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Full Joe Douglas Press Conference Transcript


Maxman

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Overall, trade deadline, can you kind of just take us through what’s been going on in recent days?

Yeah, days, weeks. A lot of calls, a lot of conversations, ultimately, we only did one trade last week with Mecole (Hardman Jr.). A lot of calls, obviously there needs to be buyers, there needs to be sellers. We made a lot of inquires, a lot of discussions about a lot of different positions, but ultimately, we didn’t get any other deals done and that’s where we are, but excited about these next 10 games.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What did you like in Rodger Saffold to bring him into practice squad?

Yeah, obviously Rodger is an experienced guy, played in a lot of games, tough, smart. He knows Keith Carter well-being with him in Tennessee, he is the exact type of person, competitor, mental makeup, toughness that we are looking for to add to the group and I think he is going to be a really good acquisition for us.

 

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Joe, we haven’t had a chance to speak to you since Aaron (Rodgers) went down obviously. Can you kind of take us through the shock element of that you suffered here and fasting forward where you are at this point, how you have kind of weathered the storm, as you will?

Yeah, obviously not what anyone is expecting four plays into the season, like you said, the shock, you are just devastated for Aaron (Rodgers) because you are here every day, you see the commitment and everything he has invested into this team. So, your first thought is just you are devastated for Aaron and then just to see this group of people rally, not only in that game, but how they have approached this season and stick together and keep fighting, keep scratching, keep clawing, it’s a real testament to every person in the locker room, the coaching staff, Robert (Saleh), and the staff. I mean I told Robert his power, his superpower is just positivity, he keeps everyone together, he keeps everyone positive and for us to be able to really come together, it’s a credit to him, it’s a credit to our coaching staff, it’s a credit to all the men in the locker room.

 

Zach Rosenblatt, The Athletic: How do you feel about the possibility of him coming back this season, which has obviously been a big part of?

Yeah, obviously Zach (Rosenblatt), I am not going to put words into Aaron’s mouth, I mean we are obviously excited to see him progress through his rehab and look, we are taking everything day by day and certainly we will be excited when he is back in the fold just as a person and leader that he is, but I am not a doctor, so I can’t go into the specifics on the rehab, but yeah I mean we are excepting Aaron to be back.

 

Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Joe, you have been around the League for a long time and seen a lot of injuries. You see this guy taking drop backs on field, six weeks after surgery, is that stunning to you as this progresses?

Yeah, look I have never had that injury and again I am not a doctor, I can’t speak to it, but everything I have heard is that just to see him be able to do some of the things that he is doing. Again, it is not surprising, I think we all know the competitor, the competitive makeup that Aaron has and I think he said it before, he has goals and he is going to chase those goals and he is going to put every ounce of effort into achieving those goals. So, nothing surprises me when it comes to Aaron Rodgers.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: You said we are expecting him to be back, do you mean this year?

With the team, with the team. I have no timeline on, again I am not an expert, I am not a doctor, I have no timeline to give you guys on him coming back, but it is just good having him around, when he’s out there pregame, when he is around the team, it’s just good having him in the building.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: So, you’re not saying you’re expecting him to play this year?

No, I am not putting anything out there like that. Again, that’s not my place, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have any breaking news for you like that.

 

Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: Joe, with the offensive line, obviously you’ve had a lot of injuries. How has it been dealing with that as the season’s gone on, and how do you feel about this group and where it’s at now for the rest of the season?

Yeah, obviously the last few years, it’s been hard. We’ve had a lot of different starting combinations on the offensive line, but again, it’s a credit to our staff and the versatility of our players to have guys that are able to switch positions from week to week, from play to play. Having guys that can play guard one play and go in and play center, and then a guy like Xavier Newman coming off the practice squad not thinking he’s going to play one snap and coming in and playing the majority of the game and being able to battle against a really good front seven. So, it’s a credit to Keith Carter and Ben (Wilkerson) and Billy (VandeMerkt) and Hack (Nathaniel Hackett) and our entire staff for developing these players, getting these guys ready to play each and every Sunday, and really, it’s a little bit of a microcosm of our season, being able to handle any adversity that’s been thrown their way.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What stood out about Xavier Newman before you decided to bring him in?

