Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.22
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Brian Costello, New York Post: Do you have an injury report?
C.J. (Mosley) is going to go down to the wire. (Tyler) Kroft doesn’t look good. Otherwise, everyone else is good to go.
(follow up) So, C.J. will be Sunday morning?
Sunday morning workout, yeah.
(follow up) With C.J., you know hamstrings, soft tissue, we’ve seen it a hundred times a guy comes back maybe too soon and makes it worse and then it’s a two-month injury rather than a three-week injury. Does that factor in here at all? Do you worry about that?
He’s such a seasoned veteran and he’s been through these situations, so really, it’s relying on the player to make the sound decision for not only himself, but the organization and the team. You also don’t want to go out there, play the first series and now you’re out and now our depth is hit. But C.J. is very smart, he’s been working relentlessly and if he’s feeling it on Sunday, he’ll be rolling.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: You mentioned Jamien (Sherwood). If C.J. can’t go, what have you seen from him since camp and, you know, this is a guy who played safety in college and just kind of the progression that he’s had?
We’re really excited about Jamien. He’s a rookie, so maybe what he lacks in experience he makes up for with his smarts, mental quickness, just an understanding of football. He’s going to have rookie moments, but the more he plays, the better he’s going to get, obviously. He’s one of the guys that I think is going to be a staple here for a while. He’s very talented, he studies his butt off and he is one of the, for his size right now, and he’ll get bigger when he gets an NFL offseason and meal plan, but his ability to uncoil and tackle people is one of the best in the draft, so he doesn’t give up very many leaky yards. He belongs, let’s just say that, and he’s only going to get better.
(follow up) What were some of the traits, other than that, that led you to believe he could make that transition, position switch at this level?
You look at just his, he’s such a big body, right? He’s got so much more to fill in. Just talking to him, his mental quickness, his speed, his length, he just looks like a modern-day linebacker in the vision of what we look for with ours. God, you look at, and I’m not comparing him to Fred (Warner), so let’s make sure, we’re not quite there yet, but you look at Fred’s first game of his rookie year against Minnesota, they look darn near the same. Just these lanky guys who were trying to figure it out and obviously Fred turned into the player he did. Hopefully ours does also. He’s got a lot in him, we just love his mindset and the way he’s built.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Usually if you have a rookie in a green-dot situation that could be a little bit nerve-wracking. When we were talking to Jeff (Ulbrich) yesterday, he sounded very confident about him taking over that spot.
With Jamien, it’s almost like, ‘Hey man, you don’t have to communicate for everybody.’ The amount of stuff he gets out of his mouth, pre-snap wise, with regards to close calls, checks and all of it is fascinating for a rookie. He’s very, very confident. He knows everybody’s job and so our confidence of him with the green dot is fine.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, did you ever get any explanation from the league on the call on Quincy (Williams) in London?
We did. I’m just going to let it go. Just let it go. (laughter)
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Robert, with regards to Justin Hardee, can you speak to about what you guys were looking for when you brought him in? Obviously, he’s made such a, his first year here, he’s a captain already all that kind of thing. What he brings to the table?
So, gunners, to me, it’s one of my favorite positions on the team, offense, defense, special teams. That is a check your manhood, its mindset, it is an absolute dog fight. When you’re a gunner and you got to beat a one-on-one or a double team, it’s an absolute war on the edges, and those guys are responsible for field position, flipping fields. They can win a lot of games without it ever really coming to attention. So, Hardee is probably one of the best in football at that position. On top of it, his leadership skills, his deliberateness, his veteran presence. He’s everything that you would want out of a football player from a character standpoint, but as a gunner, which is a very underrated position and one of my favorites because it just represents manhood. He’s pretty darn good at it.
(follow up) Obviously, there’s a bit more familiarity with perhaps within the same conference, how much influence did you have with Joe (Douglas) on getting him here.
Joe, talking with Brant (Boyer), obviously, Joe gets it. He knows exactly what teams need and he knows exactly what, from a character standpoint and all that stuff. It didn’t take much talking to. Joe and his staff do a phenomenal job seeking all those guys out. Hardee was one of the guys that were identified, he gave him to Brant to look at, Brant gave the thumbs up, and Joe made it happen.
(follow up) How rare is it for a free agent to come in and become a captain immediately? It doesn’t happen a lot, doesn’t it?
It depends. I don’t think it’s abnormal. Usually, if you’re doing a good job with regards to bringing in the right people, it can happen. You know it’s a new voice, they come in with the right amount of energy, they demonstrate everything you’re expecting them to demonstrate, so it’s not abnormal.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert we talked a lot over the last two weeks about the first quarter and the changes you were going to make and things. I know you have two days left here before the game but how do you feel about how those changes have occurred and how do you feel about where you guys are at in terms of that?
