Tuesday Player Interviews

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Transcripts of selected player interviews during locker room media availability Tuesday midday:   

LB BART SCOTT

On the rivalries with teams in the division…

We are going to come here and compete. The game isn't played on paper. The game is played on the field. We're going to have the opportunity to line up and compete. We're not going to submit to anybody, we're not going to bow down for anybody and we are not afraid to compete against anybody. That is what makes this game so great.

On the defense being "nasty"…

You can't really determine that until you put the pads on. That is why I'm excited. You always have guys that come out of nowhere that have dog in them that you didn't know had dog in them. Once they have that then Rex Ryan will find a role for him.

On how excited fans should be about the defense…

Extremely excited. We're going to have to go out there and step on the field to see what this team is. Your reputation is earned and we haven't earned anything. All we do is run around fast in shorts. Until we go out there and really imprint what we believe we are, then fans are going to have to see that and make a decision.

S KERRY RHODES

On having both Pro Bowl running backs at minicamp…

It's big. It's about being a team. If you want to be a defensive team that runs the ball, you have to have your running backs running.

On the quarterback competition…

They are both playing well. Mark [Sanchez] knows what he is doing and he can throw the ball pretty accurately. Kellen [Clemens] is doing his best to do his thing as well.

On head coach Rex Ryan…

Rex has been good. He thinks he is a quarterback, DL and OL and he puts it out there. He wears his emotion on his sleeve and it's good for us.

CB DARRELLE REVIS

On the quarterback competition…

We just have to wait it out. We don't know the situation we just have to support both of them as teammates.

On the defense…

We are very aggressive. We blitz on every play. It's a good thing. Rex [Ryan] brought a good system to us. A lot of guys are making plays. It's good for us.

On head coach Rex Ryan…

He is a funny guy. I know you all probably interviewed him a million times. He is a laid-back guy, but when it's time to go out and work hard, he tells us to go.

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On how practice is going…

Well, we've been at it for a few weeks now. I thought today was another good step offensively, defensively, and from a special teams point. We're just continuing to work. We've got a few more practices to get ready for training camp.

On if it is a quarterback competition or controversy…

It's always a competition. We try to keep it that way. If it gets controversial, then we're going the wrong direction.

On if being a veteran gives him a head start in the competition…

Having been in the system for four years now, it's nice to be hearing everything for the third and fourth time. It certainly helps with your comfort level when you go out there. Then you add on the talent that's around us and we're very fortunate to be competing for a team that has good things going for them.

On if he feels everything is in place for him now…

Well, there's more to this than me. I think when we're speaking about the Jets, obviously it all starts with the offensive line. Our group is as good as any there is. You throw in two great running backs in Leon [Washington] and Thomas [Jones], some great skill players on the outside with Jerricho [Cotchery], David Clowney, Brad Smith, Chansi Stuckey, the list goes on and on, and I think things are in place for the Jets to have a very good year.

On having the Pro Bowl running backs here…

It's good to have the reps and to get to familiarized with the guys who are going to be out there this fall.

On his relationship with Mark Sanchez…

Oh, man. No, I'm just kidding [laughter]. Really, he's awesome. The situation is what it is, but we're both approaching it like professionals. He's been very respectful of the other veterans and at the same time I'm trying to help him out whenever I can and bring him along, much the same way that Chad [Pennington] did for me.

On competing against Sanchez…

We've been here before. He's 22 and I'm 26. At this point in our careers we've competed before, so at some point you've got to understand it. We're respectful and courteous of one another, but we both want to be out there on Sundays.

On being 26 years old…

[Laughing] Yeah, I had a birthday a couple of days ago, so I'm getting up there in age. I'm not quite over the hill yet, but I'm getting there.

On Rex Ryan bringing a positive atmosphere…

He brings an energy and an enthusiasm about him. Rex likes to get out and get our work done, but he likes to have fun. At the end of the day it's a game and he understands that and lets us enjoy it in that context. It's a lot of fun playing for him.

On if he's being tested…

I'm having a great time. This is a game we all love. Anytime we can go out here and play in practice against the guys and you get Bart Scott jawing against you a little bit, it's a lot of fun.

