New York Jets QB Kellen Clemens, 7.25

New York Jets News

NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 26, 2008–On the Jets receiving permission to talk to Brett Favre…
That’s really kind of an issue that I think Coach (Eric) Mangini and Mr. (Mike) Tannenbaum are dealing with. For me, it’s really easy each day. We have a lot of stuff to focus on as far as getting this team better, coming out to practice, working hard, hitting the playbook and learning things in the meetings. So we have a lot of stuff to worry about, and a lot of stuff to focus on other than what has been speculated out in the media. I’ve heard about it, but I am really focused on what is going on in-house right now.

On when he heard about the speculation…
We came in this morning and hit the meeting really hard, the install and then came right out to practice. So kind of right here.

On whether bringing in Favre would lower morale…
With the speculation and everything, what the front office does is what is going to be best for this organization. As I mentioned before, we trust them. My comments yesterday were more tongue-in-cheek. I can see how it could’ve been construed in a different light. Again, we’re all just focused on what’s going on out here with the guys that are in the locker room right now.
On whether this adds stress to the quarterback competition…

No, it’s so distant right now. As I mentioned, there’s enough stuff going on with the guys that are on the roster with all the competitions, the practices and everything else. That’s distant enough that if something happens, we’ll deal with it. It’ll be something that hopefully makes us all better, which is ultimately what we’re all here for.
On whether he thinks it’s coincidental that this rumor came after his second interception…

I don’t know, you might want to talk to coach (Mangini) on that (laughing). I’ll plead the fifth on that one.
On whether the team is optimistic for the upcoming season…
Absolutely. There’s a buzz in the locker room right now. If you look at the things we did at the draft and through free agency, we obviously improved as a team there. The guys who were here and carried over from last year worked very hard in the offseason and had a good spring. There’s an excitement right now in the New York Jets’ locker room about this 2008 season.
New York Jets TE Bubba Franks, 7.25
On the speculation regarding Brett Favre…
You hear speculation all off-season. I am not really concerned with that right now. Whatever happens, happens. I am just happy to be a Jet.
On if he would have advice for Favre…

I don’t even want to go down that direction. I don’t know what is going to happen with his situation. I wish the best for him. Whatever happens, happens.
On whether he has talked to Favre…
No, Brett Favre is kind of a private person. In the off-season, he likes to keep to himself.
On what it was like going through the situation when you were in Green Bay with Favre saying he’s retired, not retired…
I am used to it. There was always talk about it every year. Brett will stop whenever he feels like he is ready. Who knows what is going to happen? I never even wanted to try get into the guessing game. I won’t even talk about it.

On how much he thinks Brett has left in his tank…
He had a great year last year. I’m surprised to see him retire, but that’s the way he felt at the time. Like I said, I wish the best for him.
On when he heard about the speculation…

Actually, this is the first. Like you said, it’s speculation. I don’t even want to go down that road. I’ll say it again. I wish the best for him wherever he is.
On what he thinks about the Jets’ quarterbacks so far…
They are doing well. Ever since I have been here, they have been competing day after day. It’s going to be a hard decision, but as long as they keep coming in and working hard, we won’t have any problems with whomever is in there.
On the tight end situation…
We are working pretty good as a group. We are all trying to become consistent. We are starting to get a little chemistry together.

New York Jets LB Vernon Gholston, 7.25
On how his feelings after signing…
It feels good. That’s what I do is play football. I try to contribute as much as I can.
On his contract process…
I never really knew the whole process of it. You let your agent take care of it. For the most part, it came down to the final days and he told me there was a possibility I could miss a couple days or so, but they got it done as soon as possible.
On him arriving late to camp…
I am definitely a step behind. I missed practice yesterday because I haven’t been up here, but it is just something you have to deal with. I’ll do some extra studying tonight.

On if he feels as though he can catch up with the rest of the team…
Yes, once I get going and learn the drills and what they expect of me, I’ll be fine.
On his thoughts about waiting to sign his contract…
It wasn’t too long, just a regular day. I got up real early in the morning, took an early flight out here. I was pretty much just sitting around here waiting. I thought it would get done a little earlier yesterday, but you know with contracts like this, there’s so much going into it. It took a little longer than expected.
On what he did while he waited…
I just hung around. I read some notes. As long as I’ve been here, I’ve pretty much studied those and tried to get a mental picture of what’s going on.

On how he feels about the amount of his contract…
(Laughing) I still don’t really know the whole numbers. My agent told me I was good to go and to go ahead and sign it. I’m sure it’s more than I had before (laughing).
On how the large monetary contract may affect him…
I was never motivated by money. I played at Ohio State for free. Obviously, you have to make a living and this is what I chose to do. But at the same time, my job is to play football and I’m committed to do what I’m supposed to do.

On how he feels about becoming a Jet…
I am definitely playing catch-up. I am really trying to focus on the football part. Once I do that, hopefully I can be a good player I’m just a guy ready to win. I don’t really have too many big expectations right now, just knowing what’s going on after being on the field. I’m just a guy willing to go out there and play hard and get everything under my belt. Hopefully, I can go out there and contribute to the team.
On him arriving to camp and his welcoming…
I really just got up with the guys. They all said, “Welcome back.” Of course, I pick the hottest day to come out here and start practicing.
On veteran players that have expressed concern about the amount of money paid to rookies…
I don’t really have a comment on that. I never worry about what the other person makes. I just work hard and achieve as much as I can. If other people focus on that they can make as much as they can too.
New York Jets QB Chad Pennington, 7.25
On his reaction to the Brett Favre speculation…
I don’t really have a reaction. My whole focus is on this camp and winning this starting quarterback battle, so I don’t really have any thoughts. It’s part of the business, speculation, calls, organizations calling about players. There’s nothing to be said. As a player, you never react until it’s actually done. Once the decision is made or the action is done, then you react, you may think about it before and just have a plan, but other than that, my whole focus is on football. I’m here to play football, to get better, being a better quarterback and helping us win. I want to win; I want to be the starter, period.

