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#1 kelly

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

Scouting report: Early look at Jaguars

A quick take on the Jaguars, whom the Jets face Sunday on the road :

1. The Jaguars are hurting. They're 2-10, having lost eight of their last nine games. They're down to their second quarterback (Chad Henne replaced Blaine Gabbert) and they might be down to their third starting tailback. Rashad Jennings has a concussion and Maurice Jones-Drew has been sidelined for more than a month with a foot injury.

2. Henne had a monster game against the Jets in 2009 as a member of the Dolphins, with Tony Sparano as his coach. Rex Ryan probably will invoke his Dan Marino quote this week, recalling his post-game comment on how they made Henne look like Marino -- 20-for-26, 241 yards. Henne didn't look like Marino last week against the Bills, completing only 18 of 41. In the two previous games, however, he added some energy to the offense.

3. Yes, the Jaguars have an offense; it's hard to tell sometimes. For the first time since Week 1, they moved out of the 32nd spot in the league rankings, soaring all the way to 31st. They can thank the Cards, who could barely manage a first down against the Jets. Offensive-minded coach Mike Mularkey is taking major heat and could be one-and-done in Jacksonville.

4. WR Cecil Shorts is a big-play threat (19.2 yards per catch), but he has a concussion and may not play. No. 1 pick Justin Blackmon is an exciting talent, but he has Stephen Hill disease -- seven dropped passes. In fact, the Jaguars lead the league with 35 drops, five more than the next team, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

5. Defensively, the Jaguars aren't faring much better. They're ranked 31st in total defense and 31st against the run. They allowed a franchise-high 232 rushing yards last week to the Bills, and there's no doubt the Jets will go to school on that. They added DE Jason Babin, who started last week after being claimed on waivers from the Eagles. One of their top players, CB Rashean Mathis, played only eight snaps last week.

6. Is there anything the Jaguars are good at? Well, yeah, they're No. 1 in short-yardage rushing, having converted 16 of 19 for first downs. Hey, it's something.

7. The game will be a homecoming for Tim Tebow, who grew up in the Jacksonville area and attended the University of Florida. It will be a family reunion for the Landry brothers -- LaRon and Dawan, also a safety. Dawan played for Ryan in Baltimore and was instrumental in LaRon picking the Jets last offseason as a free agent.

> http://espn.go.com/b...look-at-jaguars
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#2 kelly

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

Quick thoughts on the Jets' decision to stay with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback, which was announced Wednesday morning :

1. This was the safest move for Rex Ryan. It demonstrates the organization's commitment to Sanchez, its willingness to make it work. The Jets have to pay him $8.25 million next year in guaranteed money, and you know that factored into it. If Ryan had promoted Greg McElroy, it would've meant they had given up on Sanchez, the onetime golden boy whom they envisioned as the face of the franchise for many years.

2. Sanchez will have a short leash Sunday in Jacksonville -- a well-deserved short leash. He has 18 turnovers, including five in the past two games. When he gives the ball away, it demoralizes the offense. If he struggles in the first half, it'll be McElroy time, probably for good. Sanchez needs a positive start to regain the trust of his teammates.

3. This will tell us a lot about Sanchez's mental toughness. For three years, he never had to worry about getting benched. Sunday was his first brush with a possible demotion. Maybe it was a wake-up call. Finally, he knows Ryan means business. If he cracks, the Jets will know he's not their guy.

4. The next two games are on the road, which helps Sanchez, who was booed throughout Sunday's win over the Cardinals. If he redeems himself on the road, it could buy him a little good will for the next home game, Dec. 22 against the Chargers.

5. This shows the organization doesn't see McElroy as the long-term answer. The Jets like his intangibles, especially his smarts, but they still regard him as a developmental player whom they hope can become a solid No. 2 quarterback in the league.

6. Ryan realizes it would've been a tremendous leap of faith to entrust the remainder of the season -- and perhaps his job security -- to a former seventh-round pick who has attempted only seven passes in the NFL. As Ryan likes to say, he's in the winning business -- and he needs wins. He's not likely to get fired, but he doesn't want to take any chances.

7. Tim Tebow wasn't even a factor in this quarterback decision. He has to be wondering, "Why did I want to come to the Jets?" He has a right to be frustrated. They sold him a bill of goods. It'll be interesting to see how they use Tebow this week. Would they dare to deactivate him for his homecoming game in Jacksonville? The Jaguars, hoping for a big crowd, don't want that to happen.

> http://espn.go.com/b...ez-keeps-qb-job
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#3 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

What's next for Greg McElroy ?

Greg McElroy's time in the spotlight was shorter than a New York minute.But the New York Jets backup quarterback,who won his first NFL game last week,is fully supportive of head coach Rex Ryan choosing Mark Sanchez as the starter.“Coach Ryan’s going to do what’s in the best interest of the team and we trust him to make the best decision, and obviously we believe that is the correct decision,” McElroy said to the New York media Wednesday. “We think that going forward, this is a great opportunity to improve and I know Mark’s going to play great on Sunday.”McElroy was 5-of-7 for 29 yards and a touchdown in New York’s 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals. But that wasn’t enough to convince Ryan to make a permanent change.

