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Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, 12.6 Transcript


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For your reading pleasure \ entertainment.

Brian Costello, New York Post: Jeff, when we spoke to you Thursday, you were pretty hopeful for this game yesterday. What did you see as the biggest issues for you guys defensively yesterday?

Tackling wasn’t up-to-par.  We had 15 (missed tackles) as a defense. Not going to win game when you’re not a good tackling defense and it starts there, for sure. Some of the RPO stuff, just got to be tighter in coverage to eliminate it and the run game, we didn’t play the run game as well as we’re capable of. Got to coach better, got to play better at capacity.

 

DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: How much do you think most of the defensive struggles throughout the year have just stemmed from you guys not being able to stop the run?

It’s definitely a component to it. You have to eliminate some part of an offense and try to make then as one dimensional as you can. We have not done that well enough by any means. There are games where we’ve played the run well, there’s spots within games we played the run well, but just consistently as you really look at the season as a whole, not defending it as well as we need to, to be successful. The minute you got your running game rolling, you got your play-action game going, you got anything is at your disposal. It’s something you got to do better, you got to coach it better, we got to find more answers schematically for the players and the players got to play better.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: After the game we were talking to Bryce Hall and we said, “Did you guys prepare for (Gardner) Minshew?” and I’m quoting him, he said, “No, we prepared for Hurts,” for Jalen Hurts. I’m just wondering if you could comment on that? It just sounds like you didn’t prepare for their quarterback?

We prepared for the Eagles and their offense. Minshew and Jalen are very similar and they are both mobile. Schematically, they didn’t really change what they did. Went back and really, we always do this, we self-scout and we see what we prepared for and how we practiced and the plays that we showed the players as opposed to what we got in the game and it didn’t change. It was what we were ready for. The biggest difference between those quarterbacks is, Jalen, and this is probably counter-intuitive because you think of Jalen probably as more of a runner, but he’s actually the guy that took more downfield shots and Minshew was a little bit more of the short/intermediate game, the RPO stuff. But schematically, the Eagles didn’t change much who they were.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post:  Wasn’t there pass-run ration different, Jeff? Like especially the first half, I know the second half the score kind of dictated they ran the ball a little bit more, but they were 50-50 in the first half. They hadn’t been that way in recent weeks.

that’s something that gets skewed, because some of those are RPOs. When you’re down there defending the run, you have the extra hat to box, that triggers the pass. So, the pass percentage can go up. Ultimately, we faced the number one rushing team in the NFL, and that’s been their identity, that’s who they’ve been, that’s the success they found this year and that didn’t change a whole lot.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Jeff, what’s it like for you when your defense has a performance like that? What do you do, what do you say, what was last night like for you?

It hurts. It hurts and I’m a prideful person and I put a lot into it and the players put everything they got into it, as well. We don’t work our asses off like we do to have the results that we’ve been having. Is it frustrating? Absolutely it’s frustrating, it hurts the soul. That’s where I’m just really fortunate to be around this group of players as far as the character standpoint and the other defensive coaches that we have on this staff. As hard as it’s gotten, as dark and as bleak as it’s felt at times, there is still an all-in mentality and although the results are absolutely not good enough and we’re not playing winning defense yet, there are, amidst the darkness, there are some subtle improvements here and there within the defense. Like, we come in this morning and tell the truth and we take a hard look at what we’re doing and where we’re falling short both from a coaching standpoint and a player standpoint, but there are small moments of progress that are showing, especially with the young players. So, we just keep trying to build upon that.

 

DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Jeff, you guys have a bunch of young players as you mentioned, whether it’s secondary, some in the linebacking core. So, in these next five games, how much does it come onto the coaching staff to help coach these guys up better and get them better equipped for these next five games that you guys try to turn around just the defensive woes?

It’s a subtle thing where it’s like, you want to create some schematic issues for your opponent, but at the same time, you want to make it simplistic enough for these younger players to really grasp and play fast and confident and operate at a high level. It’s finding that balance, which has been difficult this year for sure, of doing enough schematically where they have answers and that we can put these guys in the best position to be successful. But at the same time, not do too much where they don’t fully grasp what we’re asking them to do. So, it’s trying to continue to find that balance. I’ll say this, I would take this coaching staff, at every position on defense, I’d take them at every level, and they work their asses off and these guys are prepared, and they are getting better, although the results are not what they need to be. But there is improvement. Will we keep working? Absolutely we will. Hopefully we can get some incremental gains these next five games, starting with this one against New Orleans, and get better results, and try to build some momentum going into this offseason.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Jeff, how do you work on tackling in December? I don’t think you guys are going to be doing the Oklahoma drills on Wednesday, so what do you do to improve the tackling?

