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JETS-DOLPHINS: Previewing Round 2 of the Rivalry

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Wednesday morning the Jets (9-3) buried the game ball from their embarrassing, 45-3 Monday night loss to the Patriots.

Sunday afternoon, they look to do much of the same to the Miami Dolphins (6-6).

Rex Ryan and company will look to send the playoff hopes and season of their much-maligned foes six-feet under, while synchronously stabilizing their own ship, which saw its prospective Super Bowl quest hit some choppy waters Monday in Foxboro.

Looking for a bounce-back performance, Gang Green couldn’t ask for a more perfect setting.  Home crowd? Check.  One of your most hated rivals? Check.  An opportunity to sweep those rivals and end their season in Week 14? Triple whammy.

Darrelle Revis, who missed the first game in Miami, figures to play a big role in containing Brandon Marshall on Sunday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

One Jet who is definitely eager to get back on the gridiron and put last week on the backburner is quarterback Mark Sanchez.  Sanchez is coming off his most dismal performance of his sophomore campaign, as he passed for only 164 yards while throwing three interceptions Monday night.

The former Trojan is primed for a fish-frying.

“They’ve traditionally played us tough since I’ve been here,” said Sanchez earlier this week.  “They’ll be ready to play again. I know they’re excited.  They need to win out to make the playoffs or to keep their playoff hopes alive.”

“Winning this one for us might settle some things.  We want to come out firing, have a great game, start fast, finish strong and be ready for their defense that always plays well.”

Mike Nolan’s hard-nosed defensive unit, begins and ends with one man: Cameron Wake.

Wake, a second-year defensive end, has had an improbable rise to prominence in 2010.  Undrafted in 2005 coming out of Penn State, Wake has seemingly come out of nowhere to lead the NFL in sacks this season (12) and emerge as one of the league’s most feared pass-rushers.

“Cameron Wake is tough,” said Ryan on Friday.  “You know he’s blitzing and you have to do something about it.  He’s doing a great job.  He’s a speed rusher, but he has inside moves and he does inside moves with power.  He’s really an outstanding rusher.”

Operating out of the 3-4 scheme, the Dolphin defensive gameplan is predicated upon sending a lot of pressure from the sides, with Wake wreaking most of his havoc from the right side.  This is a definite issue of concern for the Jets, with right tackle Damien Woody banged up with a knee injury.

Running backs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson must step up and protect the edges to sustain pressure, and keep Sanchez protected.

Greene and Tomlinson also figure to play a huge role in jumpstarting a Jet offense which was unable to find the end zone last week in New England.   Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer should lean on the “ground and pound” running game, early and often, something the offense has shied away from in recent weeks.  This is the Jets’ greatest offensive strength and against a blitz-heavy team like Miami, it should be put to good use.  Establishing the run will also open things up for Sanchez and the receivers, especially Dustin Keller.

Keller, who was seemingly unguardable during the Jets’ Week 3 victory in Miami, has also been noticeably absent from the offensive gameplan as of late.  The second-year tight-end, who has arguably the best rapport with the neophytic Sanchez, must be brought to the forefront this week.

Defensively, this will be another one of the tougher matchups for Jet secondary.  Miami QB Chad Henne torched the Jets for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns back in Week 3, with a majority of those throws going to WR Brandon Marshall (10 catches, 166 yards) and Davone Bess (6 catches, 86 yards).

One man the Jets were without in that Week 3 meeting was the eminent Darrelle Revis.  Surely the presence of Revis will aid in the neutralization of Marshall on Sunday.  Marshall, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, is expected to return on to the Miami lineup on Sunday.  Eager to get back on the field, look for the always dangerous Marshall to be extra motivated for his matchup on Revis Island.

With defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s pledge to utilize LB Jason Taylor more effectively, the Jets should be able to lay a hand or two on Henne.  The 25-year-old Henne, much like his young counterpart Sanchez, has shown an tendency to make poor decisions with the football when facing pressure.  His 15 interceptions this season are indicative of that.

PREDICTION: JETS 21, DOLPHINS 7

Coming off their worst performance of the season, Gang Green bounces back with a stellar game on both sides of the ball.  The defensive unit proves their worth, with at least two turnovers.

