Q: When you look at this Jets offensive line, it has struggled the last few weeks. What do you see?
VW: It's early in the year. I think with [Nick] Mangold going down, it stressed a little communication problem for them but I think they'll be okay. I expect their best this week. You really can't look at the games before and try to put a stamp on it and say 'This is the Jets.' Once again, we know as a division game and playing them twice a year, sometimes three times a year that it's a tough team and that's how we take it. It's going to be a tough, tough matchup for us - a division game, we're at home. We expect those guys to come out with their best. I'm pretty sure they're not making any excuses about the way they played. I expect their best this Sunday.
Q: Do you want Nick Mangold to play?
VW: No, I don't. He's probably one of the best offensive linemen in the game. He's definitely a leader on that team for them. I'm pretty sure that they would love for him to play because I think he gives them a spark. It's absolutely a difference when he's in and when he's not in. I think they need that leadership and everything around that. I expect for him to be in there to get things going and everything and get his team off to a good start. Whoever they have in there, it's going to be up to us to go out and execute. That's one of our things - each week that's one thing we want to do, we want to be able to execute our game plan. One thing we're not doing is looking at the games and saying "They're going to do this, they're going to do that." We know the Jets better than that. I think they're going to come out and try to establish the run game. They're going to play hard. They're a well-coached football team. We have to be on our 'Ps' and 'Qs' at all times on Sunday. Hopefully we can start fast and early and finish off the game.
Q: How do you feel about where you are at this point in the season, four games in?
VW: [We] still have work to do. We've done things well. We've done some things not so well. I think the things that we've done well have to continue to get better. The things that we have to get better at, we have to do a real good job of going out there and correcting them. Inconsistency at times and it cost us. A handful of plays in each game really cost this team from being a really good defense. We understand that. We have to keep getting better, we have to keep striving forward, we have to keep moving forward, keep getting better. That's one thing we try to say with one another in practice. We have to get better, we have to be able to get off the field, we have to create turnovers [and] we have to be able to play the style of defense that we normally play. That's just getting on and off the field, putting our offense in a good situation, field position and stuff like that. No big plays. I think we've been giving up a lot of big plays this season and that could come back to haunt us. That's one area we definitely have to improve in - is getting off the field and eliminating bad football - giving up these big plays and big drives and keeping our offense on the field.
Q: Talk about filling the communication without Jerod Mayo in there? How will you guys go about doing that?
VW: Everybody has a job to do. I think when someone goes down, everybody else has to step up and play their role. I think this is going to be a prime example for us. Whatever happens, whoever we have on Sunday out there playing, they have to be able to come in and step up because we're all depending on them. I don't think Bill [Belichick] would put anyone out on this field that he doesn't have confidence in. We feel the same way. We have each other's back. We know exactly what we have in this locker room and on this field. It's a good thing when you can sit back and say, 'We have more that we can give.' That's the situation that we have - we have more that we can give out there than what we've been putting out. It's going to take all of us, not just myself and not just a couple players. It's going to take all of us because whoever is out on the field, we're all depending on.
Q: Talk about the chemistry up front. For a lot of you guys, this is your first go-around with one another.
VW: It's a learning process but I think the more we play, the better we get - just knowing how each other plays. One thing I can tell you, it's a bunch of great guys - hard workers, tough guys. These [are] guys that can just go to work for you. You don't have to worry about these guys giving 100 percent because they're going to give it. That comes with time. I think we're getting better as a unit. I think we're moving forward. I think we're starting to come around and make a little bit more plays. I think the more we play, the more plays we will make. The situations that we're put in, sometimes you can't see that. But we know. The more we play, the better we get, I believe.
Q: To what extent do you think the Jets offensive line's struggles last week were a byproduct of facing the Ravens and how much was them missing Nick Mangold?
