Saturday Player Interviews

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2008 Green and White Practice Photos

Transcripts of selected player interviews with Jets reporters after Saturday's Green & White Practice:    

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On how he played today…

We lost which always puts a shadow on anything. All in all, there were some good points. The touchdown to (Dustin) Keller was nice. It showcased his abilities a little bit. We had a chance in the fourth quarter to come back and at least tie it up, but there were some penalties and some offensive miscues. All in all, there are definitely some positives to build on and we'll go from there, after a night off, which will be super.

On whether getting tomorrow off was controversial…

It was a little controversial. Those of us on the White squad are not complaining one bit (laughing).

On whether he is where he wants to be at this point in training camp…

I would say that I'm progressing towards where I want to be. The path to get there has many different signs along the way. It's still a work in progress, but I'm definitely headed in the direction.

On whether the Green and White Practice is weighted more than the regular training camp practices…

I don't know. It's great. There are a lot of situations that come up mainly yesterday, when we had some overtime which came up. It's always great to see how all of us play in those situations. As far as whether it weighs more or not, I don't know.

On whether it weighs more in his mind…

Obviously it's a step up from practice, coming out here in a scrimmage situation. It's not scripted. You go out there and play the situations out as they come. It's a little bit different, it's a good stepping stone for us to get ready for Cleveland this Thursday.

On whether he is getting into a rhythm during practice…

Absolutely. I'm sliding into a pretty good rhythm right now. Things are coming along. You continue to progress with each practice. At this point, we've strung some together where individually things are moving in a good direction.

On whether he is encouraged by his improvement…

It's definitely the direction that I would prefer to go (laughing). It's a good thing. It's a matter of all of the hard work that we've done over the course of the offseason. When you see it start showing up on the field, it's a positive thing. It only encourages you to work harder.

On the touchdown pass to Dustin Keller…

It's just a credit to how talented he is. He went one-on-one with a safety. For us, that's a pretty good matchup when you've got Dustin Keller running down the middle of the field. I just threw that to an area and let him go get it. He did a great job. I'm sure that they're saying it was controversial on the tackle, but we'll take it (laughter). We were down 10 to nothing. We'll take it.

QB CHAD PENNINGTON

On if he is ready to declare victory of the QB battle after today's scrimmage…

No, that's up to Coach. I'm pleased with how our whole team did. We came out here and competed really well. There were a lot of situations we had to deal with as a team. A lot of distractions with the weather, the lightning – having to go in and come back out — those type of things. It's always nice when you win, so that's good.

On if he thinks the QB competition is going to make each one of them better…

It's always the case. That's been the case since I've been here. It's really been the case since Coach (Eric) Mangini's been here. Whoever's declared the starter has to continue to get better and keep competing — not only with the guys around him, but with himself. That's how I look at it. I have to compete with myself. I'm really mad with myself about missing that route to Bubba (Franks) at the end of the game. That would have iced the game. Those are things that I want to get better at.

On if he underthrew WR Bubba Franks…

I tried to stick it on him. He ran such a great route. Those are things – I can't have that back, but I wish I could. Those are things that ice the game and you don't give the opponent a second chance.

On if he viewed today's scrimmage as a way to get ahead in the QB competition…

No, I looked at it as any other practice. We get evaluated on everything – when we're throwing one-on-one, all of our spring practices, all of our practices now in training camp, our preseason games. We get evaluated every time we step in between the white lines. This was just another step. The one good thing about it is we were presented some game-time situations where we had to react in a game-time atmosphere. That's the best thing about today.

On the chemistry of the offensive line…

We're learning how to communicate. We're learning how to talk to each other and make sure we're on the same page. That goes from the offensive line to the quarterback, to the running backs, and then to the receivers. It's a full 11-man process as far as communication with the protections and things like that because everybody has to be on the same page. It's going to take time, but I think we've made progress from the spring until now.

On his thoughts on TE Dustin Keller…

He is an exciting young player and he's worked extremely hard. Any rookie that comes into our camp, it's really hard for him.   Our coach really tests our rookies and expects them to work just as hard as the vets, if not harder, to try to catch up because they lack experience. So they have to work even harder to gain as much as they can without the experience. Ever since he was drafted, he's come in here and has done an excellent job  trying to be a spark and trying to soak it all in. You can see that he has some talent and ability, and he can help us win.

LB VERNON GHOLSTON

On what it does for his preparation having a practice game this early…

It let's you see how you grow through camp, just being put in a game situation. It's really reacting to things and getting a feel for all the field procedures before the game. It's all the little things in figuring out what you need to work on.

On the first time in a game situation…

It was good. I was definitely comfortable. The biggest thing is to be relaxed, focus on your keys and the things you do, but obviously we have a long way to go.

On if he is feeling more comfortable…

I am a little more comfortable every time. The more comfortable I get with what I am doing and what's going on the field, the better I can play. This was the first time I was in and I did pretty good out there, so there are just a couple things I need to get better at and I will be ready to go.

On if he feels like he is coming up for air a little bit more…

Yeah, I move quickly. One minute I am drowning, the next minute I am floating so I am coming up, but I still have a long way to go.

On the play he got credit for the sack…

I can't remember the exact play it was, but I beat the tackle. The tackle out-set on me and I came underneath on it.

On what he would like to improve on…

Pass rushing is a big thing. Obviously, the biggest reason they brought me here was to upgrade the pass rush, so that is one of the things I have to get used to. I haven't been working on it that much with working on linebacker things, but get that down and just the mental part of the game.

On what the adjustment is like being a pass rusher in college vs. the NFL...

The biggest thing was in college I was basically (on the) defensive line all the time, so I worked those techniques and I really was good at that. Now with my hand out of the dirt most of the time, I am working linebacker stuff so when it is time to pass rush, I really haven't had a lot of work at it. It's one of the things I am going to work at and get better at.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On his touchdown…

I took off on my route. I knew it was going to be a deep route. It was a seam route, but I read split safeties, so I ran a post right in between and split them. Kellen (Clemens) put the ball right where it needed to be, so there was no thinking or looking back after that — just taking off straight to the end zone.

On there being contact during the touchdown play…

If they would have called me down, I would have been upset.  But I was happy with the call.

On being able to see openings on the field…

Whenever they call a play, I know all the different possibilities – what I might be doing on this play. So I'm thinking in my mind about what type of looks I may get. It's a lot clearer to me, when I'm going to the line, what all the possibilities may be. I'm just seeing a lot more stuff right now.

On his overall progress…

It's much improved. I thought I was a pretty good receiving tight end in college, but coming here and talking to the coaches and coaching me up on a whole bunch of different things has definitely opened my eyes up to a ton of different things.

On how he would rate himself…

I still think I have a lot of improving to do in my receiving and blocking.

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