Jets Postgame Quotes (Week Nine)

Head Coach Robert Saleh

Video: Here

On his message to the team following the win and heading into the Bye Week…

I kind of forgot what I told the team. It was we’ll talk about the Bye Week coming up tomorrow. I know a lot of people are going to be surprised, right? I don’t think there is a person surprised in the locker room. It’s a hard-fought game. That’s a damn good football team, a well-coached football team over there. Buffalo has championship aspirations, but I don’t think there is a guy in that locker room who didn’t think we could win.

 

On if the Jets defense is the best in the NFL…

Our defense? I don’t know. Ask those guys.

 

On what he thought of the defense’s performance…

Coming into the locker room, we had a chance to lap them. We had an awesome drive going, obviously, the camera. The defense got the interception afterwards and we scored. I thought the defense was lights-out. I thought our offense, just the time-consuming drives to keep those guys off the field, especially that last drive that led to points. Running the ball and imposing our will on them (in the) fourth quarter. Couldn’t be more proud of the fight, especially offensively and defensively. Just the absolute grind and strain to finish 60 minutes.

 

On Zach Wilson’s performance…

It’s the same thing I’ve been saying all week – he’s fine. Playing quarterback in this League comes with all of the blame. It comes with all the glory. I thought he was poised today. I thought he prepared well. I thought he did a lot of really good things. I felt like he kept his composure throughout the week and throughout the game. Nothing is too big for him. He’s going to be a good football player. He is still a pup in this League and has a long way to go. At the same time, I thought he did a really nice job today.

 

On the Jets final scoring drive…

From a defensive standpoint, it sucks. I can tell you that much. I’ve always said, I’d rather have someone throw for 400, 500 yards than run for 200 or 300 yards. When you line up and are throwing your best punch and you’re still being lent on for five yards a pop, that’s miserable. Credit to our offense. Credit to Mike (LaFleur) to stick with it. We always challenge our o-line to make it so demonstrative that the coordinator has to call a run play. I thought the push, our backs were seeing it really well. We were breaking tackles. Our receivers were blocking. When we needed a third-down conversion, (Denzel) Mims played big boy ball on a slant and Zach delivered a strike that allowed us to take another couple of minutes off the clock. Just a really well executed drive from everyone on offense.

 

On the difference between the Jets defense last year and this year…

We have some good players. I’ll always talk about those guys first. Knock on wood, our d-line is healthy. Playing a relentless style of football. Our secondary – DJ (Reed) and Ahmad (Gardner), Ahmad got beat on that first play on that double move, but he still stayed poised and kept himself in the game. He wasn’t even phased by it. Our safeties – Jordan (Whitehead) had a chance at another one today, our second pick of the day. I feel like the communication has been so good and the precision with which we’re playing in the backend has been so much better than a year ago. When you mix in that rush and coverage and obviously Brick (Jeff Ulbrich), I’m going to go overboard for Brick and his staff. The amount of work they’ve been putting in and the amount of conversations to try to put these guys in the best positions possible. I feel like he’s been doing an unbelievable job, too. Just collectively, just everybody, Joe Douglas bringing in great players. Players executing at a high level. Coaches doing their best coaching.

 

On what was going through his mind while the camera was down…

Only happens to the Jets (laughs).

 

On why his team has been able to come from behind so often this year…

We don’t flinch. I think we’re too young to flinch. Just a belief and preparation. We believe we can win if we just go 60 minutes. I’ve said it before, our three preseason wins were in the fourth quarter. There is just a belief that if you just give us time or if we have a play to play, we’re going to treat that play like a championship moment. We’re going to do our best. I feel like they have that mindset.

 

On if he feels the team made a statement today…

Maybe to the outside world. Last week, we felt like we gave one away. We practiced well this week. Not that practice ever translates, but I feel like it does. Last week wasn’t demoralizing to anyone. It was like, ‘damn, we are pretty good’ when you’re feeling like you should win football games. There wasn’t a coach or a person in that locker room that didn’t think we were going to be able to get this one done.

 

On how satisfying this win is for him personally…

Well, it’s satisfying for everyone. As a coach, winning in this League is more of a relief than joy. So, yeah, phew. We won. With the Bye Week, I’ll enjoy this one. I think I speak for everyone that this Bye Week is well-needed. I’m just happy for the people in the locker room more than me.

 

On if the last eight minutes was the kind of boring he wants to see…

Hell yeah. I love running the ball.

 

On D.J. Reed’s performance…

I know Sauce gets all the fanfare, fourth overall, catchy nickname and he’s doing a great job. It’s deserved. He had another interception today, but D.J. is playing Pro Bowl football. If you really sit down and watch the tape and dissect what he has been doing, he’s playing at an All-Pro level and is every bit as deserving of the praise that Ahmad gets. He’s kind of one of our quiet leaders, our quiet champs if you will in terms of what he does and what he brings both on and off the field and at practice and in meeting rooms to gather all of those young guys to be able to teach them the game as he sees it. He hasn’t been getting enough love, in my opinion, but I know we love him in there.

