New York Jets Quotes at Colts (AFC Championship)

JETS HEAD COACH REX RYAN   What are your thoughts on the game? “Well that was rough right there.


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What are your thoughts on the game?

"Well that was rough right there. I think right before half when they got that touchdown in on us that really took some of the wind out of our sails. We had a couple communication problems there, then they just out-executed us. You have to really give credit to Coach (Jim) Caldwell obviously, and really Tom Moore and Howard Mudd. Those guys have been around forever. With (Donald) Strickland, when they saw Strickland go down they went to three wides on us immediately and we certainly had some issues and they took advantage of it. Peyton (Manning) certainly doesn't need a whole lot. We did make some mistakes. Obviously you had some communication errors. When you do that against them you forget about it. We don't make excuses. They out-executed us and some other things. That's a tough team. There's a lot of match up issues that any team's going to have against them. You saw where that (Pierre) Garcon and (Austin) Collie, those two guys are doing a great job. With Peyton Manning, if you can't disrupt his rhythm he's going to kill you and we couldn't disrupt it enough."

Can you talk about everything you accomplished this year and the foundation he has built for the future?

"We came in, we wanted to create a mentality.  We want to have a tough football team that's a blue collar team that can run the football and play defense and for the most part we accomplished that.  Today wasn't our day.  We have a good football team, but today wasn't our day, there's no question.  You have to give credit to the Colts.  Obviously they're the cream of the crop right now."

Was taking Bart Scott out of the game part of the game plan or if it was related to his ankle?

"It's mainly related to his ankle. Bart really struggled running.  He's tougher than nails.  We want to play him and all that kind of stuff, just for everything he brings you.  He was a one-legged man out there, but he's tougher than hell."

Was the decision to try the 52-yard field goal hard for him?

"No, we felt good about it.  The snap was a little behind our holder.  I think it kind of threw the timing off a little bit.  We feel good about Jay (Feely).  You're kicking indoors.  It's not like the conditions were a factor.  I know we did miss two longer field goals and certainly that hurt momentum a little bit.  Again, it was more of just a timing issue.  You have to have it right.  I think if our operation is sound then Jay's going to make that kick."

Can you talk about what he saw the Colts' offense doing in the second half?

"Yes, I saw what they were doing.  They went to three wides.  You have Dallas Clark as your tight end, so that's basically four receivers out there.  Those guys are tough.  I mean, individually they're tough.  You have Peyton Manning back there pulling the trigger.  We tried everything.  We tried man.  We tried two man.  We tried zone.  We tried you name it.  You have to give him credit.  He's one heck of a quarterback.  We definitely had some issues there."

What were you so upset about on the sideline?

"Well what happened is they hit our quarterback.  It was a cheap shot.  I don't think it was intentional by any stretch of the imagination, but clearly the ball was gone.  The guy hit us right in the back, full speed with his helmet right in the back on a running play.  I think if we would have done that there might have been some real issues there.  They might have ran me out of this stadium. It was something I really wasn't pleased with."

Would you categorize the Colts as a great team?

"Yes I would.  They have some matchup issues. You have some matchup problems with those guys.  Again, I think their defense plays good enough.  You don't have to be great on defense.  It kind of reminds me of the old Cowboys.  I mean, that offense carried that team for years.  Their defense was decent.  You just have to get some stops and we clearly never got enough of them."

How bad is Shonn Greene's injury?

"It was a rib injury.  He wasn't really able to return.  You love to run that big guy downhill at people.  He ended up getting a rib injury and obviously wasn't able to come back in the game."

Why did Lito Sheppard not figure into the game plan?

"We just thought that our matchup was better with (Dwight) Lowery.  We played Lito some in there."

Do you think you should have pressed for some points right before the half?

"No, because that's what they do.  I mean you have to get off the field.  We went into halftime with a lead and we certainly weren't going to give them an opportunity to give Peyton Manning another opportunity at you."

Was this game day-and-night from the last time you played the Colts?

"There's probably day and night with some matchup things or whatever.  You forget we went into halftime with a lead, so it wasn't like they were running away with it.  We had some communication errors.  We were hoping that we could go up 17-6 at halftime, but again, would that have been enough?  I don't know.  I don't think so.  Tom Moore, he felt comfortable, there's no question about it.  He made some adjustments and it was tough.  We tried everything, but they did a great job."

