Preparing For The ‘Pack Attack’

September 11th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — We hear it all the time in sports. A team comes into action a decided underdog, with absolutely no shot to win, right?

Defensive Line Coach Karl Dunbar look to make things uncomfortable for Aaron Rodgers come Sunday Afternoon in Lambeau Field (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Well that’s the circumstance that the New York Jets come into week 2 with. Facing an angry and talented Green Bay Packers team on the road coming off a humbling week 1 mauling at the hands of the defending Super Bowl Champion, Seattle Seahawks.

“The goal is to go out there and put together some long drives and especially against a good quarterback like Aaron.” Geno Smith said, “You want to keep him on the sideline, so it’s going to be critical for us to do well in the first and second battle.

“We run the ball well and we play defense (well), so I think those things travel.”

If the notion of public forecast holds true, all signs point to the Jets not being 2-0 come Sunday night.

Going off conventional thought and how Gang Green performed last season, it’s hard to predict which Jets team will show up or how the final outcome will emerge. Last year the team essentially alternated winning and losing for the first nine weeks of the season en route to an 8-8 record.

This year? The overall offensive talent level is up around Geno Smith but now the state of the secondary as talked about throughout camp and into the season is the biggest question mark and mystery on the team.

In week 1, the Jets were the better team and were expected to win but survived a Raiders team starting a rookie quarterback in his first career start by failing to deliver the trademark ‘knockout blow’ until late in the contest.

The thought is, if the Jets play in a similar fashion as they did on Sunday against an explosive Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay team it would be a rough outing out at Lambeau.

“I wish there was just one thing about him so we’d be able to target it,” Ryan joked. “It’s tough to sleep this week as a coach…having home-field advantage with the noise would be a great equalizer.”

But under Ryan’s tenure, the team is no stranger to being counted out. But if they play like they did against the Patriots as an underdog in week 7, who knows?

“Excellent practice today, so we’ll see what that all means on Sunday.” Ryan said, “But really communication was good and competition outstanding with guys getting after it, a few brush-ups and very spirited”

Despite there being no sign of tight end, Jeff Cumberland, earlier this week, who has been dealing with an achilles’ issue and cornerback, Dee Milliner, doing positional drills with the rest of the defensive backs backpedaling with breaking, turning and catching; both had signs of progress today stretching and doing conditioning drills at practice today.

“I’m very optimistic. (I) just have to get out there and, like I said, do what they tell me to do, just keep working… and if I feel good, I’ll be out there,” Milliner said regarding his status for Sunday’s game.

“It’s an injury, you have to take it easy, be cautious. Be careful with it because if you rush it and come back too fast you can hurt it again and just cause more pain and heartache on the injury you already have.”

After practice Ryan said he felt “pretty confident” that Milliner will play on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan alluded to tackling well, awareness on screens and for the deep ball as points of emphasis for the team heading into their first road test of the year.

A unique technique at practice with the Jets using music to simulate potential crowd noise that they’ll face at Lambeau. Defensively Ryan said, a lot of the task to being prepared for what’s to come will be on the shoulders of David Harris and Laron Landry.

The duo is expected to quarterback the defense against the uptempo onslaught that comes with Green Bay’s no huddle on Sunday.

“We have to be prepared for it you know, making sure with the communication everyone’s getting the calls and we read the plays because they line up quick and snap the ball up quick,” said Safety Dawan Landry. “We have to be on our p’s and q’s.”

And don’t think for one second the Jets have banked on Aaron Rodgers only using on side of the field as he did in the NFL kickoff to avoid Richard Sherman.

“We know they have a pair of very capable receiving corp in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb… They have big play potential so we’re going to have to execute and play our style of football,” Landry said.

Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Eddie Lacy, is set to return after leaving the Packers opener in Seattle with a concussion. The Jets held the Raiders to a mere 25 yards on the ground and seek to established their mark as one of the league’s top run-stuffing units.

“Each week presents it’s own challenges. (Lacy’s) a hard guy to bring down and combined with that passing offense brings its fair share of problems,” said Linebacker Calvin Pace.

“He’s a good power back but he’s a spinner too, so a lot of times he’ll spin great tackles and you have to work that,” said Ryan.

“Most big backs are just boom straight ahead and they don’t dodge it, not only will he finish runs but he doesn’t dodge contact.”

Bottom line for Sunday’s tough task –

“On the road you have to start fast and don’t give up big plays that lets there crowd gets into it,” quipped Pace.

Notes

The Jets worked out free agents this week including two veteran guards — Doug Legursky (most recently of fellow divisional rival Bills and Jeff Baca of the Vikings)

Legursky has been in the NFL for five-years and started 11 games in the 2013 season for the Bills

Baca was a sixth-round pick of the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft: both may be backup options in the event of an injury at the guard spot behind Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi

Limited in practice: D. Milliner (Ankle), J. Bush (Quad), W. Colon (Calf)

DNP: A. Edds (Hamstring)

Practiced full: I. Enemkpali, J. Cumberland

Coach Ryan was disappointed in some of the practice’s squad performance saying that some of they guys weren’t quite prepared and need to prepare as if they are going to start each week

On rookie tight end Jace Amaro – Ryan responded he’s going to be a major part of our offense and fairly soon

Week 1 – Jets Survive Turnovers and Penalties To Defeat Raiders 19-14

September 8th, 2014

East Rutherford, N.J. —  An electric atmosphere filled Metlife Stadium for “WHITEOUT!” Rally Towel Day as the New York Jets hosted the Oakland Raiders to open their 2014 campaign.

