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Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine interview transcript 9/30/10

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On Thursday New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine held his weekly press conference.  Here is the transcript from the interview courtesy of the New York Jets.

On how happy he was to sign Trevor Pryce…

“Anytime you add a guy that can help you, that’s one thing, but (when it’s) a guy you have familiarity with, (and) not by name only, (it’s another thing). We went back and looked at the tape, and while he didn’t have production, Trevor was causing production. He was drawing double teams. He was forcing the quarterback to step up. He was getting the quarterback out of the pocket. I think there’s plenty of tread left. That’s what’s encouraging. When the situation presented itself, it was a no-brainer for us to jump on it.”

On how surprised he was that the Ravens cut Pryce…

“(I was) pretty surprised (at) the manner in which it happened as a roster move. That’s life in the NFL sometimes. (There are) a limited number of spots and that was a decision they felt they needed to make at the time. We were fortunate to benefit from it.”

On if Pryce will be able to help in third-down situations…

“Absolutely. That’s how we see Trevor, certainly to start out. At this point in his career, he’s not an every down back. He’s a situational pass rusher, as Baltimore used him. If we can get him on the field with fresh legs on third-downs, it’ll be hard for teams. A lot of times when you have two tackles inside that are good pass rushers, (like we do with) him and Shaun (Ellis), you have to choose who you’re going to double. You can slide one way or the other, and I think both of them will benefit from the other being there.”

On what is lacking from the ability to prevent teams from converting on third-down…

“It’s a lot of different things. We actually went back and studied it. (We) looked at all of our third-downs and went through every single one. What was the call? Was it a win or a loss? If it was a loss, why was it a loss? Was it technique? Was it personnel? Was it communication? It was a list of things where if you look at each independently, you see there were different reasons throughout. It wasn’t one thing. It’s an area of concern. It’s something that we’ve studied and we’re certainly looking to improve on this week. That’s the frustrating thing, getting off the field on third-downs has always been our trademark. We call that the money down. We want to get off the field. That’s our time to actually get turnovers. You can change the game on third-and-long. The great thing about our first- and second-down defense is they’re getting there (to go third-and-long). We generated more third-and-longs in these first three games than we did last year at this point and we’re not getting off the field. That’s something that’s been a point of emphasis schematically. We’ve added some more reps of it in practice. It’s definitely something that we’re glad we get teams in that position, but we’ve got to take advantage of.”

On if it’s disconcerting that it’s not one thing that needs to be fixed…

“I wish it was one thing. Then we could pinpoint it and just say correct it. You have a rookie corner (Kyle Wilson), where there’s no substitute for game experience. You have a new safety in Brodney Pool. You have a new corner in Antonio Cromartie. When you’re looking at three new pieces back there, you can work as much as you can on the practice field, you can talk about it as much as you can in the meeting room, but there’s no substitute for actual battle, for actual live game reps. We went through it last year as well. Installing a defense, there are growing pains. You can see the front seven is in year two of the system and they’re playing well, as you look at how we’ve been defending the run, especially in first- and second-down. With three new guys in the secondary, it’s frustrating because we knew where we want to get and we’re confident that we’re going to get it corrected. It just takes some time and it takes some live reps.”

On if Darrelle Revis’ absence attributes to the secondary’s performance…

“If you take the best corner in football off the field, there’s going to be a drop off to the next guy. There are certainly some things that we’re limited (with). I don’t want to say it’s changed our game significantly, but it’s changed some things we’ve been able to do. Again, we have to get it done without him. Fortunately, at the end of the Miami game we found a way to get it done. We played solid, especially in the second-half against New England. I thought against Baltimore in the back end, aside from the penalty stuff, we competed well. It’s a situation where we’re on a game-to-game basis. This weekend, we’ve got to get it done without him. There’s no, ‘Well, let’s wait until Darrelle gets back.’ That’s not going to happen. I feel like we’ve got a good plan this week. I think Dennis Thurman has challenged the back end a little bit. I know they met today and aired some things out. I think you’ll see a better performance this weekend.”

