Insider Thursday Team Report
Focus Marks the Day
The New England Patriots are not the same group that came to East Rutherford in Week Two.
They’re clicking on offense, Tom Brady looks like the Golden Boy of old, and they’re angry after blowing a victory against the rival Indianapolis Colts.
So if the Jets are going to halt this seemingly unstoppable slide with a win in Foxboro this Sunday, they’d better bring their best effort in each day of preparation.
That’s just what Gang Green did today, with an outstanding, crisp practice marked by a team-wide focus that signals Coach Ryan’s group has seen enough of the wrong side of the final score.
“We had a great practice out there today,” Ryan said. “Focus (and) attention to detail was right on point. Normally, I talk about the quarterback or this guy, that guy, but I’m going to call out Danny Woodhead and Justin Miller. I they were outstanding. Justin Miller was outstanding. He’s looking good, so hopefully he can get our defense down and we can use him because he was great today.”
The Clemson product is on the verge of seeing his role increase with the Jets if he’s able to adapt to Ryan’s defensive scheme. Miller can do a lot of things on the football field – serviceable in the return game, and a potential impact player on the defensive side of the ball. They say every player simply needs an opportunity, and this might be Miller’s shot find a home here with the Jets.
PIECING TOGETHER THE RETURN GAME
The sight of Leon Washington and his motorized scooter around the Jets’ training facility is a welcomed sight to some, but nevertheless serves as a constant reminder of what the club must do in order to have some semblance of a return game heading into Sunday’s game against the Pats.
So far this week, it’s been anyone from Lito Sheppard, to Darrelle Revis to Miller trying to take on the job. With safety Jim Leonhard most likely out for Sunday’s tilt, the guy who may assume the post is neither of the three. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has looked the most promising returning punts this week, and will most likely take on the job in New England.
“What’s looked best in practice is Jerricho (Cotchery). Plus I like the fact that he came to me and wants to do it. He looked really good. He looked smooth and we’ll play some two-deep like we’ve done before with he and Brad (Smith). The two of them together, I felt looked really good. Plus with Jerricho being short-handed, then I can play some different fronts and be a little more aggressive at times. I may want to do that some, so I liked what I saw with Jerricho. He looked very good catching the ball.”
It certainly will be interesting to see #89 back deep for the Jets Sunday. But they could do worse. He’s a sure-handed, speedy receiver who has no problem eluding tacklers. He also went to special teams coach Mike Westhoff and asked to be involved in the punt-returning game. You have to love the go-getter mentality of Cotchery, but someone with little experience against a Patriots team that’s solid in every phase of the game could get this team in trouble. Only four quarters of football Sunday will tell.
LIFE ON REVIS ISLAND
Cornerback Darrelle Revis will be going up against his old pal Randy Moss this weekend, a challenge the top-flight corner relishes taking on twice a season.
“It’s always great to compete against the best. It brings out the best in me and it brings out the best in those guys. I still give respect to all of the receivers that I go up against.”
Revis was also asked about the addition of Wes Welker to the Patriots’ offense for this week’s matchup, the receiver have been inactive for the first game between the two clubs.
“It’s a big change. He’s a big part of their offense. Brady throws to him all the time. He (was) hurt early in the season and then you see he comes back and has 64 catches and a couple of touchdowns. We know he is a go-to guy for them.”
The addition of Welker potentially poses major problems for the Jets’ secondary, especially with the absence of Leonhard. If the defense is not able to get to Tom Brady, the D could be in for a long afternoon.
The Jets return to the practice field Friday for a workout beginning at 11:50 AM. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com for all your news and updates.