Wednesday Player Interviews

Transcript of interviews with selected Jets players during the locker room media period before Wednesday's afternoon practice:      

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On if he feels more prepared for this game than he did for the Baltimore game …

Absolutely. Having the experience of one start already I think definitely helps. It builds confidence in a guy with limited experience like myself. I'm looking to hopefully draw on some of that experience on Sunday.

On how different it is to step in this week as opposed to stepping in for an injured QB …

It's a little bit different of a situation. I think the biggest difference is Coach Mangini saying who was going to start as early in the week as he did. That brings about a different atmosphere this week just leading into the game.

On if the Redskins' defense reminds him of Baltimore's defense in terms of pressure …

They have very good players. They've got Sean Taylor sitting back there at the safety position. I think he leads the league right now in interceptions with five. He has good range and a good nose for the ball. He's a very good player. London Fletcher I think has two picks as a middle linebacker and also has [89] tackles. As a whole defense, they're a pretty sound group.

On if he is excited about playing against the Redskins …

I think Coach [Brian] Schottenheimer has put together another pretty good plan this week that we're excited to go out and execute to the best of our abilities. We'll try to take advantage of some things and make some adjustments when they come up.

On if a sense of reality is hitting him about starting …

Things change a little bit. There weren't a lot of events where I was behaving as the starting quarterback on Monday with the exception of coming in here. Today it's practice. I'll take the first-team reps and go from there. Today is a different day, tomorrow will be different, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and so on.

On how Tuesday was different for him and if he sees things differently …

I spent the same hours. I'm preparing the same as I have in the past because that shouldn't change whether you're the starter or the backup. The only thing that's different is I get to have a little bit more input in the game plan and how I feel about certain plays, whereas in weeks previous things were geared toward Chad [Pennington] because he was the starter.

On his confidence in Justin McCareins …

Justin McCareins is a good wide receiver. In Baltimore we didn't lose because of one play. I still have confidence in Justin McCareins as I do in the rest of our wide receiver corps. We really have a strong group of talent at that position. With that many guys out there running around, with their speed and route-running ability and the hands they have, it makes it a lot easier sitting back at the quarterback spot.

On if McCareins told Kellen he owes him one for dropping the pass at Baltimore …

There really wasn't a lot of discussion. I came up to him after the game and said, "Hey, don't worry about it. We're going to bounce back next week. I missed plenty of throws myself in this game." The one to Laveranues [Coles] a couple plays later very easily could have been a touchdown as well. So like I said, it wasn't one guy. I'm sure Justin handled it very well. Now here we are weeks later trying to get ready for the Redskins.

On his confidence level …

You don't ever want to lose that confidence as a quarterback. The way I continued to work on it and maintain it was through my reps with the scout team. When I stepped into the huddle when we were going against our defense and trying to prepare them, I tried to talk to those guys as if we were going out there on Sunday. How good of a job I did is up for them to tell you, but that's the way I tried to maintain that confidence or quarterback swagger, if you will.

On how long it will take to develop chemistry with Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery …

There's definitely a chemistry factor that a quarterback needs to have with his receivers. Fortunately, I threw with them all summer, a lot of training camp and various spurts through the season thus far. Three good days of practice out here this week will hopefully help and then continue to grow going forward.

On how he can impact the offense against Washington …

I think the biggest thing that has been hurting us so far is turnovers. That's going to be a big focus to not turn the ball over. I mentioned Sean Taylor's five interceptions and London Fletcher's two. They have numerous fumble recoveries. Controlling the football is going to be big so we can have it in our possession a little bit longer, move it a little bit further and score some more points. That's going to be a pretty big emphasis.

On if he expects to see blitzing Sunday …

I don't really know. It will be interesting to see how they approach it. If they decide to pressure and to blitz, I'm fine with that. If they want to sit back and play more of a defend coverage, we'll try to attack them accordingly to how they're playing. It will be interesting to see how they come out, what strategy they have and if they adjust at all to a new quarterback in there.

On how he feels he does orchestrating action at the line of scrimmage …

I've had the privilege of watching Chad over the last year and a half and watching him get us into good plays, hopefully I learned quite a bit from him and saw his ability to do that. I'm going to continue to pick his brain and see the things that he's thinking in situations like that.