So what’s next for McElroy ?

Much of McElroy’s role the rest of the season will come down to backup quarterback Tim Tebow. McElroy moved up to the No. 2 role because of Tebow’s injured ribs. Ryan has been mum on who will be the No. 2 quarterback this week but admitted that Tebow is not 100 percent.McElroy proved that he can come in and win a game on short notice. But he's not worried if he has to be the No. 3 quarterback again after being so close to being the No. 1 guy.

“Roles change day-to-day,” McElroy said. “In this game. ... you’re not guaranteed anything.”

> http://espn.go.com/b...or-greg-mcelroy

Edited by kelly, 06 December 2012 - 03:14 PM.

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#4 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

McElroy : 'I know Mark is going to play great'

Backup quarterback Greg McElroy understood why Jets coach Rex Ryan named Mark Sanchez the starter for this week's game against Jacksonville. McElroy replaced Sanchez in the second half last Sunday against Arizona and led the team to a comeback victory."Obviously Coach Ryan is going to do what's in the best interest of the team and we trust him to make the best decision," McElroy said. "He believed that is the correct decision and going forward it's going to be a great opportunity for all of us to work and improve, and I know Mark is going to play great Sunday."McElroy was active for the first time against the Cardinals because of fellow backup Tim Tebow's broken ribs. As Sanchez struggled Ryan put in McElroy, who led the team on its only scoring drive of the day in the 7-6 win. He completed 5-of-7 passes for 29 yards.

The team did not announce its quarterback until Wednesday as Ryan evaluated all the candidates before eventually settling on Sanchez.McElroy said the past couple of days have been fun,especially because of the win, &it's not frustrating that he goes from playing the second half against Arizona to potentially being inactive against Jacksonville."Every single player in this league wants to be on the field on Sunday. That's the competitor in all of us. We also have to understand what our role is and what's in the best interest of the team," McElroy said. "Coach Ryan has been put in charge to make those decisions and to put the best player on the team that he thinks gives the team the best chance of being successful, and that person is Mark.

"I obviously completely understand that and I will accept my role, whatever my role may be, and I will try to enjoy it and try to continue to prove."McElroy's teammates said they did not pay that much attention to the team's quarterback controversy."I just allow the coaches to make the decision with that," lineman D'Brickashaw Ferguson said. "Definitely go out there and work hard and try to do my job as best as I can."Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley did say he's glad the decision didn't linger until later in the week, and he's not worried this will become a weekly thing.While Sanchez will get the start, the players said they were confident in all three choices. They also said they have not lost any faith that Sanchez can get the job done despite his struggles. He has thrown just 12 touchdowns on the year while tossing 13 interceptions.

Said right tackle Austin Howard: "I think Mark can go out there and lead us to a win."

> http://espn.go.com/b...g-to-play-great
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#5 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

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December 6, 2012, 7:31 am 9 Comments

View From Boston on Sanchez: Thanks, Rex
By TONI MONKOVIC

Posted Image
Perhaps it’s the holiday spirit,but Patriots fans and Jets management seem to be in rare agreement these days.Any rancor in an intense rivalry has been replaced by thanks, deep thanks. The Jets want Mark Sanchez to be the starting quarterback. And so, it turns out, do Patriots fans.There is no divisive talk of kissing rings. Instead, you get the sense that Patriots fans would kiss Coach Rex Ryan if they could; Ryan announced Wednesday that Sanchez would start Sunday at Jacksonville.

Christopher L. Gasper probably spoke for a lot of Patriots fans when he wrote this column in The Boston Globe.

Some excerpts :


Apparently, being quarterback of the Jets is the NFL equivalent of being a Supreme Court justice. Once you have the job, the only way you can lose it is either through retirement or repose. Ryan isn’t exhibiting loyalty by sticking with his fallen franchise quarterback, who was benched last Sunday in the Jets’ 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He is stiff-arming reality, Heisman Trophy-style.On behalf of Patriots fans everywhere, thank you Rex for failing to realize that trying to supplant the Patriots with Sanchez at QB is like trying to win the Indy 500 on a Segway.Belichick would never do this. He does “what’s in the best interest of the team.” That’s basically a catchphrase that translates to “I reserve the right to change my mind at anytime if I believe it gives us a better chance to win.”If Belichick found a quarterback that gave him a better chance to win than Brady tomorrow, that guy would be in the starting lineup.


Or as one New England supporter said on a Patriots fan forum: “The NY Jets: the gift that keeps on gifting.”

> http://fifthdown.blo...hez-thanks-rex/
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#6 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

Maybe the New York Jets really are a circus after all.

