To Leon Washington, returning a kickoff for a touchdown this Sunday against his former team, the Jets, would mean the same to him as it would if it were any other team in the NFL. Washington is playing Gang Green for the first time since the team traded him away in 2010.“There is no added attention to me playing the Jets,” Washington said on a conference call. "Honestly, I’m very serious when I say this: we’re concerned with what we are doing out here. We got a really good football team so we’re trying to put things together. We’re not too concerned about our opponent, we’re prepared for them but we’re concerned about doing things we need to do for us to win the game.”
Washington, a fan favorite during his time with the Jets, rushed for 13 touchdowns in his career with the Jets and was a threat out of the backfield. As a return man, he showed he was among the league’s best, earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2008.The running back broke his leg in a win against Oakland in 2009 and missed the remainder of the season. After he suffered the injury, the Pro Bowl return man was worried that if he would ever be able to get back to that same level. He ranks second in the NFL with a 29.1 kickoff return average this season, and is second all-time in kickoff returns for touchdowns.
“Obviously the doubt from breaking my leg that part of it was like, wow, can I ever get back to being Leon, can I ever get back to returning kicks and making plays,” Washington said. “That’s the only hesitation that I had but obviously playing football again was a great opportunity that Pete (Carroll) gave me out here in Seattle. I’m thankful for that part of it. Just to play football again is awesome.”After Washington signed a one-year tender with the team, the Jets ultimately shipped him and a seventh-round pick away for a fifth-round choice in the 2010 NFL Draft. Washington said he was told the team needed to pay its stars, like center Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis, and he understood the decision. Since leaving the Jets in 2010, Washington has 90 carries in his 41 games with the Seahawks.
“It’s a business, I understand it,” Washington said of his trade. “I was just thankful I had the opportunity, they drafted me in the first place. It was awesome.”Washington is still close with some of the Jets and keeps tabs on his former team. He said he was surprised to see Rex Ryan was recently voted the most overrated coach in the league since he believes Ryan is a player’s coach. Washington played under Ryan for one season in 2009.“I saw that yesterday it’s kind of like man, the Jets are 3-5 this year and he’s overrated. A couple years ago when they’re going to AFC Championships and things he’s the best coach in the National Football League,” Washington said. "You know how things like that go. Every year it’s something different in the National Football League.”
The Jets are going to get an up-close view this weekend of the One Who Got Away.
But if Gang Green still is disappointed that defensive end Bruce Irvin was snapped up by the Seahawks one spot ahead of them last April, the consolation prize of Quinton Coples has done a good job of easing the pain.Irvin enters Sunday’s matchup with the Jets in Seattle as one of the top rookie pass rushers in the NFL, already notching five sacks despite not starting any of the Seahawks’ first nine games, but Coples is no slouch.The North Carolina product is tied for the team lead with two sacks and ranks second on the Jets with 13 quarterback hits, and Coples vowed yesterday that his best is yet to come.“It’s been a work in progress, but I’m getting better,” Coples said as the 3-5 Jets prepared to visit Seattle’s famously thunderous CenturyLink Field to take on the 5-4 Seahawks. “Things are going well, and I feel like I’m turning into the player they expected me to be.”Both teams might have been better off taking Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, who went five spots after Coples and is among the NFL leaders with six sacks for the Patriots, but neither the Seahawks nor Jets appear to have any regrets about their choices.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll raved about Irvin yesterday, and the Jets appear to be equally upbeat about Coples, despite a brief preseason stint in coach Rex Ryan’s doghouse for complaining about being winded during a game.Coples didn’t get much playing time early in the season as a result, but he is starting to occupy a major role in the defense lately and even started two games last month due to injury. “I’m understanding the defenses better, and things are working for me,” Coples said.The predraft knock on Coples was that he took too many plays off at North Carolina and didn’t go all out. He admitted yesterday that it was a fair criticism, but only because Coples was getting extra attention. “If you know anything about football, you could see I was getting double-teamed and triple-teamed,” he said. “They won’t let you take plays off here.”Ryan doesn’t question Coples’ desire or effort, and Coples said he expects even more success in the second half of the season because he is getting more comfortable with the defensive playbook.That makes sense, because the differences for him are extreme. Coples played in a 4-3 defensive scheme in college that almost entirely was a single-gap (attacking) system for the tackles.
