Jets Post-Game Quotes (Week Nine)
Head Coach Robert Saleh
“Injuries first – Marcus (Maye) has got an Achilles, it doesn’t look good. Mike White has a forearm, couldn’t grip the ball. I think his feeling came back later in the game, obviously, fourth quarter by then it was too late so he will be evaluated. (Tyler) Kroft is dealing with a chest injury.”
How was the performance of the defense tonight?
“Obviously it wasn’t good enough. Especially when a team runs the ball the way they did. We knew that running – they were going to try to get their run game started, especially with the way they’ve been talking all week, trying to get 28 (Jonathan Taylor) going again. They’ve got an unbelievable offensive line and obviously we weren’t up for the test.”
What is wrong with the defense right now?
“Well, first off, they were throwing in the fourth quarter. They still had all their starters in, so they were trying to score. They didn’t take their foot off the gas. But as far as the defense, we’re going to get it looked at. We’ve got the whole weekend to evaluate and try to figure this out from (previous) games – what’s gotten us two out of these three weeks. I felt really good about the way we defended the run last week, but if you can’t defend the run, good luck, obviously.”
What did you try to adjust at halftime?
“Just from a front standpoint, we tried to be a little bit more aggressive in the run game, and then they hit that 80-yarder that went out the gate. So, I thought we settled down a little bit from there and got going, but still obviously it’s not good enough.”
What did the Colts run game tell you about the defense?
“It tells me they were creating space. When it comes to the run game it’s man vs. man vs. man and obviously, we’ll get a chance to look at it and dissect it even better, but with the way we play there shouldn’t be that much space. So, it’s either they were moving people or we just weren’t, I don’t want to say disciplined, but we weren’t as gap sound as we needed to be. So, we’ll get a good look at it and figure it out over the weekend.”
Are you concerned about the defense’s run game?
“Well, it’s two out of three weeks and obviously we have to be better. It starts up front, it starts with the run game. And then from there, we have to find ways to win on third down and get off. We’ll get it figured out.”
What did you see from Carson Wentz tonight?
“Obviously with zone defense – Carson (Wentz) was doing a good job early in the game getting rid of the football. He was finding the soft spots in the zone. On third down in man coverage, just running the rub routes and getting the software spots. They did a good job getting to open people. And then from there as the game progressed, you started seeing a lot more deep crossers, runaway routes. Then from there, that’s where you have to get home. He bought some time with his legs, scrambled, got some off schedule stuff, but again, obviously they were just a lot faster and a lot better than we were today on defense.”
When did Mike White get hurt?
“It was the touchdown play.”
Was there any possibility of White returning?
“No. By then, it was towards the middle or late fourth quarter – I think it was, at least that’s what I was told. It would have been too late by that point in the game.”
Does that give you hope that White’s injury is not long term?
“Yeah. We feel good about him getting healthy again and being ready for next week.”
Where is Zach Wilson at in his recovery?
“He’s progressing exactly like we thought. So there’s hope that we can – like I said, it’s the same thing, at the very least practice next week. We’ll see how he progresses over the weekend and see if it’s an option to get him on the field.”
If Wilson is ready, will he start?
“We’ll see day-to-day.”
What did you think of Josh Johnson’s performance and what went into the decision to activate him?
“Short week. So Joe (Flacco) obviously just got here Friday, so he hadn’t even been here a week yet. Josh (Johnson) – I thought he did an awesome job coming in running the offense exactly the way it’s supposed to be run. Hitting guys, hitting the open receiver and just moving the chains. You could say they said they pulled off it, but I promise you they didn’t pull off the gas. They had their starters in all the way to the very last whistle. They were playing their normal coverages. They were playing their normal stuff. I thought our offense was doing a really nice job. They were blitzing, they were playing man, they were going after it. I promise you a d-coordinator doesn’t want to give up all those yards. So, I thought our offense was fantastic. We’ve just got to be able to match their intensity from the defensive side of ball.”
Do the quarterback performances by Josh Johnson and Mike White set an example for when Zach Wilson returns?