 

On the play made by Bryce Huff towards the end of the game…

He wins his one-on-ones. Being able to rush the passer is like gold. It’s a premium commodity, if you will. It is something he does at an extremely high level. I know it took us a couple of weeks to get him out there. You don’t normally dress 10 d-linemen in a football game. It’s just a matter of me sitting with Joe (Douglas) and saying “screw it, we’re dressing 10,” because we had to get him on the football field. He’s done his job in terms of making sure that we keep it at 10.

 

On if this win means more given the recent state of the franchise…

I haven’t been a part of the past. For guys like E (Eric Gelfand), (Robert) Mastroddi, and our ownership group and all of the people who have been through it and stuck through it all, I think it’s awesome for them. At the same time, it’s one game. We got the Bye Week. We have a trip to New England waiting for us.

 

On if the gap has closed with Buffalo…

I think we’re a lot better. Like I said, it doesn’t mean anything. We’ve got eight games left. Hopefully, these eight games make for an exciting second half.

 

On Sheldon Rankins injury…

He’s dealing with an elbow. We’ll re-evaluate him tomorrow.

 

On Garrett Wilson’s performance…

That was a gritty. I think somewhere around the middle of the fourth quarter, somebody made the comment that he is going to be sore tomorrow. It’s a deserved sore.

Zach Wilson

Video: Here

On winning after facing criticism the last week…

Of course it feels good, but because of what we did. I don’t really care what anybody says. Of course, I’ve been dealing with that my whole life. But what a huge team win. I think the guys came out, balled out, you saw what our defense did getting the takeaways. I get the strip sack right there, it sucks, we had points, they come back out and get another turnover for us. Huge plays by those guys. And then showing up with the run game there on that last drive. Just pounding those guys all the way down the field was huge as well. So, excited for all three phases. Really cool.

 

On the third-down completion to Denzel Mims and last two plays before the field goal…

We had a couple of RPO things mainly in the beginning, a lot of those other ones were some quick passes. That one with Mims though, thinking I was getting man coverage there, which we ended up getting. They were starting to play with Garret (Wilson) a little bit, trying to send the other safety over there. When it comes down to crunch time, who’s your big-body guy that’s going to get separation and come down with the play? Great separation by him and then pulling it in, huge play by him to show up in crunch time.

 

On success in the fourth quarter…

They’re just getting comfortable and seeing what’s going on and just going with the flow of the game.

 

On how much he focused on getting the ball out quickly…

Yeah, you guys could see this pass rush was coming and guys were doing a great job of anchoring and holding up, but there are some good players on that defense. Big focus, obviously, to get the ball out of my hands.

 

On what went through his mind when the run game was imposing its will…

Yeah, you play with what’s going. There were a couple of them where maybe it’s an option to throw it there, but when I see how well the run game is going, I’m just going to keep feeding them until something changes. I think we were able to go all the way down the field until we had that one with Mims there at the end, so relying on those guys. You could see the momentum, you could see the guys up front, they wanted it, they wanted to keep running the ball, you could see the big guys up front were getting after it.

 

On his connection with Garrett Wilson…

Yeah, we had some funky plays that end up working out in games and I think that’s cool to have that chemistry and it’s going to keep growing because there are some looks that we can still improve on and I’m going to keep trying to figure it out with him and everybody else, of course, but he did a great job showing up today, had some great catches.

 

On the mood in the locker room after winning a game they were heavy underdogs in…

It shows we obviously don’t care what anybody else says. We expected to win this game as a team. Of course, we understand this is a good team. We understand what they’re all about. But we understand what we’re about as well. The mindset is that we should be able to go in there and compete and we knew it was going to be close. Of course, we had to be able to finish in crunch time and I think we did that.

 

On his touchdown pass to James Robinson…

Yeah, huge play. First you’ve got to give credit to (Mike) LeFleur right there. What a great call. We hit them with the screen. We had a little fake off to the left, whatever it was, but then getting it to James, no one out there, o-line did a great job releasing, and then he finished it.

 

On what he worked on this week after last week’s loss…

Right, for me, quiet the noise. One play at a time, going through my progressions, getting the ball out of my hands, hanging in the pocket, all the things a quarterback’s got to do. Just play the position the right way.

 

On what he was thinking during the Sky Cam delay…

Yeah, I’ve never seen that before.

 

On if the delay impacted the team…

No, I didn’t think so at all. I can’t remember what even happened after that. But it was a weird halftime delay kind of thing. Move on, go to the next play.