INSIDER TIDBITS

Matchup history

Sunday afternoon’s clash at the New Meadowlands will mark the 89th meeting between the two teams.  Gang Green holds the all-time series advantage, posting a record of 47-41-1 against Miami.  New York also has had the upper-hand in recent history, winning 9 of the last 13 meetings.

Last time they met…

A Drew Coleman interception of Miami QB Chad Henne in the end zone with 27 seconds remaining sealed a hard fought, 31-23 victory for the Jets during the Week 3 Sunday night matchup at Sun Life Stadium.  The Jets were lead by outstanding performances by QB Mark Sanchez (15 for 28, 256 yards, 3 TD) and TE Dustin Keller ( 6 receptions, 98 yards, 2 TD).

10 for 10

With a win Sunday, the Jets can record a 10-win season for the tenth time in franchise history.  The team’s last 10-win season came in 2006, under head coach Eric Mangini.

Injury Report: No ‘Dig’-itty, No Doubt

The wounds from Monday night’s thrashing in Foxboro continue to burn for the Jets, as they will be without safety and special team standout James Ihedigbo on Sunday against Miami.  Ihedigbo left Monday’s game against New England with a high ankle sprain and an injured MCL and did not practice all week.

While Rex Ryan was unable to offer a definite table for Digs’ return Friday, he remained hopeful that the veteran safety would return to the lineup sooner than later.  “He’s getting better, he’s tough and he’s here all the time getting treatment,” said Ryan. “You never know, but he may be out there next week.   You never know with that guy.  It’s an injury that should take longer with a high ankle sprain, but with him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out there soon.”

Right tackle Damien Woody missed practice for the third straight day on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday.  Woody sprained his right MCL against Houston two weeks ago, but has continued to play through the injury.

Listed as probable for the Jets are DE Shaun Ellis (knee), LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson (shoulder), WR Santonio Holmes (back), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), DT Sione Pouha (ankle), and WR Brad Smith (hand).  All participated in the full practice on Friday.

For the Dolphins, OT Vernon Carey (knee) and WR Brian Hartline (finger) have been ruled out for Sunday.  Listed as questionable for Miami are LB Channing Crowder (knee), LB Karlos Dansby (toe), DE Kendall Langford (neck), OT Jake Long (knee), S Sean Smith (ankle) and WR Brandon Marshall (hamstring).

Broadcast Info: Sunday, 4:15 P.M. ET, TV: CBS (Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts) Radio: 1050 AM ESPN Radio (Bob Wischusen/Marty Lyons)

Waking Point

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Foxboro flogging could serve as must needed wake-up call for sleepy Jets

They couldn’t do diddly-pooh offensively. They couldn’t make a first down.

They couldn’t run the ball; they didn’t try to run the ball.

They couldn’t complete a pass – they stunk. Whichever way you cut it and dissect it,(in this case, parpaphrasing former Saints head coach Jim Mora’s infamous rant) the Jets couldn’t do much of anything right, Monday night in Foxboro.

It is time for Rex's Jets to finally start living up to expectations (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Call it the Mora Bowl. Or call it a much needed wake up call for Rex Ryan’s unit.

After weeks of consistent glass-walking and narrow escapes to such prominent world-beaters as the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans, New York’s month-long game of Russian Roulette concluded in the oppositional graveyard that is Gillette Stadium. It ended with Tom Brady as the executioner.

With every blown coverage and secondary mishap by Gang Green, the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback calmly sat back in the stonewall pocket fortified by his offensive line, loading bullets into the chamber. Firing round after round into the heart of the Jet defense.

25 yards on a quick slant to Deion Branch. Bang.

Reload.

Danny Woodhead up the seam for 35 yards. Boom.

Reload.

35 yards up the middle to Aaron Hernandez. Pow.

By the third shot, the Jets were dead. Lying mercilessly, leaving Rex Ryan and his staff to pick up the pierces after a 45-3 thrashing, the franchise’s worst beat-down in nearly a quarter century. And likely their most necessary.

