Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.1

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Would you run through the injury report for us?

Marcus (Maye), obviously, that one popped up late, and Jeff Smith, are both going to be out. Other than that, everything else is status quo. Jamison (Crowder) is looking good.

 

(follow up) When did Marcus get hurt?

You know, Marcus finished the game. He suffered it in the game, but he still finished. Wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Came in Monday, got a little bit of treatment, still no concern. Tuesday, pain kind of was elevating so we went to get some more further tests and the tests didn’t come in until mid-afternoon Wednesday, when everything broke. We weren’t expecting him to be out this week and it was a free fall from Wednesday.

 

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY: Is it a sprained ankle, or is there anything?

No, he’s fine. It’s a sprained ankle. It was a little more than a sprained ankle. It’s not a traditional sprain and thankfully for the bye week, he’ll only miss a couple of games rather than three or four, you know. We’re hoping he’ll be back for New England.

 

Neil Best, Newsday: What can Jamison do to help this offense get going?

Same thing, that we always talk about with these guys. That veteran presence, he’s a reliable route runner, knows all the positions. In those clutch situations, third down, someone who can get separation and be a comforting option for the quarterback. But he’s won one on ones for a long time in his career and we’re just excited to have his reliability and his veteran leadership back out there.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, Marcus’ agent tweeted, I’m sure somebody pointed this out to you, he’ll be healthy by the trade deadline. There was an implication there. How did you take that, and kind of, what’s your response to that?

There’s none. Marcus has been doing a heck of a job for us and he’s been everything we’ve expected. He’s been a pleasure to work with and he’s gotten better every single week and we’re just excited to get him back so he can stack up great days and show why he’s one of the better safeties in this league.

 

Neil Best, Newsday: What’s the plan for dealing with his absence?

Same thing. Ashtyn (Davis) comes back. Obviously, we can’t get him a full game in there because he hasn’t played football in a year, but we do plan on getting him part of the rotation, along with Jarrod Wilson and (Sharrod) Neasman. They’re both back. We’ll have a good little rotation in there and play the hot hand, but they’ve all got to be ready to play.

 

Ian O’Connor, New York Post: Robert, when you look at Derrick Henry, it’s kind of hard to believe that 44 players were taken ahead of him in his draft. Do you think trying to make a statement against a player like that might be something your team might be able to rally around, and if so, how?

I don’t know if statement’s the word. I think any time you play a superstar, or someone of his caliber, it’s an exciting challenge. He’s every bit of deserving of the accolades that he does have and what he’s done in his entire career. But it’s no different than playing Denver’s run game, which is pretty darn good. We’ve got to step up to the challenge, we’ve got to bring our hard hats and get ready to stop the run, set a line of scrimmage, set the wall and then take care of their play-action pass and boot game, which is one of the better ones in football. There’s a lot besides Derrick that this offense presents, but obviously Derrick is a focal point and he’s the one that makes everything work and he’s going to be a load and a challenge.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: What stands out to you about (Ryan) Tannehill?

He’s a quarterback. He plays quarterback and when I say that I mean he plays the game and manages it the way it needs to be played. He will take shots when he needs to, he gets the ball in and out of his hands, he’s very, very smart with the football, he can run. He’s again, a top-10 pick, that within this offense, really found his way and he’s found the niche for himself. He is everything people thought when he was drafted in that first round. Like I said, he’s got big arm, he’s very accurate, can make all the throw and he’s very smart with the football.

 

Zack Braziller, New York Post: Robert, do you think, do you expect Ashtyn (Davis) to be active on Sunday?

Yes.

 

Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Is Elijah Moore close? You haven’t mentioned him.

He’ll be out this week. He’s hopefully getting back next week.

 

Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Robert, how do you balance accountability and development? Meaning that young players developing, but they might make mistakes that hurt the team and you preach accountability as far as doing your job properly. 

They’re one in the same. I call them scars. And when a player makes a mistake, whether they’re a rookie or a veteran, it doesn’t matter, you get scarred. You remember that scar for life. And the good thing, and the bad thing, with young players is they don’t have any scars. I guess that’s a good thing. But the bad thing is there’s a lot of scars that are going to happen, but the more scars they get, and they faster they get them, the faster they learn and the faster you get those scars on them, the quicker we can get to using all their explosive, youthful ability. And so, there is an accountability and they’ve got to learn from them. The last thing you want is for those cuts to happen twice, three times, four. It’s one time, we move on, you learn, can you play faster? That’s the whole key to this whole thing. When you play a young group, you’re trying to get them to a veteran’s mindset while they’re youthful. They’ve got to learn quick, so they go hand in hand. There’s a tremendous amount of accountability while you’re developing.

 

Kim Jones, NFL Network: Where’s Zach on that? Kind of getting into a veteran mindset while he’s youthful. 

