Jets Insider Thursday Team Report
Handing Out the Hardware
Christmas Eve featured an early schedule for your New York Jets Thursday, with head coach Rex Ryan’s press conference being held before the team took the field for practice.
The organization announced their team award winners for the 2009 season today, with cornerback Darrelle Revis earning the team’s Most Valuable Player award. Running back Thomas Jones took home the Dennis Byrd Award, given to the player who most inspires his teammates, for the second consecutive season. James Dearth took home the Kyle Clifton Award, given to the player who’s regarded as a “good guy” by the staff members who do not control his playing time. Linebacker David Harris earned the Ed Block Courage Award, given to the player that best displays perseverance and overcoming adversity.
SIZING UP THE COLTS
After publicizing the winners, Ryan got down to the business of sizing up the Indianapolis Colts.
Indy has not let their plans known as to how much their starters will play Sunday, leaving the Jets to not only prepare for their regulars, but also for their understudies as they enter this must-win affair.
“We can’t take anything lightly,” Ryan said. “We’re fighting for our playoff lives. We actually have an opportunity to still make the playoffs. With everything that has happened to us and we still have that opportunity. It’s right in front of us. We’ve got to win these two games. It doesn’t matter if Tom Matte is the running back. We’re going to play them. We’re preparing for Peyton Manning. We’re preparing for Reggie Wayne and all those guys. If somebody else is in that position, so be it. We’re preparing that Peyton is going to play the whole game, that (Dwight) Freeney is going to play the whole game and everybody else.”
The Jets’ secondary will be in a lot better shape than in previous games Sunday, with all hands on deck and healthy for their biggest test of the season.
“I feel a heck of a lot better going into this game than I did a couple of times when he had back up corners in there,” Ryan said. “That much I can promise you. We don’t have our back ups in there. We’ve got our starters. We’re ready to roll. If they beat us and they’re able to pummel us like I’ve been pummeled before by them, then ok. I know one thing, they’re going to get our best shot.”
Can the secondary slow down the Colts’ outstanding group of wide receivers headlined by Reggie Wayne? Ryan never had a great deal of success against Manning during his time as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, and Manning’s audibles at the line of scrimmage will make disguising their blitz coverages extremely tough. He’ll have to dial up some exotic packages to try and confuse Manning, because it’s really the only way at this point you can even slow him down. It will certainly be an entertaining chess match between coach and quarterback on Sunday.
The Jets were at full strength on both sides of the ball for today’s workout, with wide receiver Braylon Edwards (knee), safety Jim Leonhard (thumb), cornerback Dwight Lowery (ankle), quarterback Mark Sanchez (knee) and guard Robert Turner (knee) all participated fully in the workout, while defensive end Shaun Ellis (knee) was limited. All are expected to play Sunday against Indy.
The Jets will take tomorrow off for Christmas, and will travel Saturday to Indy for their do-or-die matchup with the Colts. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com for all your news and updates.