Following months of outside opinion and weeks of progressively more subpar play from starter Mark Sanchez, coach Rex Ryan finally made the quarterback change that fans, pundits and late-night comics had simultaneously been pining for.He handed the ball to ... Greg McElroy ? And a week later, after the former seventh-round draft pick led the Jets to a decisive touchdown on his first drive with the first offense, a progressively more embattled Ryan -- heading into a winnable road game at Jacksonville -- has handed the ball back to ... Mark Sanchez?

Gentlemen, start your conjecture.

"When I looked at everything, the biggest thing I kept coming back to is: Who gives us the best opportunity to win?" Ryan said. "When I kept coming back to that, I believed the correct answer was Mark Sanchez."With that the case, the 5-7 Jets -- tied for last in the AFC East, incidentally -- will arrive at EverBank Field Sunday to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars behind a signal-caller whose passer rating (71.4) and completion percentage (55.0) are last among the league's starters.
New York's average of 193.8 passing yards per week is 28th in the league and its total yardage clip of 308.9 is 29th.

Sanchez completed 10-of-21 passes and threw three interceptions on the first five possessions last week against visiting Arizona, forcing Ryan to turn to McElroy, who came in and hit tight end Jeff Cumberland to cap off the crucial scoring march in a 7-6 New York victory.McElroy leapfrogged the league's most discussed second-stringer, Jacksonville native Tim Tebow, to get in, but it's unclear whether he's now the go-to No. 2 ahead of the ballyhooed offseason acquisition who was inactive last week with two cracked ribs.

Either way, the youngster sounded Tebow-esque while accepting the week's demotion."You're not guaranteed anything, not at all"McElroy said"You do your best to make the most of your opportunity and do your best to help the team. Sanchez , meanwhile, came across as melancholy."I'm just disappointed because I let a lot of people down," he said. "You let a lot of teammates down when you play like that. That never feels good. It's just not the way I prepare, not with the skill set I've been blessed to have."He faces a Jaguars team that's 28th in the league defending the pass while giving up 260.9 yards per week. Ironically, Jacksonville allowed just 112 yards through the air last week against Buffalo, but was bludgeoned for 232 on the ground in a 34-18 loss.

The Jaguars are second-to-last against the run with a 144 yards-per-game average. New York ran for 177 against Arizona, led by Shonn Greene's 104 on 24 rushes."I had a gut feeling it would be Mark Sanchez," coach Mike Mularkey said. "Why is that? I don't know, but I just felt like it was going to be. Our plan isn't going to be altered by whoever it was going to be."On its own offense, Jacksonville is down to option No. 4 for running the ball after the latest in a spate of injuries. Already without Maurice Jones-Drew and Jalen Parmele, the Jaguars saw Rashad Jennings go down against the Bills with a concussion, leaving fullback Montell Owens next in line.Owens is a two-time Pro Bowler on special teams and he gained 29 yards on seven carries in fill-in duty against Buffalo."It's just a chance to showcase yourself in a way that you haven't been accustomed to," he said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity."

Jacksonville is last in the NFL with 78.8 rush yards per game."It's not the ideal situation, but I think you've got to make an attempt to try to keep it balanced," Mularkey said. "I trust Montell Owens. When he had chances to carry the ball, I thought 'Wow, this guy. I knew he was a good football player, but this guy is a decent back.'"Quarterback Chad Henne, who's now filling in for injured starter Blaine Gabbert, won three of four meetings with Sanchez and the Jets during his days with the Miami Dolphins -- throwing six touchdowns to one interception and compiling a 94.2 passer rating.The Jaguars lead the all-time series, 6-3, and have won three of the last five games. In the last Jacksonville meeting, they won, 41-0, behind 111 yards from veteran running back Fred Taylor and a pair of touchdowns by then-rookie Jones-Drew.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Because of the aforementioned insertion of a fourth-string runner into the starting scheme, the Jaguars are clearly not going to rely on carrying the ball to reach their offensive Valhalla.That said, the Jets are by no means the defensive stalwarts they were on the way to AFC title games in Ryan's initial two seasons.In the absence of a workhorse like Jones-Drew, expect offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski to mix in tight end Marcedes Lewis as a short passing option, which could tighten up a Jets defense not likely to be giving a lot of respect to Owens. Lewis caught four balls for 68 yards against Buffalo -- a 17-yard average per reception -- and has multiple catches in 10 of 12 games this season.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

It hasn't gotten so bad that the Jets aren't a lock to beat a two-win team, has it ?

Yes Virginia, it appears that it has. If Sanchez's mental state was a concern simply because a capable backup was brought in for training camp, it'll be interesting to see where it lies after the first in-game benching of his four- year career. Meanwhile, Henne has seemed just capable enough since Gabbert's injury -- and against the Jets throughout his career -- to spring a home-field surprise.