“Yeah, I mean that’s part of the beauty of being able to sit back and watch and learn. See the offense being run through the lens of another quarterback. Now he has two quarterbacks who have been very efficient in the way they run this offense. So for him, just to understand – we talk about boring. It’s not necessarily boring to take what the defense is giving you. I thought again, Mike (White) stepped in last week and did a great job. I thought he had a heck of a second drive to get us a touchdown and get us to seven to seven. Josh (Johnson) came in, we were moving the ball very well. Obviously, we had the turnover that stumped that third drive just to try to keep up with these guys and then they lapped us. They scored at the end of the half and then got the ball to start the second half and blew the doors open.”
What did you think of Elijah Moore’s performance?
“Elijah (Moore) has had back-to-back good games. The offense in general, all of them, they’re playing at a high level. The o-line has been doing a really nice job protecting. Obviously, that defensive line is not easy to block and I thought our offensive line did a fantastic job, especially in protection. The receivers are running routes at a high level. They’re efficient, they’re running off the ball, they’re getting in and out of their breaks and the quarterbacks are doing a great job getting them the football.”
What does missing Marcus Maye do to the defense?
“It’s huge. Marcus is – you look at that secondary and he’s the vet. You’ve got a lot of second-year rookie players, second-year, first-year players in that back end and Marcus (Maye) was kind of that settling force back there. Obviously, a heck of a football player, but again, I’m more concerned for Marcus than I am with what we will do defensively to try to fill that void because he’s a fantastic young man and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and I am sick for him.”
Do you fear Marcus Maye is done for the season?
“It’s not looking good.”
As a backup quarterback, you’re kind of waiting for that opportunity. When you see Mike White come off and he has the doctors looking at him, what does your mindset go to right away?
“It’s two-fold, honestly, because you feel for your teammate, your brother, a guy you got close with. You see him work for his opportunity, take advantage of it, and then to have something happen like that, you immediately feel for that being a backup quarterback because you don’t get these opportunities. And the second part is – I have to get ready to go lead the offense. And so, for me personally, just breathe, honestly. Even in Year 13, you still get the butterflies. You still get the things you have to do to settle in, and just try to find ways to do that as fast as possible to get the team going. That’s what I was trying to focus on.”
Has this been a whirlwind couple of weeks for you from being on the practice squad to elevated to the active roster? You got a little bit of playing time, but now to actually play a substantial amount of this game.
“Yeah, pretty much my entire career has been a whirlwind. It’s just something that I kind of expect now. I’ve kind of got used to it. It’s kind of a situation of things that I’ve been put into, so you just kind of prepare yourself for it. I just try to do the best I can do to prepare. That’s kind of how I approach everything. I just try to go out and show the team that they can rely on me when they need me. Unfortunately, we didn’t do enough. And so, for myself, I’m just going to watch the film and just be real critical of myself and see what I could have done better to help this offense.”
Obviously, you haven’t watched the film yet, but how did you feel you performed in there?
“We fought well as an offense. If we don’t win, it’s never good enough. This league is about wins and losses, and I understand that. So, I’m just really disappointed in that, but I’m proud of this team, the guys fighting. We had a chance to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter all the way down to inside minus-five. So, it just shows the potential that we have, but potential means nothing in this league until you start actually capitalizing on it. We just have to figure it out as a collective unit.”
With the way Mike White has performed and then you’re able to come in and the numbers you put up – what does that say about the Jets’ quarterback room?
“I think we have a strong one. Honestly, I know it’s unproven in the way the outside looking in would want it to be proven, but I know our coaches see what we do every day. We work every day. And I think for us, it’s just go out there and show that we’re capable. It’s big for us because the situations – we don’t get a lot of reps. I was throwing to guys today that I haven’t thrown to before. I was taking snaps from Connor (McGovern), and I haven’t taken too many snaps from Connor. Just all the little things that you don’t get, just to go out there and handle that with poise, credit to Mike (White) to do it and then myself. I just think it’s a credit to the work we put in. Our coaches prepare us, and we just try to go out there and give ourselves a chance.”