The Jets primarily use a 3-4 that involves two-gap (read and react) responsibilities and stunts for the interior linemen. Ryan and his staff also add plays to the defense constantly and reconfigure each week based on the opponent.Coples said he has benefited from frequent one-on-one tutoring away from the field from linemates Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha and Muhammad Wilkerson, and the rookie is hoping to do an even better job of proving his doubters wrong over a minimum of the next eight weeks. “As long as I go out there and make plays...what those people say is going to be forgotten,” he said.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said some interesting things about quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Russell Wilson on Wednesday.Ryan, whose Jets visit the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, compared how his team handled Sanchez's 2009 rookie season to how Seattle is handling Wilson, its rookie quarterback.There are similarities. Both teams had strong running games and strong defenses. Neither asked its quarterback to carry the offense or team, as a general rule."We were built similarly to what Seattle is doing," Ryan told reporters during a conference call. "Seattle right now probably throws the ball less than any team in the league, but is efficient when they do throw it. I don’t know how many times we ran it, but I promise you it was more than any team in the league that first year."Indeed, the 2009 Jets led the NFL with 607 rushing plays, 82 more than any other team. They attempted 393 passes, 48 fewer than any other team. The 2012 Seahawks lead the NFL in rushing plays. They have attempted fewer passes than every team but San Francisco, which has played one fewer game.
So far, so good. But Ryan also acknowledged an important difference.
"This young man Russell Wilson, I saw something that blew me away which was a 154 [passer] rating over the last five games on third down," Ryan said. "That is ridiculous and pretty impressive. Each guy is different, and you always do what you think is in the best interest of your football team."
2009 Sanchez vs. 2012 Wilson: Games 6-9
Source : ESPN Stats & Information
Wilson's third-down passer rating over the past five games has been 103.4, which ranks fifth in the NFL over that span. That is up from 45.4 over his first four games, a figure that ranked 32nd out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks (only Arizona's John Skelton had a lower one at 41.1).Seattle is getting much better production from Wilson lately. That is where the Sanchez-Wilson comparison breaks down.The first chart compares both quarterbacks' production through nine NFL games.Wilson comes out ahead, but the difference is far more pronounced when we single out their sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth games. The second chart carries the breakdowns for those games.Sanchez actually got worse over his 10th through 16th starts. He tossed three touchdown passes with eight interceptions over that span, taking 11 sacks and posting a 24.1 Total QBR score over that closing span.
Chart notes :
"PAA" shows how many points the quarterback's play added compared to an average quarterback, using methods explained here. "PAR" shows points above what a replacement quarterback might provide, noting that backups are worse than average. For Total QBR, 50 represents average, 100 is maximum and anywhere in the 65-plus range represents Pro Bowl-caliber play over the course of a season. "Success" refers to quarterback plays improving a team's win probability.
Trufant brothers will be front and centre at CenturyLink Field
Yet for all those experiences, one of the most special moments in his football career with the Seattle Seahawks will come this weekend when he takes the field against his younger brother Isaiah of the New York Jets, and after youngest brother Desmond, a senior at Washington, plays on the same field the night before.Three brothers, all playing the same position, two of which are already in the NFL with a third very likely to join the professional ranks next season.And this weekend, all three will take their places on the turf at CenturyLink Field in a span of less than 24 hours. On Saturday night, Desmond will play the final home game of his college career when the Huskies host Utah. About 14 hours after the youngest Trufant walks off the field, Isaiah's Jets will face Marcus' Seahawks.
There is no guarantee any of the three will be playing in the NFL next season. Desmond will likely be an upper-round draft pick when April comes around, but Marcus and Isaiah both have contracts that expire at the end of the 2012 season.So while this weekend doesn't feature all three in the same game, being on the same field a few hours apart will be cherished by the entire Trufant clan, especially parents Lloyd and Constance. The half-Marcus, half-Isaiah jerseys have already been made for Sunday, but only after everyone breaks out their No. 6 Washington jerseys for Desmond Saturday night."It'll be a big day for us," Desmond said. "(I'm) proud of my brothers, what they're doing and we've got to keep it going as a family, keep producing, keep doing good things."
