Thoughts on last night's game…
I thought that, as I mentioned last night, we did get better as time went on in the game. I think it would be safe to say that we're disappointed in the play of our first offense. Our defensive team – the irony of the first half was that as you schedule all of the numbers of snaps in, the defense had a lot of snaps, didn't necessarily get the Jets offense out or off the field, and the offense didn't keep the ball so we kind of had a distribution of snaps somewhat different from what we expected, however, I think that once Sorgi got in the game and got in a little bit of the flow and started to be able to recognize some of the things that were going on on behalf of the Jets defense when he was under the ball and not just from the sideline, then things began to fashion a little bit better for our offensive team and of course we were able to make some big plays. We did mix the run in as well and [Rhett] Bomar got involved on the same kind of thing where he was able to hit some passes, he did the running game, contributed – not anywhere near what we needed it to be – but it did contribute. I think that the defense was in a position where we seemed to be able to get the ball back and of course that worked to our advantage as well.
I think that our special teams play, we experienced a lot last night that we can teach from. We're not pleased at all with our kickoff return game. Our punt game did not fashion the way that we wanted it to. We put a lot of time and pride into that performance. We did get a punt blocked. The punter did not perform the way he has to, but I think that these experiences will be good for us going forward. I thought that our kickoffs – Lawrence Tynes' kickoffs were good. I thought we did a decent job of coverage although the first couple came out a little bit further than you would want them to and we were able to make a field goal and I think the other key factor would be the plus-three turnovers that we got. We did not turn the ball over. Jacobs, of course, made an aggressive play with regard to the fumbled ball and did get the ball back for us, which allowed us to contribute at least three points there.
I thought our defense did a good job in the red zone of turning back touchdowns and forcing field goals and we did turn one ball over at the end of the game in the tight red zone as well. There were a number of things, lots of things to teach from, so we will go forward with one game under our belt and realize that we've got an awful lot to improve upon in this very short week.
The case with the injury situation: I texted Eli earlier this morning and I think that the normal discomfort that a guy goes through when he has stitches and what have you was the experience. He didn't talk too much about pain but I don't have a whole lot of information because any time you have any injury that is a head injury they're going to do all kinds of tests so they're in the process of doing that right now.
Chase Blackburn is an MCL. There is not an ACL involvement there. I would not put a number on how long he would be out, but obviously he's going to have to work himself back into being able to practice and play and it will take some time.
Ramses Barden has been experiencing some lower back issues and they are trying to determine the extent of that, whether it's muscular or whether there are other things involved as well.
That's basically all that I have for you from an injury standpoint. As a result of the game, at this point in time a couple of the things are still ongoing.
Q: If you had to guess, will Eli play this weekend?
A: I'm not guessing on that. We'll wait and hear what the doctors have to say once all their examinations are completed.
Q: Aside from Victor Cruz, which rookie were you most pleased with? Linval Joseph showed some power…
A: He did. He showed power inside, he played well inside. Of course Jason Pierre-Paul got the nice sack off of the edge and showed his strength of play as well and I thought that that was encouraging as well. Mitch Petrus did some good things. Petrus was pretty good on the kickoff return wedge and really did a nice job on the goal line for us as well so we did have some good contributions along those lines.
Q: Can you be a little bit more specific about some of the tests that Eli is undergoing?
A: The nature of the exact tests was not communicated to me so I really can't. I would say this, whatever is available to the doctors in terms of…he's in New York and he's going to go through the battery of tests that any player has who experiences any kind of a head injury. They're not going to leave any stone unturned so they are going to go ahead and do all of the tests, the MRIs, and all of those things and then at that point in time I'm sure they'll get a hold of me.
Q: Is he at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York?
A: Yes, that's where he is.
Q: Coach, do you expect him back up at camp tomorrow?
A: Probably later tonight.
Q: Assuming he gets cleared to play medically, is there going to be any kind of issue with the stitches rubbing against his helmet?
A: Initially, with Eli being the kind of guy he is, the idea for me going forward was, gee how are we going to make it so that he can practice and play with the stitches? I think that there is naturally concern there from the doctor's standpoint as well because just the nature of where the helmet sits according to where the stitches are could create a problem in terms of healing and so I'm sure that that was brought up last night. Dr. Warren brought that up as well. Again, I'm just waiting to hear all of this information.
Q: What about Chase Blackburn? Is surgery at all an option?
A: No. It's an MCL. There's no surgery here. He'll be a couple of weeks probably – I don't know how long – but there won't be any surgery.
Q: What about Sorgi? He was going for tests after the game and he was complaining about his shoulder right after that second touchdown.
A: Well that was a big hit placed on him at that point in time but in talking with Mike Sullivan after the game he seemed to feel like he would be able to go.
Q: Has he had any issues with that shoulder?