The Jets haven’t been this good in a long while, at least on paper. With the talent that Mike Tannenbaum and Woody Johnson assembled on both sides of the ball this off-season, it’s no surprise that New York stands at 9-3 through Week 13. The route in which they’ve taken to reach 9 wins however, is more than a bit perplexing and concerning.

An offense which features a future hall-of-fame running back in the backfield, a former Super Bowl MVP and former Pro Bowler in the receiver core, and a young talented quarterback under center, shouldn’t struggle to score points. Through 12 games, Brian Schottenheimer’s unit has been less than a powerhouse, averaging just over 22 points a game (14th in the NFL).

The colossally-hyped passing game has struggled especially, with Mark Sanchez and company yielding only 208 yards per game though the air (21st in the NFL). To put things into perspective, the Buffalo Bills (21), Detroit Lions (21), and Kansas City Chiefs (23) have all thrown more passing touchdowns this season than the Jets (17). All three of these teams have about half the talent and offensive firepower of Schottenheimer’s unit.

Instead of attacking opponents with the big play threats of Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller, too often Schottenheimer has gotten cute and conservative with the playcalling. No brainer fly and post routes have been replaced with reverses, bubble screens and short-yardage passing plays. In other cases, as seen last night, the ground and pound running game which has been executed to much success has been completely abandoned and forgotten late in games.

More times than not, the offense has come out of the gate flat, relying heavily on the defense to keep them in games until they locate their mojo. While the Jet defense has been solid for the majority of the season, getting key stops when needed, they have certainly had their moments. Last night was one of those moments, giving up a total of 405 yards to the Patriots’ offense, 304 coming through the air. It is unlikely that Mike Pettine’s defense will turn in another performance like that this season, but there are some definite issues that need to get corrected.
If anything, the brash beating in New England definitely served as more of a severe exploitation of the Jet’s defensive holes than a fluke or aberration. The unit’s two-biggest weaknesses, lack of a consistent pass rush and a severe susceptibility to the interior passing game, were brought to light by Belichick and his staff. Brady had all day to sit back in the pocket and pick apart the Jets secondary. Jet defensive backs and linebackers were a step-slow in coverage all night, looking just as flat and uninspired as their offensive counterparts.

The pass defense which was once seen as the ultimate strength of the unit, leading the league in nearly every statistical category a season ago, has developed into the Achilles hell of the defense. With the additions of Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, and Brodney Pool this past offseason, the secondary has taken a definite step back, instead of the expected mammoth leap towards invincibility.

The unit which surrendered all of 8 passing touchdowns in 2009, has already given up 19 this season. Another problem has been an inability to create turnovers, as the Jets have only intercepted 7 passes in 2010, tied for second-worst in the NFL. They are also allowing nearly 65 more yards through the air per game in 2010 (218.4) than 2009 (153.7).

Part of the problem has been injuries (Darrelle Revis and now Jim Leonhard). Most of the problem stems from simple inconsistency. Cromartie, who has shown flashes of brilliance at times, has looked as clueless as rookie Kyle Wilson in other instances. With Leonhard, the signal-caller and veteran brain of the secondary now likely shelved for the rest of the season, the secondary must somehow find a way to schematically and emotionally overcome that void.

The sleepwalking has lasted long enough, on both sides of the ball for the New York Jets. If their Monday Night embarrassment isn’t enough to wake them up, nothing will. They’ve seemingly waited three quarters of a season to play truly motivated, inspired football for 60 minutes and it certainly won’t get much easier for this team, from this point forward.

New York closes the regular season with road stops in Chicago and Pittsburgh sandwiched between home division tilts against Miami and Buffalo, respectively. While two wins probably guarantees a playoff berth, the Jets would like to secure themselves at least one home playoff game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Such a feat would likely require three wins or even a highly improbable clean sweep of their final four games.

If there was ever a time to start playing your best ball of the season, it is now for these Jets. It’s either wake up now or be resigned to winter hibernation.

Breaking News: Jenkins tears ACL, done for season

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

For the second straight season, the New York Jets defensive line has lost their biggest asset.

Jets All-Pro nose tackle Kris Jenkins has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season, according to a report by NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora.

