Head Coach Robert Saleh, 8.23
[please click photo for link to the video]
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Hey Robert, do you happen to have an update on Jarrad Davis?
Jarrad Davis, obviously, he has an ankle. It’s going to take him into the season but, we expect him back sometime around the Bye Week.
(follow up) Is he a candidate for the injured reserve, to be activated later?
That’ll be something that I’ll talk to Joe (Douglas) about, but we’ll decide that later.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Robert, first of all thanks for doing this today. Just to follow up on Connor’s question, is it a high ankle sprain?
No, that would probably be more for the doctors, sometimes they speak Chinese. (joking) It is an ankle, not necessarily a high ankle sprain but it’s enough that it’ll be treated like one.
(follow up) I just wanted to follow up with some other injury guys, specifically (Mike) White, AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker), Elijah (Moore) and any other guys?
AVT, we’re hoping he gets action this week. Same thing with Elijah Moore, that one’s going to be more day-to-day, but we’re hoping that we can get him back this week. Mike White, obviously, day-to-day, just evaluating him every day.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, how about (Ronald) Blair and (Conor) McDermott, who got hurt?
Ronnie, he’s going to be day-to-day. We’ll see with all the testing that he has today. McDermott, he’s working through, it’s going to be through the season with his injury. He’s looking at some more evaluations to see which direction he wants to go. That’s about the extent on those two.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, with Jarrad being out into the season, how do you feel about the depth you have at that position and who do you see stepping in there?
We really like our linebacker group. We’ve got a combination of youth and experience. (Jamien) Sherwood has been doing a really nice job so, we’re expecting him to slide in and pick up where Jarrad left off. He’s been having a really nice camp and it’s an opportunity for him to step in and take on a bigger role. With regards to that linebacker group, we’re really excited about that unit.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: With Elijah Moore and Vera-Tucker, you have no concerns with them being available for Week One, from what you’ve been told they’ll be good to go for then?
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Robert, yesterday there was a report that you guys are interested in trading for a pass rusher in light of (Carl) Lawson’s injury. How serious will you look at that avenue to improve that position?
My head is so deep into our tape and just focusing on these guys right now, Rich. I know it’s not the answer you want but, there’s always going to be personnel discussions with Joe and myself. But as far as the seriousness with all of that I’m really just focused on the guys that are here right now.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, how difficult is this? Jarrad was your big free agent signing, Carl was a big part of your defense and now they’re gone, one for the season, one for a while.
I never feel sorry for myself. I feel terrible for the two that are injured, I talked about it after the game. Jarrad has been nothing but a professional since he’s walked in here, same thing with Carl. The amount of work that they put in and how much they’ve studied and how much they’ve bought into our scheme and the way we’re trying to get things done and then for them to lose part of their season, in Carl’s case, all of his season, I feel sick for them because the amount of investment these young men made to this game only to have it taken all on one play. I don’t think it’s hard on me, I think it’s much harder on them. We’ll figure it out, someone will step up and we’ll keep on moving.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Robert, can you talk a little bit about Sherwood? You saying he’s going to slide in there, it shows a lot of confidence in a rookie and a guy who doesn’t have that much experience, obviously, playing linebacker.
Yeah, Sherwood is exactly what we thought. When we drafted, now I want to make sure I’m saying this properly, I’m not comparing him to Fred (Warner) yet, he’s got a long way to go. Fred Warner played Nickel in college and was maybe 220-225 his rookie year. Threw him in there at MIKE linebacker, started day one and he took off. Sherwood has a tremendous mindset to him, he’s extremely start, he’s got great command of the playbook already, he’s got respect of his peers, he is an unbelievable communicator, and he doesn’t look like Fred but, he’s sitting there right around 220-225, he’s got tremendous length, tremendous instincts, he’s got a great feel for the game. Again, for him, there’s going to be some hiccups along the way but, we feel with reps he’s only going to get better.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, I was just curious if you could follow up on a comment you made after the game Saturday night. You talked about Zach (Wilson), you said, “His process is lightyears beyond a normal rookie.” Can you just explain exactly what you mean by “process,” and what you’re seeing that made you say that?
That’s a great question Brian. When I talk process, I’m not necessarily talking about how he processes the game when the ball is snapped. I’m talking about the way he goes about his day-to-day business and the way he studies tape, how he studies the night before, what he’s doing and the things he’s asking the video guys, the information he wants. Just from speaking from a defensive standpoint, I’ve been fortunate to coach some of the best linebackers this game has ever had. Those guys were swimming their first year and were grabbing at things to try and figure it out. This young man has a tremendous process on how he gets to gameday. It’s that process that we trust, is why he’ll continue to grow and fix mistakes that he may have. That’s why we talk about how his process is phenomenal. Now, the result might, gameday might happen and be like, ‘Damn, he hit the wrong wall.’ But what we trust is that he’s going to be able to reset on Monday, go through that process that he has, and find ways to get better from the week before. That’s where we’re really really excited about him. Sometimes the result on gameday is going to be phenomenal, sometimes it’s going to be a big dud but, we trust that those duds are going to be fewer and further in-between.
