Jansen Steamed

It wasn't exactly a meltdown. It wasn't even a tantrum or an outburst. But Jon Jansen was clearly unhappy and he expressed that fact in no uncertain terms.

After getting dressed into his usual outdoors-type garb of jeans, a ball cap and a plaid flannel shirt after Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Saints, Jansen turned to the gathering media crowd and, without being asked a question, started to speak.

"It's the same stuff every week. You all can just go home and put the same things on TV or write the same thing in the paper. . .You're going to come up with the same story."

Jansen went on. "It's so frustrating, it's just frustrating . . .The best we can do is 8-8 and that' s not going to get us into the playoffs."

Can you point to anything that would help this team start winning?

"I probably could, but I'm not comfortable right now saying it. . . Well, you guys probably know the stats better than I do. What was our average per run?"

Told it was probably around five yards a carry (actually it was 6.1), Jansen responded:

"It's so frustrating, you know. You earn the right to do things in this league, you earn the right to run the ball, whatever it is, and you're not allowed to. It's frustrating, it's extremely frustrating."

All the while, Jansen maintained an even voice and the same facial expression, concerned, unhappy, but not angry.

A short while later, with the same expression and same voice a group of beat reporters followed up on Jansen's comments as he was on the way out of the locker room.

Is there any way to fix this, he was asked.

"There may be but, you know, it's just frustrating."

A lot of guys seem to be biting their lips and their tongues here today, trying not to say too much. Is that the situation you're in?

"It's frustrating."

The question was repeated, with a smile, the reporter trying to get Jansen to open up.

"You know what, we've got to go out and find the answers. We win as a team and we lose as a team and we have to go out and find out how to win as a team."

So can you figure out what we're looking at with this team?

"Anymore, I don't know what we're looking at. The frustrating part is that we talked last year about the frustrations of not being successful. We went out and made upgrades and supposedly did the things during the offseason we needed to do to be successful during the year. So here we are with four games left knowing that we're out of the playoffs."

"I wish I had an answer for it. If I did, I would have done it seven weeks ago, but there's probably a lot of people who don't want to hear my answers."

We would love to hear your answers, Jon, several reporters said.

After general laughter from the group, Jansen said, "I like my job too much."

What about motivation for the rest of the season?

"Every man has to find what they're playing for. There's a lot of things that individuals have to prove. I've got a big match up with Mike (Strahan, Giants defensive end) this week, one I always look forward to. If I'm going to get to be the player that I want to be and have people talk about me the way I want them to, I have to go out every day and prepare to be the best and we have to be the best team we can be. Now, obviously, even if we win four games it puts us at 8-8 and nobody wants to be there, but that's our new goal."

Do the players on the team look at each other and say even though our record isn't very good this year, next year can be a really good year?

"What we have to do is try and keep everybody together. A disintegration is only going to carry over to bad things in the offseason and doesn't lead to us doing very well next year. We have to stay together as a team, get some things going to carry over into next season like we did last year in beating Dallas and Houston and carry some momentum over into next year."

There seems to be a theme among some players to not break the team up, not to have 22 new players coming in again. Is that the general point of view?

"I think we're in a position where we have a lot of great players. For whatever reason, we haven't been able to get over the hump and I think that if we are able to stay together and work together, we'll eventually be able to get over that hump."

Can you do it with this coaching staff?

"That's a question that I can't answer at this point, right now."

Another angle: If they change coaches, do you feel you can go on and win a Super Bowl?

Jansen contemplated answering for a moment, then smiled and shook his head. The press wasn't going to trap him on this one. At that point, having avoided the rather clumsily-laid traps the assembled media types had set for him—but still having gotten his point across in no uncertain terms—Jansen left for home.

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