On being tested by the defense…

It's an incredible opportunity for us to go against these guys. First of all, that talent, what they've got over there — I think they have four or five Pro-Bowlers. Then you mix in the scheme Coach Ryan brought with him from Baltimore and it's great for us to go against that on a weekly basis so when we go out there on Sundays we see things a bit less exotic.

On how comfortable he is with the offense…

Like I said, it's year four in the system. I'm able to dive even deeper in the playbook and try to study the little intricacies in playing a position. Your comfort level grows with time.

On his understanding of the competition with Sanchez…

My understanding is the best players are going to play. Coach Ryan and I spoke on it and I'm sure Coach Ryan and Mark spoke on it. That's all you ask for, that the best players are going to play and we'll go with that.

QB MARK SANCHEZ

On his first day of mandatory minicamp…

It was good. A really good day, especially the first day of minicamp, save for the one pick in 7-on-7. Other than that, it was solid. I have to take care of the ball in that situation and get better. It was a good day.

On if the quarterback battle is a competition or a controversy…

It's a competition. Absolutely a competition. Kellen [Clemens] has been great. He's helping me along the way and making sure I improve every practice. As soon as we get on the field, we're very competitive. That's going to make us both better individually and then the team better from that, so it's great.

On if his knowledge of the offensive system is improving…

Absolutely. The first day today, compared to when I first got here, it was leaps and bounds better. Getting completions, feeling comfortable and understanding where the mistake was. I think that's a big point of learning, knowing where you make the mistakes and then starting to cut down on those mistakes. So I knew exactly what happened on the one play in the 7-on-7 [an Eric Smith interception] and I'll clean it up for the second practice.

On if he feels he needs a quicker learning curve…

I feel coming from the system at USC, it's prepared me for this and I feel I'm ahead of the curve a little bit, but at the same time, there is a lot more emphasis on the quarterback's decisions and checks and things like that. But it's coming along well so I'm confident and things are going well. I don't know exactly how to answer that, but I feel good about the way things are going right now. The coaches have said the same thing.

On if the "organized chaos" of Rex Ryan's defense is causing any discouragement…

No. It's difficult for a rookie to see something like that. Very unorthodox looks, things you haven't practiced against or even seen in college, and then obviously the speed picks up. It's the best way to learn. No other defense is going to be like this. Very few can do what these guys do, disguise as well as they do and then make the plays that they do and then have the athletes to play in that system. It's great to learn against the best.

On if he and Clemens talk over what he sees during practice…

Absolutely. He's one of the first people I talk to. Him and Schotty [coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], Coach [Matt] Cavanaugh. He's been great. In the classroom, on the field, he's been very open to talking about things and getting things right. So when the teams go in and we interchange reps with the ones and things like that, it's a seamless transition, and that's what we want.

On if his strong finish to today's practice gave him some added confidence…

Absolutely. As competitive as the atmosphere is out there, the defensive guys are saying "Hang in there." As soon as I threw the pick, those were the guys picking me up. I thought they would be all over me for throwing a pick. They were saying, "Hang in there man, keep your head up," "Let's go, let's get the next play." The next play you go back and get a completion — that's the way you work through it. That's the way games are. Picks happen, they happen. It's about keeping your head up, not beating yourself up and figuring it out, just moving on and staying positive.

On Thomas Jones and Leon Washington participating in camp…

It's important. They give us that one-two punch. Leon is tough to cover and Thomas is tough to tackle. Then you mix Shonn Greene in there and it's a powerful backfield. The fullbacks are holding up their end, too, and the receivers are doing a really good job. That entire backfield is tough to handle.

On if the approach to the NFL is different than the approach to college…

Absolutely. Kellen feels the same way. He's been waiting a long time and he wants to play as well. When you get to the NFL there's no redshirt. Coaches don't slot you and say, "Oh, we have a guy now," it's "OK, let's see what you got." That's where the preparation comes, that's where the solid work habits develop, the staying positive, things like that are really paying off. Just keep fighting and playing well and staying well.

On how being a Jet is working out for him…

It's the best. I couldn't have thought of a better place to play and the team is treating me so well, everybody in the front office. Things are going really well, everything is positive right now, I'm trying to keep that up and keep getting better.

