Skip to main content

Sutton: 'You Establish the Fundamentals'


Brian Schottenheimer in action during minicamps

Following is the transcript of Jets defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's informal interview with beatwriters following Wednesday's afternoon training camp practice. A transcript of offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's informal interview was posted Wednesday night.


On what he's done with the defense to build off of last season …

Every season you realize you're starting over in every aspect. It's a clean slate. You don't get to start where you finished, good or bad. The makeup of your team sometimes changes, even if you don't change the players. You can never count on things being exactly as you ended them. I think you start with the most basic things, not much different than we did a year ago. You establish the fundamentals and really emphasize those. The thing you eventually want, with all of this, is to be internalized by the players themselves. I think that's the most important thing you can do in any organization. Once you have that belief within the defensive unit, you have a higher probability of success.

On how the secondary is holding up so far with injuries …

I think good. That's the real world. That's what happens during the season. You have to deal with it. The team on the field is the team. The people that step in there have to step in. Our expectations, both from the players' standpoint and the coaches', is that whoever goes in is the starting player at that point. He's expected to perform at that level and that's crucial. That comes from us as coaches, certainly from Eric [Mangini]. If you're the guy in there, you're expected to perform at a certain level.

All these things that have happened are things that can happen at any given week during the season. You have to be able to deal with them now and we try to prepare every player. I think that the good players, whether they're getting the opportunity to be on the field right now or not, prepare like that, like they are the starting player. We all know in this league that you're only one play away from starting. I think our guys that have been in there and that have stepped in have done a good job and of course that's created another space for someone else to step up and get a lot more reps. In the end I think it will be a real positive thing for us.

On dealing with a lot of injuries …

The thing we've done through all of camp is rotate our players in and out. All of those corners have played. They've played right, they've played left, they've been in the first group, they've been in the second group, they've been in the third group. I don't think it's so much who, I think it's the idea that whatever person goes in at whatever position it is, it's the expectations that you have as a coaching staff. You don't want to step back and say, "Well, we've got this guy out or we've got this guy out," it's just how it is. I think it's very critical that both players and coaches view it in that light.

On how excited he is to get Darrelle Revis …

First of all, we need to get him in here. That's the first thing. The second thing, he's got to come in and demonstrate where he's at, like any player. We can't make our plans based on any one player yet until we see exactly how they're going to perform and see him a number of times in different situations. We obviously thought a lot of him by where we drafted him. We think he's a good football player, but he's got to come in and when this thing finally gets done he's got to come in and demonstrate that he's capable of learning the system and performing, like all players. You become a player based on whether you can do it on a consistent level. That's the ultimate challenge.

On what specifically he likes about Revis' technique …

I think the obvious. He has good size. He has a lot of the physical qualities that you'd want. Certainly that was reflected by where we took him. I think the kind of person he is, his ability to handle situations, his knowledge is good. I think he has the attributes we're looking for. Now he's got to come in and demonstrate that he can do it consistently and he can do it against competition.

He's no different than any other player on this football team in that sense. When we're trying to judge any player, you ask, "Can we count on this player to be able to do this, at this level, at this percent of the time?" That's what you're really trying to develop because that's the consistency that you want when you choose your players. When you pick which defensive call you're going to make, you're looking for consistency. It's going to provide this type of efficiency for you.

To me, that's where that whole thing's at. We're looking forward for when he gets in here, but we have to march on no different than the injuries. It's the same situation if you take it and put it in a different category. Somebody went down, so somebody's got to step up. The safety wasn't here, in this case [Revis] wasn't here, so somebody got a few more reps and opportunities and in the end that helped us right now.

On if there's an accelerated plan to get Revis up to speed …

I think he works very hard at it and will do anything necessary to learn the system. We're certainly, as coaches, willing to spend as much time as possible with him up to where he could have been if he had been here. I don't know if there's a specific plan laid out like that. We're going to go back and try to coach the most basic things just like he was starting from day one. He's a willing guy, a smart guy and he understands where he's at and what has to happen for him to get caught up.

On if he feels Revis is a player who can be coached at an accelerated level …

I don't know exactly that. But I thought with the material he was given, he worked hard at it. Like any player, his skill development and the technique things demand a lot. That's one of the things that happen in training camp. You get an opportunity to zero in on the small techniques that need to be developed as your base because as the season goes on there's a lot more game-planning that goes on for specific teams and you don't get as much opportunity as you'd like to to spend on the small-technique things that allow you to be successful week in and week out in the NFL.

On the kind of impact Kenyon Coleman can have …

We obviously thought a lot of Kenyon in our evaluation when we brought him here. He's had the advantage of being in a very similar system from a technique standpoint and even some of the terminology. That made his transition a lot easier. When we evaluated him, we got to see him in a similar style of defense, so I think he's a guy that's a really solid football player. He's very conscientious, a guy that comes to work every day trying to improve, and I think if he keeps doing those things he's going to be a very good football player for us.

On whether he worries that Revis will fall behind in the learning curve …

All we can do in this situation, like any player that would just come in, which happens in the NFL all the time, as you know — you try to coach him as hard as you can, you try to get them as comfortable and familiar in your system as you possibly can some can do it and some can't. That's the only way you can approach it. I don't think you ever put a ceiling on it, or say, "OK, if he gets to this date there's no possible way he can play for this day or this game." You're coaching day to day, drill to drill, and you're trying to develop this player the best you can and he is, too.

That's the other side of the coin. These guys work hard at what they do. They take a lot of pride in it. There are a lot of things that can happen off the field when you're not practicing from a study standpoint, knowledge of film review. You can accelerate any point of that if you're willing to work at it. I think when you really dig in and find your really good football players, most of them do that. Whether it's in planning or preparation for the week or it's just over the course of OTAs or camp or whatever. They have a lot of pride in what they do and they're always looking for an edge.

I wouldn't say, "Oh, he's here on this date," I would never do that to anybody. Whether it's a guy coming off injury, whether it's a guy coming off like this, you have to go day to day and then Eric has to make that judgment of whether the guy is OK to play or not.

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