Jason Witten On Dropped Passes: “I haven’t played well. I’ll get it fixed and there’s nobody else to do it, but me.”September 27, 2012 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce
As chronicled in the following article from our very own Brad Gagnon it’s been in an inauspicious start for Jason Witten this season. The Cowboys tight end has dropped seven passes this season, which is the most in the NFL. Coming into this season, Witten had only 17 dropped passes in his previous 64 games. He’s also taken four penalties this season so far.
It’s clear that No.82 is struggling and his spleen laceration in August may be affecting his play in some way, despite the many times that Witten has denied that already to the media. Last week against the Buccaneers, Witten had a few dropped passes that would have broken the game open for the Cowboys. The Cowboys’ iron man explains that he isn’t worried about his play and will make the corrections necessary.
Jason Witten joined KTCK in Dallas with BaD Radio to discuss being in the middle of a media firestorm due to the amount of passes he’s dropped this season, receiving criticism for the first time in his NFL career and staying confident in his ability for this week’s game against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.
How does it feel to be in the middle of a media firestorm with all the passes you have dropped?
“Well it doesn’t feel too good. You obviously go through different types of adversity throughout your career. Fortunately for me, I don’t want to say it’s been easy — it’s not — but you always pride yourself on being a productive player and being a guy that is part of the solution and not part of the problem. Obviously that is not the case now, so really two weeks back-to-back, I haven’t played well at all. Quite poorly, to be frank, and we all know that, but ultimately I think as all athletes do — and especially ones that have any bit of success know that — when you go through these times you gotta be able to … you can’t stress. You can’t listen to the outside noise. Criticism is going to come and I’m the first to say that it should come my way. That’s not the way I play and that’s not the body of work [my]career has shown. Hey I am not going to defend myself for that. I know I believe what kind of player I am and I just gotta get back to that and can’t have the mistakes that I have and you gotta fix it, bottom line.”
Is this the first time you have ever received criticism during your NFL career?
“That’s the way it goes and I think that’s a good thing if you can go through most of your career and not have to deal with that. I definitely find it now and hey, look, I am not looking for a hall pass. It’s a ‘show-me game.’ I said that earlier in the week. I think we all understand that. It’s not about what you did prior. It’s about what you do now and, having said that, I do think I feel confident because of what I have done in the past and the work that I have put in to know I believe I am an elite player and I’ll show that. I’ll get it fixed and there’s nobody else to do it but me. That’s what makes sports and adversity so interesting, to see how people respond. I think I got the right makeup and obviously the right people around me that’ll help in that process.”
There will be no amount of training that can prepare you for the next pass coming your way on Monday Night Football this week right?
“Yeah and those are things you put the work in, so you don’t have to think twice about it when it comes up in the game. … We have a great quarterback and he does a phenomenal job throwing the ball to me. Those balls came up different ways. It’s not a situation where it’s between the eight and the two. They are different throws, but they are throws and the balls you expect to catch. That’s the NFL. That’s the way it goes. Whether you are going to dive down or reach fully extended to get it. Those are plays you have to take advantage of. I think that is what is so frustrating. You work hard to get those opportunities and those seam passes and there’s tight ends that go through their whole career without catching 40- or 45-yard seam catches down the field. To have two of those opportunities in back-to-back weeks to come up with them … it’s pretty easy to get frustrated with yourself. You gotta be able to move on and put it behind you and stay confident and know what you are about. That’s what I’ll do.”