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jets @ seattle : Sun Nov 11 - 4:05pm ~ ~ ~


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first, an fyi :

Not the typical bye week for Rex and Jets

Last week was supposed to be a relaxing time at home with his family, including his baby daughter, but Hurricane Sandy affected Jets WR Chaz Schilens in the same way it did millions of others in New York and New Jersey. What helped Schilens during the storm was the Jets practice facility, which remained operational.“I was in town, but it wasn’t that great,” Schilens said. “I was thankful that this place was open. I don’t know if they had a generator or what but I think this was the only place in Madison and Florham Park that did have power for a few days so I was thankful for that.” The Jets have a backup generator, which allowed players without power a place to shower and stay warm. Some players were able to get out of town right after the game, or rode out the storm and left soon after.

Aaron Berry wanted to drive home to Hershey, Penn. on Tuesday, but he was worried about finding gas. He was able to find a small station open, but they weren’t able to process his credit card, so he wrote a check.

Antonio Cromartie stayed in town with his family, and said he wasn’t able to get a flight and didn’t want to drive a long distance due to the trouble getting gas. So he got a hotel room and, when he went to fill up the gas tank on Thursday, it took three and a half hours.

Nick Mangold said he was thankful the storm did minor damange to his home. “It’s been difficult getting news and updates, we’re still without power,” Mangold said. “It’s a difficult kind of bye week but it could have been worse.”

Yeremiah Bell agreed that it didn’t seem much like a typical bye week.

“No it didn’t,” Bell said. “It was a strange bye week but at the same time we got a little time away and for the most part I think it was good to recap on what took place and you know where we need to go.”Even coach Rex Ryan lost power, and still doesn’t have it.“But in this situation, our players are no different than anybody else in the community,” Ryan said. “And that’s the way it should be. Those are things that everybody in the area has to deal with and our players aren’t exempt (from) that.”

> http://espn.go.com/b...or-rex-and-jets

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Jets return, swear eyes are on Seahawks

As the New York Jets [team stats] gathered for their first day of work in a week, they insisted their focus was on football, on their next opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.Even players such as Nick Mangold, who didn’t have power in his New Jersey home, said there would be tunnel vision for everyone on the roster. Coach Rex Ryan and his staff are insisting on it, with Ryan noting that he used “blunt force trauma” to get the message across.“Where we are, where we want to be, and how we plan on getting there,” was what Ryan explained to his players Monday morning as they came off their bye week. While Ryan acknowledges the importance of dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, he also recognizes there is no way of dealing with football in a halfway manner.

Mangold agreed that the Jets (3-5), coming off two straight losses, will “put all our efforts into Seattle.”

“I think guys got that message,” the center said. “We haven’t helped ourselves much in the first half of the season.”No, they haven’t, particularly in ugly home losses to San Francisco and Miami. Ryan gave them the entire bye week off in great part because of the hurricane, but maybe he wanted them to get away from the game, recoup and come back with a new sense of purpose.

There’s lots to fix on the Jets :

a leaky run defense, inconsistent rushing offense, too many turnovers in the red zone, bad decision making by quarterback Mark Sanchez. And, surprisingly, sloppy special teams play, usually a strength.It adds up to a distressing record so far.But not one to stress, veteran safety Yeremiah Bell said “We definitely have the resources to get back into this thing. We have the players, we have the coaching staff and we have the ‘want to.’ The thing is, it’s going to be just us on Sundays just going out there and executing.“We can’t help teams get a shot here, get a shot there and kind of stretch the game a little bit. So we’re going to have to be a lot more disciplined in that area.”

The Jets did some good things in the first eight weeks, including wins over Miami and Indianapolis, and a close defeat at New England that, with more imagination and less conservatism in the late going also could have been a victory. But the lopsided defeats to the 49ers and Dolphins in which New York couldn’t have been more mistake-prone seem to erase memories of the positives.Ryan wants to change up some of the things the Jets do on the field, perhaps sensing they have become too predictable. He wasn’t giving away any trade secrets Monday, nor will he at any other time. So when asked if Tim Tebow and the wildcat — or variations of it — will become a bigger part of the game plan,Ryan was mum.He communicated daily with his coaching staff even as the hurricane and its aftermath left Ryan and many other Jets employees without power. The coaches offered options on how to improve the team’s performances.“We got a bunch of suggestions, so I hope they’re good,” Ryan said. “We’re certainly looking at them. It’s kind of a tough thing, because you have to put all your focus in on this one opponent, but we have to be open for different suggestions, which we have taken in.

“We will be doing some different things. Again, I don’t want to get into the specifics of it. I hope you understand that if there’s an advantage to be gained, I want to gain that advantage without letting our opponent know. We’ll be looking at a lot. There are several things to improve and I’m excited about trying to implement some of these things.”