It was a first half of growth and of first half setbacks for the New York Jets as Nick Folk got things going scoring wise for the Jets with a 45-yard field goal but in between there were many moments where playcalling and jitters took away any momentum the team offense got.

Which Rex Ryan wasn’t too pleased with despite the good start to the new year.

“The 11 penalties is definitely bothersome. We have to take care of the football better. We fumbled twice and never had any takeaways. We dropped some balls (interceptions). That’s still a work in progress and it has to get better for us to do what we want to do,” Ryan said.

“Red-zone penalties absolutely kill you. This should have been a ‘rat-kill’ and it wasn’t,” said Ryan.

Geno Smith opened up the 2014 NFL Season with a 96.6 passer rating, leading the Jets to a 19-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Regarding Geno’s performance, Ryan praised Smith for the day but said he made two costly mistakes.

“Know the down and distance. We’re in field goal range, just take a sack or throw it away. He tried to make something happen and we took a big loss,” Ryan said. “That’s avoidable, but I’m proud of Geno. He bounced back. The kid can throw it. We have to protect for him. When the protection holds up, this kid can make all the throws.”

There were several themes like maximizing possessions and cutting down on turnovers which developed throughout the Jets 19-14 victory on Sunday Afternoon –

Good Geno, Bad Geno and then Good Geno:

The perfect start – Saalim Hakim taking the opening kickoff near midfield at the 40. Then even getting a chance to employ the newly minted ‘Vick-Cat’, running their first wildcat of the season on the 5th play with Geno Smith lined out right as a receiver.

The first blunder ensued shortly after as Geno aired a beauty over the defending corner to wideout Greg Salas but the Salas was unable to haul it in and was noticeably frustrated with himself after.

Then after settling for a field goal Smith threw his only interception of the day to wily veteran corner Charles Woodson, not checking off and staring him down on a pass intended for Eric Decker leaving the Raiders in Jets territory.

At the 2:43 mark in the first quarter, Derek Carr lead the Raiders to strike back by throwing his first career TD pass for 12-yards to Rod Streater.

“The three plays definitely. We are going to evaluate every single play and get better from every single one, even the good ones,” said Smith. “I have to negate that at the quarterback spot. And it is something I am working extremely hard at, and it’s the game of football. You can’t be perfect at football, you have to move on from those mistakes and keep leading and keep working and I think I did a good job of that today.”

The key turn in the eventual outcome of the game was how Geno bounced back from his mistakes in the game. Taking off with the ball 10 times for 38 yards on the ground added a dynamic element to the rushing attack.

“I think that was the biggest factor in the first half of the football game, because he was able to keep some plays alive and create some things and get out of the pocket, convert some first downs,” said Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen. “It allowed them to maintain possession of the ball a little bit longer in the first half than we would have liked.” (The Jets won the time of possession battle 34:50-23:50)

Sio Moore laid a big hit on Geno after moving the chains for 17 yards running and failing to get down in time but Smith’s shuffle to Johnson got the Jets in raiders territory at the end of the first quarter.

Although if he had cut back inside at the end of the run it would have prevented the play, with each play it seemed as if Geno learned from it and turned the page, an improvement from his inaugural season as the Jets Quarterback.

With Geno’s stat-line a razor-sharp efficiency resulting in 23/28 completions to attempts, one touchdown, one interception and a 96.6 passer rating its easy to see the progression in mindset for the second-year quarterback.

“Any time you can get points and come away with a victory you are happy with it, but we want to set the bar high for ourselves, and we want to be at our best and we want to score touchdowns,” said Smith.

“But in those situations we have penalties that back you up, you have situations that take you out of field goal range like the sack I took, you are hard on yourself and you get disappointed. But, you have to move on from those things and continue to play the game and keep focusing.”

Important to note on Smith’s first drive – he went 5-6, 44 yds, 0 tds but 1 touchdown drop by Salas, which would have made for a perfect drive if he converted on the catch in the endzone. Geno’s pocket presence has improved immensely as he showed great footwork all afternoon escaping from many rushers at a time.

The final stats of the game, do not tell the full story as the Jets primarily in the first half allowed the Raiders with a rookie Quarterback making his first career start in Derek Carr to hang around.

Oakland hung around for the majority of the game due to the Jets mishaps (a second attempt at the wildcat by the Jets resulting in a loss of 1 and fumble at the goal-line changing possession to the Raiders even after the play was reviewed) but with careful offensive game-plan fit for a rookie in his first career NFL game with mostly dink and dives by the Raiders offense.

Self-inflicting wounds with penalties and turnover’s in addition to giving a rookie confidence with each possession did not equal a good sign by the half only leading 10-7.

