Ahmad “Sauce Gardner, 4.28 (2022 NFL Draft – Round One, Pick Four)
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Brian Costello, New York Post: Sauce, can you just tell us what your reaction is to getting drafted by the New York Jets?
I’m shocked. This is where I wanted to be. I want to be a New York Jet. It’s a blessing to be able to be part of something special.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Why did you want to be a Jet, Sauce?
It’s everything, man. Since I first went and visited the facility, meeting the coaching staff and just seeing that the fans love me, those are the main reasons.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Sauce, did you have a feeling this was going to happen all along as this process was moving forward?
Yeah, I kind of had a feeling building strong relationships with the coaches. I had a feeling they were leaning toward me a little bit, but nothing’s promised.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: What do you feel like you can bring here? What are you bringing to New York?
Just bringing a great attitude. I know I’m going to be a great teammate. I’m going to be a sponge, somebody that’s able to take information from everyone, not feel like I’m too good for anyone. Just being a hard worker.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Sauce, what’s your feeling about playing in New York and playing in the spotlight of New York City?
It’s a great feeling. I always wanted to visit New York, so it’s a blessing that I’m going to be able to visit there today. I can’t wait.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: What do you know of the Jets history, Sauce? How familiar are you with Darrelle Revis a number of years back who was probably the best corner they’ve ever had here? How familiar are you with that?
That’s the main thing I know. When I think about the Jets I think about Darrelle Revis. He used to be one of my favorite cornerbacks in the league. I still watch him to this day. That’s what I think about.
(follow up) Do you still watch tape of him?
Most definitely. He was a competitor. I was just watching his tape. It was him versus Calvin Johnson. He was one of the only guys who was able to shut Calvin Johnson down. That took a lot.
Brian Costello, New York Post: The Jets haven’t won in a while. They haven’t been in the playoffs in 11 years, haven’t had a winning season since 2015. How do you think you can be a part of flipping that around here?
I’m going to do everything so we can flip that around. Make sure I’m being a great teammate, being a great leader and just listening to the coaches and I feel like my mentality is going to help turn that around.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What have these last few months been like, Sauce, for you? Have you been paying attention to the mock drafts and those things or have you tried to ignore it? What’s it been like being in this pre-draft process?
I try to ignore them. You have a lot of stuff going on, doing 30 visits, visiting different teams, having Zooms. That’s the last thing you need to be worried about is mock drafts because that’s just going to add even more pressure on you because you don’t know where you’re going. I’ve just got to stay grounded, stay level-headed, with all that’s going on.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: How would you describe your personality, Sauce, and how do you feel it’ll play in New York? Obviously, you said you’d not been here before, but you’re obviously aware of New York, so…
I have a great personality. I’m one of the guys that it’s easy to get along with me. Like I said, I don’t feel like I’m too good for anyone. I make sure I inspire others, lead by example. So, I feel like I’ll fit in great and my personality will fit in well with New York.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What stood out to you, Sauce, when you met with the Jets, about the coaching staff, about anyone you met here or any of your interactions with the team?
I would say just the kind of guys the coaches are. They were very down to earth. They were able to relate to me. That was the main thing, just being able to spend time with the coaches and watch film and just have a good time and feel like I’ve been knowing them for years.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Sauce, was big news in the AFC East last month when the Dolphins traded for Tyreek Hill, the Bills just gave Stefon Diggs a big contract, there’s good receivers all over this division now. Are you up for the challenge of covering guys like that?
Most definitely. I’m just going to keep working hard so that way I’ll be able to handle those tough tasks.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: I guess there’s a statistic you played 1,000-something snaps without giving up a touchdown. What does that mean to you and can you keep that streak going in the NFL?
I feel like I can. I make sure I put all the extra work in and study film a lot leading up to games, do the little things right, stay consistent with my technique, and I feel like that was the result of it. I feel like I’ll be able to keep it up.