Q: You’re playing the Jets for the second time in a relatively short window. What are the positives in doing that from a preparation standpoint, and are there any negatives?
MP: Obviously it seems like we just played these guys, but in all reality, when you take a look at it, there’s been a lot of development with their offense, a lot of growth, and a lot of improvement. So you have to really not fall into the trap that, ‘We know these guys, we just got done playing them, and it’s all the same as what we thought,’ because obviously as the season goes, everyone tries to progress and either increase or decrease what they’re doing and to grow as a unit, and certainly they have. Geno Smith obviously is doing a great job running their offense, and it really looks like they’re trying to develop their offense into some packages and expand the packages that he can add some different dynamics to. They’re certainly a very explosive team. They’ve had some key players that have been in and out of the lineup, and people have been able to step up into different roles and really do a good job. Certainly you’ve got to take a look at it from a baseline approach. There are some holdover things that are good as far as knowing the personnel and different weapons that they do have, which is good, and you can kind of review some of that from a quicker standpoint to get back on the same page in terms of who the players are, but certainly this team has done a great job in improving offensively. The run game behind their offensive line with [Bilal] Powell and Christopher Ivory doing a great job, and then the skill positions – [Santonio] Holmes has been in there a little bit and [Jeremy] Kerley obviously being back and [Stephen] Hill – just do a great job, and all the way to Jeff Cumberland, if you take a look at his growth and the different things that he’s been able to do, he’s really affected the offense also. So there are positives and negatives to both, but certainly obviously being a game that’s within the division is critically important for us to prepare extremely hard to hopefully go out and give ourselves a chance to win.
Q: What is your take on the Jets running game over the last six weeks?
MP: I definitely think that’s the heart and soul of what they do. They certainly provide many different attack points in the run game, whether it’s the traditional run game that they can line up in two-back sets and pound the ball downhill, which they like to do, or their one-back run game, or incorporating their different packages, whether it’s the running back taking the direct snap in the Wildcat formations or the quarterback in the shotgun triple look being able to run from different packages there too. Certainly what they’ve done is expand their attack points and how they can get to their run game from multiple different formations and looks and personnel groups. I think they’ve done a phenomenal job with that in really trying to expand the amount of area that you have to defend in the run game. That’s definitely a strength for them right now.
Q: Do you see a lot of balance in the Jets offense between the run and the pass?
MP: You actually do. It’s a very balanced offense between the run and the pass. I think obviously they’re going to do a great job of controlling the game with their run game, but then setting up for the passing game, whether it’s the play-action pass that feeds off the run game or their drop back or quick passing game, to help control the possession. They’ve actually – they’re very balanced in what they do in run and pass, and I think what they try to do is obviously feed off the run to help themselves in the passing game, which they do a great job in. Again, Geno Smith has a very strong arm, he can really get the ball downfield if they need to stretch you vertically, and then they have [Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Marty] Mornhinweg and the background with the horizontal passing game that – he can also get you that way too. I think they’re doing a good job of keeping it very balanced.
Q: It seems like Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon got a lot of playing time on Sunday. Can you update us on what you see in their development so far this season?
MP: Sure, I think it’s kind of like what we always do. Obviously everyone that’s active for the game is prepared and ready to go at any particular time that we may need to have them in the game. Certainly those guys as younger players right now evolving through the system are doing a good job of working real hard to understand our fundamental techniques and the scheme of what we’re asking them to do. I think they’re two young players that are showing some improvement from the understanding standpoint of playing in the NFL and playing on receivers and playing in different positions out on the field. Certainly from all our guys across the board, just preparing every week very hard to put yourself in that game-type situation. Certainly from the standpoint mentally and physically throughout practice, it’s critical for us to really try to execute as well as possible during the week so that when we go out into the game, everything is happening in a familiar fashion.
Q: How often have the Jets used the Wildcat formation since your last meeting? I don’t recall them using that a lot when you played them in Week 2.
MP: Well obviously it’s a package that they run and that they have along with their other different running packages that they use. I think it’s something that week-in, week-out, you could either see a lot more or infrequently based on either the game plan, personnel situation, or how the particular game is going and whatever direction they decide to move the game into. So it certainly does show up, it shows up in the games that we’ve seen since we played them and it’s something that you have to prepare for. I think it’s a situation obviously where, if it’s something that’s working for them, you can expect to see it more, and if it’s something that is not, then possibly they may go in another direction with a couple of the other different run packages that they do present you.
Q: Someone that we didn’t see the first time was Jeremy Kerley. What difference does he make in their offense and on special teams?
MP: I think he’s a really good player. I mean, this is a guy that can line up in different positions, the slot position in particular, and really does an excellent job of getting open. [He] has a great feel for the different types of coverages that affect him as an inside receiver and how people match up against him, whether it’s man or zone, and finding the areas within the defensive coverage that are open. He has a great feel for the down and distance awareness as far as where he needs to get if it’s, what I’ll call an intermediate or horizontal route, and I think he does an excellent job of getting away from defenders and really understanding how people, like I said, cover him. He’s certainly someone that will bring a different dynamic compared to before, but obviously as you can see on film is someone that is a very productive player for them.