Jets Postgame Quotes (Preseason Week One)
Head Coach Robert Saleh
RE: The defensive performance from the first half
I’m really pumped for those guys. With our D-line, we always say that we go as they go. I thought our D-line got
after them early and really for all four quarters. It made it hard for them to operate play to play, but just pumped
that we represented who we are and our style of play and that was a challenge this week from last week was to
RE: Evaluating quarterback Zach Wilson’s performance
I thought he was poised and ran the offense. We played a lot of the starters today on offense and thought he did
a really nice job. We ran the ball really, really well. I think he had three scoring drives if I’m not mistaken, so he
was efficient. During the last drive at the end of the half, he had total control of the offense in a bleed situation to
make sure that we finished the half with the ball. I thought they did a really, really good job in that situation. So,
I’m really pumped for him and he’s taking the right steps.
RE: On why he decided to play so many starters
Coming off of Wednesday, it’s not from pettiness, it’s just that we’ve got to play football together. We got a really
good group but it doesn’t matter if we don’t know how to play football together and that was kind of evident on
Wednesday. There’s not very many opportunities where we get a chance to play football together. I don’t look at
practice against us because we’re so comfortable playing against us as an opportunity to play ball. It’s that feeling
of playing different schemes, having different play calls and leaning on different people. So, coming off that
Wednesday, we just need to play ball together so we can gel together faster.
RE: On playing Wes Schweitzer at right guard
AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker) was down so it was just about giving him the opportunity. He’s earned the right to be out
there and he’s doing a hell of a job.
RE: The importance of Mekhi Becton playing 27 snaps
It was really, really cool. I’m proud of him. He fought through it. He got in a lot of reps and played a heck of a lot
more than what we were planning. He wanted to go more which is promising. I am proud of him and I thought he
took a really, really big step today. I really don’t care what the film looks like. We’ll see it, we’ll correct it but for
him just to build that confidence with the knee, like I said, that’s important. It feels like he took that right step
RE: Evaluating the performance of the running backs Michael Carter and Israel Abanikanda
The backs ran hard. As for Michael, he feels like he’s damn near back. I know he was frustrated from his second
season but one thing you can count on with him is to make the first guy miss and just churn out those four, five
and six-yard runs. I thought he did a really nice job of making the first guy mis today and looking like who he is.
While Ban (Abanikanda) ran hard, obviously we’re always looking for more ball security, but overall I thought he
ran his tail off. So again, when you can fall forward and make something out of nothing and keep yourselves
ahead of the sticks, it starts with the offensive line and the run game — you’re going to give yourself a chance to
possess the ball which I feel like we did in the first half and the second half.
RE: Greg Senat’s performance
He’s another one that’s improving every day. He’s trying to make noise and earn playing time and earn a spot on
this roster. I thought he did a great job today. I know he was hurting and it gets hard in the fourth quarter because
you’re just not ready to play all those snaps. It’s been three weeks for us but I think he was cramping on that last
drive and he still found a way to stay in. I’m really pumped for him and he’s being doing a really nice job.
RE: On developing the depth of the defensive line
One, tip of the cap to Joe D (general manager Joe Douglas) and his staff for just communicating the type of player
we bring into the room. Two, to Aaron Whitecotton (defensive line coach) and the standard that he keeps in that
room with Ulbrich (defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich). Those guys absolutely love the game of football. They play
their tails off and they feed off another and they cheer for one another and they take pride. We talk about on
defense all the time that we go as they go and so I’m just really pumped for them. The group is awesome and
whatever people see, they see but we just got a lot of faith on all the guys that are on our roster.
RE: Evaluating quarterback Tim Boyle
I thought Tim was really good. There was a miscommunication with him and the receiver on the interception, but
again, I thought he did a really nice job orchestrating drives. That last touchdown was really good because he
really hung in the pocket especially in the fourth quarter of a preseason game where it seems like the protection
gets a little leaky. He hung in there and waited for Kuntz to get open and I thought he did a really nice job.
RE: If they came away without injury
(Tight end Jeremy Ruckert) Ruckert was the only one with an AC joint. I’m always optimistic with that.
QB Zach Wilson
RE: On his performance today
I felt like I was comfortable. Some good and then, of course, some things I want to keep working on. It’s hard to
just say like in overall because us as quarterbacks, we kind of think about individual plays and you want to go back
and just kind of say you can improve on each game at a time. Some good and then, of course, some things I can’t
wait to watch and try and fix and take it to the next week.
