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New York Jets Postgame Quotes 9/19

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh, quarterback Zach Wilson and select players comment on their 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh

On what he said to Zach Wilson after the game…

Just to believe in himself and shake this one off. I promised him that it would not be the hardest game he's every played. He just has to pick himself up and get ready for the next one.

On if the Patriots defense threw new wrinkles at Wilson that he had not seen before…

No. They do a good job. They are one of the best man-cover teams in football. I'm sure there are a few throws Zach wants back. There was nothing schematically that our offense was not prepared for.

On what he attributes Wilson's four interceptions to…

Like I said, he was off a little bit. The first one over the middle to Corey (Davis), tipped ball in man coverage and pressure in his face. Second one on the boot, little bit high, dropped. Third one, I believe was to Elijah Moore and he didn't put the zip on the ball that he needed to. On the last one, it's whatever down it was and forever, and you have to take check downs and take yards. Concede the series down there. You throw one up and, odds are, that's what's going to happen.

On if Wilson lost confidence during the game…

No. He was fine. He had a great look in is eyes. He was good in conversations. It wasn't like he was overwhelmed. There are just some fundamental things that he needs to understand with regards to taking care of the ball. Basic stuff. I felt like we showed up to play. I thought our guys played their butts off, but when you lose the turnover battle 4-0, it's impossible. It's hard enough to win in this league when the turnover battle is even. When it's down four, it's darn near impossible.

On what he attributes some of the "poor decisions" made by Wilson to…

Those are things that we're going to have to go look at. When you have a rookie quarterback – and they have a rookie quarterback, too – it's just having the confidence to know that it's OK to play a boring game of football. That's really it. (Wilson) is an electric dude. He's competitive as crap and wants to win so bad. Sometimes, it's OK to be boring. That's probably the biggest lesson that we can take out of this one.

On if the Patriots defense was doing anything to take Corey Davis away…

Like I said, no. It was man coverage. Did they lean a plug or two? I'm sure. It wasn't anything exotic at all.

On if he talked to Wilson when the crowd started to boo…

I don't think anyone heard that stuff. I'll be honest – when that stuff is happening, I don't think players are really focusing on any of that. If he heard it, they are built in a way to keep moving.

On if he considered pulling Wilson…


Did the first quarter New England fumble that was ruled forward progress change the tune of the game…

No. The refs have a hard job, too. They have a lot of stuff they have to look at. I understand missing some things. It's a hypothetical. Who knows, right?

On the Damien Harris touchdown run…

Heck of a job by the young man running the football. He broke a lot of tackles. We have to be better and take the extra step to make the tackle. The kid ran with drive and desire. Credit to him.

On his decision to kick a field goal with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter was made to made a two-score game…

To make it a two-score game. It was a three-possession game no matter how you cut it. At that point, it was strictly to make it a two-score game and give us a chance.

On making sure Wilson's game today doesn't snowball…

I don't think it will. He is a young man full of confidence, especially when he goes and watches the tape and has a chance to hit the rewind button and learn from everything that just happened. He's a young man full of resolve. I know when he sees the tape, I just know he's going to learn a ton from this experience.

On the play of the Jets defense…

Great job by the D in terms of the no-quit mindset. It's deflating when you take the field off of a sudden change. I thought C.J. (Mosley) showed up. All of them showed up. JFM (John-Franklin Myers), (Sheldon) Rankins, Quinnen (Williams). They played hard and there was not quit. Even the last drive in the fourth quarter, ball on the five, first-and-goal. Every reason to quit and they turned up. Tremendous job by them. If we get effort like that, we're going to win a lot of games.

On the decision to make Jameson Crowder inactive…

Just with his groin. It flared up with him a little bit there on Friday.

On the decision to make Denzel Mims inactive…

Same thing that we've talked about. When you're looking at your fourth and fifth receivers, you have to be reliable with regards to multiple positions. You have to be able to play special teams. In speaking with the coaching staff, when you get to that part of the roster, you're looking at Brant (Boyer) first. Then, you get to the ability to play multiple positions in the event someone gets hurt. Denzel had a really good week of work and has to continue to build on what he did. He has to understand that there is special teams involved, there's Z and the X. If he can capitalize off what he did this week, I don't anticipate this being much longer. At the same time, I don't see Jeff (Smith) and Keelan (Cole) relenting. They are every bit deserving to be on the field, too. It's a good problem to have all of these receivers fighting for a position, to be on the active. Denzel will get there.