The Emergence of Calvin: The 2014 1st round pick out of Louisville lived up to the billing in his NFL debut – 4 tackles and 2 pass deflections. But what Pryor did from play to play that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet mattered more today — like when he stuffed Marcel Reece on a screen pass or completed a near pick six if he held onto ball prior to running off. Overall, Pryor displayed a keen eye for the pigskin.

“Ah man I don’t even wanna (laughing) I had seen the endzone before I caught the ball, I guess you can say I popped my cherry on that one, it won’t happen no more, I’ll make sure I get the next one,” Pryor (panned).

As for receiving high praise thus far Pryor feels there’s one thing to remember in order to maintain success.

“I just try to watch film as much as I can, things I see I try to take away from it and just put it out all into action,” Pryor said.

Ultimately it was a tale of two halves:

The lowlight of the first half was when some boo birds came out at Metlife Stadium at the 6:15 mark in 2nd after the Jets were just conservative running on three consecutive plays and then a short dump to Eric Decker, who was sighted for the first time in the contest.

It was the end of a very bizarre first half on both ends, which felt like the Jets should be up a lot more then what they were.

Rising to the occasion:

And then it all turned around — If you look at the irony of the Jets offseason, Chris Johnson was brought into New York to be the old ‘CJ2k’ homerun hitter but it the guy who spells Johnson (13 carries for 68 yards) on a split carry basis in Ivory (10 carries for 102 yards) who broke open the game’s biggest play scampering for 71 yards and a touchdown that put the game out of reach.

Ivory made Jets history with the score, as his run tied for the second longest in team history and longest for the team since 2009 when Thomas Jones accomplished the feat on the road against the Buffalo Bills.

For Ivory making history was not the initial thing on his mind in the moment.

“Just a great run. I was able to break one or two (tackles), I saw a cutback lane and took it, and after that, just try to see who’s the fastest to the end zone. I got caught but hey, a touchdown’s a touchdown.”

“What were were the stats? Like 200 or something like (that). 212 (as a team), yeah. That tells the story right there,” said Johnson. “The offensive line did a great job pushing those guys back, giving us an opportunity to be one-on-one with (a) safety and make plays.”

A new chapter of history was also written in the career of the Jets’ biggest offseason acquisition Eric Decker, who made his regular season debut after spending 4 years in Denver.

When asked if he felt any nerves playing in his first game as Jet, Decker responded how any new player in a new city would.

“(I have) to say I did. Yeah, I did, I was nervous, if you don’t get nervous before a game you probably shouldn’t be in the locker room because that’s just human nature,” Decker said.

“I think what added to it was (a) new team, (a) new experience. It was good though. That first drive got them (nerves) out of me, I’ve got to tell you, I love playing with these guys. This is a fun group and I look forward to doing big things with these guys.”

Even with Antonio Allen, Safety turned Corner in his first career start admitted to having trouble with the deep ball but getting deflections and three and outs helped to boost the secondary’s morale and confidence.

Credit the Jets defense overall for overcoming a sluggish start and bearing down on Derek Carr. They (Dawan Landry, Jason Babin & Co.) set the tone for the final outcome of the game early in the second half as Quinton Coples almost took off Maurice Jones Drew’s head, forcing a loss of 11 and a fumble as well as constantly swarming the rookie all day long with pressure.

It was not the prettiest of victories, but the Jets aren’t looking for style points heading into a showdown at Lambeau Field with a Green Bay Packers team with plenty of motivation to hand Gang Green their first loss of the young 2014 NFL season.

Notes

  • Geno Smith was the latest player to be introduced by the Jets through the tunnel and represented the Roc Nation Brand that he’s signed to as Jay-Z’s client, coming out to Jay-Z’s song Public Service Announcement
  • His 23/28 completion to attempt ratio ranks as the 3rd best single game percentage in Jets history
  • He also had 11 straight completions during today’s game
  • The Raiders deferred to the Jets after winning the opening coin toss
  • Officially 7 players were named on the Jets inactive list today — 1. CB Josh Bush 2. OG Dakota Dozier 3. LB IK Enemkpali 4. T Ben Ijalana 5. CB Leon McFadden 6. CB Dee Milliner (Darren Walls started in place of Milliner) 7. WR Walt Powell
  • Former Giant Justin Tuck was down on the field for what he said was landing on his ribs and he did return in today’s game
  • Former Jet Austin Howard made his debut and says the nature of the NFL business makes games like these easier to get used to
  • Eric Decker were almost exclusively featured on some drives in the third quarter with a mix of Chris Ivory but no sign of Bilal Powell (who had 1 carry for 4 yards on the day)
  • Near trickery by the Jets almost resulted in a Decker touchdown in the far left end of the endzone as CJ2k lined up in the wildcat formation, passed it off to Vick who threw in the endzone but was slightly off
  • The first touchdown of the 2014 NFL Season was completed off a Geno Smith fake off hand shuffle pass to Chris Johnson for a long overdue score
  • At one point, the Jets had 302 net yards to the Raiders 60 and the game was just a 6 point deficit
  • Nick Folk made good on both of his field goal attempts (the first from 42 yards out and the second 45)
  • Jets held the Raiders to 3/12 on third-down attempts
  • While also outrushing them a whopping 212 to 25
  • Jets need to clean up on penalties drawn (problematic in the preseason) – they accrued 11 in total for 105 yards while the Raiders only racked up 4 for 20 yards

Jets Turn Page To 2014 NFL Season

September 4th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The time for talk is over and the New York Jets are ready for the big stage: the 2014 NFL season which begins tonight in Seattle.

