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Halftime Report

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Oakland, CA — Jets 17 – Raiders 17

In the first half of the Jets at Raiders game we have seen some ups and downs.

Positive: First of all the Jets run game has seemed to resurrect from the dead and both backs are putting up big numbers catching and running out of the backfield. Their offensive line has been protecting QB Mark Sanchez even without their reliable center Nick Mangold. We have not heard Colin Baxter name at all in the first half and the rule is ‘no news is good news’. Let’s see if the young man can keep it up in the second half. Also Sanchez has only one real mistake under his belt with the interception that should have never even left his hand, but it is in the past so let’s move on. His play has been good so far. Lastly the Jets special teams is on top of their game so far. Jeremy Kerley is making things happen in the punt return game.

Negative: The Jets defensive line needs more push and stop giving QB Jason Campbell so much time in the backfield. Also their run defense seems to be not up for it this game and Darren McFadden is running up and down the field with ease. Lastly secondary penalties are hurting the Jets chances on stopping drives. Like Sanchez said last week, penalties are “drive killers”. They need to tighten some things up in order to get passed this pretty good Oakland Raider team.

Nick Mangold update

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — The prediction of time out for C Nick Mangold’s high ankle sprain was set to be two to three weeks and as of this afternoon, nothing has changed, even though he seems extremely optimistic about the situation. This Sunday the Jets are facing off against the big defensive line of the Oakland Raiders and the team is one day away from knowing for sure if they will be without Mangold.

This isn't a familiar spot for C Nick Mangold but due to his injury he might have to get used to it for a couple of weeks. We'll find out soon enough. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“Tomorrow we’ll definitely know if he’s going or not.” coach Ryan said, “If he’s not going to play, then obviously he won’t make the trip out there. I don’t see it happening. He seems to think (he will be able to play.) We’ll see.”

Coach Ryan is obviously not as optimistic as the reliable center whose 82 straight game streak is on the line. It doesn’t seem to be Ryan’s lack of confidence but just protecting his player from further inujury, which is always a smart plan. Coach is very impressed with the way Mangold is coming along though but still is playing it safe.

“He’s off the crutches, doing different things.” Ryan said, ”He’s been on a bike and he’s also doing other exercises and stuff.  For a high-ankle sprain, he’s well ahead of the game. We’ll make that decision. Sometimes you’ve got to protect the player from the player.”

Mangold was off the crutches today and walking around in a boot as he made a late locker room appearance. The second he walked through the door, the media dropped what they were doing and swarmed his locker for any new updates, but all we got was the usual.

“Everyday gets better. That’s what we look for. One day at a time.” Mangold said.

The streak of 82 straight games played is on the mind of the talented center and he is proud of what he has accomplished but he understands the reality of this and is putting his priorities in the right order.

“It is very important. I’m very proud of it.” Mangold said, “It is something I take great pride in, but at the same time it’s not more important than what’s doing what’s best for the team and what’s best for myself.”

Mangold kept the interview short and sweet and the only thing really taken away from it was the fact that he knows that any day he could feel better and that tomorrow is another day.

“Today was no chance.” Mangold said, “but tomorrow you never know.”

‘Mano a Mano’

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — The Jets passing offense last Sunday made its adjustments because of the defense the Jacksonville Jaguars were throwing at them. QB Mark Sanchez had to make a lot of check down throws and stuck mainly with his three year teammate TE Dustin Keller. The effect of this left WR Plaxico Burress empty handed but no disappointment coming from his end.

'Mano a Mano' for Burress this week. Look for him to get some catches against the Raiders man to man coverage. (JetsInsider.com)

“I’m pretty comfortable with the things that I have to do. I’m learning as much as I can every day in the meetings and different things like that.” Burress said about his role, “As far as me, the more playing time, and me being on the football field, it’ll come.”

Burress and Sanchez know they are facing a different style of defense this week in man to man. Burress has been in this situation many times before and probably nine times out of ten he comes up with a positive appearance.

“If you’re a wide receiver, these are the kind of games you love to play in.” Burress said, “It’s up close and personal, man- to-man, ‘mano a mano’, to see who is the better guy. I’ve played in these games before, they’re fun and competitive.”

