COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
Opening Statement… Just to give you an injury update here, starting with got a couple hamstring guys: (Denzel) Mims missed today with a hamstring, (Frank) Gore with a hamstring, (Bronson) Kaufusi with a hamstring, Pierre Desir with a hamstring, Jabari (Zuniga) had a quad, (Kenneth) Dixon has a hip flexor. So those guys miss practice today hopefully we’ll be getting guys back. You know every day we should be getting somebody back. We’ll kind of see how it plays out with, you know, as far as how long guys will be out. Obviously, everybody reacts a little different when they’re coming back from these hamstring injuries or soft-tissue injuries. I thought today, great energy by the guys. You can see they’re excited to be out there, it’s good to get to go against each other. It’s been a long time, it’s the first practice we’ve had since December, and maybe like 60% of the guys we have are new it feels like. So, it was a it was a good start for us. I mean, we have a long way to go. You know, we had too many pre-snap penalties today. We just got to really do a lot better job, studying film learn from it and then go out there and execute tomorrow, a lot better than what we did today.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam, specific to Mims, and Frank, when did these injuries happen and how long do you expect each to be out? Frank was a little more precautionary, you know, just, I think it was one of the workouts maybe last week or something like that, I don’t remember the exact day, but he’s been doing stuff with the group, just really trying to be smart with him today. Mims it was, the days are running together, I can’t remember if it was yesterday of the day before. We were just running routes on air, there was a low throw, he kind of took a weird step and really stretched himself out. He felt something and we’re just going to have to see how long it takes.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: How much is this going to hurt, Denzel, Adam because of the fact he’s a rookie, he already didn’t have OTAs and minicamp and now he’s missing, time for when you guys are on the field? Every time you miss time I mean, every, every rep we have right now is extremely valuable. So, I mean, we’ll kind of see how it looks in the big picture of things. I know you know he’s probably going to spend a lot of time whether be with Shawn (Jefferson), Hines (Ward), myself, Dowell (Loggains) of doing as many walkthroughs as he can because when we’re doing walkthroughs you’re not, you’re not running around full speed and kind of get to know your alignments, your assignments and things like that. So you know, mentally we can we can help him improve, but at the end of the day when you’re playing that spot it’s all about that chemistry you have with the quarterback, and you know we’re missing time, and I know since he’s been here he’s tried to do everything right, he shows up early and tries to make sure that he does all the right things, you know, taking care of his body, it is just a really weird step he took that just got stretched out.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: I just wonder, even on the first day on the field here and Monday, if you guys are going to be in pads for the first time, how much this early are you looking at your final product and just kind of envisioning what it’s going to look like? You know, obviously because it’s coming around the corner faster than normal. We got some time, there’s no way I’m going to think that far ahead right now. I mean, we all do, you always want to say, ‘Hey this is what we’re going to be and this how we’re going to look.’ It’s so early, I mean this is our first time we’ve been on the field since December, and there’s so many new guys. We have so much, so much to learn about each other because the amount of new guys that we do have, I think, you know, defense is obviously going to be a little bit ahead of the offense because we do have a lot of guys returning. And the guys that we have added, quite a few of them are veteran players. And, I think those guys probably today especially, they hear those huddle calls, those guys, they know all the adjustments, they’ve been through all this stuff before and they could easily jump into install 20 if they wanted to. I mean those guys, they know Gregg’s (Williams) defense really well. On the offensive side of the ball, we have a lot to learn. We have a lot of adjustments to go through and we have to expediate the process as fast as possible, and really right now, if I’m looking too far ahead, we’re going to miss the steps we need to make.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: With kind of that receiving core, especially now with Mims out, I know Mims is a rookie but even aside from that, you guys don’t really have too many veterans in that group. Would you like to add a body there? Would you like to add somebody who’s kind of been there, done that a little bit to help the younger guys along? Yeah, I think that’s always something that’s going to be discussed, you know with Joe (Douglas) and his crew. It’s a little harder. It’s not like you can fly somebody in and you’ll have somebody out on the field the next day. There’s a pretty, pretty lengthy process you have to go through, getting guys in, the COVID testing, you’re going to be waiting a minute. So, if we do anything, I mean it’s, you are going to at least see somebody sitting around for a little bit before we actually get them out there. Right now, I love the way that our groups working, we just have to stay healthy. We could get thin quick with the numbers.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Adam, I was wondering if you have an update on Bryce Hall and Shyheim Carter. It seems like they’ve been on the COVID/reserve list for a few weeks now, do you have any update on them? I mean, right now they’re still on Reserve/COVID-19 and they have to go through a lot of different processes, until we get any kind of clearance. That one will be an obvious one because you guys, you’ll see them come off and then you’ll them at practice.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Today’s practice typically would be what you would see in May, the first OTA-type practice and you got a lot of time until the season goes. Seeing them, there’s a little rust out there and kind of working out the kinks. Is it in the back of your mind that, hey we only have four weeks here to get this right? Yeah, we’ve got to make a lot of mistakes here in two days that we’d make all of May then jump to training camp pretty much. I mean, we’re all going through the same thing, every team is going through the same thing where we’re all in the field for the first time, and maybe a couple teams have already been on the field for a couple days, but we’re all going through the same process. Everybody’s got new guys at some place on their team. Everybody’s trying to find a way to how do we get better fast, get chemistry as quickly as possible. That’s what we have to try to do. We can’t panic just because we only have four weeks to get ready for the first game. We’ve got to find a way to get better every day. I think the way that it’s structured with practices and being able to walkthrough the amount of time that we’re given to walkthrough, I think it’s going to be really helpful because it’ll help with our practices the next day. When we’re able to walk through and then the next day we’ll be able to go out there and execute what we walked through the night before, that eliminates thinking and lets your guys react.
