INSIDER MONDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 24th, 2007
Even though a win on Sunday could cost Gang Green two to three spots in next April’s NFL Draft, Mangini and Jets are not looking at this game in that point of view. Mangini and the rest of his coaching staff are looking at this game as their last chance (in a game situation) to evaluate their players before they have to start working to place together next year’s team.
One area Mangini will look at will be his offensive line. C Nick Mangold and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson look to be on the Jets offensive line for while, but at every position on the line the Jets have look at carefully. LG Adrien Clarke (who was inactive for the first time this season) and RT Anthony Clement have been disappointments this season. While RG Brandon Moore, who signed an extension earlier in the season, hasn’t been anything to yell home about.
Even though RB Thomas Jones managed to run for 1,000 yards this season, the offensive line never really gave Jones wide holes to run through. Along with quietly running for over a 1,000 yards for a third straight season, Jones has only scored one rushing touchdown this season.
During Sunday’s loss to the Titans, the offensive line never gave QB Chad Pennington a chance. Pennington, who was sacked six times and hit another eight times, was harassed all afternoon after starting his first game since October 28th against Buffalo. Pennington saw a lot of different people shuffle on his Sunday. Along with the normal starters, Mangini did think twice about playing OL’s Robert Turner and Clint Oldenburg. Both, who have been on the practice squad pretty much all season, saw significant playing time in their NFL debuts.
“The sacks we gave up yesterday were because of a group effort. It wasn’t just a function of those two guys,” Mangini said in a conference call with reporters today. “Collectively, not just offensive line, the whole group has to do a better job.”
With all that being said Mangini will keep close eyes on that group during practice this week. Mangini will keep rotating at left guard and right tackle when the Jets face the Chiefs. He also might dress sixth-round pick OL Jacob Bender and see what he can bring to the table before the Jets head into the off-season and start revamping the line.
With names like Alan Faneca and Flozell Adams available in the free agent market, the Jets will need to take a quick look at what they have and then decide what they want to do. The Jets will also own a top five pick, in this April’s draft and Michigan OL Jake Long could certainly be available when the Jets are picking.
QB for Next Week Goes Unnamed
To no surprise head coach Eric Mangini did not name a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game. He said he will assess both Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens as the week goes on. Mangini did say that Clemens was healthy enough to be the number two quarterback on Sunday. If Clemens can keep progressing then there is no reason why he would not start on Sunday.
Mangini Wants L.C. Back
During the conference call, Mangini reaffirmed that he would want to have WR Laveranues Coles back for next season. Coles, who is due to make $5 million next season, is under contract till 2009. Coles has said he does want to come back to New York, but since he is great friends with Pennington he wants to see to where Pennington winds up. Pennington is one of the reasons why Coles came back to Jets from the Redskins in 2005. Coles said he will ask for input from his best friend, but from Mangini’s standpoint he just hoped that Coles hadn’t played his last game in a Jets uniform.
“When I sat down with LC to talk to him about going on the IR list, we had a great conversation. I was thanking him for all he did this season on the field and off the field. I thought he did a great job being a first time captain,” said Mangini. “I think he is an excellent example of the word pro. He is a very selfless guy, he cares about his teammates, and he will do anything he can to help the team win.”
Jets DT Sione Pouha was one Jet who really impressed Mangini with his effort against the Titans. In relief of DT Dewayne Robertson, Pouha had a career high eight tackles, all solo.
“Sione had a great game. He had an outstanding day. I really liked Sione’s progress for a long time. I was really encouraged by him last year going into training camp before he got hurt,” said Mangini. “He’s really been working at the things we’ve identified that he could improve on. Over the last month his production has really been outstanding. I have really been pleased with him.”
Game Time for Sunday is Changed
Last week the NFL sent out a notification to the Jets that their scheduled kickoff against the Chiefs could possibly be changed. On Monday, the NFL confirmed with the Jets and Chiefs that kickoff will be at 4:15 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS. Instead of the Jets-Chiefs, NBC has chosen to air the Titans-Colts game.
The team gets a rare in season holiday off tomorrow as Christmas falls on their regular Tuesday off-day. The team will return to work on Wednesday to begin preparation for the Chiefs.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM JI!
The entire staff of Jets Insider.com would like to wish you the warmest and safe Holiday Season!