December 1, 2011
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the injury statuses of wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Terrence Austin:
“Gaffney’s foot was a little sore. Austin had a little bit of a hamstring [injury].”

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s left shoulder:
“It’s fine. He practiced full.”

On if safety LaRon Landry needs to practice Friday to be able to play on Sunday:
“I can’t say that for sure, but it sure would help.”

On fullback Darrel Young:
“Well, he didn’t practice today. So he’ll get a test tomorrow and we’ll see how he does.”

On Jets receiver Plaxico Burress’ return to the NFL:
“That’s impressive. Any time you get a guy that size with that type of athletic ability that is still able to make plays, it’s pretty impressive.”

On Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez:
“Well, let’s say that any time you take your team to the AFC Championship two years in a row, you’re doing some pretty good things. And everybody’s going to have some up and down years, some up and down games. That’s just not a quarterback, it’s everybody. It’s the offensive line, wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, that group playing together. I’ve been pretty impressed with Mark, the way he’s handled himself, what he’s been able to accomplish in a short amount of time. Not that he’s arrived, but just the way he handled himself, the way he works, you can tell he’s pretty strong mentally.”

On Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes and his pairing with Burress:
“I think they’re a good complement, because Holmes has got the big play capability. At any second he can strike. There are not very many guys that can run a 4.3 40 with pads on. You can see that explosiveness at any time. Any time he’s out there, he’s got the capability of going the distance and you’re always looking for that type of guy.”

On wide receiver Niles Paul:
“He’s a possibility for Sunday. His toe has improved. He’s practiced now for the second week. Last week it was a little rough. [He] practiced through it. There’s a chance he’ll be ready.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On determining when to play younger players:
“You really never know when they’re going to be ready. You’ve got to get a feel for them and, obviously, not having young guys this offseason hindered some of the young guys throughout the league, not just some of our guys. There’s a risk and reward to everything. You throw a guy in there [and] you see athleticism in some guys and you know what you’re going to get from that part, but you don’t know what you’re going to get from the standpoint of game day situations. I think there’s good and bad to it. Obviously, in Perry [Riley’s] case, Perry’s done a lot of good things, but obviously he’s done some things he has to get better at. Even last week, he had 16 tackles. He was all over the field and made nice plays, but the 12-yard run, the eight-yard run and the six-yard run were evident because that was his gap. It’s something that if you’re willing to live with some of the mistakes and try to minimize those, obviously there’s a lot of upside to it also.”

On if there is a danger in putting in a player too soon:
“He’ll develop in time. I’ve always believed that you draft guys for a reason. If you draft him in the top three rounds or four rounds, there should at least be a place for him in some point in time. I don’t know when that time is. I think that time is – really, you have to get a feel for the kid and what he can pick up and what you’re doing schematically. A lot of young guys, like Ryan Kerrigan, we threw in and we live with the mistakes. Again, you see a lot of the upside. It will pay off for this team in the long run with these guys.”

On if there is a less of a risk to play young players in a year like this:
“I don’t think you say a year like this. If we had beat Dallas twice - we lost to them by five - then we’d be at six wins then we’d be treating it totally different. Why are you playing the young guy when you have six wins and you’re in the mix? I don’t look at it from that way. I just think, what’s going to help your football team right away? What’s going to help in the long run? We just felt that it was time for Perry to step up and play. Obviously, it’s an ongoing process with the young linebacker, especially when he has to play in this defense, which is not easy.”

On how he determined when to play Riley, who was previously on the scout team before:
“Well, a lot of guys judge it by the scout team. To me, that’s hard because they read a card and they run it. I think you’ve got to know if the guy is instinctive, if the guy has physical skills, which Perry does have. All those type of things. He’s instinctive. He has a good nose. If nothing else, he’s fast and he’ll run to the ball. He may not know where he’s going, but he knows where the ball is. I think playing linebacker, sometimes, that’s half the battle.”

On players trying to do more than their assignments during the losing streak:
“I think that happens. Everybody’s trying to do it and then make every play. Obviously, then there’s breakdowns in what they’re doing. There’s a trust factor always in defense. You have to trust the guy beside you is going to do his job and you do your job. And then have great effort and run to the ball. If you do those things, everything will come together. Like last week, [after] watching the film, I was proud of the guys because you watch 67 snaps [and] 57, 58 of the snaps, there is eight guys in the frame, guys diving on piles. It’s not exactly perfect in everything that we did, but it was unbelievable effort. If you get that effort every time and you do the right things, you’re going to have a heck of a football team.”
On defensive end Stephen Bowen’s performance against the Seahawks:
“He’s been playing really at a high level. We’re really pleased with him and he’s another guy that has great instincts. He’s got better pass rush ability than anybody gives him credit for. He makes plays up and down the line of scrimmage. I think he likes what we’re doing on defense. He kind of fits what we’re doing and he’s really athletic. I think he’s a great fit for the football team.”