We talked about that this morning. There’s things as Coaches that we always emphasize regarding tracking and tagging off on the low hip, taking shots at the ball and with the mindset that a shot at the ball, if I can take an accurate shot at the ball and be in good position to make a tackle, so it’s that. We also drill tackling multiple times, whether using crash pads or the dummies and all the different ways that we do that. At the same time, I challenged the players to be part of the dialogue. If there’s something that they’ve done in the past, if there’s something they think they need particular emphasis on, be part of the solution and part of the dialogue as far as improving it. So, although there isn’t a whole lot of physicality as far as the tackling and the drilling of that, there’s definitely a tracking component, there’s a leverage component, there’s a lot of things that we can work, and we do work.

 

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It's a little disconcerting to hear our defensive coordinator say that Hurts and minshew are the same when one is an elite runner while the other is not.

Hurts was on pace for almost 1,000 rushing yards this year..Minshew has 508 in 25 career games.  

You can't prepare equally for those two guys. 

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13 minutes ago, LIJetsFan said:

If "they don’t fully grasp what we’re asking them to do" then simplify it.  Keep it simple stupid!  This guy sounds like the least qualified person to coach a bunch of rookies.  

And we hear quotes from Saleh abut how simple our defense is.

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3 hours ago, peekskill68 said:

Eagles OL is just better...

Correct.... What happens when the trenches are taken care of ????  Not saying you don't know, just trying to make a point to JN. I hear people say we shouldn't draft OL in the first or second round because our defense sucks. Well, last I remembered, it's the offense that scores the points, unless there is a turnover. No time to think that the OL on this team is what we should expect in 2022. Keep your eyes on the ball fella's (JD). Go get me some hogs... Oh and a WR/TE as well. I'll be ok with an EDGE, LB, and CB sprinkled in...

Get rid of this defensive philosophy, and put these guys on the line, not spread out like 4 WR sets. Teach the LB's to fill the gaps so we can actually tackle someone when they run the ball. Move Nasirildeen/Sherwood back to safeties when they return. Nasirildeen is being wasted on ST, not that he can't play there as well.

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10 minutes ago, JoeDouglasFart said:

Too much reading! Let's keep it simple, Ulbrich sucks and must go!

Ulbrich was ok in Atlanta.  He will get better players in 2022.  If in a year from now the Jets defense looks this bad, Ulbrich will get fired and Saleh will have to do it himself.  Ulbrich is not adapting the defense to the players they have.  They are playing the defense they want to play. I wonder if it is the defense they should be playing in East Rutherford. 

It is kind of ironic that the Jets are running a coaching intensive scheme on offense (looks better) and player intensive scheme on defense. The Patriots run a coach intensive defense 

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What i didn’t like, was that the answer to his first question was citing all the missed tackles.  Missed tackles, that’s all on the players, not my fault.  Not preparing for minchew, again, same offense, not my fault, no biggie, would not have changed the result.  The coaches, they’re working their asses off, so don’t point the finger at them.  And we faced the #1 rushing team, so what do you expect?  

Despite this, i could actually begin to buy into it this game, if it didn’t happen every single game.

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11 hours ago, peebag said:

Blah, blah, blah.

You and your players suck at your jobs.

I second that. Tackling is want to PERIOD, and these Jets don't want to. If he can't motivate these guys to play 100 percent then he should be fired. Last in the NFL in ANYTHING should get you fired. Fire Jeff Ulbrich.

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5 hours ago, Augustiniak said:

What i didn’t like, was that the answer to his first question was citing all the missed tackles.  Missed tackles, that’s all on the players, not my fault.  Not preparing for minchew, again, same offense, not my fault, no biggie, would not have changed the result.  The coaches, they’re working their asses off, so don’t point the finger at them.  And we faced the #1 rushing team, so what do you expect?  

Despite this, i could actually begin to buy into it this game, if it didn’t happen every single game.

Making excuses should get you fired. Once again, FIRE Jeff Ulbrich.

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I wish Costello would ask him one more question:

Coach how is it possible that the team so frequently can force third and longs but can virtually never stop it?

I swear I have been watching football 45+ years and in all that time I can never recall a team as bad on third and longs in my life.  And its not even close.   Maybe over the course of a season a decent team will give up a third and fifteen or twenty once or twice.  We have done it like 10-15 times already in 9 games.  It is truly pathetic.

 

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