Start It Up
Florham Park, N.J.- You hear about short weeks in the NFL all the time, usually it’s in reference to a team playing a Monday night game, then turning around to play on Sunday. Not really that short of a week, however this week is most deserving of being called a short week.
On Sunday the Jets played a game against the Texans, another game where they needed all 60 minutes to win the game (following a game where they played almost 75 complete minutes and 60 plus the week before), yesterday, they had a walk through and open locker room for us media folk. Today they got their one day of practice in for a game which will be played two days from now and just four days after their last game, that ladies and gentleman is the definition of a short week.
Yesterday the players were inundated with questions about how to deal with playing on such short rest, but really it’s a moot point, because the Bengals are playing on the same short rest and they have the added annoyance of having to travel as well.
Today as the media arrived on the Jets practice field the practice DJ was back at it setting the mood for a good crisp Jets practice and choosing a perfect song to play for the practice and the game.
The song was ‘Start it Up,’ by Lloyd Banks featuring Kanye West and Fabolous and the hook goes like this.
“You want a problem?/
start it up (vroom vroom)
start it up (vroom vroom)
start it up (vroom vroom)”
With a short week of rest and a struggling Bengals team (2-8) coming to town the Jets need to make sure they are properly motivated to quickly discard the Bengals so they can enjoy the long break before they have to travel to New England for their divisional showdown. With today being the one and only full day of practice it’s imperative that the Jets do indeed, start it up, starting hours ago.
“Plenty hate/ they be taking shots, never penetrate/
money generated, if we aint in the house, renovate/
tryna eat, we aint finna wait/
where’s da dinner plates?” (c) Fabolous
The Jets are becoming an extremely polarizing team, every week they acquire new believers, but with each miraculous last second victory against teams with losing records the Jets are steadily building an army of doubters. The word lucky continues to be thrown around, people are saying, ’sure they can win these types of games against these teams, but what about when they play some good teams?’
With no dominate team ruling the league this year, it gets extremely messy when trying to, “separate the elite from the obsolete,” to quote the late Notorious B.I.G. Any attempts people make at trying to discredit an 8-2 team always feels like nitpicking, but that doesn’t stop people from voicing their doubts, causing others to feel like they are simply haters.
The Jets don’t care though, people can hate, they can love them it doesn’t matter to them. Nothing anyone else says about them can phase them, any shots anyone takes, it doesn’t matter because they won’t penetrate the Jets mental preparation.
Earlier this year the always controversial Terrell Owens dubbed the tag-team of Revis and Cromartie as ‘Ren and Stimpy,” characters from an old Nickelodean kids show. Owens is always quick to shoot his mouth off, never shying away from trying to discredit anyone other than himself, but the Jets aren’t about to fall for his trap.
When asked about the challenge of covering T.O and Ochocinco Cromartie said, “I mean to my knowledge, I think Terrell Owens had called me and Revis, ‘Ren and Stimpy,’ so it’s going to be fun. It’s like this, it’s not going to be personal, it’s going to be business, so I’m definitely going to be looking forward to it.”
When Cromartie was asked if they had come up with a return nickname for T.O. and Ochocinco, he simply said, “No, we really don’t care about them.”
But saying they simply don’t care about who their opponents are is as close to disrespecting their opposition as the Jets will get.
When asked about the task of covering the one-two punch of T.O. and Ochocinco, Cromartie said, “You just got to play disciplined. You got to make sure your doing the right thing and being ready with the technique and make sure you keep everything in front of you, because they’re going to make some catches, their great players on the outside.”
To be fair, the ‘Ren and Stimpy’ quote from T.O. came during one of his “reality,” shows that was taped after the Jets week one loss to the Ravens and Ochocinco had nothing, but positive things to say about these Jets.
“He’s doing the same thing he’s always done. He’s solidifying himself as the best cover corner in the league. Again regardless of what people think about the matchup, this is a great matchup between himself and I.” Ochocinco said of Revis, “If it’s him and Terrell or even myself and Cromartie, either way it goes, this is a matchup for all to watch.”
Ochocinco also went on to heap praise on Cromartie as well saying, “Cro is just as good. Cro is actually a little more difficult because he’s so freaking rangy and it’s hard to gage where he’s at. It’s like he’s five yards away from you and he sticks his hands out (and) he can still tough you, so he’s at an advantage also. Those are two guys I’ve studied to a ‘T’ man. I’ve put more effort into studying those two than anybody else, because in the NFL right now they’re probably the best one-two cornerback tandem period besides the two guys we have.”
Ochocinco’s praise didn’t stop with the corners, he also praised Sanchez and his compliment of Santonio Holmes stood out the most.
“Santonio is what he’s always been, clutch. Santonio’s no different than giving Kobe Bryant the ball with 2.4 seconds to go with the Lakers. Period. That’s what Santonio is. Clutch. It’s always been that way.” Ochocinco said.
Holmes responded saying, “(Laughs), I like that, I like that a lot. Man, at any given point any receiver wants to be that go to guy, if you have the heart to step out on this field and play four quarters, not complain about anything, get the job done, do what you’re supposed to do, you live for those moments. If it happens to come to you, you just have to be ready in that situation and can’t shy away from it.”
Holmes clearly appreciated the compliment from Ochocinco, but insists this game is about the Jets vs. the Bengals not Homes and Edwards vs. T.O. and Ochocinco.
When Santonio Holmes was asked if he gets caught up in trying to outdo T.O. and Ochocinco Holmes said, “Not at all. We’re about winning ball games around here and whatever the situation may be, when it counts for myself, Braylon, Jerricho, Dustin, you know, whoever it is to make plays, that’s what we’re about. We don’t care about what Cincinnati’s has going on, it’s about the New York Jets how we’re going to propel and win this next game and move forward.”
Bart Scott was quick to warn the media and any fans listening that this game is about much more than just the matchup between corners and receivers, no matter who the players are.
Scott was asked who has the advantage in the corner/receiver matchup and said, “The players with the better team. That’s up to you (the reporters and fans) to decide. You’re assuming that it’s two-against-two, it’s 11-on-11 so, whether your corners or your receivers play well is predicated on the people around them and how they perform. You know, somebody has to throw the ball to that receiver and somebody has to get the pass rush or try and make an errant pass from the quarterback, so it’s whoever has the better team and I’m confident in our guys.”
Rex Ryan expects for this team to, ’start it up,’ this weekend and start to get rolling to build on getting better each and every week. Ryan said, “No question. We challenge ourselves. I challenge me, the coaching staff. How can we get better? We’re always asking ourselves that. How can we make this play better? How come we’re not understanding this, or whatever it is. So, yeah, of course. We’re headed where we were last year when we closed out and led the league by almost 50 yards a game.”
“So no reason we can’t do it. All we go on is history. Our history is that we’re built to win games in December and January. I’ll take this other one here in November also.” Ryan said, “But we are built. Everything we do is about winning in December and January.”
So with Thursday’s game being the last in the month of November it seems Ryan is ready to do just what the hook of the song, that played to welcome the media to practice today, says.
Sure there have been some rough patches, a few bumps in the road and a couple of unexpected detours, but the gas tank has just been filled and with the first 10 games behind them, the Jets are looking at these final six games and the playoffs as their time to really shine.
With the NFL world watching on Thanksgiving night, the Jets will be looking to make a statement for every other team in the league. That statement being, that if they want a problem (playing against the Jets would be that problem), then go ahead because the Jets are ready to ‘Start It Up.’