On the front seven:
“I think the group is really an outstanding group. I think it’s going to get better the more they play together because Barry [Cofield], every day he’s out there, he gets better. Stephen’s the same thing. Adam [Carriker], you can ask Adam, gauge how he played last year and what he did this year. You get another young guy coming back next year – Jarvis [Jenkins] and Chris Neild coming back. With Ryan [Kerrigan], [Brian] Orakpo, London [Fletcher] and Perry – it’s a pretty good group.”

On not giving up as many big runs during the past few games:
“I think it’s just a better understanding of the defense and everybody together. Probably disappointing last week that [Seahawks running back Marshawn] Lynch, who I think is a really good running back, we should have had plays where it was second-and-nine, second-and-eight [and] he ran over guys and it was second-and-five and six. That’s why he got a lot of yards after the first hit. He’s a good football player, so give him credit where it’s due. Our guys have a pretty good feel. We’re getting different runs at us each week because of the scheme. We just have to adjust to it as we go.”

On why the team signed defensive end Kentwan Balmer instead of elevating defensive end Doug Worthington from the practice squad:
“We thought [Balmer] was a first-round draft pick who fits the mold of a defensive linemen you’re looking for. He’s 6-5, 325 [and] obviously he was a first-round pick, a high pick that was out of place in some of the defenses. In Seattle with a four-man line, we didn’t think he was a four-man. I thought he was a 3-4 defensive end. He just had some personal issues in San Francisco. They got him out of there. I think as long as he is doing what he’s supposed to do, he fits the look. He fits with what you’re looking for and guys that are 6-5 that weigh 325, they just don’t really fall out of trees. The guy’s athletic and he was a first round pick. You’d like to give him an opportunity.”

On defensive end Darrion Scott’s play since he was re-signed:
“I thought he has done well. Scotty’s a solid player. He just kind of got caught up in the numbers. I’ve had Scotty before. He’s a good pass rusher and does exactly what you’re supposed to do. You know what you’re going to get in Scotty. He gives great effort all the time.”

On if linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is making fewer mistakes each week:
“Ryan doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and, if he does, he won’t make them the next week. [He’s had] very few if any the past couple weeks.”

On if he’s able to do more with Kerrigan and linebacker Brian Orakpo:
“Well, we have been on third down. We’ve been moving them around. They’re starting to feel a little more comfortable moving around, so we’ve been moving Ryan and Rak – putting them on the same side, flip-flopping them. Earlier, Ryan was just kind of getting comfortable with what we’re doing… Again, like I said, with him and guys like Stephen and Barry, guys who haven’t been around, it’s just more of a comfort zone than anything.”

On if teams are doubling Orakpo less because of Kerrigan’s presence:
“We’re doing all kinds of schemes now because we’re getting good rush inside from Stephen and Barry. So we’re getting all kinds of blocking or protection schemes… I think those two [Orakpo and Kerrigan] are good enough. There’s always going to be somebody that will be responsible for both of them. They’ll have two guys on them most of the time.”

On the safety position:
“I feel good with all the safeties. I thought last week, Reed [Doughty] and Oshiomogho [Atogwe], they played great. It was a comfort zone. LaRon [Landry] came back from injury [and] he played well. We put DeJon [Gomes], his issue is his knee – we just didn’t want to throw him back out there because of his knee. I feel good about all four safeties playing. They know what we’re doing and they play hard. That’s really all you can ask.”

On the pass interference penalty against cornerback Josh Wilson:
“I don’t get disappointed. I just think it’s the NFL. I don’t know if it was the right call – I’m not saying if it was right or if it was poor. All those calls are judgment calls. To me, it’s the length of the penalty. It should be a 15-yard penalty, not a 44-yard penalty. That’s subjective, but until that rule changes, we just have to live with it.”

On how tough a matchup Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress is in the red zone:
“I think he’s a tough matchup even out in the field, not just the red zone. He’s a big body. He can get open. He makes acrobatic catches. They’ve got an outstanding receiving corps. We’re going to have our hands full this week. We don’t have anybody that can match up to him. He’s 6-5 [and] he’s big. We’ll do the best we can on him, but he’s a heck of a player.”

