Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 10/6/11


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

On getting Nick Mangold back…

Yes, obviously, when you get a player of Nick’s caliber back, or what appears to be back, it’s a huge boost. He’s a great player. He does so many things for us. Just that center position alone, you control so many things that it’s been awfully nice seeing him in there.

On whether he felt helpless last Sunday against the Baltimore defense…

I wouldn’t say helpless. I would say it was tough. I mean, it’s a great defense. Obviously, the game didn’t start out the way that we had hoped. We found ourselves behind the eight ball a little bit. (It was) not helpless, but definitely tough. That’s a great team. We were really just kind of struggling, calling bad plays and not executing as clean as we need to do. I take responsibility for that. I give them (Baltimore) some credit. There are some things that we’re excited about moving forward. This group has always responded well when we’ve been challenged, and I think we’ll do that again this week.

On whether he analyzes the protection schemes and what they could have done differently on the offensive line…

I will always take responsibility for the whole unit. That’s my job. That’s what I get paid to do. I think the thing that we were frustrated about when we watched the film was (that) it was different things each time. That’s where the execution needs to come into play. To give a team like that, that many hits on your quarterback, that many points, I guess it was a franchise record or something like that for them, that’s obviously not good enough to win. Again, I’ll take that (responsibility).

On how much criticism Mark Sanchez deserves for the turnovers…

If you look at the first one, he’s expecting to be protected. We didn’t get a line call out, and so he was expecting Ed (Reed) to be blocked. We were running a quick game to the right and Dustin (Keller) took a little bit longer, got banged around a little bit, so Mark was waiting to get the ball pushed and he got hit, so that one is not on him. The second one, the snap was hot. He had a chance probably to get it with those big hands of his. He normally catches some of those. As it figures, the ball went bounding to the right where the wide rush guy (was). The guy wasn’t even in the picture. (He) fell on it. Then, obviously, with the third one, we just kind of didn’t pass the game off very well and Haloti (Ngata) came free. I don’t put those on Mark. Those types of hits, it’s hard for anybody to hold onto the ball. Then (on) the interception, I need to take that one on me. We called something that we thought would work against a certain defense that we expected, and they didn’t play that coverage. He’s got to be able to feel that guy kind of sitting there late, but I’ll take that one.

On what he felt Derrick Mason meant by the “cracks” that are in the offense…

I think the big thing for us, like we’ve talked about the last couple weeks, has been consistency. I wouldn’t say there were cracks against Oakland. We put up 465 yards of offense. I think there have been cracks throughout certain times of our play. This was kind of the perfect storm, if you will. You go into an environment like that, it’s national TV, Sunday Night Football, and you start the game that way. Again, we had a hard time fighting back through it. Yes, there’s room for us to improve in a lot of different areas, and that’s what we’ve worked on this week. In this business, you can’t spend a lot of time worrying about looking behind you, because if you do, you’re going to have a hangover going into the next game and we’re certainly not going to do that. The thing I always applaud these players about is, when they’re challenged with something, they’ve always responded. You go back to the Jacksonville game three weeks ago, Rex (Ryan) challenged our group offensively to start fast. Our guys took that to heart and went out and did it. He’s, again, challenged us this week to raise our level of play, and we’ll do that.

On how to get more balanced on offense…

A lot of it is, obviously, the score of the game. You mentioned it. You’re playing from behind (against) Dallas. You’re playing from behind against Oakland, and then, obviously, Baltimore. The ground and pound as Rex and I talked about, that’s always been a mentality more than a run-pass call sheet. It’s a mentality, and the mentality is that whether you call a run, you call a pass, you call a pass protection, you run a route or whatever it is, it’s a physical mentality. I think that’s the big emphasis that he has made, “Hey, let’s get back to being physical. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to run it 50 times. It doesn’t mean we’re going to throw it 50 times. It means that we’re going to be a physical football team that’s going to do whatever it takes to win the game.” Again, a lot of that stuff depends on how the game plays.

On whether he has seen anything he thinks he can exploit in the New England defense…

I think we, obviously, expect to have a better day from where we were last year. It’s always fun to play New England. They’re, obviously, an extremely well-coached team. The stats are what they are. A lot of times, they’re playing with a big lead so teams are having to jump into spread formations and throw it. We feel good about the plan. We feel good about the way the week has gone in practice. Again, it’s another quality NFL opponent that is going to be excited about us coming in there and wanting to get after us, and it’ll be a great challenge.

