Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 10/20/11

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

On whether it makes a difference to play the Chargers at home…

Well, I think the positive thing is that trip’s never easy to make either way. Being out there coaching for a couple of years, coming east was always hard. Going from here out to the West Coast was always hard. I think being in front of our fans, and I know we’re playing pretty well at home right now, is always a benefit.

On whether the offense has done anything different this week to get off to a better start…

We talked a little bit about it last week. We’re still searching. The big thing is, again, just go back to really preaching execution. It really is. You can’t point to one thing or one person, and that’s the problem with the question. It’s been too many inconsistencies by different groups, different units, whether it’s a missed throw, a drop, a penalty, something like that. They all come into play. All we’ve tried to do, is we’ve tried to make an emphasis of it. Like we’ve talked about before, a lot of times you have so many things you’re trying to emphasize, but we know we can start better, but at the end of the day, the most important thing for us is to find a way to win the game. Yes, we didn’t start very well last week, it took us a while to get some things figured out, but once we got going we were pretty good. So, we feel really good that if we can get that solved through focusing on the execution one play at a time that that will help us really get started and jump off.

On whether he asks himself why the offense can’t put together scoring drives earlier in the game…

Sure. You get the sense. You get into the game and you have a three and out and it’s hard, but the other thing we don’t want to do is we don’t want to read too much into it. It’s hard to go out against good teams and good defenses and always want to go out and score. Now, we shouldn’t go three and out. We’re clearly a better group than that. We know we’re capable of making those nine, 10, 11-play drives. I think last week, obviously we started slow on third down. Sometimes that’s been a part of it. We thought we fought our way back through that, but there’s so many little things that it’s hard to put your finger on just one thing. Again, we want to get the running game going. We want to throw completions. Those are all things we think will help. We’re just trying to work on it.

On using the no huddle to avoid slow starts…

We tried it the third series of the game last week actually, and we went three and out. I think one of the first passes was tipped or something, so we did try it, just because we felt like that was something that we wanted to do. And that wasn’t because we started slow. That was something like we talk about that we always have in a plan. We knew they had struggled some with tempo against New England, so we wanted to try that, but if we thought that was the magic answer than we would certainly do it. Again, I think it’s more than that. The magic is us executing each play to the best of our ability and not nine guys or 10 guys doing it right, it’s all 11 guys doing it right.

On what he expects out of LaDainian Tomlinson on Sunday…

Any time you get a chance to go and play against a former team, I think it’s special. He still has a lot of friends there, some great memories there. He’s truly the leader, if you will, on offense. There’s certainly a lot of guys like that, but he’s the guy that’s going to have the passion, he’s the guy that’s going to bring the enthusiasm. This will be special for him, but he’s such a pro that I think other than maybe when he calls the group up before the game like he always does, he’ll be business as usual, going out making plays and trying to contribute in any way he can, but his heart will be racing a little bit, I’m sure.

On not letting the slow starts become too much of a focus…

That’s a great point. We talk about it. We address it. We’ve talked about it. We pointed out, obviously, the last two weeks have been slow starts. The big thing is maybe this series in practice we say, “Hey, this is the first drive of a game.” You do things like that. And then again, you’re exactly right. We don’t talk about it every day, because you can’t. You talk about it when you’re talking about first and 10 and you put that stuff in, but today was more of a situational day. Short yardage, goal line, some third-down stuff, so we were really featuring more of that stuff. Now, we’ll go back in film and talk about hey, these third-down conversion are important to sustaining drives and things like that. One of the things it’s been good for is on our long drives, a couple of our long drives we haven’t even had third downs, maybe one. I think one of the drives last week, the 11-play drive or something, I think we only had one third down and that comes from having some big plays and things like that.

On giving the opening scripted plays to the whole offense last season to avoid slow starts…

We still do that. It’s 10 plays. It’s the first couple third-down calls, things like that. Again, I don’t think that our guys aren’t prepared. I don’t think that they’re not working hard, I don’t think that they’re not trying hard, I just think that there are things that we need to tighten up. Again, it’s not an easy solution. We know we can do it. We did it against Jacksonville. It’s certainly not the final equation, because we have fought our way back through some things. We’ll keep working it. We’ll get it solved.

On Mark Sanchez throwing short of the first down to Jeremy Kerley in the third quarter on a third down throw…

The question is totally fair. There’s obviously different progressions as he goes through his read. It was actually a route that we had run earlier in the game on a third and seven where he hit Jeremy (Kerley) and Jeremy caught it and kind of ran for the first down, but he was about the third progression if you will. He was looking up field first and so he was coming down to his outlet receiver and Yeremiah Bell, I thought, made a terrific tackle coming out of centerfield to stop him. You can’t send everybody deep, so you have certain layers to your routes and he just came through his progression and they had shut down the first two looks. And Jeremy had a step, they were playing a coverage where the safety had the inside help, and so the read was okay, the read was good and the guy made a great tackle.

On the reason why Sanchez and Plaxico Burress have not been connecting often…

Again, I think there are different reasons. Obviously, there’s been times that they’ve been great. You go back to some of the plays that we made at Oakland to Plax (Plaxico Burress). The first play of the game, the big touchdown, some of the things down the boundary. I don’t think he’s coming off his reads too fast. I think Plax gets a lot of attention from the defense. Obviously, Mark’s misses him a few times. Plax I know is working his tail off to catch the ball clean. I think we’re getting there. We’re not concerned about it. Moving forward, we know Plax is going to help us win a lot of games. We always talk about the me-to-you factor. I think he and Mark are developing that, and it takes time. I think, whether it’s this week or not, I think there’s going to be a game soon, in the near future, where he’s going to have a huge, huge game.

On whether he senses any frustration from Burress…

I don’t. I think he’s had two of his better practice days the last two days since he’s been here.

On how Cameron Wake ended up covering Santonio Holmes on the fourth quarter touchdown…

They brought four weak. They brought the pressure off of the slot, and so (Wake’s) got to drop into coverage and Santonio’s running a little under route and Cam just kind of kept dropping. And the only reason it worked is that we picked up the blitz so well. They’re expecting the ball to come out faster than it had to. LT did a great job. I think it was Will Allen that came off the slot. LT did a great job. (Matt) Slauson kind of snapped off on (Karlos) Dansby, that was coming around, and that’s what happens when you blitz, sometimes you open yourselves up to big plays. There were some great blocks downfield, too.

On whether Tomlinson’s blocking ability goes unnoticed by a lot of the public …

There’s no question. Just from understanding the schemes, he’s so smart. He’s got such a great feel for it. Again, a lot of times he’s getting matched up on guys that outweigh him by 30 lbs. It’s a technique. He works on it with Anthony (Lynn) all the time. Here’s a guy that’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer and he’s the first in line when you’re doing pass (protection) drills. That’s the stuff you love about him.

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