Sanchez is excited for the upcoming week but knows one on one coverage comes with a great pass rush.

“They’ve shown (that they) change it up from time to time.” Sanchez said, “It’s about winning our one-on-one matchups and getting rid of the football quickly because they’re pass rush is great. It’ll be a good test for our wideouts and for our precision in the passing game hopefully.”

Coach Ryan thinks it is a good test for his wideouts as well. Especially after the very quiet game they had last week. He knows the man to man coverage is a part of Raider football and he thinks with their style of play the outcome should be positive.

“I think when you look at them, that’s their bread and butter.” Ryan said, when talking about the Raiders coverage. He thinks his team can benefit from this.

Sanchez is spot on when talking about the Oakland Raiders pass rush and with the Jets offensive line losing C Nick Mangold for a two to three week period (as of right now) as well as their lack of depth, look for the Raiders to try and exploit the holes as much as possible.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson is still not seeing the Mangold injury as an automatic A for their pass rush.

“We need to play Raider football.” Jackson said, “If I know Rex (Ryan), it will be the next man up and they’ll come to play.”

If worse comes to worse and the ball doesn’t get thrown in Burress’ direction (which seems highly unlikely this week) look for the veteran WR to still make an impact. According to Sanchez, Burress plays very well off the ball and with the attention he gets makes the passing game that much better.

“He just demanded a lot of split safety coverage and our wideouts knew that.” Sanchez said.

Monday morning Quarterback

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — Back to the drawing board for Jets QB Mark Sanchez. In the game yesterday against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sanchez made a few mistakes but with the help of his dominating defense, the Jets were able to embarrass the opposition with the final score being Jets 32 Jaguars 3.

Mark Sanchez needs to keep up the decent work. If he can just tweak a few things, the offense will be on the track they expect themselves to be on. Three tough road games coming up, stay tuned. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The team and their quarterback had sort of a  monkey on their back when it came to scoring in the first quarter on offense. The thorn has been in their side for 16 straight games now, but yesterday they took care of that. Their first possession was a 65-yard drive, capped of by a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to WR Santonio Holmes. This impressive march down the field made Sanchez realize how bad they needed it.

“(The) opening drive, that was huge.” Sanchez said, “Rex challenged the offense last night in the hotel and he said we’re going to take the ball, we’re going to receive the ball, which we never do. So he put the challenge on us and we answered the call, now we just need to stay consistent in the first half, and that’s on me.”

That is on him all right. His consistancy is the key to their offense this season and so far it has been pretty good. Yesterday he was making great throws to his recievers that could only fit through a tight window like the touchdown pass to Holmes.

“He’s the only one who can catch it.” Sanchez said, “but no question it was a tight throw.”

His pass percentage is up through the first two games. This was stressed by many to have Sanchez try and be over 60 percent passing this season. Yes, it is early but if he keeps up the good work he should have no problem completing the task, especially with this receiving corps. Sanchez finished the game (17-24 70.8 percent, 182-yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.)

The two interceptions is what needs to be touched on the most. In the first two games of the seasonn Sanchez already has thrown three interceptions. Pointing out the obvious but this is the problem that Sanchez has to fix in order for his team to win. They got away with it yesterday mainly because of their defense and the fact that they were playing a team that they should beat, but if they play a top notch team and make these mistakes, it might turn out completely different. Sanchez understands the mistakes he made and that he needs to fix them.

“You can’t give them two cheap throws.” Sanchez said, “ They played tough, they played hard, but we just had a great game plan for them and you can’t give them any cheap ones and that’s frustrating. But we got back on track and won the game.”

The team will now start a three game road trip with teams who don’t fool around when it comes to mistakes. If you make mistakes against these teams (at least two out of the three, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots) they will make you pay. Sanchez knows they have to be ready, that includes him as well.

“We’ve got to put an emphasis on penalties and turnovers because they’re drive killers.” Sanchez said, “They prevent you from scoring points. It’s no good for us. We need to be real sharp on the road, and the noise and all that. We need to be ready to play.”

