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Jets Press Conference Uncategorized

Brian Schottenheimer Interview Transcript 9/15/11

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

On what adjustments he made in the Dallas game…

Yes, they did (pressure us). We knew that they would throw some things at us, but I think Rob (Ryan) did a great job. He had us off balance. He had me off balance for a while there, just with some of the exotic (looks) that he (thrown at us). There were things that he hadn’t shown the previous times we’ve played, and obviously, we hadn’t seen in the preseason. I think the biggest adjustments that we made were that we tried to spread them out a little bit more. We got into more three-receiver sets. Obviously, we got a little bit into the no-huddle to try and force their hand and try to limit what they can do. Sometimes, when you spread people out, you can see things a little bit cleaner, just because they can’t disguise as well. I think that’s the biggest adjustment that we made.

On what advantage the three tight end set gives them…

Obviously, they (Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan and Jeff Cumberland) are three good players, otherwise, we wouldn’t use it. We have a couple of guys that play like tight ends and receivers. Dustin is basically a guy that can play tight end and he can play receiver. Jeff Cumberland is another guy that was a former receiver, so it gives you flexibility. You can play in tight, close both edges and have a power running attack. Then, the very next play, you can be in one-back and playing like sub or eleven. (It gives you) flexibility (and) guys that have been here in the system. They know it well. We’re putting good players on the field, but they give you flexibility to move them around in different places.

On how effectively the three tight end set worked against stopping DeMarcus Ware…

I think, more than anything, what neutralized him—if you can say neutralized, I wouldn’t use that word with him—I think was the no-huddle. Every time they have to rush and the ball gets pushed, that kind of helps slow him down, but what a great player. Obviously, he got us on the first play. He’s just a terrific player.

On whether he has thought about using the no-huddle offense earlier in games to get the offense in rhythm…

We have and we talk about it every week. It’s one of those things that you do for a lot of different reasons. This is something that we knew going in we would use at some point because of the fact that it was a new defense, some new players in the secondary and some of the starters that were coming back hadn’t played much. Plus, you were wondering about conditioning. Sometimes, it’s just that you want to change the tempo of the game. It’s funny you ask that because the last time we opened a game in it was against New England on Monday night when we scored the three points. It’s something that we talk about each and every week. It’s always available. Mark (Sanchez) likes it. You can go back to Detroit, where we had the big comeback last year I guess, down by 10 with whatever to go. He’s very comfortable in it. The biggest thing is that nobody wants to live in that world. It’s hard to just live in that world. It’s a tool for us that we can use and we’ll get to it when we need to.

On the 16-game streak of not scoring a touchdown in the first quarter and if they have tried to solve it…

Yes, we have (tried to solve it). It’s one of those things where you try not to get too frustrated with it. We’ve tried a lot of different things. We’ll continue to work on things, with how we script openers and how we practice openers. The thing is, bottom line, we need to execute better, number one. Obviously, if you come out and give up a sack on the first play, that kind of shoots you in the foot a little bit and I need to call better plays. I think a lot of it just trying to get different guys involved. We’ve tried all those things. I think somebody asked if it’s mental, it’s really not mental. You have to go and just take one play at a time, focus on that play and execute that play to the best of your ability. When you do that, you put one good play on top of the next and that kind of helps you get into the deal. You can’t go into a game saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to start fast in the first quarter.’ You have to focus on execution.

On how much of a focus the slow starts have been…

When we are putting together the openers as a staff, we don’t lose any sleep over it. We’re, obviously, aware of it. You feel great when you go out and you play well early on. That’s a given, but that’s one part of the factor. We want to start fast and we know we can start faster, but again, we’re still finding ways to win games and that’s the most important thing. We’re going to continue to look under all different holes and stuff, looking for the right answer. At some point, I really think we’ll get it figured out. Until then, hopefully, it starts this weekend.

On whether he thinks that stat can be misleading because they do not start with the ball and do not have a large amount of first-quarter drives…

Yes, we’ve mentioned that to Rex before too (laughing). Again, there are some things we can do, (like not going) three-and-out (after) they had the long drive, initially. Yes, I think it can be misconstrued and misleading, but we do know that we can certainly play better than we’ve performed in the first quarter. This is a new group. To go back and compare it to last year, 16 or whatever (games), it’s a brand new group, so that’s in the past. We really do, we look at it that way.

