INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Drew Buono
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 29th, 2006
The Jets are looking to accomplish something this weekend for the first time in over a month, back-to-back wins. The last time this was accomplished, the team was in high spirits and was beginning to be mentioned as a contender in the AFC. Five weeks later, the team is again being mentioned as a contender, who right now going into a week 12 match-up against the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau stand one game out of a playoff spot.
The key match-up for the Jets this week is, the Jet defense against one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Brett Favre. Favre is coming off a game in Seattle where it looked as though he was trying too hard to make plays and just floating balls to his receivers. The players and head coach Eric Mangini were in praise of the Packer quarterback who now stands ten touchdown passes away from tying Dan Marino’s all-time record of 420.
“The offense starts win Brett Favre and his streak is arguably one of the best streak in sports,” said Mangini. Mangini also mentioned that Favre’s a “passionate” player with a lot of “energy” and he can “complete tough passes to really difficult spaces.”
His streak of 232 straight regular season and 252 consecutive starts is the “iron man” streak of the NFL. QB Chad Pennington who hasn’t played a full season in his NFL career remarked that, “the streak is unbelievable, not only did he start those games but he finished them as well.” Personally, Pennington believes “it’s the greatest streak in sports.” S Kerry Rhodes simply called Favre the “best” and talked about emulating him as kid when he used to play quarterback.
Favre isn’t the only amazing standout for the game, as many Jets players are in awe of visiting historic Lambeau field. Pennington called it a “hollow, sacred ground.” Rhodes said the “mystique of the stadium is great.” Other players though, are only worried about the game. LB Jonathan Vilma said he doesn’t care about going to play in Lambeau; his concern is with “playing and winning.”
One of the other concerns for the Jets, is T Adrian Jones who was inactive for Sunday’s game against the Texans. Early Saturday morning, Jones was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. The decision to inactivate him for Sunday was strictly a decision made by Mangini. Mangini addressed his decision about sitting Jones indirectly by saying, “Personal conduct issues are something that we take very seriously, myself, Mike (Tannenbaum), Woody (Johnson), the organization and its something that we spend a lot of time on in terms of trying to educate the players.”
Personal conduct was an issue of WR Justin McCareins early in the preseason, but since then the former starter has really adjusted to his new role as back-up and now special teams player. Mangini “couldn’t be happier with Justin right now.” Mangini was impressed in how McCareins sought out special teams coach Mike Westhoff and asked to be included on special teams. He had a week to prepare and did “outstanding” according to Mangini by making two tackles in the win. McCareins said that it “still stings,” not being able to start at wide receiver but he feels good about being able to help the team in any way possible.
One wide receiver might be upset at not starting anymore, but the other two receivers are thrilled especially after coming off a hundred yard game each for the second time this season. Pennington answered his critics on Sunday by throwing for 286 yards on 24 of 31 passing and one touchdown pass to WR Laveranues Coles. WR Jerricho Cotchery caught the eye of Mangini during the New Orleans game last year.
“Before we played him last year for the second time there was a play where he caught a seam route that they converted to a middle read; that was a nice throw and he had another big catch that game,” said Mangini about Cotchery. Cotchery as well as Coles have the ability to run after the catch and that is a key for Mangini that he looks for in receivers.
The Jets need to prepare for sloppy and cold conditions this weekend, as the national weather service is reporting that the temperature will be 27 degrees with a chance of snow for Sunday’s game.
-NT Rashad Moore will miss an undisclosed amount of time with an apparent broken hand. Although the team did not comment on the injury and his availability for the Packers game is unknown at this time, he was sporting a hard cast in the locker room this afternoon and was not on the field for practice. The Jets injury report was not released at press time.
Moore's job this year has been mostly as an occasional rotation with Dewayne Robertson at the nose. Next on the depth chart is little used CJ Mosely who the Jets acquired from Minnesota before the season in a trade for QB Brooks Bollinger.
- Pennington called Favre the “Last of the Mohicans,” referring to the quarterback as the last of a generation of outstanding quarterbacks.
-Pennington recalled the last time the Jets played the Packers as one of his most memorable games as a Jet. The Jets won 42-17 on the final game of the 2002 season to clinch the AFC East title after the Patriots beat the Dolphins in the early game to give the Jets the opportunity. "It was a great time to be a Jet and great time to be a Jet fan," said Pennington. "I think my most fond memory of the 2002 game was when the fans found out that New England had beaten Miami and if we win, we win the AFC East, and the whole stadium just exploded and just erupted in emotion and crowd noise and excitement. It was a pretty amazing feeling."
- Yesterday, Pennington was named by the Jets organization as their 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his extensive charity work.
- Mangini announced that the team had waived DB Gus Scott just two days after playing his old team the Houston Texans. Mangini joked around saying that Scott’s contribution to the Texan game was “outstanding.”
- Recently in the league, defensive lineman seem to be holding back or getting penalized too often when attacking the quarterback as seen in the Monday night game in Seattle and during the Giant-Titan game on Sunday. OL Pete Kendall “feels for the lineman” and does feel the “pendulum has swung too far in favor of the quarterback.”
New York Jets
The Jets return to practice tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s game in Lambeau against the Green Bay Packers. JetsInsider.com will have a complete recap of Thursday’s practice.