INSIDER MONDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
September 17th, 2007
After almost completing a 17 point comeback against one of the league’s toughest defenses the Jets went back to the drawing board Monday. Gang Green reviewed the tape from yesterday’s loss and began looking forward to return home on Sunday and get their first win from the division rival Miami Dolphins.
It was a tail of two halves yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium. During the first half, Jets were a team without a clue. The offense struggled to get going. The line couldn’t protect QB Kellen Clemens, who was making his first career start. Ravens QB Kyle Boller was beating the Jets defense with short passes. And the special teams weren’t special. For the second straight week a kick returner reeled off a long kickoff return against a Mike Westhoff coached special teams unit.
But in the second half a different Jets team came out of the tunnel. The Jets were moving ball down the field. Clemens looked more comfortable in the pocket. The defense was stopping the Ravens on third down. And in the fourth quarter, the Jets looked like the team we saw on the field last year. But it was three quarters too late.
Mangini said during his 20 min press conference he told his team on Monday that he wants to see more consistency out of his group.
“We have to be consistent and we have to be consistent throughout all four quarters,” Mangini said. “And it’s got to be complementary. It can’t be one unit playing well and another unit not playing well. Everybody’s got to play at the same level and do it throughout the course of the game.”
Now the Jets are done looking at the film of the Ravens game and they have started to prepare for the Miami Dolphins. Like last week it will be another circus about who the Jets starting quarterback will be.
Mangini has said that once Chad Pennington is healthy enough to play he will return to the starter's role. If Pennington was healthy enough to be the #2 quarterback on Sunday, then he should most certainly be ready for the Dolphins.
Mangini did not name a starter (and if you think he is naming his starter before Sunday morning then you are crazy) for Sunday. He said Pennington will be assessed throughout the week by the Jets medical staff. Mangini did not even disclose if Pennington will take reps with the first team.
“If he can, he will,” said Mangini about the possibility of Pennington starting this Sunday. “We’ll just assess him throughout the week. But if he’s able to, he will.”
Pennington did an amazing job with his rehab to even have himself in position to possibly play this past weekend. Early last week Pennington’s right ankle did not good as he had trouble walking. But as the week went on Pennington looked better and after the game he said he was ready to go if needed.
But Clemens understands the situation he is in. He knows once Pennington’s healthy the starting job is his.
“One thing that is clear and Coach Mangini said it in his press conference after the game is that Chad [Pennington] is the starter,” Clemens said. “If Chad is able to go, Chad is the starter. That puts me as the backup. What I will do is prepare the best that I can to be able to play.”
Whoever is under center for the Jets will have not have an easy time on Sunday. Miami’s front seven has given the Jets problems in the recent past. And with OL D’Brickashaw Ferguson struggling early on, Miami DE Jason Taylor must be chomping at the bite for Sunday to get here.
One of the reasons why the Jets are 0-2 is probably turnovers. While the Jets have only turned the ball over twice, they have not forced any turnovers. Turnovers are a big part of any game. A turnover not only changes the momentum, but they would also allow for the Jets to work with shorter fields. And the defense is fully aware of that stat.
“We are very aware of that,” said Jets safety Kerry Rhodes. “One of our goals coming into this year was to be a good takeaway team. But we are not really doing it right now.”
Clemens Not Stopping Unless Told
As much of a mystery to media as who was going to be the starting quarterback against the Ravens, it was also mystery to the people playing the position. Mangini said he wasn’t totally sure who was going to be the starting quarterback until late Sunday morning. And the way Clemens found out was unusual to say the least.
“Once our defense stopped them I jogged out on the field and no one told me not to,” said Clemens on how he found out he was starting.
Nugent Made A Special Play
The route that Yamon Figurs took to return K Mike Nugent’s kickoff after he hit his 50 yard field looked extremely familiar to Jets fans and coach Mangini. It was the same route that New England Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs took on his 108 yard kick return against Jets in week one. Nugent did not want to see that again and did whatever he could to just slow him down. He did just that and it allowed FB Stacy Tutt to make the tackle.
“I was just thinking what can I do to make the tackle,” said Nugent. “We talked about it[the return]. And it’s something we do every week. We take into consideration what we can do to improve on.”
Be Easy on McCareins
Jets fans, what I am about to ask might be hard for to do, but please try. Don’t put all the blame for Sunday's loss on WR Justin McCareins. Yes he did drop two passes that could have tied the game for Jets, but offensive captain Laveranues Coles knows that the two passes McCareins dropped was not the only reason why the Jets lost on Sunday.
“He’s a good guy. He’s a great person. We know he works hard and we now the effort is there,” said Coles. “That’s the main thing. Guys understand it’s different when you have a guy that doesn’t care. But when you got a guy like Justin who cares, it more about the effort, not more so the results.”
Mangini did not say anything about the injury to CB Justin Miller on Monday. Also LB David Bowens was walking around with his wrist taped. It does not look serious, but we will see on Wednesday when the Jets return to practice.
The team has Tuesday off then returns to work on Wednesday to begin preparing for their home contest on Sunday against the Dolphins.