In many ways, the Trufant name is near the top of the football hierarchy in Washington state. All three were prep stars in nearby Tacoma, all three were standouts at state universities and all three beam with pride about their roots.They have touched every level of football in the state of Washington. The three were prep standouts at Wilson High School in Tacoma. Marcus was a star at Washington State, Isaiah at Eastern Washington and Desmond now at Washington.Marcus has spent his entire NFL career with Seattle. Isaiah started his pro career playing indoor football in Spokane before being named the UFL defensive player of the year in 2010 with Las Vegas that helped earn his chance in the NFL, making up for being the shortest of the trio at just 5-foot-8.
"Growing up, he was the guy I always looked up to and wanted to be like," Isaiah said. "Before any professional athlete, it was always big bro trying to do what he does and trying to be like him."
Jets coach Rex Ryan on Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch : ‘He is one tough rascal’
If there’s one phase to pay attention to this weekend when the Seahawks host the New York Jets, it’s the running game. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, the NFL’s second-leading rusher, will be going up against New York’s 29th-ranked run defense.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is expected to unleash the Beast.
“He’s a tough dude. He is one tough rascal,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said of Lynch on Wednesday.“I will never forget when I was in Baltimore, he came in to visit with us. And as he left, we were going back and forth and I told him if he came here he was going to get his butt kicked in practice every day. And he’s like, ‘Man, I’ll show you.’ I really liked him and as soon as he left I was hoping we would get that kid.“Having gone against him several times, he is a guy that really is a physical back. I think he leads the league in yards after contact. He is a very powerful and physical runner, and you can never assume that this kid is down.”After nine games, Lynch has 881 rushing yards on the season with four touchdowns, and has legged out more than 100 yards in five of his nine games so far. He is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and also has 110 receiving yards on 13 catches.
Meanwhile, New York’s defense against the run is one of the worst in the league; the Jets are giving up an average of 141.4 rushing yards per game. They do have the NFL’s sixth-best passing defense, but Ryan is quite aware of his team’s weaknesses.“We have to fix that and fix ourselves before we really worry about who we’re playing,” Ryan said, adding that the Jets have also struggled on third-down defense and special teams. “With that being said, this week is probably about as difficult a challenge that a team could face.Seattle's Marshawn Lynch runs against the Vikings during the second half Sunday. He had 124 rushing yards for 1 touchdown against Minnesota.
“Here’s a team that’s 4-0 at home with wins over Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay and New England. It starts with the running game, of course, but by the way, the quarterback has a 120 rating at home, which happens to be the best in the NFL. So that is certainly going to be a challenge.“On defense, they’re the fourth-rated defense in the NFL — a big, physical group with some guys that can really rush the passer. So it’s definitely a huge challenge for us.”Of course, the passer the Seahawks will rush Sunday is quarterback Mark Sanchez. One of the more divisive figures in sports right now, he’ll be taking most of the snaps while QB Tim Tebow waits for his few chances in the wildcat.
If you thought the Russell Wilson-Matt Flynn controversy in Seattle was bad, you have no idea. A good deal of New Yorkers have been calling for Tebow to start under center, despite his being recently named the most overrated NFL player in a poll by Sports Illustrated.“You know what,” Ryan said, obviously tired of answering questions about the Sanchez-Tebow brouhaha, “I don’t hear very well, so it doesn’t bother me at all.”
Meanwhile, speaking with reporters Wednesday, Ryan also had some very nice things to say about the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson.“I saw something that blew me away, which was (his) 154 quarterback rating over the last five games on third down,” Ryan said. “That is ridiculous and pretty impressive.”
Visit seattlepi.com for more Seattle news. Contact Nick Eaton at email@example.com or on Twitter as @njeaton.
When Mark Sanchez left USC a year early Pete Carroll -- then his college coach -- was not happy.
The reasons for Carroll's sentiment were a topic of discussion Wednesday as Carroll's Seattle Seahawks await a visit from Sanchez's New York Jets on Sunday afternoon."I did not blame Pete Carroll one bit because if I had that young man as my quarterback, I'd say whatever it took to get the guy to stay with me. Like, 'Oh you're not ready, son. As far as you know you're not ready to play.' Deep down he knew he was ready," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said, according to the New York Daily News.
