By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets Insider.com
October 19th, 2005
The Jets will be in the limelight this week as they take on the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.
A team decimated by injuries, Gang Green again will try regroup and get back on track for a playoff push. Although time is getting more precious with each loss, the team is still only a game behind division leaders New England and Buffalo.
The team knows that this week’s challenge is a daunting one as they go on the road to face a Falcons team that won their division and was a game away from the Superbowl last year.
Coach Herm Edwards knows this team will have its hands full with Michael Vick running the Falcons’ offense.
”He's a very, very talented guy,” said the Coach today about Vick. The Coach sees Vick as the type of athlete that can single handedly change a game, similar to the way Michael Jordan did in the NBA. “Vick is really fun to watch,” said Edwards," “And 30 points later he's killing you. Yeah he's really fun to watch. You're losing and you're going, wow”.
After a bad game against Buffalo where they surrendered 27 points and missed multiple tackles, the Jets defense will have to tighten up considerably to have any chance in Atlanta. Look for Donnie Henderson to be more aggressive on Monday.
CB Ty Law is nursing a sore back and if he cannot play on Sunday, rookie CB Justin Miller will start. Even if Law is in, he’s been struggling with seven penalties called against him this season and many missed tackles.
The Jets offense had another big blow this past week when they lost All-Pro center Kevin Mawae for the rest of the season with a torn triceps muscle on his left arm. The Coach announced today that G Pete Kendall will officially take over for Mawae at center and reserve guard Jonathan Goodwin will move to Kendall’s spot. With tackles Jason Fabini and Adrian Jones switching sides a few weeks ago, the only player on the offensive line who is in his original spot from opening day is RG Brandon Moore.
After giving up five sacks last week against the Bills, Jets QB Vinny Testaverde can’t feel too secure after the recent turn of events on his line. However, the Coach is confident that Kendall can do the job. “He brings leadership,” said the Coach on Kendall. “Very smart football player, Pete, he brings some of what Kevin brought”.
Despite the obvious protection problem the Jets offensive line has had, the Coach feels the offense needs cut down on turnovers to have any chance of success.
“ We just have to protect the ball better,” said Edwards . “The ball has been on the ground 18 times and we've lost six of those. “That's not all on Vinny, that's on the whole offense. We stay out of those third-and-longs and then we've got to make some plays. We've got to score some points. We're close, but we haven't done it yet. That's something we have to work on and get better at”.
Atlanta’s defense is ranked 24th in the league so the Jets have an opportunity to score some points.
-To get more offensive line depth, the team will activate T/G Steve Morey this week. It will be the first time he has been active since he was obtained in a trade from Green Bay in September.
-After Kevin Mawae is officially placed on injured reserve, it’s likely that the team will sign offensive lineman Michael King from the practice squad to fill Mawae’s roster spot. King is an undrafted rookie free agent form Northwestern State who participated in Jets’ training camp this summer.
-CANNIZZARO FAN CHAT TONIGHT AT 8PM Be sure to log on to Jets Insider.com tonight (Weds) at 8:00 PM for a live online fan chat session with NY Post/Jets Insider.com writer Mark Cannizzaro who will fill you in on all latest NY Jets news and rumors leading up the the Jets/Falcons matchup this Monday Night.
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LB Eric Barton is probable and should be able to play on Sunday after missing the past two weeks with a sore ankle. RB BJ Askew is also probable and should be ready on Sunday. CB Ty Law is questionable with back spasms bust should be ready to play by Sunday. S Oliver Celestin, who suffered an injury to the PCL in his left knee last week, is listed as questionable but the Coach said he is out for Sunday. C Kevin Mawae, who tore his left triceps muscle and is gone for the year, will undergo surgery next week to repair the damage. DE Trevor Johnson is no longer on the injury list but has yet to be activated on gameday.
-QB Chad Pennington (shoulder): Out
The will continue to prepare tomorrow for their Monday night matchup against Atlanta. Check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest Jets news.