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Press Conference Transcript - Practice 9/10


Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg

On the main factor in selecting Billy Cundiff as the team's kicker:"As you all witnessed through training camp, there was a very close competition [between he and Shayne Graham]. You're always thinking that someone would at some point in time leap forward, and that's why we gave them as long a period of time as we possibly could to show themselves. No one ever leaped forward, but I think what happened towards the preseason end of the competition, is that we saw Billy's ball flight was really true and clean. And his kickoffs – he was kicking off – and as you probably saw from the stats, he was the No. 1 kickoff guy in the whole NFL during the preseason. And in my view, those are the things that separated him. Shayne had a great camp. As you all witnessed, he's a guy that can kick in the NFL tomorrow if somebody calls his number, and I'm sure they will be real soon."

On how he views the punt return situation:"Well, the good thing about our football team is we have a number of guys that can do that job. And it's always been my belief that that's a positive thing in your program. There are situations where some teams have a returner, and that's all he does, is be the returner. And it doesn't help your other special teams, it doesn't help your offense or defense, and we happen to have returners that are football players. And so, it helps the rest of our team, and it also gives us – as you pointed out – it gives us depth at that position. And so, we have [Tom Zbikowski], we have Chris [Carr] and we have others, as a matter of fact, that we're working with to develop. So, we look at it as a strength."

On whether he sees this as the best of his three years here, in terms of the return game:"Well, it remains to be seen, real frankly. I think we've had a great offseason. I think our preseason shaped up that way; we had some explosive plays, and I think the players that have been here the entire three seasons now have a real clean grasp of what we're asking them to do. And they've turned into teachers, and now they're teaching the young players, and we have a number of guys on our units that are like that. And I think as a result of being in the same program for three years, guys now have a greater understanding of the nuances of the return game, and it's translated into performance."

On whether he's seen guys step up with some of the special teams players currently on Reserve PUP:"We really miss the presence of [Brendon Ayanbadejo] on the field, but we haven't missed him in the locker room and in the meeting rooms and even on the practice field. He's out there working with guys. So, even though he's not able to play right now, he's still involved, and it's really a positive. And his workouts are going great, so we hope to have him back as soon as he possibly can be back. Now having said that, there's hardly one guy that can replace him. He's a special player. In my view, he's one of the best guys that's ever played special teams as a core player. And because of that, we've found a number of guys that have filled that role, and we've had to transfer some roles, where a guy now may have been a different position than kickoff coverage, we've moved to his spot, and we've shuffled a little bit. But what it's done is kind of the same thing we talked about with returner; what it's done though is just provide us with more width in our roster. We've got guys that can do more things. We're not the same without him, but we're different without him. So, I don't think we're any worse for the wear, but we have a number of other guys that are contributing."

On whether he would prefer not to have a starter returning punts or kickoffs because of the injury risk:"My view on that is that every play in a football game is a football play. And so whether it's a defensive play or an offensive play or a special teams play, they're all football plays. And our guys look at it the same way, and our staff looks at it the same way. Certainly, we're mindful of the depth chart, meaning if we have only one or two guys that can do a specific task for us on offense or defense, we don't want to put them out there just because of the repetitions that he might be getting during a game, let alone the risk. But there's an inherent risk in football on all football plays. And so we don't necessarily look at it, 'Well, we can't put him in there because we can't risk him.' We look at it as a matter of fact of balancing the roster and balancing the weight of the work."

On what CB Bryan McCann brings as a special teams player:"We looked at him [with] his Dallas [Cowboys] reps, and he played gunner and he played corner and he played kickoff returner, and we thought he brought some skill and some speed. And we had a real good practice with him yesterday, and the beauty of the NFL is that when one door closes, another opens. So, we're thrusting him in there and he's got a chance to show us what he can do now. And he's done real good work so far."

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron

On how long it takes players to get comfortable in a system:"I think every guy's a little different. Ray Rice was in his second year last year, so… You're always trying to accelerate the process as much as you can, and three years is really almost too long these days. But, over time I think quarterbacks… I don't know if it's so much the system you're in as [much as] you becoming more familiar with the defensive coordinators in the league, becoming more familiar with defensive personnel so that you can take advantage of matchups. Because NFL defenses are so different than college defenses, and it takes some time to catch up to what people are doing defensively and then the multiple game plans you have throughout the course of the season. I think it's just… It's like anything else – being more and more familiar. But every guy is a little different. I think it depends a little bit on how bright you are, No. 1, and secondly, how long you can stay healthy. If you don't stay healthy, then it's hard to really improve even into the third year."

