Archive for October, 2010

Matt Slauson Was a Question Mark, But Has Now Provided the Answer

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.-  It’s always the skill-set position players that get the attention, the fame and the glory. When an offensive player starts to put up big stats, everyone sits with baited breath for said player to immediately be inducted into the hall-of-fame.

When you think stats, your thinking rushing/receiving yards and touchdowns, but what about those big guys up front doing the grunt work to allow their teammates to shine? Go to any of the major website that covers football and click on the stats section. What you will see are the stats for quarterback, running back, receiver/tight-end, defensive lineman, linebacker, defensive back, kickoff and punt returner as well as field-goal kicker, punter and even just kickoff kicker. So that covers every single player on the field, because it’s not like offensive linemen actually contribute to the game or anything right? (more…)

For Running Backs Behind the Jets O-Line, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- With all this talk about the resurgence of L.T., as he seems miraculously reborn even though he has past the expiration date of a typical running back, Jets fans can’t be blamed if they feel like this is deja vu all over again.

It’s not like L.T. is the first running back to find a football equivalent to the fountain of youth playing for the Jets. In 2003, the Jets had a running back by the name of Curtis Martin, you might of heard of him. He was best running back in the history of the Jets franchise and might just hear his name called in Canton, Ohio this year to become the newest member of the NFL Hall-Of-Fame.

But remember all the fuss that was being made about Martin losing a step because he was turning 30? You probably don’t, because his play quickly silenced any doubters. At the age of 30 and 31, Martin managed to have two of the best seasons of his career. Particularly in 2004 at age 31, Martin rushed for 1,697 yards on 4.6 yards a carry, both career highs. (more…)

Jets Focused On Improving Passing Game

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- Everyone expected the Jets to win however many games they would win because of their defense. The defense hasn’t been as dominate as expected though, so the offense has had to step up to everyone’s surprise and win a couple of games themselves.

Before the bye week the players were asked if they thought the offense could ever reach a level of dominance that this Jets defense is usually known for, to a man they all felt very confident they could reach that plateau.

However as good as the offense has looked at times, it has looked equally inept at other times. The biggest thing holding this team back is consistency and sloppy mistakes. Sanchez needs to be more accurate on an every pass basis, his receivers need to catch balls that hit their hands (It doesn’t matter if there’s a monsoon going on) and most importantly they need to cut out the self-inflicted penalties.

This is hardly news to Rex Ryan or his players. (more…)

Jets Healthy After Bye Week Break

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- The Jets are coming off this bye week well-rested and as healthy as they have been since the season began. With an extra week of rest and preparation the team is looking to build off it’s 5-1 start and continue their winning ways.

Yesterday at Rex Ryan’s press conference Ryan started with the shortest opening statement he has given all season, Ryan said,  ”Injuries: Calvin Pace was limited in practice today with that foot. In other words, we took a few reps off him. He’ll be fine. Guys that were full: Nick Mangold (shoulder) and Darrelle Revis (hamstring). That’s it. That’s all we’ve got. We’re healthy. Coming off the bye, we expected to be (healthy), but we’re ready to roll.”

Today’s opening statement was even shorter. Ryan began saying, “Alright, good news. Everybody was full today. The only guys on the injury report, Nick Mangold (shoulder), Calvin Pace(foot), Revis (hamstring) all fully participated today.”

This is certainly music to Jets fans ears. (more…)

Jets Progress Report Through Week 7 and a Look Ahead

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- This bye week presented Jets fans with a new emotional challenge, one that most fans are hardly shy to admit. Jets fans aren’t used to this feeling, this Jets team has been exemplifying all the signs that they are to be taken seriously as Super Bowl contenders and frankly many fans have no idea how to cope with this new sense of comfort.

I’ve written about this before, it’s not as if Jets fans aren’t used to having quality teams that will occasionally make a deep playoff run. It’s just that they aren’t used to trusting that the good early season play they have seen isn’t just a mirage. After all, excluding the fans that are old enough to remember Joe Namath win the only Super Bowl in Jets history, the Jets historically taunt and tease their fans in a dramatically cruel and unusual fashion.

