HEAD COACH ROBERT SALEH
Sunday, January 7
Postgame Press Conference
Q: Coach, talk about what this means for the team, the organization, to close the season out the way you did in these elements?
RS: It was really good. You know, proud of the guys. Our locker room, we've got a great locker room. We've faced a lot of adversity, and to finish the season strong, start 2024 with a win, it's always special.
Q: Right now I know you try to downplay the losing streak and all that, but happy you don't have to deal with anyone asking you about that anymore?
RS: Yeah. Credit to them. You've got to do something pretty special to be able to have a winning streak like that. Again, like I said, starting 2024 was the most important thing for us, starting it strong with a win, and that was a really good effort from the team today.
Q: Talk about Breece Hall and just him being the bell cow for you all day today.
RS: Yeah, you know, he turned the corner about four – at some point in the second half of the season, right around the Atlanta game. Just completely shifted into where it looked like, one, he was completely healthy, and, two, just the mindset to run and finish and not trying to get the big one but to take what the defense was giving. It's not a coincidence that it followed with great production. If he continues that mindset and he keeps that going into next year, he's going to be a problem.
Q: Not long ago you guys were in the early portion of building this program. They ran it up on you guys a little bit. Made a quarterback change. Taking shots all the way down the field. Does it mean anything to you that while this game was close for a while, Bill's last game with the Patriots is going to be a loss to you and the Jets?
RS: No, like I said, I think it's more important to just focus on us in this regard and how far we've come. Obviously not where any of us want to be or any of us expected to be at this point of the year, but we all know what we have. It may seem like we're really far away from the outside world, but we all know what we have and we all know how close we are. Like I said, today's game was about starting 2024 on the right foot, getting a win, and hopefully the first of many in 2024.
Q: How aware were you that Breece Hall was close to 1,000 yards at the end? It sure seemed like you gave him a shot there.
RS: Yeah, we were aware. One of our mathematicians was wrong. We thought he got it, but we were ten yards off. We were trying to get it for him on the last run, otherwise we would've taken a knee.
Q: On a personal level, how does it feel to get the better of a Bill Belichick team?
RS: It feels good, you know, just in regard of – you know, we've played them throughout my career. He's been around for a very long time, quality control, linebackers coach, and a d-coordinator, so I'll give him credit. If you ain't got no haters you ain't popping, and he's been popping for a very, very long time. So whenever you can get a win on him, it's always special.
Q: Sum up your feelings on the season overall now that it's over.
RS: Frustrating. Obviously disappointing in that we are going to fall short. But I'm also proud of the guys. We started 4-3, we hit a lull. Last year that lull just kept going into the off-season and we never got a win. We were able to kind of claw our way out and finish winning three of the last five. Like I said, it's not the way any of us wanted to go. I do appreciate how much everyone fought and grinded through all the adversity that we faced. And like I said, starting this season on the right foot – 2024 on the right foot and getting some positive juice around the organization and the players. Like I said, we know what we're capable of and we're a lot closer than I feel like people think.
Q: What gives you optimism outside of Aaron Rodgers coming back next year?
RS: Just the way we finished. Like I said, we won three of our last five. Exercised a lot of demons this year. We beat three playoff teams. We made life hard for a lot of really, really good quarterbacks in this league who are going to the playoffs. We ended this losing streak. Beat Philly for the first time in franchise history. Did a lot of really cool things this year. At the same time, we got a lot of young guys better over the course of the second half of the season on offense when you look at [Jason] Brownlee and Xavier Gipson, even our young guys with Breece [Hall] and Garrett [Wilson] and [Joe] Tippmann and Carter Warren. Got a lot of young guys got a lot of reps. [Jeremy] Ruckert. So there is a lot of really cool things on the offensive side of the ball, and something to look forward to as we continue to build it.
Q: What was the thought on Allen Lazard being a healthy scratch again?
RS: With the weather being what it was, just having an extra punt returner in it the event the young rookie struggled back there. But thought he did a good job today.
Q: Probably some more time to talk about this tomorrow, but Allen Lazard's season, has that been a big disappointment for you guys?
RS: I think he's disappointed. If you talk to him I'm sure he's got a lot of disappointment, too. I'll say this about Allen, he shows up to work every day, comes to work putting his best foot forward. At the same time, he knows that there are things he has to fix, and we have to help him fix as coaches. I'll sit here and put a guarantee on it that he'll have a hell of a lot better 2024 than '23. He's made of the right stuff, he's built the right way and he's going to attack it and he's going to find a way to get better.
QUARTERBACK TREVOR SIEMIAN
Sunday, January 7
Postgame Press Conference
Q: How tough were the conditions out there?
TS: Pretty tough. We've had several rain games, I think at home, but I didn't play in all those. But this was the toughest I've played in I would say, condition-wise. A lot of fun, kind of gritty, gritty game. Fun, but yeah, tough sledding out there.