Sports Network predicted outcome : Jaguars 17, Jets 14

> http://www.miamihera...cksonville.html
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#7 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

Jaguars offense looks like it will be more shorthanded than usual

One of the funniest things about the Jets pulling Mark Sanchez in the 7-6 victory over the Cardinals last week is that he wasn’t even the worst quarterback on the field.Bad as Sanchez was, Ryan Lindley was worse and wound up playing the entire game. We bring that up because it looks like the Jets offense will have a hard time being worse than the opposition again this week.

The Jaguars have perked up a bit offensively with Chad Henne at the reins, but it looks like they’re going to be rolling into Sunday shorthanded. Running back Rashad Jennings and wide receiver Cecil Shorts have missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday as they recover from concussions they suffered in last week’s loss to the Bills.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew also hasn’t practiced, leaving him on track to miss a seventh straight game, so Jennings’ absence will leave the Jags’ running game to Montell Owens, Jordan Todman and Richard Murphy. Coach Mike Mularkey said earlier this week that Shorts passed the tests required by the concussion protocol, although he’s still experiencing symptoms. That doesn’t quite add up and it sounds like the Jags have a good chance of playing without their top receiver.

> http://profootballta...thanded-sunday/
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#8 kelly

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

Injury report : Thursday

Mike Westhoff said he expected to have Joe McKnight available for kickoff returns on Sunday in Jacksonville. A few other Jets, like TE Dustin Keller and QB Tim Tebow are still being evaluated. Clyde Gates (concussion) is not likely to play again this week.

JETS

Did Not Participate : WR Clyde Gates (concussion), TE Dustin Keller (ankle), S LaRon Landry (heel).

Limited Participation : DT Damon Harrison (ankle), WR Stephen Hill (knee), RB Joe McKnight (ankle, ribs), G Brandon Moore (hip), DT Sione Pouha (back), QB Tim Tebow (ribs).

Full Participation : CB Aaron Berry (quadricep), TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), DT Mike Devito (shin), DT Kenrick Ellis (knee, back), RB Lex Hilliard (finger), WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring, heel), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), LB Calvin Pace (shoulder), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder), QB Mark Sanchez (back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), LB Bart Scott (toe), G Matt Slauson (knee).


JAGUARS

Did Not Participate : C Michael Brewster (hand), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), CB Aaron Ross (calf), DE George Selvie (concussion), WR Cecil Shorts (concussion).

Limited Participation : RB Greg Jones (thigh), DE Austen Lane (foot)

Full Participation : DT Tyson Alualu (calf), CB Derek Cox (hamstring), CB Rashean Mathis (groin), C Brad Meester (foot).

> http://espn.go.com/b...port-thursday-3
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#9 kelly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

This is all about survival.

The Jets (5-7), with the NFL's easiest remaining schedule, need to beat the struggling Jaguars (2-10) to keep alive their faint playoff hopes. QB Mark Sanchez, whose career flashed before his eyes this week, needs an efficient -- if not stellar -- performance to remain in the position he has held for nearly four years.

It probably won't be pretty. Kickoff is 1 p.m. Sunday at EverBank Field. What to watch for :

1. Tony's guys : The quarterback matchup features Tony Sparano's current project, Sanchez, against his old project, Chad Henne, formerly of the Dolphins. Remember the days, circa 2009/2010, when Sanchez and Henne were considered the bright lights in the future of the AFC East? Henne washed out with the Dolphins, took a backup gig in Jacksonville and ascended to the starting job when the disappointing Blaine Gabbert got hurt.Henne (1-1) gives the Jaguars a puncher's chance because he throws a good deep ball. He has passed for 823 yards over the last three games, the seventh-highest total in the league. In Miami, he was 3-1 against the Jets, including two monster games. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine picked up some intel on Henne by consulting with offensive assistant Tony Sparano, Jr., formerly of the Dolphins.

2. Pound the rock : The Jets will try to help the turnover-prone Sanchez by ... well, taking the ball out of his hands. Look for a conservative, run-heavy approach, featuring Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. Makes sense. The Jaguars are 31st in run defense, coming off a game in which they allowed a season-high 232 yards. The Jets will attack up the gut, behind C Nick Mangold and Gs Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson. The Jaguars are vulnerable up the middle, as they've allowed a league-high 12 TDs between the center and either guard, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

3. Calling all playmakers : There won't be too many explosive players on the field. The offensively challenged Jets probably won't have TE Dustin Keller (ankle), and the Jaguars won't have star RB Maurice-Jones Drew (foot), who has missed the last six games. They could be down to their fourth running back, Montell Owens, who was extracted from mothballs last week. Big-play WR Cecil Shorts, who has three TD catches of 50+ yards, likely will sit with a concussion. Two players that could hurt the Jets are TE Marcedes Lewis and rookie WR Justin Blackmon, whose production has increased with Henne at quarterback. CB Antonio Cromartie draws the Blackmon assignment.

