INSIDER THURSDAY TEAM REPORT
By Douglas Bonjour
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
October 23rd, 2008
After converting 21-of-23 field goals and all 26 extra points last season for the Miami Dolphins, Feely was without a team throughout training came. Then along came the Chiefs, who signed the eight-year kicker to a one-year contract on Aug. 26 to compete with Connor Barth and Nick Novak for the starting kicking job. Surely Feely believed his stay was going to last longer than one practice, that is until he was released later that same afternoon.
"They signed me and then I kicked, then they released me. That was really it," Feely told reporters today.
While Feely was not only disappointed about the missed opportunity of playing for an NFL team, he believes that the Chiefs' decision to release him after just one practice placed a poor impression on him to the rest of the league.
"It was a strange situation, unfortunate," Feely said. "Obviously, it made me look bad to the rest of the NFL."
Feely remained without a team until Sept. 9, when the Jets signed Feely to replace Mike Nugent, who had injured his thigh in the Jets' opening win over Miami.
While Nugent continues to be sidelined with the thigh injury, Feely keeps on kicking. He is 8-for-10 on field goal attempts with the Jets, with the most important of those being the 52-yarder he nailed in the fourth quarter against Oakland last week to send the game into overtime.
Head Coach Eric Mangini has been impressed with Feely thus far: "I think he's done a good job replacing Mike. You don't know how a guy is going to do until you're put in one of those pressure situations where the game is on the line," Mangini said. "To hit the field goal that he hit at that point in the [Oakland] game, that was tough sweating."
Nugent provided similar views on the kick. "I thought it was great. I thought he did a great job on that because I couldn't really tell any field conditions or what the wind was like there, but just from what I know...your footing [on that field] isn't 100 percent, and I thought he did a great job," Nugent said.
Luckily for Feely, the 52-yarder he did hit was the one that counted. Feely's first attempt bounced off the left upright, but Raiders interim head coach Tom Cable called timeout, nullifying the miss. Feely said he knew before the kick that Cable had called a timeout providing him what he called an "advantage" it allowed him to test the conditions.
"The next one I just aimed a little further right and hit it the same way and I think it's a pretty good advantage for the kicker," Feely said.
As for playing with the Jets, Feely called it a "different experience" but one that he has embraced.
"I've been really impressed with this team," Feely said. "It's a humble team in a good way. It's been easy to come in and meet everybody and get to know everybody.
Wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery both were out on the practice field but were limited during the 35-minute media window....Offensive tackle Damien Woody looked to be more fluid in drills than he previously was this week with his injured calf....Tight end Bubba Franks, who suffered a hip injury last Sunday, was not present on the practice field for the second consecutive day....Nugent (right thigh) ran light windsprints along the endzone and later joined linebacker Jason Trusnik (PUP List) on the exercise bicycles.
Coles, Smith Suffered Concussions
Yesterday, Coles and safety Eric Smith were listed on the injury report with "head" injuries. Today, Mangini confirmed that both Coles and Smith suffered concussions during last Sunday's 16-13 overtime loss to the Raiders
"Yeah, it's a concussion. I just listed it that way because I list all the body parts," Mangini said of Coles' condition.
Both injuries were suffered during the fourth quarter and whereas Coles returned to the field following the injury, Smith did not. For Coles, the concussion marked the third time he has received a head injury in the last 22 months. However, Mangini did not rule the Jets' wide receiver out for Sunday.
"I'm really comfortable with what we've come up within our procedure," Mangini said. "When it's all said and done, we're going to emphasize the player's safety, and he's not going to play until he's medically cleared to play."
Coles met with reporters at his locker today, but refused to comment on the injury.
"You all know we're not allowed to talk anything about that type of stuff, so why would you even put me in that situation," Coles asked. "Understand that if I speak anything about any type of injury, that it's considered conduct detrimental to the team.
"Unless all of you all are going to fork over some cash, don't ask me no more damn questions about it. Talk to Eric and talk to the doctors."
Both Coles and Smith participated during the 35-minutes of practice alloted to the media, but were limited.
If either Coles or Cotchery (shoulder) is not able to play Sunday, Brad Smith or Chansi Stuckey could step into the starting role. Mangini said that Smith has the "flexibility" to play both wide receiver spots.
David Clowney, who missed the previous six games with a shoulder injury, could be active for the first time this season. Mangini said that Clowney "gets better and better each week."
