Head Coach Robert Saleh, 1.6
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Alright, good morning. Duane Brown, he’ll be out — dealing with his shoulder. George Fant is going to be out — dealing with his knee. (Nate) Herbig is going to be out — dealing with his calf. (Brandin) Echols will be out. (Lamarcus) Joyner will be out, and then Mike White will also be out. Sorry, still going down this list. LDT (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) will be questionable when you guys see the report. I think he will be able to dress. We’ll see, it’s going to be game time to see what type of availability he has. Jordan Whitehead, C.J. Uzomah, and Ashtyn Davis will all be questionable, but we’re expecting them to play.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Who do you have left on the offensive line? Going through the names in my head, and I can’t come up with a roster here?
We got a bunch of fighters is what we got. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be an opportunity for (Cedric) Ogbuehi. We’ve got (Mike) Remmers, (Dan) Feeney has been looking for an opportunity. So, there’s guys who are looking for that opportunity, and I’m sure they’re very excited about it.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: With the quarterbacks, beyond performance or whatever, how challenging is it to go through a season and play the musical chair game as much as you have?
It is challenging. Some of it, obviously because of injury. It’s the head of the snake, and if you’re not getting consistent play or consistent movement from the head of the snake, it’s not going to be good. We’ve got to be better as coaches. There’s some circumstances for the quarterback that just made it impossible for them to be consistent, and then there were some things that were self-inflicted. It’s not in a vacuum. It’s not one thing. There’s a lot of different things that contributed to it over the course of the year, and it’s something we’re going to get fixed in the offseason. It has to.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What happened with Mike (White) on Wednesday?
So, Wednesday was a walkthrough — full practice, walkthrough, he can do all that — and he just wasn’t feeling right. His ribs, I’ll just point it out, the end of half Hail Mary sack that he took really bothered him, even going into the second half which clearly affected his ability to throw the ball as you all have seen from watching tape. He played really well in the first half and was just a little off in the second half. He’s just in a lot of pain.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: What was the thinking with less than a minute left in the half on your own one-yard line to try to drive the ball, and then he got crushed at the end of the drive by Darrell Taylor?
17-6, felt like we had the ball coming out of the locker room, wanted to be aggressive. We were moving the ball really well. We were trying to find a way to get into field goal range, and we got into a position where — because we had two timeouts left, so we felt like with two timeouts, I believe there was about 45 seconds, that’s plenty of time to get to (Greg) Zuerlein’s range. We wanted to be aggressive. We were making decent progress, ended up in a position to get to a Hail Mary and since we were there, might as well just try it, try to be aggressive, try to get some points, try to spark the offense, knew we were getting the ball to start the second half, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. He got hit. You’re not expecting to get hit in a Hail Mary situation, but he did.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Zach (Wilson) will be the backup?
Zach (Wilson) is the backup, yes.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Why (Joe) Flacco over Zach?
Again, it’s more to give Joe (Flacco) this opportunity, but also with Zach, call it a coach’s decision, I want to stay firm with him and make sure that he gets to attack this offseason and I just want to get him to the offseason, so we can start and attack the plan that we’ve been building. Putting him out there right now I just don’t, it’s not going to do him any good, it’s not going to do anyone any good, for him, for Zach, it’s all about ’23.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Why Flacco over (Chris) Streveler?
Flacco gives us the best chance to win in that case.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: (Follow up) Even the way he’s played recently?
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: (Follow up) Yeah.
I don’t know if you can hold Joe accountable for that Buffalo game, quarterback coming in cold, limited practice reps and all that, that’s not, I don’t look at that.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: (Follow up) But even before that?
I don’t think it was terrible. I get it, we were one and two, he moved the ball, he did well, we didn’t score points, we could’ve been better on defense for him, was awesome versus Cleveland so yeah, little bit of up and down, but you know Joe’s still a veteran quarterback and gives us the best chance to win.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Are the (Duane) Brown, (George) Fant decisions, I mean those two guys have battling stuff all season, is this just “hey, it’s not worth putting these guys out here?”
No, the wheels fell off. Duane, I’m surprised he made it this far, he could’ve called it quits after training camp, so just thankful for him and I mean you talk about a dude who loves football and just gave this team everything when he didn’t have to. It’s why he was our selfless warrior, forever grateful for him, the example he’s set, they don’t make guys like him anymore, or it’s very rare that you find a guy like him in this League, period and with George, he’s been battling on one leg all year and he just needs to get healthy and get himself to the offseason and then with (Nate Herbig) Herbie he’s just, again same thing, he was dealing with a calf and then the other calf blew on him and he’s just, they’re hurt.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: With Duane, are you hoping to have him back next year? I mean I don’t know if he’s made any decision yet but what are you thinking?
