Great game today. Obviously against a darn good opponent. That team over there will ruffle your feathers a little bit. But I think it came down, I think our execution on third down was the difference in the game. Obviously the three turnovers as well. But it was really about third down execution on both sides, offense and defense, and obviously we wish we had a couple plays back on defense. I’ll blame Dennis (Thurman) for those two calls. It was my calls, but I’ll blame him. But anyway, nah it was great effort and I love the fact, we talked about finishing with our guys and that’s why I don’t think everybody understands how we play. Like that’s it. That’s what our fans expect and all that. I know we all expected more wins this year but we got the effort and the attitude right. We just gotta find a way to get the wins which is the most important thing. We understand. With that I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Does this one feel different than the first time you beat them?
A: Well no I feel great. There’s no question. I was very honest about how I felt going into this game. I got a lot of friends over there, there’s no question about it and I want them to be successful. But not at my expense and that’s what I said and that’s really how I feel. I feel great, proud of my football team and I think the first one, it was more emotional. There’s no question about it. Whether it was the first time going against the Jets or whatever, it was there, I’m not real sure. But I know it was real emotional for me then.

Q: In light of how the season went then you have a day like this – is there any part of you saying why couldn’t there be more games like this?
A: Yep. No question about it. You’d love to have some do overs because I really thought this game, it was gonna come down to this game to put us in and I felt great about some things. Like we defended our home. We won four at a row at home. We felt great about that but it’s like man, I wish we had a couple things go our way. But you know what, you gotta earn everything you get in this league and that’ll be something that hopefully we learn from.

Q: Is it satisfying knocking the Jets from the playoffs after they let you go last season?
A: No but it has nothing to do with that. I think…I mean it really doesn’t. I know it sounds crazy but they had no choice but to let me go and I’ve said it before. But that’s not it. I wish that team was going in somebody’s place. Now I like Mike Tomlin a great deal too, so I’m happy he goes. But hell I want to go myself and I want to take my team the next year.

Q: Can you talk about the offensive approach and the ability to grind clock.
A: Well we wanted to ground and pound a little bit. I think that’s kind of who we are you. You know when Karlos (Williams) went out, that kind of was a big blow to us. It put it all on Mike’s (Gillislee) shoulders primarily, and Boobie (Dixon) had a couple shots in there. But you know what, we just stayed after it and I think that’s just a credit to our football team. You know the win that was kind of the win that I was hoping we’d have when we played New England that first time. But obviously wasn’t the case.

Q: What was different about today and did you have any moments post game?
A: Post game, you know I talked to some of the guys. There’s no question about it. But I think the first time, you’re exactly right I was…I think everybody made such a big deal out of it and it was a big deal to me, there’s no question about it. But I think that was, I never want to take away from the game. This one was more about business. Obviously the Jets had to win to get in and like I said, we were gonna give them everything we had. There was no question about it and they knew that. They absolutely knew that.

Q: Did you see Woody Johnson out there?
A: No, but we get chances to meet. Owners meetings and things like that. Woody knows what I think of him.

Q: What were your thoughts on the Sammy Watkins/Darrell Revis match up? Both heading into the game and post-game.
A: Well I thought it was a great match up. One of those classic ones. You got, in my opinion this young man is one of the best receivers in football and the league will recognize it next year when he’s healthy for a full 16 games. And you’ll see the numbers and you’ll see everything else. The guy is a great football player. We knew it was gonna be a battle. I think Revis knows, this kid’s got elite speed. There is no question about it and Revis wasn’t gonna get beat on top. So I think we thought we had a chance to throw the ball underneath a few times and we did.

Q: Can you talk about your plans when you had some safeties pressing? Just your thinking with that.
A: Well I’m thinking that they had Brandon Marshall and Erik Decker. So I think that was pretty much what I was thinking and I wanted to take a little of those guys and then take them down the field. Cause it’s tough sledding. If all you do is play off and don’t give them anything underneath help, then those passes are there all day long, you gotta tackle the big guy. They got two monsters over there. So that was really the thinking behind it.

Q: Is this the way you really drew up the blueprint for defense?
A: Uh I don’t know. You guys know me, I have a horrible resume as a defensive coach. You guys try to point it out all the time but the facts don’t back you up a whole lot.

Q: The question was about Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A: Well I don’t know. But if I actually knew then I darn sure wouldn’t tell anybody of give a blueprint. But I’ve just been fortunate. I’ve had a lot of really good players and I think that’s probably what makes the difference.