A: I don't know. I'm not aware of him commenting on that. I don't know that it was a shoulder. I'm not sure that it wasn't the ribs. But I don't know anything other than that. I'm not trying to put you off here, I don't have a report in front of me because the gym and the players who were checking into our treatment center came up here so I just don't have it in front of me.
Q: Did you see anything in the running game that you feel strongly about?
A: Well, if you look at it, we had a good run last night by Brandon Jacobs, we had a good run last night by Danny Ware, we had a good run by Andre Brown. We're trying as best we can to get our running game back in the shape that it should be, that it was a couple of years ago. It's going to take some time. We didn't necessarily do a good enough job in terms of the blocking phase of it against a very good defensive team so somewhere in there is the answer. Obviously we've got a film now to look at and having played against an opponent, that should help us along those lines but I just think we've got to do a better job of coming off the ball and being as technically sound as we can, getting our pad level down, doing a good job. I really do think that – this will sound odd to you – but the fact that we had the three plays on the goal line was a good thing. That was a good thing. The three runs on the goal line was a good thing because the third run was much better than the first two so I was pleased with that part of it after I had a chance to look at the tape.
Q: The third run was better from a blocking standpoint or a running standpoint?
A: I just said. We've got to do a better job of blocking and of course along with that will be the hard penetrating runs as well. It all has to be improved upon.
Q: How much do you make of the absence of the two guards?
A: I think any time you take two guys that are as competitive and tough and physical as Chris (Snee) and Rich (Seubert) out, that's where they're going to be missed. However, look at it as an opportunity, which is what we actually chose to do last week as some of our issues came up in terms of the tight end play. Let's look at it as a positive so other people got a chance to play. We did get the experience of playing David Diehl at guard and Will Beatty at tackle and getting a nice long look at Guy Whimper at guard and so I think that the plus of that whole deal is to be able to play these guys extensively and have an opportunity to look at them long and hard.
Q: What did you make of Rhett Bomar's night?
A: He played well. He did. He did some nice things and he really…you know I like the way he went in to the game and competed. I think he was more at ease and felt more confident and better even sometimes than he has demonstrated on a normal practice session. He had a calm about him. He had observed a great deal of the game and I think he had a pretty good feel for it. He made some very nice instinctive plays. He made a really nice decision against what we call the two deep man under coverage and he pulled the ball down and ran. He stuck a couple of balls in there nicely and he hit that one touchdown pass so I thought he did a good job.
Q: D.J. Johnson – what did you observe from him?
A: Well I thought that it was good. D.J. got a lot of snaps last night, as did Courtney Brown, and that was a good thing because I think that D.J. adjusted his game to the speed of the game better as the game went on and certainly the interception he made was a big play.
Q: Victor Cruz said that going into the game his main concern was his blocking, so just for the heck of it, how was his blocking?
A: [Laughs] He had three errors in that regard, he did. I could hear that there were some reminders being given to him on some plays because some of the fronts did not…for the wide receiver, his job wasn't the same based on some of the fronts that we were seeing and he had to understand that, get that communicated out to him, and make the necessary adjustment. I think he's talking more about assignments and that's where it showed up last night on the run because he will go in there and do it.
Q: Last night you said you were surprised at how quickly Eli's helmet came off. When you look back, was it buttoned? Did it break? What happened?
A: Well, that's an interesting thing. The way that that came about was that when Jacobs and Eli had that collision, Eli's helmet got in a little bit of disarray obviously and the chin strap came up above his chin so when the chin strap was riding high and then he took the blow from (Calvin) Pace in the back, the whiplash effect threw the chinstrap even higher and the natural progression was that the helmet came off. I was surprised but I didn't know all the details until I looked at the tape and you know, you can imagine how that works if the chin strap does move off of your chin. It was not unbuttoned. He had it buttoned the way it was supposed to be buttoned.
Q: The NFL has been working to increase awareness about head injuries. How much have you learned about that and how much is that going to influence some of your decisions about practice time and playing and things like that?
A: Well our medical people will make all of those decisions and the health and well-being of the player will be first and foremost in terms of the decision that is made. There is a great deal of attention that has been placed on this area. There's been tremendous pressure from the NFL for the helmet manufacturers to improve their product, to take all the necessary technology and all the research that's being done and draw conclusions from it and improve the protective nature of the helmet and this will continue to go on. The nature of learning more and more about concussions and about people having necessary restrictions placed on them and the amount of time that they are out if in fact they do have a concussion. All of those things are first and foremost on everyone's mind now in the National Football League and rightfully so. Hopefully this will continue and we'll continue to learn more and more knowledge about it and as such we'll do a better job of prevention.
Q: Are you concerned enough about Matt Dodge that you would consider bringing another veteran punter into camp?
A: No, not at this point.