Head Coach Robert Saleh, 8.1

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Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Do we have an update on (Jason) Brownlee? It looks like he hurt his arm?

I think he hit it. He got a little tingle in his finger. I think he’ll be fine. I think it was one of those funny bone things, but we’ll get a better evaluation later.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: Is there an evaluation of the catch?

It’s a good catch.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: With Garrett (Wilson), is the plan to bring him back maybe after the game?

Yeah. He had a really good workout today. Looked awesome. Fully anticipating him back, Saturday.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: There was a pretty big fight with Laken (Tomlinson) hitting on probably the entire defense. Did you say anything to him afterwards?

Yeah, the second part of it is just not who we are. Going back for more, the punch in the back of the head. The fights are going to happen. They already happened, but the extra is where I’m looking for guys to pull it apart so we can get back to work. Good learning experience for all of them to make sure cooler heads prevail, but the extra was unnecessary for sure.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: Laken has been involved in two of them this summer. It seems like most of the time he is in the middle of it. I don’t think that was the case last year. Is he showing off something new?

I don’t know. I like the demeanor of our o-line right now. They’re just kind of fighting back.

Knock on wood, I think our d-line’s pretty good, you guys know that and they’re just fighting back, and that’s okay. It’s just you have to know when enough is enough.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Do you have a plan to start Zach (Wilson) tomorrow? If so, what are you looking for from him? 

No expectations from him, just go out there, just play, do what he’s been doing in practice, just show that confidence, the timing, and rhythm. He’s been performing really well in practice, and just take it to the field and do the best you can. No expectations with the stats or anything like that, but excited about the direction he’s going and just excited for him to get back on the field again.

 

Connor Hughes, SNYHow long do you plan on playing him?

We’ll see, we’ll talk about that tonight.

 

Dianna Russini, ESPN: Coach, where is your concern level right now? I know it’s only August 1st, but what is your concern level for just the offensive line as a group?

The o-line is going to get better. There’s so much competition and I feel like they’re going against again, a pretty good d-line. So, they’re working constantly. I had a good conversation with (Mekhi) Becton yesterday and we just talked about the work and he said, “Man, I’m getting such good work because whether I’m with the twos, the threes, it doesn’t matter, I’m still working against Carl (Lawson). I’m still working against JFM (John Franklin-Myers). They’re all getting really, really good work. I’m not worried about the group. If you’re going to say I’m worried about something, I’m a coach, I’m worried about everything, but just how quickly can we get that continuity going so we can hit the ground running in Week One? That’s going to be the key for it and can we start fast? Other than that, it’s August 1st, we still got a lot of football to play, we still got a lot of things to do. I guess speaking for all other 31 NFL head coaches, there’s still a lot of work to be done. We’re not even close to where we’re going to be once we get to the season.

 

Neil Best, Newsday: Now that you’re a couple of weeks into it, what’s your experience been like with the Hard Knocks thing? 

No, they’ve been great. Like I’ve said, we’ve had One Jets Drive, so there’s always cameras around anyway. Granted, it’s a few more, but I think they’ve been great. They’ve communicated very well. We’ve communicated back with them well. I guess you’d have to ask them if it’s been good. I feel like it has.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic:  How would you evaluate your QB3 battle with Tim (Boyle) and Chris (Streveler)?

No, it’s awesome. Tim’s (Boyle) awesome. As we know, Strev (Chris Streveler), Strev’s awesome. It’s a good one and I really like the way that quarterback room has been working together and the way they communicate with one another. Again, excited for these games to start so we can get them on the field so they can play some other competition.

 

Tom Rock, Newsday: Going into playing the Hall of Fame game, in your experience dealing with players, when do they start thinking ‘I might be in the Hall of Fame’?

That’s a good question. It’s probably more for them. I don’t know the answer to that one.

 

Tom Rock, Newsday: When do you start thinking that as a coach?

About whether or not he’s a Hall of Famer? When he’s 39 and he can still sling it.

 

Perry Sook, WPIX: Coach, you have two Hall of Famers going in for the Jets this weekend, any added happiness to the trip?

No, that part’s cool. The tradition of this organization and getting the guy from the Sack Exchange and then obviously one of the best corners in the history of this game. So it’s cool. It’s going to be fun to be able to see all that, to see those two go in and add to the tradition. And like I’ll tell our guys, we got a really cool group and there’s a lot of guys who can do something special in their career that’s on this group. Who’s to say, why not a few of us in this group, in this locker room? Why can’t there be a few more? But again, it all goes back to now what and where your feet are present and trying to make sure you take care of your daily opportunities. But again, it is cool. It’s always cool to see a little bit of the tradition of the Jets get showcased.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: You talked about Mekhi, will he play Thursday and how big of a deal is that if he does?

Yeah, we’re definitely going to plan on playing him. Pitch count, I think we’re trying to get him in the 20 to 25 range with regards to snaps. I think he’s excited about it. Again, this is about him getting comfortable with his knee. His talent is undeniable. His power is undeniable. His knowledge of the game is undeniable. He’s gotten a lot better over the last couple of weeks, so very encouraged. His conditioning has gotten a lot better, because football conditioning is way different than running around on grass and lifting weights. That’s gotten a lot better, so excited for him to take another step and for him this is about getting comfortable with that knee and getting confident so he can just unleash everything that we know he’s capable of.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: With (Nathaniel) Hackett, we’ve heard a lot from players about his style. Do you remember when you saw that for your first time working with him and what were your impressions?

I have a lot of respect for coaches who are authentic. They’re true to who they are, they respect the game, they respect one another, they respect people, and he’s one of those guys that’s just truly secure in his skin and authentic and he’s got some corny innuendos and all that stuff, but it’s who he is and it’s who he is on the field, it’s who he is off the field, in meetings, out of meetings. He teaches things in a way that are digestible for the players, and because of it, he’s not fake. There’s nothing fake about him. He’s not trying to put on this fake bravado of who a coach is supposed to be, and rather just being a human being and his style is who he is, and I think that’s why people have so much respect for him.

 

Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: How do you balance, you obviously wanting to get him some work, but also protecting him when you’re not going to have a lot of your starters out there?

For the most part, with the exception of Laken (Tomlinson) and AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker) and (Connor) McGovern, a lot of guys are competing to be starters, so just making sure that he’s going to have a really good group of all linemen in front of him and granted we have to protect them and all that stuff, but I think he’ll be fine.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic:  You said with the exception of Connor (McGovern)?

Yeah, Connor, I don’t anticipate him playing either.

 

Ian O’Connor, Harper Collins: As the offensive line tries to build some chemistry, how much do you think that process has helped or accelerated by having a Hall of Fame quarterback? 

It always helps, you know, just his ability to get rid of the ball in a timely manner. I said a couple days ago, Carl made the comment that he’s not even out of his stance and the ball is gone already, so that in itself helps with alignment, because from a d-line standpoint, it’s like, “God, how am I going to get to this freaking quarterback?” and the ball just keeps coming out and it’s degrading almost, so he definitely helps in that regard.

 

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