How did the injury occur?
“Yeah, so, we don’t know exactly when it occurred. I know I felt it on the touchdown throw to Elijah (Moore), but just kind of felt it kind of almost lock up on me and going to the sideline, my two middle fingers kind of went numb. I couldn’t aggressively grip the ball enough to be out there and help my team. Throughout the course of the game, we kept trying different things; compression sleeve, heat, all that good stuff and we tried to throw at half time. It progressively got better throughout the game, it feels better now but just during the course of the game, I just couldn’t get enough effectiveness with my grip and power to be able to help the team.”
It definitely didn’t happen on the touchdown to Elijah Moore, did it happen before then?
“I really couldn’t tell you. I don’t know. I just know I felt it on that throw after throwing it, I kind of felt something in my forearm, obviously, it was a touchdown, so adrenaline, excitement, going and celebrating with my team and running off the sideline. When I got to the sideline is when I felt the numbness in my two fingers and that’s when I tried to grip a ball and couldn’t. We kind of just progressed from there.”
How do you think Josh Johnson did?
“Josh (Johnson) did awesome. Josh went in there in a tough spot, it was a tough game. He went in there and fought his tail off and all our guys did. It was really encouraging to watch. There’s a lot of fight in these guys. It’s tough. We’re all trying to win games and when the games kind of go that way, you have two decisions. You can either can it and go to next week or keep fighting, and our guys kept fighting. I thought that was really cool to watch.”
You waited a long time for an opportunity like this after your performance on Sunday, how disappointing is it to not be able to finish the game?
“Yeah, it was frustrating. Especially when the first two drives went so well and the second drive especially, we marched right down the field and scored. I kind of – I was feeling good. I was feeling confident in our guys. You could tell our guys were feeling confident as well in the way they were playing. So, it was very frustrating. Now, yeah, you get your opportunities, and you want to take advantage of them. In the limited snaps I did get to play tonight, I thought I played really well, and I was happy with how the offense did when I was in there, but it’s not the end of the road by any means. It’s not some season ending injury, I will be fine and I will be able to play if my number gets called on again.”
Did the doctors indicated that you’ll be fine like for next week?
“We haven’t gotten a chance to dive that deep into it, but I know I feel good now. It’s progressively gotten better throughout the night, which is the frustrating thing because wish it would have gotten better earlier so I could have kept playing. That’s encouraging at least.”
Coach Robert Saleh said in the fourth quarter you could grip it to a point where you could go in. Is that how you felt?
“Yeah, we didn’t have that conversation just because of where the game was and just kind of how it progressed in the fourth quarter. I promise you one thing, if I was able to be out there, I would have been out there.”
There was a play on that drive that you did get hit in the arm. Could it have started there?
“It definitely could be possible. Just the course of the game and adrenaline going and things of that nature, you don’t really – like, I don’t remember those things. Especially once you throw, your mind goes to the next play. So, I have to look at the film and discuss with the doctors. That could be possible.”
What’s led to you looking comfortable in the pass game and having that kind of efficiency in your last two games?
“I think tonight, obviously, how well the Cincinnati game went, any quarterback, you’re going to have a lot of confidence after that. I think that was just kind of poured into today. It’s just preparation. Just confidence in yourself and in your ability and in your preparation, knowing that you know what the other side of the ball is doing and what your answers are and where your guys are supposed to be and things of that nature. Once you can start building on that confidence and keep going, it starts to trickle to other guys and just the offense as a whole has confidence, and it gets fun out there.”
What’d you see pre-snap and post-snap on your touchdown pass?
“So, pre-snap I saw they were in two high, Cover 2, I looked inside for my – we ran stick knots, and I saw we had a two on one tight. The safety to Elijah (Moore) and (Jamison) Crowder’s side was tight, so I knew if we could get Xavier Rhodes to overlap on Crowder, which is what we did, we would have Elijah behind him, and it ended up playing out as such.”
