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Mike Pettine interview transcript 12/30/10

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On Thursday New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the Jets.

On going back to basics on defense…

“I think it had gotten to the point where, in light of the new faces we have in there, we needed to go back and do some of the teaching we had done and rebuild the foundation. Some of the things, we realized when we looked back. We summarized some of the mistakes and when the mistakes start to show up as things that are from Jets defense 101 as opposed to 401, that’s when you need to go back and make sure. Sometimes as a coach, when you think guys know, you have to make sure. That’s one of those things where we thought this week was a good week to do it. It was necessary, so we took some of the time that we normally would have spent either reviewing a script or maybe going over something new and (revisited) our core fundamentals. When you get to the end of the year, especially when you’re out of pads, you get less individual time and it’s more devoted to scheme. It was just one of those things and I think it caught up to us. We’re fortunate this week that we were able to build it in. It’s something, moving forward, we’ll look to do even more of, just to make sure we have some of those basic things nailed down.”

On if the players were given any extra homework…

“It wasn’t so much homework. It was more of a physical thing and a mental thing, whether it was footwork (or) stance. That was part of it. The other part of it too was practice tempo. We just felt like we needed to ratchet that up a little bit. Sometimes you get to this time of the year (and) the weather’s bad. It’s on us as a staff to fight that (and) to keep guys at a high level and not just out there putting in a day. Eventually, that catches up to you and it shows up on Sundays.”

On wanting to get the defense back to a high level before the postseason…

“That’s part of it. There are some things that we’re going to look at and some calls we’re going to make that we feel good about moving forward. We’ll do a self evaluation after the game, as well, and say, ‘What are we doing well and what are we?’ We’ll lean towards things we’re doing well and hopefully correct the things we’re not. The things we’re not (doing well), then take them out of the package. When you’re in a playoff game, there’s no margin for error.”

On how re-stressing the fundamentals can improve the pass rush…

“It’s part of it, but I think the pass rush, we talked a couple of weeks ago about sacks coming in bunches, and they did where we were able to generate some pressure. It’s been tough the last two weeks just because of the nature of the two fields we played on. If you look at it, Chicago and Pittsburgh are two pretty good pass rushing teams and I think, combined with the field, as well as our offense playing pretty well, (we) shut those two teams out. It’s a concern at times and sometimes we understand what we have out there. We had (Mike) DeVito and Sione (Pouha) out there that a lot of times and weren’t going to generate a lot (of pass rush), but we were willing to trade off that, ‘Hey, we have big tackles in there. We know we’re not going to get great internal pass rush, so it’s got to come from the edges.’ It’s something that’s been a concern, (but) we don’t want to go blitz happy just to generate it. We’re hoping that’s something we improve on moving forward.”

On how the injuries to Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce will affect this week’s game…

“It’s an opportunity for us to potentially rest some of those guys. (In the postseason), it’s all hands on deck. As of right now, we haven’t had that meeting to determine exactly what we’re doing. We’ve really practiced everybody this week and used the back-to-basics mentality. We’ve gone with more individual work as opposed to specific 11 guys out there stuff. The team reps (have) been distributed pretty well. We’ve rested some guys. Shaun’s rested this week and Sione (Pouha) has had a bunch of plays off and some with Trev (Trevor Pryce). It’s a situation where we’re looking defensively at peaking two weeks from now. This weekend for us, we’re going to play well. We’re going to go out there and compete. We want to win the football game, but at the same time, we don’t want to be foolish and do anything that’s potentially going to cost us down the road.”

On why the team placed Isaiah Trufant on the active roster…

“He’s a guy who practices really well. He has something about him and makes plays. He has very unique movement skills. Here’s a guy that is very small in stature and there is a million different nicknames for him that the guys have. He’s a guy that has shown to be productive. That’s what we talked about. We say ‘Play Like a Jet’ and that’s how he practices. Hair on fire, making plays, whether he’s on the scout team or if he’s now mixed in with the defensive side of (the ball). He’s a guy that we felt down the road, Pittsburgh (played with) five receivers on us, New England played a lot of small ball against us. We want to make sure we don’t have a guy sitting right here on our practice squad that can potentially help us. We want to get him active and take a look (at him). Test drive him. We have the opportunity to do it and get him out there for some reps on special teams and some defensive reps. Here’s a guy that you don’t accidentally become an MVP of a league that you play in. Here’s a guy that had a lot of production in the UFL. You can see why. (He’s) a unique blend. He has good ball skills and has a good knack for football. It was intriguing enough for us to recommend to find a way to get him up just to see what we have. I think it will also help from a depth stand point, being banged up on the secondary, (Dwight) Lowery having to be a safety full time. (Darrelle Revis) a little banged up, (Antonio) Cromartie a little banged up this time of year. We have some extra options now.”

On Kyle Wilson…

“Kyle is going to be a big part of what we are doing Sunday. He’s been practicing really well. I think he’s going to get a good amount of reps. The thing with Trufant (and Wilson) to me is two separate things. He’s practiced well and hopefully that will carry over to the field.”

On Wilson’s confidence level…

“I think it’s better because I see him make plays against Braylon (Edwards) or Santonio (Holmes) in practice. He goes up, competes and knocks a ball away from Dustin Keller. Those are things I think can help him. I think, as we talked about before, it’s a position of confidence and it’s hard to have especially as a rookie when you have some bad things happen to you. He’s handled it well. He’s a guy that hasn’t sulked or retreated from anything. He’s coming to work every day and attacked his problems head on the way he should. I think good things will come from Kyle.”

On holding back on some of the defense’s calls before the playoffs…

“I think it’s a combination. We’re not going to be vanilla. We had a pretty solid plan the first time we played Buffalo, so that was a good starting point for us. What worked in that game? What didn’t? Our whole thing, game-plan wise, it’s like we’re custom tailoring a suit. We’re not going to pull the same game plan off the rack for Indy that we would for Kansas City, that we would for Buffalo. The nature of our system, we’re not going to be, ‘This is what we run.’ Some teams are like that and it works for them. We’re constantly going to highlight different areas of our call inventory for a particular opponent. This week is no different. We prepared no different. If we do end up with some different guys in there, the plan has not been in any way, shape or form watered down.”

On Stevie Johnson…

“The first thing is he has great chemistry with the quarterback. When it’s crunch time, especially since Lee Evans went out, they have a good relationship. I think (Ryan) Fitzpatrick trusts him and knows where he’s going to be. He runs very good routes and he has good ball skills. There’s the one obvious (drop) against Pittsburgh where he had the game in his hands and he dropped it, but he’s a guy that has made a lot of plays (and) had a Pro Bowl type year. I think he just went over 1,000 yards. That’s kind of hidden because of where he plays, but we’re very aware of him. He was kind of under the radar when we played them the first time and he’s kind of exploded since then.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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