On if he thinks the offense can be an effective offense while being 30th in rushing…

Oh, absolutely not, and that’s never been the goal. Again, you go back, I think everybody here knows how we are capable of running the football. This is the first quarter mark of the season. We’re four games into it, coming off a very poor performance, and again, we’re not panicking, we’re working, and I think that’s all you can do. You roll your sleeves up, you get back to work, you point out the things that need to get corrected both as players and coaches, and you realize that you’ve got to move on and move forward, and that’s what we’re doing.

On if they can be a dominate running team again…

Can we? I think we absolutely can. Will we? That all depends on week to week.

On getting back to basics on offense…

Well, I think obviously when you come off a situation where you didn’t play real well, a lot of things you want to make sure that you do is you don’t have too much volume, you have basic plays that the guys feel really good about, whether it’s core concepts or core formations even that they feel really good about, so we’ve done that a little bit. And then again, just the back‑to‑basics is almost fundamentals. Quarterback‑center exchange, back to basics. Pass protection, run blocking, ball handling, back to basics. And that’s the easiest way to move forward, and that’s the easiest way because it’s the little things that add up, and I think, again, that’s where we know we can make big strides in a hurry by focusing on little things.

On the attention being paid to Plaxico Burress by defenses…

Well, obviously Plaxico is a great player. New England has played a lot of man‑to‑man. They do a lot of different things, and again, any time you isolate any of our receivers, we feel good about the match‑up. But Plax is just a guy that’s got ‑‑ his size is such a huge advantage for him. He’s able to put people on his back, he’s able to kind of use his body to shield people, I won’t say push off, but he shields people with his body and his size. And again, I think he just gives Mark such a big target to shoot for because he’s got such long arms and things like that that he’s a nice match‑up to have.

On if he is pleased with what he’s gotten from Burress so far…

Without a doubt.

On if Burress’ blocking is even better than he thought…

Yes, I think you did ask me about it before. Every week there’s something that shows up on the (video) clips, and again, just the violent nature of him coming down and peeling back on guys has been very impressive.

On if the offense is streamlining this week and only doing what they do best…

I wouldn’t say we’re only doing things that we think we do best, but I think we are managing the numbers, hey, what are the numbers that we’re looking at, probably cut back a handful of passes, a handful of runs. Usually you go into a game and you never get them all called. Usually some carry‑over things that you feel really good about. But it’s a subtle adjustment, but again, it’s one of those deals where you want to put attention on doing the little things right, and that’s what you have to do.

On if running the ball is an attitude and that you can’t flip a switch…

Well, I’m going to agree and disagree with him. I think the fact that we’ve been such a good running team, it’s probably easier for us to, not flip the switch, but get back to that (ground-and-pound mentality. Again, a lot of it has been the way some of these games have played out. Some people want us to go no‑huddle all the time. We don’t want to do that. That’s not our deal. We’ve been kind of forced into that. But the run game, it is a mentality. It’s something that it does sometimes take a lot of cracks at it. But because we’ve been so good at it in the past and basically those parts are all still in place, we have no question that we will be able to do that. And again, that’s not saying that we’re going to go out and run it 50 times this week. It’s something that we’re confident, though, that when this thing is all said and done (we’ll) be an extremely good running football team.

On if he is happy with Shonn Greene…

Absolutely. Again, the running game is not about one guy. Again, there’s been good moments for us through the season offensively, and there’s been poor moments, and if we can just get to be more consistent and play more consistent throughout the course of a game, then I think obviously you’ll see a much better performance by us, kind of like our most consistent game probably was Oakland, and that’s what we’re capable of doing, and again, but I am pleased with Shonn, yes.

On if there is a chance Joe McKnight will get a few carries…

If we can get him away from Coach (Mike) Westhoff. Every time we look for him he’s over there with Mike or the defense. But yes, Joe has done a great job. We’ve all know how talented he was and we’ve definitely started rolling him in some, and again, (he’s) just a great player. I guess he helped cause an interception or something last game and blocked a punt and just done a great job.

On Sanchez getting hit repeatedly on a three-step drop and if he’s seen that before…

Yes, I’m sure in my career I have. It would be hard for me probably to remember it because you try to block it out awfully fast. Again, it’s a great unit (the Ravens defense). They did get the advantage of playing at home. You start the game on a negative note with a strip-sack fumble. Then they do a great job. They stop screen games because they’re awfully instinctive with Ray (Lewis) in the middle and Haloti (Ngata). But again, it was a tough performance all the way around, and again, that’s not to our standard, and we expect to get that standard improved and fixed.


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