4. Watch the safety : For the second straight week, the Jets will face a safety they traded away. This time, it's Dwight Lowery, whom Rex Ryan dubbed "The Closer" for his ability to make big plays in the clutch. Lowery has only one interception (a game-clinching pick-six two weeks ago), but he's a smart, instinctive player who knows Sanchez's tendencies. A week ago, former S Kerry Rhodes tormented Sanchez, intercepting two passes in the first quarter.Ryan is familiar with the Jaguars' other safety, Dawan Landry, whom he coached in Baltimore. He's the older brother of Jets S LaRon Landry. The brothers have played a combined total of 170 games, but this will be the first time they've faced each other in the regular season.

5. Jason, the nightmare : DE Jason Babin, who torched the Jets for three sacks last season as a member of the Eagles, will make his second appearance for the Jaguars. They claimed him on waivers after his surprising release from the Eagles. Babin started last week at right end and played 40 of 65 snaps. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson should fare better against Babin than former RT Wayne Hunter, who was embarrassed in last year's matchup. Babin (53.5 career sacks) gives the Jaguars their only pass-rushing threat. No other player has more than two sacks this season.

Sounds like the Jets, doesn't it ?

> http://espn.go.com/b...ts-at-jaguars-2
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#10 kelly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:47 AM

Brothers will face off in Jacksonville

LaRon Landry and his brother Dawan are like opposite sides of a coin. They are matching safeties who will play for the first time in a regular-season NFL game when LaRon, a Jet, heads to Jacksonville to play Dawan's team."Growing up, we always had a competitive streak," LaRon said. "Always fighting, we both hate to lose. I've always been the daredevil, the edgy type. He was always the grounded one."Dawan, the older one, was the one who was always in the gym. He was quiet and serious while LaRon skated by on talent alone. Dawan tried to get LaRon to take things more seriously."Every time we'd work out together he'd try to kill me," LaRon said. "And I used to hate it. The bench press? He put weight on that knowing I can't hit it. I try to lift it then when I start struggling to rack it, he'd push it back down on me. I used to hate it.”

Eventually, his talent alone couldn't save LaRon from the quad strains and hip flexor injuries that started to derail him in high school, after Dawan was out of the house. That's when LaRon took up a weight routine that he has kept up despite the heel and foot injury that threatened his career a year ago.Now that they are in their late 20s,LaRon gets where Dawan was coming from."He just wanted me to work hard because I never really wanted to work on anything," LaRon said.Both safeties are having strong seasons. Dawan has a career-high 137 tackles for the Jaguars. LaRon is the Jets second leading tackler on the team with 92 this season. Dawan said he imagines if it would work if the two played on the same team

."It probably would, you know it'd be a lot of communicating," Dawan said. "Knowing me and him it'd be a lot fussing and fighting going on you know we're always disagreeing on things." Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine coached both players."(LaRon is) very unique," Pettine said. "We had his brother in Baltimore, Dawan, obviously we're going against him this week, who is the exact opposite. Exact opposite. He was very quiet, never said a word. You'd never know he was in the meeting half the time. Whereas, you know LaRon's in the meeting, I'll put it that way."LaRon tailors his own workout shirts so that they have fringe at the bottom, and he has a pet monkey named Gucci.

It may be too late to cite him, but LaRon said he had a fake ID when he was four so that he could play linebacker in a pee-wee football league for kids ages 5 to 7. Asked for proof, LaRon responded, "I've got VHS tape, I can bring it in." At any rate, LaRon knows he won't face his brother on defense, so he is hoping that they can match up on special teams.

> http://espn.go.com/b.../id/18571/18571
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#11 kelly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

Three-point stance : Jets at Jaguars
The Jets travel to Jacksonville for the first of three road games in the final four weeks of the regular season.Despite playing the toughest schedule in the NFL to this point, the Jets (5-7) are still in the playoff mix with the easiest remaining schedule.

Jets Strength of Schedule | 2012 Season
First 12 Games Next 4 Games W-L-T 83-59-2 15-33-0 Win Pct .583 .313 NFL Rank 1st 32nd

Head coach Rex Ryan will start Mark Sanchez against the Jaguars, just one week after he was benched against the Arizona Cardinals.Since the beginning of last season, the Jets are 10-1 when they rush 30 times a game. The ground attack could ease the pressure on Sanchez against a Jaguars defense that ranks 31st against the run. The Jets should also have the advantage on defense against a team that desperately misses Maurice Jones-Drew and ranks 32nd in rush yards per game.

Here are three keys to Sunday's matchup in Jacksonville :

1. In order to help a struggling quarterback, Ryan needs to restore the ground-and-pound attack. The Jets lead the AFC with seven rushing touchdowns between the center and either guard.No team in the NFL has more rush attempts up the middle when using a second skill player in the backfield as a lead blocker. The Jets have used such a play on 29.8 percent of all rushes this season, the highest mark in the AFC.Jacksonville meanwhile, has conceded 12 rushing touchdowns between the center and either guard, the most in the NFL.

