JetsInsider Thursday Team Report
A dose of good news on the injury front, and sizing up the replacement for #77.
When a team is on a slide the likes of which these New York Jets are currently riding, a piece of good news, any good news, is met with abnormal enthusiasm.
Such was the case today at the club’s training facility, when wideout Jerricho Cotchery not participating in practice, but taking part in individual position drills during the day’s workout, #89 still being bothered by a hamstring injury.
“Today was a big step for me,” J-Co said of his return to the practice field. “I just want to build on today, and just try to get better every day and not have any setbacks. It was a good start for me.”
Indeed, the sight of Cotchery on the field should be one for sore eyes as far as this team is concerned. We have yet to see him on the field opposite Braylon Edwards, therefore leaving the true possibilities of the offense’s potential still a mystery.
But most importantly, if Cotchery can strap it on this week and get on the field for the Jets’ matchup against the Raiders, he will provide another weapon for suddenly struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Cotchery is, after all, a player who Sanchez went through all of training camp developing a chemistry with. His 24 total receptions and 360 receiving yards are both team highs even though he’s missed a week, so its’ clear him and the rookie have developed a good rapport in their time together.
But there was also never another option like there is now that Edwards has joined the fold. With Cotchery off the field against the Bills, Sanchez was guilty of targeting Edwards too much, leading to some of the misques the former Trojan made throughout the course of the game.
Having another receiver of J-Co’s caliber on the field will force Sanchez to not look simply in one direction to make plays, and that just might be the trick that helps him. It will force him to look to another side of the field, and will allow him not to force as many balls into tight coverage.
David Clowney has had some nice moments in his time on the field, but he is not Jerricho Cotchery. J-Co back in the mix will not allow to the Raiders to double Edwards, which could spell disaster for Sanchez after his awful effort last week. If he can get on the field for Sunday’s game, you could see a vastly different Jets offense then the one we saw against the Bills.
POUHA GETS THE NOD
Defensive tackle Sione Pouha has been tabbed as the man to replace injured tackle Kris Jenkins in the starting lineup for Sunday’s matchup in The Black Hole. While Pouha has seen considerable action so far this season, the role of filling the void in the defense is one he doesn’t consider to be a daunting task.
“I’m excited to go out there and get a win,” he said. “I know circumstances have put me in a situation where it’s been kind of highlighted a little bit more. It’s not anything new.”
“He’s just a powerful guy,” head coach Rex Ryan said of Pouha. “Anytime you come in and see us going through drills (and) hitting that buck board. He is a powerful man. When his pads are down and he rolls off the football, he’s a handful in his own right.”
As for the absence of Jenkins, Ryan reached back into the annals of Jets coaching lore to properly analyze the current situation.
“To quote a former New York Jet head coach, Lou Holtz, he would say, “Adversity to some becomes opportunity for others.” That’s a true statement. Some of these guys are goign to have opportunities and they’ve been working the whole time. We’ll see how it pans out for them, but I have a lot of faith in those guys.”
GETTING THE MOJO BACK
Thursday’s practice was all about playing with more “energy” after a relatively sluggish workout on Wednesday. The team responded to the call of Coach Ryan, and put forth one of their best practices of the season in the eys of the head man.
“Practice today was excellent. The communication was much better than yesterday. We were flying around. It was great competition. We had our tw0-minute (drill) today and it was great competition. The energy of the practice, I think, was really good today.”
OTHER INJURY NEWS
In addition to Cotchery, wide receiver Brad Smith (quad), tackle Damien Woody (knee, foot) and cornerback Lito Sheppard (quad) did not practice. Wideout Braylon Edwards (quad) defensive end Shaun Ellis (knee) and cornerback Donald Strickland (ankle) were limited in today’s activity. Linebackers David Harris (wrist) and Larry Izzo (hamstring), safety Kerry Rhodes (knee), linebacker Bryan Thomas (wrist) and wide receiver Wallace Wright (knee) all participated fully in practice.
The team returns to the practice field for a Friday workout beginning at 11:50 AM. Check back to JetsInsider.com for all your news and updates.