On Sanchez telling receivers during the Dallas game that he will get them the ball and if there is a danger to the mindset of trying to get every receiver the ball…

I think that’s probably Mark trying to be a leader or a motivator. I think, in his mind, he knows, “Hey, the first open receiver gets the ball.” That’s the way the passing game works. Now if you try to get cute and say, “Hey, I’m going to get this guy the ball,” (that is not right). The one interception he had, he was a little bit off with his read. He tried to say, “Oh, they’ll probably cover that” and he tried to come inside to Dustin on the basic. They were in a man-to-man coverage and Sean Lee was the free player. He just kind of read it because Mark’s eyes got in there so fast. He just kind of read his eyes and came up underneath him. I’m not so sure that’s not Mark just being a great leader (and) a great teammate, saying, “Hey guys, hang in there. You’re going to make a play. I’m going to find you.” In reality, the way the progressions work, “Receivers, if you get open, you’ll get the ball.”

On Derrick Mason…

He got open quite a bit too though, so that’s a good thing.

On not running the ball well…

From our standpoint as a staff, it’s never changed. We go in wanting to be balanced and then we’re going to do whatever (we need to win), however the game unfolds. Again, I think you have to give Dallas a lot of credit, they did a great job loading up the box trying to take away the run. The passing game kind of got hot. Mark made some terrific throws, the guys were making plays for him. Just because you go out and you have a great week doing one thing, you’re not going to say, “Hey listen we have to go fix that.” We’ve worked to it, there are things we can get better at with the running game. We call plays here based off what we see, going with a good plan, which we normally do, and then however the game unfolds. We hope to come out 50/50, but it generally doesn’t happen that way.

On getting the running game going to help keep the defense away from Sanchez…

Absolutely, that would help. Obviously, we feel like the running game will come. We have a great offensive line. That hasn’t changed. If there’s a group that you know has pride, it’s that group, with how well they’ve all played. The running game is something, it comes through time, it comes through work. Dallas was going to come in here with the mindset, they want to bring pressure from all different angles, trying to create penetration to get the running game knocked off. And what they did, they ended up singling their corners on the outside. That gave us the possibility of hitting some big plays.

On the balance between letting Sanchez audible to pass plays and sticking with the game plan to run the ball…

In reality, Mark kind of got fooled. He thought maybe the guy was coming off the slot. That’s a situation when you’re in that close, and we talked about it on Monday, hey, if the run makes two or three more yards, Coach Cav (Matt Cavanaugh) and I try to put it in terms of, “It’s like you dealing with a third-and-10. A 50-yard field goal is like third-and-10. If it’s a 45-yard field goal or a 46-yard field goal, it’s like third-and-six. Not a no-brainer, but you feel a little better about it. He understood that. He kind of got fooled thinking that guy was going to come. The first play of that drive we tried to run it and they got some penetration. There’s a fine line, but when you give him that freedom, you’ve got to give him the freedom to go and make that decision. It’s not like we want him coming over all the time, “Is that okay?” No, make a decision and live with it. That’s what he did, and quite honestly, he could have made probably a little better pass to Plax and gave him a chance.

On how LaDainian Tomlinson has handled a different role this season…

He’s been great. Congratulations, by the way, to him and LaTorsha on their baby girl. That’s awesome. But he’s been great, and I thought he played terrific in the game. I mean, I thought he played outstanding in the game. He’s a competitor and he’s going to get his touches a lot of different ways, but one of the things that we challenged him with when we got back was third down. And he made some big, clutch plays on third down coming out of the backfield that again, showed you that the guy can still help you win and he will answer the call every day, every game day, every practice. And we were pleased that he played so well, with six or seven catches I think, five or six catches for some big plays.

On how Tomlinson’s game has changed…

I think obviously he’s still a great player, the only thing that I see maybe is just back then when he would break (away), you very rarely ever saw anybody on the screen with him. He’s learned to use his quickness and stuff now. Still just a great player, and obviously a guy that’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

On whether he is more likely to use the Wildcat offense this week…

It’s one of those things. We carry all kinds of different packages, like the (Antonio) Cromartie thing. We have a lot different packages that we have. We’re comfortable with the Wildcat. It’s something that you might not see it this week, but a week or two from now, you’re going to see it four, five, six times. And then, three weeks down the road, you’ll see it 10, 12 times. We have it. It’s all based on how it’s looking, how it’s going, how the game’s playing out, but we definitely have confidence in that package.

On whether they have a name for the Cromartie package…

No, we need to probably ask him that. It’s not going to be Seminole. I’m done with Seminole. I’m a Gator at heart. I can’t believe I gave into that with Leon (Washington).

On whether he ever considered using a five wide receiver package…

It’s a good question. We do. We talk about it. Dustin (Keller)’s an awfully good player. To take him off the field, to us, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Plus, it just limits what you can do from a protection standpoint. Our defense check to some blitz that hits us in the face all the time. It’s a little bit of what you go against every day in practice. It’s like, “Okay, let’s take that package out. That was fun for a day. Rex and Pettine just got that, let’s take that out.”

