Head Coach Robert Saleh, 8.30
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Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Are the cuts official? They were just tweeted.
Were they? Ok, I have no idea. I just got off the practice field.
Steve Serby, New York Post: Tough day for you obviously, right?
Tough 48 hours. Since the end of the press conference I had when I mentioned how hard these next couple of days were. They’re miserable because there are some that you know will never play again, then there was a lot that you know deserved to be on a 53-man roster, but knock on wood to the credit of Joe (Douglas) and his staff and this roster that’s been built, we have a pretty cool 53. I’m really excited to see what happens in the next 24 hours and the opportunities that some of these guys get.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: In terms of the quality of guys you had to cut, did you feel like this was a step up from the roster last year? Did you feel that there were some tougher decisions to make?
Yeah, and it’s going to be harder next year. It’s going to be harder and harder every single year. There was a lot of good fighting – make sure you guys don’t turn this into, ‘There’s divide!’ – a lot of lobbying, a lot of tapes being made, a lot of discussions. That’s why I love Joe, he’s open for all of those discussions – him and his staff, our staff. From a coaching side, just so many transparent conversations and (I) feel like we did what’s best for the organization.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Can you talk about the safety position a little bit? The first two were kind of obvious, but (Jason) Pinnock and (Will) Parks both had good camps and (Tony) Adams was a little bit of a surprise.
Big credit to TA – undrafted, just did a really good job every single day finding ways to get better and better. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. I would’ve been sick if we were to have lost him. Credit to Ashtyn (Davis), just his overall body of work when you include OTAs, training Camp, their game time, what they did in the game and practice, special teams had a big part of it also, really happy with that group that we got.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Obviously, Denzel (Mims) is still here. Is there still a possibility of a trade or is he cemented in?
From my standpoint, I stand true to what I told you guys before. I try to be as transparent as I can. He’s on this roster. He’s one of our top six receivers, and everything else is for Joe.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: I know they’re all tough, but was Pinnock a tough choice? He had been playing well.
Very hard because he has a lot of talent. He has a bright future ahead of him. We’re hoping we get him back, obviously from a practice squad standpoint. The waiver wire, you’re always playing roster roulette.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Do you plan on making some additions via the waiver wire in the next couple of days?
You’re always going to look. We’re really excited about the guys we have, but if there are opportunities to make the roster better, I’m sure Joe will do that.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Zonovan (Bam) Knight, undrafted free agent, just talk about how rare it is to make a 53-man roster when you go undrafted.
It’s hard to make it as an undrafted free agent, that’s why TA and him, it’s really cool to see those two seize their opportunity and make the most of it. He’s another young man who has a really good running style that matches what we look for in a running style, and from a special teams standpoint, being the fourth running back and having great value in that respect. To him and TA, both did a really good job this offseason and constantly taking the steps they needed to – attack the 40 days off that they had from between OTAs and training camp and hit the ground running in training camp. When we got pads on, it felt like they elevated again. Really cool for a guy like Bam to make the team.
Brian Costello, New York Post: (Lawrence) Cager making the team and (Trevon) Wesco and (Kenny) Yeboah not?
With (Lawrence) Cager, I was joking with him today that he went from being a slow receiver to a fast tight end. I’m going to give him credit. Anytime you make a shift from receiver to tight end, you’re always like, ‘How’s he going to be from a physical standpoint?’ He is a willing blocker. He’ll play at the point of attack. You still can run the ball plenty with him. He beefed up to around 245 and he’s not a liability in the run game. When a lot of times those guys become a liability, he is not. So, he’s earned his way because he is a problem when it comes to receivers versus linebackers and safeties and all of that. Big credit to him for creating a unique skillset that is different than what you see with CJ (Uzomah), different than (Tyler) Conklin, different than (Jeremy) Ruckert. So, when you look at Wesco and Yeboah, both deserving, also, especially Wesco – such a tremendous blocker who really had great improvement, but when we looked at that fourth spot and the versatility and, again, the overall body when you look at teams, what do you bring that can be different? That’s why we’re going with Cager.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Is there anything Chris Streveler could have done? What was the difference picking him as opposed to Mike White?
Strev (Streveler) is awesome, had a great conversation with him. Hoping we get him back too, but it’s overall body of work too and he definitely performed, I don’t want to take that away from him, but when you look at Mike White from a year ago, OTA’s, training camp. He had two rough games, but he had a really nice game against the Giants. Mike is just an overall body of work, really understands exactly what we are trying to get done and from that standpoint what was great about everything was just watching Streveler who had really just, Rich asked a question way back, “Is he just a camp arm?” and I talked to Streveler yesterday, that’s what it starts out as and you just let a guy go and it’s up to him to seize an opportunity and make the best of his opportunity. Really cool to see what he did.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: I have a question about a quarterback who did not get cut, with Zach (Wilson), when do you anticipate him practicing?
As soon as he feels like he’s ready to go. There’s no timeline, it’s well documented, we saw him on the bike, he’s walking around, he’s out at practice today, he’s taking in all the information, he’s at walk through, he’s in every meeting -as soon as he gets cleared by the doc’s (doctors) and he feels good, he’ll be out there. There’s really no timeline.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Do you expect Joe (Flacco) to be the Week One starter?
If Zach’s not ready by Week One. We’ve got a lot to see over the next week, then yeah, Joe will be the starter.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Is there a certain amount of practice time that you will feel comfortable with Zach needing to have?
You’d like him to practice that week. He did it last year, I know he had a couple of scout team weeks, but they were limited in nature, but he’ll be fine with one week of practice.
Brian Costello, New York Post: On Denzel (Mims), I know you’ve referring to Joe (Douglas) on the trade stuff, but you’ve used the quote before from Mike Tomlin, right? ‘We want volunteers not hostages.’ It kind of feels like he’s a hostage right now. Do you disagree with that?
Depends, that’s a really good question and a good observation there. As it pertains to Denzel, I have a lot of respect for Denzel and it’s different when they don’t want to be here because they hate it here, like fine, take a hike. I’m more than happy to open up the door. Denzel’s a tremendously respectful young man and I think he genuinely loves his teammates, he loves the Jets organization. Is he frustrated? Is he frustrated with all of us? Sure, I’m sure he is. He wants to play and for that, I don’t think he’s a hostage. It’s a lot easier to kick somebody out of the door if they want a trade if they’re jerks and that’s not Denzel, he’s a good young man and I love the way he approaches everything, even with this, the way he’s come about it, very professional, comes to meetings, practice, does all of it, so I guess I just don’t view him as a hostage.
Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: I would just like to follow up on Denzel. You complemented him throughout camp in terms of how much he’s improved compared to last year. I don’t understand, I don’t even think he got one first team rep in games with the starting group, he’s always been with the twos and the threes, so if he’s improved so much, why not give him a rep?
He has improved, but it’s just our view in terms of who are the first three, you’ve got, Corey (Davis) deserves to be with the ones, and they have something to say about it too, so does Elijah (Moore), so does Garrett (Wilson). It doesn’t mean that Denzel’s the sixth. If Corey gets hurt, you’ve got a guy in Denzel who’s able to jump in and play Corey’s position and run all his big boy routes and do all the same things Corey does. Whether anyone wants to agree, disagree, Corey is our one, at the z position. It comes down to his teammates having something to say about that too.