Sunday Player Interviews

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Transcripts of interviews with Jets players following Sunday's morning training camp practice:      

LB DAVID HARRIS

On adjusting to the 3-4 defense ...

In the 3-4 there are a lot more checks and adjustments. I'm trying just to come in and get everything down as fast as I can, work hard and compete. [Jonathan] Vilma, [Eric] Barton, Victor [Hobson] and [Brad] Kassell have all taken me under their wings and given me little tips and pointers here and there. They are just good guys to listen to. They are all good veterans. They all know the system and I'm just trying to sponge everything up from them.

On whether he expects to be a starter ...

I'm just trying to work hard and compete. It's up to the coaches who's on the field on gameday. I'm trying to put my best foot forward and we will see how things work out.

On his first NFL training camp ...

I knew it was going to be hard work, long days and hot weather, but it's all part of football. That's what it's all about. Training camp is tough. It's not supposed to be easy. You have to push through it.

On learning the playbook ...

We put in a lot of new things and I'm just trying to learn them as fast as I can.

On music being played during practice ...

We had that back in Michigan. It throws another distraction in there for you to make you focus that much harder.

On playing in New York ...

I love it out here. I'm from Grand Rapids, Mich., where there are about 200,000 people. Coming out here, there are 10 million people. It's the biggest city in the world, very diverse, lots of things here and a lot of people. Just a great atmosphere.

QB BRAD SMITH

On who he admired in the NFL ...

I really liked watching Randall Cunningham. He was my guy.

On someone in the league he admires now ...

I don't know, I just try to be myself go through my reads and make plays the way I know how to make them. There are a lot of athletic guys like Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, as well as watching Chad Pennington this last year and the way he plays, I really like that.

On the comparison in roles being played in college and in the NFL ...

I always try to take it one step at a time. When I got here, last year was all receiver, special teams and learning. Now that it has moved on a bit, it's different and I just take it in stride, not knowing what to expect day to day but approaching it full of energy and going out and having fun.

On training camp ...

I think camp has been good. The team has been working hard and Coach Mangini expects a lot out of us in terms of execution, and I expect it for myself.

On where he plays the most ...

Probably receiver. We'll see what happens.

On if he had prepared to play quarterback anytime last season ...

Not really. During practice we would run a couple of plays, but no, not really.

On if he feels ready to go in to the game at anytime at any position ...

Every guy believes that they can step in, but we have a whole training camp to get better. We're going to get there, and I'm going to work to get there and help the team any way I can.

On how Pennington is helping him develop ...

Just watching him is a great help for me. It's amazing just seeing him work every day and how he approaches it and tries to be sharp. It's a great help to me.

G PETE KENDALL

On if there have been any further developments ...

Did anything develop? No.

On if any coaches or players have offered their support …

Yeah, I'm not going to put anybody's name on it. Coaches and players, people in the building have expressed to me that they hope I get what I'm looking for and what I want. More than a few have expressed that they don't necessarily agree with what's going on. This is a business and I think those guys understand. I don't think they necessarily like it and it's probably eye-opening for a lot of people. It is what it is.

On if he feels the organization is trying to make an example out of him …

I think so. That's my belief. I think I'm leaving. It's just a matter of when.

On what type of an example the organization is trying to make out of him …

I think it started when I came for the minicamp. If you don't do the voluntary stuff, then you're going to be demoted. I was and it's continued right through.

On if he's had any thoughts of leaving camp …

Oh, sure. What player hasn't at this point? I've certainly thought of it.

On how he feels about football …

I still like the game. I'm just not happy with the situation.

On what will happen if the Jets don't release him …

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

On if he has any other outlets to resolve the issue at hand …

Not to my knowledge.

On if Darrelle Revis not signing has impacted his situation …

No, I don't think so. I think both Neil [Schwartz, Kendall's agent] and Mike [Tannenbaum] are professional enough to separate one from the other.

On if the Jets culture has changed …

It's certainly different. On whether they're trying to beat us into submission, as you say; I think they want to make sure everyone knows who's boss.

On if he can believe it has all come down to this …

No. I've said before, we tried to approach this quietly in the off-season. I believe I had a handshake agreement with the head coach that this wasn't going to work and I would just move on so that it wouldn't come to this and for whatever reason that hasn't been the case.

On discussions with the general manager …

He's tried to explain his situation. I understand the two positions on this issue. I just don't like the position he's taken. I understand he's taking the position that he has to manage this entire team. It didn't have to come to this. This could have been dealt with a thousand ways, all of them positively. He said he wasn't ready to make the decision before the off-season program. My point to that was if he didn't know who I was after three years of being here, he wasn't going to figure it out. He wasn't going to make his decision.

On whether he's thought about leaving camp …

I'm here because I don't want to pay them not to be here at this point. If that's the type of esprit de corps they want, all I can do is be honest about how I feel.

On what his mindset will be if he lines up at left guard on opening day against the Patriots …

I haven't really thought about that.

On the possibility that it could happen …

We'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

On if he sees a light at the end of the tunnel …

I don't feel that this is going to go on much longer. I feel in my heart that I'm going to get moved. I believe this decision has already been made.

On why he feels that way…

Look at where I take my repetitions.

On why he is still here if the decision has already been made…

I don't know. That's a question better asked to them. That's my belief. They say that's not the case.

LB JONATHAN VILMA

On his second year in the 3-4 defense ...

You look at yourself and you can see yourself doing better and you know that you want to do better but it's just a matter of time. There is really nothing you can do about it. It's just something that is going to come, and you have to keep working at it and working at it. You're not going to get it right the first time, you're not going to be perfect the first go-round, so it's just something that you have to live through and deal with.

On the defense's second year in the system ...

The guys are really taking it in stride right now. The guys are really trying to get better and really trying to improve. You can see it on the field. You can see them really trying to work at it and improve their skills and make us better as a defense. The energy and the tempo is a lot better from last year to this year. Because we know the system on both sides of the ball, the offensive and the defensive sides, we're not thinking as much. We're thinking about the little things within the defense and within the offense to make ourselves better. That makes us better as a team. We can run around, we can fly around and we can have fun.

On managing expectations ...

We're not really worried about it, to be honest with you, because we have our own expectations. I was sitting here last year saying, "I think we can go to the playoffs," and everyone shrugged me off. For us, we have our own expectations and we're not really listening to what people are saying. We know what we have and we know that we have to keep working at it. It's the same mentality as it was last year — that underdog approach, the work-hard approach, the tough mentality — and we want to take that into the season.

On Coach Mangini's music selection for practice ...

We need to work on that. He had Mozart going or Beethoven. The guys aren't really feeling that. We have got to work on that.

On David Harris ...

He's doing really well. He's really improving. He's trying to learn the defense. He's already a big, physical guy who can run around, so that's not going to be an issue for him. It's just a matter of learning the defense, and of course Eric Barton and myself, we are trying to teach him everything we know. He came from a 4-3 as well so he's going to have the growing pains of going into the 3-4, so we're trying to help him out as much as we can. As much as I can help him with I will, because I'm not perfect at it either. I can try and help him with the little things that helped me get better in the 3-4. As much as I can help him, but of course he needs to figure out some things for himself.

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