Same. I mean I think he’s suffering every scar you can possibly imagine. (laughter) But it’s a good thing, it really is, it’s a good thing because he is one of those guys who gets to the film room, he gets to the meeting room, he’s asking the right questions, he’s got tremendous process. And he’s only going to get better and when it clicks, everyone’s going to see why he was the second overall pick. It’s just a matter of it clicking.

 

(follow up) You guys really liked, what I would call his moxie. Have you seen any dents in that? He’s only human if once in a while he says, “Oh my God, what’s happening here?”

He said it, he’s like, “Shoot, this has never happened to me before.” So, obviously, he showed it. But at the same time, he doesn’t let it affect him. He’s still moving on, he’s still going through his process. His confidence and his arm talent and his ability has not wavered. His teammates confidence in him has not wavered. Everyone gets a day, everyone’s been a rookie before. And like I said, the young man is talented, he’s got a tremendous mindset to him and when it clicks, everyone will see why he was the second pick in the draft.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, with the receiver position now with no Elijah, no Jeff (Smith), is Denzel (Mims) going to be active on Sunday?

Denzel will be active this weekend. He’s going to get some opportunity. Hopefully he takes advantage of it, and we’re expecting him to. He’s stacked up a third consecutive week of great, deliberate practice. He’s really getting comfortable within the offense. We’re excited to see him get his opp.

 

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv: You had stressed that (Mims) had to learn all three positions. I don’t want you to give away your game plan, but can you use him? Are you comfortable enough to use him anywhere?

No, and maybe I did say that. I’m not sure if I did. For him, really, it was the Z and the X. The F, I mean we have enough F’s, right? We got Elijah, you got (Braxton) Berrios, you got Jamison. But he’s comfortable in those spots and we’re comfortable to use him. Again, it’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t even need to talk to the coach anymore. He’s just on the football field, he’s getting himself lined up and you’re seeing the speed and the athleticism that he has. So, just a matter of getting him those opportunities, taking it to Sunday and executing with his teammates and being the guy that we expect him to be.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, we talked about getting the practice field to translate to the game field. Did you switch anything up this week? Or are you just kind of saying wait and see?

It’s not necessarily wait and see. Gus Bradley said it this week, he said, “Repetition is the mother of success.” And so, you rep and you rep and you rep and it goes back to the Bruce Lee quote, he doesn’t fear the man who has 10,000 kicks that they practice one time each. He fears the man that has one kick that’s been practiced 10,000 times. And so these guys need rep after rep after rep until they get it to the point where they’re not thinking about their responsibility, they’re not thinking about their footwork, they’re just thinking about how to beat the man in front of him. And you can only do that by reps and repetition. And if you continually change, and it’s just my philosophy and everyone’s different, but if you’re always trying to change, then when do they ever get comfortable with what they’re doing. And then when they do get comfortable, that’s where you start to nudge them and make them uncomfortable again, and that’s how you get your growth. So, to answer your question, I don’t think it’s time yet, I think these guys need reps.

Ian O’Connor, New York Post: Sort of along those lines, coaches always talk about finding a way to win the game, is that actually a talent that can be coached and acquired? Or is that really more an intangible that a team either has or it doesn’t?

That’s a good question because, for me, it’s you’ve got to learn how not to lose the game first. That’s first. Tony Dungy once said, in a meeting, he came and spoke to us in Jacksonville one year, and he said that, “90% of games in this leagues are lost, not won.” And until, as a team, you learn not to lose a game, can you take the next step in learning how to win a game? And right now with turnovers and the things that we’ve been doing, we’ve been losing football games. And there’s going to get to a point where we play clean ball and that we’re in that fourth quarter and now let’s go win a football game. That’s where those plays need to be made. So, it’s a gradual step and it’s the one that we’re aware of and right now the focus is trying to play good clean football, and not lose a game and give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter to go win it.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: You guys have done a lot of good things defensively, first three games, no interceptions, so Robert, do you look at that and say there haven’t been opportunities, there haven’t been chances? Because none come to mind whether with drops or anything like that. Or do you say we got to start forcing?

There’s a couple thing. Marcus, we would’ve been called for offsides anyway, but Marcus had one on a post against New England. But when a team’s not having to press, turnovers usually don’t happen. That’s just forever. In 2018, we didn’t get very many turnovers, and then in 2019, when we were playing leads and teams have to press, you’re pressed. Last week, with us, we went 55 minutes without a turnover, but now we’re in two-minute, trying to press, trying to get the ball, trying to move the chains and our two turnovers happen. So, it’s all encompassing, and our guys are ball hawking, we’re close. And we took some violent shots at the ball last week, and I know that we’ll start getting some of those.

 

Closing Statement: 

Real quick, I do want to honor Lacey Township High School and Lou Vircillo. He’s the High School Coach of the Week, he is on his 41st season and he just had his 300th win. So, we’re hoping it rubs off a little bit, get some Ws. Lou, hopefully give us one win, and we’ll get going.

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