GS: Well, they are a very well coached defense. They obviously present mismatches for anybody, so it’s going to be tough for us. We just have to continue to stay smart. They are, like I said, a very well coached defense. Up front they are very strong. They have [Rob] Ninkovich, who is one of the smartest players I have seen on tape. He constantly makes plays; he is always around the ball.
Q: Are you more at ease now in your role than you were in the preseason?
GS: I’m pretty much the same. I hate to put an emphasis on one game or two games, but my confidence has never changed, my demeanor has never changed, and I don’t think it ever will. I constantly put the work in every single day, and I just focus on winning the day. I’m not focused on looking ahead, because when you do that, I think you get sidetracked. Anything that happened in the past is a learning experience for me, and I’m juts focused on taking care of my job every single day.
Q: What are some of the challenges that go along with playing on a short week?
GS: Definitely not having the time that you would get in the full week. That little bit of extra film study that you can get in to know your opponent a little bit more, a few more things that you could put in with the game plan, all of those things that you get the luxury of doing in a full week you don’t get to do with a short week. It also can be an advantage because also we get more time to prepare for our third game. So we just have to buckle down, we’ve got to stay focused and put in the extra work in the short week. It’s never an excuse. Both teams have the same amount of time, so you just have to find the time. There is plenty of time in the day to get all your work done and to put in the extra work.
Q: What’s been the biggest surprise for you in terms of the transition from the college game to the pro game?
GS: I wouldn’t say there have been any surprises. Coming in I pretty much expected to see what I’m seeing – great players all around. Everyone is good here, everyone understands their job and everyone knows how to do their job. The key thing is to be consistent, and that’s something that comes with a ton of reps, it comes with the experiences and just preparation and hard work.
Q: How much have you studied the Patriots secondary?
GS: I’ve watched them a bunch. They are an extremely, extremely physical defense up front, and in the back end they are extremely smart. They know how to read routes. A lot of times they are playing zone and they are passing things off. They are constantly in good position. I’ve seen a ton of turnovers; they force a lot of turnovers. I think that’s going to be a key emphasis for us: just managing those situations, not turning the ball over and executing when we have the opportunity.
Q: How important was winning last week’s game heading into this week?
GS: Well it’s great to get a win for the Jets. It’s great to win your home opener and obviously you don’t want it to come down to dramatic fashion, but that was the way the game was played. Both teams played a hard, physical game, and it came down to a last second drive, which it usually does in the league anyway. It’s something that we’ve repped a ton of times. We go with these scenarios in practice and throughout camp, and even now a million times. So when the chances are there, you need to be able to step up and take advantage of the moment. We did that this weekend and I am extremely pleased with that, but now it’s time to move on and prepare ourselves for Thursday night.
Q: Do you think you are more willing to run the ball based on the success you had running in yesterday’s game?
GS: I don’t know. When those times happen in the game, if they are there for me then I will. But I am never looking to run first. If it is a pass play called then I am going through my reads, and if the lane is there or it breaks down, you have to do what you have to do. I’m always looking downfield trying to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers and make quick decisions. At times, you have to improvise, and like I said, it’s part of playing in a league where everyone is good. It’s not always going to be open, at times it is going to be covered, and you have to be able to make plays.
Q: How is your relationship with Mark Sanchez and the rest of the quarterbacks?
GS: We work together extremely well, and we’ve done that since day one. The communication is great, and we all, whenever we see something, if we get a tip on the defense or if we get a key, we communicate it with one another, as well as with [Offensive Coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg] or [Quarterbacks] Coach [David] Lee. That’s something that helps us out in games, because you have to trust what you’re seeing and you have to trust how you’re being coached. You can’t hesitate out there. So it’s going to take every single man on this team to get a victory, and we’ll come together and do so.