It’s been approximately eight months and one week since December 29, 2013 when the Jets last played an NFL game that counted in the standings, defeating the Miami Dolphins in week 17 of the 2013 NFL season.

The Jets also defeated the same Oakland team 37-27 on December 8 at home that they’ll see in just two days. But if you ask the team around Florham Park none of last year’s results matter as it’s time to turn the page and write a new chapter due to facing a revamped Raiders squad. Read the rest of this entry »

Jets Conclude Preseason — Raiders On Tap To Begin 2014 NFL Season

August 29th, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The New York Jets’ will now have to turn their attention to assembling the best 53-man roster that Gang Green can move forward with.

Jets Owner Woody Johnson will see his team cut down to 53-men once the NFL deadline of Saturday at 6 p.m. passes (JetsInsider.com Photo)

That is with Head Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik having 22 spots to clear in two days by Saturday August 30, to officially abide the league wide mandate to cut rosters down by 6 p.m. on the deadline date.

Thursday night was a reunion fest of sorts for the backups as the Jets never got reacquainted with former starter, the much maligned Mark Sanchez and former Eagle, Michael Vick, was literally pulled after one handoff snap — a classy move by Rex Ryan, which allowed Vick to get a standing ovation by the crowd in Lincoln Financial Field.

It was a fitting tribute by fans for Vick’s five years of service to the team which gave him his second shot at an NFL career. But for all the catching up and good sentiment with finally being done with the preseason, the Jets must shift its focus with only ten days remaining from tonight’s 37-7 loss and a date with the Oakland Raiders on September 7.

“It’s kind of tough to say because it’s week to week,” said Linebacker Demario Davis on the state of the Jets defense. “Were improving but we feel confident about our identity.”

When asked about the method of preparation for the team leading up to the season, during the Jets-Eagles CBS telecast Davis responded “It’s football season and its time, everyone’s ready to play.”

The contest could have been a telling sign or just smoke and mirrors with those seemingly fighting for the sacred final roster spots. Take Stephen Hill for example.

The spotlight has squarely been on the 2012 second round pick (infamously picked ahead of emerging Bears’ star Alshon Jeffrey) or his hands lack thereof. Hill caught a 13-yard reception for a first down but also dropped the first target his way causing all too familiar request of fans for Hill to extend his hands on a more consistent basis.

His night was done after appearing in five of the Jets’ six possessions in the first half raising questions as to whether this would be the swan song for the disappointing 23-year old’s career with the team.

Matt Simms, who got the majority of the snaps in tonight’s game missed Greg Salas twice in the end zone on overthrows so Salas did not do anything to warrant him not making the team.

The team is said to probably keep around five or six receivers and Hill is competing with Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim for the final one or two spots (as Decker, Kerley and Nelson are locks with Gates as the odd man out overall).

Salas and Hakim play on special teams and Hill does not which may end up counting against the third-year wideout. For the final ‘tryout’ to make the final 53-man roster, essentially Jets players just had to show what they can do, while the proverbial locks and first teamers encouraged them while also letting the backups know what they could do better.

One of those players who did not look good in his audition at all was LeQuan Lewis. Lewis noted as a key player coming into the game – struggled mightily. It was easily to see why Lewis has been a journeyman in the NFL, playing for nine professional teams in four seasons.

After being picked up by the Jets during training camp (prior to the secondary being depleted with injury) it was assumed that Lewis was acquired to help with depth.

This was before Gang Green reached full emergency status after converted safety turned corner Antonio Allen suffered a concussion last Friday against the Giants and with the status of Dimitri Patterson being up in the air.

Lewis given his shot starting opposite Ellis Lankster (who struggled in his own right with two holding penalties and being blown away on routes). While Lewis had an interception in the end zone, he did not make a case for being an option as a stop-gap starter until Dee Milliner returns, as he fell susceptible to the deep ball being beaten for a 32-yard gain and a 43-yard touchdown on the night.

Note

Special teams ace, Linebacker Nick Bellore was down on the field temporarily as trainers checked on his lower let leg but he eventually walked off the field under his own power (the team later announced it was a calf injury)

Dmitri Patterson’s status with the final 53-man roster is still up in the air especially after Patterson came out and refuted the team’s claim that he was AWOL for 48 hours prior to and after the ‘Snoopy Bowl’ against the Giants

The Eagles racked up 557 yards of total offense (292 passing and 265 rushing)

Stat of the night or Ominous sign?: 4 catches for Jalen Saunders tonight, were more than Stephen Hill had all pre-season in 5 times as many reps

After the game Rex Ryan was not pleased with the team’s overall performance, telling reporters “Its hard to really hard to pinpoint who stood stepped up. It was a poor performance by us, without question.”