Most Rush TD Allowed Up the Middle | 2012
TD Jaguars 12 Bills 8 Falcons 7 Three tied at 6

2. Without injured quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars have called on veteran Chad Henne. He has stretched the field with an average pass length of 9.3 yards, which ranks fifth among NFL passers with 100 attempts.Since Henne took over Week 11, rookie wideout Justin Blackmon has benefited with the second-most targets in the AFC on throws that traveled 11 air yards or more. Blackmon leads the NFL in yards after contact and yards after the catch on throws that distance over that span.The Jets are set up well to defend against the deep ball as they rank third in the NFL in lowest completion percentage allowed on such throws.

3. Ryan should get an opportunity to dial up aggressive pass pressure against the Jags, who rank last in the AFC in fewest dropbacks per sack (12.7 dropbacks/sack) allowed.When the Jets send five or more pass rushers at the quarterback, opponents have managed an average Total QBR of 22.8, which ranks Gang Green fourth among NFL defenses and second-best in the AFC.Last week against Ryan Lindley and the Cardinals, the Jets blitzed with added pressure on 48.5 percent of dropbacks which was the most of any AFC defense.

> http://espn.go.com/b...jets-at-jaguars
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#12 kelly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

Jets must get behind Sanchez the way they did McElroy

“A little help here, please.’’

THIS should be the mantra of Mark Sanchez right now, because he is a struggling quarterback who needs all the help he can get.This is what Sanchez desperately needs Sunday when the Jets play the 2-10 Jaguars in Jacksonville, because Sanchez has proven he is not the type of quarterback who can hoist his team on his shoulders and carry it.Sanchez needs help around him to succeed — the same way third-stringer Greg McElroy needed the players around him to elevate their games when Sanchez was benched and McElroy was thrust into the Sunday’s 7-6 win over the Cardinals.When McElroy entered the game, there was a palpable rise in intensity and production from everyone in that huddle.

The offensive lineman held their blocks a little longer, the running backs ran harder and the receivers ran more precise routes.The running game offered the most noticeable difference. Before McElroy entered, Jets backs had run 20 times for 74 yards. After McElroy came in, they ran 17 times for 91 yards.There is a cynical joke hidden here somewhere, but when Sanchez resumes his job as the starter Sunday, the offensive line, running backs and receivers need to play with the same urgency they did when the third-string quarterback came in last Sunday.“When there’s a young guy in there that’s never played an NFL snap, of course you’re going to have to help him out a little bit,’’ right guard Brandon Moore said yesterday. “Maybe that means blocking a little bit longer or being more in tune with what your assignment is.’’

Sanchez needs those same things Moore said the team gave McElroy. He needs 150 or more yards rushing from his backs, something that should not be an issue against the 31st-ranked Jaguars run defense, which has allowed 1,728 yards and 16 TDs this season.He needs protection from his offensive line, which should not be a problem against a Jaguars team that has produced just 13 sacks in 12 games — least in the NFL and half the league average of 26.9 per team.

He needs the defense to stifle the Jaguars offense, which should not be a problem considering they rank 31st, averaging a paltry 78.8 rushing yards per game, an embarrassing 29.2 percent on third-down conversions and controls the ball for just 26:45 per game.Sanchez must help himself by avoiding mindless turnovers. But he also needs the same kind of extra focus McElroy got from his teammates to help the Jets gain their first back-to-back victory of the season and get to 6-7.
There is no excuse for the 18 turnovers Sanchez has committed in 12 games, which is the number that has left him in this lurch — fresh off being benched and now playing for his job, his career and his name Sunday in Jacksonville.But it’s no secret general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan did not put enough skill-position talent around Sanchez.

Sure, the Jets can point to the season-ending injury to receiver Santonio Holmes and the injuries that have nagged tight end Dustin Keller, Sanchez’s favorite target. But really, after those two players, should there be this much drop-off? Should the team’s top receiving threat be Jeremy Kerley, a nice slot receiver but hardly a No. 1 and maybe not even a No. 2 ?Chaz Schilens keeps no opposing defensive coordinator up at night. Rookie Stephen Hill may one day develop into a starting-caliber receiver, but has trouble with the receiving part of the job.And all of the Jets’ running backs have a total of 24 receptions combined, which is unacceptable.

These, however, are the cards Sanchez has been dealt. It hardly is a full house. So he needs a little help from his friends Sunday or he could lose his job, not for a quarter- and-a-half but forever.

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#13 kelly

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

Sanchez's season on the line vs. Jags

If the Jets QB wants to start past Sunday, he'll need to keep his promise

If Mark Sanchez is playing for his career Sunday, he'll be in the ideal place  Jacksonville.

He'll be away from the New York venom, facing a benign Jaguars defense. He probably won't have to deal with the Tebow Factor because America's Most Famous Backup  Jacksonville's favorite son  likely will be inactive.In the crowd will be a familiar face: Mark Brunell, his former understudy/mentor, who lives in the Jacksonville area.Everything is in place for Sanchez 2.0. If the New York Jets quarterback tosses a couple of water-balloon interceptions, as he did last week, he probably will deserve a permanent place on the bench. No excuses.