What was it like getting your first NFL start and then to see the accolades come in?
“It was crazy. Especially on a short week, because you’re so focused on preparing for Indy and then these things are happening. You enjoy them because it’s cool. You kind of got to brush them off and keep going. I know the Pro Football Hall of Fame thing was really cool. That will be something I can take my kids to go see when they don’t believe that I played in the NFL one day. The Nickelodeon thing is definitely going in their rooms. I’ll tell them whoever behaves the best that week gets the Nickelodeon trophy. It was cool. You kind of had to brush it off and focus on the task at hand, which was Indianapolis.”
You sound like you’re hopeful there will be some life here after you heal or somewhere else. Is that a fair assessment?
“Yeah, I definitely am not looking that far. My goal is to be able to be ready for Buffalo next week but yeah, I’m happy with what we’ve been able to do the past two games. I know tonight the goal was to win, so I don’t care if we have 800 yards on offense, the goal is to win. So, we’re going to get in there, look at the film and try to keep building upon the good things today and working on the bad things and get ready for Buffalo.”
How did it feel to catch your first NFL touchdown pass?
“It was a blessing. I can’t do nothing but thank God.”
You guys lost Zach Wilson and now you obviously lose Mike White. I mean, when you’re in the huddle on offense and kind of keep getting dealt those blows, what goes through your mind?
“It’s next man up. You know, football brings obstacles. Just like I said before, you’ve just got to be ready. That’s pretty much it and we have to trust in anyone who is out there, you know, anyone that is in the building, anyone that comes in, anyone who works with us, grinds with us, puts in the work, sweat, tears – I believe that they’re ready.”
What does it say about the offense when you guys are able to – Mike White had the 400 yards, three touchdowns last week and Josh Johnson comes in today, another 300 yards and three touchdowns – that you’re still able to have success offensively despite taking those body blows?
“Yeah, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s the way the offense is supposed to be ran. It’s supposed to be put up a lot of numbers, a lot of yards, a lot of accolades for a lot of different players.”
How did you feel like Josh Johnson performed in this adverse situation?
“I feel like he did all that he could. You know, it’s a blessing that he stepped up and didn’t flinch, so can’t do nothing but thank him for that.”
Where did that come from tonight, especially in the run defense?
“They just executed better than we did. They got the blocks that they needed. They got the gaps that they needed. The running backs ran hard, and they kept running hard, so unfortunately those type of things happen. Obviously, we pride ourselves in stopping the run game. We knew going into this game, if we didn’t stop the run game, it was going to be a night like we had, so tough pill to swallow, especially for the defense, you know, the pride and all that, but we got to find a way to bounce back. Look at the film because we know the things that hurt us are going to start seeing more and more of with our future opponents.”
When you as a defender see the 40 points and the over 500 yards of offense, and specifically on the ground game, the number of yards that came before you guys even contacted the runner, what goes through your mind?
“Obviously you just got to move to the next play. That’s just the mentality that you have to have when those type of games start happening like that. That’s when you really start playing for your teammates, you know, for your last name and for your team. You know, we did our best not to quit. I give a lot of credit to our offense doing their best to keep us in the game, defense wasn’t getting any stops in the beginning, so those guys kept fighting, kept fighting so we always appreciate that. We got a few stops in the second half, but obviously we fell short, but it’s just hard — one, it’s hard to give up 260 rushing yards and win the game. That’s probably going to be impossible to do unless you got turnovers, which we didn’t get and also when you get down two-plus touchdowns, it’s hard always to come back. Every loss, that’s been the case being down two-plus touchdowns and the games that we win and won, you know, were close games. So, we just have to find a way. You know, great teams and great players weren’t built in a day, weren’t built in one season, so it’s going to take time. We are going to have to build our chemistry, but what I said last week, and what I’ve said in the past, I still believe it, I still believe that we are capable of being a great team, but we have to put the things on tape, man. We have to execute every day.”
What do you think was the biggest reason for them to run as wild as they ran?
“I wish I could tell you, but they got it done at the end of the day and we didn’t.”