Standard operating procedure for being a Jets fan is; always keep your guard up, don’t get too excited too early (whether talking about a single game or entire season) and always, and I mean always prepare for the worst. Because no matter how good things look, no matter how much you want to believe, the Jets have always found a way to implode right before your eyes and crush your football loving soul. (more…)

Vacation Time Is Over, Jets Get Back To Work

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- The Jets ugly come back victory over the Broncos two weeks ago left the Jets at 5-1 and feeling just as confident about themselves heading into their bye week as all that preseason bravado suggested they would.

It’s only six games into the season and with the Patriots, Steelers and Ravens (even if it was a struggle for them to beat the lowly Bills) all winning their games this week it’s way too early for the Jets to be earning any type of reward. But in case you haven’t figured it out by now Rex Ryan not only dances to the beat of his own drum, but he makes up his own dances as well.

So being 5-1 didn’t earn the players any real NFL related awards (sorry Jets fans as good as things are looking for the Jets they haven’t earned anything yet as far as accomplishments are concerned), but Ryan did grant the players a week’s vacation.

A week ago today, the players came here to the Florham Park facilities and gathered their things. The players couldn’t have been more ready for their vacation time, and after all the hard work of training camp, preseason and the roller-coaster ride that was the first six weeks of the season, who could blame them for being eager to enjoy a week off.

"I'm 100%!" Declared Jets All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis today regarding his injured hamstring. He'll be ready to roll against the Pack this Sunday. ( Photo)

Normally teams would prefer for their bye week to come a little later in the season, especially when the playoffs are a very attainable goal. Week seven works though, no one will complain about that being too early, considering week 10 is the last week for bye’s. Still teams with playoff aspiration usually want to delay that bye until week 10 if possible, so they can get that week off to recuperate and finish out the season strong.

As goes life in the NFL, everything doesn’t ever go exactly as planned, but sometimes things just fall into place and a week seven bye for the Jets could just be one of those lucky bounces.

Yes, the Jets are 5-1, but their defense has hardly played up to the capabilities that Ryan expects from his team, this bye week should go along way to fixing those problems.

The problems the Jets have had on defense during the first six games of the season are taking place in the secondary, which of course can be directly linked to Revis’ hamstring injury. The Jets have done a great job on defense for the most part, but they have been getting beat through the air much more than they would like, especially on third-down conversions.

With the Jets constantly forcing opposing teams into third and long situations, Ryan and his fellow coaches have refused to let up on the blitzes and because the secondary isn’t operating on it’s highest level yet, teams have taken advantage and found the ‘hot route,’ receivers open for a first-down. With a healthy Revis those problems should slowly disappear.

Against Denver, Revis had a solid overall game, but the Broncos continued to target him. The Jets defense did a great job overall slowing down the Broncos passing attack, but they allowed most of the damage to come on the ground. Revis however, was just a step slow on a couple of plays that could of made a drastic difference from good, solid coverage to an interception if he was 100 percent healthy.

With many of his teammates going home or on a mini-vacation Revis spent most of his time here, getting more treatment on his hamstring and working to make sure he is in the best possible shape.

So is he 100 percent healthy? Let Revis himself tell it, “Yeah, I’m a 100 percent.”

When Ryan was asked if he feels good about where Revis is at right now, he said, “I do. He was moving around great today, now we’ll get to see Darrelle at 100 percent. So that’s exciting to me.”

You know who else it’s exciting for? Jets fans, and it could prove to be downright terrifying for opposing teams. If Revis can get back to playing even at 75 percent as good as he did last year, this Jets defense will be able to dominate in exactly the way they want. Revis applying a shutdown presence on the other team’s number one receiver makes it much easier for the coaches to keep calling exotic blitz packages and allows the ones blitzing a better chance of putting the other quarterback on his back.

After last season Sanchez went back and studied every second of the tapes from last season and he realized if he cut out the turnovers they would of won a lot more games. This season he enjoyed a turnover free season, until that last game against Denver, but still one would assume he took the same approach and studied his every move looking for ways to improve.