I don’t know, we’ve got to talk to him. I’m not sure where he’s at with his mindset, I know he’s got to get some surgeries, we’ll see, got to talk to him.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: When you say with Flacco giving you the best chance to win you open the press conference talking about all those offensive linemen being out, he’s kind of a statue in the pocket right now and Streveler can run, so why does Flacco give you the best chance to win?
Quick processer, quick decision maker, quarterbacks sometimes can alleviate pressure by his ability to process and get rid of the football and that’s what Joe does.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Was it a mistake Robert to play Mike last week?
No, again doctor clearance, all that stuff. We tried it, he felt really good, and he looked really good in the first half and then it got re-aggravated and so you could play the hypothetical or was it a mistake? He still felt good, he played good football in the first half, but we knew the risk would be that if he re-aggravated it, it wasn’t going to be good and it got re-aggravated.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With Zach, we talked to Mike LaFleur yesterday and he said he thought in hindsight, Zach would’ve benefited from sitting as a rookie and watching a veteran. What are your thoughts on that?
You guys got him with a hypothetical. You guys got him. You guys got him. You know what, with Zach we could. We can go play 18 and create a million different scenarios that could’ve been done, but if we’re really telling ourselves the truth and we reflect back on that, Zach’s rookie year, he was the best quarterback during rookie minicamp, he was our best quarterback during OTA’s. He was our best quarterback during training camp, had a fantastic preseason, did really well in the preseason games, and he earned the right to be the starter, earned it and then from there he finished the season strong, I know he had the injury and he finished the season strong, and there was a lot of promise coming into this year, but we could come up with a million different scenarios, but the fact is he earned being our starting quarterback and thought he did a good job, but just didn’t finish out the way we wanted, or hasn’t gone the way we wanted this year.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: On that first play, the 60-yard run of Seattle, looking back at the tape it looked like all three linebackers went to the left. Why did they do that?
Those are their gaps. I’m not going to get from a schematic standpoint, but that wasn’t the linebackers.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: (follow up) They all were supposed to go to the left?
Yeah, that was the initial play moves to the left, and then the ball wound back, so there’s backside pursuit that needs to close.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: How has Quinnen Williams played against the run?
Quinnen’s been great. Quinnen’s dominated everything.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: (follow up) Even against the run?
Yeah, he’s doing fine. Quinnen’s impossible to block, but again, that’s why football is a beautiful sport, it’s not one person. There’s 11 players on the football field, from safeties to linebackers to d-line. There’s an old, not an old saying, but they’re called defensive linemen because they’re the line of the defense. They’re called linebackers because they back the line, and they’re called defensive backs because they got the defense’s back and so it’s all three levels, so when you look at a 60-yard run, it’s not one player, it’s not linebackers, it’s all three levels have to take care of that and keep it inside 12 yards. That’s our ultimate goal is that if it does leak, you keep it inside 12, but Quinnen has been dominant in every aspect of his game.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, was there some talk with Joe as you were talking through this week that this could be his last run? We don’t what his plans are, but I mean he’s getting the start, could be his last?
No, I think Joe wants to play and I think Joe still can play. You guys know how I feel about Joe, whether it’s in backup compacity or a starter. Joe wants to play, and I don’t want to speak for him, it’ll be something for him, but I’d imagine he still wants to play.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, what’s your message to the team now that you’re going to have basically three backup offensive linemen, backups to backups in some cases, you’re changing quarterbacks again, playoffs are out of reach, this is kind of a tough spot to prep for a game?
That’s where I challenge the thought on that one, with all due respect, Cos (Brian Costello). These are professional football players, they’re going to fight their (expletive) off, excuse my language. I know defensively they’re going to come out hot and fight their butts off, I know offensively these guys are getting an opportunity, again, I find it hard pressed to believe that if i walk up to Feeney and say, “hey, dude, sorry you’re a backup,” he’s like, “screw that, I’m a starter in this League and I want to show that I can be a starter,” so I promise you he’s going to fight, so is everyone else who’s going to get the opportunity and I’ve stood up here before and said that the difference between player A and player Z is reps and an opportunity, and it may not have shown in the first game, but if you keep giving player Z those opportunities and reps, eventually they close the gap and move up the alphabet ladder, but I know they’ll get up because they’re professional football players and that’s what they do, and our defensive side has got a lot of pride and offensively these guys have pride and I’d be shocked if they didn’t.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Would you like Joe back next year mentoring Zach?
For sure. Joe, Mike White, we love the room, there’s a lot of, obviously a lot of discussions that’ll have to be had with Joe (Douglas) and all of that stuff, but I thought Joe has done a great job just being a professional through this whole process, going from starter to backup, when we made the move from Zach, not getting that opportunity. He’s just been a professional through all the chaos of the season and I really respect him for what he stands for. I call Joe, Joe is like a Ford pickup truck, you may not appreciate him in September, October, November because there’s nothing flashy in his game, but when December and January hit and the weather is kind of (expletive), he’s still freaking rolling, so Joe and I have a genuine appreciation for him.