RE: On his build in confidence
I would say probably trying to learn from my mistakes, trying to just keep improving as a player, trust in what my
coaches are telling me. Coach (Todd) Downing and Coach (Nathaniel) Hackett have done an awesome job with the
individual drills and making things so game-like. Then, of course, Aaron (Rodgers) has obviously helped in his ways
as well, and the whole quarterback room that we have. So, just trusting in the training they’ve been given us and
just trying to go out there and have fun and be efficient.
RE: On throwing to the tight ends and running backs often in the first half
This is one of those defenses that kind of play soft in their shells behind and kind of make you take the easy ones
underneath. I just happened to have some of those on those plays where the halfback is coming out of the
backfield and they we’re kind of left free on some, tight ends kind of sitting up in the middle. Just trying to get the
ball out of my hands quickly. That was kind of my goal today. How can I get the ball out efficiently and help the Oline out in that way? The run after catch, you can see when you get the ball in some of those guys’ hands, they can
really do something with it. That was the goal for me.
RE: On if he feels he has improved in passing short rather than taking a shot down field
Yeah, it’s always having that balance of trying to take what they give you. I can still think of another one on third
down where I missed (Tyler Conklin) Conk on the side. Easy ones where you’re probably going to be punting
anyways. When you have a penalty, you’re backed up in that situation, but how can you maybe get six or seven
more yards to play the field position for the next time the defense steps on the field they are in a better situation?
There’s always things to keep improving on in that aspect.
RE: On the performance of the running backs in today’s game
Huge. Running game helped set up some screens, some keepers, which obviously did really well for us. Hats off to
those guys up front for taking that challenge. I think that was the challenge for them because joint practices
maybe didn’t go as well as we wanted up front. The message was to go out there and give it all you got. The big
guys up front, I think they did an awesome job. We ran the ball efficiently with the first group and the second
group. Then, obviously, all the way through the fourth quarter when (Tim Boyle) Timmy was out there, they did a
good job as well.
RE: On if he thought about his first-career start against the Panthers in this stadium
I did. It’s been a crazy two years and how quickly it flew by. My first start was in this stadium and then the ups and
downs over the last two years, you have to be grateful for the ups and downs and for the road. I’m grateful for
what’s to come, too.
RE: On if he ‘shook out the nerves’ from last week before playing in the game today
Yeah, I think so. I think a little bit more prepared. I think as you have a little bit of a joint practice and then also
you’re able to play last week, you start to get your feet wet a little bit and you are able to come in and feel a little
bit more comfortable. Once you get to play a little bit more, you get to extend some drives and have a couple
more series. I think those help, ease you in.
RE: On the defensive line of the Jets
Those guys are psychos. The way they train them and teach them, they’re psychos up there. They do a really good
job. That’s a position that they are training to be violent and you can definitely see it on the field. I agree with
Coach (Robert) Saleh, the hardest thing for a quarterback to do is play efficiently when you’re getting pressure,
especially pressure when they’re not even bringing extra guys. When you have four guys up front that can get
pressure on the quarterback, it’s going to be a long day. I think those guys are doing an awesome job. Big for our
team to have that.
DE Jermaine Johnson
RE: On the defensive line’s performance today
We like to say, ‘The team goes as we go.’ That’s high expectations, high standards, but everybody in that room is
willing to live up to it and we take that as an honor. We look forward to doing that again, setting the tone. I think
as you saw today, we can do that. We had some guys sitting out today and to see what we saw, get ready.
RE: On how playing with a lead helps the defensive line ‘pin their ears back’
Like you said, pin your ears back. The guys we have in that room, I’m pretty confident that, that will be the result
RE: On where he feels personally after today’s game
Today, I left some stuff out there that I’d like to have back. My mindset is to dominate every man across from me.
I want to be the greatest at my position and I know that comes with a lot of hard work and a lot of consistency. I
want to make my family proud and my daughter proud and the Jets proud. I like the expectations. I like the
standards. My mindset is to just go dominate any guy in front of me and set the tone on the field.
RE: On playing against the Panthers starting offensive line and what he took from those reps
Like I said, we like to set the tone. We like to set the standard for the team and I think we did that. It’s pretty
much just business to us. We like doing that. We like being the leaders of the team in terms of setting the tone
and I think the team likes that and we look forward to doing that.