Q: There was quite a shout in the locker room afterwards. Can you tell us what you said to the guys or why it got so loud?
A: I have no idea. Somebody must have said something but it wasn’t me.

Q: Last year and this year both teams have almost the same personnel and the Bills won both games, both seasons. What does that say about the way these teams match up?
A: Well no I think it’s not the same team over there. Trust me. That’s not the same team over there. You got Brandon Marshall on this football team. You know I would’ve liked to have him before when I was there. And I don’t think (Antonio) Cromartie and (Darrelle) Revis – I’m not taking anything away from our guys – but I don’t believe they were there last year either. So the teams are a heck of a lot different. That make up is a lot different than the makeup of this team that we had. So the fact that we won two games means that we…I mean they were gonna be dogfights, there’s no question about it and we knew it. But I think the personnel was probably a little different the year before.

Q: Now that that it’s all over, can you talk about what it was like for you to not to have walked off this field with them going to the playoffs at your expense?
A: Well no I mean that feels alright. But obviously our goals were set a lot higher than this and to be 8-8 or whatever. But it’s…there’s a lot of teams that’ll mail it in. But this team certainly wasn’t one of them despite all the negative criticism. All the stuff that kind of stuff that we got as a team through national media, through local media, and all that kind of stuff. The team is a heck of a lot closer than what is out there. But obviously you gotta build trust. Sometimes that takes a little longer than anticipated. But I feel good about winning this game. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.


Q: Given you guys aren’t going to the postseason, how good did it feel to keep the division rival out?
A: Definitely was a big game for us. Opportunity to sweep another divisional team, we knew going into this game, there was definitely a lot of us for us to learn from the season, but it was more so just attitudes that are going into next year and we went out there and got the job done.

Q: You guys ran on them in the first match up how did you guys do that early and then did anything change once Karlos (Williams) went out of the game?
A: Yes we had a multiple plan going into this game. Coach [Greg] Roman did a good job of scheming, and had a couple different sets that we wanted to throw at them just watching their film and seeing how they react to certain personnels. So coach done a good job of mixing it up and keeping them off balance and allowing us to see their blitzes when they were coming.

Q: You threw a lot over the middle to Sammy was there more of a commitment to that?
A: Just going off film, seeing what routes they have problems with and we was able to scheme them up and hit those routes.

Q: Do you feel you have grown this year as a pocket passer?
A: I feel I have grown each and every week. From week one till now definitely just playing, that I can throw from the pocket, pocket awareness, pocket presence and just going out there and beating teams from the pocket. Some teams take away the shot plays and force you to dink and dunk coming down the field and we was able to do that today.

Q: What are the biggest things you take out of this year as the starting quarterback?
A: Definitely going to sit back in a couple weeks and critique the whole season, critique myself. But definitely I felt the learning curve throughout the season. Like I said I think I gradually got better each and every game. So it will be time within the next couple weeks that I sit down with the coaches and by myself and critique myself.

Q: What can you say about the job Sammy did against Darrelle Revis today?
A: Done a great job, wasn’t able to get him the ball at much in the first game as we wanted too. I missed a big pass early in the game to him the first game. He was able to beat the coverage this week, he did a good job of getting open and coming friendly to the ball and I was able to pound him. The line done a good job of blocking, blocking their pressures and we was able to get the ball off.

Q: Is the approach the more Sammy gets the ball, the better?
A: Of course with a playmaker like Sammy you want to get him the ball. Our offense it can feed off of him, it can feed off the running game, whatever it takes that week. But of course you like to get a guy, a guy with that type of talent the ball because it can be dangerous once he gets the ball in his hands.

Q: Sammy said that you guys kind of captured the attitude you need to carry into a game today, did you sense that and is that something to take into 2016?
A: Ye and that was something that we stressed earlier in the week. I mean you could listen to I guess the media you could say or just the people outside our locker room saying we don’t have anything to play for. But as an athlete anytime you step on the field you always have something to play for, something to prove to people. With us not being in the playoffs it was definitely a time for us to go out there and prove to people who we are and that we are not going to back down and give the Jets a free way into the playoffs. We was able to lock in and play a full game, offense, defense and special teams.
Q: A little bittersweet you can beat them two games like that and they finish two games ahead of you and you miss the playoffs?
A: It was good to like you said to sweep another team in our division. Of course we want to be in the playoffs but that is something we will work towards next year.