(follow-up) On how he is going to find a role if he can't lean multiple positions or become really good on special teams overnight…

That's really up to him. As much as we talk about that, there's still Jeff Smith in the equation. There's still Keelan. There's still (Jameson) Crowder. There's still (Braxton) Berrios. There are guys who are putting in the work every day. He has to be better than those guys. That's the bottom line. We're an organization where it doesn't matter. You have to earn your keep. You have to earn your playing time. It would behoove everybody if we looked at Jeff Smith and all of those guys who are putting in that work, too. Not to say that he is not, but he has to be better than them. As soon as that happens, he'll be active.

On the play of the offensive line…

I thought our o-line came out and did a really nice job. They established the line of scrimmage. We were moving the ball in the first half. You have to take care of the ball. I think we got into the red zone a couple of times. We were held to a field goal once, turned it over another. We kept getting down there and just missed on our opportunities. That's where veteran teams take advantage of costly mistakes. We had our opps. There's no excuse. We have to be better.

Quarterback Zach Wilson

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: What were you seeing out there? What do you think led to the abundance of turnovers?

They did a good job. It's tough when your first two passes are interceptions. We're putting our team, defense especially, in a bad spot there. I've got to do a better job executing, decision making, just being smart with the ball. Turnovers are a big deciding factor in winning games and I thought our defense played well and I've got to do a better job executing.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Did you feel the game get away from you at all? Were you pressing the issue?

I wouldn't say pressing. I felt like there was a lack of rhythm and I think it's obviously because when your first two passes are interceptions it's tough to find that rhythm, you're not on the field much, all of a sudden the first quarter's over and we've only had a couple plays out there on the field. We've got to start better. I've got to start better. And then really we've just got to execute better across the board. I'm going to take that this week and it's on my shoulders. I've got to do better.

Rich Cimini, ESPN: On the first one, they had a delayed blitz up the middle, No. 8 (Ja'Whaun Bentley), so you saw him coming at you. Did you hurry that one at all?

No, they were in man coverage and I saw I had CD (Corey Davis) over the middle working a one-on-one and based on how the guy was playing it, I probably just shouldn't have thrown it. That's really what it comes down to. I was still within my timing when I threw that ball it didn't matter where No. 8 was. Of course, when we get to the sideline they're talking about how they can pick up No. 8 and all that, but it had nothing to do with the throw.

Bruce Beck, WNBC: How do you let a game like this not shake your confidence?

Yeah, this is what we sign up for, right? And there are going to be games like this and the ups and downs. We saw it last week in the first half as well. We just keep getting reminded how long this season is and how we can just get back and keep getting better and everything, and so I just have to remember the situation that I'm in and I'm an important piece in this whole thing and how can I just keep learning and getting better? You've got to keep that swag and that mojo every single week.

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Did that happen at all in the game? Were you overthinking things after those picks and everything? Were you losing confidence?

No, I wouldn't say that. That's what I feel like you have to be able to be good at and it's tough because, obviously, you're frustrated about things that have happen, but there's that switch inside where you just have to hit the reset button. Every single play is a new play. I've just got to tell myself, 'Hey, I can't be gun shy, I got to swing it around, I've got to still be aggressive down the field, especially when we're down, and I've got to take care of the ball.' When things don't go right, you've just got to move on.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Coach Saleh was just in here and said sometimes boring football is okay. Take the checkdowns and things like that. Is that tough, though, when you're back there to say, okay, just take the sure throws and not try to make something happen?

No, I wouldn't say it's tough. When you're in man coverage, how are your checkdowns open? There's a man who's following the back. It doesn't just go down to that. It really goes down to I've got to make better throws and better decisions and just getting on the same page as my guys. And then there are times at the end and two-minute situations when guys are falling off, I do have to get down to my checkdowns more. I threw a couple but there were a few I should've thrown quicker. I would say at the end of the game it does get tough, right? Now you are trying to score a lot of points and so you know you have to push the ball down the field, but it is sometimes tough to just throw a checkdown in that situation, but not early on.

What made it so tough against the Patriots defense? What were they throwing at you?

Yeah, they did a good job. I wouldn't say that they do a ton as far as coverage wise. I feel like we had a good idea and we were seeing the field well. It was just a lack of execution. I can think of multiple plays where I feel like I've got to see something better or get something faster or make even just a better throw and it was the right decision.

Did they take Corey away today?

I wouldn't necessarily say that. I feel like it was just kind of the flow of the game. Corey's going to do his thing and we're going to do what we can. You've got to give them props. They played well.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: In the second half against the Panthers, it seemed like you guys as an offense really started to get going. Obviously, today for four quarters it was a pretty big step back. What happened? Was there a change? Was there just something like you're trying to do too much? Just what was it?

