INSIDER THURSDAY TEAM REPORT
By David Fletcher
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
October 26th, 2006
As the Jets continued their preparation for Sunday’s contest against the Browns, the focus on the practice field shifted to red zone offense and defense. The focus in the press- and locker-rooms, however, was on Cleveland’s mammoth NT, “Big” Ted Washington.
Laughing, Jets veteran-G Pete Kendall gave his take on the 400 lb., 16-year veteran of the NFL. “He’s hard to miss,” Kendall explained.
Washington will line up opposite of Jets rookie-C Nick Mangold, who appeared unfazed by the mismatch but understands that he has his work cut out for him. According to Mangold, the biggest DT he ever went up against was Miami’s Keith Traylor just a few weeks ago, who Washington out-weighs by over 50 lbs.
When asked whether he could use his speed or his excellent technique to stop Washington, Mangold chuckled and responded, “I could use some help.”
Head Coach Eric Mangini couldn’t agree more with Mangold’s witty, but still poignant, observation. “There will be different things we can do to all share the load,” he stated in his daily presser when asked how the Jets might attack the defensive powerhouse.
Mangold even toyed with the idea of trying to bulk up for Sunday’s game, possibly on a carb-intensive diet as per Mangini’s suggestion. After a few moments of contemplation, he ultimately shot down the idea with another witticism, joking with reporters that, “I don’t think I could load up enough.”
Mangini also took time to address how the team would prepare for a Browns club with a new offensive coordinator. In his view, the difference will be minimal. “The system will remain pretty much in tact,” he said, noting that “there might be a few different plays thrown in.”
The Jets rookie-HC has known Cleveland’s new offensive coordinator, Jeff Davidson, for a long time. The two were on the Patriots’ coaching staff during their three recent Superbowl victories, and Mangini believes this previous relationship could give him a bit of an edge in the match-up this weekend.
During his press conference, Mangini insisted that each offensive coordinator has their own “fingerprint”, which is their unique style of play-calling. When asked about his familiarity with Davidson’s offensive mindset, Mangini answered cryptically, “I’ve seen his fingerprint before.”
The Browns’ biggest weapon on offense right now is TE Kellen Winslow. Winslow, a former first-round pick by Cleveland, spent his first two seasons in the NFL on the sidelines recovering from various injuries. This year, however, he has been on the field and just as productive as the Browns had hoped when they drafted him, leading the NFL in receptions by a tight end.
Mangini credits Winslow’s success this season to the fact that “he’s explosive” and “he runs like a wide receiver”, but Jets LB Jonathan Vilma has a different theory. Vilma believes that it all boils down to the abilities of Browns QB Channing Frye.
Vilma complimented Frye on his strength and speed, comparing him to Buffalo Bills QB J.P. Losman – not a good sign considering Losman threw for 328 yards and a touchdown against the Jets in Week Three. The Jets managed to pull out a win in that game, but Jets fans should still be praying that Frye is a whole lot less like Losman than Vilma believes.
-Mangini said that he was pleased with the fact that players were “running in between drills” during yesterday’s practice. The players ran between drills on Thursday as well, but it was primarily to stay warm with wind-chills below freezing at Hofstra.
-WR Jerricho Cotchery received praise from his coach, who said that his “run blocking has been outstanding” and he showed great strength on his runs after-the-catch.
-RB Leon Washington told reporters that he doesn’t feel confidence is a major factor in his recent success. “It’s not so much confidence as experience,” the star rookie explained. “I feel the more I play, the more experience I get.”
-Mangini said that CB David Barrett in “making progress” in his recovery from an injury earlier this season and would not rule out Barrett playing on Sunday, provided there were no setbacks. He added that the statuses of RB Cedric Houston and OL Trey Teague are similar at this point in time.
-In preparation for Sunday’s game in the famous “Dawg Pound” in Cleveland, the Jets opened practice today to “Who Let the Dogs Out?”, by the Baja Men. Song number two in the Cleveland-based playlist was the theme song to the “Drew Carey Show”, which chants the phrase “Cleveland rocks!” dozens of times.
New York Jets
The team has a walk through tomorrow before traveling to Cleveland on Saturday. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com for a full game preview!