Head Coach Robert Saleh, 9.27

[Please click photo for link to the video]

 

Opening statement…

Good morning. Tony Adams won’t practice today, neither will (Wes) Schweitzer. Hamstring and concussion for Adams and Schweitzer and then limited as normal, (Mekhi) Becton and Breece (Hall), and then (Greg) Zuerlein and (Micheal) Clemons, they’ll show up on the injury report, but they’re full participants.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: Can you talk a little bit about (Trevor) Siemian and what made him an attractive addition?

Yeah, he’s obviously got a lot of games under his belt, he’s a quick learner, quick study from my understanding, and just giving him the ability to come on to the practice squad and help us out was the best decision for us.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: What’s the process like, Robert, in terms of how long do you think it would take him to get up to speed on the playbook?

We’ll see. Every case is different, so it’s case by case.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: So, he’ll be the third this week, inactive?

Inactive.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Robert, there’s obviously been a lot of noise around the team this week. Do you worry at all about that breaking the locker room and affecting these guys at all?

No, noise is noise. It’s like a double-edged sword. It’s part of why this game is so great, is there’s so much attention, whether it’s positive or negative. I’ve said it before, we’ve got a great locker room. Locker room is locked in. Is there frustration? Of course there is. Any time you lose two in a row there’s going to be frustration. It’s the NFL. When you lose, it feels like the world is caving in, when you win, everyone puts you on a pedestal, but there’s still a lot of confidence in the locker room. Defense, knock on wood, obviously playing at a high level, special teams playing at a high level, and offense has got to find a way to pick it up, and obviously that always starts at the coaching level and then it goes all the way down, and just trying to find ways to move the ball and score points.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, obviously Joe Namath had a lot to say about Zach (Wilson) and everybody else in the organization. Have you spoken to him? What’s your reaction to that, and what would you say?

I haven’t spoken to Joe (Namath), but obviously Joe is an icon, a hall of famer, and a well-respected individual in this organization. Door’s always open for him to walk in, and my office is always open for him, but we’ll agree to disagree with his comments, but he is entitled to those comments.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Robert, with Aaron (Rodgers) coming out yesterday and saying the guys need to show a little more poise and grow up a little bit. How do you feel about him not being here physically, but making comments that garner a lot of headlines?

I’ve said it with Aaron. He’s as much of a coach as he is a player, and he’s been around youth and he’s been around adversity, and he’s seen it all, so for him to recognize that and talk through it, I think he’s not wrong in that when you have frustration, it’s easy to look for answers when sometimes the most important answer is inward, and that’s the only way you can defeat adversity is to look inward and find ways to be your personal best. As it pertains to what he said, he’s not wrong, but at the same time, it’s just a bunch of young guys showing a little frustration, but they’ll be alright.

 

Tom Rock, Newsday: Do you worry about the health of that situation moving forward? He’s going to be on every Tuesday for the next 15 weeks dissecting what happened on Sunday for you guys. Is that going to be an issue?

No, that’s not going to be an issue. I don’t think it should be. He’s part of this team, and he’s got thoughts, and I think he does a really good job articulating those thoughts in a manner that’s respectful.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, you guys have acknowledged that Zach lost some confidence last year, it was part of the problem. The world’s caving in right now as a 24-year-old, I’m sure it’s caving in on him more than anyone else in the building. How do you avoid a repeat of last year where he loses confidence?

That’s a good question, Cos (Costello). With regard to Z (Zach), we all acknowledge he has to play better. We all acknowledge that. He acknowledges it, teammates acknowledge it, he acknowledges it himself, but the key is to have confidence in yourself. You have to. And you have to continually stack good days. You go out and you own your moments. You go out to practice, you dominate practice, and you have to find a way to gain the momentum of practice and transfer that momentum into the game, but for him, definitely needs to get better, but at the same time, you’ve got to maintain the belief in yourself and your teammates and play within yourself and not try to press and make things happen. Just play within the structure of the offense, get the ball to your playmakers, and let your playmakers go to work, and as soon as that starts happening and the ball gets rolling in that regard, that’s when the confidence will start to stack.

Connor Hughes, SNY: Is the hardest part of this Robert, balancing a quarterback who is developing with a team that is very clearly ready to win now?

Well, you definitely have difficulties, right? Empathetically speaking, you’re going into a season and it’s like ‘hey, we have all these aspirations’, and not that any of these aspirations are over, but you just get stunned four plays in and you’re trying to adjust on the fly and you’re playing three unbelievable defenses and you’re trying to make sure everything is working, everyone is learning one another still. So yeah, like I said, there’s a frustration aspect to it, but at the same time, guys are working diligently to try to figure out the best way to utilize this group, and that’s where hopefully, you know as a coach, you wish it was yesterday, but you have to continue grinding.

