Archive for September, 2011

Cromartie will play Sunday

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Florham Park, NJ — After suffering from a bruised lung last Sunday in the Jets loss against the Oakland Raiders, CB Antonio Cromartie is going to return this week for the game in Baltimore at the Ravens.

CB Antonio Cromartie will play this Sunday against the Ravens. What will his impact be? Will he make one? We will find out this Sunday night. (JetsInsider.com)

 ”I feel 100 percent.” Cromartie said, ”I have a little soreness in there but that’s about it.”

I really don’t like giving my own opinion when I write my articles, but isn’t it something what athletes can go through and still be able to come out and play the week after. Anyway, it seems that the ‘lung injury’ might win the injury of the year award (if there was one). This is already the second one of the early season and who knows how many more we might have. First was the Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (punctured lung) who came back and played the week after and lead his team to a victory over the Washington Redskins. Now it’s Cromartie’s turn to top that. Will he return Sunday looking battered and bruised or will he come out with his cape on and be the hero like he was in week two. Well maybe we can swap the cape for some extra protective gear but it’s still sort of super hero-ish. (Batman perhaps)

“We have some stuff that I will wear, protection-wise.” Cromartie said, “But it’s something that’s light that I can move around real well in.”

Cromartie fully participated in today’s practice without a setback or any further complications. The only thing he and the coaching staff are not so sure about is when it’s his turn to tackle an opposing player.

“I went out today, I did some some stuff. I felt good running around.” Cromartie said,”It didn’t give me a problem catching the ball or doing anything else. So, the first thing is going to be, we’ll find out how good I feel after I make the first tackle.”

We do know that Cromartie will be avoiding gettting tackled this Sunday, because according coach Ryan, during his press conference, he made it loud and clear that his star CB will be taking the week off of those duties.
 
“No, he’s not going to return kicks today, or this week.  There is no chance, unless we really need him.” coach Ryan said, “It’s probably not real prudent to have him run down there and know he’s going to get hit.”
 
Coach Ryan is looking out for his player 100 percent but Cromartie says there are no limitations for what he can do.
 
“I feel like I can do it, if my body feels good. If I’m not feeling well then I know I won’t go back.” Cromartie said, “I’m a guy that’s always a competitor and always wants to be on the field at any given time.”
 
It looks like Cromartie needs to put his pride on the shelf this week and just go out and play a sound game and make some plays against the Ravens offense and try to do everything he can to protect his rib area. There are plenty more games for him to return kickoffs. He proved his toughness just by saying he is ready to play this week, no need to push it too far to the point of a slow return.

Plax misses practice… No worries

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Florham Park, NJ — It seems the New York Jets are taking WR Plaxico Burress’ hand and making him walk in baby steps so far this season.

Big Plax misses another practice but no worries, just tightness in the hamstring. He will be out on the field Sunday night. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

At the start of his time with the team Burress had the slight ankle injury that still has come up in the last few weeks and now he has some tightness in his hamstring but says it’s nothing.

“It’s a little sore more than anything, a little tightness.” Burress said, “I went out there and went through individuals and caught a couple of passes but it just doesn’t feel right, little sore, so we just kind of did the smart thing and just had some limited work.”

We will see Burress go against the Ravens this Sunday whose team defense is up there with the best in the league. After the Ravens won their first game which felt like a playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they kind of took the week off in week two when they played the Tennesse Titans. Burress knows his team has to take advantage of their man to man coverage.  

“Ed Reed is the guy who really protects those guys. He’s a guy that reacts to the football and makes plays.” Burress said, “What I’m recognizing is that we are going to have to make plays when they bring pressure, when they bring pressure they leave their guys in man to man and single coverage.”

The man to man coverage is what the offense was expecting from the Raiders but they ended up switching it up on them and it hurt the Jets last week. The offense has to realize this and adjust quicker this week if they want their offense to get on the board early and often.

“You really can’t expect  teams to come out and play us the way they see us on tape,” Burress said, “We are going to have to adjust on the fly is what I’ve recognized in the first three games and we are going to have to just execute calls.”

The offense kind of adjusted a bit last week against the Raiders with a few check down throws that turned into big plays. Sometimes it will work, absolutley, but you can’t live and die by dinks and dunks. QB Mark Sanchez needs to get the outside receivers more involved this week in order to get passed the wall that stands in their way.

