Jets Post Game Quotes (Week Eight)

Head Coach Robert Saleh

Video: Here

On injuries…

George Fant is dealing with an ankle.

On the performance of the team, the offense in particular…

The offense was outstanding. We racked up over 500 yards of offense. We had a lot of opportunity to move the ball on a really, really good defense. We created explosive plays. Mike White was poised and took what the defense gave him, but also took shots when he had to. Michael Carter was hard to tackle. All the way across the board – the protection, the run blocking, the route running – it was awesome.

On how the team bounced back from last week’s loss…

During training camp, we talked about this football team being young. There are going to be days where we look like we should be a playoff team contending for a Super Bowl Championship. There are going to be days where we don’t look like we belong on a football field. That’s youth. That’s this young team that is growing. It’s a really cool group of guys that we have and they’re going to get better. They’re going to get better every single week. This is going to be a group that can do something. At the same time, is this the roller coaster ride we’ve been talking about since training camp? Absolutely. Is this something to build off? Heck yeah. We beat a really good football team today.

On whether he could have envisioned a performance like this from White…

Yeah, why not? Mike proved it. Sometimes from the outside looking in, the decisions that scouts and coaches make can seem crazy. We get to see these guys every day. We get to see them operate. We’ve been blessed to be around some of the great players in this league and Mike is fantastic. He’s poised. He was throwing it all throughout camp and throughout OTA’s that he deserves to be one of those guys. Obviously, he showed it today.

On his thoughts when he heard the crowd start chanting Mike White’s name…

One thing I have learned about Jets fans is that they are extremely passionate. If you’re winning, you’re a winner and if you’re losing, you’re a loser. Mike put out a winning performance and the crowd let him know it. I think it’s cool.

On the offensive game plan called by Mike LaFleur…

I know a lot of the early plays went underneath, but those were designed shots. Give credit to Cincinnati – they took away the shots early. Mike LaFleur wanted to be aggressive with the entire offense today. Mike White was really good at just taking what the defense gave. The defense gave space underneath and he gave it to his playmakers, and they went and made plays. The reality is that it’ll never change in football – if the play works, you’re a genius. If it doesn’t, you’re an idiot. I feel like Mike (LaFleur) has been doing a really nice job and Mike White was awesome today.

On LaFleur calling the game form the press box…

Mike White did not need a guy talking to him down on the bench. He (LaFleur) just felt like it would be a good time to go up and call it from upstairs with Mike and Cab (Rob Calabrese) on the bench.

On whether LaFleur will stay up there…

He’s staying up there.

On the decision to take the ball if they won the coin toss…

I won’t go into the whole decision, but I was deferring all the way up until warmups. It just felt like it would be good to get him the ball early and get the jitterbugs out of his stomach. It worked out.

On if he expects White to start Thursday…

Yeah, he’s starting Thursday.

On if there was any lobbying to take the ball first or if it was his decision…

No. Just a random decision.

On the defensive game plan…

Brich (Jeff Ulbrich) was awesome again. The whole team defensively (was awesome). I thought the plan was awesome. We wanted to keep it in front. We let one behind us in the second half on a good play design that we obviously have to play better. I thought the guys did an unbelievable job executing, especially in the first half. We turned the ball over three times and got some short fields. On defense, we say ‘Give us a blade of grass and we’ll protect it,’ and it showed up. Even in the second half, we finally got the interception bug off our backs. All it takes is one, I don’t care how you get it. We got the turnover at the perfect time. They battled their butts off and didn’t flinch, and we were able to finish it in four-minute.

On whether White can be a long-term solution at quarterback with the Jets…

We’ll go day-to-day, but anything is possible, right? Anything is possible. It goes back to the theory of, the difference between Player A and Player Z is an opportunity and reps. That’s what this league is. That’s professional sports. They come out of nowhere when someone gets an opportunity. What Mike does with his opportunity…he has the world in front of him. He has to take advantage.