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: As a coach and also as a player, how can you keep his morale up to a certain point and prevent it from spiraling or snowballing like it did last year?

No, for sure, you continue working. It’s no different. You’re trying to find the positive and the silver lining and stuff, right? But you also have to keep it real and hold each other accountable and make sure that we understand what we need to get done, because there’s no hiding behind that. There’s a fine line between being blindly positive and actually having positive accountability. So for him, he fully recognizes what needs to get done, and we all recognize what needs to get done, and at the end of the day, there’s nothing stronger than affirmation, and you get affirmation by going out and continually doing your job to the best of your ability, and once you start finding that success on gameday, that’s when everything snowballs into something pretty cool, but you can’t get there by thinking about worst case scenarios. You’ve got to be a dog, you’ve got to be aggressive, you’ve got to be confident in your ability, you’ve got to sling the rock and let it rip and let your playmakers do the work.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, you’ve seen Patrick Mahomes before. Sorry to pile on here, but what kind of challenge does he bring to the defense on Sunday?

Patrick Ma-homie? He’s a special talent. Some of the throws he makes are disgusting from a defensive perspective, but they’re super talented. He knows how to bide time, and the offense, they’ve done a really nice job since the last time we had the chance to play them back in the Super Bowl, but their o-line (offensive line)  is really talented, much more talented than it was, the skill guys have speed, (Travis) Kelce’s gotten a heck of a lot better, that back, number 10, he’s an absolute dog with the ball in his hands, a very physical runner. And then of course, Andy (Reid), sometimes I wonder if he just draws it in the dirt as the game goes on, with some of the concepts that they have, but it’s going to be a challenge, for sure.

 

Jared Schwartz, New York Post: Robert, with that offensive line, I think Mahomes has only been sacked one time, he’s been pressured at the lowest rate of his career. Just what makes that offensive line so difficult to create pressures against?

They’re really good in the interior three, the tackles are experienced and athletic, but like I said, it’s just a really good group. They’re running the ball a heck of a lot better than they have in the past. Back in 2019, it was ‘God, I hope you run the ball’, but now though, they can put 300 (yards) on you running the ball if they want to. They can do it both ways, so a super, super talented group. The o-line, especially their center, he’s extremely talented, but just overall all the way down, there’s definitely not a weakness in the offense.

Nick Faria, amNewYork: What do you see defensively? They’re ranked very highly, won the Super Bowl last year, but where do you see their strength is on the defensive side?

The biggest thing- obviously Chris Jones is as good as anyone. Him, Quinnen (Williams), Aaron Donald, they’re game wreckers, but this is year five for Spags (Steve Spagnuolo), a lot of respect for Spags as a coordinator and a play caller. You can tell the group is playing at a high level, a lot of efficiency, they’ve been together for a while now. Their linebacker crew has gotten a heck of a lot better, they’re sticky in coverage, they’re very disruptive, their blitz packages are really, really tight because they can blitz and cover usually with that type of system. You might find some holes, but they’re very sticky. So, like I said, they’re very in tune to their responsibility, they play very, very fast, and Spags has a really good grasp of his personnel and they use it wisely.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, we’ve talked about this before with Mecole (Hardman Jr.), why has it been so difficult to get him on the field? His speed, isn’t that something you guys could use, especially with the offense struggling?

Yeah, you would love to find ways to utilize his speed, but at the same time, there’s a lot of guys we’re trying to get on the field, and again, knock on wood, we’ve got a cool group of skill guys, and whether we want to get all three of our tight ends on the field, or get two backs on the field, or get all the receivers on the field, some of those opportunities just haven’t presented themselves. We tried to get him out there early against New England, but it didn’t go the way we wanted to, and the game kind of goes in a different direction, but to try to get his speed on, Xavier Gipson, the same thing, I’d like to get him more opportunities too. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s pretty special too. So, there’s a lot of guys that we’re trying to get opportunities for.

 

Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: Going back to Zach, he’s obviously hearing it every time he throws a pass that’s incomplete. What is the challenge in doing that? How do you think he’s handling it, and after what he went through last year, what do you think he learned from that?

Well, the only advice you can give a young man like that is that you have to block it out, have confidence in yourself, have confidence in your teammates. Noise is noise. And try to play your way out of the noise by creating, rather than just staying within the structure and confidence in yourself, is only going to make things worse. A lot of times offensive guys, or even defensive players in general, they feel like they need to make a play, they actually make things worse. The play you need to make is the play that’s available to you at that moment, and when you have that mindset to just be precise in your job, usually it stacks up and you can piggy back and get more production out of yourself, but for him, just block the noise, have confidence in yourself, and find a way to stack up good plays.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: You mentioned (Travis) Kelce. Has he hit you up for a field pass yet?

Not this week.

 

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