Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.20
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I’ll start real quick, I’ll just get these injuries out of the way. So, you guys are going to see the injury report, (Tyler) Kroft, he’s not back yet. Marcus (Maye) will be back. (Adrian) Colbert, Smitty (Jeff Smith) and Shep (Nathan Shepherd), they’ll all be full participation. The one that is going to pop up that didn’t pop up until after I talked to you guys was C.J. Mosley, he will not practice today. He’s day-to-day, still hopeful for the game.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: With what?
Brian Costello, New York Post: That came up after London?
So, it happened in the London game. One of the last few plays, which is why it went unnoticed. And then on Monday, obviously they were off, and Tuesday was the diagnosis and all that.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Will Jarrad (Davis) return to practice?
Jarrad is still day-to-day, still trying to work him in. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be this week.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: Coach, how do you balance working in young players and them taking their lumps on the job while they learn and try to win?
It’s the same. We believe that this group can win. It’s an exciting group that we’ve got. They’re not being thrust out there because there’s nobody else, these are really good football players and they’re going to figure it out. You’re always trying to win football games and you understand with this youth that you can cost yourself sometimes. There’s a lot of fear, I’m probably rambling, but there’s always fear with playing young guys, that young guys probably lose you more games than you win. But at the same time, when they figure it out and they learn how not to lose football games, you’ll see the swing and you’ll actually be able to feel it, even from the outside looking in.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Robert, on Kroft, I’ve seen it listed as chest, ribs, what exactly is he dealing with?
It’s a back issue.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: He’s all kind of injured then.
He’s fighting his way back. I give him credit, it’s not easy what he’s going through.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, is C.J.’s status for the game in jeopardy or are you confident that he’ll be able to play Sunday?
He feels good about it. Obviously, when it comes to those lower-extremity injuries, you just kind of feel the player out. Each one is different, however it shows up on the MRI. I remember Sherm (Richard Sherman) had a grade three and he missed one game. Those are supposed to be six-to-eight week injuries, so every player is different the way they heal. He feels confident, he said he’s dealt with these before. We’re 10 days out now, so we’ll see how the week goes.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: What grade is this one?
I’ll leave that for him.
Brian Costello, New York Post: If you do not have him, you’d be a little thin there, right? Because Hamsah (Nasirildeen) is on IR, Jarrad isn’t ready to return.
Again, it’s another young group, but Noah Dawkins is on our practice squad that we’ll be able to bring up and all that stuff. So we’re fine at that linebacker spot with a lot of guys who have been getting a lot of playing time. (Blake) Cashman is back, obviously.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: One more injury thing. With Kyle Phillips, he’s eligible to come off PUP. How close is he to being activated for practice?
Same, we’re hoping next week to get a bunch of guys practicing again. Obviously, don’t take my word for it, but that’s the hope of it all. He looks good, he’s been working hard. He’s a guy that we’re excited to get into the fold.
DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: What improvements have you seen from Mac Jones from Week Two and what you saw from that week versus now?
I think he’s been pretty consistent. They do a really nice job, too, with regards to how they play the game. He gets rid of the ball, I think it’s like 2.6 (seconds) on average, which is pretty fast. He’s starting to push the ball down the field a little bit more, but at the same time, it’s our job to try to make things uncomfortable for him. And I think our d-line and the speed at which we’re operating on the back end, I think we can do a really good job with the way he’s playing. Excited for this second matchup for him, but again, I still think it comes down to how we play.
Bob Glauber, Newsday: Robert, the Patriots have been the measuring stick for this team for a long time. How familiar were you with this rivalry before you got here, and do you feel a little something different the week that you played the Patriots?
Forgive me on this one. Call it arrogance if you want, because you have rivalries all over the league, but if you make it bigger than it needs to be then that’s exactly what it will become. It’s another opportunity to own your moment. It’s another championship opportunity, no different than the championship opportunity to take practice to its fullest. Yes, New England has done a lot of winning over the last 20 years and, obviously, they’ve got a Hall of Fame coach, they’ve had Hall of Fame players, and a lot of respect for the organization, but they are another team that is in the way of us trying to be our absolute best. That’s the main focus.
Bob Glauber, Newsday: Do you need to, because you have a young team, because of this thing hanging over this franchise, do you need to remind them, just not worry about anything else?
Ignore the noise. It’s just noise. That doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Andy Vasquez, The Record: Robert, in terms of showing progress, I mean you played them a few weeks ago and now you’re getting the chance to do it again, so how much of an opportunity do you view this as a chance to kind of show how much you improved and where you guys are at?
It still goes back, this is really coach speak in the sense that you go out there and you play the best you absolutely can. You lay it all on the line, you execute to the best of your ability and you strain more than anyone is willing to strain, and you trust the results will be in your favor. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I thought we did a lot of great things in the first game, but the score doesn’t reflect it at all because you turn the ball over and the turnovers are going to kill you. But I don’t think the final score is really indicative of what actually happened when you study play for play. Does that mean the tables will turn? No, it doesn’t. But at the same, I got a lot of faith in the group that we have and the fact that I know what we’re made of and I know what we’re capable of.
DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Jakobi Myers is their number one receiver, especially on third downs. He plays a lot in the slot, so obviously he’s going to be matched up with Michael Carter II. How confident are you in that matchup and what challenges does Jakobi Myers present?
Jakobi is a heck of a football player. Obviously, we think Michael is, too. He’s been sticky all season. Obviously, he had his trouble a little bit with Kyle Pitts, but that’s tough when the guy is 6’8”. (laughter) But Michael is a competitor, he’s been fantastic all year and I expect him to give Jakobi everything he can handle.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: If Mosley can’t go, who wears the green dot on defense?
Probably end up being (Jamien) Sherwood. Obviously, he’s been practicing the MIKE all throughout OTAs and Training Camp. He’s back, so he’s comfortable in that role.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: You often hear how a pass catching tight end can be a quarterback’s best friend, especially a young quarterback. You’ve gotten very little production out of the tight ends so far, why is that?
Opportunity. Kroft obviously, call him the pass catcher of the group if you want. They’ve had opportunities, (Ryan) Griffin was wide open for a walk-in touchdown, and we just got to get the ball on them. Again, it comes back to coverage, play call, trying to get other people involved. (Jamison) Crowder, you can see him as quarterback’s best friend, in two games, he’s got a lot of targets, just a comfort spot in the slot, a reliable person who’s going to be where he needs to be. So, to pinpoint it to one specific thing would be unfair, but there’s a lot of different players on this team who the quarterback is very comfortable with and it’s just a matter of trying to find a way to distribute the ball.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: (Zach) Ertz was obviously a name very commonly floating around on the trade block, he’s now in Arizona. Is that something that you would talk to Joe (Douglas) about potentially doing or ways that could benefit the offense is potentially going out there and acquiring a tight end at the deadline?
Joe’s phenomenal in the sense of he’s always looking at the roster, he’s always having open dialogue (at) every position, which is his job. But his transparency and his communication and all that is really at the top of as good as anybody I’ve been around. So to answer your question, there’s not very many stones Joe leaves left unturned.
DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Mac Jones, one area he doesn’t throw the ball to is over the middle. So, do you focus on the causation, like what’s causing that, or do you just try to take away that? What kind of goes into trying to, obviously don’t give me the exact information, when you see a tendency like that, what’s the approach to that?
So, Josh McDaniels forever has been one of the best in terms of attacking your run-pass conflict. So, he finds the defender who’s got the hardest run-pass conflict within a scheme, and he just attacks the heck out of it. So, in Cover Two, MIKE linebacker, major run-pass conflict, you see a lot of those tight end dumps. That might not apply to us because we don’t play Cover Two. So, there’s a lot of ways Josh, in the history of his play calling, he is a very brilliant mind offensively and he’ll find you. And if you know your job and you know you have a run-pass conflict, I promise you, he’s coming for you. And so, it’s just awareness, showing them plays, showing them history, showing them the tendency of play calling and all that, and I promise you Josh will have something else that we’ve never seen before. You just have to understand what your job responsibility is and understand that if you have a run-pass conflict, he’s seeking you out.
Brian Costello, New York Post: When asked about Elijah Moore on Monday, you said, “We’re going to get our best players on the field, and he’s one of them.” In college, he played mainly in the slot. You have Jamison who’s also one of your best players. How much of an issue has that been, trying to get him on the field and get him opportunities?
The great thing is that he’s still getting on the field. Yeah, we want to get the ball on his hand more, of course we do. But the positive taking out of this is that he is getting these reps, he is getting game action, he’s going through the rigors of an offensive game, he’s getting hit, he’s having to block, he’s getting experience, all of it. So, he’s getting better and there’s visual evidence when you watch tape. He is in position to create a lot of explosive plays, it’s just, like I’ve said, there’s defenses, there’s protection, there’s opportunity that just needs to be taken advantage of and eventually it’s going to happen. But he’s been a factor in games, he’s done a really nice job with his route running, he created the explosive to get us the 20-17. So, he’s doing a lot of good things, he’s just got to stick to it and trust that good things will happen.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: With Zach, how beneficial do you think the break was for him? Everything he’s had to absorb, to get away from it for a little while. And how much more prepared do you think he will be for New England, seeing them Sunday, after what happened last time?
Having these breaks are good for everyone. To just get away and just breathe, go see family, just stay away from football for a little bit. For me, I finally got to see my kids in a little while. So, everybody needs it. And sometimes you want it a little bit later, just because the length of the season that’s left, but for us, after five games and it’s such a young team, Training Camp, all that stuff, it was probably good when we got it. Monday was awesome, guys came back with a lot of energy, he had great zip on his ball, he looked refreshed. And now it’s just a matter of stacking it up, get to Sunday, and play ball.
Bob Glauber, Newsday: You mention that you tell the players to ignore the noise. Do you have to do anything, you’re going against a Hall of Fame coach, do you personally have to do anything about not making it about you versing (Bill) Belichick?
No. That one’s easy. It’s about the players, right? I believe that there are internally motivated people, and there are externally motivated people. And no disrespect to Bill, who’s one of the greatest ever, he’s an external motivation that doesn’t matter. It’s about internally being ready and prepared to put your best foot forward for the people who are counting on you.