Okay, here we go. It doesn’t get more important than this for the Jets or for the Giants. Happy holidays and let’s get on with it. This will be our, naturally, moved up Thursday practice today and we are excited about that. The Jets are a good football team and they have all the stats to show that on defense, offense, or special teams. Their offense scores at about 25 points a game and does an outstanding job of that and is number one in the green zone in the league, which is outstanding. Their defense does a great job on third down and has done a great job throughout. Their special teams is the number three kickoff return team, number three kickoff coverage team and number ten punt team. They have had any number of returns over 40 yards so they have a good arsenal and a very good special teams outfit. It is an exciting time without a doubt. The season of the year, the time of the year and the fact that the Jets and the Giants are playing or Christmas Eve and what is at stake for both teams.
Q: Will playing the Jets motivate your team even more this week?
A: I think it is the nature of the game. I think it has to do with what is at stake for both teams. It is the underlying motivational drive for what I see. The all important thing about this game is the opportunity to move on and stay alive. I don’t know how it gets any better.
Q: Does the bragging rights stuff mean anything?
A: Just try to win the game, that is what is important to me. Us winning the game, and it will be one of those knock-down, drag-out games without a doubt. Our focus is completely on preparing our team.
Q: Do you plan on adding a tight end to the 53-man roster?
A: That is in the back of our minds but we will see how our practices go.
Q: Out of your tight ends, who will practice?
A: Jake will not practice and the other two guys will.
Q: You preach to your team about finishing games and the season, and that hasn’t happened recently. Have you identified a cause?
A: It wasn’t too bad two weeks ago and the week before that so finish is the idea of finishing strong, finishing better, playing better football right now and certainly it wasn’t better last weekend but that was last weekend. We are looking forward to this weekend.
Q: Why haven’t you stopped anybody on third down?
A: Completions and moving the ball. We have to do a better job obviously of defending the pass. We have to do a better job tackling and with the run after the catch. Hopefully we can get some more pressure on the quarterback.
Q: What have you seen from Plaxico Burress compared to when he was here?
A: I see the same kind of red zone threat that he has always been. He has made some spectacular catches, the one down in Philadelphia, and he has had a couple more of those kinds of catches. He has certainly done an outstanding job there and not just there, in other spots as well.
Q: Will your knowledge of Plaxico help you defend him?
A: We know a lot about Plaxico. He knows a lot about us. We know the way people prefer to utilize his talents and his ability. He is also a good blocker.
Q: What is your reaction to the claims of the other coach having the better team, etc .?
A: I just say, regardless of the talk, it will be decided at one o’clock Saturday afternoon. Regardless of what is said. Talk is cheap, play the game. That is the way I’ve always believed.
Q: Did you tell your players not to engage in the trash talking? Some of your players like to participate in that.
A: Even though you may feel that way, that’s not the way we choose to operate.
Q: Any improvement in Herzlich?
A: He’s running on a treadmill, trying to get a little bit further advanced. Where he is today after doing that, I’m not sure, I haven’t seen that report.
Q: Can JPP infuse everyone else?
A: All he can do is the very best that he can. The best that anyone can do is to be a great example to others. The best gift you give to other people is a great example and he does that. He plays hard. That type of thing is infectious. You would hope that our entire team would rally to that type of someone’s desire and enjoyment and love of playing, his enthusiasm of the game. No matter what situation he’s asked to perform in, he does so to the best of his ability and that’s a good thing.
Q: Will you go to your captains and say…
A: That’s been done.
Q: Has that helped?
A: We’ll see how they practice. How’s that? They know what’s at stake. They know what the message is, believe me. Nothing has been left unsaid.
Q: When you’re playing a team that likes to trash talk, will you use that?
Q: How different is the Jets secondary without Jim Leonhard?
A: He was a very good football player. They’ve replaced him with a good player, but he definitely was a very, very important piece of their defensive team. But they move on, just like everybody else moves on. You go to the next guy, encourage the next guy, you try to help him as best you can. You tell him he has an important role and he goes and does it.
Q: Does your staff need to be at its best this week in terms of instilling confidence in this team?
A: You’re going to ask me that question now. It’s the second or third time. I’ll respond the same exact way. In an attempt to motivate and an attempt to get our guys on the same page, to get them to understand what the importance of the game is, we perform the same way every week. We did the same thing last week. We’re doing the same thing this week. We’re going as hard as we can go as a staff to put our players in the best possible position that they can play and perform in and be successful in. We do it every week.
Q: Do you anticipate Revis following Nicks on Saturday?
A: I don’t know that.
Q: Does moving Nicks around at the line help against the double coverages?
A: It always helps to move people around. We’ve done the same thing over the years with any number of receivers that were here. Different spots so that the location is not always the same. And it helps. It really does, but a lot of times what it comes down to is that one-on-one.
Q: Is it too late to do anything different with defensive coverages?
A: You can do some things different and it’s always based on who you’re playing, what the personnel dictates to you. So you do have some flexibility within that, yes.
Q: Have you had any private talks with Prince?
A: I’ve had a moment or two with him, yes, even since he came back. Everybody, I think, understands how difficult it is for a young guy to have no previous training and then all of a sudden he’s ready to go and you’re trying to force him into a situation where the other players have had 10 or so weeks. He’s been in every meeting and always was, but it’s different when you’re doing it. We’re trying to encourage. You know he’s a talented guy, but he has an awful lot on his plate.
Q: Do you worry about where his head is?
A: I think his head is fine.
Q: Is Rex as blitz-happy as he is portrayed to be?
A: They are a pressure outfit and they do come from different personnel combinations, in many different ways and it is a challenge. No doubt it’s a challenge. And it’s a challenge for every team in the league that plays them.
Q: Do the Jets show you looks that you haven’t seen from other teams?
A: I would say we’ve probably seen them. There is some different variety of combinations of personnel used, one more than another for example, and they’re creating what you would say is different people rushing than from a normal position. It might be a secondary player rather than a linebacker, for example.
Q: Do you see similarities between Rob Ryan and Rex Ryan’s defense?
Q: Will having played the Cowboys help this weekend?
A: They’re both unique in the way they try to use their personnel.
Q: Is it going to be different being the visiting team in MetLife Stadium?
A: No, just stress the fact that we’re the road team.
A: Practiced yesterday, will practice today.
Q: Will you consider using crowd noise in practice this week?
A: Good question. I will consider it, yes.
Q: What does the concept of controlling your own destiny mean at this point?
A: I think if you were to sit down in August and say that with two games to go you’d have your destiny in your hands, not depending on somebody else, you’d say, ‘Okay, sign me up for that.’
Q: Will you put Baas back as the starting center?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see how that works out.
Q: Two games left, you control your own destiny…
A: You have two games to play. We win two, we’re in.
Q: Bradshaw and Osi the same?
A: He’s not going to work today I believe.
Q: Impression of back pages of the New York Post and Daily News?
A: I do not follow that day-to-day unless Mr. Hanlon provides me with something to read. I don’t have time for that.
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