Yeah, probably a little bit of trying to do too much. I would just say a lack of execution. It's tough to not have any rhythm when you're not doing well overall as an offense, just to keep saying next play, next drive. We've got to do a better job of that. I've got to do a better job of that. We're going to keep getting better. You've got to give these guys props. I thought the defense, they did a good job. They played some good coverages and manned us up on the back end. They threw some of their different coverages at us as far as zones as well. I thought they executed well and I've got to play better.

The fans walked in here excited, how did it feel to have them walk out of here as disappointed as they did.

They should be, right? They should be disappointed. I thought our defense played well and they deserve to see good football. We work our butts off to be able to come in here and play well and so it's tough when you don't do that. And so we're going to do what we can this week to keep getting better and we're going to just hit that reset button and keep learning from all these things.

DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: On that fourth interception, what happened on that play?

Yeah, really it was just kind of lack of execution, I would say. I don't know there's really much we can say right there, it's just understanding what they're giving us, seeing the field the right way, and making sure I make good throws and take care of the ball. It's just understanding what they give us.

(follow up) What coverage were they in on that fourth interception? Did they confuse you? Like what happened?

It was the one out on the sideline. Is that the one you're talking about? They were playing their two-trap coverage. Saw the field well. They did a good job of taking away my checkdown to the side. We did have a little bit of confusion out there on the side, but the ball's in my hands, I've got to take care of the ball.

Steve Serby, New York Post: Did you have a reaction when they booed early in the fourth quarter. Did you hear the boos?

I mean, I'm not paying attention to it, but they should be booing, right? Exactly what I just said, we didn't play well on offense. Our defense gave us a good chance to win and we didn't execute and we didn't move the ball well and we didn't score any points, so we've got to do a better job there.

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Zach, a lot was made when you were first drafted about the competition level of BYU and how there was going to be a jump when you got here to the NFL. Through two games have you experienced that? Have you seen a significant change in the competition from what you faced?

Yeah, I mean, my perspective on that whole thing is that everything evens itself out. I feel like the talent that I was playing with at BYU was similar to the guys we were playing against, so I feel like now I'm playing with a bunch of NFL players which helps me play against a bunch of NFL players. I think as far as that goes, it all evens itself out. Yes, there are great athletes. These d-lineman are fast. The safeties are fast, they can run. I wouldn't say that's the reason for our struggles out there on the field. I would just say that's a lack of execution and following the details, more so.

Brian Costello, New York Post: When you look at the picks, how many of them were bad decisions, how many of them were just bad throws?

I don't know exactly, I think I'm going to go back and watch the film. I think, unfortunately, there were a couple that I wasn't mad about the decision. Obviously, the one on the left side of the field, I've got to take care of the ball. Bust or not, seeing the coverage, whatever, I saw what they were doing, I've just got to take care of the ball and as soon as it's not there, the checkdown's not there, throw the ball away, get out of the pocket, throw it away, make a play, whatever. I felt like I was seeing the field well. We've just got to execute and I've got to make good decisions.

Bruce Beck, WNBC: To get to where you want to go, do you accept that there are going to be days like this?

Of course. It's challenging. This is a tough league and we understand that there are going to be adversity and how can you fight back and the best ones are the ones that can go in there and regroup and still have that confidence coming into next week.

Steve Serby, New York Post: Would you sum up your day as trying to do too much, do you think?

No, I wouldn't say that. I wouldn't say I was trying to do too much. I would say a lack of execution.

So were the Patriots, were they doing a lot of fronts to try to confuse you guys?

Not necessarily. We understood what personnel they were going to throw at us. We knew what the base defense, nickels, dimes packages, all those different things were going to look like. It really comes down to execution. I can't tell you anything else besides that. I felt like we knew what they were giving us. We've just got to execute.

Did you feel like you were seeing ghosts out there?

(Laughs) No, most definitely not.

Joey Chandler, What improvements did you notice in your offensive line compared to last week?

Yeah, I thought they did a good job protecting me tonight. There were a couple where I need to get the ball out of my hands, but it's tough where we're trying to get some chunk plays in some critical situations and I've got to hold onto it for a little bit, or something's not there, checkdown's not getting out, because of protection stuff. It goes back to execution. I wouldn't say it was anything we weren't ready for or necessarily didn't see tonight. protection wise, pass scheme wise, any of it. I thought we ran the ball well, protected well, we've just got to execute.

Safety Marcus Maye

On the defense's performance…

It's a team effort, you just got to find ways to keep (getting) the ball back. Every time we step out on the field, it's our job to give the offense the ball back and eliminate the other team from getting points.

On containing Patriots' QB Mac Jones…

Just changing up the looks, keep pressure in the pocket, not let him get comfortable. I felt we did a good job outside keeping the ball from going (over) our head. We just got to find a way to create turnovers.

