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Mark Sanchez interview transcript 10/13/10

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On Wednesday New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez held his weekly press conference with the media.  Here is the transcript from the session courtesy of the Jets.

On the challenge of playing at Denver…

“I think we’re ready for it. I think it’s going to be a good challenge especially before the bye week. We want to hit that on a high note and build off of last week (and) the momentum we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. We’re going out a day early. We’re going to stay on the same time and trying to do our own thing, stay focused, eliminate distractions and all the things you have to do to play well in the noise and be ready to play a really good football team.”

On how difficult it is to prepare for Denver on a short week…

“It’s important that we just take a little extra time knowing it’s a short week. Guys have already talked about getting your sleep because of the flight, the time change (and) the altitude. (It’s) more important than ever. Hydrate all week and really be smart and put the team first. We’ll do that in our preparation in the facility (and) outside the facility and we’ll be ready to go.”

On the best part of playing in this offense…

“(We have) all the options now. Having Santonio (Holmes) back, you saw what he can do in just his first game and I don’t even think he’s comfortable yet, so that’s a good thing for us. I think having such a strong running game and the luxury of having an offensive line that can pass protect and run block, (makes me) pretty fortunate. Having the ability to get the ball to our playmakers (gives us) a chance. It’s a joy to play here.”

On Denver’s defense…

“They have a couple of guys out and we’ll see who suits up. They are a tough group and they’re flying around on film. They’re ready to turn things around and get a win. What a better way than have the Jets come in and they’re looking to beat us, so we need to be ready to play. They’re a fast flow defense; aggressive. Champ Bailey is one of the best of all time at cornerback, so he’s one of those guys that you have to keep an eye on. Then, just a ton of playmakers, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us and our guys. We all have to get better from last week. It was a great win, but we need to score some touchdowns to beat this team.”

On the goal this week…

“I think going into the week before a bye week, we want to hit that on a high note like we already talked about (and) do well on the road. We’ve played well on the road our first couple chances and this is another opportunity to do that.  It’s going to take focus all week and just want to get to 5-1 at the break.”

On how good the offense can be…

“If we just keep improving like we are this week, I talked to the receivers (and said), ‘Just one catch better.’ If each guy gets one catch better and I get one throw better to each guy, because there were some balls that I left out there that just weren’t my best throws. It wasn’t my most accurate night. We still got a win out of it. That’s a good sign because we can all improve. If we just convert a couple of those red zone opportunities, we can be explosive. That’s our goal. We’ve just got to improve a little bit each week and we’ll be ready to play.”

On if there has been an issue with the football because of the pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon on it…

“I don’t think it’s the ribbon, it’s just that you don’t get a chance to break those balls in as much. I don’t care if they had a black X or a pink stripe on it. In a monsoon, it’s pretty tough (laughing). That was a tough night for the ball crew. That was hard for them. Those are the things that you’ve got to work through. I think I might have thrown my best in the rain except for the last throw before halftime. That was pretty funny, but that happens in weather like that. That’s just expected.”

On if this is a good matchup for the Jets because Baltimore, who is similar to the Jets, defeated Denver…

“It’s a good matchup, but we’re going to be tested especially on the perimeter. Champ (Bailey) is looking to shutdown somebody and he could do it to multiple guys if they don’t match him. You can’t just take someone else’s game plan and do the exact same thing because those guys are pros. They’re learning from their mistakes and they’ve bounced back from that game. It’s a matter of us really playing focused football and eliminating some of those mistakes that we had last week.”

On his completion to interception ratio…

“It’s been a point of emphasis all off season and I’m really glad that things have gone well so far. It’s one of those things that you can’t let up and I feel like when I was late on a couple (throws) last week I lucked out. We joke about it in the quarterback room, you must be living right to luck out like that because (Antoine) Winfield dropped one and then Braylon (Edwards) came and got a pass interference (on one) that it could have been an interception as well. A lot of it is the decision making. A lot of it is the accuracy and I lost a little accuracy last week. It’s something that I’m constantly working at and hopefully this week is not the week to start (throwing interceptions).”

On comparing himself and Monday night’s game to last season…

“This past Monday night’s game, I think if that was a bad game, I think we’ll be ok. If that’s going to be my worst game, we are in good shape. Last year, (I) would have been (saying), ‘Man, I’m not completing balls. Ok, now I’m going to try and get one down the middle,’ or, ‘I’m going to really try and get one up the sideline,’ and force something. I wasn’t making the bad decisions that I made last year. Some of the throws weren’t great, but just eliminating the bad decisions, we really have a chance to play well.”

