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What The Jets Said Following Their 23-6 Loss To The Seahawks

Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from Week 17 at Lumen Field.


Featuring postgame quotes from the following:


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Head Coach Robert Saleh

ROBERT SALEH: Obviously we made too many mistakes in that first quarter in all three phases to give ourselves a chance. Couldn't get anything going in the second half. It's disappointing.

Q. You allowed scores in the first three defensive series. What did they do that caught you off -guard?

ROBERT SALEH: Nothing. You know, it's the explosive run to start the game, lack of gap control. And then poor eye discipline within the pass game, so there's three explosive plays in the first two series that allowed them to generate the points that they did.

Q. Offense doesn't score for the second straight week. What do you see from the offense right now?

ROBERT SALEH: I thought our run game started out pretty good. Hit a wall. You know, all 11 have got to work together, and we are just not getting the precision that you need to be able to play with in this league. We generated an explosive -- we're not finishing drives. There's a lot of things that we can look at.

Q. What did you see from Mike?


Q. Yeah.

ROBERT SALEH: I thought he started good. I think in the second half the ball was getting away from him a little bit. Just not as accurate as he normally is, I thought he battled. I think the second half the ball was getting away from him a little bit, just not as accurate as he normally is. But thought he battled. He battled. But obviously we weren't good enough.

Q. What's the emotions, from 7-4, to this?

ROBERT SALEH: It's disappointing. Because I know the five-game losing streak, and I know we battled in a bunch of games. This one is -- this one, we could have been a lot better, especially these last two games, just I feel like we're a better football team than this. Obviously starts with me, but yeah.

Q. How do you come out like that with so much to play for and then have two of your worst performances?

ROBERT SALEH: That's a good question. I've got to look at everything, all the way from top down starting with me. Obviously with this whole second half of the season, is there something that we could have done differently from a practice schedule standpoint, anything, just to kick start it. We made some changes with this travel schedule, to come out a day earlier to get ourselves acclimated, but there's a lot of things that I can look at individually for myself.

Q. What do you say to the fans who at 7-4, think the long playoff drought is finally over and here you are, eliminated today?

ROBERT SALEH: I promise you no one is hurting more than the people in the locker room, especially me. But at the same time, I know it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there's still a lot of really cool things to look at from this season. But right now, it stings big time right now.

Q. How do you stay strong and motivated to beat a Miami team next week?

ROBERT SALEH: We are professional football players. There's a lot of pride in that locker room and any time you step on that field and put your tape out there, you'd better show up and show up well. I'm not worried about that group. We have a bunch of guys that love this game and they will show up.

Q. Ultimately Donovan's play, the way he has the last several games and it's hard to win, how hard is that and how can you fix that, or going into the offseason, how do you fix that for next year?

ROBERT SALEH: For sure, for sure. You've got to score points. Whether we had injuries, we can list a million excuses, but we didn't get better as the year went on in that regard. So there's a lot of things to look at. Obviously, the things to look at start with me and I'm not kidding, but we're just saying it just to say it anyway. But there's a lot of things to look at.

Q. (Inaudible)

ROBERT SALEH: We liked the package that we had last week. We thought if we can get a couple opportunities, we just never had -- they just never presented themselves.

Q. You got off to a good start running. What happened after that?

ROBERT SALEH: They did a good job. Called a couple of run pressures. Created some TFLs and put us in some negative situations -- plus-yardage situations, and then you get to that fourth quarter, we're down a couple scores and we try and play catch up.

Q. You said they didn't really do anything to surprise you, but how shocking was it to your defense --

ROBERT SALEH: It wasn't necessarily shocking. It was disappointing because they are things that we do in our sleep, just basic fundamental football.

Q. You've struggled against the run since the bye week, perhaps because you have smaller defensive tackles that get pushed around like the first play of the game. Do you guys need to get bigger at defensive tackle?

ROBERT SALEH: I don't know about that one. I think I try to go from an efficiency standpoint. They have a big run to start the game, what is it, a 60-yarder, and from there, they had 70 yards rest of the game for 30 carries or whatever it was. So I don't look at it like, yeah, they moved us and they got some yardage. We just couldn't create any negative yardage in the run game. But I don't know if the run game killed us as much today as just those three busts that we had in the first half, or in that first quarter, the first run, basic zone scheme, tackle, 43-yard gain and explosives in the pass game just losing coverage -- poor with your eyes.

