Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.18

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Opening Statement: Injury wise – Corey (Davis) is going to be out, Sheldon Rankins – obviously he’s out, (Nate) Herbig will be limited today, and Duane Brown should be limited today, also.


Brian Costello, New York Post: And the status for the game, questionable?

Yeah, I believe that’s what it’s going to be, I have an old sheet. They’re going to both be questionable, but should be ready to roll.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Wait, you said should be ready to roll like in regards to (Nate) Herbig?



Brian Costello, New York Post: With Corey (Davis), I remember he said after the game in Denver that the doctors had cleared him to come back into the game and he could’ve passed him to play. He was just running on the sidelines if he felt comfortable. Here we are four weeks later he’s still not playing, is it worse than initially thought?

No, when you’re dealing with those knee sprains, they heal differently. I think we’re all really, really confident in his ability to get back with us next week, but right now, unfortunately he’s out.


John Pullano, New York Jets: You mentioned earlier in the week you guys kind of got ate up in the field position battle when you first played them, how do you go about correcting that in the second matchup? What are the factors and keys you have to consider?

No, that’s good. Special teams, really everywhere, all three phases, it’s about winning one-on-one battles. They’re as good as anybody in terms of creating one-on-one battles and winning and it’s a strain, they fight, they’re very well coached and it comes down to winning our one-on-one battles, being disciplined, and doing our job, and doing our job to the best of our ability and winning by all means necessary.


Connor Hughes, SNY: With Corey, is it a luxury that you guys have where you can take your time with him getting back because of how (Denzel) Mims has played lately?

Absolutely. He’s really done a nice job. Like I said, his mentality, the confidence at which he’s playing with, and I know you guys don’t get to see practice, not that practice is always an indicator of how things will go in the game, but he’s been fantastic, so he’s building a lot of trust with the coaching staff, his teammates, and just excited to see him continue to find ways to get better.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: I think it was a few weeks ago after one of the wins that D.J. Reed said that this team thrives on the road because they feel like you’re on your own on the road, like ‘it’s just us’ is I think is what he said. Why do you think this team has taken on that kind of “us against them” kind of thing when you guys hit the road?

That’s probably more of a locker room question. Like I always said, you say and do whatever you need to do to get yourself ready to play. You guys remember that movie, The Program, when Alvin Mack was just yelling at the guy in the backfield to get himself pumped up, by all means necessary. Look at Connor (Hughes), poor Connor is too young (laughs). You never watched The Program have you? Will you go rent that movie? It’s a heck of a movie.


Connor Hughes, SNY: I remember The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler.

There we go. You got to rent (it), Program’s a treat, it’s a good one.


Brian Costello, New York Post: You guys could be in first place if you win this game, do you embrace that when you’re talking to the team? Do you address that? Do you address the standings or do you just kind of leave that alone?

No, I think it’s, I said it earlier in the week, whether we win or lose, first place, last place, there’s still seven games left. It doesn’t matter. You’ve got to focus on the moment and if you start counting, it’s like Kenny Rodgers, you don’t count when you’re at the table, you just keep playing. In the case of this group, just stay focused on the moment, this is a championship week and it’s a championship week not because it’s New England, it’s a championship week because it’s the next one, and then next week will be another championship opportunity versus Chicago. So, it’s just important for us to stay within the moment, and there’s going to be a time where we can start looking and talking scenarios and make the adjustments that we need to make. Whatever has to happen, but we’re a long way from that.


Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: I know you say you’re in for the moment, but it’s almost December and you talked about playing meaningful games in December and the beginning of January. That kind of has to feel somewhat good?

Yeah, because it’s easier to talk to guys because we all know we’re not going to just ram our heads in the wall and hurt, not necessarily for nothing, but it’s more rewarding when you’re playing for more than just a paycheck. When you’re playing for more than just a paycheck, it’s much easier to show tape, everyone is more coachable, coaches are more coachable, we all want to find ways to get better. That’s the easy part, and that’s what it brings us and it gives us a chance to continue to get better. I think any time you play for more than just a paycheck, it’s rewarding.