On what adjustments he made in the Dallas game…
Yes, they did (pressure us).  We knew that they would throw some things at us, but I think Rob (Ryan) did a great job.  He had us off balance.  He had me off balance for a while there, just with some of the exotic (looks) that he (thrown at us).  There were things that he hadn’t shown the previous times we’ve played, and obviously, we hadn’t seen in the preseason.  I think the biggest adjustments that we made were that we tried to spread them out a little bit more.  We got into more three-receiver sets.  Obviously, we got a little bit into the no-huddle to try and force their hand and try to limit what they can do.  Sometimes, when you spread people out, you can see things a little bit cleaner, just because they can’t disguise as well.  I think that’s the biggest adjustment that we made.
On what advantage the three tight end set gives them…
Obviously, they (Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan and Jeff Cumberland) are three good players, otherwise, we wouldn’t use it.  We have a couple of guys that play like tight ends and receivers.  Dustin is basically a guy that can play tight end and he can play receiver.  Jeff Cumberland is another guy that was a former receiver, so it gives you flexibility.  You can play in tight, close both edges and have a power running attack.  Then, the very next play, you can be in one-back and playing like sub or eleven.  (It gives you) flexibility (and) guys that have been here in the system.  They know it well.  We’re putting good players on the field, but they give you flexibility to move them around in different places.
On how effectively the three tight end set worked against stopping DeMarcus Ware…
I think, more than anything, what neutralized him—if you can say neutralized, I wouldn’t use that word with him—I think was the no-huddle.  Every time they have to rush and the ball gets pushed, that kind of helps slow him down, but what a great player.  Obviously, he got us on the first play.  He’s just a terrific player.
On whether he has thought about using the no-huddle offense earlier in games to get the offense in rhythm…
We have and we talk about it every week.  It’s one of those things that you do for a lot of different reasons.  This is something that we knew going in we would use at some point because of the fact that it was a new defense, some new players in the secondary and some of the starters that were coming back hadn’t played much.  Plus, you were wondering about conditioning.  Sometimes, it’s just that you want to change the tempo of the game.  It’s funny you ask that because the last time we opened a game in it was against New England on Monday night when we scored the three points.  It’s something that we talk about each and every week.   It’s always available.  Mark (Sanchez) likes it.  You can go back to Detroit, where we had the big comeback last year I guess, down by 10 with whatever to go.  He’s very comfortable in it.  The biggest thing is that nobody wants to live in that world.  It’s hard to just live in that world.  It’s a tool for us that we can use and we’ll get to it when we need to.
On the 16-game streak of not scoring a touchdown in the first quarter and if they have tried to solve it…
Yes, we have (tried to solve it).  It’s one of those things where you try not to get too frustrated with it.  We’ve tried a lot of different things.  We’ll continue to work on things, with how we script openers and how we practice openers.  The thing is, bottom line, we need to execute better, number one.  Obviously, if you come out and give up a sack on the first play, that kind of shoots you in the foot a little bit and I need to call better plays.  I think a lot of it just trying to get different guys involved.  We’ve tried all those things.  I think somebody asked if it’s mental, it’s really not mental.  You have to go and just take one play at a time, focus on that play and execute that play to the best of your ability.  When you do that, you put one good play on top of the next and that kind of helps you get into the deal.  You can’t go into a game saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to start fast in the first quarter.’  You have to focus on execution.
On how much of a focus the slow starts have been…
When we are putting together the openers as a staff, we don’t lose any sleep over it.  We’re, obviously, aware of it.  You feel great when you go out and you play well early on.  That’s a given, but that’s one part of the factor.  We want to start fast and we know we can start faster, but again, we’re still finding ways to win games and that’s the most important thing.  We’re going to continue to look under all different holes and stuff, looking for the right answer.  At some point, I really think we’ll get it figured out.  Until then, hopefully, it starts this weekend.
On whether he thinks that stat can be misleading because they do not start with the ball and do not have a large amount of first-quarter drives…
Yes, we’ve mentioned that to Rex before too (laughing).  Again, there are some things we can do, (like not going) three-and-out (after) they had the long drive, initially.  Yes, I think it can be misconstrued and misleading, but we do know that we can certainly play better than we’ve performed in the first quarter.  This is a new group.  To go back and compare it to last year, 16 or whatever (games), it’s a brand new group, so that’s in the past.  We really do, we look at it that way.
On Sanchez telling receivers during the Dallas game that he will get them the ball and if there is a danger to the mindset of trying to get every receiver the ball…
