With the arrival of you-know-who, it’s a no-brainer who will be starting at quarterback Saturday against the Washington Redskins. In the second pre-season game, Favre will finally grace the Meadowlands in a home uniform. Something a little more interesting to look at is QB No. 2.
“It’ll be Kellen,” Head Coach Eric Mangini stated quickly after asked who will come in after Favre.
With the improved play of QB Brett Ratliff, who is looking more and more capable of making this season’s roster after being on the practice squad last year, fans have got to wonder what lies ahead for the Jets Insider.com’s August 14 Profile.
Ratliff threw two touchdowns last week at Cleveland, both 70-yard strikes to WR David Clowney, who is also fighting for a roster spot and is continuing to impress at training camp.
While all eyes are on Favre, something worthy of note is the Laveranues Coles-Santana Moss match-up. Moss was drafted by the Jets in 2001 but was traded to Washington for Coles in 2005. Coles of course hasn’t spoken with the media since the departure of close friend and former Jets QB Chad Pennington.
Gang Green faced Washington at Giants Stadium in 2007. It was a 23-20 OT heart-breaker for the Jets. It was Clemens’ first start, and the last game of a 6-game skid. New York surrendered almost 300 yards on the ground to the Skins, one of many defensive flaws that squandered a 17-3 lead.
One thing is for sure, the Jets aren’t the Jets of 2007.
After the millions Owner Woody Johnson put into his team this off-season, i.e.: OL’s Alan Faneca and Damien Woody and LB’s Calvin Pace and Vernon Gholston, Jets fans have got to be pleased.
Oh yeah, and Favre. He’s ready for this. He wants to play, but he understands that it is a pre-season game after all.
“I think the smart thing to do is just get your feet wet, try to get something going,” Favre said after practice Wednesday. “Like I always said in preseason, you’d love to win the game but there are other things. In all my years of playing, I don’t want to say this is the most important game. From a preseason standpoint, if I go 6-for-6, great, if I go 0-for-6, so be it.”
Mangini anticipates some bumps, but he’s simply looking for things to improve on.
“It's the huddle procedure, the snap count, the mechanics surrounding the play and the reads,” Mangini said. “All of those things you want to see where we're at and what we have to improve on. I wouldn’t necessarily say it's one specific thing. It's more running the offense and making sure that while he's in there, that he has a comfort level and that the group has a comfort level, but there's going to be some bumps. There's always bumps.”
From Favre’s comfort level to establishing a running game, the Jets have their work cut out for them against an NFC East team that made the playoffs last season. If the Jets think they’ll be playing past December, they’ll have to see how they stack up with a 2007 playoff team that has a lot to prove in 2008.
Jets ‘O’ vs. Redskins ‘D’
As mentioned, it’s all about Favre’s debut, but in terms of winning a pre-season game, it’s up to Clemens and Ratliff. The Jets need to establish more of a ground game than they did at Cleveland, being that Ratliff likely won’t repeat the career game he had last week. With both Bretts itching to get out there and the offense clicking more and more each day, the Jets will use this game to make a statement.
Jets ‘D’ vs. Redskins ‘O’
For Washington, it’s all about Jason Campbell having a breakout year. Clinton Portis will be tough to stop on the ground, and the receiving corps of Moss and Antwaan Randle El will put the New York secondary to the test.
Key to Victory
Say all you want about Favre and anything else surrounding the pre-season hype and speculation, a pre-season game is won during trash time with reserves and players fighting for roster spots. The way the Jets looked at Cleveland during the quarters no one cared about, Gang Green clicked several times for big plays. Look for a few eye-openers in the home opener at Giants Stadium.
Kellen Clemens should definitely get more reps against the Skins than he did at Cleveland. That said, who knows what could happen. Look for the Jets depth and youth to provide a spark to keep them undefeated when it doesn’t mean jack.
Kickoff is slated for Saturday @ 7:00 EST. Local TV coverage on WCBS 2 and radio on 1050 ESPN Radio. Be sure to check back to JI for a complete recap!