On whether Jets head coach Rex Ryan is doing the same planning in New York as he did in Baltimore:"Some, not completely. I think most of the coordinators that really survive over any length of time in the NFL at a high level are always tweaking what they do based on their personnel. I don't think there's any one system that holds up with just the same personnel all the time. So, I think he's made some adjustments based on his corners' ability to cover, but there are a lot of similarities. No way are we saying, 'We know everything they're going to do.' There's always wrinkles in there; there's always little things that everybody's tweaking week to week to keep people off balance. There are a lot of fundamental concepts in this defense that you really have to go against every week, and then probably a handful of additionals."

On whether he feels more comfortable with the current offense than he has previous years:"Well, as long as it adds up to winning more, then really that's all that matters. I think – and you'd have to ask the players, obviously they're the guys that do it – but I think they've been excited two years ago, they were excited going into last year, and I think they're excited going into this year. I like the approach our coaching staff takes with our players, and you would expect to be better in the third year. That's what we get to… That's what we're supposed to do. And Monday night, we'll find out."

On who will be playing right tackle Monday night:"The good news is we've got options. You saw that Tony Moll started in the preseason and played well. It's nice having Oniel Cousins back – looks like he's back to form. Everybody knows we have some flexibility – Michael [Oher] played right tackle. We've got some flexibility there, so we've got a lot of options going into the game. I feel very good about the guys we're going to have up – the guys we're going to have play."

On how well QB Joe Flacco learned the offense in the NFL coming out of college:"I'm sure we talked about this somewhere along the line. His coach [K.C. Keeler] was an NFL player; they ran an NFL-style offense with some of the traditional college stuff the people are doing today. But that's one of the things I liked – he was a 50-50 shotgun/underneath-the-center guy. He ran an NFL-style offense. When you talk to K.C. or any of the Delaware staff, they feel like a pro staff. I thought that was another thing that helped Joe. And they had a lot of concepts that we use, so we were able to… And I think Joe thinks his mind is built for the National Football League. Now, back to what we were talking about earlier – what does a quarterback do? He's got to adjust to NFL defenses, the speed of the game. That's what gets guys. It's more than the system. People get kind of hung up on the system, but it's really just the speed of the game and NFL defenses' personnel that kind of throws a guy for a loop. We've all seen Joe make the normal progression, I think, and obviously, I think he's… You guys all saw him in the preseason. He's even better than he was a year ago."

On whether it is up to the offenses instead of the defenses to win championships:"I don't want to coin any phrase, but I think I believe [the saying that defenses win championships] to a degree. In this division, I think that you would say that's true. In our division, defense wins championships. Other divisions are a little bit different. I was in the AFC West, and it's a little bit different. But I think John Harbaugh has it [right], and it fits 2010: Teams win championships. You've got to score points on offense, you've got to take care of the ball on offense, and you've got to not put your defense in a difficult position to win championships. I think that's where it is today – teams win championships. And organizations have to figure out how to allocate their money – either to the offense or defense, or balanced. A lot of times it's predicated on that. But I would say that teams win championships more than anything."

On if Jets CB Darrell Revis changes how they will play against the Jets:"Versus him not being in there? Absolutely. I remember when we used to go against the Cowboys with Deion [Sanders]. Yeah, it's a little different mindset, but it's really a lot of fun because that's what we're all about – going against the best players in the world, and that's what we do. It's a great challenge. I'm sure they look at it the same way. But you surely don't attack them the same way if he's there than if he isn't. Somebody asked me on the show last night, 'Does that change [your] plan.' No, because we never, for one second, entertained the thought that [Revis] wasn't going to be there. Our plan has stayed consistent."

On if physical conditioning is why RB Ray Rice was held back in the preseason: "Not really. He's a hard worker. I think… And again, I go back to this a lot: The way we practice is very game-like, so we don't really take it easy on him in practice. The only way you can pull a guy back some in the preseason [is] if you are flat wearing him out in practice. I think where you can make a mistake is easing off of him in practice and easing off of him in the preseason, because I've seen that happen, and now the guy's not ready to play. So I look at it a little bit differently just because I know how we allocate the reps in practice. I'm glad he feels that way. I hope all our guys feel that way, but we have a strategic plan how we play guys in the preseason. But it is correlation with how we practice that allows us to do that."

On whether he watched any of "Hard Knocks" this summer: "Yes, so I can't fib, but it wasn't very long. Once training camp started we don't have a ton of time, at least assistant coaches, we don't have a ton of time. But it'd be hard not to get some of it. I mean it's everywhere. I think they named it appropriately."

On whether anything from the show interested him: "If you see it, and I've had people newsreel it because you're looking for any strategic advantage just like anybody else would."

On whether anything was revealed strategically: "Yeah, there was probably a lot revealed in that strategically, the way I viewed it. At least what we were jotting down. There was a lot of stuff in there strategically."