VW: I have no clue. They can answer that. Like I said, one thing that we can't do is look at that game and say, 'You know what, the Jets, they're not the Jets, they're going to do this, they're going to do that. They can't do this.' Each week it changes. Each week you have someone winning, you have someone losing. You have a team that hasn't been winning and now all of a sudden they're winning. Each week is different. You can't go about the last performance. You basically have to look in the past. We look at more games that we played them. See how they attacked us differently, see what things are similar. You move forward from there. I think we're going to get their best shot. I really do. The same guys that are over there are the same guys that played us last year. They're' the same guys that beat us three out of the last five times we played them. This team is definitely a good football team, let's not get that wrong. We're going to have to do a real good job this week. We're not going to fall into that trap. We're definitely going to have to put all our marbles in one basket and see what happens because we're going to need it.
Q: You talked about the big plays and having to eliminate those. When they're made against your secondary, do you guys up front feel that you can eliminate them by getting more pressure on the quarterback?
VW: Absolutely. It works hand-in-hand. The more pressure we get, the more balls and chances we get to turnover. The better coverage we get, the more the quarterback will hold the ball. Things you can't stop are three-step drops or throwing fades or just lobbing the ball up. I don't care if you're scot-free, you won't get there. I'm pretty happy with the pressure that we've been getting. It hasn't been perfect at times. But at the same time, it hasn't been bad at times. Just because we're not recording sacks, we're getting hits, we're hitting the quarterback [and] we're getting some guys free. But you have to get all those things working together - the coverage and the rush, it works together. The back end knows that and we know that up front. We know that when these guys cover, we have to get home. It's a team effort. It's definitely a team effort. But I think we'll get better. Like I said, we don't have anyone here saying 'We're the greatest defense and there's nothing else we can to do to get better.' Everyone sees exactly what each other sees - that we can get better, there are some things we can change and some things we can play differently that allow us to be a better defense. We're making strides toward that. I expect big things out of this defense to come. The more we play, the better we're going to get. I think that's what we need.
Q: Have you been able to pick Shaun Ellis' brain a bit? Or is that stuff overrated?
VW: Yeah, to me that's kind of overrated. I asked him about a few guys but at the same time, we play each other twice a year. If he had something to say, he'll tell us and we'll keep it moving. Same thing that he sees, we see on film so there's nothing major there. I think it's overrated.
Q: How physical, typically, is a game with the Jets?
VW: It's always a physical ballgame, especially when you have a team that likes to run the ball. [They] have two good running backs, a big offensive line, physical offensive line, big receivers. It's always physical and knowing the Jets, they're going to want to make it physical. We won't back down. That's one thing we will not do. I think that we're built 'Ford tough' too. I think we have some big guys defensively and offensively, our makeup isn't a bunch of 280-pound defensive linemen. We [have] some big guys up front. But they have the same thing. It's going to be a good challenge for us. It's going to be a physical game. It's going to be hard fought. The guys that make the most plays will win this ballgame.
Q: Are you surprised that the Jets have passed as much as they have this year? Do you think they have to run to be able to protect Mark Sanchez?
VW: That's their call. I think Rex [Ryan] said last week that they have to get back to doing what they do best, [which] is run the football. I'm expecting a lot of runs. When you have two backs that can run the ball and you have an offensive line that is big and physical, you want to be able to run the ball. I'm expecting for them to come out and establish a run game. That always takes pressure off your quarterback, especially when they struggle at times. That always helps us. We'll do the same thing. That's one thing defensively we have to get our mindset ready for - being a physical game, these guys coming out running a little bit more run plays than they've shown earlier this year. We have our challenge and hopefully we can step up.
Q: The fact that you guys are 32nd in pass defense - is that because you guys are ahead by so much and teams have to play catch up by throwing the ball?
VW: No, I think we're giving up more plays than we need to. I don't think teams have to play catch up to us. Our offense has been scoring a lot of points and our offense will. Our job is stop - stop the opponent. We haven't done that a lot around here lately. That's something that has to change. Once that changes, you'll see a difference in this defense. You'll start seeing the big plays being made, the turnovers, the big hits. You'll start seeing a lot of guys having fun. That's one thing we have to do. We have to be able to get off the field on defense. We have to be able to play good defense and stop giving up big plays to be a good defense.
Q: What have you seen from Shaun Ellis this week, as far as his approach against his former team?
VW: Shaun is a pro. He's been around this game for a long time. His preparation, he hasn't done anything different than he's been doing all this year - nothing that I can tell.