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Herm Press Conference 9/12/05

Head Coach Herm Edwards 9/12/05

Courtesy Of The New York Jets

    Opening statement

As far as the injuries go, the only guy was Trevor (Johnson). He got that concussion early in the game. But he’s feeling a lot better and we’ll list him as we go on during the week. As far as the game, plus 34, so we had a lot of different things hit us when we were in the gold zone and never got back in the game. I thought if we could have got a score before the half, any type of score, three points, then you have a chance because we were getting the ball back the second half. We made a nice drive down there. Then again we didn’t score.
We had some opportunities. We didn’t do that. We let the run get away from us early. We settled it down somewhat. In the fourth quarter, it bit us again, made a couple long runs. It was one of those games where we were always fighting uphill. It seemed like they were running downhill on us and we were never really set.
A lot of things they did I thought confused us sometimes with some of their shifts on defense, a lot of their blitzes we weren’t quite for sure, so we couldn’t react as fast as we would like to on offense. It became one of those games where they had a lead and we never threatened them. When we don’t threat, it puts you in a mode on offense when you have to throw the ball when you’re behind. That presents a problem for the offensive line and the QB because people are going to blitz you, bring pressure. Can’t really run the ball. So, all those things are kind of what happened to us. We got to get it fixed. That’s the fortunate thing, we can get it fixed.

We’ve got to play a lot better. We’ve got to coach a lot of better. We have to execute. We have an opportunity again this week to try to get better and go out and win a game. On if there is a common thread for the fumbles.
Some of them were. You know, we got a good snap, we got a good quarterback with hands. We didn’t handle it right. A couple in the shotgun. One, it was an exchange problem between the quarterback and the center coming out. And then a couple times, Chad (Pennington) was running with the ball in his hand and they stripped him. That’s how the ball was on the ground.

The two in the shotgun, do you think part of that was the noise?
You know, I didn’t ask them. I think you need to ask those guys that question. They can answer that better than the coach. They were actually the ones involved with it. I don’t want to sit here and say it’s the noise. Ask the player. There is one thing about our players, they’ll always stand up to the plate and tell the truth and answer your question. You can ask them. I don’t want to try to answer that for them.

Were you that uncomfortable in the shotgun?
We’re going to keep doing it. That’s what we say we’re going to do. We’re not going to change after one game and say this doesn’t work. I said that from the beginning when people were talking about why we weren’t in the shotgun for four years. Said it all looks good sometimes. But sometimes if they hike the ball, it goes over the guy’s head, you got to live with that, too. Right now we’re living with it. We had some bad exchanges and we’ll get it corrected.

On why the coaches in the booth did not ask for a replay.
They got the replay after the kick. I can’t challenge that. Too late. I don’t know if it was challenge­able or not. The way I look at the tape, it could have been a hard decision. The ball is on the one­inch line, I don’t know if that’s a good challenge or not. I’m just looking at the tape. I didn’t see all the angles that the TV had. But my sense was, I asked the guys, and they said, “Coach, we thought it came after the field goal.” I can’t see standing on the 30 yard line. I got good eyes, but not that good. Way over there, I can’t see it.

On if the confusion on the blitzes had to do with not seeing them before.
No. I just think we, at times, just weren’t in sync with our protection. We’ve done a good job of really picking stuff up, and we did a good job all week. And for some reason, we just got awry. We made some checks we normally don’t do, and that’s not good. And you’re hesitant. You’re hesitant playing, and you can’t be that way when people are blitzing you. You got to pick it up and you got to block it and you got to execute when you do that.

On if Chad Pennington was rusty or if the crowd had something to do with it.
No, I think a lot of things. I think you get behind, obviously that’s one factor. Obviously, he had some balls probably we could have caught that we didn’t catch. When you don’t catch them, that always makes the quarterback look bad. And then there were some decisions. Probably all those things were a factor. It wasn’t just one thing. I just think all of them accumulate to what happened in the game. But it wasn’t just one thing. It was a number of things.

That’s the thing about the game. The more the game was played, the more things you just watch, you go, “Well, this, that.” It just kept piling up. We never made a play to make something good happen. I thought we were going to have a field goal and our kicker slips. I mean, one thing after another. It just always seemed like it kept mounting up, mounting up. We couldn’t overcome it.

On what he said to the players.
Well, obviously it’s one game. You got to take a look at yourself and ask yourself, Did you play up to your expectations? And if not, why? You have to ask yourself that as a player. No player wakes up in the morning saying he’s going to have a bad game or not play up to his expectations. Why didn’t we perform well? And I think we all have to look at that and learn from it and move on.

On where Chad’s confidence is.
Oh, I think, you know, he’ll look at himself and see some of the things that could have happened, could have went positive for us, and didn’t happen. He’ll learn from it and we got to move on. We have 15 games left. If this was the last game of the season, you’d feel really bad. But it was the first game. So you got to look at it that way and go, Hey, you know.