Kris Jenkins will missed a second straight season with a torn ACL. (JetsInsider.com)

Jenkins sustained the injury during the first quarter of the Jets’ 10-9 Monday night loss to the Ravens.   The 6-foot-4, 360 pound lineman twisted the same left knee which he had surgically repaired last season but was able to walk off the field on his own. After team medical officials stressed were optimistic there was no damage to the anterior crucial ligament last night, MRI results this morning revealed a tear.

While the loss of Jenkins is a huge loss for Rex Ryan’s defense, it is an even more severe blow to the 31-year-old Jenkins’ career.  After suffering the same injury two years in a row, it likely that the four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection will strongly consider retirement.

It is a bitter end for Jenkins had thoughts about ending his career after last season’s injury, which derailed him for the final three months of the season.  Following his rehabilitation, the former University of Maryland standout came into camp in fantastic shape, dropping thirty pounds from last season.

With little depth at the nose tackle position, it is likely that Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum will explore a trade to bring in another big body, possibly disgruntled Washington Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth.

While the Jets can schematically deviate a plan to replace Jenkins’ contributions on the field, they will be hard-pressed to fill the void he leaves in the locker room.  Jenkins is arguably the Jets most outspoken, respected veteran voice.  A team that had already lost two key veterans from last season’s playoff run, Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca, will now need to search to find another vocal leader to step up and take charge.

At 0-1 and facing off against the rivaled New England Patriots next week, that search will now need to be expedited.

It’s put up or shut up for Jets

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Talk is cheap.

8 months ago, Rex Ryan and the New York Jets walked off the field into the tunnel at Lucas Oil Stadium after having their coffin nailed and buried by the league’s finest second-half mortician, Peyton Manning.

After an offseason of non-stop talk, it's time for Bart Scott and the Jets to walk the walk. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

January 24, 2009 will be remembered in green and white lore forever, but for more than being another shortcoming by a historically snakebit franchise.  The 30-17 AFC Championship loss in Indianapolis meant more than that.  Much more.

The “Same Old Jets” died that day.  Buried and forgotten, never to be heard from again.  For 46 years, the former Titans of New York, have operated as a timid, tentative franchise always waiting for the glass slipper to break.

The clock struck 12 on opening day 1999, with Vinny Testaverde’s Achilles tendon transforming the Jets Super Bowl carriage into a pumpkin.  Time ran out again in 2005, with each missed field goal from Doug Brien in Pittsburgh.

But those days are over at the Meadowlands.   At least the Jets talk like they are.   They haven’t stopped talking since that night in Indy and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

The whole braggadocio persona works well in professional sports.  But in New York, it is a double-edged sword of razor-sharp proportions.   Talk here and you better back it up, or suffer the colossal backlash of the fans and media.  Win here and you’ll be forever idolized among the other deities of New York sports lore.  Lose and prepare to have the Big Apple streets run red with your blood.

Be cocky.  Go ahead.  Swag-surf up and down the New York harbor and shores of Long Island if you will.  Climb the Empire State Building with your King Kong-like brashness.  But get it done.  Be Mark Messier, not Patrick Ewing.

Rex Ryan and the Jets haven’t accomplished anything yet to be mentioned in the same breath as Messier, Jeter or the real L.T.  But they sure make it seem like they have.

For six months, we’ve heard it all.  Heard about how Antonio Cromartie will clean up his act in New York, playing Robin to Darrelle Revis’ Batman.   Heard how LaDainian Tomlinson will return to hall-of-fame status running behind the Jets’ offensive line.   Heard how Santonio Holmes will finally provide the big-time playmaking threat Gang Green has lacked since Keyshawn Johnson.   How John Conner is the second coming of Larry Csonka.  How not only will the Jets win often but to paraphrase Dustin Keller– they’ll make it look good.

We’ve heard how all the talent and personality the Jets have assembled will check their egos at the door, paving the way to the franchise’s first Super Bowl in over 40 years.

In a city where their stadium roommates, the Giants, took home the Lombardi just two years ago, somehow it is the big-talking Jets who have stolen the headlines.  Running pep-rallies in Times Square.  Starring in HBO primetime specials.  They’ve got the mic now, all the spotlight of the city that never sleeps.