Q: Was there a point in the week when you saw the forecast where you thought this would be a Breece Hall game? Maybe not 37 carries, but you thought you would lean on him?
TS: Yeah, probably always a good thing for us if we can get him that many touches. You know, I think we saw the weather, but I didn't know how bad it was going to be. Because there can be snow and that's no problem, but it got a little wet at times. The wind was blowing. Unique for sure.
Q: What can you say about what Breece Hall did today?
TS: What can't he do? The guy is unbelievable. Just when you think he's bottled up or somebody's going to bring him to the ground, he slips out of it. You see the highlight runs, but the runs where he turns a one yarder into a three or four yarder are just as important, or loss of one into a gain of two. The guy is special. Catches the ball like a wide receiver. I can talk forever about him. I don't know if we have enough time to cover everything. Guy is pretty good at football.
Q: You've been around this building a couple times the last few years. What do you think ending this streak means for the locker room moving forward?
TS: I hope it means a lot. I think there is a lot to be said winning the last game of the season, and just in my eyes just so you don't have to talk about it anymore. I'm sure Coach isn't fired up when he gets questions about that kind of stuff. Good to put it to bed. Yeah, next year will be a new year. This team will die – for lack of a better word, just so you don't have to talk about it anymore probably.
JETS PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Solomon Thomas, DL
(On playing in this weather)
"Oh yeah, that was a lot of fun. I mean you dream as kids growing up, those games growing up, by being to be able to be in the snow like that and it's an awesome time. Obviously, it's not ideal weather for traction, for being on your feet, and balance and everything but it is football weather."
(On breaking the losing streak against the Patriots)
"It means a lot to this organization. It means a lot to the owners here and the fans here. So to get that streak done, it means a lot to the people and this community and this team of where it started. We're all happy to get that done."
(On the day Breece Hall had)
"Unbelievable, I mean to come back and I don't think people understand coming back from an ACL, I came back from one in my career and it is extremely hard. To come back and have 178 rushing yards or whatever he had, and to get 1,000 yards for the season post-ACL with the struggles we have had on this team, unbelievable. I think people need to pay more attention to that and praise him for what he has done this year. I am extremely proud and so is this entire team."
Sauce Gardner, CB
(On the celebration after the Tony Adams interception)
"That was a little thing on Twitter, the thing with the President and someone shaking hands. We tried to reinvent that, but you know the defensive line was already running off the field. We had some people who were running on the field and we had the numbers to do it but, they were just doing snow angels. AD [Ashtyn Davis] was really one of the only ones, but that is the most iconic one anyway, so at least we did that one."
(On snapping the 15-game losing streak against the Patriots)
"It feels great and it's a true blessing. You know with things like that, it's the little things that matter. That's a part of history, if you ask me. It happened to end a 15-game losing streak on our end and that's another blessing. I wouldn't want to do it with any other guys or any other coaches, so it's just a blessing to do that"
Michael Clemons, DL
(On dominating in the snow)
"It was a beautiful opportunity. I used to watch these games on television as a kid. To go out there and play in an environment like that, it really is a blessing. I didn't get to make a snow angel! Never in my life [did I play in the snow] but it was a blessing for sure."
(On the Jets)
"We have a group of fighters, it's really a family over here. Our guys banded together, get out there and go to war every day and I am just blessed to be a part of it."
(On beating the Patriots)
"A win is a win, and it always feels good to get a win."
Jayln Holmes, DL
(On his sack)
"It was a team effort. Our end just flushed him my way and I just finished the job."
(On playing in the snow)
"This is my first time since college. I played in the snow at Minnesota my freshman year. So this was my first time in the League. It was definitely fun, especially when they started throwing the ball a lot and you're winning, and everybody is trying to get something. It was definitely fun."
(On the play of the defense)
"We just played together as a defense and we played to win. We didn't care about how the season went. We played as hard and fast as we could. We all had individual goals but we also had team goals and we just wanted to play hard and fast and just dominate. It starts at the top, you've got guys like Quinnen Williams, JFM [John Franklin-Myers], C.J. Mosley, they made good money and they easily could have gone, 'I don't want to play' but we have those guys at the top and they treat every game like a Super Bowl and it is hard not to follow suit."
Tony Adams, S
(On his interception)
"It was simple. I knew MC [Michael Carter] was going to hit the ball so I didn't want to run up for it. I knew it was going to be a bounce to me. I looked at the ball the whole time and it just fell in my hands and that was it. It was the simplest thing. We got to make snow angels at the end. My snow angel was fire, the best snow angel the NFL has ever seen!"
(On the defense)
"We just dominated. We did what our coaches told us to do. We just dominated our one-on-ones. It's that simple. Do what your coach tells you to do and dominate your one-on-one matchup and I think we did that today."
(On if he's ever played in the snow)
"Maybe a little at Illinois, but not like that. Today was really fun, but kind of bittersweet because some of these guys won't be back next year. You build a bond with these guys. At the same time it's sweet because we got to go out one last time and play as brothers and as a brotherhood."