On something that jumped out to him about White’s performance…

The first drive. He came out comfortable and poised. He drove the ball right down the field and scored that touchdown. I was like, ‘Alright, let’s get this dude the ball and see what happens.’ I know we had some mishaps in the first half where we could have been even more explosive as it pertains to points, but to be down three at halftime despite three turnovers, to show the grit and grind that this group was fighting through. To be down 11 and come back, it’s a gritty group. It was awesome to see.

On the statement the goal line stand in the first quarter made…

It felt like we started fast on both sides of the ball. I know that ended up being a takeaway on a tipped ball, but credit to the offense to give us that inch to protect, to give us that blade of grass to protect. Defenses – especially ours – always take pride in terms of knocking people back at the goal line. It’s not our first goal line stand. It won’t be our last goal line stand. It’s always a great momentum builder, but at the same time, it’s something that we expect.

On whether a performance like this would make him not want to rush Zach Wilson back…

Again, we’ll go day-to-day on that one.

On if he was worried White was injured in the third quarter…

I was worried for Mike not necessarily from a game standpoint – I just wanted to make sure he was OK. That’s the first thing. Whether he can play or not isn’t my concern. It’s more for the man so he can be healthy. Full faith in Josh to be able to step in and go play football. Mike (LeFlaur) didn’t hesitate with the way he was going to call the game with Josh in there. Obviously, Mike was healthy and able to come back.

On Shaq Lawson’s interception…

We’ve been talking about it for, what are we in, feels like week 30? To give our offense a chance on a short field, give them the ball inside the 20, let’s see them go score. He made a huge play. Then, for the offense to go finish it and go score, it was huge and the deciding factor.

On the ‘Philly Special’ two-point conversion call…

He’s been working that one. Call it a creative play, not a trick play. It was a cool design they’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. We had the two-point conversion earlier, and to get (Jamison) Crowder back in…I think he missed the first two-point conversion, otherwise he would have called it.

On the performance of Michael Carter and Elijah Moore…

They were awesome. They’re always going to have some things to grow off of, but again, just get the ball in their hands and let them make plays. That’s the dynamic playmaking ability that both of them have. Give it to them in space and see what happens. Michael Carter has been hard to tackle all season. He made some big, big plays to the point where…he was never down. And then, obviously, Elijah was fantastic with the ball in his hands making plays. In the receiving game, the reverse is all of it.

On the key to holding Joe Mixon to 33 yards rushing…

The entire defense took it personal. You always want to take it personal, Last week was not indicative of who we are as a defense. I think it was important for those guys to just get back to Sunday and go play ball against a playoff-caliber football team. We’re capable of doing this stuff. Tennessee was not a fluke. This was not a fluke. We have a good football team. This youth has to find its consistence. This is a big, big step in the right direction. We have a short week against a really good Indianapolis team. We’ll see if we can stack it up and do it again.

 

Mike White

Video: Here

On if he thought the game would end with his name being chanted…

No, I did not. Going out and watching film on them to begin the week and see what they did on defense, I knew there’d be completions out there and I knew it was just a matter of making the right decisions and guys running great routes and tight turns and catching the ball and getting those extra yards and that’s what we did out there. I think that’s what led to the success of the offense.

On if he planned on throwing underneath a lot…

Yeah, I think that’s according to what the defense plays. They play a lot of zone and they don’t like to let guys get behind them. I know we got behind them one time with Elijah (Moore) and I missed the throw and there was a holding penalty, but I think we did a great job of taking what they gave us and executing the play calls and executing the plan that (Mike) LeFleur drew up for us and I think with this offense, you’ve got to execute within the offense and stay in those third and manageables and first down, second down, third down, and that’s what the result can be.

On Mike LeFleur’s gameplan…

Mike came to me on Saturday and called me and said he was going to let it rip to start the game because he thought that with a backup getting his first start and they would be tight and not let us run the ball, so I think that was awesome. We were able to soften them up and we got our run game going and screen game and when they were getting real soft we’d check it down and Michael Carter and Ty Johnson were making great runs after the catch. I think the decision to cut it loose early kind of caught them off guard and we were able to execute the offense from then on.

