Brian Schottenheimer interview transcript 12/23/10

On Thursday New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On whether he would have to adjust the game plan if Mark Brunell plays…

“Obviously, the thing with Bru (Mark Brunell) is him being around for this year and being involved, there’s really not much we would adjust or change. The biggest issue is probably the fact that he’s left-handed. There’d be a few things here or there you might want to flip over and run the other way. For the most part, you don’t change too much. The volume might be cut back just a little bit, but we really wouldn’t adjust too much of what we would do.”

On the plays that Brunell feels comfortable with…

“A lot of those are core concepts that are in and if that was ever the case, obviously, he’s going to be involved in the selection. “Hey, these are my top concepts,” no different than what we would do with Mark (Sanchez). Every Friday, we sit down and say, ‘Hey, what do you like,’ just so we can get his opinion on stuff. Bru (Brunell) would be no different. The guy’s a pro. That’s one of the reasons we brought him here. We know (if) he has to go and play, he’ll do a great job and be ready.”

On what he saw from Mark Sanchez in practice today…

“Early in practice, I think he was kind of just getting warmed up. I think that’s probably what Rex was talking about, but I think as he got going a little bit, he looked pretty good. Again, I think a lot of it is just a precaution. They’re being smart. It’s just a few days after the game and I think they’re just kind of taking their time with this thing. Again, I have no questions about Mark. I think if you look at the second half, Mark and how he played, it’s kind of funny because one of the first throws he made after he kind of dinged his shoulder was the deep one to Braylon (Edwards). We were talking about some ideas. This was over on the bench. He said, “Hey, let’s hold off on that thought a little bit. Let me throw a couple (of) balls first.” Then, by the time we went up to go play, he went, “I’m good. Let’s (go).” I think it was the first throw that he made, so I have no concerns about that. Obviously, it’s a pain thing right now, a thing where he kind of just has to work through the discomfort.”

On if Sanchez came over to the bench to say he was hurt or if the coaches asked if he was ok…

“No, he kind of had a little grimace on his face a little bit, but nothing major. (As a) matter of fact, I didn’t know about it until later. Like I said, I went and was talking to him about some of the plays and he said, “Hey,” because it was a deep throw, “let me throw a couple of balls first.” Then, he went and threw some balls on the boundary and came over and said, “Hey, I feel good. Let’s go.” Obviously, I called it and he made a great throw to Braylon (Edwards).”

On whether he expects Sanchez to play…

“I think so. I really do.”

On how many of the team’s reps Sanchez took in practice today…

“Quite a bit (of them). I don’t know the exact number. He took the majority of them I would say.”

On whether Sanchez saw more reps than Brunell…

“Absolutely. He had probably more overall than (Brunell). I have to say Bru, otherwise, you get confused (joking). I would say Sanchez. Sanchez had the majority.”

On whether he will go through with both quarterbacks what plays they like…

“No, we’ll do it with Sanchez and then, obviously, we’ll play off that as we go. Again, I think as the week progresses through. Obviously, yesterday was the first day. Today, he got more reps, talking about Sanchez, got more reps today and did a good job. We’ll do the same pizza meeting with Sanchez tomorrow and then we’ll have a plan ready just in case.”

On if Santonio Holmes is going to be restricted at all…

“He looked good today. He really did, because I remember, it was funny, I looked out there, we were doing routes on air. I was like, ‘Can you go,’ and he (gave a) thumbs up. He was like, “Yeah, let’s go.” (We) ran a couple of deep routes and so I thought he looked good.”

On if he simplified the game plan against Pittsburgh…

“No, not really. I think what you looked at, was we wanted to get Mark (Sanchez) off to a good start. I think we did that. Like the very first play of the game was what, a one-yard completion? We got him off to a good start. I thought the offensive line was just outstanding. We had some real positive runs. I think the first run of the game was 11 yards. So much of it is confidence. We didn’t score on the opening drive. We went three-and-out actually, but we were doing positive things. Then, the momentum hits and you get going. Again, I call a lot of plays that are good and they don’t work and I call a lot of plays that are bad that go for touchdowns so, again, I always give the players the majority of the credit. Really in terms of cutting things back, not really.”

On if he hesitated at all to call the bootleg on fourth down…

“No, it was set up because we run it so much. Everybody overplays it. They had everybody in there.”