It always looks worse than what it is because you look at the game, you look at certain points in that game where if you could make a play or so, you’re back in the game. But we never could do that. We got the run settled down the first half, I thought, defensively. They moved the ball a little bit. We had some opportunities before the half to get some points on the board. We didn’t do it. Third quarter, we had a great opportunity I thought to score when we got down there. We didn’t do it. It could have been a different game. The game would have changed a little bit.

But the momentum, they always had the momentum. We were always fighting uphill. You can’t do that on the road against a pretty good football team that was playing with a lot of energy because, you know, they continued to take the lead. We never threatened them. We never threatened it to be a game. It was always we were behind. They knew we were behind. It’s easy to play defense when you’re behind. It’s easy to play offense when you’re ahead.

On if he wants Chad to handle the pressure better.
I think we all have to do it better. I think it’s not just one guy. It’s not just the QB. We got to get open as receivers. We got to catch the ball. We have to block them. We have to read it. We got to throw it more accurately. That’s part of the process of dealing with pressure. I mean, if you don’t do that, then guess what, the next week, what are people going to do? Until you stop ’em, they’re going to keep doing it. That’s what you got to do. We have to do a better job of it.

On the offense and defense being pushed around.
I think because we were thinking, and when you think and you don’t react, you’re always a step slow, and that’s what it looked like. Yeah, you make a good point. You’re exactly right.

On if stopping the run was the thinking part.
No. It was just we broke down. On two of the big plays, we broke down. We didn’t align right. We were not very good on our entry as far as supporting the run, big 35 yarders. All of a sudden it’s 35 yards and two plays, 70 yards and two plays. I mean, three plays, they scored a TD. I thought I missed something because they scored so fast. I actually walked back, was getting on my headset going to the offense, I said, “I must have missed a pass or something,” because I thought they threw a pass to get that, it happened so fast. It was just two big runs. It was one, two more, they scored.

On Kevin Mawae being hard on himself.
I don’t know what he said to y’all. Whatever he said, obviously he’s always very truthful. If he didn’t like the way he performed, it’s good by him standing up saying it because we all have to say that.
We didn’t perform well as a team, period. We didn’t coach well. We didn’t play well. We might have played in spurts, but overall we didn’t play good enough to win. We don’t deserve to win. Turn the ball over, commit fouls, do what we did, you’re not going to win a game like that.

On if Chad’s troubles come from growing pains and learning the new offense.
I think the system is some, yeah. I said that earlier. I said our defense has got to be ahead of our offense. We’re not going to change our offense. We’re going to continue to do what we do with it. As we continue to play, we’ll get better.

I think the whole offense, not just him. Everybody involved in it, I just think they’re behind. That’s part of the process when you put something in like that. No different than the defense. Probably a little harder to play offense than it is defense when you put a new defense in.
That’s the way it is. We’re not going to change anything. We’re going to continue to do what we do.

On if confidence in Chad is shaken.
I think he’ll evaluate it in the next four weeks obviously. And there’s the thing that he’s going to face now, no different than yesterday, he’s facing pretty good defenses going down the road now. You know that he’s going to face some good defenses. Hopefully it’s going to be tight football games because we got to play good defense. That’s what he’s facing. He’s going to face good defenses. When you face good defenses, you got to play. You got to know how to play when you play those guys. You can’t turn the ball over because every possession is important. Field position is very, very important. That’s how you have to play. You can’t turn it over when you play good defenses because if your defense is going to match what they do, then you have to make sure field position ­­ turning over the ball is not a part of the way you play offensively.

On Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger being in the booth
He wanted to go up there for the run basically. That’s why he went up there against Philadelphia. He was up there this week. It could change. He could come back down. That’s why he went up there. He was up there for two weeks. He was up there for the Philadelphia game and this game.

On if Heimerdinger will be back on the sideline.
Well, it was his opinion at that point that this is what he wanted to do. He could see it better up there. Now, he can also come down. If the QB wants him to come down, he’ll come down.

On if the offense was sluggish.
Yeah. Obviously, when you get behind, still it’s 17­0, you’re still okay, in my mind. You don’t go crazy and throw the ball out of the ballpark. You don’t do that. But I think we ran the ball a little bit, but we never made really a lot of headway. Some of our runs, plus two, minus two, plus one, plus two. We had a big run of plus 11, that was our biggest run, plus three, plus five, minus one, plus six, plus seven, minus one, plus four. I mean, we didn’t get in it at all.

Going into the third quarter, it kept going. We had to start throwing the ball to try to catch up. Yeah, we didn’t do a very good job of consistently running the ball.

