INSIDER FRIDAY TEAM REPORT
By Rich Forestano
October 31st, 2008
Do or Die today (well actually Sunday) Jet Fans. Last week could’ve been considered a must win game since Gang Green would be in panic mode if they lost to Kansas City. And now, they have the added pleasure of facing the one of the top running backs in Marshawn Lynch, and arguably one of the top five wide receivers in the NFL in Lee Evans.
“We’ve faced some really good backs so far this season,” Head Coach Eric Mangini said. “He’s no different. He’s got a nice combination of power and he also has the ability to cut back or bounce out and get the edge and get the yards there.”
Evans posted his third 100-yard game of the season last week. It matched his career high for 100-yard games in a season, which were three in all of 2006. The Green and White is going to have to bring it’s A game to pull of an upset win over the first place (tied) Buffalo Bills, which are off to its best start in 12 years.
Jets defenders will have to keep Evans quiet to have a chance at the win.
“We see on film that guys try to jam him,” DB Darrelle Revis said. “You try to slow him down and he still picks up speed. He’s like a track star right off the line.”
If any game needs to be a statement game for the Jets, this is it. They have to show why they’re ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing defense. This is the type of situation that calls for a Favre classic, if he decides to drop the INT’s to 0 on Sunday. To gain a game in the AFC East would propel them into second place and with a New England loss to the Colts on Sunday night would put them in first place all alone due to the division tiebreaker (the Jets would have two division wins to the Patriots one).
Gang Green needs get the run game going since it’ll most likely be as windy as Florham Park, NJ on a Friday in Orchard Park, NY. They’ll need another big game from RB Leon Washington if RB Thomas Jones sputters and that’ll put pressure on the pass. The Bills defense is ranked tenth in total points.
“It’s always tough,” Washington said. “It could be anything in Buffalo. You can get four seasons within one quarter. We realize that and getting prepared for that has been good this week.”
Damien Woody practiced today after missing some time due to personal matters. Coach said the days he missed will not affect his preparation for Sunday’s game in Buffalo and that he’s caught up to date. “I’m just going to keep it private,” he said of the reason he missed practice. “It’s a family matter. Like I said it feels good to be back.” Coach Mangini stated that Woody has been kept in the loop despite missing some practice time.
“He got back last night and he’ll be practicing today,” he said. “He spent some time with Bill Callahan last night and he was able to take the information with him and also the system we have in place we can watch practice from any location.”
How about David Harris? Harris injured his groin against the Chiefs last week.
“His status is really unchanged,” the coach said. “We’re a lot better than we were on Monday. He’s still working away at it like Bubba (Franks) is, like all those guys are.”
Harris is a key asset to the Jets defense. He’s been “Johnny On the Spot” since he became a Jet recording 117 total tackles last year. He hasn’t missed a start since October 28th 2007 when he had 14 total tackles (8 solo) against who…the Bills. He followed that up with 20 (14 solo) against Washington.
Many suspect that if Harris can’t go, LB David Bowens will get the start at middle linebacker. In limited duty this season, Bowens has 13 tackles (8 solo).
“All of my career I’ve always (had the same approach),” he said. “When I first backed up Jason Taylor then, I started opposite and now every week I feel like I am learning something new, which is a challenge for me so I take it very seriously. I have always prepared and always been ready and when I went in last week nothing ever changed.” DB Dwight Lowery:
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” he said. “He’s a good guy to have on your side when you step on the field.”
So far this season, the former second round pick out of Michigan has 29 solo tackles this season, good for fourth on the team.
“He’s a very good player and a big part of our unit,” NT Kris Jenkins said. “He knows how to play the game right.”
Happy Halloween Jets Fans.
Halloween at the Mangini household. Well, it looks like coach Mangini is going to be a PowerRanger for Halloween. NOT!!! But he will be taking his children trick-or-treating on All-Hallows Eve. “The boys are going to be PowerRangers,” he said. “Jakes the green one, (Spirit of the Elephant) Luke is the Blue one, (Spirit of the Cougar).” By the way, he knew all of the spirit names by heart. “It’s hard to keep track,” Mangini said with a laugh. “It’s going to be fun.”
Rhodes back to return a few
S Kerry Rhodes returned some punts today; a rare thing to see considering he’s rarely been back deep as a returner.
LB David Harris rode the exercise bike near the west endzone and TE Bubba Franks was doing stretches on the sideline. WR’s Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery practiced but were limited along with LB Cody Spencer and TE Chris Baker, who made a nice catch by the tips of his fingers during practice today. S Eric Smith hasn’t practiced all week.