It starts tonight against a team that doesn’t do that much talking.  At least not historically.   The Baltimore Ravens are no homecoming game pushover.   Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs certainly aren’t hopping aboard the Jet Superbowl bandwagon any time soon.  Nor are Anquan Boldin or Ray Rice.

Enough talking.  It’s finally time for the Jets to put their money where the mouth is.  It’s time for Mark Sanchez to step up and lead an offense.  Time for Braylon Edwards to make plays downfield.   Time for Dustin Keller to develop into the playmaking tight end the Jets thought they were getting when they expended a first round draft pick on him in 2008.  It’s time for Ryan’s self-proclaimed “championship defense” to go get a ring.  Time for the excuses to cease.

If the New York Jets 2010 quest is to end in Dallas in February, it starts tonight.  At 7:00 on national television, it’s time to prove your case to the entire country.  Shut down Ray Rice, knock Joe Flacco around in the backfield.  Go beat the Ravens, smack them in the mouth.  Roll some heads like you said you would.   Start off 1-0.

Then we’ll talk.

Return from Revis Island: Jets corner ends holdout, agrees to contract

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Start spreading the news.  Darrelle Revis is back.

Multiple sources are reporting late Sunday night that the All-Pro cornerback and the New York Jets have agreed in principal on a new long-term contract.  The agreement between the two sides ends Revis’ 35-day holdout and nearly seven month impasse in contract negotiations.

Darrelle Revis is finally back with the New York Jets. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The news of Revis’ agreement comes shortly after multiple media outlets reported that Jets head coach Rex Ryan flew down to meet with Revis at the cornerback’s home in South Florida over the weekend.

Revis is expected to arrive at the team’s practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey tomorrow where he will sign the richest contract in Jets franchise history.

Shortly after news broke of his impending agreement Sunday night, Darrelle Revis spoke out on his official Twitter account.  “To my family, said Revis.  “Neil and John, I love you guys. I’m coming home baby!  Revis Island…Let’s  Go!”

Revis also offered this apology to Jet fans: “It not has only been hard on you guys, but it has for me too. I just want to tell y’all that I’m sorry for this process and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”

The Jets open up their regular season schedule a week from today, against the Baltimore Ravens.

JETS 21 – EAGLES 17

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Jets overcome three fumbles to win preseason finale in Philly, but rookie McKnight plays himself off roster

Joe McKnight juked right, running into his own blocker.  Coughing it up.  Again.

As Eagles safety Kurt Coleman dashed 64 yards to the opposite end zone, he gripped more than the loose pigskin in his arms.  He was running with Joe McKnight’s future as player in the National Football league.

The New York Jets overcame McKnight’s fumble and two others, using a pair of second-half touchdowns to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 21-17 at Lincoln Financial Field Thursday night.  It won’t be as happy of an ending for the former USC Trojan, who will face punitive measures for his ball-security mishap, his third of the preseason.

Rookie Joe McKnight's rough preseason continued Thursday night in Philly. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Jets head coach Rex Ryan indicated after the game that the rookie running back would not be cut, but would not be placed on the active roster to begin the regular season.

“He’s going to make the team,” said Ryan. “We’re just not going to play him until we have more confidence in him, until he shows in practice that he gets the message.”

“Joe McKnight has to protect the ball.  I was disappointed.  Right now, I don’t see how he can make the active roster.”

On a night where no starters saw action for both teams, a number of Jets reserves showed their worth on both sides of the ball.

Quarterback Mark Brunell completed 11 of 17 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.  Brunell’s second touchdown, a 51-yard fourth quarter strike to receiver Santonio Holmes, put the Jets ahead for good.  Holmes finished the night with four receptions for 97 yards.

The Jets offense was also spearheaded  by the split ground-attack of a pair of roster hopefuls turned definites, running backs Chauncey Washington (12 carries for 56 yards) and Danny Woodhead (12 carries for 45 yards, 1 TD).  If Washington’s consistent steamrolling of Philadelphia safeties didn’t draw the attention of Rex Ryan, the play he made on the Jets’ opening drive of the second half, certainly did.

