Head Coach Robert Saleh, 7.25

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Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Why did you guys have to do push-ups?

The drill at the end, offense, move the ball period from the 35-yard line, if they scored a touchdown, then the defensive has to do push-ups. If they didn’t, the defensive players had to carry the pads in and vice versa, so the coaches, we still have to do push-ups. I do push-ups for both sides to be clear on that one.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, what is up with (Allen) Lazard?

He’s dealing with some muscle tightness, so we’re just holding him back until he gets better.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Mekhi (Becton) started where he normally practices and it looks likes towards the end of practice you pulled him out of team drills. Why is that?

He is still working through his pitch count.


Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Michael Carter probably didn’t have the season that he anticipated and wanted last year. Can you just talk about what you have seen from him this offseason and training camp?

Professionalism is the best way I can explain it. He comes out, he does his job. He’s not the first or the last player to not have the second year that they want. It just seems to be like a little plague that goes around in the NFL with second year players, but he’s been great this entire offseason. He’s very deliberate in the way he works through and I’m excited about him. First day of pads is, one thing that we know he has is unbelievable contact balance, so his mental makeup and all that, I think he’s going to bounce back really well.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Is there a big chance for him with Breece (Hall) out? 

Yeah, it’s a chance for all of them. Especially when the preseason games hit to career the rock and not necessarily show us, but remind everybody why he is who he is, so I’m excited for him get his opportunities.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Izzy (Abanikanda) had that long run. Obviously, you know he’s got really good speed. For him, what’s going to be the biggest transition? 

Urgency. Usually, at least that seems to be what I’m noticing, is that running backs coming from college, they got 100 plays to go through, so there’s a little bit, it’s a little different, but the sense of urgency is the one thing. It was no different than with Breece last year. Just a sense of urgency, the finish, the running through contact, all the different things that they didn’t have to do in practice when they were, I’m assuming anyway, but his level of urgency is just going to have to catch up with what the standard is around here.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, Will (McDonald IV) was back out there today. What did you see from him with his return?

I’ll go back and look at the tape, but just getting to know him over the last couple of months, I could promise you there was a lot of effort, a lot of freaky athleticism, but with the pads first on, I’ll be curious to see what it look like. Not that he’s afraid of pads, but pads change everybody.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Garret (Wilson) and Aaron (Rodgers) hooked up two more times. A touchdown on move the ball period and then another one on the left side of the field. How have they been able to develop such quick chemistry?

Constantly communicating, working. There’s still a long road ahead in terms of all the communication and getting on the same page. I think there’s even more to it. I’ve seen Aaron work with, just going against him and what he was able to do with the DeVontae (Adams) and how in sync they were. It was more than just go balls, it was just a nod and they knew exactly what was going to happen next. I’ll speak for Aaron on this and that I can imagine that there’s even a greater level of continuity that can be gained, but I love the direction it’s going and those two throws were pretty darn cool.


Connor Hughes, SNY: When I referenced those two throws, you smiled. You are fighting back a smile. Are you starting to get a little excited about these two?

No, I told you guys I joke around, but I’m serious to. I mean the guy glows in the dark, so he’s a pretty damn good quarterback.


Tom Rock, Newsday: Are you impressed at how quickly they managed to go from, in about a week they looked a little lost on the field together on the first day, now all of the sudden, they are out here?

No, I don’t know if it’s surprised or impressed or anything. I guess it’s expected. They’ve got such a high standard for themselves, so you expect them to get on the same page.


Tom Rock, Newsday: Sometimes you mix those, the quarterback and receiver together, and they don’t mix together, they are separate. What made you believe that this is going to?

They are so intrinsically motivated. Usually the oil and water is when one just doesn’t want to give the same amount of effort as the other one. Garrett is all in, it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. Doesn’t matter where he is. He’s one of those guys, he’s just trying to be his absolute best and he’s trying to tear the person’s heart out in front of them and if you have that mindset, anyone can work with that.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: On the interception, was it a miscommunication there? 

I won’t get into too much detail, but yeah, there’s little execution error from an offensive standpoint.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, could you size up the center competition?