Q: This is the first time in your pro career that you know you are going to be the starter next year, what is your mindset to work with the receivers, what are you going to do in the offseason away from the coaches?
A: Excited about that opportunity. Coming into last year the reps where spilt by three different guys. Wasn’t able to work with Sammy [Watkins], Shady [LeSean McCoy], [Charles] Clay the way I wanted too. I am excited for that opportunity, the guys are excited for it and we have talked about it. Definitely going to get a lot of confidence this offseason going into next year.


Q: Is this the kind of day you envisioned?
A: Yeah, we just stuck to the game plan. The coaches had a great game plan and the offense prepared the right way. I did my film work and we were just unshakable. We didn’t care what was going on, what plays we didn’t make, the flags, we were just out there playing together. And most of all, we were having fun.

Q: What’s the meaning of finishing this way in what has been a tough year overall?
A: You have good and bad games. But for this one, we just played. We didn’t care about calls or what defense Rex run or what offense called. We just came out there and played and we didn’t care what was going on outside with penalties or anything. Our job was to go out there and get a win and that’s what we did and we prepared the right way during the week. We had fun during the week and we had fun during the game.

Q: Do you think that’s an attitude you and this team can carry into next year?
A: Yeah, we have no choice. If somebody doesn’t live up to the hype or play the way they should play, like I said, get them out of here. And now, I think everybody understands that we can win. It’s not about winning. We just have to come together as a team and do what the coaches ask us to do. And do the job to the best of your ability and get the win.

Q: How evident was it to you that [Darrelle] Revis was not going to let you beat him over the top?
A: I’ve been getting the same coverage for the last few weeks. Tyrod [Taylor] has been doing a great job with deep shots. We get 15-yard gains until you come up and then let’s take bigger shots. And that was the game plan—run the ball, play action. The line did a great job, the running backs did a great job and, of course, Tyrod just keeps getting better and we just keep connecting.

Q: How much does it mean to Rex and to you guys to keep the Jets, a divisional opponent, out of the playoffs?
A: Honesty, it wasn’t about keeping them out of the playoffs. There’s still football that has got to be played. I know we’re not making it to the playoffs but our fans still come out and cheer us on. It wasn’t even about the Jets it was about us and finishing this up the right way. And next year when we come to training camp and say, “Hey, we won our last game and we won two out of three divisions and swept our division.” We just have to, like I said, continue to grow as a team and stay with each other.

Q: You were able to keep the Jets out of the playoffs. That must have felt really special and you were a big part of it.
A: It was great. We had a game plan and went by that game plan and had preparation. We knew it was going to be a hard game and we knew it was going to be a defense and offense game, so for us we just kept hitting that nail. We knew we were going to get three and outs, we knew we were going to make a lot of plays. Our defense did a great job, Rex did a great job, and offense did a great job. We just played well and we finished the game.

Q: Was this what you had in mind after the Washington game when you said some strong things and showed leadership?
A: That’s my job. I think I need to become a better leader. And I think if I do that this team will be better. We need more leaders on this team. We have a lot of great players but we don’t have that many leaders. I think it starts with the players that make plays and the players that don’t make plays. We just need to hold accountability in the whole locker room, from the coaches, to the players, to everybody. Once we do that, we’ll be fine as a whole team. We just have to keep playing football.

Q: Rex called Revis one of the greatest corners of all time. After this game and what you did to him today, does that give you any added confidence?
A: No confidence. I just have to play my game and prepare the right way and watch film. I know he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer. The coaches did a great job of putting me in the right situations with the right coverage and helping me out all week with identifying coverages and what he does well. They put me in the right position to make the best plays.

Q: What will you take away personally from this year?
A: Like I said, leadership. You can have all of the players and all of the coaches, and a great staff and a great organization and guys putting things in place, but it starts with the players. It needs to be player driven. We need to come together as players and say, “Hey man, we need to do whatever we need to do to win.” That’s what we need to do.

Q: How much are you going to work with Tyrod in the offseason, if any?
A: We are definitely going to get some work in. We had an okay year, but I want him to know me better and then just practice on the field. We need to build a relationship. Him and I might be together for a while, you never know. So, just to get more chemistry on the field and off the field.

Q: After falling 18 short of 1,000 yards last year, to get that this year—how is that?
A: It’s a great accomplishment. Like I said, the coaches and everybody said, “Go out there and get 89 yards and play hard,” and I knew that. So I went out there with the mindset that if I could get 89 to 100 yards, we should win the game. And it was great because we won the game. I would’ve been very upset if I had 100 something yards and we lost the game. It was great because we got the win.