On why Kyle Wilson became the automatic starter…

“He earned it in training camp. It was a situation where (once) we got into the regular season and I think (taking) every rep was too much for him. He’s a guy that would be a solid guy for us at a third-of-the snaps as opposed to all of them. That’s a lot to ask for a rookie. I think we realized that. In the Miami game, we just said, ‘Let’s limit the packages he’s in. Let’s go ahead and get Drew (Coleman) in there.’ That’s why it’s great to have depth like that. (Dwight) Lowery is a guy we’d prefer to keep inside as a utility guy, as a nickel, as a safety, as our extra linebacker as we like to call him, as our ‘X’ in some of our sub packages. Drew is really the guy that stepped up and proved that he’s capable (of making plays), just like he did last year. His performance last year went unnoticed and then he gave up a few catches to (Wes) Welker in Game Two and everybody was down on Drew Coleman when a lot of those weren’t really on him. When you look at Drew’s body of work last year, he did a solid job for us. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to put him in there to stop the bleeding a little bit on Sunday night and that’s why he’s going to be part of what we do this Sunday.”

On if it matters if Wilson or Coleman starts…

“It doesn’t matter. It’s a feed the hot hand thing and it’s also situation where if a guy needs a blow, there’s not much of a drop off between them. I think we want to limit Kyle’s reps a little bit to let him learn. We prefer to keep him inside. Drew, from a match-up standpoint, has shown against some of the smaller receivers that he’s able, with his movement skills, to compete at a high level. It’s something that’s definitely factored into the game plan.”

On if Coleman is starting…

“He’s staring in most of our personnel groupings. We just don’t know which one we’ll start the game in. The issue there is what will (Buffalo) be in to start the game? It’s match-ups. A lot of it depends on who’s on the field.”

On a situation where Brian Hartline was wide open in the Miami game…

“I’d have to know the specific play. He could have been a busted assignment. Two guys thought they were working together in and out. I don’t know the specific play, but that sometimes happens. Two guys think they’re going to play a guy in and out and they both jump on the out or jump on the in and turn the other guy loose. Again, I don’t know the specific play, but there were some issues on the backend against Miami that could have hurt us worse than they did. We were fortunate. (It was) just like last year, where we went down there and lost. The game was eerily similar for us defensively. I thought the front seven played a lot better. It was obvious that we had some issues on the backend. That’s life in the NFL. You’re not going to (always) have your best stuff.  Give Miami credit. They came out and had good plan against us. They went out and executed and I think (Chad) Henne threw the ball well. Obviously, they added Brandon Marshall, a Pro Bowl receiver. They executed their plan well, but we were fortunate to make enough plays in the end to win the football game.”

On how much Vernon Gholston practices at outside linebacker…

“He gets his reps there. He gets some reps. I can’t give you an exact number or percentage, but he works at both spots. Vernon is a very versatile guy. Vernon is very intelligent. He knows all the interior positions. He knows the outside linebackers. He knows the outside edge positions in our pass rush groupings and he also knows the inside positions as well. That’s really his strength for us. If there’s an issue, we can pop him right in there. He can play a number of positions for us.”

On if it has just taken Gholston time to adjust to the NFL game…

“I think so. The move to defensive end helped him. That and the intensive coaching he received from Mark Carrier and Clyde Simmons has really helped him. I just think he’s one of those guys where it’s taken a couple of years. It’s clicked and he’s playing a lot better. His pad level’s a lot better. He’s using his hands much better this year. He understands blocking patterns better this year and he’s being productive. Whereas before, he seemed that instinctively he couldn’t find the ball, whereas this year he understands the game a little better and where he fits schematically in it. He’s made some plays for us.”

On if there is difference between knowing your assignment and instincts…

“Absolutely. The play Brodney Pool made at the end of the game, to me, that was just an instinctive thing he did breaking on the ball and getting his hand in front. Some guys they know they’re assignments, you can quiz them all you want and get them on your board all you want, they’ll know it on the field, and then they get out in the game and they freeze up a little bit. Other guys know it and execute it, but every once in a while they will see a play and can go make it out of the structure a little bit. We don’t encourage that, but there are guys that can just make plays.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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