FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – To say that the New York Jets are amped up for their rematch with the Miami Dolphins in the Meadowlands on Sunday would be a severe understatement. They want to play right now.
“This is one that we really probably don’t have to wait until Sunday to play,” said head coach Rex Ryan in his news conference with the media this afternoon.
“I mean, we do have to, but both teams know each other well. It’s been only a couple weeks, so I’m sure they could have scheduled this game earlier and both of us would have signed up for it.”
“I’m one of the few guys that have the guts to admit it, that absolutely I want to play this game again. I wanted to play it three seconds after the first one.”
“The attitude in this locker room is that’s a game we should’ve won,” said receiver Braylon Edwards. “That’s a game that we know we could have won. So, going in there and not getting it done, it hurt these guys. “
“We’re ready, we’re more than ready. We’ll play today, we’ll play tomorrow, we’ll play wherever. But I think we feel good this time around, playing again and correcting all the minor things.”
It was just two short weeks ago that the Jets were handed arguably their toughest loss of the season in Miami on Monday night. In the 31-27 loss, Miami used their famed Wilcat formation to perfection 16 times, gaining 110 yards with the set.
The Jets had no answer for the Wildcat, which was instrumental in three touchdown drives, including the Dolphins’ final score which came with ten seconds left in the game.
Gang Green was also done in by Miami QB Chad Henne. Henne had a breakout game on the national stage, completing 20 of 26 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns. Several Jets, including Rex Ryan, admitted that they made the second-year quarterback “look like Dan Marino”.
Jets defensive end Sean Ellis believes that in order to shut down the Wildcat this time, the defense needs to focus on fundamentals. “It’s just mainly about making the tackles, said Ellis.
“That game we had way too many missed tackles. Up front, we’ve got to get off the block. It’s just one of those things; it’s a tough nine on seven game. It’s a running game with the Wildcat. Yeah, they may pass out of it, but it’s mainly a run game. If up front, we handle our responsibilities, the outside guys will handle theirs.”
So is revenge perhaps a fish that is best served cold? Safety Kerry Rhodes seems to think so.
“We definitely owe ‘em one,” said Rhodes. “We’re looking at this game as a payback game, there’s no secret about it. We wanna come out and get them.”
Miller-time part deux
While the season-ending injury to Leon Washington hurts the Jets in several areas, one area that may not suffer too much is the return game. Justin Miller, who the Jets brought back yesterday, offers a more than adequate replacement for the explosive Washington, who has given Gang Green superb field position all year, averaging 24 yards per kickoff return.
Justin Miller was back, practicing with the Green and White on Wednesday, this time wearing a number 32 jersey, instead of the 22 he wore during his last stint. Miller seemed more than happy to be back in town.
“It’s great to be back,” said Miller. “I definitely missed New York. I missed the guys I was playing with. But you understand this is part of a business that you go through and it’s just a blessing being back with these guys.”
Miller, a second round selection of the Jets in 2005, quickly burst onto the scene as one of the league’s deadliest return men. In 2006, the 5-foot-10, 195 pound specimen with next-level speed and acceleration earned a Pro Bowl spot after posting over 1,300 return yards with two touchdowns.
However, the former Clemson Tiger suffered a rather quick fall from grace. Miller suffered a season-ending knee injury in early 2007.
In May of 2007, he was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after he allegedly punched a woman in a New York City. In early 2008, the Jets released Miller, in order to make room on the roster for the comeback tour of cornerback Ty Law.
Ryan indicated in his news conference that Miller looked solid in practice and should be ready to go for Sunday. However, he made it clear that Miller will not be ready to get any reps in the secondary.
“He doesn’t know the system,” said Ryan. “The first week, we’ll probably leave it up to the other guys (in the secondary). But moving forward, I want to see what the guy can do. “
J-Co ready to go
With the bye-week approaching, and his hamstring still not totally 100-percent, one theory is that the intelligent move would be to rest Jerricho Cotchery again Sunday, so that he can have two weeks off and then come back strong in Week 10. The sure-handed receiver begs to differ.
Cotchery, who was limited during today’s practice, made it clear that he’ll be ready to play, come game time Sunday. “I’m ready to go man,” he said. “It’s not anything where I’m trying to take baby-steps or anything like that. I feel good. I’m ready to go, bye week isn’t even on my mind.”
That’s outstanding news for quarterback Mark Sanchez who hasn’t had his receiving core at full strength since the Week 4 loss at New Orleans.
Sanchez expressed that it’s comforting to finally have both of his big time receivers, Edwards and Cotchery at his disposal. “It’s a great comfort level,” said Sanchez. “This is great; we’re going to be almost back to full strength in the passing game. So, I think it’s going to help everyone out.”