Jets’ Are Now Down to 75

August 24th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — As of noon today, the New York Jets announced that they’ve reduced their roster from 81 players to 75 now by releasing the players below.

All NFL teams must reduce their roster to a maximum of 75 players by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26 so the Jets got a headstart on the process of ultimately cutting down to a 53-man roster by the league-wide mandated deadline of August 30. The following players are no longer with the Jets –

Colin Anderson (TE/6-4/240/Furman/Dallas, TX)

Mike Campbell (WR/6-2/205/Temple/Edison, NJ)

Ras-I Dowling (CB/6-1/210/Virginia/Chesapeake, VA)

Jacoby Ford is the most surprising name to appear on the cut list as he was expected to compete for starting special teams roles (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Jacoby Ford (WR/5-9/190/Clemson/West Palm Beach, FL)

Anthony Grady (DE/6-7/289/Missouri State/Texarkana, AR)

Chad Young (FB/5-10/240/San Diego State/La Verne, CA)

To recap prior to these six, seven were released to begin the final maturation process of forming the 2014-2015 Jets roster.

Bruce Campbell (T/6-6/320/Maryland/Hamden, CT)

Steele Divitto (LB/6-2/237/Boston College/Ridgefield, CT)

Patrick Ford (OL/6-6/305/Eastern Kentucky/Richmond, KY)

Andrew Furney (K/5-10/210/Washington State/Burlington, WA)

Jacob Schum (P/5-11/211/Buffalo/Hamburg, NY)

Michael Smith (RB/5-9/205/Utah State/Tucson, AZ)

Markus Zusevics (OL/6-5/300/Iowa/Arlington Heights, IL)

The biggest surprise of the names released thus far would have to be Jacoby Ford, who headlines the list of players who will no longer be with Gang Green because was expected to compete for a roster spot as the 5th/6th receiver behind Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and Stephen Hill coming into camp.

But the despite the recent injuries to Shaq Evans and Jalen Saunders, the emergence of Greg Salas and Clyde Gates have solified them as the 5th and 6th men of the receiving corps.

Ford was expected to at least compete for the starting gigs on special teams for punt and kick returns but his game against the Giants did not help his cause in that manner. Ford muffed a punt against the Giants, and despite his speed the overall competition at wideout this summer in camp made his services expendable.

The Jets’ roster stands at 75, not counting those on injured reserve — cornerback Dexter McDougle and as mentioned previously Shaq Evans. Antwan Barnes, a linebacker who’s on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list, currently counts for a roster spot.

The Jets have 22 more cuts to make by next Saturday. The process to 53 will come with some very interesting, difficult and debatable decisions to come. It will be intriguing to see how the Jets move forward toward the big day of August 30.

Snoopy Bowl Fireworks to Come – Jets v. Giants

August 22nd, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets (2-0) and New York Giants (3-0) face off tonight at MetLife Stadium in the 4th annual ‘Snoopy Bowl’ game for citywide bragging rights. It is the only time this season that both teams will go up against one another as by NFL divisional rotations on the schedule, the Jets and Giants only draw each other once every four years. For the game Gang Green will be the ‘home team’ in hosting Big Blue.

Head Coach Rex Ryan and Off. Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg look to see positive gains from offense in benchmark preseason game against in-stadium rival Giants (Jetsinsider.com Photo)

Although both teams come into action undefeated, both sides have not played up the level that their record suggests. In fact both MetLife occupants rallied down from 20+ point deficits in week 2 preseason games on the Rose against Cincinnati (Jets) and Indianapolis (Giants) respectively.

The Jets had a penalty filled fest when the starters were in primarily from Breno Giacomini, Willie Colon and Stephen Hill en route to their 25-17 win over the Bengals. Seven personal fouls in total were racked up costing the team several yards along the way and a 17-3 deficit before the 22-point turnaround.

The Giants were down 26-0 in Lucas Oil Stadium and on the verge of a disastrous effort in their benchmark preseason game at the halfway point of their schedule.

Eli Manning was 1-7 at one point and threw an interception drawing much concern over the state of the new West Coast offense that the team is operating under now since the departure of former Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Gilbride despite their stunning comeback led by the heroics of backup Quarterback Ryan Nassib.

Andre Williams started off the fireworks for tonight’s game by firing off the first round of bulletin board material saying that the Giants were the “real football team of New York.”

Since then Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison and Willie Colon have responded to the Boston College rookie’s claim, Willie Colon’s response to Andre (Loose Lips) Williams: “We’ll answer his remarks (tonight).” As well as Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan, telling reporters “Last time I remember him, he was getting smacked around by Clemson.”

Damon Harrison’s repsonse – an emoji featuring a head laughing four times and a see you Friday Mr. Williams ##JetLifeeeeee response.