With the Jets offense driving down the field into Eagles’ territory, QB Kellen Clemens connected with Holmes across the Philadelphia 20-yard-line for a gain of 24 yards.  Before hitting the turf, Holmes coughed up the ball which would’ve resulted in the Jets’ fourth lost fumble of the night if not for a heads up play by Washington, who quickly jumped on the loose ball.

Clemens, who left the game shortly with a left arm injury, completed 7 of 13 passes for 73 yards, orchestrating a touchdown drive that ended with a 14-yard end zone dash by Woodhead.

WR Larry Taylor, another Jet who figures to be on the bubble for one of the final roster spots, added two receptions for 21 yards and flashed some speed in the return game.

Following the exit of Eagles QB Mike Vick, the Jets defensive reserves stepped up and made it a rather rough night for Philadelphia third-stringer Mike Kafka. Kafka completed only 9 of 27 passes for 76 yards with an interception.

The Jets defense, led by six tackles and two sacks by defensive tackle Matt Kroul, held the Eagles to 187 yards of total offense, and only 72 yards on the ground.

INSIDER TIDBITS

Coach Sanchise

Jets offensive coordinator handed the play-calling duties over to quarterback Mark Sanchez midway through the second quarter.  Sanchez’s first shot at directing the offense resulted in a five-play, fifteen yard drive consummating with a two-yard roll-out completion from Mark Brunell to tight end Jeff Cumberland in the corner of the end zone.

Sanchez put on the headset again at the start of the fourth quarter, serving as the brains behind a 51-yard touchdown strike from Brunell to receiver Santonio Holmes, the Jets longest offensive play of the preseason.   Is there a offensive coordinator controversy brewing in Jersey?

“It’s more difficult than you think,” said Sanchez.  You feel bad for Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) now because he has so much pressure to get certain guys the ball, to put in the right formation, the right personnel on the field. (There are) certain runs Coach (Bill) Callahan wants to get called.  Guys want the ball, so there are so many factors.  You’ve got to stick to what you think and call the plays with confidence. It was fun. We got a touchdown drive, which was nice, and a touchdown pass too.”

Getting ‘Diggy with it

Jets safety James Ihedigbo has made quite a name for himself this preseason by delivering a few bone-crunching tackles on special teams.  It was more of the same for Ihedigbo on Thursday night, as he dished out punishing hits on Eagles receivers Kelley Washington and Chad Hall.

Source: Mangold extension could come today

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Reports have been swirling that the New York Jets are close to extending the contract of their All Pro center Nick Mangold.

JetsInsider source Tony Pauline of TFYDraftInsider.net and NFL Draft analyst for SI.com has confirmed to us that an agreement could be reached by the end of today.  Sources intimate with the negotiation have told Pauline it will be a six year extension, or a seven year contract in total as Mangold has one year left on his deal.  The total contract is expected to be in the range $55 million with $23 million guaranteed.

It was a little more than one month ago, immediately after the Jets had renegotiated the contract of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, that Pauline had reported that a contract extension for Mangold was not in the offing, a story picked up by the New York media just ten days ago.  So what changed?

Sources have told Pauline the Jets inability to renegotiate the contract of Darrelle Revis made the team switch course and concentrate on Mangold.  The source said at this point the Jets don’t feel they will have an agreement with Revis anytime soon.  The team offered Revis a contract of $12 million per year, inclusive of the final two years on his contract, worth $20 million, but the Revis camp is demanding $16 million per year.

Report: Jets, Mangold closing in on deal

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Another member of the Jets’ “Core Four” is about to cash in on a multi-year contract extension.  But it isn’t Darrelle Revis.

Pro Football Talk is reporting Sunday night that the New York Jets are close to reaching an agreement on a contract extension with veteran center Nick Mangold.

Jets center Nick Mangold is set to cash in on a long awaited contract extension. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The 26-year-old Mangold, a two-time Pro Bowler and 2009 All-Pro selection, is expected to receive a contract of equal or greater value to that of St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown.  Brown agreed to a five-year, $37.5 million deal in February of 2009.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Mangold’s deal is set to be finalized within the next two days.  After publicly expressing his displeasure with his current contract situation throughout the offseason, Mangold decided against holding out and planned to play out the last year of his rookie contract.  The fifth-year center was set to earn a base salary of $3.3 million in 2010.

