Kevin Mawae Q & A

 Q: Kevin, from what you see with the line, obviously it's still melding, still meshing, still coming together. You're in there off and on. What do you think? It used to be 5 fingers, guys that knew each other intricately. Now where it is at?

 Mawae: I think with the first unit, I think we're going to be just fine. With my self in there, J.P.'s going to easily slide over to the guard spot and Jonathan's still learning. Everyone is confident in Kareem, and Randy and Jason are like strongholds for us. I think once everybody is in there and we start practicing together again, we'll be fine. We have some young guys who have a lot of problems. Jonathan and faaesea are doing a good job. I think the team can learn. There's a lot to learn in this league, and not being a top draft pick, a highly touted draft pick, for Jonathan and the other guys, it puts them behind the eight ball so to speak. That usually means they were behind some of the guys that got drafted, so they got a little bit more learning to do. but they're doing great, and learning the system and they understand it. A lot of the stuff is technique things they're going to get better on. They've already shown improvement in the last week.

 Q: How good is this line going to be? Who is the x factor?

 Mawae: I think we're going to be fine. We'll be a good offensive line. The good thing is we've been together. The guys that are going to be playing have been together, as part of our unit, for the last three years. Just like we were last year, or last two years. Kareem I guess was a rookie last year. But other then him, everybody else was a veteran guy that's played games and started a few games, so it's not like they'll be an x factor for us.

 Q: How does this team look compared to where you were last year?

 Mawae: It's a different ball club. Completely different. I mean we have 6 new starters on defense. We've got some new guys coming here on offense. Santana Moss is going to be in the mix this year a lot more than he was last year. So comparing this team to last year, there are a lot more differences than similarities, but I think we're better, I really do.

 Q: A lot of guys are saying the Super bowl is our goal, we can do it. Do you think…

 Mawae: I think we can. I think realistically anybody has got a shot. And for anybody to be coming into this training camp saying they don't, they shouldn't be here in the first place. We are professionals and we play to win and to get into the Super bowl, so if anybody has any less aspirations than that, hopefully they won't be here long?

 Q: As constructed with a lot of veterans, do you think you could win?

 Mawae: I think we can. I think we made some significant upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, particularly on the defensive line. On the offense we got all the major components coming back save for a few of the offensive line spots, but other than that I think we'll be great.

 Q: What was it like walking off the field in the playoffs? What did it taste like?

 Mawae: It was disappointing. We got there. The way we won, the way we got into the playoffs with a last second kick in Oakland. The win was the fist time in the history of our team that the Jets ever won in Oakland. And just that whole deal was a great atmosphere to be a part of. But then to go back and lose the very next week was a disappointing thing for many of us. But the one thing was that we knew we could get to the playoffs. Once you set that temp, that tone, anything less than that is going to be a major disappointment this year.

 Q: Are you concerned at all that when you guys eventually line up, and everyone's healthy, that there just won't have been enough time to get together…

 Mawae: Not one bit. I'm in there taking reps during the non-contact stuff. Randy is doing everything he can. And the thing is, the guys that have played with me and randy before know what to expect from us and we know what to expect from them. And I think it's only going to make us better. I think we'll be right on.

 Q: What kinds of things do you see when you watch the line in practice? There seems to be times when the defense is getting some penetration.

 Mawae: I watch the young centers and I watch the young guards and I just try to help them take the right steps. We're not making a lot of mental mistakes out there. A lot of the young guys are making a lot of physical mistakes, whether it's taking the wrong step, putting their head I the wrong place, and things like that. And those things can be corrected. And their significantly better than they were last week when they started training camp, and I expect them to get better. I'm counting on them to get better because those are the guys that have to fill in if something happens during the year.

 Q: Kevin can you talk about the chemistry on the team as a strength of this team. Does everyone like each other?

 Mawae: Well I don't see any fights in the cafeteria. The group of guys we have, we all get along. There's no hostilities in the locker room. Last season, in the offseason, guys are hanging out with each other and they spend time with each other off the field. And when you can do that, you develop a bond that transcends just being teammates. You develop a trust. I know I can trust Mo Lewis, I know I can trust Marvin Jones, and Steve White and those guys to do their job. And in tern their going to be able to trust me to do mine. And that makes a better ball club.

 Q: In All your years have you ever witnessed a dining hall fight?

Mawae: Can't say that I have. I worked in a restaurant before. I saw one in a kitchen but not in a training camp dining hall, no. It's kind of crazy.

 Q: How much do you guys like playing for Herm?

 Mawae: O'h I love him. I can't speak for everyone else. But for myself, I love playing for him. I think he's a great coach and an even better person. The moral values he has makes him a unique person. His whole attitude – he puts a whole positive spin on everything and guys want to work for him because of that.

 Q: How much better are you guys going to be this year than last year?

 Mawae: Hopefully at least one game better than we were last year. We know it's going to take 10 wins to get into the playoffs again. We got into the first round of the playoffs last year. The only thing that would be better than that is going one step farther and going to the Super Bowl.

 Q: Does Herm seem more relaxed to you, having gone through what you've gone through?

 Mawae: No. Herm's Herm. What you see yesterday is what your going to see today, is what your going to see tomorrow. He's about as even keeled as they come. He's not anymore emotional now than he was this time last year. He's not any more subdued than he was during the playoff game. So he's a guy who's boat doesn't rock very far from one side to another.

 Q: Are you going to be 100% on opening day?

 Mawae: If I'm not, I'll still be there. But I think I will be. I'm making good progress. My shoulder is getting stronger each day. I'm able to do more each week, so we'll just see.

 Q: Are you still shooting for the Giants game as far as the timetable?

 Mawae: Yeah, I'll probably start padding up that week in practice. Whether I play in that game or not I don't know. That will be up to the doctors and Herm. Obviously their decision will be based on what I tell them about how my shoulder feels. So, we'll see.



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