INSIDER THURSDAY TEAM REPORT
By David Fletcher
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 9th, 2006
Barlow Unhappy? After an eerily quiet locker room session on Thursday, the Jets took to the practice field to work out “green and white” issues before moving into preparation for Sunday’s game, splitting into various units – passing offense, defense, running backs, and Kevan Barlow.
The sixth-year back spent much of the "green and white" time practicing hand-offs and screen-passes one-on-one with a Jets coach - an increasingly common occurance as he desperately tries to earn more touches on offense.
Since coming to the Jets via a trade with the 49ers during the preseason, RB Kevan Barlow has been a touchdown machine, notching five through the first eight games of the season for the Jets. That number is 6th amongst AFC running backs.
Barlow has openly complained on more than one occasion that he is not being used as well as possible on the Jets, claiming that he needs to see more carries. He admits that he would like to be an every-down back, but the early success of rookie-RB Leon Washington has rendered that impossible.
It appears that the notoriously-temperamental running back is losing patience with his new team and their reluctance to name him their go-to guy. “I ain’t talking about nothing,” Barlow scoffed at reporters in front of his locker. “There ain’t nothing to talk about.”
He is correct – there is nothing to talk about because the numbers speak for themselves: Barlow is a great asset in short-yardage and goal-line situations, but “Lightning” Leon Washington is averaging an impressive 4.6 YPC at the half-way point of his rookie season.
Washington had his own thoughts about the upcoming divisional-bout in New England. When asked if he felt that he had an advantage over the Pats because they’d never seen him as a rusher before (in the first Jets-Pats match-up this season he just returned kicks), Washington responded in true diplomatic fashion.
“You know I wouldn’t say it’s a big advantage because it’s the New England Patriots,” Washington admitted, adding that “they’ve played against some very good running backs before.”
Washington won’t be the only impressive rookie-RB to take the field on Sunday – Patriots RB Laurence Maroney has been turning heads in his first year as a pro, too. Washington says he has been very impressed with Maroney’s performance so far this season.
“It’s exciting to see guys… that you can actually relate to go our there and do well,” he said of the Patriots’ back that he met at the NFL Combine. ”I’m proud of him.”
Coach Mangini had his own words of praise for another New England player – namely, QB Tom Brady. “He looks pretty good on tape,” Mangini said with a chuckle, pointing out that “he hits them [Patriots receivers] all.”
The Jets’ coach was then asked whether he liked the lack of “Bill [Belichick] questions” in the press conference. After thinking for a second, he replied: “I think it’s great that we’re all just focused on the Jets and the Patriots”
-Mangini told reporters that he had the team practice outside on Wednesday despite the torrential downpours. He described the practice conditions as “pretty cold, pretty wet, pretty loud, (and) pretty windy.”
When asked whether the Jets had practiced in the indoor practice-bubble once this season, Mangini laughed and replied: “We did it once on like a Saturday… that was it.”
-Two players were singled out for their progress during Mangini’s daily presser: LB Brad Kassel and LB Jonathan Vilma. Mangini praised Kassel on his special teams work and leadership abilities and complimented Vilma on his hard work to fit into the 3-4 defense over the past few weeks.
-CB David Barrett took the field for practice today and appeared close to full-strength. Barrett showed speed and mobility in pass-defense drills, and came out with a surprisingly high amount of strength in tackling drills.
CB Jamie Thompson, currently on the practice squad, also excelled in tackling drills. FB Stacy Tutt also had an excellent day of practice, seemingly exerting all the effort in his power in hopes of getting called up to the active roster to fill OL Trey Teague’s vacated spot.
-With the Jets being written off as sure-losers by most analysts for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, one of the first songs played during practice seemed to send a nice message to players as amps blared Public Enemy’s “Don’t Believe the Hype” over the practice fields.
New York Jets
New England Patriots
TOM ROCK FAN CHAT TONIGHT Be sure to join us for a Fan Chat with Newsday Jets beat writer Tom Rock tonight (11/9) at 8PM in the Jets Insider Chatroom.
Tom will be giving the latest info on all the happenings at Weeb including all the news leading up to the matchup with the Patriots that week.
DON'T MISS IT!
The team has a walk through tomorrow before traveling to Foxborough to face the division-rival Pats on Sunday. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com for a full game preview!