On the red zone struggles against Minnesota…

“I think, especially last week (with) their defense, that was exactly what they do well. They let you get down in there, they bend all the way down the field, but they don’t break. They are tough. They drop everybody out in coverage. I had to check it down to LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) a couple of times. Then, we got an opportunity right before halftime and it’s pouring rain and I missed Dustin (Keller). That’s when you have to capitalize and that’s what was lacking last week. There was another one where I missed Dustin in the red zone. Two red zone trips. I totally take the blame on it. If we get 14 points instead of six, that’s such a huge swing, momentum (and) points. There’s no excuse for it. Out of those few trips we get, I have to take advantage of those. I can’t miss those anymore if we want to win.”

On the team’s trouble scoring when starting a drive in the opponent’s territory…

“We just need to take advantage of those. When Brad (Smith) returns a kickoff like that, we have to use that to our advantage. It cuts the field. It gives us two-thirds of the field less to work with and we have to capitalize on it. Part of that is me being accurate and making the right reads, and guys coming down with the ball. Whatever it takes. I think each guy, each week, has to get a little bit better and that’s been the message this week in a short week. Learn from your mistakes this past week and get two or three plays better, that’s it.”

On whether the play-calling in the red zone needs to be adjusted…

“I think we’re calling the right plays and we’re repping them really well. The last three weeks, in our red zone specific day, I think the ball has touched the ground maybe three times in all three practices combined. They’ve been  some of our best days. We’ve been doing it in practice right. We just need to execute it in the game. I’m comfortable with the play calls, but like I said, I missed Dustin (Keller) twice. Once I threw it to Braylon (Edwards) and he was double-covered and once I just missed him. I threw it too far outside and he had to try and make a diving catch in that rain. No excuses for it, I have to get better.”

On whether Denver uses Champ Bailey in man-coverage like the Jets use Darrelle Revis…

“They can, especially with one of their guys down, we need to be ready for all of it. We’d expect them to match at least one of our guys. He hasn’t been in the slot much, so we’ll see what they do there. One of the guys is a rookie, (Perrish) Cox I believe, and Champ’s traditionally played to the right, but they could change with their injuries so we’ll see how they do on game day, how they adjust.”

On Braylon Edwards’ play the last few games…

“I’m giving him a chance, where last year, I don’t know if he knew that I was still going to come to him after we didn’t connect. There were a couple of long balls last year that we just kind of missed, whether he dropped, I over threw it, under threw it (or) whatever it was. We only connected on one, I think against Atlanta, and then the one against Indy. This year, I told him, ‘Man, I’m going to keep feeding you the ball. Just go up and make one of those catches for me.’ It gives us both confidence. He goes up and makes a grab like that, I fit one in there in tight coverage and it’s like, ‘Man, all right, we can do this again. Just you and me, man. We’re just playing catch.’ It’s like street football sometimes. Just give him a chance. He didn’t come up with a big one last week, but it’s going to be rare when he doesn’t. He makes one of those catches and it’s a huge play for us. We’ll keep giving him the opportunities, keep giving him chances to get open and he’s really playing well.”

On if he send Edwards text messages…

“Yeah, all the time.”

On what he talks to Edwards about in his text messages…

“I don’t know. It could be something during the week. It’s not just Bray, it’s J-Co (Jerricho Cotchery), it’s Santonio (Holmes) and just all these guys. If it’s something I feel like I wanted to talk to them about, but I didn’t get to in person or whatever. The week he was going through all that stuff, it was just, ‘Hey man, stay focused. We need you on the field. Forget everything else. Check that at the door. When we’re on the field, just play.’ If it’s Santonio, it’s ‘Hey man, welcome back. Put on a show. I’ll bring the popcorn, you bring the show. Let’s go.’ Little stuff, like that, just motivational.”

On how much better Holmes will be after he gets some more game time with the offense…

“He’s going to get so much more comfortable. Just after last week, (he said), “Man, I’m sorry. I have to catch that.” (I said), ‘Dude, don’t worry. You’re fine. It’s your first week back. We’ll get it.’ It’s that attitude. That’s the way all of them are, J-Co (and) Dustin. All of them want to get better, even after their best games. All of them have said something, “Man, I just missed that one,” or, “What do you think about this,” or, “Let’s go watch this on film.” It’s such a different relationship this year and I’m so proud of these guys for playing hard and showing their effort.”

On how important it is to win against Denver going into the bye week…

“It’s really important to play well on the road and there are a lot of outside factors that can kind of affect our performance: the altitude, the weather, the crowd noise, traveling two days early. (It’s) little things like that. That’s where the good teams get tested and we’ve got to pass this test. We want to hit this bye week. Last year was tough. We lose to Miami right before you go home and you’ve got to see your family and your friends. It’s like, ‘Dang, man. I wish we would have won it.’ If we lose all the games all year, at least win the one on your bye week because you’re going back home to see all your old buddies and you don’t want to talk about a loss (smiling). We’re fighting to win this one.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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