Carroll stands by his comments that Sanchez -- who quarterbacked the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but has continued to struggle -- could have benefited from playing his senior season."I told Mark exactly what I would have told my son," Carroll said, according to the Seattle Time. "I just told him what I knew was the truth. He could have been better prepared if we'd have had him for another year. And I think it would have served him even better."
Sanchez, who's played it cool off the field this season amidst some trying situations, has no regrets about his decision."It was a big jump, a really big jump," Sanchez told The Star Ledger. "He just didnâ€™t want someone who he thought was talented to get lost. But who knows? Everything was timing. I was lucky, but that can break a player. ... That was me, my decision and this is what I always wanted to do. I'm happy with it."
Sione Po‘uha is back in the mix. And “back” is the operative word.
“I’m feeling well. I’m feeling like my old self,” the Jets’ veteran nose tackle said in the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room following today’s first big practice of Seahawks week. “I’m just glad to be able to contribute to the team again and to be there for my teammates.”More than a few of us speculated if that might ever happen again. “Big Bo” came up with his sore lower back in August during the Jets’ Cortland training camp. He was inactive for the opener against Buffalo, started the next three games at nose, then was deactivated for the next three, before starting again two Sundays ago vs. Miami.He has spent every practice day this season on the injury report, including two-plus weeks when he didn’t practice at all. And when he was seen around the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room, it was usually to say, “I can’t talk today. Got to get rehab.”
When all of that happens to a 33-year-old man who’s spent much of his previous seven seasons getting into three-point stances and crashing into opposing offensive linemen and running backs like a 325-pound bighorn sheep, well, I asked him this afternoon if he ever worried during this season if he might have reached the end of the line as an NFL player.“Nah. It was just another challenge, another obstacle in the road,” he said with a smile that didn’t seem to be derived from pain shooting up his torso. “Everybody’s road in the NFL is never easy. A lot of guys have physical, emotional, spiritual things they just have to go through in this league.”Yet when I asked him if this was possibly the toughest physical challenge he’s had to endure in his distinguished, still maturing career, he didn’t disagree.
“I think it is,” he said after a pause. “I missed some significant games. But I accepted that challenge, I accepted the journey. And one of the things that keep me going is that at the end of the day, it’s all about helping my teammates.”It’s always been about more than just Big Bo for Po‘uha. He’s become a steadying influence, a big-brother-figure on the D-line. Certainly Muhammad Wilkerson and Mike DeVito have becoming reliable defenders, rookie DT Quinton Coples has shown flashes, and NT Kenrick Ellis was and is on his way to that same status except for his knee injury. But missing his presence in the middle hasn’t helped the line move along smoothly this season.And now Sione’s back, seemingly ready to rock and roll in the second half of the season. First up is a tough test with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks. Po‘uha said his and his teammates’ approach this week through Sunday will be simple.
“It’s all about executing, each of us doing our part,” he said. “Seattle’s got a great running back but it’s all about the game plan we’ve got from Rex and Coach Pettine. It’s all about preparing and getting out there and making it happen.”And Bo is back with his Bros to try to make it happen for the Green & White in Seattle’s hostile environs four days from now.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan was asked his reaction to being ranked the most overrated head coach in the NFL in one of those Sports Illustrated player polls. Rex laughed.“My first thought was I saw who was second and I said, ‘Hey, I finally beat Bill Belichick,’ ” Ryan said of the rankings, which listed the Patriots’ head coach as the second-most overrated HC in the NFL.“Like gollee, it hadn’t been a tough enough year,” he said, turning serious. “Nah, I wasn’t offended by it. You know what? The overrated thing, it is what it is. At the end of the year we’ll see who’s overrated.” A few sentences later, he added: “As long as they want to come here and play and I’m overrated, that’s fine. But I want ‘em to come here and play.”