Sanchez to Keller

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

East Rutherford, N.J. — In the offseason the New York Jets and their general manager Mike Tannenbaum made some great moves to pick up big name players on offense. They resigned WR Santonio Holmes, they signed WR Plaxico Burress (both had game winning SuperBowl touchdown receptions) and they also signed the veteran WR Derrick Mason. Surely these players will make great contributions throughout the season but as of right now it looks like QB Mark Sanchez doesn’t mind throwing to his three year teammate TE Dustin Keller.

TE Dustin Keller had a big contribution in today's win with six receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown. The defense left him open and Mark Sanchez took full advantage. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Coach Ryan is excited about the impression the two are making on the field.

“Obviously those guys have been around now for three years together so there is confidence with them for sure.” Ryan said, “We all know he’s a tremendous receiving tight end and he’s getting much better at blocking, so I’m really proud of the day he had.”

Both coach Ryan and Keller realize that the coverage the Jacksonville Jaguars were throwing at them today enhanced the percentage that Keller got thrown to. Sanchez was making the right choices instead of forcing throws to his other outside receivers.

Keller who registered his third career game with 100 reception yards (6 receptions – 101 yards and a touchdown) said about his performance, “They pretty much gave us the middle of the field and they were playing a lot of zone. They just left the middle of the field wide open so that left a lot of things wide open for me.”

“Sometimes coverage will dictate where our outside receivers are going to be and they will get more opportunities and sometimes it will be the inside receivers.” Ryan said, “With the way they were playing us today, it seemed like Dustin had a few more opportunities than the outside guys. Again, the great thing is with our group, now we’re throwing it to the open guys and sometimes the coverage will dictate who will get more opportunities.”

It looks like the two athletes are on the same page this season after being along side eachother for three years. The rapport between the other receivers and Sanchez will be coming soon I’m sure,and when that happens, look for the offense to be clicking on all cylinders and the confidence the team carries will only become stronger.

“We are a confident team. Ryan said, “We will always be confident, and I see that as a positive, not a negative.”

“Ground and …?” The rest will come soon enough

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — The preseason in the NFL is meaningless, right? Well, sometimes bad habits that troubled a team in the preseason, might just follow them into the regular season. For the New York Jets, their troubled habit in the preseason was their “Ground and Pound” style of offense. It seemed to go missing for the four games and now has lingered into week one with week two just a few days away. Football being a team game, the blame is not being placed on one athlete or any athlete for that matter. It’s  just a small hole they are in and they need a plan to get out.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer might need to change some things in order for the running attack to get back to where the team wants it. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The Jets are sort of using a new game plan when it comes to their run offense this season. Last season they included the full back John Conner more often early on, but now they are turning to the tight end position to pick up the slack.

“We are doing some different stuff.” Veteran RB LaDanian Tomlinson said, “Obviously if you see the games we are not using the full back as much. We are still using the full back but we are using more tight ends so it’s a different change.”

If it worked so well last season, then why try to fix something that wasn’t broken? Tomlinson made it clear.

“I think part of it was John (Conner) not being as healthy early on.” Tomlinson said, “Right now I think that had a lot to do with it.”

Tomlinson doesn’t seem to be worried about the run game even though he admits it is a big part of their game plan, but knows it can come back to life at any time.

“Any week can be a breakout week for us running the football.” Tomlinson said, “We’ve always been able to rely on it, but we expect to be able to run the ball if we need to.”

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is thinking along the same lines when it comes to the run game coming back.

“Obviously, we feel like the running game will come.” Schottenheimer said, ”We have a great offensive line. That hasn’t changed. If there’s a group that you know has pride, it’s that group, with how well they’ve all played. The running game is something, it comes through time, it comes through work.”

One of the prideful offensive lineman is none other than center Nick Mangold who knows his group of guys need to tighten things up and get ready for game two.

“We need to just pick things up.” Mangold said, “We were close on some things but in the end it takes everybody and we all have to be on the same page.”

The offense will continue to work on the run game. Options that worked once will most likely work again. It just might take some time and when the time comes coach Ryan will be ready. It is always good to have a plan B.