What did the Colts do to take Braylon Edwards out of the second half of the game?

"They ended up making sure that they weren't going to get the ball thrown over there after we got a couple of them that we got behind them on, so clearly they did that.  They knew what the situation [was].  When we got behind they kind of pinned their ears back a little bit


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What happened to cause the offense to have fewer big plays in the second half?

"I think we killed ourselves with penalties.  Any time we gained momentum and moved the chains, we had penalties that killed the momentum and put us behind the sticks.  Any time you're playing from behind the sticks, you're giving them a great chance to do whatever they want to do over there.  They've got guys – (Dwight) Freeney and (Robert) Mathis and (Raheem) Brock and all those guys – coming off the edge.  It allowed them to pretty much do whatever they wanted to do at that point."

What do you take from this game moving forward?

"It was a heck of a year, but we were by no means satisfied with the outcome today.  We do have some things to look forward to.  We have a great young quarterback, our offensive line is going to be together for a while, and there's a lot of young players on this team mixed in with some veterans that have a lot of years left in their tanks.  We do have some great things to look forward to, but it's still tough the way things turned out today."

Can you talk about Mark Sanchez's improvement since the beginning of the season?

"He's grown.  He's just gotten better every week.  Every week he's been preparing hard and he's been working on different things in practice, getting the receivers after practice and working on routes and all of those things.  He's just gotten better."

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How have you seen Mark Sanchez mature over the last month?

"I think the best thing about Mark is that he and coach (Jets offensive coordinator Brian) Schottenheimer have gotten on the same page.  I think he and Mark are developing their own chemistry.  To be a good quarterback in this league, you and your offensive coordinator have to be on the same page.  You guys have got to know each other.  You guys have got to be on the same page and you've got to feel each other out.  That's what happened.  Mark and him got on the same page.  That's what happened the last part of the season plus the playoffs."

How have you seen that develop in the last three postseason games?

"He (Mark Sanchez) has just felt more comfortable, some of the plays that he's made.  Coach (Schottenheimer) understands the plays that he needs early on to get going.  We've really been using the run a lot to let him get comfortable, get poised and then take some chances with J-Co (Jerricho Cotchery) and myself and Dustin (Keller); especially Dustin.  Dustin was huge for us in this playoff run."

What happened on your touchdown catch?

"I didn't even have to do a double move.  We had a check package for me as part of the game.  I could just run by him because he was just kind of sitting on things, expecting their D-line to get in there and cause problems, but I just played was called."


Do you think the offense got too conservative in the second half?

"I don't think we got the job done in the second half.  I think we got a couple of drives going early and we petered out.  We didn't get the job done."

Do you take solace in how much this team accomplished this season?

"That's for another time and another day.  That's for May and OTA's (organized team activities).  Right now, it just stings.  When you're this close, it stings."

What was going through the players' minds when you were up 17-6?

"Keep it going.  We knew what kind of offense they had over there and what they were capable of.  We felt good about what we were doing and probably should have put a few more points up there.  We kind of stalled out a couple (drives) early, but we were feeling pretty good."


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Did you feel like you had the momentum when you went up 17-6?

"We were very confident.  We had been confident the whole entire game, but especially at that point with an 11-point lead, you're feeling pretty good about yourself."

What changed in the second half?

"I don't know.  We just weren't able to keep drives alive, weren't very good on third down.  We just have to be consistent."

What did Rex Ryan tell the team in the locker room after the game?

"This is a great team.  We have a great group of guys.  We have guys who are going to be around next year, and we've just got to finish games.  It's going to be a long and tough offseason, going out like this, but we've got to go to work again."

How tough is it right now?

"It's definitely tough.  We had a great opportunity ahead of us and we didn't quite finish it off."

Is it OK to look at the things that this team has to be proud of?

"I guess if you want to take moral victories, but the goal from the beginning of the season was for us to win the Super Bowl and we came up a couple games short."

Can you describe what happened on your touchdown catch?

"It was a big play for me.  I knew my number was being called on that play.  We had pretty much thrown it all week long.  I just got inside the defender and he kind of bit inside.  Mark (Sanchez) gave me a great ball, gave me a high ball outside where only I could catch it and I was able to get into the end zone."