Don’t tell these players that the ‘Snoopy Bow’ doesn’t count — there is added juice anytime to teams which share the same stadium play, sentiments Wideout David Nelson echoed. “All week long, guys have been talking about it,” Nelson said. “This is a preseason game, but there’s definitely a different feel. It’s not just the third preseason game, it’s the Giants. Rex and a couple of coaches have made it known this is a big game for us. Even though it doesn’t count for anything, it’s still for bragging rights. To have that trophy, or whatever you want to call it, guys play for stuff like that. It adds a little extra motivation.”

For what it’s worth according to an ESPN @SportsNation poll which asked the question: Which is the real NY football team? (Courtesy of Andre Williams): the response was Giants 66%, Jets 34%. The Giants have the Lombardis and the Jets have the motivation of not wanting to be dubbed the ‘little brother’ resident of MetLife — get ready for some fireworks New York.

Whirlwind Around Jets Player Personnel

August 20th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ — On a hot and humid day in Florham Park, the Jets held day 2 of practices at the Atlantic health facility and day 27 overall.

Here’s what we learned: Receivers in the spotlight — For the Jets Tuesday ended up being a mixed bag with some positive on the field and less than ideal off it. Shaq Evans is out for the season, as the team announced today they’ve placed the rookie wideout on Injured Reserve after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Shaq Evans is the latest Jets rookie to be afflicted with the injury bug (Jetsinsider.com photo)

“There’s more to it than that, so obviously he got hit and then he really never felt the effects until later. He had a shoulder (injury) before, but this one was worse,” said Rex Ryan.

“He recognizes these things because he’s had shoulder (injuries) before, but he said this one felt worse and it just never got better to where he could go out and play.”

While fellow rookie receiver Jalen Saunders made waves with his status, posting on Instagram (“Minor setback for a major comeback !!” #belivethat — @jet16life) The 2014 rookie class has had its fair share of bouts with the injury bug.

The Louisville Slugger, 1st round pick Safety Calvin Pryor just made his NFL debut off dealing with concussion issues, second round pick Jace Amaro, has also battled a concussion, the play book and at times his own hands, third-rounder Dexter McDougle is out for the year with a torn ACL and now Evans and Saunders being out for an extended period of time — welcome to the league rooks.

Day Two: At practice wideouts mostly worked on a ten-man teams. Of note there was a spectacular one-handed catch by Greg Salas who with his play is garnering steam toward making the #3 spot behind Eric Decker & Jeremy Kerley an intriguing competition heading into to the tail stretch of camp.

On Wide Receiver drills, with the Jets staff throwing the passes, Greg Salas made a ridiculous one-handed catch down sidelines palming the ball in aesthetic fashion. Geno did look impressive at the helm, dialed in as a signal-caller in dropping most passes with perfect placement. A perfect example of this was when Geno hit Eric Decker 40 yards down the sideline, perfectly placing on Decker’s inside shoulder with the rookie Brandon Dixon on coverage.

Snoopy Bowl Plans: Head Coach Rex Ryan after practice said that he plans to stick with his traditional philosophy of playing his starters the entire first half and for one drive into the third quarter.

“I know that’s crazy, but it kind of gets you used to coming back in, getting a little rest time at half time, and then coming back out and you have to play. That’s always what I’ve done in the past,” said Ryan.

Cincinnati Remains:

After the win in Cincinnati, some in the Bengals organization accused the Jets of ‘bush league’ play; as they referenced being thrown off by Jets’ starters blitzing late in the game. In response to such accusations Ryan said the team wasn’t aware of the chatter and certainly had no ill intentions in its play.

“No, I thought they’d probably be surprised that we played nothing but coverage early in the game. I’m trying to see what we had. Maybe that was probably the big surprise, but again, our starters they never played into the second half,” Ryan said.

“They played in the first half and that’s where we played our guys. That’s from day one. I don’t know why they would be shocked, but again, it doesn’t matter. I don’t worry about their team. We’re just trying to focus on our team and what’s best for us.”

Notes:

Ras I Dowling, Patterson, Ivory & Mangold were all back in practice despite being listed as ‘limited’

Geno Smith is slated to start Friday night, according to Coach Rex Ryan. He will play 2+ quarters possibly into 3rd with starters

Coach Ryan feels both Eric Decker (quad) & Chris Ivory (ribs) will be active for the ‘Snoopy Bowl’ vs the Giants after missing game in Cincinnati

On Santonio Holmes being signed by the Bears, Coach Ryan alluded to the Lisfranc injury, derailing a great start to his time in New York Rex says he was really impressed with Darrin Walls in Saturday’s game and that he deserves some reps with the 1st team

Cumberland was out today with the TEs, taking part in positional drills

Jalen Saunders will talk to the media tomorrow to address the growing mystery surrounding his status

Jets unbeaten in pre-season, but many problems persist

August 17th, 2014

CINCINNATI, OH — Another game and another win for the New York Jets in the 2014 NFL preseason. But a 2-0 start will not dissipate the firestorm of questions at Cornerback nor the secondary for the Jets.

A two touchdown deficit for Gang Green turned into 22 unanswered points as the Jets avoided an encore of October 27, 2013 (the day which marked the worst point margin loss of the Rex Ryan tenure – 40 points in a 49-9 forgetful loss at Paul Brown Stadium).