On Sunday, Sanchez will be on a 100-yard leather couch, his mental state and body language studied by the armchair psychologists staring into their flat screens at home. It will be the 60th start of his career. If he wants to make it to 61, he needs to seize his second chance."When you get real close to losing something important, you realize how much value it has," Brunell told ESPNNewYork.com. "Mark Sanchez does not want to feel like he felt last Sunday."Brunell and Sanchez, teammates in 2010 and 2011, were extraordinarily close. They vacationed together, took hunting trips and just plain hung out a lot, with Sanchez spending off days at Brunell's house. Heck, he even helped Brunell's kids with their homework.


Mark Sanchez promises to turn around his fortunes on Sunday.


This has been a turbulent season for Sanchez, 26,and he could use a sage like Brunell in his football life.For the first time in his career,he's the oldest in the quarterback room,flanked by a cult figure(Tim Tebow)and the new fan favorite Sanchez misses the gray-haired Yoda who has watched from afar as his young protégé has struggled amid the crucible of an intense season."You knew it was going to be tough," Brunell, 42, said. "I don't want to take anything away from Tim, but with all the media attention,a press conference for the backup quarterback,Tebow-mania -- you have a young quarterback, your franchise player, and you're adding a lot of pressure to an already high-pressure situation."You want your quarterback to flourish and blossom and mature, and you bring in, I'm not going to say 'distraction,' but you create an environment where it's tough for that to happen. If I were a GM, I'd want Tim on my team. But as far as the quarterback room, it's very unique. I don't want to say it was a bad decision, but for Mark, it was a difficult situation."

Whether it was the Tebow Factor or a lack of offensive weapons or just poor decision-making -- or a combination of all three--Sanchez has struggled.The recent trend:one good game,two bad ones.Another good one,two more bad ones.Rex Ryan finally got fed up,benching Sanchez last Sunday in favor of the untested McElroy. After three days of suspense, Ryan recommitted to Sanchez, but it's a short leash.If Sanchez makes a couple of knucklehead turnovers, it likely will result in a permanent gig with the clipboard, $8.25 million guarantee be damned. He'll get paid nice money next season no matter what, but Ryan will cut bait if he thinks Sanchez will get him fired.Now Sanchez will find out how the defense feels on a weekly basis, playing with little margin for error. Welcome to Club Stress, kid

Publicly, Sanchez said all the right things, vowing to use the temporary benching as a learning experience. Privately, he has promised his teammates he will play better. They say he seems more determined than ever.

"He's a fighter," guard Matt Slauson said. "I have all the confidence in the world that he's going to bounce back and play well."Defensive tackle Mike DeVito said, "We've seen him in some of the biggest games and how well he's played, so I don't doubt him."Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine backed Ryan's decision, saying Sanchez has "earned the right to bounce back."The rah-rah stuff sounds good, but let's see him do it. Let's see him play efficiently against the league's 31st-ranked defense.The Jaguars (2-10) can't stop the run, can't rush the quarterback and can't defend the pass. The Jets should be able to control the line of scrimmage, playing their usual game of ugly ball. Sanchez won't throw more than 25 times if offensive coordinator Tony Sparano gets his way.

Sanchez looked shot last week, and it rubbed off on the players around him. They can talk all they want, saying how much they still believe in him, but the truth is told on the field. The entire offense perked up when McElroy entered the game, and that was no accident. We'll find out soon enough if the players have given up on Sanchez.Brunell gave Sanchez a pep talk during a Monday night phone conversation, telling him about the time he got benched with the Washington Redskins in 2004. Brunell still believes Sanchez can be a successful quarterback for many years, and he thinks last Sunday's benching could be a turning point."It could turn out to be the best thing for him," Brunell said.

After three seasons on easy street, Sanchez  no longer the fair-haired boy  has to fight for his job like everybody else.
"I knew at some point before I died, I'd start at quarterback again," he said. "I'm just glad it's this week."

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#14 kelly

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

The Jets won’t have to deal with Jaguars’ leading receiver Cecil Shorts tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean they are breathing a sigh of relief.“We treat everybody the same. We expect the best each week and we know what we are getting into,” Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson said. “You don’t look at how this team plays. We get everybody’s best and go out and give our best. That’s how we look at it. We put together a good week of practice. Come game time, we are going to use all that to our advantage.”

Shorts, who is out with a concussion, is having a Pro Bowl-type season in his sophomore year. He has 43 receptions and 824 receiving yards, including three 100-yard receiving games to go along with seven touchdowns. Shorts also has scored in four straight games. He was knocked out early in the Jaguars’ 34-18 loss to the Bills last weekend and was not cleared to play.

