The Jets released veteran FB Darian Barnes today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Don’t tell the Jets or the Dolphins that Sunday’s game means nothing. Even though the playoffs are a long afterthought for both teams, the 0-11 Dolphins want to get their first win of the season and the Jets don’t want to be Miami’s first and possibly only win this season.
The Dolphins best chance to get win this comes on Sunday as the rest of the way out the Dolphins play some best teams in the AFC.
The Jets and Dolphins have had very similar seasons. Both teams have played a lot of close games. We all know the Jets' struggles, but the Dolphins have lost five games by three points.
“I usually fill up after one, so getting the six that was plenty,” said Jets head coach Eric Mangini about the six game losing streak the Jets went through earlier in the season. “I’m sure knowing the players that are there, they have a significant amount of guys like that who work extremely hard and are true pros.”
“It’s challenging. You always want to see the rewards for the effort and the work that you put in. It’s difficult whenever you lose, and to string them together doesn’t make that any easier,” Mangini added.
Being the Dolphins first and possibly only win is something Gang Green doesn’t want on its resume'.
“In my six years, this is the first time that both teams have had this amount of losses. It is obviously tough,” said Jets TE Chris Baker. “They are a team with a lot of pride, so they are going to come out and be ready to play. We have to do the same.”
LB David Bowens, who spent his last six seasons in Miami, has a very close relationship with a lot of his former teammates. He reiterated how important it is for the Jets not to look at the team’s record because he knows what the Dolphins players are feeling.
Bowens said he spoke with Dolphins defensive end and former Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor yesterday. In speaking with Taylor, Bowens sensed the frustration level of the players in Miami.
“They are frustrated and they also a young team, they have a lot of new players in place and it kind of comes with the territory, but in no way did they think they would go 0-11,” Bowens said.
But in no way will the Jets look at the Dolphins as an 0-11 team, especially after the Jets got beat from by the Bills when Buffalo was 0-3 earlier in the season.
“Respect factor plays a role. Just because they are 0-11 doesn’t mean they are a good team. So we have to expect anything in the playbook to come up,” said Bowens. “No matter what the record is, the (Dolphins) have always played hard. I have been in Miami when the records weren’t good, but we gave (the Jets) hell.”
Jets Man of the Year is MIA
WR Jerricho Cotchery, who was named the Jets 2007 Man of the Year, missed practice on Wednesday. Cotchery was not in the 45-minute open locker room session for the media. Mangini did not comment on Cotchery’s absence during his 20-minute morning press conference.
As the Jets award winner, Jerricho will receive $1,000 to donate to the Cotchery Foundation, his charity of choice and he is also eligible to win the national Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award and be recognized at a press conference during Super Bowl week in Arizona. The national winner will receive $25,000 to donate to a charity of his choice.
Coach Mangini addressed a few roster moves Wednesday Morning. The biggest move was the release of FB Darian Barnes. Barnes, a six year veteran who was with Miami last season, was expendable basically due to the Jets using TE's in the FB spot and also Barnes' lack of special teams contributions. Barnes started four games as a Jet and played a big role in two of Thomas Jones’ 100-yard performances. The past four games however, he's been inactive.
Other Personnel Moves
The Jets made some other personnel moves Tuesday night. Gang Green signed P Jeremy Kapinos and WR David Ball to the practice squad. Kapinos (6-1, 235, Penn State), was attended training camp with the Jets but he was waived on Aug. 2. Kapinos was a finalist for the 2006 Ray Guy Award (the nation’s top punter). Mangini said he liked what he saw from Kapinos during training camp and he especially liked his ability to both punt and kick field goals. Ball, played his college football at the University of New Hampshire, played previously in the Chicago Bears organization.
With Ball and Kapinos being signed to the practice squad, the Jets only open roster spot is on the 53-man roster. Mangini did not rule out another roster move before Sunday’s game against Miami.
Jets Mourn the Loss of Taylor
The NFL is still mourning the loss of Washington Redskins S Sean Taylor. Mangini opened morning press conference by offering the Jets condolences to Taylor and his family. The news of Taylor’s passing also hit hard on some of the players. LB Jonathan Vilma, who was Taylor’s teammate at the University of Miami, had this to say about his fallen friend.
“Sean has been a close friend of mine since our days at the University of Miami. He was a great teammate and an even greater person,” said Vilma in a statement on the Redskins team website. "It is so hard for me to fathom that I am not going to be able to pick up the phone to call him. My deepest condolences are extended to his family, especially his daughter and parents. Sean will definitely be missed and I hope for the best for his family."
WR Laveranues Coles, a teammate of Taylor’s in Washington was also distraught when he heard the news
“I was very close with him. I was the guy they assigned to him when he first came in. He was just like me. He didn’t talk to many people,” said Coles. “He was a great person and great athlete once you broke everything he was a great person in general. And for this to happen to him is just saddening.”
Besides Cotchery not being at practice, the only other big news was WR Laveranues Coles. Coles, who missed the Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas, is trying to return for the Dolphins game. Coles, who has a high ankle sprain, tried to practice today. He attempted to bag drills in the beginning of practice, but instead he did running on the side. Coles will be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game…The only other note worth mentioning about practice is that the Jets practiced in the bubble for a second consecutive day.
New York Jets
Did Not Participate in Practice
WR Jerricho Cotchery (finger)
Limited Participation in Practice
CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (ankle), TE-LS James Dearth (foot), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee)
Full Participation in Practice
TE Chris Baker (back), WR Chris Davis (shoulder), TE Joe Kowalewski (shoulder), DT C.J. Mosley (shoulder), WR Brad Smith (back)
Did Not Participate in Practice
DT Vonnie Holliday (ankle), LB Zach Thomas (migraine)
Limited Participation in Practice
RB Jesse Chatman (ankle)