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Post image for Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 11/10/11

Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 11/10/11

by Tyson Rauch on November 11, 2011

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

On whether he is concerned that Plaxico Burress has not participated in practice this week…

I think, obviously, if he hadn’t did what he did last week you’d be like, “Well, maybe.” But I think he’s been really into meetings. He’s been great in that regard. And I think we’re to the point now where Mark (Sanchez) and he have a very good feeling for one another, the me-to-you factor. No, it’s not a concern. He’s been great.

On whether Burress will miss more practices down the line…

He said he feels really good. So, hopefully when this thing’s clearing up, he’s able to go, but we’ll see.

On whether the offense has clicked as well as it has all season last week…

Well, I think obviously what we did, we were able to get the running game going. We converted on third downs. I was very, very pleased with the first drive, obviously, until the end. I haven’t been a part of many drives where you have 15 plays or whatever it was and come out with no points. But yeah, we played well. Again, it’s a matter of us executing, being balanced, runs-completions that kind of formula that we always talk about. We’ve seen it coming. Like, we’ve felt ourselves kind of getting back into a rhythm. That game helped us realize that’s how it should be, that’s how it should work, and that’s good.

On Santonio Holmes drawing two pass interferences and whether that is a reason to throw the ball deep…

Yeah, without a doubt, obviously. (Drayton) Florence came out. That was one of the reasons why we did it. When Drayton came out, (Leodis) McKelvin came in, we wanted to take a couple of shots at him, but no question. I thought the second one, Mark made a terrific check. They were in an all-out blitz trying to stop us and he made a terrific check, put the ball in a perfect spot where only (Holmes) could get it and (Terrence) McGree grabbed him. So, absolutely. When the ball goes up like that and you’ve got two guys fighting for it one-on-one things can happen that help you.

On whether he can afford to have Matthew Mulligan on the field if he continues to commit penalties…

Well, we’ve talked to Matt about it. I think he’s doing a great job. We ask him to do a lot of the tough roles. He does a great job in the blocking game, both run and pass. I think the holding call last week was tough. He got flagged for it, so that is what it is. He knows he’s got to be smarter with the cadences, some of the pre-snap stuff. Penalties are going to happen. There’s going to be flags, but the things that we really do a good job of trying to stay on top of are the things, we call them self-inflicted wounds, because there’s nothing physical that made you do it. It was a focus error, and that’s the thing that we’re trying to get Matt to understand, and he sees that. Again, some of the roles and things we ask him to do he’s trying to get off as quick as he can to block certain players. He can be better with that.

On Nick Mangold matching up against Vince Wilfork…

Well, again, I think one of the reasons, we would be remiss for not saying it, we’ve started getting better now that Nick’s back and he’s healthy. Obviously, you go up against a guy like Vince, you need a guy in the middle that can handle him. It’s always a good matchup. They’re moving him around some. They’re playing some four-down lineman stuff, so he’s not always matched up on him, but Nick gives us a lot of confidence that whoever’s in there we feel good about the matchup. There’ll be plenty of plays where they’re matched up one on one and it will be fun to watch.

On how intense Santonio Holmes is over the course of the game…

It’s interesting because he’s very intense, but yet he’s very into the game. He’s so competitive, but yet, you can bring him over and talk to him about situation. He’ll tell you exactly what the coverage was, exactly what happened. I think it’s a passion. He just loves to play the game so much. I’ve been around some guys in the past where they’re just out there with their hair on fire and they have no idea what’s going on. They play to the wall and what not, but that’s not him. He’s able to play like that and yet still have a great feel of what’s going on, which I think is one of the reasons why he’s such a great player.

On whether he needs to make more of an effort to get the ball to Holmes…

Again, we’ll never force the ball to people. We go in with plans where we’re trying to get the ball to all the guys. There’s one football. There are times where coverages can dictate where the ball gets thrown. It’s a deep team this week, where they’re going to play a lot of zone coverage. They’re going to try to keep the ball in front of them. We have plenty of things where he’s primary, we have plenty of things where (Burress) is primary, Dustin, all of those guys, and Mark’s responsible for going out and just kind of reading things out. If the read takes him there, great, then we have to hit it. We’ve missed on some things earlier in the season, where he was open and maybe we missed on it, or just things didn’t connect. When he’s open and he’s primary and he’s one on one, he gets the ball. I wouldn’t say we’re going to force the ball to him, but we always do a checklist of making sure of he’s got enough where he’s primary.

On what makes Holmes unique when he has the ball in his hands…

Well, I think it starts with his ball skills, number one. Ball skills, body control. When we practiced the play, the touchdown that he had, he was a little bit more open than he was in the game. It was one of those deals, where you’re watching it and you’re like, “I can’t look.” Then you see him go up and elevate. So, body control, ball skills, and then just change of direction. You go back to the Cleveland game last year where he catches the slant to win the game and the safety’s got the angle and he’s driving on him. With one step, he puts his right foot in the ground and absolutely just jumps outside the guy, so great chance of direction.