Brian Costello, New York Post: You guys officially signed LDT (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) to the practice squad. What did you see in his workout?

He looks good. He was so cool last year. Joe (Douglas) made the trade. It was beneficial. He really stepped in and helped solidify the inside of the offensive line. So, to add veteran presence, somebody who knows our system, somebody who has played and started in NFL games in this division, knows what it’s like, knows our language. To be able to add that is definitely a plus.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: How impressive is that though that he’s been able to balance both aspects of his life to go into the medical residency, start for you guys last year?

It’s phenomenal. I’m not trying to belittle football, but you normally don’t see a doctor. I think Ahkello Witherspoon was the closest I’ve been around. He was a corner with us in San Fran. He’s at Pittsburgh now. He did go to Med School, almost too smart to play football. I’ve said it before, these guys are so young and so talented, they’re doing stuff I couldn’t even fathom doing when I was 22-years old, 24, whatever it was. They never cease to amaze me with what they’re capable of.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Somebody we haven’t really asked you about this season is Nathan Shepherd who is presumably going to play a little more with Sheldon out. What has he done this year for you guys?

He’s been steady. He’s been exactly what we hoped, plays his absolute tail off, plays violent. I feel like he’s played a much smarter style of football, and with regards to bringing down the amount of penalties he’s been victim of. He’s really taking comfort to our style of play upfront. We had this ‘King of Strain’ award and he’s like the spokesperson for Kind of Strain. Everything he does is strain. He’s a posterchild with regards to how you want to play the game and how you want to prepare and take care of your body and all of the different things. I get that he doesn’t make the splash plays and get all the stats and attention. When his time on the field is done, I promise the person across from him felt him and wore him down. It’s like the Grind Line in hockey. He’s absolutely grinding and making you feel all of him. He’s been fantastic this year.


Connor Hughes, SNY: When you guys chose to resign him. I remember seeing his name, and I think all of us did, when we saw him as an unrestricted free agent, we all went, ‘Ok, well he’s going to play somewhere else and be a replacement.’ It seemed like you guys genuinely wanted him back. Were those reasons why? Did you see him as someone who hadn’t really scratched the ceiling?

To get guys to play the way we want them to play, and he’s one of them, you just don’t want to let those guys go. Just like I joke that we could have 53 o-linemen, I would take 53 d-linemen.


Connor Hughes, SNY: (follow-up) How many snaps would Quinnen (Williams) play then?

One each. No, but Shep (Shepherd), when you got guys who represent everything you want in a football player from mindset, mentality, preparation, all the different things he does, their stats don’t compare to all the intangibles they bring, and he’s just one of those guys. He does everything, everything. Like I said, he’s making a lot productive plays from a coaching standpoint in terms of the things he does on the football field.


Brian Costello, New York Post: The Patriots pass rush, we talked about (Matthew) Judon a few weeks ago, and they put up some good numbers this year. We talk about Zach (Wilson) all the time, but how critical is it for your offensive line to hold up against them?

Always. If a quarterback can sit back there and play seven-on-seven, it’s over. I don’t care what you have in the backend. It’s why o-line, d-line for the history of football will always be at the forefront of building a football team. If we can protect upfront, not to say they’re not very good in the back end, you can have five Deion Sanders back there, it’s going to be hard to hold up, so it’s always rush and coverage, but they do as good of a job as anybody in mixing up their coverages and presenting the relentless pocket push that they do and keeping the quarterback in the pocket and being disciplined in the rush lanes. Like always, it’s going to be a challenge.


Jeane Coakley, SNY: Your shirt?

We’re all aware. We’re recognizing the University of Virginia. Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, Devin (Chandler). On behalf of the Jets organization, we all want to extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and the entire UVA community. Just an absolute tragedy, and hopefully one day we get all of this nonsense fixed.