S Kerry Rhodes and the rest of the Jets secondary will have their hands full dealing with Bengals WR Chad Johnson on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
As the 1-5 Jets returned to the practice field today you could sense the urgency that the team is feeling to get a win. However, a win on the road against an equally desperate 1-4 Bengals team with a lot of talent will not be an easy task.
Even though Cincinnati only has one win, they have one the most powerful offenses in the NFL. Ranked fourth in the NFL in total yards per game, Cincinnati is led by QB Carson Palmer, who can make any throw a quarterback might need to make.
“He is going to throw it in there. He is going to try to make plays. He believes in his arm and is going to throw the ball,” said Jets safety Kerry Rhodes. “He is a great player. You can’t compare him to Tom [Brady] and Peyton [Manning] because they have both won and done it for a little bit longer. He is a very good quarterback.”
And whenever the Cincinnati Bengals are spoken about, the name Chad Johnson is not far behind. Despite all of the receiver’s crazy antics, Johnson has established himself as one of the premier receivers in the NFL. Johnson (a.k.a Ocho-Cinco) also has the ability to make receivers around him dangerous. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a direct result of that. Houshmandzadeh leads the Bengals with seven touchdowns on the season
“They are great. Chad Johnson and T.J. [Houshmandzadeh] are two great guys,” said Jets CB Darrelle Revis. “You need to bring your “A-plus game every week”. They are two of the best. It is great to go against these guys and compete against them.”
And for a Jets defensive secondary that has not been able to stop the pass play this season, the long pass play will be something the Bengals will look to get.
Jets LB Matt Chatham returned to practice today. As per NFL rules Chatham was not allowed to practice with the team because he was on the PUP list. Now the Jets have a 21-day window to decide whether or not he should be activated. Meanwhile the Jets look at Chatham’s future, he is just glad to be back practicing with his teammate.
“Just getting back with the guys is probably the best part. It’s very, very difficult to just sit in her and just watch the sport you love,” Chatham said.
Chatham told the media that feels good and excited to get back on the field. He said he doesn’t feel set back from the off-season surgery and he feels like he'll make an impact on the field.
As the Jets hit the practice field, all the cameras were directed in the direction of the quarterbacks. Last year QB Chad Pennington was playing well and quarterback was controversy wasn’t even a consideration. This season Pennington has thrown interceptions at the wrong time and now fans are calling for second-year QB Kellen Clemens to get his shot.
In practice today Pennington split reps with Clemens. In a drill where receiver ran different pass patterns, Pennington got off to rough start as he under threw WR Wallace Wright, meanwhile Clemens overthrew WR Justin McCareins on the next pass. Today was the first day since the loss to the Eagles on Sunday Pennington spoke to the media. Pennington answered questions about possibly losing his job because of all the fans calling for Clemens.
“You know, as far as the fans, they just want to wins. They want to see us win and they you can’t fault them for that,” said Pennington. “We all want to win extremely badly. I mean it’s all in out thought process. That’s part of the game you have to deal with.”
Rhodes Prepared for Ocho-Cinco
Jets S Kerry Rhodes is prepared for his showdown with Ocho-Cinco. While Rhodes has never met Johnson personally, Rhodes knows what kind of player Johnson is. While he expects Johnson to his typical showboating, Rhodes won’t do any end zone dances unless Gang Green comes up with a win.”
“That’s what he is known for,” said Rhodes about Chad Johnson. “That’s him he brings a little excitement to the game, knowing that he is going to come out and have fun. I am just trying to get a nice “W”. You’ll see me dance if we get a win.”
Johnson said he has no end zone celebration planned except for giving the ball back the referee.
Bengals and Jets Floating in the Same Boat
The records of both the Bengals and the Jets just show how competitive the NFL is. Last year both teams were playoff teams and now this year both teams are under .500.
“Well, I think that’s an example of what the NFL is all about. It’s a league that predictions a lot of the times don’t workout,” said Pennington. “As the season plays itself out, teams go down different paths. Teams experience different adversities.”
Both teams are not performing well and might not even make the playoffs. While Jets have to answer questions about who is their starting quarterback, the Bengals feel like they have worked out all the kinks and they feel like their ready to get back on the winning track.
“We are in the same boat,” Johnson said about being 1-4. “We got the taste of losing consistency out of our mouth. We are not going to let it creep back in. We are going to do what we need to do to get this boat rolling the right way.”
More Ocho-Cinco Moments
Chad Johnson had some more notable sound bites from his 10-min conference call he had with the New York media Wednesday afternoon. Johnson was asked questions ranging from his possible on the field celebration to former Jets LB Anthony Schlegel to possibly playing in the big city.
Schlegel signed with the Bengals after being cut by the Jets after training camp. When Johnson was asked about his thoughts about the play of Schlegel he said “I’m not sure. I'm trying to get the offensive side rolling.”
Johnson also noted that he would look good playing in New York. The conversation started when Johnson was asked about a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Johnson, who took it as a joke, thought the report was about a possible trade involving him. Then Johnson responded by saying “That [playing in NY] would be cool. I would spice up the big apple,” Johnson said.
He also explained that when teams play the Bengals they have to worry about the passing game. Johnson backed up the assertion that him and Houshmandzadeh are as dangerous receiving tandem there is.
“We are very good at we do. It’s like a case of pick your poison and you can take it however you want it. You can take chocolate or caramel,” Johnson said.
Johnson also showed his respectful side. Johnson gave his up most respect for Jets LB Jonathan Vilma and made plea to Vilma to go easy on him on Sunday.
“Vilma is the real deal,” said Johnson who sent his regards to Vilma. “Tell him I said hello and tell him ahead of time not to hit me. I’ve known him a long time. He’s definitely one the best.”
New York Jets
Limited Participation in Practice
TE Chris Baker (back), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), DE Shaun Ellis (foot), QB Chad Pennington (ankle), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee), S Eric Smith (thigh)
Full Participation in Practice
DE Eric Hicks (knee), TE Jason Pociask (back)
Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Ahmed Brooks (groin), WR Antonion Chatam (hamstring), RB Rudi Johnson (hamstring), TE Reggie Kelly (ankle), LB Corey Miller (hamstring), LB Caleb Miller (back), S Madieu Williams (back)
Limited Participation in Practice
OT Willie Anderson (knee)
Full Participation in Practice
LB Rashad Jeanty (shin), DE Jonathan Fanene (knee)