You know we feel good about it. Obviously, we’ll see Sunday. We got to put up or shut up, right? We’ll get an opportunity to continue building through it. We’ve got these three games before the Thursday mini-Bye to see if we can tweak something else. But we feel good about the soundness of everything. I think the guys have responded well to everything and now it’s just a matter of going out and executing.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: With Matt Cavanaugh, can you describe what his role is and the challenge for him coming in so late in the process trying to get into the mix here?
Yeah, so Cavanaugh, he’s been fantastic. He’s been everything that we wanted. G0d rest his soul with Knapper (Greg Knapp), the idea with Knapper, former coordinator, quarterback coach, kind of can be that old soul for the quarterback and for Mike (LaFleur), who’s also a first time play caller. We took time in thinking about how we wanted to fill that role and it was not easy, obviously. Cavanaugh was a name that continually popped up from a lot of people around the league who I trust dearly and he’s very similar in that role. He’s a former coordinator, old soul, has a lot of experience with quarterback play, played the position. So just to be that presence in the room. He’s been awesome, he’s been everything that we wanted and couldn’t be happier to have him.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, the trade deadline is a week from Tuesday, Some of your players name are going to be thrown out there by us with as possible trading. How do you handle that with players in terms of you know their names being out there that could be stressful for them?
Just like everyone, you got to ignore the noise. Focus on things that you have control over. If you, every second, you spend focusing on things you have no control over, you’re taking away from your ability to dominate the controllables and so that, the message is ignore the noise. You can’t control what people say, you can’t control what people make up, you can’t control what agents tweet, but you can control how you operate on a day-to-day basis, when you put your best foot forward so when 32 teams see your tape, on Sunday, it’s the best possible thing you can put out.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, I meant to ask you this a few days ago. With Tevin Coleman returning kicks, how did that come about because he hasn’t done that at all?
Yeah, I think I told him the story, I’ll say it again. Brick (Ulbrich), it starts with Ulbrich, when they were in Atlanta together, he kept asking TeCo (Coleman), “Why aren’t you returning kicks? You’d be a pro bowl kick returner.” TeCo just shrugged it off. We go to San Francisco, no one ever thought anything of it, we get here, and Brick was telling me the stories about how he was always trying to nudge him and asked Brant (Boyer) and Brant said, “Yeah, if he wants to go out there and give it a try, then go back there.” So, we asked TeCo (Tevin Coleman) and I said, ‘TeCo, why don’t you just go back there, man? It’s never too old to put a tool in your toolbox.’ He went back there during practice, fielded a couple kicks, looked natural, threw him out there and TeCo did the rest. Credit to TeCo and it shows, it doesn’t matter how late you are in your career, it’s never too late to put another tool in your toolbox, so credit to him.
(follow up) Is that something you think that could keep going with him or are you going to mix things up?
Yeah, no for sure, There’s a couple of kick returners, the more the merrier. So, giving him those opportunities to sack those up, definitely keep coming.
Brian Costello, New York Post: I’ve got a deep in the weeds here, since DJ (Bien-Aime) is not here, I got to ask it. I’m going to give DJ, if you’re listening, my strategy question. The coin toss, I think you’ve got three coin tosses you’ve deferred three times. Would you ever say, we’re taking the ball to maybe jump start the offense?
That’s a very good question. We talk about it, it comes down to just overall philosophy and what you’re trying to get done right before. There’s, I don’t want to get too much into detail about it but I mean it’s not a secret, but being able to lap a team at halftime is one of the greatest things you can do. You can be down two scores, score right before the half, get the ball, score again and now you’re right back in it to so you’re setting yourself up. So ideally, we get a quick three and out, so we start well on defense, get a quick three and out the ball gets to our offense immediately. That would be a perfect situation and so when it works out the way it’s supposed to, you can blow a team out by the time you get into the middle of the third quarter because of your ability to lap people. It is a valid question, something that we’ll bring up but at the same time, it’s such an advantage when you need to defer in our mind, with regard to finishing with the ball at the half and then starting with it to start the second half, you can do a lot of damage.
Joey Chandler, NJ Advance Media: Can I ask about your t-shirt?
Yeah, Robin Rosa is Coach of the Week at Walt Whitman High School. He’s on his 13th season, they started 6-0, won the spring league, so again, an undefeated coach with six wins. Rub some off, see if we can get a (win).