Tuesday Player Interviews

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

QB CHAD PENNINGTON

On how his arm feels ...

I still do my ice and do all the things I need to do to stay on the field. Whether you're coming off two surgeries or not, you've got to take care of yourself during training camp and take care of your body. Things feel pretty good right now. I'm just trying to focus on the mental part of getting better and see what I can do to help us win.

On what gets him pumped up …

The game of football gets me pumped up. I'm coming out here and trying to compete on a daily basis against our defense. They're very energetic and we're very competitive. That gets me pumped up; just thinking about getting better and seeing what I can do to help us win. I don't need competition to get me going, I like to compete as it is.

On what he likes about Thomas Jones …

First of all, Thomas works extremely hard. He comes out every day, works hard, and you can tell he works hard physically. Look at him — physically, he's a specimen. We're really excited to have him and he's going to help us out a lot.

On whether or not the music gets the players pumped up …

They're all different. There are things Coach [Mangini] has tried and researched to see how he can help us focus better and stay on the right track during practice.

On the classical music …

Some of us have a hard time and try not to fall asleep. A lot of times that's the most important [during walkthrough periods] because that's where you get your minor adjustments, being able to talk some things through regularly and plays that you may have installed the night before. There's always going to be a discrepancy between players and what type of music needs to be played. Brian Mulligan does a good job trying to mix it up. As long as he plays one country song for me, I'm good to go.

On Darrelle Revis missing practice …

That's where the NFL is a little trickier than other levels of football because you have a business side and a playing side. Most importantly, before you get on the field you have to take care of the business side, do what you think is right, and that's a personal decision. I don't think anyone on our team holds anything against Darrelle. We support him 100 percent and we hope he can get here as soon as possible.

On Jerricho Cotchery ...

Coming into this league, Jerricho was an excellent receiver. I think he was one of the steals of the draft. He broke a lot of records at N.C. State. A lot of good receivers come through N.C. State. He broke a lot of those records and did a lot of great things. Ever since day one when he was a rookie, he's gotten better and better. I remember as a rookie he'd make a play every day that stood out. Now as he's getting older, he's learning the details of how to run routes and he does a great job with being patient. He's understanding leverage and getting open. That's the most important thing.

On what he thinks of Pete Kendall ...

We support all of our teammates and we understand the business. Our vets do a great job making sure that all of us understand there's a business side and there's a playing side. When it comes to the business side, guys have to take care of themselves first and then make sure that when they step between the white lines they're ready to play. Every time Pete has stepped between these white lines he's been ready to play. He's doing what he needs to do and hopefully everything will get worked out.

On the growth of Chris Baker ...

We want to make sure we're versatile all the way around. Chris has done an excellent job. He's one of the few guys that is very versatile as a tight end. He can not only catch the football and run great routes, he's a great run blocker as well. He's going to be on the field a lot and we're excited to have him out there. He's a very versatile, smart football player. Anytime we can get him the football, we're definitely going to try to do it. I've seen improvements in Chris ever since he was a rookie. Every year he's gotten better. He came in as a strong run blocker. We knew he had good hands, but every year he's been able to hone those skills, really concentrate on the detail and try to put all those things together.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson ...

He really worked hard in the off-season. He wanted to focus on his strength and making sure he has the appropriate strength to be able to do the things we're asking him to do. Every day I think all of our guys are getting better and better. A lot of times on the offensive line it boils down to one-on-one blocks and sometimes it boils down to communication, being on the same page. These guys keep getting better and better. D'Brickashaw is no different. Each day it seems like he's making improvements. He never gets off-keel; never gets too high or too low. He keeps a good demeanor.

On Kellen Clemens ...

Kellen works hard. A lot of times I'll come in and he's already here or I'll be leaving and he stays a little bit later. He's just trying to soak up as much information as he can and be a sponge. He's doing everything he can to prepare. I've been in that situation before. To me, being the backup is extremely hard because you never know when your opportunity is going to arise. You can't plan for it but when it happens you should be able to take advantage of it. Kellen is doing all the necessary things and whenever his opportunity comes about I think he'll be ready.