On how players successfully defend against taller receivers like Burress in the red zone:
“There’s different ways. Guys play different ways. Guys play like basketball and try to [get] body position. Guys that are stronger try to muscle him. You’ve got to know what your body can do and what you can do. In the red zone, he’s a big issue and so is [Jets wide receiver Santonio] Holmes. We have our hands full, but I feel good about our corners playing these guys.”

On if he’s surprised by Burress’ success this season:
“No. Guys, if they’re good players [and] good athletes, that stuff comes back fast. I’m sure he was working out and doing all the things he has to do. I’m glad for him that he’s come back and he’s kind of brought a career back. It’s a positive for him. He paid his time and did what he had to do. I think it’s a positive to show what you can do in life in general. The guy came out and he’s been a good example of being successful.”

On why the Jets haven’t been as successful running the ball this season:
“A number of different things. Guys have been hurt. They had their center hurt, the running back has been hurt. LT [LaDainian Tomlinson], he’s still a great player. He’s been nicked up. It’s just a number of things. It’s not what they’re doing. Brian [Schottenheimer], the offensive coordinator, does a great job with the scheme and it’s hard to defend. I just think more than anything it’s because of injuries. That kind of happens in the league, but they’re a potent group, they can run the ball, they’re good up front, their line’s excellent and I think they’re good running backs – [Shonn] Greene and LT’s been one of the greatest runners of all-time playing. I watched him play in high school and he’s a heck of a player.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On scoring on the opening drive last game:
“It felt good. We haven’t done it all year and, to be able to go down and do it, make a couple of third downs and make a couple big plays and finish it with a touchdown – that definitely takes some pressure off. It definitely makes it a lot easier.”

On how much having wide receiver Santana Moss helps open things up:
“They didn’t double-cover him at all… It’s just good to have him out there. Santana’s our captain [and] one of the best players on our team. [He’s] a guy that we trust a lot and go to a lot, so it’s nice to have him out there.”

On if having Moss back gives quarterback Rex Grossman more confidence:
“I think he gives everybody more confidence. Any time you lose some of your best players and you get some of those guys back, guys are obviously going to feel more confident going into a game. When Santana was out there, I think it makes everyone more confident.”

On what made running back Roy Helu more ready to carry the load:
“He’s had other games where we started him. It’s just hard for a rookie back sometimes to take the load. We thought the way he’s been practicing [and] finishing runs, I think he’s gotten tougher throughout the year. He’s not a tough guy, but just handling the pounding in the NFL. The biggest key with NFL backs, which you can see with Roy on Sunday is when you get hit for nothing on one yard – do you follow forward for three yards or do you fall back for zero yards? He’s really been finishing runs well the last couple of weeks. I feel that was the difference in him on Sunday. He was able to make those one-yard runs three-yard runs. He was able to do it throughout the game and not get worn down by it. Him being able to do that, it was nice to keep him out there.”

On what he was seeing that made him think Helu wasn’t ready earlier in the season:
“I mean he’s been out there a lot, so he’s played a lot… I think with carries, we kept him in more. He was doing good [and] we kept him going. We saw it more during the game. It’s never something going in. It’s’ how are they doing while they’re in there/’ Some of the runs he was making [and] some of the runs he was finishing, something that I think maybe not everyone else notices because some of the most impressive runs were those two and three-yard runs to us. We see the way he’s handling it and the energy he has and we keep feeding him. I mean, he kept going.”

On how quickly Helu has picked up the passing game:
“He’s come a long way. We knew he had skills as far as catching the ball and being able to run. He wasn’t used in that manner and that’s why I think, just a lack of experience, he really struggled in protection. He’s a guy who is not scared to do it. He’s a smart guy. He’s willing. He’s very conscientious and works at it. It’s just been a gradual process and he’s gotten better at it each week because he’s doing the best that he’s done right now.”

On if every-down running backs still exist in the NFL:
“I think everybody wants that. It’s a very violent physical game. When you have a guy who can do that, you’re not going to see many people just pull him just for the future. You’re going to run guys and do whatever it takes to win the game. When they show they can handle the load and don’t wear down, then you keep them in. Roy looked like that on Sunday. He looked stronger as the game went and, when it’s like that, we’re not going to take him out.”

On how diverse the Jets defense is:
“They’re all over the place with their fronts [and] their personnel groupings. They change stuff up kind of like we do offensively where they do a lot of the same stuff, but just out of completely different personnel groups. When you have some corners who are very good in man coverage that gives you a lot of freedom with the rest of the people.”

