Jets RB Kevan Barlow knows the team needs to improve it's running game. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The number one priority of the New York Jets heading into this weekend’s game has to be the getting better run production. Yet, no one on the team or coaching staff wants to admit it. Everyone is calling it a “group effort.” It’s not a group effort when your quarterback throws for over 300 yards, two receivers have 100 yards each, but the run game produces only 91 yards as a whole. There is a problem and it is a major one. Unless the Jets can generate a run game this weekend in Buffalo, they don’t stand a chance of winning.
Last week, QB Daunte Culpepper of the Dolphins was sacked seven times, including five times in the first 15 snaps. If Chad Pennington has to be the whole offense for the team again, like he has been for the first two weeks, Buffalo’s defense will have a field day on him and an offensive line that is hurt and inexperienced.
RB Kevan Barlow looked and sounded frustrated when asked about how the run team can be more effective in this week’s game. His answer was that, “It takes everyone on the field being on the same page.” That’s a good answer, but when everyone else is on that page except the runners should a running back being giving that reply?
Barlow was brought in to be the future of the Jets and a replacement for Curtis Martin. It seems that Barlow is concerned with the future and not the present. His yards per-carry-average is down by a full yard and he has amassed only 77 yards in his first two games. When Barlow was brought in, it looked as though the 49ers were getting the raw end of the deal with having Frank Gore as their featured back. Gore though, has been amazing for the 49ers. He has 214 yards on the ground and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
The good news for the Jets is that OL Trey Teague is back on the practice field, but the Jets will most likely not put him back in his old position because of Nick Mangold. Head coach Eric Mangini said during his Wednesday press conference, that Teague will be “worked across the board” during the week and that he is “making progress and we will see where he is at the end of the week.”
Mangini is expecting a tough outing from the Bills on Sunday and made specific reference to the special teams. “Their special teams has been ranked number one the last two years and they look good this year. It will be a great challenge for us, said Mangini about the Bills. Another key concern for Mangini will be RB Willis McGahee. Mangini said the “McGahee is doing very well” so far this season and is preparing to keep him in line on Sunday.
Pennington said that he has no concerns about playing in Buffalo for the first time, since his first injury to his rotator cuff back in 2004. “Honestly, I haven’t thought about it much,” was Pennington’s response about going back to Buffalo. Pennington mentioned that the key to the game early is, “to eliminate the crowd early.” He believes he has to clean up some things in his game and that he has very high expectations for himself.
WR Laveranues Coles knows that “winning the game” is the most important concept for the Jets on Sunday and they do have a chance. If the team comes out early and they can establish a run game, it will be hard for Buffalo’s defense to gain momentum and try to stop them. Buffalo works on coming out early and establishing a tempo for the rest of the game and the Jets have to find a way to stop them early and establish their own tempo.
- The Jets announced that they waived G Isaac Snell and FB Jamar Martin.
- They also announced that they signed TE Zachary Hilton to the active roster and DT Matt McChesney back to the practice squad.
- G Pete Kendall sat out today’s practice and is still considered questionable for Sunday’s game.
- The Jets have not won in Buffalo since 2002 and are 3-7 in their last ten games at Buffalo.
- During today’s practice some of the music played, was the Bills fight songs. This was followed up by the speakers blasting fans yelling J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets.
-OL Trey Teague (ankle): Doubtful
-DB David Barrett (hip): Questionable
-WR Laveranues Coles (calf): Questionable
-WR Tim Dwight (thigh): Questionable
-OL Pete Kendall (thigh): Questionable
-DL Dave Ball (hand): Probable
-LB Matt Chatham (foot): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (calf): Probable
-S Kerry Rhodes (ankle): Probable
-DL Kimo VonOelhoffen (knee): Probable
The Jets return to the field tomorrow to continue preparation for the Bills. Be sure to check back to JI for all the latest news!