Whether this will directly impact the contract negotiations of cornerback Darrelle Revis remains to be seen at this point.  The news of an extension for Mangold broke following a Twitter report by Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News that the Jets and Revis are set to announce a new deal on Wednesday.

Stick with JetsInsider for the latest involving the Mangold and Revis contract talks.  For the most up-to-date information, follow us on Twitter: @JetsInsider

Ryan unhappy with focus as Jets prepare for Monday night showdown

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Giants claim to not be preparing for their preseason opener against the Jets.  Meanwhile, the Jets aren’t mentally prepared.  At least according to their head coach.

Rex Ryan challenged his team Saturday morning after being less than pleased with his team’s focus and specifically the production of his offensive unit.

Brad Smith might not be the only Jet taking snaps out of the Wildcat this season. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“The focus wasn’t very good,” said Ryan Saturday.  “I wasn’t real happy with the way our offense was picking up the blitzes and different things like that.”

“With the receiving core that we have, we’re going to see more pressure.  Because the longer you give us back there, the more time we have to beat you.  So, we’ve got to understand that and we need to have those things nailed down.  Not just talking about the offensive line but the running backs, receivers, the quarterbacks got to know when to get rid of the ball.  All those type of things we still need to improve on.”

Quarterback Mark Sanchez, wearing a compression sleeve over his surgically repaired left leg, struggled most of the day in 11-on-11 drills.  Sanchez finished the day, 3 for 8, overthrowing his receivers on numerous occasions.

The second-year quarterback attributed the offense’s struggles simply to the stale, monotony of the “dog days” of training camp.  Sanchez and his teammates are raring to go Monday night and play for real.

“I can’t wait,” he said.  “I think both sides of the ball are ready to play another opponent.  The dog days of camp start to set in, (and) you’re ready to move on and play a different uniform.  We’re (looking forward to) being on a real game stage, and that’s exactly what it will be.  We’re excited to see the fans in our home stadium that first night.  It will be good for all of us.”

Ryan stated Saturday that he will play his starters one full quarter and a series, on both sides of the ball in Saturday’s preseason opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

“We’ll play past the first quarter because we’ve had such a long time off,” said Ryan. “And that second game we play in five days, so that’s the plan right now.”

Another interesting storyline from the morning’s practice included running back LaDainian Tomlinson taking direct snaps out of the backfield in the Jets’ “Tiger Cat” formation.  Receiver Brad Smith was previously believed to be the only player on the roster capable of taking snaps out of that formation because of his ability to run and throw the ball down the field.

Adding Tomlinson to the Tiger Cat would be an interesting curveball for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to throw at opposing defenses.  Rex Ryan did not go out of his way to deny plans for Tomlinson to be worked into the formation.  In typical Rex fashion, he danced around the issue with some humor.

“I guess the cat’s out of the bag there,” joked Ryan after practice.  Tomlinson was unavailable for comment after the morning session.

Notes from the morning session

  • Kicker Nick Folk looked very impressive this morning, closing out practice by nailing 5 of 6 field goal attempts.  Folk’s longest boot was a 41-yarder.
  • The Jets announced this morning that they have signed guard Chet Cheofilo and waived injured guard Marlon Davis.  The 6-foot-3, 330-pound Teofilo played his college ball at California, where he started eight of 16 games in two seasons.  Teofilo originally signed with the Cowboys after going undrafted in April’s draft.  He was waived by Dallas in late June.  Davis had been hampered by leg injuries throughout camp, but was cut because of questions regarding his focus and attitude.
  • Linebackers Brashton Satele (ankle) and Josh Mauga (head) have already been ruled out for Monday night’s tilt against the Giants by Rex Ryan.
  • In one of the few highlights from the morning session, receiver Marcus Henry made a fantastic grab in the back of the end zone off a ball thrown by QB Kellen Clemens.  The 6-foot-4 Henry made a one-handed tip to himself to secure the pigskin.

More to come later, including notes from the evening practice.  Stick with JetsInsider.com for the latest and greatest from Cortland.  Follow us on Twitter: @JetsInsider.

