Thursday Player Interviews

*Transcripts of interviews with Jets players on the field after today's OTA practice: *   

CB/KR JUSTIN MILLER

On whether he has concerns about his speed …

No, I'm positive about everything. I'm very optimistic. I worked hard. I think the doctors worked hard. We all worked together. All we want to do is just get out here and be the best in full gear and put ourselves in the best position possible.

On the status and percentage of his physical strength and ability to play …

I have no idea. That's something you would have to ask the doctors. The doctor could tell you better than I could. I'm just glad I'm out here doing what they ask me to do. Each day we're just coming out here trying to get better.

On how he feels about the double-threat kick return game with Leon Washington …

I'm very excited. I watched all year what Leon did, and I knew going into the year the talent that Leon possessed. We played against each other in college, it was back and forth, and we both knew the talent each other had. I'm very excited to be back there with him and having the opportunity to do it.

On whether the mental hurdle is the most difficult when coming back from injury …

I don't think it is. I think it's just being confident. You have to go on the field. You have to play the game. Each day out there you have to be confident in the corner. You have to have short-term memory. Once it's over, it's over. Now all you can do is get better. I think that's the attitude I took. So I think the main goal is to get better.

On whether it's an adjustment to prepare for his role on the team …

It's part of football. You're on the field, you play. You don't think about who's out there or what's going on. You want to rise to that to compete and make your team better. And in addition to that, you want to win and I think that's the main goal for all of us.

On how it feels to get back on the field …

It always feels good to play football. If you've been in this game as long as any of us have, you'll understand it's always good to rep a play and play with a bunch of guys that you love to get around. It's very exciting.

LB CALVIN PACE

On the Jets bringing him in to rush the passer …

You have to stop the run first to even get a chance to rush the passer. I play a part in that, too. The better I can help stop the run, the easier it will be for me to rush the passer.

On external pressure coming to a big city with a big contract …

I have been there before being an 18th pick and there are a lot of expectations with that pick. Every man on this roster has some type of pressure, but I just have to go out there and do my job. I can't do more than what I can do. I can't try to do somebody else's job. I am going to go out and focus on what I can do. Like I said before I told some other guys if I don't get a sack in one game, but I help Kenyon Coleman get two, I think I did my job. Especially if he gets a sack at a critical point in the game.

On if he thinks last season with Arizona was the tip of the iceberg for him …

I think it showcased my skills as far as what I can do as being an all-around player. The 3-4 allows me to have different matchups, being on tight ends and running backs. I think it helps guys like myself who have a frame to play defensive line or defensive end. As far as having to keep pounding against guys who are 350 pounds, that can wear on you. Matchup-wise they are going to be bigger, stronger, and it's a better matchup all the way around.

On if he thought the free agency process was mind-boggling …

It was a little overwhelming at first. It's kind of funny to put into perspective; to say people think of you that much. I just took it as the hard work and the perseverance [paying off] more than anything because I had some ups and a lot of downs in Arizona, but that last year I had a breath of fresh air coming in with Ken Whisenhunt giving me an opportunity. I tried to use it to the fullest.

LB BRYAN THOMAS

On if the team's offseason additions motivate him …

I have to worry about myself. I have to come in and play hard. There's competition, no doubt. I look at that. I have to work hard, no matter what.

On if Coach Mangini talked to him about the team's additions …

No, whoever Eric and Mike bring in, that's not concerned with me. All I can do is roll with the flow and just continue to do what I need to do.

On how he feels about last year …

I feel like I slacked off. Going into the first year of this defense, I felt pretty good. Last year I felt like I slacked off a lot. There were a lot of things I didn't do that I was supposed to do as far as the pass rush, the running game.

On if he is his own toughest critic …

You have to be. Just like I said, my practice habits weren't good last year. There were other things that I didn't do that carried over to practice. Those things I can't allow myself to do again.

On how he put himself into perspective …

You could see by my numbers. My numbers were down. When I looked back on it I realized that some of the stuff I was doing last year I wasn't doing this year. You could see by my numbers that my play was down. Some of my plays started to get taken away last year, and I could really see it. That was an eye-opener right there.

On if pride is involved for him …

I'm going to go out there and do the best I can do. I'm going to go out there and work hard. Why not go out there and do the things I had done the previous season that were successful? I need to go back and do those things.

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