Jets fall to the Raiders 34-24

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Oakland, CA - Was this a must win game for the New York Jets? — This might sound a bit ridiculous but then again it could make complete sense. Today’s game on the road against the Oakland Raiders, where the Jets just couldn’t get it together, may have meant a lot more than just a loss on their record. With the upcoming schedule they are facing in the next few weeks (Baltimore Ravens: road, New England Patriots: road, Miami Dolphins: home and the San Diego Chargers: home) today’s loss might become a dark cloud over New York, if the team cannot bounce back.

Oakland's defense swarmed QB Mark Sanchez in the 2nd Half sacking him 4 times in the Raiders 34-24 win against NY. This sack came from DE Jarvis Moss.

The Jets were punched in the mouth right out of the gates today when the Raiders caught their defense on their heels and went in for an opening touchdown. Right there it looked like it was going to be a long day for coach Ryan and his defense, but before you could blink an eye the Jets offense went back down the field to tie the game at seven and it seemed they were back on the balls of their feet.

The offense was on the balls of their feet for most of the game (finishing with 439 total yards) but it was the defense that hurt the Jets for now the second game of the season. (first one was against the Cowboys that the Jets ended up winning).

“This one stings, no question,” Ryan said in his press conference, ”You have 439 yards of offense and lose the game. It was unbelievable.”

This afternoon the Jets defense was torched by RB Darren McFadden who rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns (averaging 9 yards a carry). McFadden wasn’t the only running threat that did damage. The Raiders ended up gaining 234 total yards on the ground and averaged 7.3 yards per carry.

“Two hundred and thirty-four yards, (7.3) a carry, I’ve never had that happen, I don’t think, in my life,” Ryan said in his press ocnference.

Coach Ryan was clearly upset with the defensive performance, but he wasn’t the only one that was hanging his head about how the game turned out.

“You can’t expect to win in the NFL giving up over 200 yards rushing,” Jim Leonhard told the Star-Ledger.

The pass rush and run defense or lack there of according to coach Ryan was not only a negative in the first half, but was carried all throughout the game.

“I don’t know what rush defense your’e talking about.” Ryan said during his press conference.

Enough with the negativity, we will return to that again soon. Let’s give some credit where credit is due. In the first half the Jets were doing some things that were positive to their football team. The Jets run game seemed to resurrect itself today,(100 rushing yards for the game) as LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene (15 carries for 59 yards, 3.9 ypc) had good games coming out of the backfield, (catching and running).

Their offensive line, even without center Nick Mangold was playing exceptionally well, in the first half that is. The young center Colin Baxter did well at the line and his name was barely heard from the announcers, which meant he must have been doing something right or else they would have been all over it. In the first half the big Raider defensive line recorded no sacks but the second half was a different story.

Also in the first half, QB Mark Sanchez was playing pretty well, with only one mistake under his belt, which was the forced throw to the endzone out of the pocket that was intercepted. His true fault might have been not getting the ball to his outside receivers early in the game enough especially against the Raiders man to man coverage, but later in the game he came around but it was too little too late. Sanchez finished the game (27/43, 369 yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception and one running touchdown).

Everything that was golden in the first half, quickly turned to bronze in the second half. The offensive line looked sluggish as soon as the third quarter started. In the second half they gave up four sacks, one in which Sanchez received a cut under his right eye near the bridge of his nose but he is fine.

The offense that was moving the ball with a sort of rhythm in the first half suddenly slowed down immensly in the start of the second half and didn’t seem to come back to life until later in the fourth quarter. In a game that was 17-17 at one point  got out of hand in the second half.

Yes, it is a team game, no doubt about it but there was one player who stood out to me that just couldn’t get away from the trouble today, that guy is CB Antonio Cromartie.

He has been the Jets rock on defense so far this season (in my opinion) and to come out and play a game like he did today just goes to show that even the pros have a bad game.

After being awarded defensive player of the week for his performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars where he had two interceptions, he came out and probably had the worst game he will have all year. Cromartie committed four big penalties, one pass interference call that lead to an Oakland score, and one gigantic fumble that completely took the wind out of the sail of the Jets. The fumble happened on a kick off return that Cromartie tried to get a running start and ended up booting the ball directly to the kick off team. The Raiders ran a few plays and got into the endzone once again, making it 31-17 which made the game out of reach for the Jets.

The Jets tried to have their last minute heroics, like they have been able to pull off in games past, but it didn’t work today. They fell short on a 4th and 2 play in which Sanchez tried to run into the endzone to make it a one possession game but to no avail. The play was at first signaled as a touchdown but under the new review rules the NFL put in this year it was clear to the referees that Sanchez’ knee was down before the ball crossed the pile on. The play lead to a turn over on downs. The Raiders took a knee to run out the clock. One knee is a failure for one side but for the other it is a success.

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.