With another week, comes more time for Santonio Holmes to acclimate himself into this offense. He has shown spurts of his potential, but fans were left scratching their heads when he ended that big run by running into Braylon Edwards and fumbling the ball at a crucial juncture of the game. There is little doubt there will be a heavy focus on getting Holmes going, while still keeping everyone else involved in these next couple of days. The offense has improved greatly, but still needs to be more consistent and if they plan on being as dangerous as they can be getting Holmes involved is a necessity.

Of course, there is one obvious disadvantage to the bye week coming when it did, the Jets just won five straight games in a variety of ways and maybe a week off could slow down their momentum.

Last Monday Ryan said, “I tell you what, when you win five games in a row, you kind of just wish you (could) keep playing to be honest with you. It is good to have the bye right now. We can enjoy it (and) give them a little time off, get away from it a little bit and then come back ready to go. We know that this is just the start of our mission, but it is an opportunity to get a little bit away from it.”

Today Ryan said, “I think any coach would of just kept going, once you get on that type of roll you just want to keep going, but for this football team, we’re better now because of the break. You know, we’re fresher, we have no excuses, let’s just go out and play.”

This team is most certainly healthier, with Revis saying he is already 100 percent, Pace starting to get back into a rhythm and no other injuries to worry about (Dustin Keller had an MRI on his wrist and all is well).

And after the 30 minutes of practice the media got to watch, and seeing and hearing the jokes and enthusiastic energy in the locker room, saying this team appears fresher just might be the understatement of the year.

5-1, with 10 games left and the Jets have placed themselves exactly where they want to be and with some fine tuning, hard work and consistent improvement they plan to end the season in the same way, on top.

Welcome Back

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- The Jets returned from their week off and appeared eager to pick up right where they left off. Whoever it is that picks the music that is played during practices made sure to set the tone immediately.

“Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back,” thumped through the speakers as the players returned to the field for the first time in over a week. People may recognize those lyrics, and the sample that was used for the first song that came blasting through the speakers, from completely different places. (more…)

Soapbox Sound-Off: Policing Tackles and Preventing Concussions

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- You don’t become a writer without enjoying a nice long rant every now and again. So today, I take to my soapbox that is this website and I cherish the opportunity to rant in a properly structured form about a topic that is not just taking up a large chunk of the news cycle, but is also of the utmost importance.

On Sunday afternoon I sat at my house, where I have DirectTV and the NFL ticket, with multiple televisions set up in the same room so that I can watch three games at once. I keep the Red Zone channel on one television at all times and I switch back and forth on the other two so I can consume as much football as possible. Within a span of no more than 10 minutes I saw three huge devastating hits that had knocked four people out, leaving them laying on the ground with no movement.

All four players would get up and walk off the field, but none would return and this would set the stage for, concussions and policing hits becoming the hot topic issue for the week. This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time that this will be the focus of intense scrutiny and for good reason.

The question is, what can really be done about it? (more…)

Jets-Broncos Preview

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- Tonight the Jets will board a plane and fly out to Denver to prepare for Sunday’s game against the 2-3 Broncos. With the Jets facing a bye week after this game it is crucial for them to keep the momentum they have been building going and get a win so they can properly enjoy their week off.

On paper this seems like a game the Jets should be able to win rather easily, but we all know the games are decided on the field, not on paper. However in order to preview the game, dissecting the match-ups on paper is the only way to go.

Often times when looking at a preview of a game you will see people breaking each teams into positions and seeing who has the edge at what position. This can be helpful, but it completely ignores the fact that the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers don’t actually match-up on the field against the other teams offense and the defenses also don’t match-up with each other. So instead of breaking it down position by position the breakdowns will match-up unit against unit. (more…)

Revis, Pace Status Update

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Florham Park, N.J.- Yesterday Darrelle Revis surprised the media by taking part in individual drills during practice. Calvin Pace didn’t participate at all yesterday, but it was mostly a precautionary move as his foot had some expected soreness from playing his first full game since returning from the injury.

Today both players were back on the field and were both limited in practice, but Rex Ryan managed to deliver some more surprising news that would seem to indicate both players might actually play this week.