Regarding the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, Ryan said their homefield advantage extends beyond this year’s 4-0 record and the ‘Hawks’ 52-24 home mark since ’03, fifth-best in the league in that span.“You think it’s an indoor-type atmosphere, with the noise level when you get there, even though it’s an outdoor stadium,” he said. “I don’t know the exact number, but since ’05, I believe there’ve been 113 false-start penalties on opponents when they’re playing games at Seattle. That shows you it’s a tangible thing. That talks about the noise and how much that 12th man gets involved there in Seattle.”
The 12th man was in effect for the Jets’ last visit to the ‘Link in 2008, then known as Qwest Field. Besides the fans throwing snowballs at anybody in Jets green that day thanks to that rare Seattle snowstorm, the officials threw three flags for presnap penalties on the Jets that day — two on offense, one for a Damien Woody false start and one for an illegal formation, and one on then-punter Reggie Hodges for a delay of game.However, the Seahawks didn’t take full advantage of their HFA that day. They got three false-start penalties called on their O-linemen as well.
Wednesday Injury Reports
The 15 players on the Jets’ injury list to start this week may sound like a lot but it’s the fewest players they’ve had on any daily report this season. NT Kenrick Ellis (knee) and RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle) didn’t participate in practice, while limited players besides Po‘uha were LB Bart Scott (toe), TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), C Nick Mangold (ankle), G Brandon Moore (hip), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder) and S Eric Smith (knee). You can find the Jets’ full injury report here.
The Seahawks are listing 11 players, with seven of them not practicing in Seattle today. Among them are former Jets WR Braylon Edwards (knee) and former Jets twice-annual foe RB Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist). Other DNPs were DE Red Bryant (foot), G James Carpenter (concussion), S Kam Chancellor (quadriceps), DT Clinton McDonald (groin) and LB K.J. Wright (concussion).DE Jason Jones (ankle) was limited and WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), G John Moffitt (knee) and C Max Unger (finger) were full-go.
Transcripts of conference calls by Seattle's Pete Carroll and Leon Washington with Jets reporters on Wednesday afternoon:
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
On how things are in Seattle…
You guys are easy. It’s going fine. We’re pumped up. We haven’t been home very much this season so far. To have two games back to back is cool. We’re excited about it. This is a great place for us to play. We love playing here. With the bye week coming up next week, we’re going to try and make the most of it.
On his comments about Mark Sanchez…
I told Mark exactly what I thought was the right thing to do for him. I talked to him just like he was my own son. I told my own kids the exact same thing. He could have been at USC for another year, and in that position to have so much come his way and be at USC when we were going to have a great team, would have allowed him to prepare himself in the way you can only uniquely get [in college]. I was very close with his dad throughout the whole time and he knew exactly what I thought was the truth. It wasn’t that I was trying to keep him, but I mean that was part of it. If he was going to stay, he would have had a chance to play for us, but that wasn’t the reason I talked to him. I never talk to our players in that way. I talk to them about what is best for those guys in my mind.
The thing that was thrilling about it was to see Mark really, first off, go against what I thought and his dad thought. It was a tremendous illustration for him doing what he believed. I thought it was really amazing that he was strong enough to do that. We both thought it was going to serve him better to not go. The fact that he went there and was successful and won those first three games — isn’t he the first rookie ever to win his first three games or something? — it was just extraordinary. I was so thrilled for him.
Just because he didn’t do what I thought doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing. He went out and proved that he was ready. To get into the playoffs and take it so far and then come back the next year, I thought it was just a tremendous demonstration of a guy who believes in himself. He did that because he knew he could do it and he believed it was the time. He even went against some of the people that were closest to him to do that. I respect him for that.
On if Sanchez not staying in school has hurt him…
No. I think that’s well and done. All of that is washed out by now and he’s been in the hot seat and we’ve been through a ton of things with championship games and all that together. I think that eventually gets washed away. My thought is, I always wanted our guys to be the very best they could possibly be when the time came so they could make the most of it. When you have that thought, then you think in a certain way. I wanted him to maximize his preparation so he could maximize the opportunity. He got through it and overcame it. Whatever I thought he had to overcome, he left that in the dust and kicked butt and had a great first two years and he’s having a great career.