Q: You were using the middle of the field a lot, which you hadn’t done earlier. Had you and Tyrod talked about this?
A: Yeah, just split the defense. That was one of the things that my coach preached on—if you get the ball, run with the ball. Get as many as you can, because it’s going to add up. That’s what I did well. When I caught the ball, I was trying to score every time I touched it.


Q: Can you take us through the play at the end, the pick?
A: Yeah, we tried to isolate there with a tighter split so he would line up in the slot and we could motion someone inside of him and he ran like a skinny post type rail. Really just anticipation and timing throw to put it out there. I think I threw it a little in front of him but I also think Leodis [McKelvin] made a nice play. He sort of read the route a little bit and Leodis did a nice job on that one. Obviously a huge point of the game and I wish I had that one back.

Q: Can you talk a little bit Fitz about the frustration level? You come in here, you know the situation, and in this building too, there are probably a lot of people out there that are pulling for you.
A: Yeah, it was tough. All you can ask for in this game is just an opportunity and as poorly as we played in the first quarter and as slow as we were going there, we picked it up and had an opportunity at the end to win the game. We weren’t able to pull it off and my heart hurts so bad right now for all those guys in the locker room. It was a tough one.

Q: What is it like when you’re envisioning something; you’re imagining something before the game, what was that like for you? I’m sure they were all positive thoughts.
A: Yeah, it’s an NFL football game. We knew we were going to have to come in and earn it and we knew this was going to be a fight and they were going to give us their best. We weren’t going to be able to just walk on the field and they weren’t going to bow down to us. It was going to be a fight and they played well today. They played tough and made more plays than we did.

Q: Fitz did Marcell [Dareus] hit you before that second interception?
A: The one that went up into the air? Yeah.

Q: Going back to the interception in the end zone, on the second down there did you have the idea to throw it away, live another day and kick the field goal instead?
A: I mean in hindsight, that probably would have been the best thing to do, but we had what we wanted in terms of the defense and the route. We just weren’t able to connect.

Q: Were you aware of [Chris] Ivory wide open at all? Did you at all see his release and that he was uncovered?
A: To the right? I was reading the left side of the field, he was on the right side of the field but I had exactly what I wanted with Eric [Decker], I just didn’t make the throw.

Q: What did you tell your teammates? What do you tell them?
A: There’s not a whole lot of talking in there right now, but it’s hard to come up with words just because we really came together as a team this year and I feel like we fought through a lot of adversity. We were on a nice little run there and we just couldn’t finish it off. I stand in front of them and I’m proud to be their teammate, I’m proud to be in that locker room, but also just feel bad for not being able to pull it out.

Q: Fitz, this season for you personally was probably the best one you’ve had in your career. For it to end in this type of fashion, how did that make you feel?
A: I mean it’s the hardest and most difficult end to a season I’ve ever had in terms of how I feel right now and how painful of a loss that was. At this point it doesn’t feel like a very great season.

Q: Is it at all tougher to swallow because it’s here, in a place you know so well and a place that knows you?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know if that adds to it honestly. I think there’s so much to it but it wasn’t because of where it was or anything like that, I think it was because of what was at stake.

Q: Were they doing anything defensively early in the game that made it tough for you guys?
A: They brought some zero blitzes on the third down that I wasn’t able to capitalize on. But other than that, it wasn’t anything too crazy.

Q: When you found Decker on that touchdown, that made it 19-17, at that point did you have a good feeling about how this game might end?
A: Yeah, we were rolling a little bit there and it just felt like we had some momentum in our favor. Even the drive that ended up in the interception, it was a good feeling, it was one of those huddles where we had the thing going and unfortunately I didn’t make the throw on that one.

Q: Did you think at all early, the first series was rough; the first half was tough, that it might be a very difficult day, tougher than you expected?
A: We came in knowing it was going to be a tough game. Early on we got off to a tough start- couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t convert any third downs and that kind of made it tough. Just like the season, we’ve had some of those games where you stick with it, you stick with it and nobody was hanging their head in the huddle. We came back we made a few plays, but just didn’t make enough in the end.

Q: What is the benefit of hindsight, I know it hurts right now and it will hurt for a while, but will you take some things out of this year that you never would have expected and that will serve you well moving forward?
A: I mean it’s hard to even think about right now. Like I said, I am proud of everyone in that locker room right now but it hurts, it hurts me a lot. After this interview I have to walk back in there and just the feeling of not playing your best and not making the plays we needed to make to win. It’s part of the game I love too, the adversity and being able to walk back in there and look everybody in the eye and give them a hug and shake hands. That’s part of being part of a team and so it’s tough and it hurts, but there is a lot of love in that locker room with the guys.


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