wrong.

On using the 1-4 start to the 2002 playoff season as motivation …

It is a whole new team and basically a whole new staff. You try not to dwell on that but you can draw some positives from it and know that it can be done. You don't want to hang your hat on that. You want to let guys know it isn't just going to happen. You have to go out and work for it and it is something we are all going to fight for together. It's going to take all of us, that's for sure.

On the 1-4 start …

We have a lot of talented guys. There are a lot of places where you can be 1-4 or 0-5, but if I had to pick anywhere to be in a bad situation it would be with these guys right here. I know we are going to work hard and try our best to get out of this slump.

On Chad Pennington …

A lot of my success had been credited to him. He has faith in me and I have faith in every guy I step on the field with. That's the way I approach the game.

RB THOMAS JONES

On the offense's lack of consistency …

It's a lack of execution. We had turnovers that hurt us, with one going for a touchdown. It's a lack of execution for four quarters that is the major thing on offense.

On the running game …

We are trying to develop chemistry and a nucleus as far as the running game is concerned. We are working hard every week to get to where we need to be. We have gotten into some throwing situations the past couple of weeks, and when you are throwing the ball over the course of the game, it's going to take away from some of the runs and the running game. We are doing the best we can to get it straightened out and I have confidence that we will.

On having 25 carries in the last two games combined …

I'm here to play football. As far as the number of carries I've had over the past couple of weeks, that's a decision that is up to the coaches and the game plan. I try to take advantage of the opportunities I have.

On whether he has asked the coaching staff for more carries …

I have a good relationship with the coaches. I'm here to play and my job is not to call plays or set the game plan for the week. My job is to play my role in the game. You never know how the game is going to unfold. Some games you may have to run the ball and some games you have to throw the ball to win. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get a lot of carries over the past couple of weeks, but we are working on trying to correct the running game.

On whether he was frustrated that he only had one fourth-quarter carry vs. the Giants ...

I was wondering whether we were going to pull the game out. At the end of the day you want to win regardless of how many carries you have and you want to contribute to the win. That is how the game unfolded yesterday and we're going to do everything we can do this week to get it back on track.

On getting more carries …

Most feature backs in this league get the ball 20, 25 times a game. By getting the ball that many times, you can get a feel for what the defense is doing and how the offense is blocking. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to do that the past couple of weeks. It's a long season. We have a lot of guys on this team who are playmakers and who are dedicated to trying to get this thing turned around. That's what we're going to work on this week.

On his performance through five games …

I think I have done well. We've had some miscommunication on a lot of different plays, but that's football. We have to keep plugging away, keep going and work to continue to get better.

On offensive chemistry …

I feel like I have good chemistry with the guys on offense and with the offensive line. We've been in some situations where we have had to throw the ball and we haven't been able to run it as much. Every game is different.

On the offensive communication …

Defenses have done a good job of disguising some things. In the running game, sometimes it's not going to be pretty. It might be ugly for a while and then all of a sudden it pops. Unfortunately, over the past couple of weeks we have not had an opportunity to get in that mode or rhythm. Each game is different. At the end of the day you are trying to win the football game, regardless of how you have to win.

On his performance against the Dolphins in Week 3 …

I had 25 carries that game and the offensive line was doing a really good job. The runs were great runs that were called. That game was totally different than any other game. At the end of the day you are trying to win the football game and that is my approach.

On comments made by Bears GM Jerry Angelo that the team traded Jones because he couldn't get along with RB Cedric Benson …

I'm so far away from Chicago. That was last year. I'm here with the New York Jets. This is a whole new team and a whole new situation. Chicago is Chicago. I had a great experience there. I went to the Super Bowl, played with some great guys and had a great experience. At the end of my career I can look back at that and say that was a positive thing for me.

On his relationship with Benson …

That is irrelevant at this point. I'm not on the same team as him anymore. He is in Chicago and I'm here. That has no relevance to what I'm trying to do in New York.

On not being used in the passing game …

That is something that you might want to ask the coaches. That is not my call. I do not have the answer for those type of questions.

On his receiving skills …

I'm a capable back. I can do pretty much anything you want out of a back with catching and running the ball.

On the 1-4 record …

You win as a team and you lose as a team. Over the course of the game, one guy's negative plays are not going to be the sole reason you lose. That is with any team sport.

On the Giants defense …

They did a good job of trying to figure out what we were doing by formations and things like that. They worked hard all week like us. They played a great second half and made the plays they needed to win the football game.

On whether he has asked to be more involved in the offense …

Everything will play itself out. Coach says every week I will have the opportunity to make plays and regardless of whether that happens in a game or not is out of my control. At least I know that once I go into a game, I am prepared and ready to do what I need to do to help us win.

On his frustration level …

Everyone is obviously frustrated when things aren't going the way you would want them to go. That's just human nature. You're frustrated, but at the same time you know that it's a long season and we have a lot more football left to play. No one on this team has given up on anything. We are just focused on the next game.

On learning from past experience …

This is my eighth year in the league. I have been around for a while and I have seen a lot of different things. The major thing I have learned is to stay the course and that is what I'm doing.

S KERRY RHODES

On the Jets' lack of consistency …

If there was a magic cure, I would be the first one to let you know. We can always talk about how we need to be more consistent, but until we do it, it is going to be the same thing every week. That is the big thing we need to focus on, but there is no magic cure.

On the loss to the Giants …

In the first half we showed what kind of team we can be. We played good defense and made some plays on offense. We came back in the second half and things didn't work out the way we wanted them to. It is kind of disheartening because we know the kind of team we can be. We can play good for one quarter or a half, but we have to try to string it all together. I know you are tired of hearing it, but we are tired of hearing the same thing.

On allowing 28 points in the second half …

It doesn't sit well at all. Give them credit because they made some plays. They have playmakers. Eli [Manning] did a better job in the second half of getting the ball to his playmakers and Plaxico [Burress] made some individual plays that were pretty good. You have to give them credit.

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