It is only pre-season, but a sense of unrest has fallen over the fans of the New York Jets, who have now gone three games without scoring a touchdown. In the Jets 17-12 loss to the Panthers, the only way Gang Green scored was thanks to field goals.
New York became the first team since the 1977 Atlanta Falcons to go without a touchdown in its first pre-season games, according to a stat given out during the telecast on NBC on Sunday night.
1495 Sports brings these quotes from the team, who will have a ton of work before the season-opener against Buffalo on September 9.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan began with these opening statements:
“It’s disappointing not scoring a touchdown this game, as well as the first two. I think our offensive line did a much better job in pass protection. I think the first group gave up one sack. The protection was good. I loved the way Mark Sanchez threw the football. He was 11-of-18, but we had three drops that we know of as well as the interception that was (also) a drop. His numbers would look a lot more impressive if we caught the football. We had a couple of nice, 10-to-12 play drives over 60 yards, and then we found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot. We had a penalty with Matt Slauson, which clearly we can’t do. We have to get better at that. We had some drops that really hurt us.”
On if he is concerned about the offense:
“No. We have work to do, but I think we made some improvements. I really think we’re going to get this thing turned. We have to. There were some encouraging things, and I think it started with the way Mark threw the football and the way we protected him. I thought those were some real positives. At times, I liked the way we ran the ball. You have to give the opponent credit. They were good enough to win the game.”
On if there is concern about the confidence of the offense:
“No. If anything, we’re going to draw some confidence from some of the things we did today. Clearly, we’d like to score. I hate losing. We all do, our fans included. We know we deserve more, but we’re making some strides. By the time we get going, we will be a confident group. I don’t think there’s any doubt. Have we had our entire offensive package out there in the preseason? No. Do we feel comfortable with our offense? I would say yes. I know our defense is looking forward to it as well because, quite honestly, it’s tough to defend. We’ll see once we get it cranked up, but again, there were some encouraging signs today. I thought Austin Howard had a nice game for us. There will be some starters that play in that last preseason game. Some of these rookies, in particular, (are) guys that we’re counting on. We don’t want them to be rookies when they get into that first game, so let’s get them some experience. Some of those young guys will play.”
On Tim Tebow’s play:
“It was kind of good news, bad news. At times, Tim looked terrific. (He) absolutely did. He did energize the crowd. He made some huge runs and was able to scramble, get out of trouble and still had some nice passes. (He) just was a little inconsistent. The one interception that he did throw, he was able to scramble, buy some time and just never got the elevation on the ball he wanted. Overall, I was happy with the way Tim played. He competes like crazy as we know. He looked like he had a couple of those passes off when (he threw) both of them in(to) the end zone with what almost looked like a chance. That was impressive. I don’t know how many quarterbacks can stand back there and get away from the rush (and) buy time like he was able to do. I was impressed with it and there was one ball, he threw it so hard, I was just glad it never hit a cheerleader to be honest with you. Overall, I thought he threw the ball (well). At times, I thought he threw the ball really well.”
Austin Howard had an extremely positive game playing right tackle against the Panthers, creating holes on several occasions on very strong blocks.
Howard had this to say on how he thinks he did:
“We’re just going to watch the film. As far as individually, I felt good out there. Like I said, there are some improvements to be made, so we’re going to watch the film and continue to get better and continue to learn.”
On the feel of this offense:
“I feel that we’re going to be good. We’re getting better every day. It’s just going to be progress. We’re still learning. We’re still picking up the things we do in practice. We’re still working hard. We’re still preparing well, so I think it’s just a matter of time.”
On if there is frustration that the offense hasn’t scored a touchdown yet:
“We want to win every game. Like I said, we’re focusing on getting better for the season. Right now, it’s preseason. We won’t win every game. We’re just going to try to continue to build on what we have and continue to get better.”
Quarterback Tim Tebow, who entered the game in the third quarter finished the game 4-of-14 with 55 yards and an interception, while also firing-up fans of Gang Green with some sizzling runs for a total of 45 yards.
Tebow had this to say on the offenses’ level of frustration:
“Obviously, we wanted to put it in the end zone, especially at the end trying to drive downfield and win the game. Unfortunately, we came up a little short. I think we got better at some things. We still have to continue to improve and find a way to win the game.”
On the team’s performance:
“There were some things that we did really good. Obviously, there are some things we want to get better at. But, I feel like we made some strides, especially this week in practice. We showed some growth.”
On evaluating his play tonight:
“I had some things that we did pretty well. But, you have to find a way to put the ball in the end zone. That’s something that we’ll go back and try to get better at.”
On what Head Coach Rex Ryan told the team after the game:
“We did some things better. We’ve got to continue to improve and have two great weeks of practices and get ready for Buffalo.”
Mark Sanchez who started the game played well for New York going 11-of-18 for 123 yards but also threw an interception. The quarterback had two throws that were fingertips away from being the big plays needed to spark the team in the pre-season.
Sanchez had this to say on what has prohibited the offense from scoring a touchdown:
“Tonight, we just have to hang onto the football. I know our guys can catch the ball. I know we can make plays out on the edge. We have the talent and the playmakers to do that, but unfortunately tonight, we didn’t execute to the best of our ability. That’s the way it goes some nights, but we’ll bring Stephen (Hill) along, we’ll shake the rust off of Santonio Holmes and get ready for the regular season. The way I see it, we’re saving all of our good stuff for the regular season.”
On what Rex Ryan’s message to the team was:
“Just to keep on improving; I know we touched on wide outs catching the ball, he touched on me getting rid of the football and not getting sacked and then defense and offense, we’ve got to be better on third down.”
On how frustrating it was to reach the 12-yard line and not be able to score a touchdown:
“We just have to execute better, we really do. We can’t have personal fouls. We can’t hurt ourselves. When the ball’s in the air in the end zone, we have to make plays. I know our guys can do it. I have full faith in them. We have to execute.”
On if he saw things that make him feel more confident in the offense tonight than he might have last week:
“I was just proud of our offensive line. I was proud of the way Austin Howard competed. That’s not an easy spot to jump into. I saw things clear, went through my progressions, checked the ball down, ran it when I had to, and for the most part, made pretty good decisions. That’s all you can do.”
The Jets will have their pre-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in Philly. It is expected for quarterbacks Greg McElroy and Matt Simms to take the snaps at the quarterback position, so it will be interesting to see what the team will show their fans during the season opener on September 9.
The game against New York and Philadelphia is set to air on the CBS network with kick-off slated for 6:35 p.m.
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