Many roster based questions to be answered for Jets GM John Idzik (Left) and Head Coach Rex Ryan (Right) (Jetsinsider.com Photo)

After their conquest in Cincinnati, there remains leery concern about the offense, confidence in the front seven but worry on how Gang Green will ultimately go forward in filling the holes in the back end of the defense.

It started almost eerily similar to that October late afternoon when Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton had a career day en route to connecting with Wide Receiver Marvin Jones on Five touchdown on the day — no that is not a misprint Jets fans.

Saturday evening was almost no different as before departing the game, Dalton finished with a flawless stat line — 8 for 8 on pass attempts, 144 passing yards on 1 touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu.

Dalton shone through effectively shredded the Jets’ secondary with a no huddle quick paced offense beating the secondary constantly over the top and around the edges.

Antonio Allen despite only being targeted once in his first career action as a Cornerback and the embattled Kyle Wilson were picked on by arguably the best receiver in the NFL, A.J. Green and Sanu — to the tune of 3 receptions for 69 yards (23 yards per recption on 3 targets) for Green and 2 receptions for 56 yards (28 yards per reception on 2 targets) for Sanu.

After the game Rex Ryan critique his injury-riddled secondary by saying — “Andy Dalton looked like a $100 million Quarterback.”

When facing the Bengals starters in the game, Cincinnati scored two touchdowns and a field goal in three series on the Jets. Kyle Wilson continues to struggle playing the nickel giving up a 43-yard touchdown reception to Sanu as Dawan Landry came late on the deep help. Dee Milliner’s health is needed by the team now more than ever as the Jets head toward the benchmark third game of preseason action.

Some good news in the midst of all the first-team defensive struggles was the emergence of the ‘Louisville Slugger’, Calvin Pryor in his NFL debut. The rookie first-round safety made his impact know early and often.

From recovering a strip-sack fumble on his 3rd NFL play by fellow teammate Demario Davis to hammering Bengals receiver Cobi Hamilton on a pass play; the flying around and big hits were what the team envisioned when they selected the Louisville product 18th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Pryor did not get a chance to start and was eased in his first real-time game action, but he did get some work with the first team (which played the entire first half) despite not going up against the tough combination of Dalton & Green.

Chris Johnson, formerly of ‘CJ2k’ artistry, was a positive displaying some of his old burst. 63 yards on 10 carries running out of the pistol formation found holes through the middle and out on the corner edges. The running backs were a position of strength which told a lot about the o-line’s performance despite the alarming number of penalties that they accrued.

12 Penalties in total for 133 yards, including a whopping seven personal fouls mostly committed by the offensive line combo of Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters and Willie Colon. They showed flashes playing with a nasty edge and chip on their shoulders, but at times the aggression was costly as they lost their cool in scuffles early and often.

Geno Smith did not do anything with his play to create any noise around a scarce semblance of a Quarterback controversy around the Jets. Playing the entire first half for a total of 31 plays, Geno’s only glaring mistake was a miscommunication with receiver David Nelson which was picked off  by the Bengals’ Terrence Newman.

Smith did use his head and legs at times of pressure against Cincy’s D, continuing what made him very successful last December –making good decisions to spark the offense and checking down to second and third reads from the pocket and running when it was necessary to.

He was 10 for 13 overall for 98 yards in 6 series for two touchdowns and a field goal to pull the Jets within one (17-16, the extra point attempt was no good). Michael Vick was 5 for 9 for 70 yards and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Clyde Gates which took the lead for good.

Notes

Rookie wideout Jalen Saunders is still in the hospitall according to Head Coach Rex Ryan

Rookie IK Enemkpali blocked a punt out of the end zone for the safety, (first since 2010) which made the final score 25-17. He’s been making impact plays each week on special teams making it increasingly difficult for the team to cut him

Cornerback Ras I-Dowling ruled out with a groin injury

Jets used Winters at RG and Aboushi at RT rotating them after Aboushi started for Winters at LG

Star wideout Eric Decker was a late scratch against the Bengals (Quad)

Cumberland missed the action with an (Achilles) injury

Chris Ivory did not play due to his ribs

Bilal Powell had a nice cutback on his 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter

Quinton Coples was noticeably on the sidelines for a few series

The Jets (2-0) will be the host against inter-stadium rival Giants (3-0) in the annual battle of New York preseason contest at Metlife Stadium on Friday August 22

The Road From Cortland to Cincinnati

August 14th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The second phase of camp has turned to the Jets finishing up their annual portion of training camp in Cortland, NY. The team now heads to Paul Brown Stadium to face off against another playoff team from last season in the defending AFC North champion Bengals.

Sheldon Richardson vows for the Jets D' to have a different outcome this time around in Cincinnati (Jetsinsider.com photo)

Geno on the spot

When the Jets acquired Michael Vick in free agency many people thought he’d have a legitimate shot to win the job. However through camp the team has shown otherwise despite what’s been called an open competition numerous times by GM John Idzik and Head Coach Rex Ryan.

The Jets’ brass drafted Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft to be the ‘guy’. Smith made a big leap forward in his the final four games of his rookie year.

