Posts Tagged ‘Ed Reed’

Geno Smith bounces back in win over Raiders

Monday, December 9th, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – There were 10 minutes left in Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders when Geno Smith sensed the pocket collapsing and took off.

He darted across midfield, past a diving defender and along the sideline for 32 yards and a key first down. Just before the play ended, however, he made a telling decision. A decision his running back would later call, “dangerous.”

The young quarterback opted not to run out of bounds and instead lowered his right shoulder – his throwing shoulder – and embraced the contact.

Geno Smith wasn't perfect on Sunday but he kept the Jets in the game, instead of taking them out of it. That's a step in the right direction.

It was a play that embodied the Jets 37-27 win over the Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, a game that the Jets won, in part, because of Smith’s legs and his refusal to go down without a fight.

“We needed that in the worst way, to say the least,” said head coach Rex Ryan after his team’s first win in four weeks.

The Jets are now 5-2 at home and 6-7 on the season, still alive in the AFC playoff hunt.

Smith bounced back from his midseason struggles in a big way, completing 64 percent of his passes for 219 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown.

He kept the Raiders alert with his legs, rushing for 50 yards off designed runs, like his 8-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter, and extended plays, like his 32-yard breakaway in the fourth.

“I think the difference was just eliminating the indecision in my game,” said Smith. “A lot of things are happening to me for the first time. That’s not to make an excuse, but sometimes I second-guess myself and that always hurts especially a quarterback.”

Smith did throw an ugly interception halfway through the first quarter but rebounded nicely, throwing a 25-yard touchdown to Jeremy Kerley on the next possession. It was the team’s first offensive touchdown in five games and 138 pass attempts.

The rookie did mention he felt like he had something to prove, which played into his decision to take that hit instead of going out of bounds.

“I can’t explain why. It was kind of instinct,” he said. “I think part of it was me trying to send a message to my teammates, to everyone, that I’m their quarterback, that I’m a tough guy, that I’m going to stay in there.”

Ryan wasn’t pleased with Smith’s decision but praised his competiveness.

Running back Chris Ivory, who rushed for 76 yards, including a powerful 15-yard touchdown called the decision, “Kind of dangerous, especially for a quarterback.”

But for once, the Jets young quarterback kept them in a game instead of taking them out of one, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Punter Ryan Quigley pinned the Raiders down at the two-yard line, setting up safety Antonio Allen for a blocked a punt touchdown, and kicker Nick Folk (now 28-for-29 this season) added three field goals.

The defense, the team’s supposed strength, were the weak link, allowing 27 points, 383 yards of offense and two long touchdowns.

The first came on a 63-yard run by Raider’s running back Marcel Reese and the second on a 48-yard pass from quarterback Matt McGloin to Rod Streater. The latter occurred when cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Ed Reed collided, paving the way for Streater, untouched, to the end zone.

Reed, however, did get his first win and interception as a member of the Jets.

Traditionally, the day after a win this late in the season would be dubbed “victory Monday,” a day for the players to rest.

But Ryan and his team, like their quarterback late in fourth quarter, have opted to lower their shoulder and press on.

“I mentioned it, I looked, and I’m like, ‘Nah, let’s not do that, let’s go to work,’” Ryan said about starting preparation for the Carolina Panthers on Monday. “Everyone’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s go to work.’ And that’s what we have to do.”

Secondary issues: Geno not the only problem

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Geno Smith might be the poster boy for the Jets’ struggles this season – the guy that gets the headlines and elicits the most talk radio debate – but he’s not the only one to blame.

No, the Jets have a secondary problem, namely, problems with their secondary.

Geno Smith will get most of the coverage this week but he's not the only one to blame. The Jets secondary has struggled mightily this season and it's becoming an issue.

“The big play is the Achilles’ heel of our defense,” said head coach Rex Ryan before playing the Baltimore Ravens, a game in which the Jets secondary gave up two pass plays over 60 yards.