On if anyone from the organization has spoken with him about the speculation…
Well, for the most part, my experience, playing in New York and just in the league in general, If Mike or Eric called me on every piece of information and every piece of speculation that ever came out every day, he’d be calling me everyday and I really don’t want to talk to Mike everyday (laughs). I have a family and things I want to take care of, I like Mike and I like Eric but we don’t need to discuss every possibility as far as transactions. I did speak to Mike after practice, and he just let me know exactly what the situation was, that they received a call. That’s what I know. Other than that, I really do not have any feelings on it at all. I feel very confident about how I’m playing and how I’m developing as a quarterback and trying to get better. Other than that, it’s nothing to me.
On the Jets receiving the phone call…
I don’t know all the logistics of it, but I was told a call was made to the Jets, and that’s it.
On if Mike Tannenbaum told him they were not interested in Brett Favre…

The bottom line is the organization has to take a look at every player available in this league, period. A general manager and a head coach is going to do everything they can do to make their team as good as they can make it, that’s their job. As players, our job is if we’re on a team, our job is to make our team as best as we can make it by playing and getting better as individuals. Other than that, that’s why it doesn’t bother me. It’s part of the business, its part of being a professional. I think if you speculate as a player or you start to think of all the different scenarios it really takes you off the focus of the field. That’s what matters the most, what happens between the white lines.

On if Tannenbaum went over to him, or vice versa…
We just happened to kind of cross paths, I see Mike every day after practice. One thing that Mike and Eric have always done for me, they’ve been up front. They’ve always told me where they stand with me, things like that. We’ve always talked about that in the past, all of us here, we’ve always been up front and that’s all I ask of the organization, and they’ve done that, so I’m comfortable with the situation.
On if Tannenbaum assured him that it’s going to be “status quo”…

I don’t want to read between the lines because that’s hypothetical and I don’t want to get into that. I think he was giving me the courtesy to let me know what the speculation was, what was being reported so I didn’t come over here and get blindsided. That way, I could answer the questions appropriately and give you guys as much information as I know so you guys don’t think I’m just trying to dance around it, because I’m not. I’m not trying to dance around anything, I’m just trying to be honest with you.

On if he came away from that conversation thinking that it’s still going to be just him and Kellen Clemens…
Right now, at this point, it’s the four of us right now working hard. If something changes, then we’ll make adjustments, whatever those adjustments are. We’ll see, we’ll see, I really have no idea.

On if he knows Brett Favre…
Brett and I have just spoken every time we’ve played. I remember the first time I met Brett was when I was in college and Randy (Moss) had signed with Bus Cook. I know Bus, his agent, relatively well. He’s from West Virginia. He grew up in the same area that my dad grew up in and my mom grew up in so there are some West Virginia ties there as far as his agent. I’ve spoken to Brett, I wouldn’t call us best of friends or anything, and that I know his agent relatively well.
On what he thinks Alan Faneca will bring to the offensive line…

Anytime you can get a Pro Bowl player and a guy with that tenacity and experience, and just know-how of how to play the position, it’s a huge bonus. He’s going to bring experience to our offensive line and really add a lot of communication to our offensive line. Our guys have done a really good job of learning each other, learning how to communicate with each other. In today’s league, with all the different blitzes and the different fronts, and all the different schemes you see, communication is the whole name of the game. If you can communicate and be on the same page, you can pick this stuff up. If you’re not, and everybody is on different pages it makes it really difficult, and so he’s really doing a good job.
On if he feels slighted at all by the speculation…
You could easily fall into that trap. You could fall into the trap of feeling slighted and getting your feelings hurt, that can happen everyday. From a coach griping at you, or somebody writing a negative article about you, or some transaction that doesn’t put you in the best light or doesn’t put you in the best position to be successful, you could get your feelings hurt everyday If you allow it. I think part of being a professional is understanding that that’s the nature of the business. From professional athletes, to businessmen and business women, we all go through that part of it where an organization makes changes, where an organization looks to get better.
You can only control what you control. If you worry about the stuff you have no control over, it will put you way behind the eight ball. That’s what I’ve learned over the last eight years. If I was a younger player, first, second year, and really didn’t understand things, I probably would have my feelings hurt. But, being eight years and going into my ninth year, my feelings aren’t hurt at all. It just doesn’t matter to me.
On Tannenbaum not telling him whether or not a potential would be pursued any further…
Right, he just told me what the report was and about the phone call, saying “Obviously you guys want to know what’s going on.” That way I could come over here and answer questions.
On if he asked Tannenbaum what he was doing to do about it…
I just got through running gassers, and I was breathing really hard (laughs). I didn’t ask him too many questions because I always look at it like this, if that’s what you need to do, you go do it, period. That’s what they need to do, I’m going to do what I have to do as a player. I told him, I said, look, I’ll handle the situation Mike, I know how to handle it. This isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve been here before so I can handle the situation. I appreciate you being up front, telling me what was going in, so I can deal with it accordingly.

Matt Hintz
Media Relations Graduate Assistant
New York Jets LLC
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