On why the running game has been more effective the last three weeks…

I think it’s a little bit of everything. We’re back to more of the two-back stuff. We’re back to more of the downhill, physical runs. I think having the guys playing again together, just getting a feel. I think Shonn (Greene’s) running hard, taking on safeties and stuff. It takes a while, it really does, to get the running game going, but we’re at a real good place with it. Again, it come down to like I said, it’s about execution. Just because we’ve had a couple of good games in a row, we’ll start this weekend with execution, we have to go out and execute. That’s important going against a well-coached Patriot team.

On what accounted for Burress’ slow start…

Well, I’m just amazed at his skills. Again, I think the thing about him is he’s made so many big plays for us this year. Whenever he’s (one-on-one), he’s another guy with a great size advantage, but his body control is outstanding. The thing that pleased me the most about the catch last week, the one down in the end zone was the effort. He kind of got away with a little bit of a shove, but he uses his size to do that. Don’t tell him I said that (joking). When he caught the ball there was that passion to get in the end zone. I’ve been very pleased with him. I think a lot of it was timing. A lot of it was just getting on the same page with Mark, spending time throwing routes, things like that. And I think a lot of it has to do with the limited offseason.

On if he ever got anxious that the chemistry between Burress and Sanchez would not develop…

No, I don’t think so. I think you see these guys work, you see them communicate, they’re talking all the time, all three of those guys, Mark, Tone (Santonio Holmes) and Plax (Burress), Dustin (Keller) and those guys, they work at it. They are pros. They work at it. They spend time after practice. Again, the beauty of having both Plax and Tone is they both think the game. Plax had an idea today that I won’t share with you, but something where we were looking at a couple of things from a coverage standpoint, and he said, “What about this?” It was a great idea, and so we’re going to put it in and use it. They think the game. They’re not just great athletes. They think the game and they play the game in their mind, as well.

On if Coach Bill Belichick still throws anything at him defensively that surprises him after all their matchups…

Oh, yes. He does. There are always a couple of wrinkles, here and there. Again, they do what they do, but they always disguise things, move some parts around and stuff. That’s what is fun about the chess match. That’s what makes it hard, I think, to make it start so fast against them because there are always a couple of surprises here and there, things that you weren’t expecting to see. I’m sure he’ll have a couple of things for us this weekend. I think he and Matt Patricia do a great job with that defense. I know, statistically, they are where they are, but if you look at the last couple of games, they’re holding teams and they’re not giving up a lot of points. Whenever these two teams play, we know we throw out the records.

On if he finds the game conflicting as a play-caller because they are running the ball well and New England has trouble stopping the pass…

No, I don’t think so. I think our whole goal is always to be balanced. I think that there are things that we see that we like in terms of the passing game going into this game. There are things that we certainly like running the football. I think we’re at our best, everyone has kind of pointed it out the last couple of weeks, we’re at our best when we’re balanced. What it does, when you’re throwing completions and running the football, it does so many things for you just in terms of staying on track. Third downs, you look what has happened at third downs the last couple of weeks, those have shot up the charts because we’re in third-and-manageable and things like that. Again, there are things we like in the passing game, but we’re not going to just go out and say, ‘Hey, let’s air it out and throw it 50 times.’ You just want to win the game and whatever it takes to win the game, we talked about, there will be some adjustments we have to make and whatever those adjustments are, we’ll get those things made and find a way to win.

On if he talked to Dustin Keller about making sure he stays in the game after the play where he was injured against Buffalo…

We tried to have fun with it. Fortunately, it was not a bad injury, but it was different. Calling a game without him in there is different. Knock on wood, I haven’t had to do that very often, but it is different. I do think that a couple of guys stepped up for the little bit of time that he was out, Josh Baker (and) Mully (Matthew Mulligan). Yes, Dustin knows how important he is. The issue is, he gets to the boundary and he has guys closing in on him and he has to get his shoulders down. That’s actually a drill that we’ve done with him. Like he says, normally when he does that, he was joking, he makes the first down. Somebody asked him, “Well, did you make the first down?” He goes, “I can’t really remember.” (Laughing) That’s the point. The point is, he’s valuable to us, get physical, get your pads down and protect yourself on the boundary.

On how much this season has helped Greg McElroy to adjust to the mental side of being an NFL quarterback…

He does a great job in the meetings. He’s a little bit of a gopher at times, being a rookie and everything. He does a great job. He actually does tip sheets for us during the week. He kind of types down notes and stuff. He has his iPad going and things like that. At least it looks like he’s typing notes (joking). No, he does a great job. He’s into it. He loves the game. He loves the mental side of the game, so it’s been great to have him in there.

On if he coaches too…

He does, absolutely. He’s very busy. He’s here a lot of times (on) like a coach’s hours.

On why the offense has been so successful in the red zone this season…

It comes down to execution. I like the way we’re practicing things a little different, as strange as that sounds. We kind of adjusted the practice schedule going into this year. That’s what happens when you have some time. We researched it and just adjusted our practice schedule. Nothing major. It would be nothing that you guys would even probably pick up on, but there’s some things like that. Again, it comes down to execution. We’re running the ball pretty well. When guys are isolated, we’re finding those matchups. When guys are deep, we’re checking it down. So, a lot of it’s got to do with just the way we’re practicing it. We like that. We’re comfortable with that, but also the execution’s been clean.

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