Q. What happened with Herbig?

ROBERT SALEH: Herbig has been dealing with a lot of stuff. I'm not going to get into details of his injuries, but he just couldn't go.

Q. Was it something in practice this week?

ROBERT SALEH: He's been fighting his tail off and just the straw that broke the camel's back for him. Hopefully we can get him back next week.

Q. You talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. What makes you believe that? Do you have the pieces in place?

ROBERT SALEH: I do, we have a tremendous young core, I do believe that. I look at the first half of our season and we're fully healthy going into the bye week, we're 6-3 and everything was looking up. You know, one thing leads to another and you lose a couple of really tight games and these last two games, there just hasn't been anywhere near playoff-calibre football for us. You know, you lose to a Minnesota team in the last second, you lose to a Buffalo team in the last second, you lose to the Lions in the last second, and so I know we're close. I know it stings right now. It stings. But I know we've made a lot of headway over the last two years and we'll continue to do so.

Q. This Seahawks defense has not been playing great, but today they were like the '85 Bears out there to use that reference. Why were they able to jump so many routes? They seemed to know a lot of your tendencies today.

ROBERT SALEH: No, that's a good question. I do think they played Kansas City really well last week. They have been getting better. But yeah, there was no reason why we shouldn't have been able to move the ball on them.

Quarterback Mike White

(On what went wrong with the offense today) "We just didn't finish drives. I thought in the first half, we were moving the ball fairly well. We were getting in plus territory, but for whatever reason, we just couldn't finish the drives, so that didn't help." 

(On his health coming into the game) "I was cleared to play by the doctors. The guys in that locker room deserve a certain standard and I knew what I was signing up for. I was cleared by the doctors, I practiced all week, and I don't think that was, whatever. Basically, what I am saying is there is a standard that they deserve, and I did not live up to that standard today." 

(On the Seahawks defense) "Credit to them, they played well. I think we did a lot of things that hurt us and didn't help, but they executed well today." 

(On being eliminated from the playoffs) "It stings, its' tough, it's gut wrenching, and it's all of the above, it's whatever adjective you can use to describe it. By no means are there moral victories. In the grand scheme of things, we are playing meaningful football late in the season, but also, I think we are at the point where we don't care about moral victories. We don't care that we are playing meaningful games because we know that we are capable of it and now we need to win meaningful games. I know every single person in that locker room is going to use it as fuel, myself included, but right now, its stings."  

Q. Mike, how shocking is it not to score a touchdown in eight straight quarter with what you guys have here?

MIKE WHITE: It's shocking. It's not what you want to do as an offense.

Q. What did you see on your two interceptions?

MIKE WHITE: Kind of careless. Threw the ball up on the first one, and second one, just left the throw behind Garrett.

Q. This offense is a run-first offense, get the running game going and create bootlegs and misdirection. When you can't run does it throw everything out of whack?

MIKE WHITE: No matter what offense you're in, if you don't run the ball well, you can't -- it's hard to be one-dimensional in this league no matter what kind of system you're in. I thought we ran the ball well and we just kind of put ourselves in a hole and had to climb back. Just kind of got away from us.

Q. You were 7-4 after the Chicago game --

MIKE WHITE: We just didn't do what we needed to be done, whether -- I mean, we can go game-by-game and all that good stuff but at the end of the day, it's just didn't get the job done. Whether -- whatever the reasons were, right, wrong or indifferent we just didn't get the job done, plain and simple.

Q. How important is it to end the season on a good note, especially next week?

MIKE WHITE: Yeah, you want to finish strong because you put so much time and effort and work into this thing starting in OTAs and mini camp and training camp and preseason and all that, not even just the players, just coaches, training staff, equipment staff, everyone involved. And so I think that's what makes it sting so bad is the amount of work and the amount of preparation that went into this. You want to finish strong because the guys in that locker room deserve that, and everyone involved, all the women and men involved with the Jets organization deserves that. It's just, it's just right now, it's hard to look past what just happened today.