 

On what happened when the defensive lineman landed on him…

No, it was actually just the ankle that I tweaked all the way back in the Steelers game. It’s fine, but it’s one of those things that kind of just gets shocked in the moment and I’m lying there and the trainer’s like, ‘Take a second,’ and I’m like, ‘I know I’m good, but I just need a second to let it calm down.’ So it’s not a big deal. I’m healthy. I’m good. They were able to tape it up for me and I’m good.

 

On if the last eight minutes of the game represents the team’s ideal blueprint…

Yeah, I think what we did the whole game kind of led up to that point. I think it just always comes down to what we’ve shown this year, just not giving up, everyone leaning on each other, relying on each other, playing good ball, and just doing right longer.

 

On if they’ve improved since playing Buffalo at the end of last year…

Yeah, you also look at what we were kind of going through at that time, too. A lot of guys on this team now that weren’t on the team then. We’re developing. We’re growing. We’re getting better. And then we had a lot of young guys playing in that game as well. We were able to take another step forward. The weather conditions sucked, also, so it was a grinder. But to come in here and to see what we can do on offense, I thought that was really cool.

 

On how much the team grew up today…

Right, I mean, I think it’s just the execution of not messing it up and you see the entire game it was playing the field position game, putting ourselves in good positions, and relying on our defense to get some stops. I think that we’re learning from all this stuff.

 

On if this was a statement win after early close wins and facing backup quarterbacks…

Yeah, we don’t look at it that way. No one in our locker room is sitting there saying, ‘We won that game against a backup quarterback.’ A win’s a win and they’re hard to come by in this league and we know the confidence that we have and I think the greatest part is nobody in that locker room cares what anybody says outside of here. If anybody mattered outside of here, they’d be coaches or they’d be players. Nobody cares. Everyone is relying on each other. We’re locked in and everyone’s just working on getting better and improving.

Michael Carter

Video: Here

On how big of a win this is against the Bills…

Yeah, it was a good win, definitely, because they’re a good team. At this point, probably Super Bowl favorites. So, it was really fun to have fun with my friends.

 

On establishing a run on the last scoring drive…

All credit to God, all credit to the guys up front. We just hit the holes when they were there and we hit them with bad intentions. I feel like we had a good game today.

 

On how impactful running the ball efficiently is…

Yeah, I think more than anything it’s just the first downs. You stay on the field, you’re going to ware your defense down when you stay on the field. We were able to do that today. Quarterback made great decisions, made the throws when he had to make them. The guys up front, they were blocking their butt off. Guys on the outside were blocking their butt off and making the catches when they had to. Really the special team today.

John Franklin-Myers

On how the defense played today…

As a defense, we played well. We played really well in the second half. The first half, feeling everything out and kind of understanding what we’re getting and seeing what they wanted to do, how they wanted to attack us. In the second half, I think we kind of settled down and played our type of football. We played violent, got off blocks and got after the quarterback.

 

On if this win is a statement for the Jets…

I think we just take it week-by-week. We do a good job with the game plan; coaches do a good job. At the end of the day, we got to go out there and we have to play. Guys are making plays, guys are flying around and if we’re not number one, that’s the goal, it’s to be number one. So, we’re going to keep playing, we’re going to keep dominating other teams and hopefully it plays out.

 

On how this season has been different…

I think it kind of started in training camp. I think that’s the real time we see how people are playing, what they did in the offseason when you put pads on. You kind of see, first of all, you see Q (Quinnen Williams) and you kind of understand, ‘Defense goes if he goes.’ We all understand that, you see how he’s playing at an all-pro level and he makes the team better. With him, the sky is the limit and we all just want to play off of him and just help him be great. I think that’s going to lead us to success, also.

Sauce Gardner

Video: Here

On what happened on the interception…

We were in a cover-two concept, to my side. The receiver got outside of me and they had a running back there sat in front of me. It was a running back or receiver, I don’t know. I just, I felt like I had a feel for Josh Allen and the throws he likes to make. So, I was just taking away the throws to the running back, I tried to time it up to make the play.

 

On what changed after he allowed the early deep completion to Diggs…

That was just me, I watch a lot of film and on the film, with that motion, it’s usually like a little quick glance or an out. I feel like the route that he ran, that wasn’t supposed to be his route, but he took off running, that’s how their offense is. After that play, I just told everybody, ‘Chill out, we’re going to be good’, and right after that, interception happened.

 

On what was going through his mind on the last play…

I was just looking at Gabe (Davis), I was looking at his eyes. I didn’t see any signs of the ball being thrown short, so, I couldn’t believe it. I just kept seeing his eyes do that. I’m like, ‘Oh man, he wants that ball for sure.’ I just had to stay calm and don’t panic. He was trying to push off a little bit, I just stayed poised and I made the play.

Bryce Huff

On his sack and forced fumble on Josh Allen in the fourth quarter…

When I first hit him, I was thinking, “Where’s the ball?” and then I saw it was down the field. They had a head start on us, so I knew they were going to get the ball back. I was honestly calmer than I expected to be, I don’t know why, but my mindset after they recovered the ball was just line back up and get ready for the next play.