“When it’s time and coach (Ryan) feels like it’s the right game plan to run a lot of full back stuff, I’m sure we will do that because we can do both.” Tomlinson said.

Better late than never

Monday, September 12th, 2011

 

Florham Park, N.J. — Usually when an athlete steps away from the game for a while for whatever matter it may be, they sort of lose that step that they had in the prime of their career. WR Plaxico Burress looks to be not wanting to accept this fact on the field. The tall target for the Jets might just be their key to success on offense.

Like the Jets offense last night, Burress started off slow. He wasn’t making any sort of impact at all and some may have thought, what have we got ourselves into? It was unusual for his slow start, especially since he got off to such a quick one in the preseason game against the Bengals. It wasn’t Burress’ fault for not being used early. The offensive line was letting up some good pressure to the Dallas defense and their corners were covering well.

Big Plax stepped back on the stage last night and looked like he belonged once again. Lost a step? Didn't seem like it. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“They had a great gameplan for us.” Sanchez said. “ They were down in the secondary, they were hurting in the secondary a little bit. They played hard, all their guys. Even though (Mike) Jenkins got hurt a little bit, he kept coming back in. He had a pretty good scheme for us….  Their D-line is probably one of the best we’ll see.”

As good as they were for most of the game, Bob Ryan’s Cowboy defense could not keep up with the Jets. The screw finally came lose when they scored 17 unanswered points. As soon as the offense started rolling, Burress began to turn it on as well. He started with the bullet pass from Sanchez to give them some room from their own endzone, and from there he kicked his game into gear. He was running crisp routes and making key blocks to open up big plays. He was playing like the Burress we remember from two and a half years ago. He ended the night with four catches for 72 yards and a 26 yard touchdown. After the touchdown reception he gave the crowd his signature bow like he was back on Broadway. Being back in the endzone is far away from where he was just a couple of years ago.

“It feels good to finally go out and play a regular season game.” Burress said. “It’s definitely a special time for my family and myself, (after) everything we’ve been through. (We’ve) just been waiting for this game for a long time. I’m just happy to be able to go out and make a few plays and help our team win the game. Mark (Sanchez) made a great throw. We felt like we had a mismatch with (Mike) Jenkins out. He just put it up there and I made a play.”

Sanchez was happy to connect with his newly acquired receiver and they seem to be getting on the same page early in the season. If it doesn’t work the first time, just keep knocking until the door finally opens.

“I missed him early in the game on a third down. We came back and we hit him for the touchdown, so that was big.” Sanchez said. ”They gave us that same coverage, they tested us again. I missed it the first time, I knew we wouldn’t miss it again should we get the coverage. We got it and I made the most of it, and he made a heck of a grab.”

This team work that Sanchez and Burress had last night needs to continue week in and week out if they want their offense to step up and become better. Yes, they have Santonio Holmes, Derrick Mason and Dustin Keller at the wideout positions but the key to their success will be the big guy #17 especially in the red zone where Sanchez can just throw it up and Burress will come down with it.

CB Isaiah Trufant replaces WR Mardy Gilyard on 53 – man roster

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. – WR Mardy Gilyard, who was picked up by the Jets last Sunday after the St. Louis Rams had cut him from their squad, has now been cut from the Jets 53 – man roster.

Jets make a few last minute roster changes before the start of the regular season. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Coming in to take his spot is a semi-familiar name in CB Isaiah Trufant who was active last season during the playoffs. Over the winter the team released him and he was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles who then cut him and the Jets claimed him once again just in time for the Jets-Eagles preseason game.

The strange thing about this situation is  the Jets cut Trufant on Sunday to make room for Gilyard and now they have seemed to change their mind. Confused? What makes the team think that all of a sudden Trufant is worth a roster spot over the man he essentially just lost it to less than a week ago. No need for fans to lose their minds over it since we are talking about bottom of the barrel depth chart players but it is just the principal of the whole thing and it could get the fans thinking about the status of the secondary.

