After a bad game against the Redskins, four year veteran Rashad Washington was sent packing today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Tuesdays are usually an off-day for the Jets but due to the bye week, the team reported for duty today trying to get back on track. At 1-8, the team's task gets no easier as they face the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday who spanked the Baltimore Ravens last night on Monday Night Football.
Head coach Eric Mangini addressed the media before team practice, touching base on numerous subjects, most pressing that Jonathan Vilma will be having surgery tomorrow and veteran S Rashad Washington was released, perhaps his first sign to the team that they will be held accountable for their poor play.
Washington, a backup safety, who was considered one of the team's best special teams players, was flagged twice on Sunday for an illegal block in the fourth quarter and holding in overtime on the team's opening kickoff return.
Vilma will get surgery on his injured knee (which knee was still not revealed....I hope they tell the doctor). Also, to no one's surprise, the extent of the surgery was not specified by Mangini. Speculation is that it's an arthroscopic procedure and Vilma will be OK for next season.
The topic that has been getting a lot of buzz lately is the fact that the Jets will be given four days off after the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice. This was the same approach that was used last season when the Jets approached the bye week.
While this action would normally be reserved after a team is coming off of a win and/or a great start to the season, the 1-8 Jets could really use a good, long break. It may not be an easy thing, though.
“Being a perfectionist, it is tough because I’m going to see football and be around football. It is going to be in the back of my mind,” said S Kerry Rhodes. “But for the most part, I’m trying to get away from it completely. I don’t want to think about all the bad stuff that has happened or even the plays that we did make. I’m going to try and come back refreshed.”
Like everything else in the game, looking over how effective the bye week can be was a process to coach Mangini.
“I looked at it based on what would be the most effective use of the players’ and coaches’ time,” he explained. “I thought the way we handled last year was effective, and I thought that that would be the most effective way to go this year as well.”
He also asserted that the bye week is a perfect opportunity for all involved parties to look at themselves and see what hindrances can be fixed and what strong points might be enhanced in order to get back on track for the remainder of the season.
“It’s a great time to honestly assess where you are individually, to look at the things that you need to improve. What this week is about is going through segment by segment in detail with the coaching staff identifying things we have to work on, and putting that in, practicing it, analyzing how it works. Each person, each coach has a chance to also assess their own performance.”
While it seems some nmay argue the team doesn't deserve a vacation, the four-day break from the rigors and demands of the daily grind could be what Gang Green needs, especially with the way their season has been going. It’s not only a time of rest for the team, but a time for them to look at themselves and fix whatever problems they have in order to make something out of a season that is all but lost. Simply put, the Jets would love nothing more than to give the fans something to cheer about in the second half of the 2007 season. Some R&R would be helpful for starters.
Prall Signed To Practice Squad
To fill the void left by Chris Davis being promoted to the active roster, the team signed WR Evan Prall to the practice squad. Prall, an undrafted rookie from East Stroudsburg University, spent all of this past training camp with the Jets, and was released from the team on the final day of roster cuts.
It’s A Boy
The Jets may have lost to the Redskins on Sunday, but P Ben Graham gained something on Monday night. Graham’s wife, Katie, gave birth to a baby boy, named Jack Benjamin Graham. Jets Insider would like to express its congratulations to the Graham family.
Joe-Ko Goes Loco
Nearly 48 hours after TE Joe Kowalewski, or “Joe-Ko” as he is known, scored his first career touchdown on Sunday, the media still had his rollicking touchdown celebration on their minds. The press inquired coach Mangini in his press conference about the celebration, which Mangini referred to as “a one-yard catch and a 50-yard celebration.”
“Joe’s a pretty fiery guy, and a guy you cheer for,” he said. “He came in here not as an undrafted free agent, but he came in here as a tryout player rookie weekend. He and Wallace [Wright] and Stacy [Tutt] are all in that same boat. They bumped somebody out that one weekend, they’ve been competing, and all three are on the active roster. I think those are great indications of what you can do with hard work and how you can create opportunity.”
When asked about whether he took out Chad Pennington and Chris Davis in the midst of his side-show, coach Mangini said, with a chuckle and a grin, that he “lost track of it after the first 20 yards and 35 fist pumps.”
Mangini did state that he wasn’t responsible for knocking down Davis in the process.