Andy Vasquez, The Record: Just overall, what is the experience of being out there for practice like? Is it more normal than you thought it would be? Is it weird? In what ways is it weird? Just what’s it like overall? I know you’re wearing the mask, and that’s the only thing that kind of reminds you, really. You see everybody spread out, like when you guys are standing over there, you guys are all supposed to be six feet apart. I don’t know if you accomplished that today, but I mean that was your first day out there. But you can see the spacing around the field, how everybody was aware. But I do think you get lost in the moment a little bit as far as it’s football, you see guys out there working extremely hard and you’re reminded it’s your back to work. But at the same time, you’re not forgetting about the protocols that are put in place and you’re trying to do everything right.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam, what was your opinion, your takeaway, on Gregg Williams’s little jab at the Seattle defensive scheme. Were you surprised? When I heard about it last night, I mean, Jamal (Adams) is in Seattle. We’re going to worry about ourselves.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: What’s been your impression of the offensive line so far? Specifically, what has your impression of Mekhi Becton been? When you look at our offensive line, we’re a lot bigger than last year, I know that. It’s a really good-looking group, it’s very deep. I’ve really been impressed how these guys work. When we’re doing walkthroughs, the detail that these guys are trying to accomplish and the communication. Both groups – I’m hearing these guys talk. Obviously Jonotthan (Harrison) being here before, when he’s rolling with his group, he’s helping so many different guys. And then we’ve got a bunch of guys that haven’t really played together before on the other line, and those guys are doing a good job of communicating with each other, trying to find those shortcuts that you need to do in some of the protections and run games. We had a couple of moments today where you can see the communication was probably a little much, but that’s the first step. As far as when you see Becton on that left side, that’s a that’s a big man protecting our quarterback and I’m glad he’s here.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: There was a play today where Quinnen (Williams) was actually able to get by Becton, where it looked like he kind of came across the line pretty quick. Have you seen a difference in Quinnen Williams this year compared to last in the little bit of time you’ve been on the field? It’s hard to tell, especially right now when you’re looking – I mean when I watch the film, I’ll probably see what you’re talking about because we’re moving pretty quick. Quinnen has come in and he’s gone to work. The couple times I’ve rolled by him, chatted with him, he looks like he’s got his head down, he’s working. He isn’t looking at talk much. I think the group he’s with, that’s a great group to be a young guy with. You have a lot of really good guys to look up to and learn how to be a professional, both on and off the field, how to get ready for the season. I’m excited for him to be able to go into this year and do some damage.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Everybody’s talked about Sam (Darnold) being a little more familiar and everything like that. Can you see that today? Did you see something today that you know that he knows this much better? It starts with the simplest things with play calling. He doesn’t have to think about it. I’ll start calling the plays, he walks away, he knows what’s coming. He’s getting to that point where he’s really comfortable with the protections, just setting things up, Mike points, the run game, like all those little adjustments. It’s not splitting the atom, it’s happening quick, which that allows him to worry about other things: identifying the coverage, knowing where to go with the ball, throwing an accurate ball, right ball placement. When you’re going against our defense and then you get you get the full gamut right out the gate. We saw like 30 coverages I felt like today, day one. I mean, it’s good. It’s good for the offense, they’ve got to make a lot of adjustments. It’s maddening for the quarterback sometimes where he’s like, “Can I just see a couple coverages today?” But he gets the full gamut.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Have you talked to coaches around the league, other head coaches and other people you know about how they’re approaching this with all the COVID stuff and kind of just brainstorm with anyone? I think there was a lot of conversation I think among a lot of us, especially the spring and then really leading up to this when we were kind of waiting to see how the rules were going to play out. I know I had a lot of conversations with other head coaches and even kind of once we got started, just kind of communicating with a few guys that I’m close with, just seeing how things were going. We were just kind of giving each other heads up if we had any bumps in the road like, ‘Hey, look out for this,’ or, ‘How has this gone for you?’ And every head coach has probably been doing the same things. You’ve got a couple guys that you’re close with that you communicate with just to see how it’s going on their end. I think everybody was almost looking out for each other, just trying to help each other out because we all have different experiences, we’re all in different parts of the country. So, I think everybody’s just trying to kind of give everybody a heads up of what they are experiencing.