On if they were trying to feed the hot hand on Sunday…

“It’s just kind of the way (it worked out). Actually, we moved Braylon around. They ended up matching Ike Taylor on Santonio (Holmes), which they had shown that they would match before, but that was not something they did all the time. Ike Taylor presses a lot more than (Bryant) McFadden, so we actually moved those two guys around some. (We) actually put Braylon in some of Santonio’s spots for just different reasons and the ball just kind of got spread to those guys. Obviously, they’re a big pressure team. I think they blitzed us like 14 of the first 16 plays and when you do that, you open yourselves up a little bit to the outside throws and that’s kind of what you saw Mark taking advantage of. It was more of a product of them coming after us and them trying to bring pressure on us up front and get after Mark, which opened up the isolations on the outside.”

On what Jericho Cotchery’s role has been on offense…

“We didn’t really use much of the three-wide personnel package that game. Sometimes it just plays itself out that way. They have a lot of exotic blitzes that when you get small, and they bring in defensive backs from everywhere, it’s harder to ID things. So we didn’t really use as many snaps. Plus we only had 58 or 59 snaps. Obviously, the kick return early on added into that so there weren’t that many opportunities for us.”

On if it makes him nervous not knowing if the quarterback will be right or left handed…

“Honestly, you can’t think about it. It crosses your mind, but we really don’t change (the plan). Whoever the quarterback is, he doesn’t have to do it all. I think if you look at the line we have and you look at the backs, both Shonn (Greene) and (LaDainian Tomlinson). (Rushing for) 100 yards against that front we just played was pretty good with limited carries, I don’t know how many there were. You don’t have time to worry about it. I expect Mark to answer the call. I think he’s tough, he wants to play and he knows the importance of this game, but I also know that Mark Brunell is going to be ready if he has to go.”

On self-scouting before the Pittsburgh game…

“We always do a little bit of it, but there was nothing glaring that jumped out. It was just a great plan that we put together. (Coach Bill Callahan) had some great ideas. Our guys accept the challenge. Sometimes when you’re taking heat and you’re getting criticized, you use that as motivation. I think all of our guys did that. You hope it doesn’t happen a lot where you have to answer that call, but they did that and that’s great.”

On if he feels more confident going into this game than others in the past…

“Not really because when you’re going up against a defense like (Chicago) you don’t know. We had a good week of practice. The focus level was there. In terms of planning again, the plan can always go in either direction. There are some plans that I have gone into feeling great and then come out of the game think boy that didn’t work out the way I saw it. There are some plans you go into thinking we might not get a first down and (then you) have a great game. I felt good about the week of preparation and the way the guys practiced. I was obviously confident leading into the game (against Pittsburgh) because of the way they practiced.”

On if he deserves credit for the win…

“No, I definitely don’t deserve the praise.”

On if there was a conscious effort to get Dustin Keller the ball during the game against Pittsburgh…

“Yes. When you’re doing the opener you sometimes try to say, ‘Okay, I have to try and get this guy the ball early.’ That wasn’t the exact design of that play. They actually played a pretty good defense for it. Keller made a great catch, but there are things you do in that regard. That’s when we weren’t expecting that coverage. Mark found him and made a good throw and Dustin got a completion. He’s a guy like Braylon (Edwards) and some of the guys feed off that stuff.”

On if passes like the one to Keller are designed to get guys involved early…

“Absolutely, and it’s harder with the skilled guys that are extended. The runners are easy. You just hand it to them. Brad (Smith) is easy, you just put him at quarterback, but it’s the guys on the edges that will be the challenge this week because of all of the cover-two they play. They are going to try and take away those guys on the outside and make you work the middle of the field. Chicago is obviously very basic and awfully good at what they do. They are basic. Coach Marinelli (Bears Defensive Coordinator) is probably Christmas shopping himself because they don’t do a lot and they are awfully good at what they do (laughter).”

On how Sanchez’s injury will affect the quarterback position…

“I think watching him throw today, I thought he looked really good. The way he play after he fell on his shoulder, I feel good about it. He’s the type of guy that we always tease because he’s always hooked up to instruments. Brunell looks at him like, ‘What is this?’ We’re in the quarterback meeting and he has ice on his head, knee, ankle, and his back. It’s like, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ I think he’ll be fine. I really do.”

On what torn cartilage means for him if it’s in Sanchez’s throwing shoulder…

“You look at the way he throws and if it doesn’t affect the way he’s throwing then it’s not an issue.”

On what Rex Ryan said about Sanchez playing on Sunday…

“I saw what Rex was reacting to, which was earlier in the day when (Sanchez) was trying to get loose. It was cold. As practice progressed, he made a throw on about the 18-yard curl rout that was awfully sharp. I think that looking at it, I’m sure what Rex saw was an earlier snap, but he got better.”

On if Sanchez’s performance got better after warm-ups…

“Yes. I think the reaction can go back to the game. He knows that something didn’t feel right, but I think he worked himself through it and was like, “I feel good.” I just think it takes a little bit of time (to get through) some of the pain.”


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