Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.20
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Antwan Staley, Newsday Daily News: What was behind the decision to go with Tim Boyle this week?
Just give him an opportunity. He is a different style of quarterback, so really it was just to give him an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense.
Connor Hughes, SNY: What will the status of Zach (Wilson) be this week, Robert? Is Trevor (Siemian) going to be the backup? Is Zach (Wilson) going to be the backup?
All three will be up on game day, Trevor will be the immediate backup.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: So you are going to carry three quarterbacks on the game day roster? What is the thought behind that?
We have an extra roster spot.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: How did Zach take the news?
Zach is fine. He has come a long way from a year ago. I think we all agree obviously we wish it was better for him, we wish we all could have better for him. Like I have said, it is not a one person thing, but just to see if we could get something going, but he was good.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, what is Zach’s future with this team?
We will deal with it in the offseason, guys. Right now, it really is just about Miami.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What changed in your view, because we have asked you about Zach for weeks now and you said it was the lazy view to just blame the quarterback or the play caller? You said you wouldn’t do anything if it wasn’t all on him. What has changed to make this the right move now?
Last week, like I said, it has been all the way across the board. We have made a lot of changes, tried to go a little bit younger, so we have addressed the running back room, we have addressed the receiver room, we have addressed the tight end room, we have moved the coordinator to the box. So obviously, Zach, it is not all him, but there are some things that he needs to be better at and this is just another situation to see if we can give another guy an opportunity, see if something can change.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, was there any thought given to letting Zach go and just letting him start the next chapter of his career, sooner rather than later?
No, there wasn’t.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Do you think, knowing how much was put into this season, it was kind of a win now window because Aaron (Rodgers) being his age and coming here to win now, do you think in retrospect you should have had a more proven number two quarterback?
No, like we said, we think Zach is incredibly talented. I felt like he would get an opportunity to sit behind Aaron (Rodgers) and empathically when you look at Zach, he has never had an opportunity to watch someone play the position. Joe Flacco was fantastic, Mike White did some good things, but to just sit back and just watch from the ground up. That was his opportunity with Aaron and four plays in, he is back into the starting lineup. He never really got to sit back and absorb and get that redshirt year that you would have love to have given him. You can always play the hindsight 20/20 game, but we felt like we did what was best for the organization and best for the team. It has been an unfortunate series of events when you look at all the injures on the o-line (offensive line) and things that have transpired since the start of the year.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, where specifically have things gone wrong with Zach? This is a guy with this regime drafted him second in the draft overall, has now been benched on multiple different occasions over the last two years and probably doesn’t have a future with this team. So how can a guy drafted so highly be, for lack of a better term, a failure to this point?
I don’t think he is a failure, Connor (Hughes).
Connor Hughes, SNY: In terms of success on the field?
I got you, I understand where you are getting at. Even then, it is a 53-man roster, it’s an all 11 sport when you are looking at the offensive side of the ball and same with coaches. Have things gone the exact way we have been wanted them to? No. I wouldn’t look at it as a failure, I look at it as more of a series of unfortunate events. I stand strong on the belief that Zach is going to have a really good career in this League. He has got tremendous work ethic, he has gotten a lot better over the course of the last year. He definitely has the arm talent, he is only 24, he just turned 24. He has a positive outlook and he just needs to continue to focus on his game and find ways to get better and continue to learn about fronts and coverages and how to play the game a little bit faster. I still believe he is going to have a good career.
Andy Vasquez, NJ Advanced Media: What is the message in the locker room, right now? Especially, when you have a defense that has been playing well enough to win you guys multiple games and when you just haven’t been able to get it done. What is the message that has changed since and what is your overall message to the locker room with seven games left?
We are 4-6, obviously we are a little bit behind the eight ball, but we are not out. To be honest with you, we have had a three-game losing streak before, we bounce back and find a way to win three before. The NFL is a roller coaster ride, but at the end of the day, I think our group has a lot of confidence. It is young on offense, very, very young. It has gotten young very, very quickly on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, obviously just continuing to play to the standard that we need to play at, special teams need to pick it up, but the overarching message and I will speak for all 32-teams, you have to have fun getting out there and playing and embracing the opportunity to be an NFL player, to have a chance to fulfill our dreams when we were little, so just for the locker room, no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much you think the world is against you or how much your body hurts, we get to get up, we get to go to meetings, we get to go to practice and we get to go and play in front of 100’s of 1,000’s of people, whether its on T.V. or in the stands, so just recapturing the juice and energy that our group is known for, at least around here in our building. Overall, there is still a lot of juice and excitement. There is a lot of confidence and I know our guys are here and they are ready for practice and ready to get going.
Connor Hughes, SNY: Robert, what do you believe you guys could have done differently during the draft process when evaluating the quarterback?
I have my thoughts, I shared them with Joe (Douglas), but I am not going to get into it here with you guys.
Antwan Staley, Newsday Daily News: What is the update on Mekhi Becton?
Mekhi (Becton) is dealing with an ankle. We will have more details, obviously it is a short week, but I will have more details for you tomorrow.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, when you talk about Zach never getting the chance to sit back and watch and you guys wanted him to have that this year, do you regret as a rookie that he was handed the job? There was no competition, there was no discussion, no one else starting that year at the beginning of the year, was that a mistake in hindsight?
You can always play the hindsight’s 20/20 game. There is the two schools of thought of throw him in the deep end and let him figure out how to swim and some people have success with it. There are players around the League right now that are having success with it, so you can go back and forth playing that game and what could have been best, but at that moment, it was the decision that we made and unfortunately it just hasn’t gone the way everyone has hoped for, but I will say it again, Zach’s story is not done. I said it last year, he is still young, he is still going to get an opportunity and I think how is going to take advantage of his opportunities soon rather than later.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: There were reports yesterday regarding Aaron, who is supposedly targeting December 24th return to play and starting practice the first week of December. I am wondering if you can comment on those and is that realistic? What is your personal timeline for him? Do you expect him to start practicing the first week of December?
I’ll be honest, I am talking to Aaron all the time, just about life and football and all that good stuff. Until he is cleared by doctors, all of it is a moot point and I haven’t gotten any indication otherwise. I love that he is working hard. I think that it shows the type of character he is, I have said that before, he is relentlessly trying to get back to this football team as quickly as he can. Does he have personal goals? Sure. Does he have his eyes set on certain weeks? Sure, but all of it is a point until he is cleared by doctors.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, just to follow up on two injuries from going into yesterday’s game. We talked to you about Michael Carter II and what happened to him with the hamstring and Xavier Newman is obviously a practice squad guy, so he wasn’t listed on the injury report but I am assuming he was injured that was why he wasn’t brought up yesterday?
Yeah, Michael (Carter II) got hurt and had a hammy during Friday’s practice within the first period and then Xavier Newman was dealing with an injury,
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: What about Duane Brown’s status? I think the clock is ticking there on him, right?
We have until Thursday, we are going to try and lean on him a little bit this week to see where he is at. Not lean on him from a pressure standpoint, but just try to get him some physical contact to see how he feels and see whether or not he feels like he can get out there and we will make that decision on Thursday.