Thursday Player Interviews

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Transcripts of selected interviews with Jets players during locker room media availability Thursday midday:    

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On facing the new Jets defense in practice…

They are doing what the other teams aren't doing. I am not inside the head of the "Mad Scientist" just yet. They do a lot of things. I can't even explain it. It's so unique that it's tough to really put it into a category. It's difficult. You can put it into the "difficult" category.

On being in the same offensive system for the fourth year…

It gives us a great opportunity to focus more on the details and the fundamentals of each position specifically. It gives us a little bit of a chance to learn what the defense is doing because we know what we're doing. Fortunately, Coach Schottenheimer stayed around. The system is the same. We already knew the basis of what we're doing so at least we can try to figure out what they're doing.

On the offensive approach…

The approach for all of us is the same, to continue to improve with each day. It's May 14. We're a long way from getting ready to go down to Houston. It's an opportunity to focus on our weaknesses across the board. You want that slow and steady incline, always improving.

On if it feels like a competition without Mark Sanchez in camp yet…

I'm competing every day. Whether it's against Erik [Ainge] or Mark or Chad Pennington, Tom Brady, Trent Edwards, myself, there's a long list of competitors. We're always competing.

On having a good running game…

I think last year showed what a running game can do. We have five guys up front who are obviously incredibly talented, as smart and talented of a group as there is. No disrespect to anyone else, it's just a great admiration and appreciation of those five guys and what they do together.

You combine the two great running backs that we've got with Danny Woodhead, who is also making great strides. We look to have a very good running game and that makes everything else easier. If you run the ball, it makes everything else easier.

On Thomas Jones and Leon Washington not participating…

We're running the same system. Obviously, we all love Thomas and Leon and miss them when they're not here, but they are handling their own personal stuff. We're doing what we're doing with Danny and Jehuu [Caulcrick] and T-Rich [Tony Richardson]. It's more reps for them and they are all benefitting from it.

On the defense…

They fly around. It's such a group of top-notch athletes and top-notch talent. The scheme that Coach Ryan brought with him from Baltimore, it's a challenge, it's a challenge every day. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch on Sunday.

On the difficulty of practicing against this defense…

You like practice to be difficult and let someone else deal with these guys on gameday. We'll go out there and support them. It's a great opportunity as an offense to see all those different looks throughout the course of practice so that when you get into a game you've seen just about everything.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On last season…

I was having fun pretty much all year, then we kind of fell off at the end there. That was not nearly as fun. It was a fun season, being able to play with [Brett] Favre my first season. I learned a lot of stuff from him. I never hit a rookie wall, I felt good all season.

On if it is tough to face the Jets defense…

It is tough, especially with me and Kareem Brown being the only tight ends going right now. We are kind of tired out there, but we have to push through. We are kind of going back to the basics and trying to learn everything. It is going really well. We have a tough, competitive group to go against and when it comes to the season, we are going to be prepared.

On if the defense looked revitalized at practice today…

Yeah. They have 120 guys out there [laughter]. They get all kind of rest.

On having Bubba Franks back…

It is awesome. Bubba is underutilized. He is a great teammate, but at the same time he is like a coach. Bubba has been in the league a little bit. This is his 10th year, three in the Pro Bowl. He knows everything inside and out. Whether it's this offense or any offense in general, he can teach you a lot. It's great to have him back because I know I am going to learn a lot from him as I have before.

On if he takes offense to the perception that the Jets need a blocking tight end…

I don't take offense to that. I take that as kind of a challenge. It's just a chance to prove everybody wrong, it's just extra motivation. When people say you can't do something and then you go out there and do it, it's kind of like "Now what?"

On if he can gain an advantage by establishing himself as a blocker…

It's going to make it a lot easier. They're not going to always expect me to come out into the route. You can switch it up on them and have them always guessing so they can't overplay the pass.

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