Wednesday Player Interviews (9/5)

Transcripts of Chad Pennington's news conference and interviews with selected Jets during the locker room media period before Wednesday's practice:       

QB CHAD PENNINGTON

On opening the season against New England …

I'm sure it's exciting for the fans on both sides, it's exciting for the league. I'm sure the NFL looks for particular matchups early in the season to create excitement. For us, it's one of 16 games and it's important for us because it's the first game and it's also a division game. We're excited to have this opportunity.

On the importance of the first game in terms of performance …

In the NFL you have to look at the body of work. You can't just be a one-game wonder. You can't just say that one game defines your team or defines what your team is going to be like because it's such a long season and you have so many variables involved. It is one game. Obviously opening day makes it different. Everyone is excited for opening day. All teams are geared up and ready for opening day.

On the New England secondary adapting without Rodney Harrison …

I think the Patriots are one of the best teams in the league at being able to adapt to change, adapt to injuries or adapt to people who have to sit out. We expect their best and we expect them to come in and play their system and everything they normally do. They do it well and their players understand the system and perform well in the system. Besides No. 37 not being there and not seeing him, we expect these guys to bring their "A" game.

On what challenges the Patriots present …

No. 1, we have to focus on their front seven and make sure we do a good job accounting for their front seven, not giving them easy plays and free plays. No. 2, we have to handle the different looks they might give us and the different games they may bring to us to challenge us with. We have to be able to adjust to those things. Always, especially with opening day, you're going to have some new wrinkles that you may not be prepared for and you have to deal with adjustments on the run. Both teams will be dealing with that. You have to be very sound. You have to be fundamentally sound and you have to realize that sometimes it's not going to look pretty. You have to make sure that you don't allow them to capitalize on the mistake you've made. You try to minimize your mistakes so you don't have any glaring mistakes.

On if the offense is where he wants it to be at this point …

Every year you set a foundation, you set a base, but I think you're always looking to make progress. You don't want to be the same on opening day compared to the eighth week of the season or the end of the season. You hope that you become a better offense and that people find their roles and their niche within the offense and perform well. We're comfortable with where we are and with the work we've put in. But we know we have to get better as the season progresses.

On Laveranues Coles' performance …

He's always done a very good job of performing. He understands how to perform well and what it takes to perform well. His work ethic on the field is tremendous. He doesn't gripe or complain about reps or things we need to get done. In the game, he's the type of receiver that when you throw the ball to him, you know you have a chance. Even if you air it on the throw or you miss a throw or if there's a defender that might hit him, you know you still have a chance because of his toughness, his great ball skills and his very strong hands. When the ball is in the air, he believes it's his.

On his relationship with Coles …

We came in together as rookies. We're now some of the older guys on the team, which we never believe but we are. We've been able to establish a relationship through the years and it started when we were rookies and second-year players not playing a lot but being around each other. We just have a feel for each other that I can't explain. I can't put a finger on it. Sometimes after we work on a route, we'll leave certain routes alone because we know we'll have a feel for each other and there's no need to overwork it. I consider him one of my best friends. He's always been there for me and I try to be there for him. We talk and try to make things work.

On coming out of the preseason …

A lot of guys are working extremely hard and we've got new guys working within the system. Last year we had two rookies that didn't know exactly what was going to happen. With our offensive line situation, I feel comfortable with where our guys are. The reason I feel comfortable is because they're working extremely hard to work things out and communicate and really make up for some of the lost time they may not have had because they were working with the twos or whatever during training camp.

The way I look at it, things aren't going to be perfect. You can't expect to have a perfect pocket as a quarterback in this league. Defensive linemen are extremely athletic and do a great job of rushing the passer. We face teams like this and it's a collective effort of me making my reads, getting the ball off and being very precise and also with our offensive line communicating and being on the same page.

On Jerricho Cotchery's play …

In the first [New England] game [last season] he made an unbelievable play that you just don't see. In the next two games he was really able to work coverages and get open — that's one of his strengths, being able to work coverages and time windows and find areas to get open. He's an accomplished route runner and I think it's a testament to him, how he's able to find windows even when he might be double-covered or the coverage may be focused on him.

On whether Thomas Jones is ready to play …

We're all in this together and whatever we can do to win, whether it's run the ball, throw the ball, whatever it is, that's what we're focused on. Thomas has worked extremely hard to get back to where he is and he's going to be fine. He's working himself in and he understands what he needs to do as an individual to help us within our system.

Anytime you have a back like that and put him with Leon [Washington], you feel like you have two solid running backs that can always give you positive yardage and create plays. In our running game it is a collective effort with our perimeter blocking, in-line blocking, with the quarterback making sure we're giving the backs vision so they can see the different cuts and holes. It's going to be a collective effort to make sure we allow him the chance to run.

RB THOMAS JONES

On facing the Patriots …

I'm very excited about the opportunity. We have a really good game plan and it's the Patriots game and that is a big rivalry for us. I'm very excited.

On missing practice time …

I have played a lot of football. I'm going into my eighth year so I've put in a lot of games and a lot of situations, so it's nothing new. I've done a lot of conditioning and studying of the playbook so I'm not at a disadvantage.

On chemistry with the offensive line …

I've been here the whole off-season, so I worked with them a lot during OTAs, minicamp and training camp. I've had a lot of work with them.

DB DARRELLE REVIS

On facing the Patriots …

The only thing I can do is compete and work hard with my teammates. It's not going to be any one-on-one matchups. It's a team effort and we will do our best to win.

On his NFL debut …

I'm real excited. It's my first NFL game and I'm just happy to be here with my teammates. Hopefully, we will pull out a win.

On the Patriots wide receivers …

I think of receivers as receivers. It's nothing different than New York having a secondary. We will go out, run our scheme and do what we have to do to win.

On Patriots QB Tom Brady …

He is a great quarterback and you have to compete against him. This is the NFL. This is not a kid's game. It's a man's game. You have to go out there and play.

S KERRY RHODES

On the Patriots wide receivers …

We've seen them all play before. I played against Randy Moss my first year, I've seen Wes Welker with Miami, I've seen Donte [Stallworth] with Philly, so we've seen them all. We know what they're all capable of doing and we know they are great receivers, but we will be ready to play. We have a good game plan.

On the Patriots offense …

With the changes they made, they can do anything. They can go five-wide, four-wide or with three tight ends. They can do whatever they want. We have to be ready for everything they can do, so that's what we are focusing on right now.

On the start of the season …

It's good to get a real game going. We had a few practice games, which we didn't do as well in as we would have wanted to. We get a chance to measure ourselves against a good team, a team that's in our division and it counts. It's going to be tough.

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