• Joey Jarzynka

Jets GM Joe Douglas Quotes 4/1/20


Opening Statement…

Thanks for being here today. First off, apologies if you hear children screaming and the dog barking as I’m working remotely from home. Obviously, it would’ve been the more ideal for us to have this conversation in Palm Beach at the owners meetings. But with the new normal we’re living in, that’s just not the case. But it was important for us as an organization to take this time to just do a recap and update of where we are after the initial wave of free agency and go over that with you guys. I know we’re going to have another forum coming up shortly where we go over the draft, pre-draft so the focus obviously today will be on free agency and kind of where we are.

But before I begin, I just wanted to say that I’m glad that all of you are here. I hope your loved ones are healthy and safe, and on a bigger scale, I want to thank everyone who’s working to save people. If any of you have friends or family that are in the medical field, first responders, please give them my personal gratitude and thanks because they’re the real heroes right now. If we can be a small diversion to what’s happening around the world, we’re welcome to do that, to be that.

So, as we’re acclimating to what’s become a new normal for us during the first week of free agency, we had a skeleton crew in the office just during that first week. Since the shelter in place rules came into effect, we’ve been working remotely. And I want to say the heroes of our organization right now, it’s been Tom Murphy, our IT department, they’ve been rock stars, just getting this all set up to work remotely. And so that’s a lot of communications to each other, to players, to agents. It’s been spot on. Ryan O’Hare, the video department has done a great job. Our medical team, Dr. Montgomery, John Melody, Dave Zuffelato, they’ve all done a great job adjusting and improvising to what’s going on around the world and with our organization.

So just touching back to where the last time we talked at the combine prior to free agency. We had a lot of holes to fill. Our plan was to be strategic and disciplined. I think we had a clear plan of what we’re going to try to do. I think I’ve been very open and transparent about what we needed to fix. The positions in need that we were going to address. And I feel like we needed to really build a foundation moving forward of the right type of people and the right kind of depth on our team. I feel like all the best teams in the National Football League, they have really good depth.

Then we also wanted to be disciplined, financially. I feel really confident that we were able to do that through the first few weeks of free agency. I think that financial discipline is going to play a big role in helping us build a team that ultimately has flexibility moving forward. And to be a team that can have continued in long-term success.

So we looked for players that not only could come in and contribute immediately, but like I said many times before would fit the culture to what we were doing. Fit the culture that that me, Adam, Coach Williams that everyone’s putting into place. So it was important for us to bring those quality players that have the right level of toughness, intelligence, versatility, and it was important for us to bring in those types of players. And then bring them in on fair market deals.

Just as important, we feel like these signings give us flexibility in the draft. It allows us to make the decisions that we believe are in the best interests of the Jets.

So just to touch on the draft quickly before that, and I know, again, like I said, we’ll have another forum in the next few weeks, but we have a real opportunity through the draft with eight picks and four in the top 80. And we’re going to continue to work on bringing players in that can make an impact and add depth. So that team, free agency, those are going to be keys to our success moving forward.

Like I said before, our plan is the same. We’re going to try to create the best culture in sports so that all revolves around bringing in the right people. I keep talking about the commitment and character and the competence that we’re trying to create. With that I will open it up to questions.

On how COVID-19 has affected draft prep, communication with scouts and coaches and the location and plan for the actual draft…

Yeah, so I would say, we’ve all had to be flexible through this. We’ve all had to A&I, right? Adjust and improvise. And so I think again, Murph, Steve in IT, they’ve really given us the ability to use technology to our advantage in these times. As far as, having the right type of communication with each other, with agents, with players, being able to meet. So we’re obviously doing all of this remotely and we’re doing it to the best of our ability. I’m sure, and I know you guys are all going through the same thing. There’s definitely a certain amount of uncomfortability when you’re moving from your office to your home office with the distractions that can take place and just not having the convenience. So everyone’s having to go through that. I think everyone’s done a job. I think we’ve been able to over communicate. I think we’ve been able to stay on the same page. I know we have a great plan moving forward for draft meetings with our coaching staff. So nothing really is going to change from that perspective, as far as the mechanics of our meetings, it’s just going to be remotely. And I think where we are technology wise, where we’re ahead of the curve. As far, Todd, as far as the second part of that question, I think we’re still too far away from the actual draft to know exactly what and where, where we’re going to be for the draft. Ideally in a perfect world, we’re back in our building, but we’re all trying to take this day by day. What we’re going to do is we’re going to plan for worst case scenario and hope for the best. But we’re going to be ready, I promise you that.