Q. How do you feel coming in with the rib injury, and you really took quite a beating out there?

MIKE WHITE: It's football. It's cleared. I'm good to go.

Cornerback Sauce Gardner

(On the being eliminated from the playoffs) "It's kind of hard hearing that. Like you said, we started off hot, but now we just have to go back and watch the film. We don't want to have this feeling anymore. We are going to put the work in that we have to put in, that's the main thing." 

(On the emotions of losing a fifth straight game) "There are a lot of emotions. We weren't thinking about the postseason too much. Coach (Robert) Saleh made a great point of telling us to go 1-0. That was the main thing, but at the end of the day, nobody wants to lose whether it was the fifth game or the first game. We don't want to lose at all." 

(On Kenneth Walker III's 60-yard run on the first possession of the game) "They started fast. That was a great play by the running back, but we didn't execute on defense like we should have on that play. We were just trying to bounce back, they started off hot."

Defensive Lineman Carl Lawson

(On processing being eliminated from playoff contention after starting 7-4) "It hurts really bad. Emotions are high right now so I can't really give the best answer. We just have to go back to the tape and just continue to evaluate."

(On what happened on the 60 yard run to begin the game) "Like I said, we have to watch the film. But we have to keep battling and bounce back."

Tight End C.J. Uzomah

(On if the Seahawks defense had a good feel for the tendencies on offense) "They're a good team. We just didn't execute."

(On Mike White feeling devastated after the loss) "Everybody is going to blame the quarterback no matter what. Everyone is going to point their fingers at the quarterback no matter what. That's what has been going on the entire year. It's not a one person thing. It's the entire team. We have not executed. Of course he's going to do that, he's the quarterback. He's going to put it on himself, and it's not on him. It's on us. The past however many games, we haven't played well. We just haven't executed."

(On why the offense hasn't been working) "It's frustrating. We're trying to win, so obviously it's frustrating. Again, I can't point one thing out. It's just we haven't done well enough to win."

Offensive Tackle Duane Brown

(On what went wrong today...) "I've got to watch film. I thought we ran the ball decently. We had turnovers. They have a really good offense. We gave them a short field to work with, so it's kind of tough. We've got to sustain our drives, keep our defense off the field as much as possible. When we get into the red zone, we've got to turn those fields into touchdowns. But I have to watch the film to see exactly what went wrong."

(On if he felt the team went away from the run...) "It's hard to tell. You get down by a couple of scores, you feel like you might have to get a big play to get back into it. I thought our run game was respected for the most part. We got a lot of confidence in Mike (White). He's a warrior, bro. Everybody knows he's playing with physically, you know. It's not easy to come back with what he had going on. I got all the confidence in the world in him. I've got nothing but respect and appreciation for Mike."

(On playing in Seattle again...) "It was great. This is a great environment. I've got a lot of great memories here, a lot of good relationships. Obviously it didn't go the way I wanted it to, but I've got nothing but love and respect for the city and the organization. It was very loud, very loud. Obviously the fans here do a great job of creating a hectic environment. They did their job today for sure."

Defensive Lineman Sheldon Rankins

(On what happened on the 60-yard run to begin the game and how much of a blow it was) "It's tough. It's tough to start the game that way. It's tough to start any game that way. But going on the road, in an environment like this, it's tough. You mentally put yourself in a hole. From a momentum standpoint, from a schematic standpoint, you're just trying to understand what happened and how do you correct it. It took a few drives for us to settle in. Tough to start a game that way."

(On what Seattle did offensively on the first few drives) "They were just executing better than we were. Whether it be small, minor details, whether it be fits, whether it be tackling. Whatever it was, they were executing better than we were. Like I said, against a team like that on the road, who's fighting for as much playoff hopes as we are, you just can't allow that. You have to be clicking on all cylinders. You've got to be."

(On how they were able to adjust to their offense) "We just settled in. We just settled in and got back to playing our style of ball and were able to kind of to settle in a little bit. Obviously, we needed a game-changing play, we needed to do something to kind of shift the momentum, shift the wave. But we just weren't able to do it consistently enough to come out of here with a victory."

Wide Receiver Garrett Wilson

(On what were the emotions of the team after their fifth-straight loss) "We feel like we blew the season. We wanted a chance at the playoffs, and I'm pretty sure this means we are not going. At the end of the day, that is what we wanted to do and to have a chance to prove ourselves beyond that. We didn't get there, so we don't feel good about it at all."

