After four days off to clear their minds, Gang Green returned to Weeb Ewbank Hall on Monday with all their focus now shifting toward the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At 1-8 the Jets return from the bye week with no chance of playoff contention and face the task of playing their last 7 games of the season for nothing but pride. Things get no easier as they face the 7-2 Steelers on Sunday then travel three days later to Dallas for a Turkey Day matchup against the 8-1 Cowboys. With a six game losing streak under their belt the Jets will now try to play spoiler against playoff hopefuls.
“Sometimes you have to have that mentality. You have to be ticked off about your situation and try to ruin for someone else,” said LB David Bowens.
Many of the questions that Mangini was asked during his 20-minute press conference were about how he goes about keeping his team in the right mind frame. Mangini communicated to his team that no matter what their record is, no matter what the situation is they still have to approach the season on a week-by-week basis.
“It really is a week-to-week approach. It was that way last year and that’s the best way to make progress,” said Mangini. “I talked to players this morning about each day going out to practice with a plan and identify something individually they want to work at.”
Mangini’s players echoed his sentiments.
“That’s the approach you have to take because it is what is,” said Bowens about the week-by-week strategy the Jets are employing. “It gives us are mentality that is we have nothing to lose. Guys can go out there and exert themselves and play 110%.”
Bowens is person that has been in this situation before. Bowens has spent his last five plus seasons in Miami and knows exactly what type of mindset is needed to play when the playoffs are no longer an option.
Despite being a 1-8 team, Bowens said the Jets are a confident group. He said everybody in the locker room is feeling refreshed from the bye and is ready to get back into action.
“Were a 1-8 team, so were not going to start patting ourselves on the back,” Bowens said. “But we have the confidence that we can start winning some games. We are going to approach this thing one game at a time. If we just stay focused we can salvage a little bit of the season and end it on some sort of a good note”
A win against the Steelers is something that could serve as bigger confidence boost than the bye. If the Jets can upset the Pittsburgh, they have more confidence as their schedule does not get any easier looking forward.
Youth on the Sidelines
On Sunday, Mangini will get to use a weapon he never gets use. Mangini will get a chance to use his age as advantage. Mangini will be the older of two head coaches this Sunday. Mangini was born on January 19, 1971, while his counterpart Mike Tomlin was born on March 15, 1972.
Revis Facing Hometown Team
When CB Darrelle Revis takes the field on Sunday; he will be doing so against the team he grew up watching. Revis who is from Aliquippa, PA said he is excited to play his hometown team but he also realizes that this is just another game with another daunting task.
“It’s great, it’s my hometown team and I know a lot of guys on that team,” said Revis. “It’s going to be cool playing against my hometown team. I’m excited to play against the Steelers and it’s going to be fun.”
Mangold sees Alma Mater fumble
With their time off last week many players spent their time off by returning home to spend time with their families. While others spent their time to see their former college teams in action. C Nick Mangold spent his time Columbus, Ohio watching his collegiate team the Ohio State Buckeyes get upset by Illinois.
“When you can’t stop the run and don’t play well offensively it won’t get the job done,” Mangold said.
That sounds very similar to what Jets fans say about Gang Green after they see the Jets play.
Mangini updated the media on the condition of LB Jonathan Vilma during his Monday press conference. And after three weeks of speculation Mangini confirmed it was the right knee of Vilma that had the surgery. The head coach did not state what kind of surgery Vilma underwent or when he expects Vilma to participate in spring team workouts.
WR Laveranues Coles and WR Chris Davis both returned to practice today. Coles practiced without a red jersey on meaning he is likely a go for Sunday....Eric Mangini was very verbal with his players. During one-on-one drills Mangini was seen taking players aside and critiquing them. Some of the players that had the pleasure to speak with Mangini were CB's Darrelle Revis and Drew Coleman as well as S Erik Coleman....Jason Trusnik changed his jersey number from 48 to 57.
Gang Green is off tomorrow but they will return to practice on Wednesday. As always log on to JI.com for all the latest news on everything Jets.