On how often he talks to Sanchez…
I think the last time was before the season. We just communicate through texting or something. We communicate every now and then when one of our guys gets in a situation or does something good. We’re all watching the Trojans really closely. A group of our guys are still linked and I think will be forever. I’ll talk to him when I see him and we have so many people that cross over that we kind of stay in connection with what is happening.
On if there were any hard feelings about Sanchez entering the NFL …
Which comments are you talking about? No, no at all. We talked right through all of that. We sat together until about 2 o’clock in the morning the night before, talking it through. I love Mark and I love everything he stood for. When he made the decision he made, he made what was the right thing in his mind. He stood up and grew up and was a man about it. Then he went out and proved it. I couldn’t be more proud of him. That doesn’t have anything to do with what I thought. I didn’t have any other thoughts than what I just told you. We talked about it immediately after, whatever that was, soon after with the family. We were totally in favor of him [entering the NFL]. You ask him. I don’t think there’s a thought in the world that I’d have any hard feelings.
On what it’s going to be like seeing Sanchez on the other sideline…
It’s going to be cool. I love playing against our guys. The people that I love the most I like to beat the most. It’s always been that way and as we go against our guys, the bad thing is the former USC guys always play well against us. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know if they’re getting back at me or what, but I hope we can have the kind of day we want to have and get our win.
On how he felt about the Jets acquiring Tim Tebow…
I think like everybody else. We knew Tim, too. We’d been through recruiting with him and all of that. I knew that those guys knew each other so there was going to be an obvious relationship between them. I figured that if anybody could get it done, it was those two guys. They have tremendous character and integrity and they would figure it out and they have. They’ve done nothing but the right stuff in dealing with the competitiveness of it all and trying to fit it together and the rest of it is up to the coaches.
On if he is surprised the Jets haven’t used Tebow that much…
I don’t know. We’re expecting him to play. We have to count on him being in there. He’s done enough stuff and enough difficult concepts that we’re studying and we’re all over it. It’s totally up to them. They get to do whatever they want.
On how much preparation will be spent on Tebow…
A considerable amount, let’s put it that way. You want to know how many plays? [laughing]
On the progress Seattle has made…
It’s really taken us this time to get going. I think at the middle of last season when we crossed into the second half of last year, we kind of felt like we discovered the guys we want to lean on for the long haul. We put together the nucleus of guys that we had chosen. John Schneider did a fantastic job of accumulating guys and we started winning games the second half. We started to turn it and play better football.
We really haven’t backed off of that. Even though we’re still at 5-4 right now, we’ve been close to having all of our games. We haven’t been out of anything and have been involved with the ball in our hands with the chance to win or the chance to stop the win each week. The nucleus of the guys we have assembled here is one I think we’re going to ride for some time. We think from this point forward we have a chance to be a really good club and be very competitive and we’re going to try and prove that this week.
On if he is overwhelmed by the homefield advantage he has in Seattle…
No, I haven’t been overwhelmed by it, but it’s extraordinarily fun to be around it. This is a great place to play. Our fans are incredibly cranked up every time we go. The intensity factor and the way the stadium fits together with our crowd, it is really cool. It’s different than a great college setting. It feels different. It’s an NFL crowd, but they just won’t back off and they won’t sit down. It’s really an honor to be playing for them. It’s really fun, every time we go out.
On Leon Washington…
He’s been a real fixture for us. We’re trying to have a complete football team and you want to fit it together with special teams. We’ve been really solid on special teams throughout the time we’ve been here and Leon has been a big factor in that. He’s such a good, consistent threat that you have to deal with on kicks and punts.
Lately, the last few weeks, our opportunities have been minimized. Teams are doing a nice job of kicking the ball out of bounds or kicking the ball deep. We haven’t had that many chances, but we know that he’s just a play away from busting it at all times. That’s a really positive factor and he’s also been a plus to us when we’ve needed him on offense. He’s been a great kid in the program.
On Russell Wilson’s downfield throwing ability off of play action…
There are certain things that we look to do to complement the run game that we’ve championed. I just put that stuff as part of it. We’ve tailored everything, as I think we all do, to our quarterbacks. Russell has a really good arm. He can throw the ball a mile. He has good downfield accuracy and he has great vision. That has fit together.