No crying over spilled corners

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Ryan: Don’t be sorry for us, we’ll be fine without Revis

While the New York Jets’ organization and collective fan base holds it’s breath that All-Pro corner will eventually report to the team’s training camp grounds in Cortland, head coach Rex Ryan isn’t blinking.  In fact, he’s going all in.

“Honestly, don’t feel sorry for us, said Ryan Tuesday.  “We have everything we need right here on defense. With the addition of (Antonio) Cromartie, that was enormous for this football team and so is the fact that we drafted Kyle Wilson, who is an outstanding player.  That helps us a great deal.  Every opponent, every week, you always do what is in the best interest for your team; (with) the people that we have.”

Rex Ryan has full confidence in his defensive unit, with or without Darrelle Revis. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Ryan’s comments come a day after New York Jets owner Woody Johnson preached nothing but doom and gloom on the Revis front, proclaiming that he was not optimistic a deal would get done in time for the Sept. 13 season opener.

The impasse between Revis and Jets brass revolves around a “fundamental disagreement in total compensation”  according to a statement issued by Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum on Tuesday.  While Revis’ agent Jon Feinsod has indicated on multiple occasions that the Jets have not offered any signing bonus, the Jets organization continues to refute that report.

“As I said at the start of training camp,” said Tannenbaum in his released statement. “Our offer to Darrelle Revis conveyed that we are flexible on how the guaranteed money is structured, including the areas of signing bonus, roster bonus and option bonus.”

Ryan was his usual braggadocio self Tuesday, pointing to his past successes in Baltimore without key defensive players.  In 2005, linebacker Ray Lewis suffered a season ending hamstring injury in Week 6.  The same season, safety Ed Reed missed six games with an ankle injury.  Despite missing their two best defensive players, Baltimore’s defense finished the regular season fifth overall and tenth in points allowed, under the direction of Ryan.

“I’ve been running defenses a long time in this league, been around it,” said Ryan. “I’ve had to overcome a lot of great players not being in it.  One year Ray Lewis was out ten games.  That same year, Ed Reed was out for six games.  I’ve been around a lot of great players obviously but I’ve also had to overcome when those guys were out. Kris Jenkins last year, he’s a premier nose tackle in football, and he misses all but six games last year for us. It’s part of the business. I think the worst I’ve ever finished on defense, it might have been sixth or something like that, and that’s probably (when I coached in) college too. We’ll find a way to get it done. I can’t do much, but I know how to call a defense and we’ll take what we have.”

“We have a great collection of individual talent and these guys play great as a team, great as a unit.  That’s what we’ll do. That’s why one guy – obviously, Revis is a tremendous player, Ray Lewis (is) a tremendous player, Ed Reed (is) a tremendous player, Kris Jenkins (is) a tremendous player – but it’s about the unit and we sell that the day we walked out here. It’s about the unit. If you have the decal on the side of your helmet that says New York Jets on it, you’re a special person and we can get it done.  We know that the next guy that pops in there, we can feel good about it. Again, the proof will be in the pudding and the great thing is we get to prove it.  We’ll see what happens when we kick it off. We’re not afraid of anybody. We look forward to competing against everybody.  Our mentality hasn’t changed.”

INSIDER TIDBITS

Brunell locks down No. 2 spot

Kellen Clemens has held down the Jets’ backup quarterback position for four years but it only took seven days to replace him.  Rex Ryan said Tuesday that the 39-year-old Brunell “has pretty much got a lock on that number two spot”, just over a week after signing with the Jets.

“I think it’s a good competition,” added Ryan.  “(Kevin) O’Connell had a real nice scrimmage, and then Kellen (Clemens) has really had a couple of good days.  When he was running with the twos yesterday, he really had a good day.  We’ll see what happens.”

“Man, it’s good.  You think of where we were last year, and look at the depth that this football team has now, we’ve really made strides and really improved our football team.  ”

Injury update

TE Jeff Cumberland (head), LB Brashton Satele (leg) both sat out the morning session. G Marlon Davis missed both practices (knee).  LB Jason Taylor (groin) was limited, only participating in individual drills .  WR Braylon Edwards (knee) who was limited on Monday, practiced in full.