On the explanation behind the number of one-year contracts given out during free agency and what it allows the organization to do moving forward…

So I would say that as far as the one year contract, I mean look there are instances where we would rather have a multiyear deal. I feel like in football you kind of take what the defense gives you or the offense gives you. The market dictated a lot of those one year deals and it does give us great flexibility. Obviously, the market wasn’t ideal for a lot of players and agents early. And so, like I said, we were able to come to agreement on a lot of one year deals. But again, we had the flexibility to try to extend those guys through the season.

On if there were any cashflow restrictions during free agency…

Sure. I mean we’re trying to be as financially responsible as we can be and we feel comfortable about where we are right now with our cashflow, while also maintaining a certain level of flexibility so that if the right opportunity presents itself, we can be proactive and go after a certain player. So I would just say we feel good about where we are now and where we are moving forward.

On the process of restructuring the offensive line and who he sees being the day one starters as of now…

Yeah, so the new acquisitions as far as bringing in George Fanton, excited about his athleticism. I think he’s going to be a good fit into our scheme. The things he can do, his lateral quickness. Just throw out like tools that he has. He’s going to have a great opportunity to come in and compete for a starting spot. Great to get Alex Lewis back in the fold. He brings that element of toughness and that nasty mentality that every good offensive line needs. Feel like we were able to bring offensive linemen in with similar toughness and mentality that we’re looking for. And the guy like Greg Van Roten, who started a lot of games in Carolina. Again, another guy that’s smart, he’s been durable, he’d been versatile. So I think what we tried to do and what you can see is, George is the guy that can play left tackle, right tackle. He played the extra offensive linemen as a tight end, heck he even lined up as a wide receiver, in a couple formations for the Seahawks. So he brings flexibility, versatility. Alex is the guy that can play guard and right tackle. Van Roten’s another guy that can play both guard spots. Tyler McGovern, smart, athletic can play center and guard. So feel good, feel good about the football instincts, the versatility, the toughness that we brought into that group. Again on Brian we feel, again Brian really is our only remaining opening day starter from last year. We love his competitiveness, his toughness. We should have a really good competition for our starting offensive line and ultimately we’re going to have our best five on the field come opening day.

On if there is interest in Jadeveon Clowney and if he plans to target edge rushers in the draft…

I would say we’re going to do our due diligence on everybody that’s out there, especially at the edge rush position. I’m not going to get into specifics or the details of the conversations we’ve had. I can tell you that we are all very excited to bring George Jenkins back even though it was on a one year deal. Love the production that he’s had in his first few years in the league. And talk about one of the best locker room guys we have. So can’t tell you how excited we are to get Jordan and look. I mean we’re going to look at multiple positions throughout the rest of the free agency and the draft. And if there’s an opportunity for us to upgrade, I think we have the flexibility to do it.

On if he had any conversations with the Texans and Vikings about Stefan Diggs and Deandre Hopkins…

I think we did our due diligence and I can’t get into the specifics. Obviously those guys, in Arizona and in Buffalo, but we are going to try to remain as flexible as we can and as far as opportunities that come up, whether it be a free agent signing, trades, draft trades, etc.

On what has been the most challenging part about working remotely and trying to assemble a free agency class…

It’s a lot easier to have conversations on players and contracts when everybody’s in talking distance and you don’t have to put in a FaceTime call or you make a phone call. Just the communication aspect has been probably the most difficult thing. But I think, with technology the way it is, it’s easier. It’s much easier to do than it used to be. So that’s really been the biggest thing and we feel good about where we are as far as going through the details of draft meetings, going through the detail of our interviews with players moving forward. We feel good about that.