We’ve kept it under wraps as much as we could to help him grow and keep him moving ahead positively in hopes that in the second half of the season we can really start to branch out and blossom. We’ll see how that goes, but he’s done a fantastic job for us. We’re thrilled about it. The future for Russell is bright. He’s just learning, but he studies so hard and works so hard at it that he’s going to grow as much as a young guy can grow in this position. Hopefully, we can keep doing things to complement that and support him.
On the status of Braylon Edwards…
He’ll get some work today and tomorrow he has a chance to go full-go. We’ll see if he can make it back. We’re kind of counting on him getting back this week.
On rumors that the Jets were going to draft Bruce Irvin…
We were not aware specifically of that, but I’ve heard that, too. We knew there were teams that were in the hunt for him and we weren’t exactly sure who might move to get to him. Some teams saw him one way and others like us saw him as an extraordinary talent. We knew him, knew the background of the kid and we were really hoping we would get the chance going into the draft to find a spot there where we could nail him.
We did. It’s worked out great so far. He’s off to a great start as a rookie and we’re playing him exactly as we had hoped. He plays in passing situations, and on early downs he plays right where Chris Clemons plays. It’s worked out great, but I do know that there were other teams interested. We’ve heard of probably four other teams that were lamenting the opportunity because they saw it, too.
On if he has a basketball hoop in Seattle…
In fact we do. If any of you guys show up early, I’ll take you to the hole [laughter].
SEAHAWKS RB-KR LEON WASHINGTON
On life in Seattle…
Life is good in Seattle. I love it out here. It’s the Great Northwest. Our football team, we’re trying to get things together. We have a good football team, so we’re trying to make this late run in the season. Besides that, the family is doing great. I have three beautiful boys and you guys know my wife, Charity. Everything is going great.
On if he imagined it would go as well as it has since he left the Jets…
Obviously, the doubt from breaking my leg, that part of it was like, “Wow, can I ever get back to being Leon? Can I get back to returning kicks and making plays?” That part of it was the only hesitation that I had. Obviously, playing football again, with the great opportunity that Pete gave me in Seattle, I was thankful for that part of it. Just to play football again is awesome.
On if he thought the Jets believed he wouldn’t come back from his injury…
No, not at all. I remember when I got traded, Rex came and talked to me and said, "Look, Leon, we have to pay a bunch of guys, Nick Mangold, David, Harris" — I remember him saying the names — "Darrelle Revis" and stuff like that. It’s a business, so I understand it. I was thankful that I had the opportunity that they drafted me in the first place. It was awesome.
On if he was surprised with the Jets' special teams performance against Miami…
I mean, I’m not surprised in the sense that it’s the National Football League. You know these guys get paid to make plays across from you anyways. We all know how consistent Coach Westhoff has been on special teams with the Jets and throughout his career, so I don’t look at it as one game against Miami, "They're not the old Jets." They’re a really good special teams unit, they do everything so well, so I’m not surprised at all. I think they’ll get back on the right track.
On the noise level at CenturyLink Field...
It’s awesome. We definitely use it to our advantage. We’ve led the league the last five years in false starts on the opposing team. The energy the fans bring to the stadium is so loud. When I’m about to do a kickoff return, I can feel the energy the fans are giving me. It’s awesome playing here. We know when opponents come here to play us it’s going to be a tough task for them to get a win. We definitely use it to our advantage.
On QB Russell Wilson…
It’s weird in the sense that it’s good for us. The first day he came in you knew there was something different about this kid, the way he prepared. I’m usually one of the first guys at the football facility, so when I pull up at 6:15 in the morning, his car is already in his parking spot. I’m like, man, this guy is special. When I came up here on Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon, he’s up here. You knew from day one when he got here how special this kid is and the way he handles the huddle and the way he prepares himself. He’s definitely not like a rookie. You can see why he’s playing so well because he prepares himself better than anyone I’ve ever been around at the quarterback position.
On if he keeps in contact with any Jets…
I follow a lot of the Jets on Twitter, I follow a lot of the beatwriters and I follow the team on Twitter, so I keep up with them. Honestly, I’m good friends with Darrelle, D’Brickashaw [Ferguson], keep in contact with those guys when I see them in the offseason. So I follow those guys. That was four years of my life that I spent there so it’s only quite natural and then you have some of the guys that’s still there so I follow them pretty good.