On what Heimerdinger saw on the run.
They did a good job of really playing on our side of the ball at times. We just couldn’t get settled on any runs. I mean, the runs we ran pretty well were the draw. Curtis Martin is a good draw runner. He’s always been a good draw runner. Other than that, we couldn’t get any perimeter runs going. We tried. We tried to get some cracks, tosses, things we’d done in the past, we could to very, very well. We didn’t get that going at all.

On if Curtis Martin has had a tougher 57-yard day.
I don’t know. You got to ask Curtis that. I haven’t been here for his whole career. He’s been in the league for a long time. Knowing him, he probably has.

On if Derrick Blaylock will be more involved in the run.
We’ll see. The game got out of hand so we couldn’t run the ball. We had to throw. We had to throw the ball a little bit. That kind of gives the defense some ammunition now when you’re throwing. They can do a lot of things when they know you have to throw. We would like to get him in the game. We have to get Curtis going, too. That’s important, of course.

On his thought on John Abraham’s performance and if he will start next week.
I don’t know about that. But I know he played 30 snaps. He played a lot, did pretty well. He got to the QB a couple times. He almost had two sacks. He missed the one where the guy spun out, came back and threw the ball. He did a pretty good job for having not played, not practiced a whole lot. He came in and played hard, really did. It was good by him to see that.

On troubles with the offensive run.
Well, I always hate to do this, and you don’t do this as a coach, I’m not even going to get into that. Some of it was us. I never want to take away from what the other team did. It’s easy to say that when you don’t win the game. I’ve heard a lot of people say that we could have done this. Well, we didn’t. Let’s give those guys credit. They played well. We could have played better and we didn’t. That’s no one’s fault but ours. A little bit of that is you have to give us credit for not playing well. That’s where that goes with me. Obviously, you say that you could have done this. That’s being a cry baby.

On playoff teams having a 3-7 record in the opening week of the season.
Opening day. You never know what to anticipate. There will be some teams obviously where you lose the first one and you’ll still make the playoffs, maybe play in the championship game or win the championship. You never know. That’s what’s great about our league. It’s one game. It’s the opening game. You have to learn some from it whether you win or lose. You have 15 more.
This is an important game for us this week. Obviously, it’s a division game, which makes it more important, playing against a team that played very, very well at home against Denver. They played outstanding defense. They made some big plays with offense. It will be exciting. It will be exciting playing.

On how he thought Ty Law held up.
He did good. I thought he played cautious at times. He made a big play in the red zone for us with the interception. That was good to see. He was smart. He didn’t try to come out. He did the right thing with the ball. He just has to continue to practice and play. He’s going to get better. If he can do that, make plays for us like he did, that’s good.

On if there is anything he can do to speed up Chad’s learning process.
He’s going to have to go through it. He can’t practice twice a day. He’s going to have to practice. That’s what happens when you have surgery. He’s learning as he goes now. He missed all those days of practice from the spring all the way until camp. He didn’t practice for three or four months. You lose that.
On David Barrett’s comments of wanting the Dolphins to go at him.
Yeah, you do, because they will. You don’t have to worry about it, they’re going to come at him. That’s what they do. If you have to pick between him and Ty Law, who are you going to throw at? Ty Law or David Barrett? David Barrett. I’m not trying to make light. I think David Barrett is a good football player, I really do. But that’s what happens, and you know it. That’s the nature of the league.

On match-ups and formations.
I think they had some match­ups they thought they could win at, and that’s what they do. That’s how they play. They have certain formations they try to create to get you matched up, they go and attack you. That’s what teams do. We try to do the same thing offensively. We try to go after certain guys, throw the ball. You know, if we can hit it, we hit it.

On the incident between Jonathan Vilma and James Reed caused by frustration.
Yeah, a little flustration. I know exactly what happened. In the house. Family matter. Family policy stays in the house. Done.

On not liking liking fire between teammates.
I don’t like losing.

On not liking what happened between Vilma and Reed.
No, I don’t. I don’t like guys losing their composure. But sometimes it happens. As long as it doesn’t happen on a consistent basis, we’ll be fine.

On when the incident between Vilma and Reed took place.
I think sometime in the fourth quarter, I believe.

On if he talked to Vilma and Reed.
It’s been talked about. We discussed it. Talked to the whole team about keeping our poise, not just with that incident, but as we played the game. We didn’t keep our poise very well, I felt.

On Chris Baker.
He had a good game. A lot of catches, obviously. That’s what I say, you throw for 300 yards, you rush for 50 yards, not going to win. That’s what happened to us. He made a lot of good catches, (Chad) made some good throws to him. When you’re throwing the ball that much, generally you’re losing. That’s not very good.
I think he did a good job of catching the ball. We hit him. We used the TE very, very well. I thought Jolley caught a couple passes. That’s something can you build on offensively. Hopefully we can do that when we’re winning a game, not when we’re losing a game. You get 300 yards, you start passing for 300, 325, you run for 50, 25, you don’t win those games generally. It’s very, very hard to win those types of games.

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