Harmless comments from Rex

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — The National Football League is doing everything it can in order to keep the game safe. Changing rules and taking some excitement from the sport is one thing, but are people being serious with the comments Rex Ryan made earlier in the week. C’mon Man! (Chris Carter voice)

Harmless comments from a harmless man. Rex Ryan is an old school football coach who likes to light the fire under his players and the fans in order to get ready for Sunday. No need to scold him for the way he is. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

On Wednesday, the coach was talking about the Dallas Cowboys fans who are expected to show up for the game Sunday night in the new MetLife Stadium, Ryan said, “I don’t know why they’d be here. They’re coming into our stadium. It’s probably not recommended that you wear Cowboys stuff, I would think.” (joking)

It is understandable why some people might be a bit peeved about this, but it has gone way too far. The reason for all the higly unnecessary commotion is because of the fan fights that occur almost every season in all sports and the one that is fresh on everyone’s mind is the preseason game between the San Fransico 49ers and the Oakland Raiders in San Fransico just a few weeks ago. Which resulted in  70 ejections, 12 arrests, two parking-lot shootings and one restroom beating that left a man unconscious.

Some people are looking at these comments by coach Ryan as a warning to Cowboys fans by trying to scare them. It is being taken completely out of context. This is who Rex Ryan is. Everyone should know by now that he is a loud mouth coach that pumps up his team and their fans to get ready to play on Sunday. He has been the same being since his days as a defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. It might have flew under the radar simply for the fact that he was only a coordinator and did not want to step all over the shoes of the head coach but he has not changed and most likely never will. That’s Rex.

I know my opinion doesn’t matter and some people do not want to here it but listen up. Here’s an idea for sporting events that might just turn things around when it comes to fan violence. Instead of people harping on coaches and players who are simply trying to boost the morale of the team and their fans, how about we take alcohol out of the stadiums. Fans who know how to handle themselves will suffer but if the NFL was really concerned about fan safety, they would make a move, but the money is simply too good to turn down. Most might disagree with this idea but let’s give it a shot just for a season and see what happens. It can’t hurt.

The game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets will occur on Sunday night in the new MetLife Stadium and I’m pretty sure coach Ryan’s comments will not be a factor. Instead, it will be a day of remembrance and sorrow capped off by an American sport that fans come see to take their minds off reality.

Sione Pouha is ready

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Florham Park, N.J. — With Sione Pouha entering into his 7th season in the NFL (all with the Jets) he was never named the starting defensive tackle but in life patience pays off. Last season he filled the void of Kris Jenkins who was out for the entire season due to an ACL tear and proved himself good enough to not only be named the starter this season but also is now one of the captains on the Jets defense and is ready to go this Sunday night against the Cowboys.

Captain Pouha is ready to show the Jets that they made the right choice in naming him a starter. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

During training camp Pouha suffered a sprained knee injury that looked to be serious at the time. If that would have been the case the team would have been missing a huge part of their defense that they plan on using in a bountiful amount this season. Lucky for them the knee is doing just fine.
“The knee is doing well. It’s great. Fully functional, 100 percent.” Pouha said today during an interview.
As said earlier, Pouha is entering into his 7th season and has now finally been annointed as a starter for the Jets. After playing in all 16 games last season and recording 59 total tackles with 41 of them being individual as well as two sacks, he has proved that he his worth more than a backup. Pouha realizes the opportunity is great and he is excited for the challenge ahead.
“It feels great.” Pouha said. “First of all it’s a blessing to be here. It’s a rare opportunity so you do the best to take advantage of the opportunities that you get.”
In Sunday’s game vs the Cowboys the Jets defensive line will be facing off against an inexperienced and very young offensive line. With chemistry and experience playing a large factor in the game of football this matchup in the trenches could end up being lopsided. Pouha is showing his humble side and treating this game like a professional should.
“There is no weak link in any team in the league.” Pouha said. “Everybody is coming out especially in the first game to give it their best….. There’s no backups, everybody is a starter.”
Coach Ryan wants to take full advantage of the weakness that he sees in the offensive line of the Cowboys and thinks they will have a bit of a problem facing his top notch defense.
“When you’re starting a new offensive line, no matter who you play, there are going to be some adjustments.” Ryan said. “But when you play a defense like ours that has been together, that does multiple things, there’s probably easier defenses to face.”

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