The media had rare access to OC Brian Schottenheimer (above) and DC Bob Sutton today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The Jets went through their weekly Friday walk-through as they made final preparations before traveling upstate to take on the 0-3 Buffalo Bills.
In his address to the media before practice, head coach Eric Mangini was proud with the way practice went yesterday, adding that a couple of kinks could be worked out.
“I thought we had a pretty good day of practice yesterday,” he said. “There are still some things that you always have to clean up any time you have a new installation.”
Last week’s victory over Miami was refreshing in the sense that they avoided the insurmountable task of recovering from a 0-3 start, which is what Buffalo is facing now. However, Miami scored a touchdown in the final minutes of the game to make things a little too close for comfort.
While Mangini routinely stresses consistency, he also brought to light that the tone of the game can be changed in the final two minutes.
“It’s never a function of taking the foot off the gas because you’re always trying to get that consistency,” he said in his pre-practice press conference. “But games do come down week in and week out to two-minute situations
And to prove his point, Mangini cited the week two game against Baltimore as an example of the importance of those two minutes.
“Baltimore is an excellent defense and they have been excellent in the fourth quarter,” he explained. “I don’t think that was a function of Baltimore having a letdown. I think it’s a function of a combination of some good execution and good opportunities.”
LB Eric Barton, meanwhile, simply stated that there is no room for error at any time of the game.
“You got to plan on playing for 60 minutes and not have a lag in your execution like we did last week,” he said.
The Jets headed into practice knowing full-well that they must keep whatever momentum they gained from their win going, regardless of the state of the Bills.
“We played a pretty good game for the most part last week and we got to try to continue to build it,” said WR Jerricho Cotchery. “We know we still got a lot of things to work on to get better each week.”
Last week’s victory made the Jets feel at ease. Building up on it with a solid performance against Buffalo on Sunday would surely make things right and get them at .500 for the first time this season.
New QB, Same Old Prep
Buffalo’s starting QB J.P. Losman sprained his left knee in last week’s game against New England because of a low hit by DL Vince Wilfork. Rookie Trent Edwards took over for Losman and drove the Bills to a scoring drive in his first career offensive series. It is likely that Edwards will get the call to start against the Jets, while Losman will sit out for a few weeks.
Some people may look at this match-up and automatically declare everything to be favoring the Jets, especially when the opposing offense is led by an unproven rookie. Unfortunately for them, they are certainly not playing for the New York Jets, and coach Mangini will not change his preparation because of it.
“It’s similar to the situation where you go through the week and you don’t know who the opponent’s starting quarterback is,” he stated. “You got to do the best you can to prepare for both guys and evaluate all the information that you have. That’s what we’ll do.”
Barnes Calls Out Porter
Jets FB Darian Barnes and Dolphins LB Joey Porter added fuel to the fire that is the rivalry between their respective teams. An incident occurred between the two prior to Sunday’s game as Barnes and Porter were jawing at each other at midfield.
After the confrontation cooled down, a photographer walked up to Barnes and told him that he had a good shot of the banter between the two. Barnes’ response? He asked the cameraman if he could have a print so he could write a profane statement on it and mail it to Porter.
The two teams will resume their rivalry in early December. Without a doubt, Barnes will have that memory fresh in his head when that time comes.
Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton spoke to the media after practice Friday to discuss the state of their respective teams.
Coach Schottenheimer discussed the capabilities of TE Chris Baker and his performance so far this season.
“Chris is a complete player and he’s good at the point of attack,” said Schottenheimer. “He’s a great run blocker and he’s got excellent hands. He continues to do good things on the field and he’s always in our plan. The ball might not always go to him but he’s definitely a viable option in the progression as we set it up during the course of the week.”
On the defensive front, Coach Sutton conversed with the media about the recent performance of his defensive squad. As he acknowledged the concerns on defense, Sutton prefers to continue as planned
“It’s obviously not where we want to be, but we’re not going to change dramatically our structure in how we play, and it takes a lot of work and people,” he stated. “One of the things I really enjoy about these guys is they’ll work at it. They have great work ethic and great resolve to stay the course.”
In his press conference earlier in the day, Coach Mangini offered his praise for him in spite of the defense’s early struggles.
“I think he does an excellent job and he’s very detail oriented,” said Mangini. “Like with all of us, we’re continuing to improve the scheme and make progress each week.”
Everything in practice was status quo for the half-hour given to the media for coverage as they prepared intensely for the Buffalo Bills. Amid the intensity, though, were a few light-hearted moments to make the atmosphere feel a little more relaxing.
LB Eric Barton did a dance during stretches. Later on, he and the rest of the linebacking corps formed a circle for a dance-off. Kerry Rhodes strutted his stuff to the hip-hop music that was coming out of the speakers before the end of opening drills. As Barton put it bluntly, “We’re just trying to have fun.”
Out: LB Cody Spencer (illness)
Limited Participation in Practice: WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder), CB Andre Dyson (foot), OL Brandon Moore (shoulder), QB Chad Pennington (ankle), DL Dewayne Robertson (knee), DB Eric Smith (thigh)
Full Participation in Practice: FB Darian Barnes (shoulder), CB David Barrett (thigh), LB David Bowens (hand), RB Thomas Jones (calf), TE Joe Kowalewski (shoulder), DL Sione Pouha (foot)
Out: DE Ryan Denney (foot), LB Keith Ellison (ankle), QB J.P. Losman (knee), LB Paul Posluszny (forearm), G Jason Whittle (hamstring; injured reserve), LB Coy Wire (knee)
Full Participation in Practice: WR Sam Aiken (groin), CB Terrence McGee (ribs)