(On the disappointment of not getting traction on offense) "It's very disappointing. I feel like we let down the defense, and they got some stops for us, and we didn't make any plays. We didn't make enough plays to win a game. That was a good team that we played today and that was a good team that came to play in a tough environment. There are no excuses for how we went out there and played. We didn't play well."

(On the offense scoring zero touchdowns for two games in a row) "It's tough. We have to get better. We have to figure out how to finish this thing strong and go out there and get something going on offense to take some of the groan away going into this offseason. It sucks. We want to go out there and produce. We want to go out there and make plays and have it be fun, but when you play like that, it's not what you want to do."

Cornerback D.J. Reed

(On how they process going from 7-4 to being eliminated from playoff contention) "Obviously it's frustrating, but we didn't win any games in December. We went 0-4 in December which, for us to still have a chance coming into January 1, 2023, going 0-4 in December was a blessing from I guess if you want to call it the football gods or whoever. Even today, we just didn't play complimentary football. You're not going to be able to win many games if everybody isn't playing complimentary football." 

(On if it's shocking that they played the way they did today) "Yeah, it's a little shocking just because we want to dominate and play great. But it is what it is. You just have to finish the season out strong. We have one game left. I'm still processing like you guys are. I'm going to learn from this tape and move on to Miami next week."

(On if the offense did anything on the first few possessions that was surprising or different) "Everything that we saw on tape, they ran in the run game and in the pass game. Our coaches did a good job getting us ready for the game. They didn't do anything [with] trickery. They literally did what they've been doing all year. It was a pretty easy game plan."

(On if he would be surprised if he knew beforehand the Jets would lose while holding D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to three catches combined) "Yeah, I would have [been]. But it is what it is. All I can do is my job. Sauce [Gardner] is playing phenomenal. I think he's playing as the best corner in the NFL. And to be a rookie player how he is, it's a testament to how hard he's worked. All the work that we put in, we work really hard. We're coached by Tony Oden who holds us to a high standard every day, and Ricky Manning. Like I said, we're going to handle this next week like a championship week because we've been doing that all year and we've been consistent all year. I'm definitely proud of my position group and the way we handled things and the way we've been coached. I'm grateful to be in that room."

Tight End Tyler Conklin

(On if he was surprised by the team coming out flat in a must win game) "Yeah, I wouldn't say flat. The big thing is that I like to think that it is because some of those situations where we get to the 40, we are driving, we are sustaining the drive, we are running the ball well, we are making explosives, and we stalled out, kicked a field goal, or had to punt. I think that can be demoralizing for an offense, especially for an offense that struggled to score touchdowns at times during the season. I like to think, for us, that was probably part of it, but I am speaking about it before watching the game." 

(On the emotions of losing five straight games) "It sucks. I could sit here and say, 'We haven't played well, you can't lose in December like this and expect to make the playoffs,' and all of the things that we know. We feel badly as players, no one is happy about it. I feel for the fans and I feel for everybody. We wanted this too, but we didn't play well enough to make this happen. It hurts, it sucks, and you are not going to get another opportunity to change that until next season, which makes it even worse. In the past it would be, 'Oh, we have a chance to right our wrongs', but now we don't have that opportunity. Our only opportunity is to go out there and try to finish out strong with a win against a divisional opponent. That's one thing that I do know about this team, we will prepare this week like we always do and we will go out and play as hard as we always do, even though there aren't any playoff implications anymore." 

(On how shocking it is to only have scored four touchdowns in the last five games) "Yeah, I didn't necessarily know that stat, but it's frustrating. It's shocking, but definitely frustrating, especially when we know that we can move the ball and score the ball. I don't really know what to attest that to or put that on, but we have struggled to score touchdowns. That's why I think today at times, we got past the 40, but didn't score touchdowns. It was demoralizing for us because, 'Oh, here we go again, we aren't scoring touchdowns.' Like I said, I'm just speaking from stepping off of the field, but that's what is making sense in my head at the moment."

Check out some of the best action shots from Week 17 vs. the New York Jets at Lumen Field on January 1, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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