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How big was the loss of Shonn Greene for the offense?

"It was a huge loss, but TJ (Thomas Jones) is a pretty good back also.  We just didn't execute as well."

Did the offense get more conservative in the second half?

"No, we made some good third-down completions to try to keep drives going.  We didn't get the ground game as much as we wanted to, but we felt comfortable with what we were doing."

Can you describe the emotions that you're feeling right now?

"It hurts.  You think of all the work, especially these four other guys I play with up front and all the odds stacked against us.  We were trying to make history, taking Mark (Sanchez) to the first Super Bowl by a rookie quarterback, and we understood all the stuff that was involved in it.  It's just disappointing, but you also look back on the group of guys that you went through it with and you have thoughts of pride and good thoughts about the other guys."


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After playing 15 years and getting this close and not knowing if you'll get another chance, is that tough?

"It's always tough.  I think it's tough even for a guy like Shonn Greene.  That's the message that I told him.  Obviously, this is his first year, and there's no guarantee that he'll get back again.  That's all the guys in this locker room.  It doesn't necessarily have to do with me individually; it's the fact that you never know when these opportunities present themselves, and when you have the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it."

What were your impressions of how Mark Sanchez played?

"I thought Mark played great today.  He's grown up tremendously, and I think he's going to grow even more from this experience.  I told him in there, I said, 'That's why sometimes when you have opportunities in the middle of the season where you can get some more wins, it helps.  Obviously, they leaned on their crowd today.  I'm not saying that if we'd have played at our house, it would've been a different game, but it definitely helps you when you're playing in your back yard and they benefitted from their crowd today."

How do you stay optimistic and keep your teammates to keep their heads up?

"At the end of the day, you look yourself in the mirror and you know you went out and played as hard as you can for as long as you can, you've got to be optimistic.  That's just how I live my life.  I've always lived my life that way.  Obviously, you're disappointed about the loss, but at the end of the day there are so many positives and so many things you can pull from it."

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How big was the loss of Shonn Greene for the offense?

"I don't know how big of a loss it is; we just didn't make enough plays.  One person going down is not going to just affect the whole outcome of the game.  We had plenty of opportunities to capitalize; we just didn't capitalize.  The Colts made more plays.  You've just got to give them all the credit in the world."

Do you think of what a great run you had or that you fell one game short of the Super Bowl?

"I'm definitely proud of the season, but we expected to go to the Super Bowl.  The better team won today.  They made more plays, so you've got to give them credit.  It was a great ride, but by no means are we satisfied with the outcome of today's game."

How hard will it be to try and re-focus going forward and try to reach your expectations next year?

"It won't be hard.  There's a lot of positive things to build off of.  Our quarterback, he really played well, especially at the end of the season.  He had a heck of a football game today.  A lot of people really played well down the stretch.  There are a lot of positives you can draw off of that.  Is it going to sting?  Yeah, there's no question it's going to sting, but you get a chance to get away from the game and just re-focus.  By the time that we come back, we've got to set the standard again and work towards it and hopefully get over the hump next year."


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Can you talk about how the team excited New York City?

"I've never seen anything like it.  I feel badly for the fans.  I would have liked to deliver them – and (head coach) Rex (Ryan) is the same and (general manager) Mike (Tannenbaum) and the rest of the coaching staff – they wanted to deliver a victory."

What did you say to the players?

"I thanked the players.  I thank them for a great season.  They tried their hardest.  They did really well.  When you're the fifth seed, for a reason it's hard to do.  You're traveling all over the place.  It's not an excuse, but they tried hard and they did a pretty good job."

How proud are you of what this team accomplished with a first-year head coach?

"I'm extremely proud.  I think they did a great job.  The fans are as excited as I've ever seen them and we're just hoping that next year to be able to go a little bit further.  One game further and then win the next one."

Do you have mixed emotions right now?

"Yeah.  I think that's a fair statement.  I'm disappointed that we didn't give the fans what they wanted, and what the team wanted and what the coaches all were working for.  But I told Rex how proud I was of him and Mike and the coaching staff, both sides of the ball and special teams.  They did a terrific job, particularly in their first year.  This is a tough team to play at home.  It's a very tough team."

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