Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.7
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Brian Costello, New York Post: Could you give us an update on (Sheldon) Rankins?
Yeah, Rankins, obviously he’s dealing with his elbow. We’re going to allow the Bye Week to see what happens with him. He’s going to be week-to-week. As far as IR is concerned, we’re not even going to look at that until we get back from the Bye Week just to see how he responds to this week.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Is that a dislocated elbow?
I’m going to leave it at an elbow. Either way, we’re hopeful he could avoid IR.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: In the locker room yesterday, if you asked a bunch of guys, ‘What is it about this team that makes it so special?’ It seemed like the first answer everyone was giving is that everybody loves being around each other. They hang out outside of the building, things like that. When you’re building a roster, you obviously hope that’s going to happen, but you can’t really predict the future in terms of relationships. What do you think it is about this group about why they get along so well and how that translates to the field?
I think, when you’re building a roster, and I think this is where Joe (Douglas) has been fantastic and the overall communication with coaching staff and scouting, part of building a culture is bringing in people who love ball, and I think when you have people who have similar likes, you naturally gravitate to one another. That’s what I think you see with our locker room. They enjoy each other because they enjoy the same stuff. They enjoy watching tape together. They enjoy hanging out. They enjoy doing extra, lifting, whatever it is. It is usually a common theme that when teams have that, they’re winning and everything is all peaches and cream, if you will. The usual common theme is that they like hanging out with each other, but I do think it starts with the people that you bring in and that they’re so similar in what they like.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: When you were embarking on this first head coaching job, is that something — I know it’s something you can’t work on, I guess. It’s somewhat organic. Is that something that you consciously wanted to try to create with this team, along with Joe?
For sure. You always want to build an organization that loves each other. I think when building a roster and you’re trying to think about the locker room and you’re trying to think about the team, you want a team that is willing to invest in one another. So, it comes back to investment — coaches investing in players, players investing in players, players investing in coaches, everybody investing in the organization, and the organization investing in everyone. I think when everyone is investing, it becomes very, very personal, and if it becomes personal, you’re going to do everything you can to not disappoint that person next to you. So that mindset, the messaging, the type of players you bring in, all of that is to find a way to make sure we’re all investing in one another, so we can create a very personal atmosphere.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: For you, if I could follow on that, how much did you take what you did in your role on the defensive side with San Francisco — obviously you were a very emotional leader on that side — and bring that here to a larger version of it, so to speak?
I think you need to be authentic to who you are. I get the title changes, the responsibility changes, but what you value as a person and what you believe from a philosophy standpoint and your style of play and all the things you want to do, I don’t think that’s supposed to change. I think you’re supposed to stay true to who you are, and if you can do that, you can be more clear in the picture you’re trying to create, I guess. So, credit to the staff. Credit to Joe and his staff. It’s really credit to everybody. Very fortunate, credit to all the players. To this point, and like I’ve said a million times, we still have a long, long way to go. Anyway, you guys know I’m not very comfortable talking about this stuff, either.
Mike Vaccaro, New York Post: I know you had a certain level going into the season, but when you wake up this morning, you see 6-3. You see you’re a half game behind the Bills who obviously had so much ballyhoo around them for the entirety of the year. What does that do for you when you wake up and see that? Is that kind of a cool moment?
To wake up with our record the way it is?
Mike Vaccaro, New York Post: (follow-up) You’re a half game behind the Bills. Nothing says you belong more than what the standings say, right?
It’s been fun. Obviously, the first half of the year, even the most optimistic Jets fan wouldn’t have had us at 6-3, but at the same time, we have a great opportunity coming up in the second half of the season, but that’s going to require a mindset of just resetting every single day and treating every moment like a championship moment and staying true to what we’ve been able to do. It’s attacking this Bye Week and coming back next week and attacking the week heading up to New England. You have to keep the main thing, the main thing. So, while what’s happened in the past which is the first nine games of the season, and it’s been awesome and it’s fun and it’s cool to get all of those affirmations, it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t attack the second half in the same exact manner.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Do you feel the buzz that you guys have created, and if so, what is it like for you that it’s happened this quickly because, like you said, I don’t think people expected you to be where you are?
Like I said, it’s fun, but at the same time, just as quickly as we’ve been able to create buzz, we can easily create negative buzz. I’ve said it to you guys a million times, reading old Bill Parcells’ books and euphoria and disaster is New York is the best definition of New York, and it’s really every market in the country now with social media. When you win, you’re a winner. When you lose, you’re a loser, but at the same time, you got to focus on the moment. It’s exciting, but at the same time you know how quickly it can change if we can’t keep and sustain what we’re doing.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, this seems obvious, but when you win, the message that you’ve been putting out to the team and to the coaching staff and out to the fans and the media, about building and getting towards success, does it make it easier to deliver that message now that the wins are behind it?
Yeah, when you win it’s easy because everyone thinks you’re a genius and when you lose, you’re an idiot. You could do the exact same thing, the result is usually what you look at. I go back to that whole thing of faith and belief, like most of the people in the world nowadays need to see things happen before they think it’s possible. The people who have no ceiling in life can see things happen before they ever, they know it’s possible before they ever see it happen. So, you just have faith, you got to have faith in the fact that what you’re trying to accomplish as an organization, as a team, as a coach, as a player, is possible, and while it may not be visible at that particular moment, you just have faith that it is because you have so much faith in yourself as an individual.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, is the biggest accomplishment of these first nine games, setting up a chance over these last eight games?