On if completing short passes helped get him into a rhythm…

Right, I compare it all the time to a three-point shooter in basketball. If they’re struggling from three points, they try to get to the line and see the ball go in, so I compare it a lot to that. As a quarterback, you’re seeing the ball completed and you’re moving the chains. Whether it’s five yards, six yards, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a 20-yard throw to start the game. It helps get the offense in a rhythm, it helps the guys kind of calm down and things of that nature. So, I think that’s what I personally like to do is just get it out and get the guys going, get (Jamison) Crowder a feel for the game, get (Denzel) Mims, get Keelan (Cole), get Michael Carter, Ty, get them in the game and get them a feel for it so the first time they catch it isn’t in the second quarter on a third down.

On what happened on the play he got hurt…

Yeah, someone hit me from the back and my head ran into someone else and my neck was just a little sore but that was pretty much it. We put some Tiger Balm on it and I was ready to roll.

On if catching a two-point conversion was fun…

Yeah, it was. We’d been practicing that for weeks now and we finally got into a situation where we could call it. We get to the line and I see it’s the perfect look and mentally I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s see what you’ve got here.’ Crowder threw an awesome ball to me and I think I saw someone coming to me so I couldn’t stop and the things that went through my mind were just don’t drop it, don’t drop it, you’re in front of everybody, don’t drop it. Then Greg Van Roten came sliding in and Ryan Griffin, it was awesome.

On what today’s experience was like for him…

It was fun. It was a lot of fun. Anytime you get to play football it’s fun. That’s what we all grew up doing and that’s what we all came to this level to do, so I embrace it, but I think I personally did a good job of not making it more than it is. What helped a lot too, was the coaches’ faith in me and the team’s faith in me. There wasn’t a flinch and guys were supportive, guys were rallying around me and it made it that much easier.

On how the reality of his dream of starting a game felt…

It’s awesome. Obviously, with that result it’s awesome. But the one thing I learned is there’s a lot of ups and downs and as a quarterback you’ve got to be able to weather the storm and conquer adversity. Early on, we were moving the ball and had a couple of interceptions off tipped passes and the defense was awesome. C.J. Mosley was the first one to greet me off the field and say, “We’re going to get you that ball back,” and they did on one drive. I think as an offense, we didn’t get down on ourselves. We did awesome. Coach LeFleur kept calling, we kept pushing the ball downfield and we were able to come out the other side of those two turnovers.

On if he felt he could be a quality NFL starter…

One hundred percent, no doubt. I have an immense amount of faith in myself and I think I can go out there and execute the offense and move the offense and today was just an affirmation for it. But in my mind I knew I was confident enough to execute an offense.

On the benefit of watching and learning from the sideline before getting playing time…

Yeah, I think there are benefits to that. But also I did play my first two preseasons and I did make a fair amount of mistakes and I learned from that as well. It wasn’t just sitting back, it was actually going out and doing it and learning from those mistakes, which is kind of what I tell Zach (Wilson). When Zach’s out there I’m like, ‘Any quarterback is going to learn from your mistakes.’ No quarterback is perfect by any means, so I think what helped me is learning from those mistakes and then seeing other guys, how they handled it and then go about it that way.

On coming back from the overturned touchdown to Keelan Cole to then throw one to Braxton Berrios…

Yeah, obviously we got really excited because that was an unbelievable catch by Keelan, I’ve still got to see on film how they reversed that. But it’s my mindset, I never try to be too high, never be too low, and be able for something like that, be able to come back and execute the offense and lock back in to how much time we have, how many timeouts, what the situation is, if we can complete a ball inbounds or not, to get points before the half. So, that was awesome. Credit to my coaches because they could tell it was up in the air and they immediately got me and we started talking about what plays we were thinking and they kind of got me locked back into the game.

On what he was thinking when the media said the team didn’t have a real backup quarterback…

I know you guys have a job to do, but as a player you can’t focus on that. The guys in that facility are what you need to focus on. You need to focus on doing your job for your teammates and executing your job so the other 10 grown men out there who’ve got to feed their family can do that. So, I think I did a great job of just focusing on what I can control and that’s my play and my execution and my job.

