Calvin Pace Interview Transcript 8/5/11

On Friday New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On how he feels…

I had surgery on my foot as everybody knows. The doctor said last year there was no way I could hurt it even worse. As the season went along, the pain went away gradually. Mentally, I started trusting it (his foot) again, so that’s why I feel a lot better.

On whether he is 100 percent…

Yes, 100 percent.

On how him being healthy will affect the pass rush…

Every year it’s the same thing, pass rush, pass rush, pass rush, but I think people need to understand that we pressure the quarterback a different way. If you go just down the road to the Giants, they pressure with four. They bring blitzes every now and then. We spread the wealth around. Would I love to have 15 sacks? Yes, but they ask me to do more things than just line up and rush. That’s how we do it. I might have eight. Drew Coleman had six last year. James Ihedigbo had three or four. That’s just how we do things. I think a lot of it is predicated on us being able to get there, but ultimately, whatever rush comes, we need to run it and get there. A lot of times I’m sacrificing, fighting and taking on two people so someone can come free and just make the play. This is going to be a better year, I think. It’s going to be better, but 47 sacks last year wasn’t bad. We just were seven out of the lead, if I’m not mistaken. I think we’re going to be better to answer the question.

On when his foot stopped bothering him last year…

I would say by Week Nine or 10, I started feeling good. The only thing I never really factored in is that we play on field turf. It’s not the softest surface in the world. It’s a good surface, but if you’re coming off an injury that’s a broken foot, it’s not probably the ideal place you want to start off. As the season went on, like I said, I started getting more and more comfortable on it. It helped me to come in, rehabbing every day, getting stronger and as the season went along, I started feeling better.

On whether he is surprised that teams have not begun copying their defense…

In the end, I think people just think it’s a gimmick. It’s like (they think), “Well, if we block him up, we can stop him from getting there.” Well, we always seem to get there. People think we’re blitzing, and a lot of times, we’re not blitzing. It’s just a lot of it is moving around, giving different guys different looks. Especially with Tom Brady in our league, you have to give these guys different stuff because if you just want to drop back and play cover-two or cover-four, he’ll pick that apart all day. I think the beauty of what we do is we have a lot of different guys who can do different things. If you look at the last two years, a lot of guys other than (Darrelle) Revis and (Antonio) Cromartie have come in and done great things (when blitzing). Drew Coleman, Dwight (Lowery), all of these guys have stepped in, one, because they bought in and two, because of the defensive philosophy, you’re put in the right place to make plays.

On how excited he is to be healthy and ready for a full season…

That’s the goal, to be able to go out and play 16 regular season (games) and then make a deep playoff run. The last two years weren’t scripted or how I would’ve planned for it. But again, the beauty of what we do is if somebody goes down, we have the luxury of having guys that have played quite a bit and can step in and do a good job. My goal is to stay healthy (and) not get suspended again (joking). I intend to do that, for sure.

On Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis…

I like both of them. You never really know what to expect with rookies because it’s a whole different league. Everything that you learned in college, you can scrap that. It’s kind of like you’re starting over with a clean slate, but the one thing that they do have is a big motor. I think they are going to add a lot to our team. For the veteran guys, it’s our job to kind of bring them along and tell them how we play, how we do things and they’re buying in. That’s the start right there. I think this work that they’re getting out here is good. Obviously, they didn’t have a chance to get their OTAs and their rookie camps, but they’re going to be good players.

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