I think that’s probably Mark trying to be a leader or a motivator.  I think, in his mind, he knows, “Hey, the first open receiver gets the ball.”  That’s the way the passing game works.  Now if you try to get cute and say, “Hey, I’m going to get this guy the ball,” (that is not right).  The one interception he had, he was a little bit off with his read.  He tried to say, “Oh, they’ll probably cover that” and he tried to come inside to Dustin on the basic.  They were in a man-to-man coverage and Sean Lee was the free player.  He just kind of read it because Mark’s eyes got in there so fast.  He just kind of read his eyes and came up underneath him.  I’m not so sure that’s not Mark just being a great leader (and) a great teammate, saying, “Hey guys, hang in there.  You’re going to make a play.  I’m going to find you.”  In reality, the way the progressions work, “Receivers, if you get open, you’ll get the ball.”
On Derrick Mason…
He got open quite a bit too though, so that’s a good thing.
On not running the ball well…
From our standpoint as a staff, it’s never changed. We go in wanting to be balanced and then we’re going to do whatever (we need to win), however the game unfolds. Again, I think you have to give Dallas a lot of credit, they did a great job loading up the box trying to take away the run. The passing game kind of got hot. Mark made some terrific throws, the guys were making plays for him. Just because you go out and you have a great week doing one thing, you’re not going to say, “Hey listen we have to go fix that.” We’ve worked to it, there are things we can get better at with the running game. We call plays here based off what we see, going with a good plan, which we normally do, and then however the game unfolds. We hope to come out 50/50, but it generally doesn’t happen that way.
On getting the running game going to help keep the defense away from Sanchez…
Absolutely, that would help. Obviously, we feel like the running game will come. We have a great offensive line. That hasn’t changed. If there’s a group that you know has pride, it’s that group, with how well they’ve all played. The running game is something, it comes through time, it comes through work. Dallas was going to come in here with the mindset, they want to bring pressure from all different angles, trying to create penetration to get the running game knocked off. And what they did, they ended up singling their corners on the outside. That gave us the possibility of hitting some big plays.
On the balance between letting Sanchez audible to pass plays and sticking with the game plan to run the ball…
In reality, Mark kind of got fooled. He thought maybe the guy was coming off the slot. That’s a situation when you’re in that close, and we talked about it on Monday, hey, if the run makes two or three more yards, Coach Cav (Matt Cavanaugh) and I try to put it in terms of, “It’s like you dealing with a third-and-10. A 50-yard field goal is like third-and-10. If it’s a 45-yard field goal or a 46-yard field goal, it’s like third-and-six. Not a no-brainer, but you feel a little better about it. He understood that. He kind of got fooled thinking that guy was going to come. The first play of that drive we tried to run it and they got some penetration. There’s a fine line, but when you give him that freedom, you’ve got to give him the freedom to go and make that decision. It’s not like we want him coming over all the time, “Is that okay?”  No, make a decision and live with it. That’s what he did, and quite honestly, he could have made probably a little better pass to Plax and gave him a chance.
On how LaDainian Tomlinson has handled a different role this season…
He’s been great. Congratulations, by the way, to him and LaTorsha on their baby girl. That’s awesome. But he’s been great, and I thought he played terrific in the game. I mean, I thought he played outstanding in the game. He’s a competitor and he’s going to get his touches a lot of different ways, but one of the things that we challenged him with when we got back was third down. And he made some big, clutch plays on third down coming out of the backfield that again, showed you that the guy can still help you win and he will answer the call every day, every game day, every practice. And we were pleased that he played so well, with six or seven catches I think, five or six catches for some big plays.
On how Tomlinson’s game has changed…
I think obviously he’s still a great player, the only thing that I see maybe is just back then when he would break (away), you very rarely ever saw anybody on the screen with him. He’s learned to use his quickness and stuff now. Still just a great player, and obviously a guy that’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
On whether he is more likely to use the Wildcat offense this week…
It’s one of those things. We carry all kinds of different packages, like the (Antonio) Cromartie thing. We have a lot different packages that we have. We’re comfortable with the Wildcat. It’s something that you might not see it this week, but a week or two from now, you’re going to see it four, five, six times. And then, three weeks down the road, you’ll see it 10, 12 times. We have it. It’s all based on how it’s looking, how it’s going, how the game’s playing out, but we definitely have confidence in that package.
On whether they have a name for the Cromartie package…
No, we need to probably ask him that. It’s not going to be Seminole. I’m done with Seminole. I’m a Gator at heart. I can’t believe I gave into that with Leon (Washington).
On whether he ever considered using a five wide receiver package…
It’s a good question. We do. We talk about it. Dustin (Keller)’s an awfully good player. To take him off the field, to us, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Plus, it just limits what you can do from a protection standpoint. Our defense check to some blitz that hits us in the face all the time. It’s a little bit of what you go against every day in practice. It’s like, “Okay, let’s take that package out. That was fun for a day. Rex and Pettine just got that, let’s take that out.”

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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