On if he had to get back into a rhythm after leaving for an injury…

I don’t think so. I was watching the game from the blue tent trying to see it through the mesh and trying to stay in and see and immediately got to the iPad and watched what they were running to try to stay in the flow of the game. So, again, credit to my coaches for being there right when I was out to get me back into it and talk to me and keep me in the flow of the game.

On if he got checked for a concussion…

Yeah, they did the whole concussion deal, checked my neck, all that good stuff. I’m a little sore on the left side of my neck, probably stayed down on the ground a little too long. I kind of got upset about that because then I realized, ‘Great, now I’ve got to do the whole follow-the-finger,’ all that stuff, when I felt fine.

On what he was thinking when he heard chants for his name…

At first, I had to kind of listen again. I was like, ‘Are they chanting my name?’ And then I tried to stay locked into the game because there were four minutes left and we were determining whether we were going to be in two-minute offense or four-minute offense, if we were going to need to go score, or if we had the lead. So, my only hope was they weren’t going to do it while we were in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage so we could hear clearly.

On if he’d ever heard his name chanted before…

No, no I have not, so that was pretty cool.

On if a short week forces him to stay focused…

Most definitely. I think there are a lot of happy guys in that locker room but multiple guys hinted to it, like it’s a quick turnaround. Take the rest of the day to celebrate, as we should, it was a great team victory, but a short week. So, we’ve got to be able to move on tomorrow and get ready for the Colts.

On who he’s looking forward to talking to after the game most…

I told Jared (Winley), I said, “I kind of want to get this over because I want to go see my wife and parents and all my friends who came to the game.” Just enjoy it and enjoy it with them because they were with me every step of the journey to get here through the ups and downs and for them to be able to be here and witness it in person and for me to go celebrate with them is really special.

On if his mindset is to not give the starting job back…

No, my mindset right now is execute the job that is given me, whether I’m playing on Thursday, if Zach is coming back, then that’s out of my control. My job is to attack every day, whatever role I’m in, and own that role.

On how many of his friends came to the game…

I’m not too sure because I think a lot of them didn’t tell me to try to keep the stress off my plate, and I appreciate them for that. But I know I’ve got my wife here, my mom and dad, my sister, a couple of really good friends flew in from Florida, so I should have a decent crowd out there waiting for me.

On the Jets defense…

They were awesome. They made such huge plays. They didn’t flinch. They didn’t get upset when we had those two turnovers and they were back up both times. Shaq Lawson came up with an unbelievable play, I still don’t know how he was able to diagnose that, tip it, and then catch it. That’s unbelievable. That’s just what our defense is made of. When you get leaders like C.J. Mosley and Jarrad Davis out there, that helps too, immensely.

 

 

Michael Carter

Video: Here

On what he saw from Mike White…

What did you see from Mike White? He was going crazy. I see it every day from him, so I’m not surprised by what he just did. You all are, but I’m not at all. I think he played a really good game. The turnovers were really on us, when you look at both of them, (one) bounced off a helmet. It was just unfortunate, but he played a great game today and he deserves it because he works so hard every day. I have a lot of love for Mike White.

On how they were able to keep the Bengals’ defense off balanced the entire game…

A lot of credit to Coach (Mike) LaFleur. That guy loves the game, he loves the game. I think he did a really good job today putting us in a position to win and then it just came down to us executing. For the most part we did that, but we have stuff to clean up. It was just good to get a win, a lot of credit to Coach.

On if the sideline realized what the crowd was chanting…

The were chanting Mike White’s name. He deserved that. You saw what he did today. What he throw the ball 45 times today, for 400 yards? He deserves that. He earned it because he works hard every day.

On what allowed him to have a career-high in yards from scrimmage…

Protection from the offensive line. Receivers, everybody running the right routes, everybody just executing. When the ball came to me, I just tried to make the play. You can’t force anything in this league or you tense up and you won’t be yourself. For me, it was just thinking, ‘Any ball can come to me.’ And when they actually do, just make the play. Just play like I know how.