We got to get back to the drawing board tomorrow. Watch the film, learn from it, correct it. Get back to the practice field and turn it up in practice. We got to practice better, practice faster and continue to get better as a whole team.

On what's different this year…

There's a new energy, new culture, new staff. It's a new season. I'm not going to keep talking about last year and all the old stuff and things like that because I'm looking forward from here on out.

Wide Receiver Corey Davis

On what he said to Zach Wilson during the game…

Just let him know that we got his back, regardless, for whatever. Highs and lows, like I said, there's highs and lows in this game and through it all we got him. We got each other's backs so that's what I kept reiterating to him.

On how they don't let a loss like this snowball into more…

Evaluate it. We watch the film tomorrow and put it to bed. We can talk or do what you got to do, but these next 24 hours, next whatever, and then we'll just watch the film and evaluate it, it's over with. Then, it's onto the next.

On dealing with adversity…

I've seen adversity before, as well as every other guy in that room. Not only on that field but in life. That's why we have the guys we have in that room. (Robert) Saleh knew what he was doing when he brought a bunch of the players in with free agency and from the draft. We got winners in there and guys who have been down before, have seen adversity. We're no strangers to it, so we're going to get right back to work like we know how.

Tackle Morgan Moses

On the team's struggles on offense…

It's early, it's Week Two. We got a long stretch of games. I'm not going to let one game define us as an offense. I think we did some great things, coming out running the ball successfully and giving us the opportunities in the short third downs and things like that. We just got to find a way to capitalize.

On balance in the passing game…

The key to this offense is getting the sticks to move. Whether it's first-and-10 to second-and-eight, it's the opportunity to move and get yards. We have to find a way to be more efficient in that and a way to be more efficient as an overall offense. Like I said, our defense is playing a heck of a game, they went out there and played lights out like you ask of the defense. We have to sustain offensive drives to keep them off the field, that's a part of playing complimentary football.

On where the team goes from here…

I know as a veteran player, you're going to get beat sometimes. They get paid just like we do, they scheme up, just like we do as well. At the end of the day, you got to be able to put that behind you and go out there and execute the next play. We just got to go back to the books and get in it.

Defensive Lineman Sheldon Rankins

On playing with a rookie quarterback compared to a veteran…

I mean it's different. I won't say it's tough, I'll just say that it's different. The thing you understand is Zach Wilson is young and I am not going to sit here and compare him to Drew Brees or the situation in New Orleans. We are a completely different team and a completely different organization. We understand what we have with Zach. His talent is off the charts. He has the flash and has shown the things that make him special. We just have to allow him to continue to grow and to be himself and not allow his negative or bad plays knock down his confidence. We must continue to build him up. I think that is a great job of what our coaching staff and this team has done, which has allowed him to be himself and work through it all and eventually we will get this thing rolling. We have the upmost confidence in our coaching staff, and we'll be fine.

On Wilson's struggles…

A part of that is trial and error. You can go back to younger Drew Brees, and he is taking a lot of shots. Trying to go for the homerun and try to win the game now. I think as a young player period, not just the quarterback position, I can think about in my younger career, I wanted the big sack now. You got to go through the process, the fundamentals. You're training. Everything you're taught to do. You have to let your training take over. As a young player, it gets taught at times because you want to be the one making the big plays and get the fans going crazy. But he'll be fine. I have no doubts about him. I've seen him go through his progressions at practice and go through the things he's taught to do. He'll be fine. It's his first home game in front of his first home crowd. He wanted to do some special things. He's making some throws he thinks he can make. Sometimes he will make them, and sometimes he won't. That's the nature of this business. He will continue to learn from it. We'll continue to build on it and every week you'll see, even if it's not anything big or huge, he'll continue to grow each and every week and become a better overall player consistently each and every week.

On how the defense did against Mac Jones…

I think we did alright. The screens are going to be something we get all year regardless of if we face a rookie quarterback or whoever it is. They are going to throw screens at us, so we have to be able to rally to those and stop those. I think we did some good things getting off the field on third downs against him, showing him some different looks. Being able to pressure and fluster him a little bit and not allow him to go through all his progressions and reads and force him out the pocket. We were able to sack him a few times as well. Anytime you can hit aa young quarterback, kind of ruffle his feathers that's going to big especially if you do it early in the game. You can usually expect a team to not allow him to take too many more chances after that. You don't want to shake a guy's confidence too much. Overall, I thought we played well. The big thing is, we have to force turnovers. I think if they are going to come out with four turnovers against us then we are going to have to match that. On my sack, I have to be able to get the ball out. On John Franklin-Myers' sack, the ball came out and we have to get that. Those are times to make game changing plays where it's right there to be made and we have to be able to make those to help our offense out when they are struggling and just help this team out and build some momentum.

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