On Pierre Desir…

Yeah, so I think Pierre… First before I talk about Pierre again along the lines of Jordan, I can’t tell you how excited we are to get Brian back as well in the fold. Brian was a great signing last year and he really solidified the nickel spot for us all last season. I think he was a big part to our defensive success during the year. So really excited to have BP back with us. As far as Pierre, that was a unique opportunity obviously when he was cut having Rex Hogan here and the time that he spent with Pierre in Indianapolis and he could really touch on this player’s character. When you watch the tape, the thing that jumps out is how instinctive Pierre is, especially in zone. And how good his ball skills are. When he has a chance to make a play on the ball, he’s going to get the interception or the TDU. So excited to add both of those guys to the secondary.

On Robby Anderson leaving and what Breshad Perriman can bring to the offense…

Yeah, Robbie obviously, was a really good player here, really helped us tremendously down the stretch last year. And you know, I’m happy for Robbie that he was able to get the money he got and he’s been, I wish him well going back to play for his college coach at Temple and Matt Rhule in Carolina. So wish him well. I mean it’s a real credit for him being an undrafted free agent in how he developed and how he played into where he is now. It’s a credit to his hard work. Happy for Robbie’s opportunity. But also equally excited about the opportunity to get Breshad in here. Having spent a lot of time scouting Breshad, that was my last draft in Baltimore before leaving for Chicago. He has unique size and speed combo. Obviously his career trajectory was different than those first rounders, but I think you’ve seen it in the back half of the two years ago at Cleveland and then at the end of this year. You’d be hard pressed to find a wide receiver that had better numbers than Breshad. So really excited about his speed, his ability to take the top off the defense. Feel like he could come in here and make an impact and he’ll be able to develop a chemistry with Sam moving forward.

On the offensive line moves made in free agency to help Sam Darnold and how much work still needs to be done…

Yeah, that’s our focus, is doing everything we can to help Sam succeed. And the one thing that we didn’t want, we just didn’t want a situation where Sam was just going to have to be under fire all the time with protection issues. So I actually, when I first met his parents in the first preseason game, I promised them that I was going to do everything in my power to take care of Sam, with protection and play makers. So I think we still have a lot to do in both those regards moving forward. I think, we’ve done our best to attack some of the issues that we’ve had in the past. I think there’s a real shortage of quality offensive linemen in the National Football League. And so we’re going to try to do our best to get as many quality ones as we can because you can never have too many. We’re going to try to keep it simple with guys that are smart, tough, and versatile. We’re going to keep addressing that moving forward. We’re going to keep addressing play makers moving forward.

On where he stands with the amount of offensive playmakers on the roster and if he is looking to add more…

Yeah, we’re excited about Breshad, we’re excited about Jamison. We had some young guys that came on towards the end of the year. Braxton was our backup slot receiver, Braxton Barrios. He was in the top five on punt returns, a young play maker that we’re excited about. Able to acquire Vincent Smith, poached him from Houston, Texas practice squad. He’s going to have a real opportunity. Bringing in a guy like Josh Doctson after the season, former first round pick. Guy that has really good ball skills. So I think he’s the guy that could compliment what we already have. So there’s a lot of opportunity for a lot of guys, obviously that doesn’t preclude us from making any additional moves. And we’ve got to, whenever we have the opportunity to improve our play making group, we’re going to go after that.

On the injury updates of CJ Mosley and Quincy Enunwa…

Yeah. So CJ is progressing well. Everyone in this organization is excited to have a healthy CJ, CJ Mosley. Not having him for 14 games was tough, but also it’s a real, real credit to Greg, his staff and the rest of the defense for the way that they were able to perform all year. So he’s progressing well. Still going through the process with Quincy. I think there’s going to be, we should have some more information on that hopefully soon. But obviously that’s a big question mark for us moving forward.

On if there have been more conversations regarding Jamal Adams’ extension…

Since the last time I talked to you guys, nothing’s really changed on our end. Our focus has really been on free agency, finishing up free agency, and the draft. So no, no new news to report in that regard.

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