 

On where that play ranks in his career highlights…

It’s probably tied with number one behind the safety vs. Ole Miss my senior year. That probably tops it number one. I don’t really know which (is number) one. Best one in the NFL for sure. Definitely.

 

On what kind of statement the Jets made today…

We’re not the same old Jets. We’ve got a group of guys here that love to work. We show up to work every day with the same mindset, just get better and go 1-0 on Sunday.

Jermaine Johnson

On the level of play the defense is performing at…

We really forget the business side of the NFL. It feels like we’re on a high school team, like that’s the comradery we got and we’re just close. Like we hang out outside the building, we have fun when we’re in the building, it’s not just business to us. So, there’s a real-life connection here and we display it. It’s getting better every Sunday.

 

On playing against one of the best offensive teams in the league….

As long as we go out there and play to our potential, we know things could be pretty scary for the other side. So, that’s all we’re focused on.

Denzel Mims

Video: Here

On what it means that the ball came to him on the third-down conversion in the fourth quarter…

It means a lot. It lets me know that they trust me and if it comes down to a crucial moment, they can trust me, so it makes me happy.

On what this game means to him after waiting for his opportunity…

It means a lot. Last year kind of bothered me, but this year I told myself I’m going to keep my head down and just keep working. Just let my agent handle whatever else he needs to handle, or that side of it. All I can do is just come every day and work, and just hope I get my opportunity. And it came today. I’m grateful for it.

On Garrett Wilson…

That guy is special. I tell him every day. He’s a special human being. Every day he brings that energy. He comes out and competes. He doesn’t complain. Keeps his head down and keeps working. He’s a great dude.

On whether the offense rode positive momentum in the second half…

Yeah, we just came in after halftime and we’re like, we just got to give it our all. Just come out, we’ve got 30 more minutes, give it our all. We’re going to go on a bye week, so just give it 30 more minutes and see what happens.

D.J. Reed

On if the win provides a boost in confidence…

Yeah, it definitely, I wouldn’t say a confidence booster, I’m not surprised about how we played, but it definitely is great for the organization, great for us just winning this game and playing against a Super Bowl caliber team. I mean, yeah, I guess you could say it was a confidence booster.

 

On what Sauce’s (Ahmad Gardner) interception did for the momentum…

Everything. I told Sauce, ‘Let’s change the game.’ He got that interception, I told him, ‘That’s your touchdown.’ We ended up scoring and I was like, ‘That’s your touchdown!’ When he did that, that turned me up. That’s probably one of the big parts of why I made the play because once I saw him make a play, I wanted to make a play.

 

On what makes this defense special…

Just say we play for each other. We really love each other. We hang out outside of football, everybody’s close-knit, just close, it’s family. I think that’s all we’ve got to go play for each other that hard.

James Robinson

On the Jets relying on the running game…

It feels good. It shows that the run was working and we just kept going back to it. There’s no point in stopping it.

 

On whether he felt like they were demoralizing Buffalo’s defense with the run…

I think it was more of, it was working, so we just kept doing it. Their defense is really good out there. We’ve got a lot of respect for those guys, but our o-line did a really good job today.

 

On him and Michael Carter as a tandem…

I felt like it’s a good thing for me and Mike. I know Breece (Hall) is going to come back and be a great player. Me and Mike, we’re going to hold it down for him. Me and him together, can’t stop that I don’t think.

 

On what Zach Wilson’s play means today after he faced criticism…

That he’s a leader. I mean, he doesn’t let it get to him. He came out and played a great game.

Garrett Wilson

Video: Here

On Buffalo being expected to win…

It’s just us. We say that all the time. I say that all the time. It’s just us, man. Anyone can say what they want but they’re not going to take the field with us on Saturday, they ain’t going to be there throughout the week, practicing, grinding with us. That’s the attitude we take. We got to go out there and do it. No one’s harder on us after a loss than we are, like last week. We felt like we played bad. We felt like we left some plays out there. Like I said, no one’s harder on us than we are, so it’s a great win for us to bounce back, especially after last week.

 

On the running game…

We all bought in at the end of the game and we didn’t want to see their 17 on the field again. So, for us to be able to run the ball like that, take five, six minutes off the clock and put them in a tough position at the end of the game. The running game is huge, and it goes back to what I was saying, taking what the defense give us. We knew what we had to do at that point in the game and we did it well.

 

On where he has seen the most improvement in his game…

Seeing coverages, knowing when to give this DB that release versus doing too much, and getting into my routes, my spots as fast as possible. The pass rush at this level is different, I saw that a few times earlier this season and now I’m trying to do things to eliminate that as much as possible on my end. And a part of that is getting into my routes faster.

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