EVEN KEEL: Kyle Wilson — tackling receiver Early Doucet during the Jets’ ugly 7-6 win over Arizona Sunday — said Gang Green won’t be taking the Jaguars receiving corps lightly, though Jacksonville will be without leading receiver Cecil Shorts (pictured).Kevin Elliot and Jordan Shipley will see more time at receiver in his absence, with Elliot most likely being the starter. Elliot has seven catches for 70 yards, while Shipley has four grabs for 43 yards. Neither has a touchdown.Though the Jaguars sport a 2-10 record, they have scored a little more than 26 points per game over their last three contests, including a tough 43-37 road overtime loss to the AFC-leading Texans.

Nevertheless, Wilson and his fellow corners still will have their hands full with rookie receiver Justin Blackmon (who had 236 yards in the loss to the Texans) and tight end Marcedes Lewis. It’s imperative the Jets get an early lead after four-straight games of allowing the opposing team to score first, especially because a loss would put them at 5-8 and cripple any slight playoff chances they may have left.“Every game, you want to start out with a fast start,” Wilson said. “You want to jump on your opponent. But whatever it takes, we are down for the fight. We’re going to do whatever it takes to win the game and that’s our focus.”

Mark Sanchez will need a better performance tomorrow than his 10-for-21, three interception debacle in the Jets’ ugly 7-6 win over the Cardinals that forced coach Rex Ryan to pull him in the third quarter. Any offense would be appreciated by Wilson and the rest of the Jets secondary, which seemingly needs to play flawlessly for the Jets to have any chance to win. It hasn’t been the easiest season for Wilson, who has bounced around in the Jets’ defensive schemes and has been tortured by opposing wide receivers and fans alike. But he has kept a positive outlook.

“I’m used to playing nickel,” he said. “But I just enjoying playing, and looking at it from the aspect of doing different things, moving around. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. And I like doing that because you get to play different techniques. It’s a lot of thinking but I really enjoy it.”

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#15 kelly

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

Jaguars QB Henne has enjoyed success against Jets

Chad Henne still is settling in as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, but he’s certainly no stranger to the Jets.Henne was 3-1 against the Jets as a member of the Dolphins, including a performance three years ago that left coach Rex Ryan comparing him with Dan Marino, so you won’t find Ryan or anyone in the Gang Green locker room saying they look forward to facing Henne tomorrow in Jacksonville.“I always thought Chad was a good quarterback,” Jets safety Yeremiah Bell, a former teammate of Henne’s in Miami, told The Post yesterday. “I don’t think he got treated fairly by the Dolphins, and I thought he got a raw deal down there. He’s a good player in this league, so I knew he would find a home somewhere.”

JETS KILLER :
Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne has a 3-1 career record against the Jets.Discarded by the Dolphins after last season to make way for first-round pick Ryan Tannehill, Henne is — albeit belatedly — getting the chance to prove Bell correct as he pilots the 2-10 Jaguars.Taking over for the injured (and ineffective) Blaine Gabbert four weeks ago at Houston, Henne instantly revived a dormant Jacksonville offense by throwing for 353 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-37 overtime loss. The 37 points were almost as many as the Jaguars had mustered in their three previous games combined (39).Henne followed that by leading Jacksonville to just its second win of the season before stumbling last week. He completed just 19 of his 42 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and an interception in a 34-18 road loss to the Bills, but the Jets know from painful experience he is capable of picking apart a defense.

No one in green, of course, knows that better than new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano — Henne’s head coach the first four seasons after Miami made the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Michigan passer a second-round pick in 2008.Sparano, who Henne said this week tried to recruit him to be Mark Sanchez’s backup during the offseason, smiled when asked about his former pupil Thursday.“I’m obviously really fond of Chad,” Sparano said during his weekly media session.“I think the world of the kid.He’s a player that I drafted and I have a history with.He wants to beat us,and we want to beat him.It will be good to see him.I haven’t seen him in a while.I’m glad to see that he’s been playing pretty good the last few weeks.”
The Jets just hope they don’t see the Henne who led Miami to victories over them twice in 2009 before throwing for 363 yards & two touchdowns the following season in an otherwise impressive Jets prime-time road win.

They would much rather see the Henne who completed just five of his 18 throws for 55 yards and a score against them in December 2010, though that horrific showing somehow ended in a 10-6 Dolphins win at the Meadowlands.“I think they’re averaging over 26 points a game since Henne became the starting quarterback or played,” Ryan said Thursday. “There’s something about him. He pushes the ball down the field more than Gabbert did, so that’s something we have to be aware of.”Henne is just 27 years old, and Bell said he still considers his ex-teammate one of the more promising young passers in the league. The Dolphins’ mistake, Bell added, is going to be the Jaguars’ gain.“From the years I played with him, it was very obvious to me that he could play in this league,” Bell said. “He just needed another [chance]. I knew that once Chad went to Jacksonville, he would fit in with that team. He would fit in with any team, to be honest with you.”

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