“That’s it, that is what’s preventing us from being an elite defense right now,” he added. “Obviously, we’re playing the run better than anybody in the league and it’s not close.”

And Ryan is right. In almost every context, the Jets have the league’s best run defense. They’re holding opponents to 2.85 yards per rush, which is tops in the league by almost a full yard, and Football Outsiders ranks them first in rush defense by nearly 10 percent.

But once the ball is in the air, particularly deep down field, the Jets struggle mightily and it’s becoming too hard to ignore.

From 2009-2011, Football Outsiders had the Jets pass defense ranked in the top four, holding the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in ‘09 and ‘11, respectively. Even without All-Pro Darrelle Revis for much of 2012, they were ranked in the top 10.

But this season, Football Outsiders have the Jets ranked 16th in pass defense, giving up 11.33 yards per pass, which is well below the league average. They struggle against opponent’s No. 1 wide receiver, allowing 84.9 yards per game, and are nearly last in the league (30th) against opponent’s No. 2 wide receivers.

If only the Jets had a shutdown corner, you know, the type of player who could take away the opponent’s No. 1 weapon. Maybe someone with his own island?

Not to say that the loss of Revis is to blame for the secondary’s problems this year or that the Jets wouldn’t do that deal a thousand times over if it meant getting Sheldon Richardson in return. But it’s clear that Ryan’s once dominant secondary is in sharp decline.

Looking for some type of solution, Ryan had the secondary running “Buddy Ryan” pass defense drills all last week to help them with the deep ball. It didn’t work.

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith still beat former All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie with 60-yard pass and both rookie Dee Milliner and the newly acquired Ed Reed saw Joe Flacco drop a 66-yard dime right in between their outstretched arms.

Cromartie is clearly not himself, either because of a nagging hip injury or natural decline. Reed was brought in merely as a stopgap and Milliner has struggled so publically that he’s been benched for Darrin Walls on more than one occasion.

But both Ryan and his players believe a turnaround is coming.

“For us, it comes off as, they see us as this and we know we’re something different,” said Walls. “We take it as a challenge. We know we’ve given up the deep ball in the past couple games and that’s one thing we want to stop. We want to burn that fire out and give them something else to talk about. Now it’s the deep ball, so we have to take care of that.”

And how can they be so confident?

“Because I’ve seen it and done it,” said Ryan.

Jets sign safety Ed Reed

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The New York Jets announced Thursday morning that they have signed free agent safety Ed Reed a day after clearing waivers following his release from the Houston Texans.

Reed, a nine-time Pro-Bowler, Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and future Hall-of-Famer, will be at practice with the Jets on Thursday and is available to play in the team’s game on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

The Jets' brass took a flier on future Hall-of-Fame safety Ed Reed, who will be at practice on Thursday and in Buffalo on Sunday.

To make room on the roster for Reed, the Jets also announced the release of outside linebacker Ricky Sapp.

Head coach Rex Ryan hinted on Wednesday that he’d like to have a reunion with Reed, whom he coached for seven seasons while with the Ravens.

“Look, the way I am, I could say absolutely yes. I would like [Reed] on our team. And I’ll say that knowing that you guys know me,” Ryan told reporters on Wednesday, mentioning that he’d also like to have back Ray Lewis, Alan Faneca and Trevor Pryce among others.

Now the reunion is a reality.

The veteran safety will join a Jets secondary that has struggled at times, ranking 14th in league in pass defense according to Football Outsiders. Reed will play alongside former Raven and teammate Dawan Landry, the up-and-coming Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett, but his playing time for Sunday remains unknown.

Reed signed a three-year, $15 million contract with Houston in the offseason before undergoing hip surgery, missing the first two games, losing his starting job and then ultimately getting cut. He has no interceptions, no pass breakups and 16 tackles on the season.

“He’s going to land somewhere and create havoc. I’d love to have him here,” said Jets tight end Kellen Winlsow on Wednesday, who was a teammate of Reed’s while at the University of Miami.

Now, the hope is Reed will reek havoc for the Jets.