Yeah, Xavier’s another guy that Keith really had a good feel for, and a guy who fits the profile of what we’re looking for up front. Smart, tough, physical, versatile, just very coachable and a high-level competitor. And again, you saw the resiliency, again, another microcosm of our team is you saw the resiliency in Xavier with a couple snaps that got a little squirrely, but he didn’t flinch. He didn’t bat an eye, he just kept battling, kept competing and he played his tail off.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Joe, with Aaron and talking about playing this year, and obviously next year, how did that play into how you approached the deadline? Did that affect you at all? Thinking about him maybe being back later this year and next year?

No, I wouldn’t say that. I mean I think at the deadline, you have some groups that you’re inquiring about, and you have a plan, and you’re trying to execute that plan. Obviously, it takes two to tango so to speak when it comes to getting deals done, but I wouldn’t say Aaron being here or not being here played a factor in our trade plans.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Obviously, there’s constant microscope on Zach, what are you seeing from him since Week One with his development? What are the tangible things you see? In terms of where he’s taking his game?

Yeah, I mean for a young man, and I know Coach Saleh’s talked about it a lot, for a young man to have a guy like Aaron Rodgers come in, and I know they’re close, but coming in to take over the quarterback role, and then jump into that head first and just appreciate the opportunity to learn from Aaron and develop and hone his skills and really improve day to day. I’m sure he thought he wasn’t going to play much at all this year, and then four plays into the season, boom, everything changes. And for him to be able to step in, the growth that he’s had, the maturity level that he’s had, I feel like he’s playing with a lot more confidence in himself, in everything he does. His teammates have his back, it’s really cool to see. It hasn’t always been perfect with the team, I think Sunday showed that, but when plays need to be made, Zach’s gone out there and made those plays under some difficult circumstances. Three different centers, not ideal conditions, and when he needed to play his best football, he played his best football to win the game for us. So, to see him grow, to see him, he even said, start taking the practice to the games and then playing clutch in clutch moments, it’s a really cool think to watch.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: You mentioned Mecole (Hardman Jr.) earlier, why didn’t it just work here?

We were all very excited to add Mecole. I think as we progressed through training camp and Mecole started coming back from that injury, he was doing a good job it’s just, I know Robert (Saleh) has touched on it, Xavier (Gipson) really came on. Xavier really did a great job, he took over the role as our quick returner. He really blossomed. We are really excited about ‘X’ (Xavier Gipson) and I think we are going to continue to see him blossom as the year goes.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Last week, Dalvin (Cook) and Carl (Lawson) both spoke to us in the locker room, they didn’t say they wanted to be traded but they kind of said they are unhappy with their roles and they would accept the trade. Did you have talks with other teams about moving those two guys?

Well, we had had talks with a lot of teams. Ultimately, we did what we felt was best for the team. Those guys are great teammates and great players. I have a feeling we are going to need those guys a lot down the stretch. They are assets to this team, so we are glad they are here.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Joe, Bryce Huff has had a pretty big year, I know it is a contract year for him. Is he somebody you guys would consider extending?

Yeah, there has been informal conversations with Bryce’s representatives. They are trending in a positive direction. There is still a long way to go, but Bryce is another, not to pontificate, but that is an unbelievable player development story. For him to come in as an undrafted free agent and just work and work and work and get better every day. I think the last two years you have really been able to see a huge progression for him. Everyone is excited about Bryce.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: I know you probably don’t want to talk about specific players in the trade market, but this is fair after the injuries you had Sunday. Robert said yesterday, there are probably not going to be any offensive lineman move, but Ezra Cleveland moved to Jacksonville for a sixth-round pick, were you interested in Cleveland?

I won’t get into the specific conversations, ‘Cos’ (Brian Costello) but I will say we had a lot of talks with a lot of teams on a lot of players on a lot of different positions. Ultimately, at the end of the day, we did what we felt was best for the team and we are excited about the guys we have.

