Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 11/3/11


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

On the Bills being an opportunistic defense and if that creates the possibility of making big plays against them…

Obviously I think the one thing that we have noticed is they will jump some routes, they’ll try to undercut things. I think it’s risk-reward a little bit. So I think that yes, there probably are some things but they do a good job of recovering when they try to take a chance. And most chances they’ve taken, they’ve taken advantage. Whether it’s George Wilson, (he) got an interception last week, he undercut the tight end on a deep over route. Just looking back even to New England the first game, Brian Scott got one, a ricocheted ball off of Danny Woodhead. So I think that’s a great way of saying it, that they’re very opportunistic. They’ve created huge plays which have helped give them momentum. I wouldn’t say it’s a telling thing that we’re like, ‘Hey, we can go take advantage of this’, I think you just kind of have to play the game.

On cutting down the turnovers on offense and if the run game has helped…

I think obviously running the football helps. I think obviously we’ve been better on third down, that helps. The games have been more closely played, meaning they’ve been close games. We had to come back a little bit after the San Diego first drive. But we haven’t been having to play catch-up I guess. That helps. You’re not in a situation where you have to throw it and you’re in two-minute (drill) the whole time. Plus I just think we’re doing a good job of taking care of the ball. It’s an emphasis. We feel like that’s a huge part of winning games. Runs, completions and taking care of the football. So it’s been an emphasis for us and knock on wood, it’s going to be important this week obviously.

On having trouble on the road…

I haven’t really thought about it. I think just maybe because it’s still so early in the year. I think obviously we’ve played in some huge road games (over the years). We’ve had chances to win those games and step up. I think it’s more of again, going back to a term I probably use a lot because I believe in it, it goes back to execution. We had our chance against Oakland. A couple plays here and there determined (that) game. Obviously Baltimore was a little bit different. And then New England again, a couple things here and there as a team that would turn those games for us. And I think that’s what this team has always been, we’ve made those plays. I think that, again, we’ve started to do that the last two weeks. I think one of the things I’m most proud of last week was nobody expected us to start the game the way we did, Mark (Sanchez) gets hit and the ball gets put on Dustin (Keller’s) back shoulder, the kid (Donald) Butler makes a great play. Nobody panicked. We stayed the course, went down and got a field goal on the very next drive and I hope and I believe that that shows the maturity of this group that they realize the philosophy that we’re preaching, which is one play at a time. It’s a long game, it’s a long season, and I thought that was really good to see.

On struggling coming off the bye the past two seasons…

I think Rex (Ryan) did a great job. He talked to the guys on Monday, he really just challenged them about tempo, the week of practice. On Monday’s we do this “ten, ten, ten” when you have an extra day. You get a chance to get ahead, you get some looks of the upcoming opponent. But I thought he did a great job of just setting the tempo, and it’s been a really, really good, sharp week of practice. Again, each game is different. Coming off the bye, I think we do a really good job here with how we do it. We give the guys some time, we get a chance to kind of cross-check ourselves with the defense, where we look at them, how we want to attack them. They do the same to us. We get some tendencies and stuff that maybe they see from their perspective, and vice-a-versa. Again, I think it comes down to execution, I think it comes down to practice and we’ve been thrilled with the tempo of the week.

On Plaxico Burress and if he expects him to return to his 2007 form…

I think three touchdowns is pretty good. I think we knew all along that we were getting a guy that has a huge advantage any time he is isolated and singled. But I think if you go back and look at maybe the best touchdown of all of them against San Diego, I can’t remember which number it was, but I think it was the last one. Just his release off the ball, you saw the quickness to one step. He got (Antoine) Cason leaning out and got back up inside. He was so wide open he almost broke the route off. But, again, to go back and say, ‘Hey, is this the same guy?’ He’s still an excellent football player that has five touchdowns for us and we knew at some point it would happen. He just kind of had a breakout game and did the things that we expected him to do.