On if he thought he might never start in the NFL after an injury as a college senior ...

Yes. About the next day I thought, "Oh, goodness." I thought maybe I had a chance to come back for a bowl game. Then when they said, "You're done," the reality hits you that your playing career may be over. It's not an easy thing to hear.

On how he rebounded from that …

I wasn't one of those guys who the next day said, "Wow, I'm not playing, I'm not going to play in college again" and just bounce right back. I kind of pouted and moped around for a couple of days. My wife was tolerant of it for about a day and then said, "Look, this isn't you or the person you are. You need to buck up and get back on the horse." That's kind of what I did. I just put my mind to it and said I'm going to give myself the best chance I can to hopefully play again one day and here I am.

On being OK with the Redskins possibly blitzing …

That's a philosophy for teams a lot of times against a quarterback who hasn't started a lot of games. They'll try to pressure him and bring pressure. They'll try to get into his head and rattle him a little bit. I've been pressured and blitzed and knocked down since I was playing this game as a teenager. I'm used to it and I'm not worried about it. It doesn't affect me maybe as another younger quarterback.

WR LAVERANUES COLES

On Kellen Clemens …

I haven't had the opportunity to play with him much. He played in one game, so I haven't seen much yet.

On blocking out the 1-7 record …

It isn't hard. If you are truly a professional and a competitor, you are going to continue to compete the same way. That is the mentality of a lot of guys in this locker room. Being 1-7 has nothing to do with the way you go out and compete on Sundays.

On Chad Pennington …

We are friends. You hate that something like this happens to someone you truly care about and somebody who you know has put time and work into everything he's done. I will always support him no matter what. He is my friend before football. However he feels, I'm with him. I roll with the guy. He is probably 95 percent of the reason I'm back here now. I'm with him.

C NICK MANGOLD

On Pete Kendall …

You see him on the film when you are watching the other teams and it is good to see Pete doing well.

On the Redskins defense …

They do a great job of getting the ball out and making plays that way. They do a great job of making negative plays on the run and in the pass. It's going to be a big challenge for us because they have four big guys up front leading the charge and London Fletcher is great at running around and making tackles. It should be a big task for us.

On if having a different QB behind center affects his job …

Being a center, you deal with many different quarterbacks. Everyone is different, but at the same time everything is still the same. The snap count is still the same and the plays are still the same. It's not much different.

WR JUSTIN McCAREINS

On the QB change …

The past few weeks have been tough on all of us. I'm not really thinking much about who is in at quarterback. I know that with Chad we could have done a better job and won some games. By all means, it is not even close to being his fault. Any change can hopefully help us pull out more wins.

On his role …

As a receiver, you want to get more opportunities. The other guys have been doing a really good job and that's the way things have worked out. All I can do is keep preparing myself for when my time comes. We still have a lot of games left and that means a lot more opportunities. I'm going to try and have a good week of practice and put confidence in the coaches that I can do a good job and go from there.

On whether he has overcome his struggles against Baltimore …

I've gotten over that. I haven't gotten over how we are doing as a team. There is no specific position or individuals to blame. We are in this together. This has been disappointing for the whole city and for our team especially.

S KERRY RHODES

On watching video without Jonathan Vilma …

It is pretty funny. I was doing it last night and I'm so used to him being there that I was like "Where is he?" It was like he wasn't there yet because usually at 7 o'clock he isn't there. It was kind of weird, but I have to move on and try to keep myself occupied. I think I'm going to try and get Darrelle [Revis] over to see what he can do. I'll try and get someone to come over to keep me company.

On whether there is a different mood in the locker room after the QB change …

I don't know about a different energy yet. The situation came about Monday and we haven't really been on the field. We know what [Kellen Clemens] can do and we know what Chad can do and what he has done. We are going to try to move on from here and see what goes on. Coach made the decision to go with Kellen and we are behind him.

On Clemens …

He can throw it. Especially in a game when he has a little emotion going, he can really let the ball go and it gets there in a hurry. It is pretty tough to compare to who he throws like but just seeing him in practice, he has a cannon.

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