"It's one of those things where the more time the better, but that doesn't mean that he couldn't play now," Mangini said. "Since he's not on the injury report that's really his status. He's live."
Rhodes in a Slump?
Through six games this season, safety Kerry Rhodes has zero interceptions, zero sacks and zero forced fumbles. Sense a common thread? The statline is strangely bare from a player who has totaled ten interceptions, eight sacks and six forced fumbles over the last three seasons. Even though Rhodes' stats would suggest a slump, Mangini said that the numbers are "irrelevant."
"Interceptions, sometimes they're like grapes and they come in bunches and sometimes they don't," Mangini said. "When they come, they come. It's not like he can't turn the ball over or sack the quarterback. Just comes at different points."
Aside from the low production on the stat sheet, Mangini said Rhodes has done "well" in terms of meeting his responsibilities on the football field. Mangini suggested that Rhodes faces even more responsibility this season, given that he's working in a secondary which features youngsters such as cornerbacks Dwight Lowery and Darrelle Revis.
Jones' Performance "Excellent"
In Sunday's 16-13 overtime loss to the Jets, running back Thomas Jones carried the ball 24 times for 159 yards. The 159 yards marked his highest total in 22 games with the Jets, and his highest-single game total since he ran for 173 yards on Sept. 15, 2002 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. Today, Mangini called Jones' performance "excellent" and also cited last year's performance against Pittsburgh on Nov. 18 as one of Jones' most impressive games. Jones carried the ball 30 times for 117 yards in the Jets' 19-16 win.
"He just rolled some runs," Mangini said of Jones' performance against the Steelers. "One of the things that Thomas has is that ability to just impose his will. I really thought that was so powerful that game."
Although last Sunday marked the Jets' first breakout performance on the ground, Mangini explained that he has "liked our running game throughout the course of the season." "What I'm looking for really is the balance between running and the pass, where you can go to either at any point and be effective with it, Mangini said."
Jones provided his own viewpoint on balancing the offense, telling reporters, "You never know how the game is going to go...If you're throwing the ball well and that is helping us then we will throw the ball. If we are running the ball well, then we will run the ball. Every game is unpredictable."
But what does the Jets' offense need to do to become more consistent? Well, Coles chimed in.
"Keep working hard. That is all we can do. Brett [Favre] is still in a brand new system. We are still adding plays week-in and week-out and he is still trying to get a grasp and we are trying to turn some of the terminology into some of the stuff he understands," Coles said.
KC's Run Troubles
Heading into Sunday's matchup with the Jets, the Chiefs have allowed an average of 207 rushing yards per game, ranking them 32nd in the NFL. Although the statistic speaks for itself, Mangini suggested the high total can often be skewed.
"Sometimes, like with any statistic, that can get steamrolled, where if you show that that's an area which can be attacked, you not only get it, but you get it in heavy, heavy doses from a lot of teams," Mangini said. "Sometimes what ends up happening is you're top-10 in pass defense and 32nd in run defense."
The only game this season the Chiefs did not allow at least 100 yards rushing was on Sept. 28 in a 33-19 win over the Broncos. Denver rushed for 94 yards in the Chief's lone win.
Oakland Loss a Wake-up Call?
When the Jets traveled to Oakland last weekend, they surely did not expect to leave on the losing end. Today, Coles was asked whether or not the loss served as a wake-up call for the Jets.
"I think the three losses we have should have been wake-up games," Coles said.
Even so, the Jets' wide receiver knows the losses have not been the result of effort, or lack thereof.
"I think what says a lot about this team is the fact that we are willing to fight late in the game against Oakland and I think that is the most important thing," Coles said. "It didn't win us [Oakland], but to know that the fight is still in the guys is what will help us out in the long run."
Out: K Mike Nugent (Right Thigh)
Did Not Participate: WR Laveranues Coles (Thigh), TE Bubba Franks (Hip), OT Damien Woody (Calf)
Limited Participation: TE Chris Baker (Back), WR Jerricho Cotchery (Shoulder), G Brandon Moore (Foot), S Eric Smith (Head)
Full Participation: NT Kris Jenkins (Back), LB Calvin Pace (Foot)
Did Not Participate: P Dustin Colquitt (Left Groin)
Full Participation: LB Donnie Edwards (Ankle)