For Geno, the greatest thing the team wants to see from him is consistency. In order to further consistent play from him it begins with the ‘others’ around him. Is it there with Eric Decker? Can the Jets run the football behind him with Chris Ivory & Johnson? Can Marty Morningweg design the offense to get people open in space.

Before those questions can be answered, the Quarterback answered another — overcoming less than ideal conditions. Battling ugly weather this week in Cortland has been a benefit to the offense, as Geno Smith told nyjets.com — the elements were helpful for insight and preparation to the kinds of scenarios the team could have to play through this season.

“Any time we get in the red zone, guys are animated just because our offensive linemen and defensive linemen take pride in that, getting in the end zone,” Smith said. “It was very animated. I think the weather kind of boosted everyone up a little bit.”

Bengal’ revenge

Although its preseason, don’t tell that to the Jets who want to bounce back from the worst loss in Rex Ryan’s tenure on October 27, losing by 40 to the same team they’ll see Saturday night.

Time to hit the ‘big leagues’

Safety turned Cornerback Antonio Allen is slated to start for the Jets’ on Saturday. His first test? Against all-pro Wideout, the Bengals’ A.J. Green.

Coach Rex Ryan has confidence in Allen’s ability to hold his own adding “If Allen can effectively cover Green, he can cover them all.”

Allen’s versatility gives the team belief that he can hold down the fort until Dee Milliner returns from injury. Allen, was once a hybrid linebacker at South Carolina, prior to being drafted in the seventh round by the Jets in 2012.

When teammates go out in front of you, it’s an opportunity to step up and for Allen there’s on bigger challenge than going up against one of the league’s best.

ALS Challenge

The Jets’ became the latest NFL team to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge mania which has swept the nation. The Cortlandville Fire Department supplied the materials to help drench the team with cold water as fans in attendance cheered on.

Ironically the Jets were nominated for the ALS Challenge by their greatest in recent years, the New England Patriots. On being chosen for ice cold water treatment on a summer afternoon, Rex Ryan appreciated the Patriots choice.

“Anytime you get issued a challenge by New England, we’re going to accept that challenge,” Ryan said.

The Jets have nominated the team’s flight crew to continue the nationwide challenge and awareness effort for ALS.

Notes

According to Bengals.com, Head Coach Marvin Lewis said at practice Thursday that Quarterback Andy Dalton is going to play around 15 to 25 snaps (First quarter plus) against the Jets and its doubtful that backup Jason Campbell plays this week

This will be the first time the Jets play the Bengals in Cincinnati since the Bengals defeated Gang Green 49-9 in October

With the players and NFLPA lobbying for just two preseason games, training camps of the future may include fewer games and more intersquad scrimmages (like the ones we’ve seen the Cowboys partake in with the Raiders and Patriots employ with the Eagles and Redskins)

Jets remain optimistic amid Cornerback woes

August 11th, 2014

CORTLAND, NY — With news of Dexter McDougle’s torn ACL, Dimitri Patterson battling calf and ankle ailments in pads working with trainers and now Dee Milliner’s high-ankle sprain rendering him in a walking boot and out for the next 3-4 weeks, the current state of the Jets secondary is less than ideal.

Which is why much attention and eyes have turned to Jets GM John Idzik and his decision in the off-season not to get a more established veteran name in free agency; with the team reportedly having $21.7M in cap room according to espnnewyork.com.

All eyes on Jets' GM John Idzik's plans to aide recent secondary woes (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“I don’t think immediate spending translates into winning,” Idzik said to reporters after practice. “I think responsible spending translates into sustainable winning.”

To reiterate his stance on how he felt when asked about not signing established free-agent cornerbacks this offseason —  he replied, “We have no regrets whatsoever.”

While Dee Milliner’s status remains uncertain for Week 1, the Jets tried a new attempt at finding some semblance of normalcy at the position — through trying out Safety Antonio Allen along with Ellis Lankster at Corner back during practice.

Allen came in and performed immensely well grabbing two interceptions on the day. He was able to run step for step down the sideline flanking Stephen Hill as an outside Corner back.

From the top, the Jets continue to show unwavering confidence in their ability to weather the storm and overcoming the bevy of challenges that’s come the way of the backend of the defense.

“This is going to work,” said Coach Rex Ryan. “One thing we know for a fact is this is going to be an outstanding defense.”

And coming off being the 19th ranked defense scoring defense  and 22nd in passing yards allowed last season, one concern with the secondary is that teams will be looking to spread the ball out with max receiver formations against the Jets’ defense. In any fashion from short outs, curls and over the top.

Notes

Jets owner Woody Johnson for the first time in Cortland appeared at camp

The team plans on working out free agent Cornerbacks (like four-time Pro Bowler Asante Samuel?) as a contingent plan

Eric Decker (quad) took part in positional drills, but sat out team drills

Jets RB Chris Ivory is still unsure if he’ll play vs Bengals on Saturday

C Nick Mangold, who missed previous practices on paternity leave, was back at practice

Today was mascot day at Jets practice as the team hosted nine college mascots