Transcript: Mark Sanchez 10/14/12

On the offense’s performance…

It was just a good start for us in the run game, finally got that going. I couldn’t be happier for the guys up front, and for Shonn Greene for really putting forth a great effort these last couple of weeks in practice first. Then, having all that come to fruition here in a game, it’s great. That was just awesome to see. Big holes to run through, great blocks up front. (Nick) Mangold started his 100th game I heard. That’s awesome, that’s really fun. Shonn had a career day, so that’s great.

On if today was a must-win game…

We know it was a big game for us and our last one at home for a couple weeks, that’s how we approached it. We knew we just wanted to play well, have everything in practice happen for us on the field. I felt like that’s where it started. We had a tough one Monday night, a short week. But, guys really bounced back and played well today, defensively, on special teams. We were more or less efficient in the passing game and just kept us on the field so that was great for us. It’s nice a win going up to New England.

On Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill returning from injury…

Just being able to mix it up was nice. It was great. I’m sure Coach Sparano would say the same. It’s nice we got to save a lot of calls. We got to save a ton of calls. We’ll hopefully have some carryover, we’ll get plenty of time on task, as he always likes to say. The more time on task you have on specific plays, the better you feel about them. Going up to New England next week, that’s big to have those plays and we’ve repped them already. To have Dustin and Stephen back, that’s huge for the passing game, for the running game. Those guys really contributed today, and that other (Jason) Hill, too (laughs). He had a big catch for us, so that was nice.

On the offensive line…

This was a good team when it came to stunting, the Colts. They did plenty of stunts up front, so I thought our guys handled that well. They really watched the film together. This week they put in a lot of work with (Offensive Line Coach Dave DeGuglielmo). That was important for us to put in the work, to see exactly the technique that they needed. Then, to come do it on the field, that gives them a lot of confidence in their coach and in our scheme, so that was perfect.

On the offensive substitutions…

It was nice. I think the biggest thing was communication. That’s important when guys run in, just to signal what they’re doing and who’s coming in. It seems like such a short distance when you watch from far away or you watch it on TV, but it’s a long way. So, you really have to make sure you’re yelling out, signaling everything, and relaying that information to the rest of the players on the field. But, I thought for the most part it went fairly well and its something that you got to just keep practicing because we really put an emphasis on it during practice and it showed up in the game.

On focusing on the run game today despite getting Keller and Hill back from injury…

We just ran the ball so well. Like I said, we saved plenty of calls. When you’re running the ball that well, you never want to stop. You want to keep those guys in a rhythm up front, keep those running backs in a rhythm. That was nice. Just like when you hit a bunch of passes in a row, you just got to keep feeding it, keep fitting it. That was great, that was really fun to see. There will be plenty of time for that stuff whenever we need it.

On the key to the offense today…

We really focused in practice on competing and not worrying about everything else, letting Sunday happen. Putting all the proper work in during the week. Spending time together, I feel like we’re growing closer as a team as the weeks go by. That’s one of the most important things as you make it through a season, to constantly grow together. It doesn’t always work out on the field, it’s not designed to. I mean that’s just the way it goes. But, to be able to bounce back after Monday says a lot about the locker room and the guys we have.

On responding today after the criticism he took during the week…

That’s part of the job, it’s alright. It was big just for the team in general. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy. So we just have to keep doing that, try to stay efficient. Block everything else out and just keep playing for the guys in our locker room.

On if the touchdown to Stephen Hill was a throw-him-open play…

I tried to and Stephen made a heck of a play, understanding the coverage, realizing how (Tom) Zbikowski was playing him and it really was a good spot for Stephen to slow down and try to reach for the ball. It was great coverage. Stephen made a really great play.

On how it felt to have the running game go well and have Keller and Hill back…

It felt good just during the week of practice, knowing exactly who was going to be in. When I go through the game plan, I’m looking at specific plays and knowing exactly who’s playing X and who’s playing Z. When you watch the film that way and know that it’s not, ‘Oh, it could be this, it could be him, too. It could be him if somebody goes down.’ It’s tough, and it’s hard for Coach Sparano. He’s like, ‘Hey, we could run this out of a two-tight end set, we could run this out of a two-back set depending on what happens with Dustin.’ Well, it’s tough to game plan that way. Then, you really have, if there’s 110 plays and half of them are two different personnel (groups), that changes your entire practice script. You have to rep some of those plays over and over and over just to get those guys time on task. It was nice during the week, long answer. But, yes, it was nice to have those guys back and it really helped.

On if he envisioned this offense running the ball and use the running game to set up the pass…

Whatever we need to win. It’s not necessarily today, today just happened to be a great day running. Look at the Buffalo game, we threw the heck out of it and were really successful through the air. If that’s what we need, then that’s what we have to do. Then, our other win against Miami, (we were) just grinding it out and finding a way to win late in the game or in overtime if we have to do that. Wins come in all shapes and forms, so we have to be ready to play specific to that game. But I was just proud of the way we rushed it today. A good running game, good defense with three takeaways, solid special teams. Those are all a quarterback’s best friend. I know that from playing a couple of years now and that can’t make your job any easier, so I’m very thankful for those guys and the way they played.

On if this is the best he has ever seen Shonn Greene run…

He had three (touchdowns) against Washington last year. When I saw that on the board, that was the first thing I thought of: when he busted that run when we would’ve rather had him fall down in that situation last year. It’s great for Shonn. He’s a heck of a player and he just keeps grinding. He just keeps grinding, keeps playing hard and that wasn’t easy. A couple of those running backs went out, so Shonn’s picking up the load and he’s picking himself up off the ground and running it five more times in a row. That’s not easy for a running back, but he kept on going.

On if he could sense the Colts defense wearing down as the game went on…

I just felt like we were getting stronger. Once we identified them upfront, blocking-wise, we just kept getting stronger. Shonn broke some tackles, Joe (McKnight) busted a long one, so I think it was really just focusing on our guys and just being happy for them.

On if Greene was complaining at all about having to run the ball so much…

Shonn doesn’t say much, you guys know that (joking).

On Greene was grumpy about having to carry the ball over and over…

No, he’s a funny guy. He’s great. The running backs and I had dinner this last week and I think Shonn got the biggest steak you could possibly have. So if he was tired, it was from that and not rushing the ball too much. He eats like a lineman. He needed it all today though, so that was good for him.




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