On if he’s asked about the Jets often…
Not really. Some of the questions I do get are like “How was Rex Ryan as a coach? Is he a player’s coach?” And I’ll be like, "Yeah, definitely, he’s a players’ coach. He’s somebody that you’d want to play for." Or some guys, my kicker today asked me, “How was Mike Westhoff?” I said he was awesome. He’s another players’ coach that you want to play for. In a sense, they ask me about that. Individual players, not too often. We’re too concerned about what we’re doing over here.
On if he was surprised Coach Ryan was voted most overrated coach…
Yeah [laughing], I saw that yesterday and it’s kind of like, man, the Jets are 3-5 this year and he’s overrated. When a couple years ago, he [reached two AFC Championship Games] and things and such and he’s the best coach in the National Football League. You know how that goes. Every year it’s something different in the National Football League. But I was kind of surprised to see that because knowing that he’s a players’ coach.
On if he would like to return a kickoff for a touchdown vs. the Jets…
[Laughing] Man, I would like to take one to the house anytime. Last week I was trying to take one to the house. I knew that question was going to come up. There’s no added attention to me playing the Jets. Honestly — and I’m very serious when I say this — we’re concerned about what we’re doing out here, we have a really good football team, and we’re trying to put things together. So we’re not too concerned about our opponent. We’re prepared for them but we’re concerned about doing things we need to do in order for us to win the game. Would I like to return a kickoff for a touchdown against the Jets? Yes. Would I like to return a kickoff for a touchdown against the 49ers, the Rams or whoever it may be? Yes. So to answer that question, yes.
On the criticism Mark Sanchez takes…
Being in the National Football League, players talk about the players across the league and such and such. You kind of follow it but not too much. Initially, when Tim Tebow got there, it’s kind of like, OK, what’s going to happen? Is it going to be Sanchez? Is it going to be Tebow? Whoever the case may be. So it looks like they’re sticking behind Sanchez. It’s the best thing for him to have that support from the organization. So I’m sure Sanchez is the type of player that he works hard, I’m sure he’s trying to get things together. Like I said, I’m more concerned about protecting for Russell Wilson and trying to make plays for him.
Seahawks won't miss Revis on Sunday
2012 New York Jets
On/off Field Revis No Revis Source: ESPN Stats & Information Plays 88 440 Yards/play 6.1 5.1 Yards/pass att. 5.4 6.8 Comp. pct. 53.8 56.4 TD 1 8 INT 4 3 NFL rating 38.2 83.8
The Seattle Seahawks won't have to worry about Darrelle Revis when the New York Jets visit CenturyLink Field in Week 10.Revis, widely acknowledged as the NFL's best cornerback when healthy, will not play until 2013 after suffering a knee injury during the Jets' second game of the season.This can only be a good thing for the Seahawks' improving pass offense. The Jets run a complex defense putting additional pressure on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to figure out the scheme. Not having to worry about Revis has to help.
"It's a very difficult scheme on defense for our offensive guys," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters this week.
2011-2012 New York Jets
On/off Field Revis No Revis Source: ESPN Stats & Information Plays 1,066 455 Yards/play 5.1 5.1 Yards/pass att. 6.6 6.9 Comp. pct. 54.1 56.7 TD 15 9 INT 23 3 NFL rating 66.2 85.9
The first chart shows per-play defensive passing stats against the Jets with and without Revis on the field this season. The second one shows the same information for 2011 and 2012.
Antonio Cromartie is the cornerback Wilson and the Seahawks need to worry about the most.Pro Football Focus recently named Cromartie to its all-AFC team at midseason."Cromartie earns it for how he has stepped up since Darrelle Revis went down," PFF's Khaled Elsayed wrote. "Hes allowed just 41.9 percent of passes into his coverage to be complete, so you can look past the high (six) penalty count." Officials have flagged Cromartie three times for defensive pass interference, twice for illegal contact and once for unnecessary roughness. That included three penalties during a Week 6 game against Indianapolis.
The Jets' other starting corner, Kyle Wilson, has had a tougher time.