On Dustin Keller getting stripped against San Diego and if there’s anything he could have done…

It was really a hard catch, I thought he did a nice job. What happened, we got kind of pressured. John Conner got kind of edged a little bit in pass protection, so Mark kind of threw it. He got dinged a little bit, so the ball wasn’t as accurate as it needed to be. Quite honestly, I thought he did a great job even trying to get it, and then the kid made a great play. It was one of those deals that you hate to see it happen, but the guy made a great play. The one last year against Green Bay, both of those were questionable if you ask me. The one, he’s lying on the ground, the guy pulls it out, but again, it’s happened. In terms of that play, no, I don’t think there’s anything he really could have done.

On if Joe McKnight’s role on offense will expand…

Absolutely, I think the thing with Joe is his confidence and his plan, the plan for him has kind of grown each and every week, just with his confidence growing. I think we always tag plays for him. There’s different things that we’ll do. Whether it’s carrying the ball, getting him involved in the passing game. Actually, in the San Diego game late, I think when Shonn (Greene) came out for a couple plays, Joe went in and did a very nice job. LT obviously wasn’t feeling well and Joe was a big part of the last touchdown actually. He was the second progression coming off of the touchdown to Plaxico. Whether it’s wildcat, whether it’s different things, I think there’s definitely a place for Joe and he definitely has his plays tagged. Whether they all get called or not, that’s a different thing, but he’s done a really good job this week in practice.

On Sanchez’s completion percentage and if he’ll ever be a quarterback that completes 60 percent of his passes…

I think without looking at them all, that’s a hard question to answer. I certainly know it can go up. It’s gone up. I think last year in the playoffs and in a lot of big games around here it’s been above 60 (percent). He can do that. A lot of things go into it, but that’s just something that we emphasize each and every week. Again, he’ll take some shots. There’s a lot of things that go into it but he absolutely has enough talent to be a 60 percent completion percentage guy, but there are a lot of things that go into it, whether it’s just decisions, things like that. The decision on the interception last week, he’d love to have that one back. He kind of tried to force one to Plaxico up the seam, the one that (Eric) Weddle got. There’s a check down for him there that he could have taken. That number can go up and I really think by the end of the year you’ll see it up.

On a report that Santonio Holmes is upset about his role in the offense…

I think again, the big thing for me is we just want to win. Tone (Santonio) has never said anything to me about it, I think he’s a great competitor. It’s a shame, the one gets called back last week. It was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen on the touchdown. We ran a little double move and Mark made a great throw, but the catch was even better. So I have no awareness that he feels that way, but Tone is our number one guy, he’s a huge part of the plan and that doesn’t change each week.

On what happened on the interception that Sanchez threw to Eric Weddle against San Diego…

It was a double move on the outside and the coverage kind of probably should have taken him off it right away. Plaxico kind of went outside, he thought he had a chance to kind of hold the safety, but the coverage should have taken it away. He should have just kind of said ‘Uncle’ and checked it down. He just tried to force it.

On if Sanchez is making progress in being smarter and protecting the ball like on the final drive against San Diego…

In that situation, we had the one “Sprint”. We knew that if we couldn’t get a touchdown, we obviously wanted to keep the clock running to make them use their last time out or maybe they had one left. So that was a little “Sprint” play that we designed to get him outside the pocket if nobody was open to go down, not throw it away, and he did a good job with that. And that’s just understanding the situation, four-minute, things like that. But yes I think he has done better (at) saying ‘Uncle’. There have been a couple flashes through the course of the year where he gets so competitive and confident. But for the most part he’s trying to cut back more.

On the strategy of going for a touchdown instead of a field goal in a late game situation like the one on the last drive against San Diego…

Obviously, if anybody was open, the pass that was called we felt really good about it. We thought that somebody would be open. They did a good job, they covered it and therefore (Sanchez) (had) the good reaction which was to eat it and say, ‘Hey, they covered it. Uncle’. Go down, get the points, at least you’re up by a few points. A six point lead.


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