LB JONATHAN VILMA

On David Harris' performance …

He has to go through his growing pains, and after a couple of practices you can see what needs work. I try to pass on past experiences that he might be able to learn from and make his own.

On Harris fitting in on defense …

He's contributing. We drafted him because he is a physical linebacker.

On how to improve on your goal line plays…

We have to stop them, that's the name of the game. Today we did not stop them, so I was really bothered.

LB DAVID HARRIS

On Darrelle Revis' absence ...

We as a team would like him back. However, he is working on finalizing his contract. We spoke on the phone last night. He said he feels like he's missing out on a lot and was eager to join the team here at camp.

On training camp ...

Football is hard. We are practicing in late July, so despite the heat we need to be ready for the physical challenge.

On the working environment between the rookies and the veterans …

It's a great chemistry. The veterans are always willing to help us with whatever questions we might have. We listen to what they have to say, because they are more experienced in this league than we are.

On how difficult it is to learn this defense ...

All rookies have problems at first. We're trying to learn this defense as fast as possible. Every night before bed we study the playbook.

On how Jonathan Vilma has been helping him …

He advises me on the field on what to look for. He's showing me how to read plays before the ball is snapped.

On switching to a 3-4 defense …

I've played the 4-3 defense in college and I've played middle linebacker all my life. At this point I'm willing to do whatever the coaches want.

On Bobby Hamilton …

As a rookie, he is a great example of what a professional is. He comes to work every day ready to go to work.

WR JUSTIN McCAREINS

On how he feels Chad Pennington looks so far …

He looks great to me. He's a great leader to this team and we're lucky to have him.

On whether Darrelle Revis' absence is a lot for a young player to miss …

It's a lot for an older guy. I don't really know what's going on with that and I'm trying to focus on what I'm doing; but it's going to take a little while for him to get back into the swing of things, I'm sure.

On holding out …

It's the business. There are things where you have to do what's best for you. I don't know his situation, but I hope he comes back soon.

On how he's done so far …

I've done fine. It doesn't mean anything right now. I know I'm just trying to prepare myself for when we get out there on Sunday. I feel good and I feel like I'm doing a good job.

On whether he tries to help Chansi Stuckey along …

Definitely. He's my teammate and he's a good player. Any tips I can give to him or that I can point out to him, what the other guys are doing, I'll do.

On if he has any complaints on the music selection compared to last season …

No, it's fine. It's just noise to me. I try to hear the play and focus. It definitely helps us out there when it's game time with the crowd yelling. I'm glad Coach puts it out there for us.

On Kerry Rhodes saying it's soft rock to him …

Yeah, they're mixing it up a little more. They're playing a little bit more country too, it seems. It's kind of irritating, but it's fine.

G PETE KENDALL

On his agent Neil Schwartz ...

Neil is doing just fine. He's just happy to be on the other side of this situation.

On relating his situation to Darrelle Revis' situation ...

Regardless if there are emotions involved, I think at the end of the day Mike [Tannenbaum] and Neil are rational and professional enough that they can handle each situation differently.

On why this is different than his situation in Arizona ...

I think the situations are different. Denny [Green, then the Cardinals' head coach] had made up his mind to do something so he let me go, and that's the end of that situation. It is not the same as this situation. Denny had no intentions in keeping me. Ultimately dragging me out there was unnecessary, but letting me go was the best for all parties.

On not practicing …

No one is keeping me off the field. I have a leg injury that is preventing me from practicing.

On Tannenbaum and Schwartz being rational …

It's all part of the process. I've never been through a situation quite like this before, but both Mike and Neil will handle their business professionally.

On being traded to a new team under the same contract …

My unhappiness is about this contract. The market is the market, whether it's here or someplace else. I think [renegotiation is] probably something that a team would want to do, but my understanding of the way my rights are is the Jets can assign my rights wherever they want.

On trade talks during the draft …

We found out during the middle of the week that my name had been floated around. The night before the draft there was some contact. We were told we could shop a deal but they wanted a fourth-round pick. It seemed a steep price at the 11th hour. It was steep enough because no deal was ultimately worked out.

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