On whether he'll be able to use what he noticed on the show against the Jets: "I'm not going to say that yet. You'd have had me if I'd have said 'yes' right there. That was pretty good. He had me, didn't he, because I could read that one already? So, you can't say it because I didn't say it." (laughter)

Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison

On the development of Jets QB Mark Sanchez from last year: "He's definitely developed. I think anybody that's played as many games and is as talented as he is… But then again, playing all the games he's played under pressure and the run they had, he's definitely a much better quarterback."

On whether his preference is to make the Jets one-dimensional with the pass: "Yeah, you'd like to make any team one-dimensional. If you could do that in any game you play, that's kind of your goal. The thing that [Sanchez] gives you is the ability to take shots, to go long with the ball. He has the whole game. He can run the boots; he can do all of it. He's a good quarterback, but they're a running football team. The bottom line, I think, [is] that they pride themselves on being able to run the football. Obviously, we pride ourselves, and any great defense prides itself, on being able to stop the run. That's the most important thing you've always got to go into the game trying to do."

On whether LB Ray Lewis has shown any difference or been more outspoken this week: "No, Ray has been Ray. What that means is he comes to work every day, he practices as hard as he can, and he studies the opponent harder than any man in the league. And the biggest thing about Ray Lewis is he is a very, very passionate football player. You become passionate because of how hard you work and how much you have vested, and his happens to be vested over a long period of time. And as I mentioned, I think the first day I got the job, when you walk in that [meeting] room and you look back there and you see Ray Lewis and [Terrell] Suggs and Haloti [Ngata] and J.J. [Jarret Johnson] and everybody up in front, you say to yourself [that] you're the proudest guy in the world to be the defensive coordinator because of guys like that and because of the passion that our football players have for this football game."

On how much the suspension of WR Santonio Holmes hurts the Jets: "Well, Santonio Holmes is a great wide receiver. He's a tremendous athlete. He's got great speed. Obviously, anybody, if you take anybody with that kind of ability out of your lineup, you're not going to be as good."

On how quickly Ravens CB Josh Wilson is picking up the defense: "He's done a great job. Chuck Pagano has met with him day and night, within the rules, within the hour limitations. But he has met with him day and night, and Josh is a student of the game. He wants to pick it up. He knows how important it is to pick it up, and Chuck's got him right where he needs to be right now."

On whether he is comfortable with playing Wilson: "No question, no question. The day we signed him, that's what our mission was, and Chuck has met with him day and night, so we feel good about that."

On Jets TE Dustin Keller: "Dustin Keller is an outstanding tight end. He goes in that category of all the guys that you see that have that tight end – the Todd Heap category – guys that are a tough matchup for a linebacker. And that's what the league tries to do, and he's as good as there is at that. He's an outstanding receiver, he's a go-to guy, and he gets open. He's definitely an outstanding tight end."

On if he gets the sense that OLB Terrell Suggs is ready to erase last season and get back to his usual standards: "I don't know what it has to do with last year with Terrell Suggs because you've heard what I've said about that. I thought he had an outstanding year as far as playing the run. I think what Terrell Suggs has set out to do from the day he got here – with getting his weight down, being in tremendous shape – is to be the great football player he is in all phases of it. And he's done it every day in practice. I've got to say that Terrell Suggs has come out all through camp, has not missed a beat, not missed a practice, not anything like that. He has really, really practiced like he should practice, and that's why he's going to get great rewards this year."

On Suggs' matchup with T D'Brickashaw Ferguson: "I take Terrell Suggs versus really anybody. You know my feeling on that. I believe Terrell Suggs is one of the best in the game. He's worked very hard on all parts of his game, so I'm looking forward to [watching] Terrell Suggs. And I'll say the same thing next week and the next week and the next week."

On what he has seen from CB Lardarius Webb to make him think Webb is closer to being ready: "Yeah, in fact, it's interesting… I was watching practice yesterday, and they had these yellow shirts on out there and I kept looking at the new guys, and you can't see their faces in there. This guy with dreads kept making plays. Honestly, I walked over to John [Harbaugh] and I said, you know I was sitting there watching this and I said, 'I wonder who that guy is,' and then I said, 'Oh, that's Lardarius.' He's a lot closer. He's worked extremely hard, and another tribute to Chuck, he's worked very hard with him after practice on some of the things he has to work on to catch up, and we're excited about him coming back."

On the strengths and assets of S Tom Zbikowski: "'Zibby' is a football player. He always has been. He's a competitor. He happens to be a competitor that's blessed with really, really good speed and really good toughness. The thing that Zibby has done this year – and took off after last year when he started playing and went in and played for us – is he's become a real student of the game. And that's what happens with good athletes that are fast, that are physical. What keeps them from being elite is if they don't study the game. He has studied the game unbelievably. Now, it's become easier for him and he even plays faster. I'm really excited about him being back there."

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