Mark Sanchez, New York Post: Hey Robert, Mark Sanchez, the new guy at the Post. Zach was targeting Corey Davis plenty the other day. What have you seen from that relationship and, are you seeing Zach lean more on him?
You know, it’s a combination of play caller along with Zach’s comfort. We’re trying to get Corey his work also because he’s only going to play a couple of series. At the same time, those two have been working together and working one-on-ones and routes on air. He’s been working that way with all of them but, Corey is a reliable, trustworthy receiver. He’s going to do the right things, you know he’s going to be where he’s supposed to be, you know he’s going to get separation. When those quarterbacks have a guy that they feel like they can lean on, absolutely. He’s going to feel a lot more comfortable working to his side. They’re constantly working, constantly communicating and that relationship has been growing pretty good.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Robert, you were asked after the game about Zach and how he has not faced any starting defenses yet. I’m wondering if you could just flip that for a second, is there a positive in that, in terms of building confidence and, he’s had a lot of open receivers, is there a positive to that, just to build his confidence as you go into the regular season?
I don’t know, you guys know me, I’m an optimist. You know if it was the other way around and he was struggling, he’d be getting torched. The fact that he’s going out there and absolutely dissecting these defenses, I think is a testament to him. You guys know how I feel about professional football players, and their ability to play this game. I get it, maybe they haven’t been working together, so their timing from their respective, might be off from a defensive standpoint. Credit to our offense, they’ve had six drives, they’ve put up points in four of them. They’ve had a really good showing so far this preseason. You still got to go out there and do it, no different than going out on the golf course, you might be playing an easy course, but you still have to go out there and hit shots. It’s the same thing, they still have to execute, and they still have to perform their job. Yes, you can argue all you want one way or the other, I just think our offense had been doing a nice job with pre-snap communication, assignments, staying on schedule, getting the ball out in rhythm, our run after the catch, all of it. It’s been good so far, it’s something to build off of.
Brian Costello, New York Times: Robert, do you have any concern about the missed time here for Elijah Moore and Alijah Vera-Tucker, both of them rookies, missing a lot of time in camp?
For sure. My concern is just the lack of reps, but that goes for everybody. If Marcus Maye was missing reps, I’d be concerned for him too because of how much we value reps and execution. But the good thing about those two is, I mean, you see them in walkthrough, AVT’s been getting a lot of walkthrough reps, and Elijah Moore is over there just constantly absorbing as much information as he can. So, a lot of confidence in those two and be able to step in and, at least, know what they’re doing. And there might be a little bit of rustiness with regards to timing and all that, but those are things that we feel that they’ll be able to adjust to pretty quickly.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Robert, will you change, at all, the way that you conduct these joint practices against the Eagles, because the fact that you play the Eagles in the regular season? So, with Green Bay you were only going to see them at preseason game, but now you’re actually going to see Philly later in the year.
No, we play Philly in like Week Nine, or something like that, it’s much later in the season, so both teams are going to kind of reveal themselves. Are there things that we’ll be aware of and cognizant of? Sure. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’ll be as big a deal because of how late we play.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: It seems like some coaches might use this last preseason game to evaluate the bottom of their roster, while others might, you know, want to get their starters one last run before the real games, where do you fall on that?
We’re going to talk about it as a staff. There’s several of my mentors who are going to be playing through the first half. Then there’s some friends who still aren’t going to play any of their guys. It’s interesting, everyone’s philosophy on how to approach this third game, but again this is so important for, I can tell you the rookies are going to play. How much? I don’t know. And how much are we going to get the vets out there? I don’t know. But again, we’re going to talk about that as the week goes on, depending on how these practices go, and talk with the players and talk with the coordinators and see which direction we want to go to.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, I’m following up on Bless Austin, from Saturday, you said personal reasons, and usually when we here personal reasons that means the guy had to leave the team for some kind of family situation. I noticed he was on the sideline during the game, so I was just curious, was there a disciplinary issue there?
No disciplinary action. Bless had a personal issue and we felt like it was important for him to regroup rather than throw him out on the football field.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Robert, will the injuries that you guys recently suffered to Carl or Jarrad impact how much you wan to play your starters, here in this final game, losing two pretty important guys?
Not for me. You look at the two injuries that they had, obviously one was in practice. Every time you take a snap in this game, you’re a subject to injury. If anything, you’re probably safer in the game than you are in practice, in my opinion, because in practice you’re not expecting for people to fall on the ground. So, that’s where a lot of things can go wrong. Jarrad’s injury was a little bit of a freak injury with someone rolling up on his ankle. I don’t think you can be gun shy. I think if you are gun shy, and as a player, if you play not to get hurt, that’s when you probably do get hurt. To answer your question though, Connor, no I’m not gun shy at all.
Eric Allen, Newyorkjets.com: How did Quinnen (Williams) look in his limited reps last week? And would you like to get him some more reps in practice this week?
We’re going to up him this week. We had it maxed out between 10 and 12 reps per practice last week, we’re going to try to up that to 20 this week as we ramp him up and continue to work through them. And he looked exactly like we thought, he was a little rusty but he’s a big powerful man and he’s excited to continue to work through it, and I know Aaron (Whitecotton), our d-line coach, is really happy that he’s around and now we just got to hone in on our technique and hone in on the small details that’s going to make him special.