 

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Joe, when you came in here a few years back, the assumption was going to be because of your background, offensive line was your thing, right? Obviously, everybody has injuries and you have had more than your share of them. Has it been a source of frustration for you that you have not been able to piece together what you want here with the line in any of your years? It seems like, I think every team goes through it anyways I get it. That was kind of the perception when you came in here was, ‘Oh the first thing he is going to do is take care of the offensive line’. What has that ride been like for you trying to get those pieces together and get the right ones?

Yeah, the frustration comes with, I feel like the best offensive lines, when people talk about the New York Jets, we want people to say they have the best offensive and defensive line in football. I think the frustrating things comes with often times, the best offensive and defensive liens, there is real continuity, and you have the same five guys playing for long periods of time and we haven’t been able to achieve that for a lot of different reasons. That is probably the biggest source of frustration, keeping guys healthy not only at offensive line, but all across the board. On the other side of the coin, I love where our o-line (offensive) is at from a mentality standpoint, being able to weather any storm that is thrown at them. Again, that is a real credit to Keith (Carter) and Ben (Wilkerson) and Billy (VandeMerkt) and every person in that room that no matter what happens, they are ready, they are prepared. Whether they have to play right tackle at one snap or center at the next snap, they are ready and that is a real credit to the players and the coaching staff.

 

Antwan Staley, The New York Daily News: You talk about weathering the storm. How big is special teams contributing to that, of course with (Thomas) Morstead and Greg (Zuerlein)?

I mean T- Mo. I feel like we have probably the best kicker combination in the League. T-MO had an MVP performance Sunday. I love that dude and Zuerlein has really stabilized the kicking position for us. Again, Brant Boyer has done a phenomenal job with that group. I think when we talk about effort, toughness, violence, and heart, mind, and fist and everything that we’re trying to stand for as a team, as competitors, I think you see that every rep with our special teams. How hard they play. I love where our gunners are at. I think Ashtyn Davis does a phenomenal job. So, again that’s a real credit to (Michael Ghobrial) Ghobs, Leon (Washington) and Brant Boyer and those guys. They play their hearts out. When you can pin an opponent three times inside the five-yard line, that is a huge thing. Those are game changing plays, that should be noted. So, I love where our special teams is at.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What’s your expectation for the rest of the season? I say that because you know Aaron has said many times, we have to still be in it for it to even be a conversation, so what is your expectation now going into November, December?

Yeah, I mean look, seven games in, we’re 4-3. There’s a lot in front of us. We have 10 games left. So, look everything we do is in the here and now. We have a huge game Monday night. A really good football team is coming into MetLife. We need to be ready. We need to be on top of our details and disciplined and ready to roll because we have one of the better quarterbacks in the National Football League coming in here and a really good team that we have a lot of respect for. So, we need to focus on the Chargers.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: You talk about the defense and special teams. On offense, you guys are at the bottom of the League right now in the redzone. How confident are you that you have the pieces in place to pull that back up more?

I feel confident that we have the pieces to improve. I think you’re going to see us, I know you’re going to see us improve every week as the season progresses. We play some really good defense to start the year. I think you’re going to see, I know you’re going to see us get better every week and a lot of that is going to be the little things, the little details that we do everyday at practice. Eliminating self-inflected wounds and being on top of every single detail. Again, I know we have the right people on that side of the ball. They grind, they work and I love the energy. I love the energy that Hack (Nathaniel Hackett) brings everyday. It’s a great group, so I’m really confident in them.

 

Brian Costello, The New York Post: Did you make any calls on the receiver market?

We made a lot of calls on a lot of different positions and again, it takes two to tango. So, there were a lot of calls, but we didn’t get a lot of deals done.

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9 hours ago, Maxman said:

Brian Costello, New York Post: So, you’re not saying you’re expecting him to play this year?

No, I am not putting anything out there like that. Again, that’s not my place, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have any breaking news for you like that.

Look at this instigating maggot! 

 

 

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