On why Coach Ryan would say he doesn't want to kiss Bill Belichick's rings publicly…

I think that's a part of his personality. He's a lighthearted guy, he has fun with interviews, with practice. In every situation he tries to find a little humor. At the same time, he let us know that we shouldn't be afraid of saying what we want and what every team wants in this league — playing for the Super Bowl. It's my first year and they've already ingrained that in me. That's what we do here; we fight for the Super Bowl, that's what we want. That's the way he put it, and it's kind of a lighthearted way of putting it, but it expressed the goal he wanted.

On if he agrees with Ryan's bold predictions…

Obviously, I agree with my goal, but it's not my job to say things like that yet. I haven't done anything.

On beginning his first minicamp…

This was obviously fast, up-tempo. It's a little different feel. There's not as much time before the practice to really install and it's already assumed you know what's going on. That's the way things go, especially as a rookie, learning things on the run. So, we didn't install anything but I learned these plays a couple weeks ago. It's my job to know them and I felt confident out there today. I felt really good and it showed.

On if he feels minicamp has added importance compared to OTAs…

Sure, absolutely. The point of having this minicamp is locking your mind down and staying focused, eliminating all distractions, really getting in the film room, and picking Kellen's mind, Coach Schottenheimer knowing exactly what he wants from me, and I'm trying to do that and perform at the same time so it's going well.

On how he would grade his learning curve so far…

I think it's going very well. I'm told it always has to be better. I don't care if I've been here for 10 years. My dad and I had a conversation about it last night and he asked, "So how's the offense coming?" I said that I think I'm getting it, I'm feeling confident, I'm feeling good, but I also said that when I was a freshman at USC. Every year you think you have it so the next year you get better.

I'm sure Kellen would say the same thing. Last year at this time, "I know it, I know exactly what I'm doing," and now he would say, "I'm better than that." Every year is going to get better. These first few weeks, I've been learning a lot and showing that I can handle this pressure and get some completions against our tough defense.

On how the rookies and second-year players will develop camaraderie on the field…

We have rookie practices. They set that up for the young guys. We have OTAs next week for first and second-year guys, I think. Coach posts a sign, so there will probably be three practices or something like that. The veterans leave on Thursday, rookies and second-year guys are here next week, and then the week after that is all lifting for the young guys and that will be film time right before coaches go on vacation. That will be a good chance for us to stay involved and just keep getting mental reps and watching film.

On what he will do while the coaches are on vacation…

There will be plenty of film to watch, obviously all the plays from last year, things like that. We will revisit these minicamps and the OTAs.

On if he will travel back home during this time…

Sure. I'm going to go home for a little bit just to see the family and get all of my stuff out from there and move it here. I'm still living in a hotel, so I have to figure out my living situation. That will be a good time to go do that and take a little time off myself, just relax for about a week because it's going to be a long season, it's going to be a grind, especially for a rookie. I'm excited about it and I'll be ready to go come camp time.

On if he needs a break like the one coming up…

Sure. It's the longest year as a rookie because you decide Jan. 15 and really that's the end of your season and you only get until, next year, early February. So until mid-February, I'll be gone. That week and a half or so that I'll take off is important. One, to just relax my body and put my mind at rest, go to the beach, have a little fun and realize how fortunate I am, find a house and get ready to go.

On Eric Smith's interception in the morning practice…

He played a good disguise and it was just a bad read by me. We had a perfect look, we had a man going over the top and he came underneath to pick me off. He made a good play, but at the same time I didn't know where to go with the ball and I made a bad read.

On some of the situations he practiced toward the end of practice…

Third downs. Basically we did a third-and-short, a third-and-medium and a third-and-long. It's the end of the game, we're down. If we make the conversion, we get another shot. We kicked the field goal every time, but the mentality was if you get the first down, you go in to score, if you don't get the first down, you kick a field goal to tie it and go into overtime. I think we converted on two out of the three from my group, which was great.

On key completions to Wallace Wright and Brad Smith during the third-down drill…

They made great catches on both plays. We saw a mismatch inside, got a search-release and found them open and I just tried to throw them a good ball.

On his offensive line…

When you're blessed with an offensive line like this, it's pretty special. Both centers have done a great job helping out a rookie quarterback and that's what you need. You're not going to see every blitz as a rookie and you're not going to know exactly every single protection. You're trying, but those guys really, really help out.

On how else the offensive linemen help him…

They're making the calls and really helping out up front. They're reminding me of stuff as we break the huddle and it's very helpful.

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