DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
October 17, 2019
Q: What kind of environment do you expect in New York on Monday night?
DM: Yeah, I mean, I think everybody gets excited about Monday night games – you know, players, fans. So, when you go there – and I think in general, night games have more hype anyway. So, I’m sure they’ll be juiced up coming off a big win last weekend, and then division with us coming to town, I’m sure everybody will be in there ready to go.
Q: Is there a different feeling when you’re playing a team you’ve already beaten a second time, but now going into their place?
DM: I think just being prepared. You have to stay out of the mentality, especially this one since we just played them a couple weeks ago, of it could kind of feel repetitive like, “Man, I already did this, I already watched this.” You’ve got to make sure you avoid that and keep going over everything because when you’ve played a team before, like everything that didn’t work for them, they’re not going to do again. Whatever didn’t work for us, we’re not going to do that again. So, you’re going to get different things because everybody watched the film and they’ll try to change and improve it.
Q: How different is their offense with Sam Darnold leading it?
DM: I think he’s just the guy. I think the comfort level he has, I think the guys around him, all those other guys on offense – he’s taken all those snaps since May when they were out there in spring practices. So, when you have that feeling, and then obviously, he’s a really good player, I think it just makes everything flow better. He looked great last week of just knowing what he wanted to do, getting the ball down the field. So, we’ve just got to be aware it’s going to be different from just that aspect of the first time we played them, we really had their third quarterback in there.
Q: Is he a better quarterback now than he was last year?
DM: Yeah, I think as players, you get better. Especially in this league, once you get to play a year and you get to watch that and someone’s now coaching you on how to do things a little different, you definitely get better as a player.
Q: You know that the Jets will have some momentum coming off their win over Dallas. This isn’t going to be an easy game, is it?
DM: Yeah, I mean, I don’t remember the last time we went there and had an easy game. It’s always a battle of trying to stay on top, even if we get ahead. I don’t know if that was last year or two years ago there and we end up down 14-zip by the end of the first quarter, so it’s never easy going there. Like I always say, they know us well, we know them well. It’s just going to be a battle down there and we don’t expect anything different Monday night.
Q: After a quick turnaround before the last game, how nice is it to have 11 days off and time to get ready for another game?
DM: Yeah, it’s good. I mean, when you get to be my age, you use those days to kind of rest – nothing exciting, no travel plans or anything. So, it was good just to try to get healthy, do some things that you can’t do when it’s just a week-by-week thing, just to try to get ahead of your body and other things going on around you in your personal life.
Q: Bill Belichick gave so much praise to Adam Gase and how he develops his offense and the trouble he gives you guys. What does he do that makes it so difficult for you?
DM: I think he does a good job of knowing what we do and then, not just running good plays to it, but putting his best players in plays together. I think he does a good job of, no matter what the personnel he has, adjusting to them. Last year, he gets [Brandon] Bolden, we go down there in Miami and he does different things with Bolden to use the things he does well, getting the ball in his hands, being able to be a fast running back, hit holes fast. So, every year we’ve played him, whether it’s been [Jarvis] Landry and [Kenny] Stills or Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell – like he’s always been able to put those guys in good positions, and that’s something we’ve always got to be aware of. How they’re going to attack us might be different than how they attacked the Cowboys last week.
Q: The team is 3-0 on the road this year. What’s been the key to getting a quick start on the road this year?
DM: I think, like you said, coming out and playing well early, trying to get off to a good start and continuing to do that. Playing for four quarters is something we’ve been talking about since training camp when we went on the road against Detroit and Tennessee of starting our mentality early of playing well on the road because we saw how much that hurt us last year of just not doing it. But, I think in this league, it’s not about being 3-0. It’s about how do you get to 4-0? How do you do it the next week? How do you prepare and play well again on the road? Just because you’ve done it doesn’t matter. Last year, we sucked on the road. We had to go to an AFC Championship game on the road. All that mattered was how we played in that one game. So, I think that’s the mentality we have to keep throughout the season.
Q: How much better in general did the Jets look last week compared to weeks prior?
DM: I mean, great. Like I was just saying, you put your starting quarterback in there and now you’re back doing the things that you’ve been doing since May and all through training camp. You have that same guy under center doing those things, I think that just makes the offense flow easier. I didn’t see much of how their defense played, but from an offensive standpoint, I think Sam Darnold played well and I think we all know, you look at the skill guys they have on that team, they have good skill players. So, it’s just his ability to get the ball in their hands and make some of the right reads.
Q: You mentioned with Darnold that guys are always getting better. You also mentioned your age. Are you still getting better at this point in your career?
DM: I don’t know. You’ve got to ask Coach Belichick. Hopefully he says I am. I think in this league, that’s how it works. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. A lot of times, if you’re getting worse, you probably end up not in the NFL or on a new team. Even if it’s small amounts, I guess I’m still doing a little bit of that.
RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE
October 17, 2019
Q: What will it be like to play in a Monday night game in New York?
JW: It's a division rivalry game, Monday Night Football. Everybody's tuned in watching you. They'll be fired up, we'll be fired up. We beat them once, so they're going to come out ready to play. So, we better come out ready to play from the start of the game to the end of it.
Q: Ben Watson said it was nice to be back here. How nice is it to have a veteran guy like him in the locker room?
JW: It's awesome. He's had a lot of success in this league for a long time, and he's been here before. He works hard. Great teammate, great person, great guy to have in the locker room.
Q: How nice is it to have 11 days between games when you're preparing to play a division rival?
JW: It gives us a little bit of extra time to study up on your opponent, heal up a little bit, practice a little bit more, sharpen up on some things. So, it's always helpful when you have a few extra days.
Q: What are your thoughts on the offense as you guys are trying to progress? Especially if Josh Gordon can't play, what is the state of the offense right now?
JW: We just want to continue to improve. Each and every week, we want to continue to get better and better. You don't win anything in this league with six wins. So, we're going to try and improve as an offense – defense and special teams, complement them – and we want to continue to progress our performance each and every week.
Q: What progression have you seen from the Jets since the last time you played them?
JW: They're an aggressive, physical team. They're going to give you their best shot each and every week, and it's going to be a great challenge for us. Every time we play those guys it's a tough football game, and that's what we expect. We've got to be ready to go from the first play to the last because they'll be fired up.
Q: How beneficial have these 11 days off been for you guys to rest and recover?
JW: It allows guys to heal up, study up on our opponent a little bit more, get a little bit of extra days of practice. So, like I said, you've just got to get back into football shape or whatever you need to do, so when Monday comes around, you're locked in and ready to go.