INSIDER MONDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com, Staff Writer
October 15th, 2007
One yard away from a first down and four yards away from a game tying touchdown, the Jets decided to go for it on fourth and one. Instead of keeping with Thomas Jones and the running game, the Jets decided to go to air. Unfortunately for Gang Green, Eagles CB Sheldon Brown got a hand on the ball and tipped it way. During Monday’s media session, head coach Eric Mangini explained reasoning behind the fourth down play call.
“All the got-to-have-it situations, the critical situations in the game, we practice those throughout the course of the week,” said Mangini. “We look at all those situations, and choose the plays we think are going to be most successful. We have the plays that we like. We choose the plays we like based on those situations.”
There has definitely been difference in play calling from last year to this year. Last year it looked like at times the Jets were able to surprise teams without any resemblance of a running game. This year has been different story. Teams have been anticipating the Jets offense really well.
And for past few weeks some players publicly and privately and questioned some of the calls the Jets coaches have made. Mangini feels comfortable about the play calling this season, it’s that lack of execution that angers the coach. As for the rumblings about his players questioning his calls Mangini had this to say.
“After the game is an emotional time and people are going to have emotional reactions. The one thing I feel very good about where my office is located. Any of those players are more than welcome to come in and talk to me, and I’d welcome that,” Mangini replied.
Now at 1-5, Mangini not only has to start helping this team win, he has to make sure he doesn’t lose the locker room. Mangini prides himself on bringing character guys into the organization.
“It’s like anything else, you like to see return on investment. Everybody does a lot and we’ve invested a lot,” Mangini said. “It’s a locker room of high character. It’s why we draft high character. It’s why I believe in character, because it’s easy to put in effort when things are going great.”
“What’s difficult is when you’re faced with hard times, responding the same way and pulling together. That’s why to me character is so important,” added Mangini.
If his players don’t show their character and start to lose their tempers, a messy situation could get a whole lot worse for Gang Green.
Clemens Watch? Not so fast.
The Jets are 1-5 and on the verge of making a bad season even worse. In football how team is doing is usually measured by the play of the quarterback. And when a team is playing poorly, the first person everybody points the finger at is the quarterback. That is exactly what is going on in the case of the Jets and QB Chad Pennington.
“As the quarterback you understand that when you lose it comes on your shoulders - right, wrong or indifferent,” said Pennington after Sunday’s loss. “Whether it’s your fault or not it’s on you as the quarterback. That is part of the game and that is part of being the quarterback.”
And with every loss, with every interception and every incompletion Jets fans will keep getting angrier and keep calling for second year QB Kellen Clemens to step in and provide a spark for Jets offense that definitely needs one. Last week Clemens acknowledged the fact that Pennington is the starter and team still has faith in him. And after the Jets loss to the Eagles, Clemens hasn’t changed his position.
“Right now, we’re just going to go back to work this week. We’re 1-5; we’re not where we’d like to be. We have ten games left. We’re going to go back to work, we’re going to work hard and do our best to turn this around,” said Clemens. “My approach each week is the same. I go out and try to prepare the best that I can and try to be ready if I am called upon. That’s the role of the backup quarterback and I’m just trying to improve each week.”
Mangini made it quite clear that Pennington will be the starter on Sunday. He also today squashed any rumors that his QB is on the trading block by calling the buzz "ludicrous". The NFL trading deadline ends Wednesday.
Pennington did not speak to reporters on Monday.
Coles: Don’t Blame Loss on Chad
WR Laveranues Coles is one hardest workers on this team and like many players in that locker room; Coles re-iterated on Monday that even though all the attention is shoved toward the way Pennington is playing, he is not the sole reason why the Jets are 1-5.
“We as a whole team should team should be taking the blunt of everything, we are all in this together,” said Coles. “We all could make plays that could help this team win. One guy can’t out go out there and play the game by himself. Therefore, there shouldn’t be one guy that is taking the heat.”
“There were other plays that I could have made that could have helped us win. That drop toward the end of the game. Coach doesn’t think that I could have scored,but I think that I could have. That was probably one of the defining moments in the game for this team. If there is anybody that you have to blame or look at saying why we didn’t get the victory, it is me. I could have had that play and I could have made a difference with that play,” added Coles.
With week six over that means LB Matt Chatham is eligible to get of the Physically-Unable-To-Perform list. If the Jets want to put Chatham on the active roster, they would have to release a player from the active roster
Cincinnati’s Up Next
Up next for the Jets is a road trip the Cincinnati and meeting with the Bengals. The Jets secondary will certainly be put to test as Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer can put some numbers on struggling defenses.
As always log on to JI.com for all the latest news on Gang Green.