 

Ty Johnson

Video: Here

On Mike White’s performance…

It’s Mike f’ing White. He said no cursing, but yeah, it’s Mike f’ing White. Let’s put it to bed, it’s Mike f’ing White. He’s a savage, he’s a dog, he’s an animal. I said it on Monday, and I’ll say it again. I’m going to keep saying it, he’s a dog, he’s an animal. Let’s keep it like that.

On if he could ever imagine Mike White throwing for 405 passing yards and three touchdowns…

Of course, why not? Why wouldn’t I? I expect the best of him and he brought his best, so why wouldn’t I? I knew he was going to have a game. When he got 400, I was like, ‘Man, I knew it.’ Obviously excited for him. He was just on his P’s and Q’s. He was on his protection issues and he was slinging that thing. I told him before the game, I was like, ‘You’re a gunslinger, let’s ride.’ And he was like, ‘I got you.’

On what stood out in Michael Carter’s performance…

Let’s not play around, he had like an 80-piece receiving and rushing. He had an 80-piece now, that is nothing to play with. I think that goes to his study habits, his practice habits, his habits after practice and everything. So, I think it’s all been showing up essentially. He’s a rookie, but he’s taken it as a Vet. I told him today, I was like, ‘Man, he was playing a lot. And I was like, ‘Hey man, I appreciate you. You took every single rep you had an you were on your P’s and Q’s, you were on your alignments, your assignments and your execution.’ So, I was like, ‘Get your body right, let’s do it again on Thursday.’ He’s a rookie, but he’s proven that he’s built for this and he’s a Vet in a rookie body.

 

Shaq Lawson

Video: Here

On mindset during his interception…

The play happened so slow, I’m not going to lie to y’all. I know I tipped it, but it just looked like I blacked out. I don’t think I was thinking. Like, I got to catch this. I can’t let Joe Burrow interfere with me on that.

On handling teams throwing screens and being able to detect it… 

I knew it was a screen. I knew he had been throwing the ball low. First, second down, he was throwing the ball low. So, I was like, ‘If I don’t tip this ball, it’s going to be out the gate.’ So, I just had to make a little decision and it worked out in my favor. I was at the right place, at the right time.

On having the first Jets interception of the season…

I didn’t even think I was going to get it. I’ve been fortunate these last couple years. Like, I scored last year, and a pick this year. That ain’t never happened like that. You always run to the ball, and being around the ball good things happen. that’s what we preach every day.

 

CJ Mosley

Video: Here

On coming back from last game…

Today, our team was real resilient. There was a lot of times in that game where it could’ve went a different way. We’ve seen in the past games how we let some games slip away from big plays. But today, we showed what winning football looks like.

On the crowd energy and change of momentum in the game…

Kudos to our guys, to our coaches, to Mike White coming in, stepping up, being ready, being prepared. Like I said, it was a great team win. So, if we put this formula on tape, we have to make sure we just take this momentum and really just ride this wave and know that everybody that’s in our locker-room, that’s all we need. And we need to make sure that we prepare and believe in ourselves and play to that expectation.

On how big it was to see the offense score in the first quarter and seeing the first Jets interception of the season…

Not necessarily scoring, but controlling the field, controlling the clock. That was really huge. Especially, starting off the drive, just to make that statement at first and that’s the reason why we wanted to get the ball first. The offense, they did what they had to do. And great play by Law (Shaq Lawson). That’s a Hall of Fame defensive end type of play. I think about Terrell Suggs doing that all the time, tipping the ball and getting it to himself. What a great time to have that happen. Honestly, just the resiliency we showed through this whole game. We put the formula on tape. We have to believe in ourselves, we have to believe the process. We have to believe in this team and the coaches and every time we get a play call, we have to believe in what we’re doing. I think guys are starting to see that. The leaders that don’t necessarily have a “C” on their chest are starting to see that, speak up and talk more because I can’t be the one speaking all the time, my voice is going to get old. So, this week I didn’t really say a lot, made sure I was ready to step on this field and play and guys were stepping up and talking, saying things that needed to be said in order for us to win and stay focused. So, I think we’re in the right place.

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