First day of pads, so we’re going find out a lot about all the competitions happening on the offensive line. Like I said, I really don’t take much stock into what happens when you are in the acclamation period without pads, same with OTAs, but first day, obviously Connor (McGovern) is the veteran and understands the game of football in terms of the professional level. Love what (Wes) Schweitzer’s doing. (Joe) Tips (Tippmann) catching up, obviously he’s got a lot of stuff to absorb. These offensive playbooks in this League are thick, so there’s a lot of time left, four games. There’s going to be a lot to be decided over the next month.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Are you guys, does the incumbent start with a leg up? Like it’s been Connor’s job here for a few years. Does he start?

I don’t know about that, but yeah, he’s by far the most comfortable, but they’re all going to get an equal opportunity to go get that job.

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What went into the decision to bring him back? Because you signed him in April. He’s a little bit later. 

He’s a veteran. We’ve won a lot of games with him. He’s played a lot of games. He’s started a lot of games. He’s done a lot of great things for us, so he’s obviously a capable starting center in this League. He’s proved that over and over again, so when the opportunity came about that we can get him back, it was kind of a no brainer.


Connor Hughes, SNY: With Max Mitchell, Robert, you guys seemed to have a quick trust in him. When he was drafted it was like ‘okay, here’s a gift from a small school.’ You turned to him last year and now he’s been out there quite a bit with the starters, so what are you seeing from him? And what have you seen from him that gives you the trust and belief in him to potentially be an anchor on your line?

Last year, it was one of those deals where we kind of had to start him because of all the carnage that we had on the offensive line. I’m not going to pretend like there wasn’t some sleepless nights being worried about whether or not he’d be able to perform, but then he goes out there and he performs like ‘shoot, that wasn’t bad,’ and he got better and better and better and unfortunately, he had his ailment, but you trust the guy like him because he’s going to figure it out. He’s just pure grit and grind. Like I’ve said before, he’s kind of old school in that every single play is so important to him, he’s going to learn it, and he’s going to keep fighting. No matter how bad the play is, the play before, he just drops it and goes to the next one and he’ll continue fighting, so I love his mental makeup. I love who he is as an individual and he’s earned that trust by being thrust into a fire last year when we didn’t think he was ready. He kind of had to do it by necessity and prove that he’s capable of more.


Zach Braziller, New York Post: What have you thought of Mekhi Becton, so far? He obviously hasn’t played a lot of football.

He’s done a nice job. I’m pumped for him. He’s worked so hard to drop his weight and get himself into shape. He’s just has to learn to trust his knee and find a way to get comfortable with it, but he’s moving in the right direction.


Connor Hughes, SNY: With Max Mitchell, as a coach, when you have a guy who was drafted a little bit later on in, he’s not a first-round pick, where you expect them to start right away. Do you kind of enjoy that even a little bit more sometimes when you see that kind of a success story?

I guess, I always say that it doesn’t matter where you’re drafted, doesn’t matter where the opportunity comes, it’s what you do when you get the opportunity. Knock on wood, we’ve been blessed, at least speaking for myself. We’ve had a lot of day three kids, undrafted kids, who have made it more often than not. Those are the nuts and bolts of every football team. The first, second, third-rounders who get all the praise, but it’s the day three guys that are fun to watch because they do kind of come out of nowhere. I guess I’m not as surprised when they do it. Especially when you look at a guy like Max and the way he’s wired. I think it’s easy to imagine that he’d be a guy that’s going to last in this League for a long time.


Eric Allen, New York Jets: Speaking of day three kids, I know its super early, but how is (Zaire) Barnes grasping the defense and have you liked what you have seen from him so far?

Yeah, he’s doing a really nice job. Obviously, he’s part of that third linebacker competition. There is a lot of information, there is still a long way for him to go. Obviously, first day they have pads, so excited to get back in to see what he looks like. A lot of guys when those pads come on, it’s not that they get scared, it’s more keep your head on a swivel. There’s a lot of different things that can happen, but I think he’s going to continue to get better, really excited about who he is and again, his mental makeup. He’s definitely someone who we think is going to be around in this League for a long time too.