For sure, I’d be remiss not to say that we do have an opportunity, but if we try to look at the long game, we’re going to miss the most important day which is the one that we’re present, where our feet are right now. We’ve got to attack every moment, so even on this Bye Week just challenging our players, don’t just go home or go to the beach and sit back and have a cocktail and relax for a week. There’s a workout regimen that we’ve got to achieve, we’ve got to be able to attack this week, you’ve got to be able to attack your regen, and make sure we’re walking, we’re moving, we’re taking care of our bodies, still putting all the good stuff in there, and treating this like this is not a week off, it’s a breather, but we’re still getting our work in, so we just have to focus on the moment, and I know it’s a boring answer Cos, but the moment is the most important part of the day, and if we continue to stack those moments up, it’ll make for a really exciting second half of the season.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Robert, you referenced after the game yesterday about the fact you haven’t been here for all the 12 years of disappointments with no playoffs and whatnot, and you mentioned a few people. I’m curious what your feeling is for Woody (Johnson) and Chris (Johnson) who have endured a lot of criticism, ridicule – all the way down the line- in having just this taste so far of this success and keeping that rolling. How important is that for you?
It’s fun because when you talk to Woody and Christopher, they’re very supportive, first of all, they’re very, very supportive in everything we do, and you just feel how much every win and loss and how important it is to them. This is not just, I mean it’s so important to them and you feel that, and it’s awesome and the feedback that we get from them is always very productive. And like I said, it’s awesome when we win because they’re happier than anyone, because you think about it, this is their baby, this is their team, the amount of investment that they’ve put into this organization and all the money that’s been spent on this unbelievable facility, and all these players, and all the unbelievable food, the amount of the stuff that they support us with, day in and day out, so when the wins come it’s just, I don’t if there’s many people happier than they are. You can see it in their faces and when we lose, you can feel that also. So, winning, obviously for them and knowing what this organization has been through, there’s nothing more than any of us want to do is to bring a winner home, a winner to this organization for our fans, for them, our families.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Where did Zach (Wilson) improve the most yesterday compared to the previous week?
His pocket presence on third down. Last week in New England first and second down, I thought he did a lot of good things versus New England, third down just kind of fell apart for him a little bit with pressing to try to make a play. Yesterday, it doesn’t really show up in the stats because they’re not explosive plays, but he got two first downs with his legs yesterday, which were huge first downs. One led to the screen that we scored the touchdown the very next play. He had a throw away on third down which was big, it was a second down throw away, which allowed us to convert on the next third down, so he did a lot of really, really nice things, got rid of the ball quick, that third down towards the end of the game to (Denzel) Mims was such a big play. So, overall, I just thought he was really good, just keeping the main thing the main thing, understanding that throwing the ball away or running with your feet, avoiding big negative plays is a positive and really thought he did a really nice job. He’s been doing it all year and you know he’s still a pup, just like you guys have all had kids I’m sure, and every once and awhile they fall their face, you just got to pick them up and start walking again. So, New England, I get it, there was a couple of mistakes, but he’s been having a really nice year and he’s going to continue to get better.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: We’ve talked a lot about the young guys, I think you said, before camp or during camp, if you had hair you know, sometimes they’d make you pull hair out of your head. Have they grown up even quicker than you expected?
Yeah, they’re doing a fantastic job. They’re making plays, they’re opportunistic, they bring a lot of juice and energy, they’re not jaded to the NFL yet, and so every first down is the biggest thing, every yard gain is the biggest thing and so young guys when you have that vibrant youth, they just bring a lot of juice, it’s contagious, everybody gets it. So, you even get some, you know you got C.J. Mosley being demonstrative and as a veteran which usually it’s ‘ho-hum, I’ve done this already,’ his personality has come out which I love. So, they’ve been doing a great job and this Bye Week is perfect timing because it’s about time when their college season usually ends, so hopefully, we can help them take care of this so they don’t hit that rookie wall and we can keep ascending as the year goes on.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Robert, what was your message to the guys going into the Bye Week, I don’t know if you saw a Giants player got hurt during the Bye Week?
Yeah, that’s unfortunate. Like I said earlier, it’s not a week off, it’s a week to get away from the building, get away from your coaches, and it’s a week to take care of yourself to get away from the physical aspect where you’re beating up your body, but as far as regen, and mental, and working out, and keeping your conditioning, that is not off. The message is to continue to take care of your body, consume things that help your body, so we can attack the second half of the season. I’ve seen players, that we talked about today, that went into a Bye Week and absolutely destroyed their entire season because they went to a beach and drank beer and ate nachos for an entire week and came back 10 pounds heavier and destroyed their entire back half of the season. So, just to challenge everybody to attack this Bye Week, keep the main thing the main thing, which is their bodies, to keep paying attention to it, don’t waste days, and come back ready to roll on Monday.