INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Mark Walters
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
September 24th, 2008
Pencil in 257. While Jets fans shouldn’t be counting their chickens, coach Mangini and Brett Favre both anticipate that the veteran QB will play this Sunday against Arizona.
“It felt sore, like I thought it would,” Favre said about his left ankle that was taped during is weekly press conference Wednesday. He added that it felt better than it did Tuesday, but only time would tell.
“I’ve been down this road before with a lot of injuries,” Favre said. “I’m doing everything I can to get ready. It’s a short week.”
While Favre said that he does not want to make a big deal about his consecutive games streak—265, he’s not here to sit out and watch.
“That’s how I play every game. I could’ve sat out numerous games and no one would’ve ever questioned the fact that I was hurt, but I wouldn’t let it get that far. If I really want to play and I feel like I can help the team win, it’s important for me to play.
“I would never go into a game and play to continue a streak even though I felt like I would hamper the team with this injury, or a broken thumb, or whatever.”
After a west coast road trip, recovery is going to be crucial for a bruised Jets team that was embarrassed on a national stage.
NT Kris Jenkins—who was announced in the press box Monday night to have injured his back—practiced Wednesday, and did not appear to be limited. He was optimistic in the locker room before taking the field.
“I am feelin’ better,” said Jenkins, who was frustrated watching Monday’s game from the sideline. “I’m not on IR, so that’s a plus. I have no choice but to shake it off and the guys understand. If it would’ve been a situation that I was up and ready to go, I would’ve been out there.
“The timing of it wasn’t perfect. I got aggravated during the game and it just didn’t wanna act right after that, but I’ll be okay. It’s not something that’s a first-time occurrence. It’s something I’ve dealt with in the past, so I just gotta get through it.”
S Kerry Rhodes said that his body isn’t ready yet, but he was all about getting back at it.
“We wanna get out and try to get that bad taste out of your mouth from the game Monday,” Rhodes said. “I woke up this morning and it felt like it was 3 o’clock in the morning. It takes a little while to get back in the swing of things. It’s gonna be more mental, trying to get things mentally down and try to get your focus back to football.”
It was a lighter practice without full pads, which Rhodes attributed to getting back into the routine.
Something Favre said at his press conference was that the entire team needs to realize how good it is before it really starts playing well.
“Once this team starts believing,” Favre said. “All 53 guys start believing that it can be done, than it will be. When there’s doubt creeping in from wherever, and you see flashes of how good we can be, as we have, then it’s going to be the way it has been.
“And until we believe that, ‘hey, we’re pretty darn good. We’re going to go out, we’re not going to be beat,’ we’ll be much better off.”
RB and KR Leon Washington mentioned Gang Green’s character, even late in the game on the road, when it seemed over.
“I can tell you guys I’ve been around have character,” Washington said. “You can see at the San Diego game in the second half, our guys kept fighting, kept trying to get back into the game. That’s the only thing I can speak for.”
Mangini sees it as a collective work in progress for his team.
“There’s some things that we need to fix and get a lot better at as we move forward or otherwise, you know, it’s going to be hard to execute the game-plan specific things if you’re not taking care of the self-inflicted wounds first,” Mangini said.
The Jets released TE Brad Listorti and P Waylon Prather from the practice squad. Additionally, WRs Marcus Henry and Paul Raymond were resigned to the practice squad.
Fired then Hired
P Ben Graham was recently re-signed to the Jets after being released last week. Conveniently, he was in San Diego this past weekend when the Jets called him. Graham was visiting fellow Australian punter Darren Bennett, who used to play for the Chargers and lives in San Diego.
“It’s a business, and I caught the end of that [last] Tuesday,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “Things happen for a reason. The Jets wanted to move me on, and I was ready for the next opportunity.”
Through three games this season, Graham has punted 12 times, with a 42.5-yard average, and a 34.9-yard net.
“Of course it was,” Graham said when asked if it was awkward at all. “How would you feel being fired from your job to be re-hired three days, four days later. It’s awkward, but the guys were great. They understand the situation, they’re happy to have me back. Today I’ll be preparing like I do every other week.”
Warner Still Young
When asked about being in the same game with Cardinals’ QB Kurt Warner and being close in age, Favre laughed.
“He’s a young guy,” Favre said. “How many games has he played in? That’s what I look at.
“The guy has played phenomenal. I got a lot of respect for him.”
Favre recalled Warner being in Packers’ camp several years ago, and when Steve Mariucci—then Green Bay’s quarterback coach—asked Warner to go in on a particular play, Warner opted out of it, saying that he wasn’t ready.
“When Steve was here a couple weeks ago we were doing an interview, laughing about that, how far he’s come,” Favre said. “He’s not afraid to go in now.”
Calvin Pace Against Familiar Faces
LB Calvin Pace, who the Jets picked up this offseason from Arizona, is looking forward to facing his former team.
“It’s not anything about revenge or anything like that,” Pace said. “I’m just looking forward to going out there and playing against a lot of old friends and just competing and having a good time against those guys.
“It was a business move. They [the Cardinals] had some things they had to do, business-wise. I don’t have any hard feelings towards them. It’s another game,” Pace said when asked about any bad blood.
“If I were to take it that way, I’d be mad at everybody for not drafting me,” Pace added.