On quarterback Rex Grossman throwing a touchdown after an intentional grounding play:
“On the bad play, it was intentional grounding. If he wouldn’t have had the intentional grounding, it was going to be a 10-yard sack. There’s not really much a look at there. That’s the whole offense. We missed the hot throw and the hot throw actually wasn’t open, so he tried to get rid of it instead of throwing a pick. The choice there is to take intentional grounding or take a sack and it’s about the same. I was glad he did it because I don’t know if I would have called that exact play on third-and-five, but I liked it on third-and-long.”

On if Grossman throwing a touchdown pass after the penalty with total confidence shows who he is:
“Yeah, I think that’s who all quarterbacks have to be. I thought Rex played a very good game. Even when he does struggle, he comes out there with confidence and he doesn’t look in the past. He plays one play at a time and he’s a guy who you believe in for that reason. That’s why the guys follow him.”

On if Grossman goes downfield more than most quarterbacks:
“Yes… Rex really likes playing football. He really likes being in there. He doesn’t mind the contact in the game. He really likes the camaraderie and he wants to go downfield. I think that’s stuff he used to do more in his career regardless. You’ve got to tone him down a little bit and make sure we’re moving the chains first. But if he gets that opportunity, he’s not scared to take it. As a play caller and a guy putting in the offense, you love that because you don’t always have choices and opportunities where, if they take something away, you can make them pay with a deep route. You walk a fine line and you have to make them take that away before you go deep.”

On the offensive line jelling:
“I was really pleased. That was my first time playing in that stadium. That was the last stadium that I had not played in. I heard how loud it is was and that was right – it was extremely loud. They did a real good job and no one had a false start in the game. We had a few delay of games, but we didn’t have any false starts and I was impressed with that. They had a good pass rusher in 91 [defensive end Chris Clemons] and they did a good job managing him and gave Rex some room in the pocket to step up and push those guys up the field. They competed real hard.”

On going against a top corner like Jets cornerback Darelle Revis:
“You always have got to look at the personnel you’re playing against every week and what are your best matchups when you have man coverage, when it’s zone coverage, where you have time to throw the ball and where are the open zones and the weaknesses in the defense. You always look at team’s best players and you definitely have to go into that with a plan.”

On if there is anything teams have done to attack Revis more:
“I don’t think people ever just attack Revis. The problem is usually, Revis is on your best player, so you don’t just want to give up and have you best player be out of the game. He’s usually going to be on your best player and, if you want your best player to be a part of the game, you’ve got to attack him.”

On if there are any regrets benching Grossman earlier:
“I don’t think you look at regrets. I think you always have to think at that time. When you make decisions off of one thing and that’s that day, that week, what gives you the best opportunity to win that Sunday. That’s what you believe and that’s what we went with and I don’t think you look back with it.”

On if the team had the most success this season with play-action against the Seahawks:
“I don’t know if it was as good as it has [been]. I mean it worked real good against Dallas also. I think we’ve had some real good weeks with the play-pass, but it definitely was real good for us on Sunday.”

On if the opening possession score helped the running game:
“Yeah, definitely. Any time you can do a few things to counteract them that looks like run where you can attack certain holes and soften some people up to get people not just teeing off in one aspect of the game – I think it helps out all the spots, not just the run game, but the pass rush and keeps those safeties back [and] makes guys think twice before they shoot their guns.”

On the offense finally clicking:
“It was good. There’s such a fine line in football. It was frustrating going through that game because you think everything is going perfect and, when it was all said and done, we still only had seven points going into the fourth quarter. And then we had two players step up and make some unbelievable plays. We had Roy hurdle a guy and make an unbelievable run and we had Rex and the offensive line give us the time to hit [Anthony] Armstrong down the field. You have those two plays that give you the points and then it seems like a great day. You’ve got to get plays like that eventually to where it could open that up. Moving the ball is great, but you’ve got to find ways to score. Those two plays those guys made gave us a great chance.”

On the advantage of bunching players:
“A lot of times when guys line up out wide, it’s just completely man-to-man. You’ve just got to straight up beat the guy in front of you. When you can move guys around and get them in different splits, change the looks they have – the releases, the motions - guys just can’t just sit out and cover you. They have to see other stuff. They’re coming from different angles than they’re used to. You see everybody in their playbook [and] everything is drawn out in two-by-two, three-by-one, full-width splits. That’s what people are used to covering in their angles, but sometimes you can bring guys in and then disperse them. When it’s said and done, it’s the same stuff. It’s just different looks for the defense and it makes guys hesitate a little bit.”

On wide receiver Anthony Armstrong:
“I was pumped for him. He’s been working and I know it’s been a hard year for him not having the success he expected. But for him to come in there, especially come off the bench [and] have to run a route like that and to be able to make that play, he deserved it and we were pumped for him. I think it took some pressure off of him to know that he still can do that and we’re all happy for him.