Injuries also held back the Jets in the first half of the season,particularly losing their best player,cornerback Darrelle Revis, to a season-ending left knee injury. Top receiver Santonio Holmes also was lost for the season with a left foot injury.Ryan is hoping there will be no issues with injuries for the Seattle game. On Monday, linebacker Bart Scott, running back-kick returner Joe McKnight and defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis didn’t practice. Seven others were limited, but with an extra practice day because they didn’t play last weekend, that wasn’t a major issue.Another loss or two would be damaging, of course, in New York’s quest to return to the postseason after missing out last year. The previous two seasons, Ryan’s first and second as coach, the team went to the AFC title game.“I think the months of November and December, that’s when most teams are made anyway,” said cornerback Antonio Cromartie, one of the few Jets who has played well this season. “I think the biggest thing for us is just to make sure that we take care of the things we need to take care of one week at a time. Just take it and understand that when we say one week at a time, we have to focus in on that one week and not try to look forward to anything else.”


NOTES: The Jets signed linebacker D.J. Bryant and running back John Griffin to the practice squad. ... Other players limited Monday were safeties Eric Smith and LaRon Landry, NT Sione Pouha, TE Jeff Cumberland, G Brandon Moore, RB Bilal Powell and Mangold.

> http://www.bostonher...tm_content=ESPN

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll rooting for Mark Sanchez, but not next week

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll makes no secret of where his allegiances will lie next week when the Jets visit Seattle, even though Carroll will always have a soft spot for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez."We'll try to knock the heck out of him on game day, and neither of us would ever want it any other way," Carroll said of Sanchez, his starting quarterback when the two were at Southern California. "We're going to battle.But Carroll empathizes with Sanchez as he struggles through a season with celebrated backup Tim Tebow always lurking. Carroll once advised Sanchez to remain in school for another year rather than enter the draft early in 2009, but the coach hopes Sanchez can overcome the growing pains at what Carroll believes still is the early stage of his NFL career."Mark's story is huge with the media with Tebow going [to the Jets] and all that, and I feel for him," Carroll said. "It's been a hard thing to deal with because the media has been so overwhelming on the subject."

Despite Sanchez's on-field problems, Carroll admires the way he has handled himself with all the attention Tebow's presence has created."I think he's doing a great job hanging in there, playing great football," Carroll said. "I think he's handled it fine."Carroll has his own challenges at quarterback but believes rookie Russell Wilson is doing a terrific job. Seattle is 4-4 and hosts the Vikings Sunday."Russell's really been impressive," Carroll said. "He's improving each week, even as the games get harder . . . Every single game we've been in has been extremely close."

> http://www.newsday.c...-week-1.4184699

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2. Seahawks' run defense. Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore set single-game season highs for rushing yardage by wide margins in recent games against Seattle. As a result, the Seahawks have allowed 502 yards rushing over their past three games. Only New Orleans has allowed more yards rushing over that span. Seattle had allowed only 420 yards rushing through its first six games. That was the third-lowest figure behind Tampa Bay (375) and Chicago (329). Unlike Seattle, those teams had byes during that time.


1. Russell Wilson, Seahawks QB. Wilson turned in another solid performance as the Seahawks' starter, tossing three first-half touchdown passes to keep Seattle in the lead against Minnesota even though the Vikings were racking up rushing yardage. Only Peyton Manning (91.6) and Aaron Rodgers (89.0) have higher Total QBR scores than Wilson (83.1) over the past three weeks.

2. Seattle wide receivers. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice accounted for three Seattle touchdowns against the Vikings. Rice also completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller, setting up a touchdown. Wilson has completed 21 of 25 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns when targeting Tate and Rice over the past two weeks. Those plays have produced 13 first downs.

3. Darrell Bevell, Seahawks offensive coordinator. Bevell called an excellent game against his former team. He is playing to the strengths of the offense and his quarterback specifically. Seattle has mixed deep passes with short throws with zone runs with quarterback options to keep defenses guessing. This was a diverse offense on display against the Vikings.

rest of above article :

> http://espn.go.com/b...-stock-watch-29

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Reading between the lines: Pete Carroll and Seahawks defense

Adrian Peterson rushed for more yards Sunday than any Seahawks opponent since Pete Carroll became coach so Seattle's defense was not-so-surprisingly a subject of conversation Monday. Here's what Seattle's coach said, and what we think he might have meant:

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Take our projections of "What Carroll meant" with the spirit with which they are intended, which is a humorous supposition on what his inner id might say, as opposed to an earnest attempt to get inside Carroll's head.)

Q : When you look at the run defense, how much of that was breakdowns on your part, and how much was just Adrian Peterson making plays ?

What Carroll said : "Well Adrian certainly had a big part of it, in particular the first big run. He made a lot of guys miss, but we did not fit our runs well at all at times. There's a bunch of them that we did, but there was half a dozen plays that we didn't, and he took advantage of it and made the most of it. He was very, very quick and was very decisive of his runs and made the most of his opportunities that he had. We were lucky to get him down a couple of times. So you take a great back, and then you give him some room because of the mistakes we made, and he tears it up and has a big day."

What Carroll meant: I'm not going to take anything away from Adrian Peterson. He was the best high-school player in the country when I tried to recruit him to USC. Would have given him good money, in fact, if the NCAA let me. He went to Oklahoma, though, and now he's one of the best running backs in the league now. But if you think I'm going to just tip my cap to him and say, 'Well, sometimes you face a stud,' then you didn't see the dozen or so tackles we missed Sunday. Is he good? No doubt. But being good doesn't explain 182 yards rushing. Our chicken-with-its-head-cutoff defense had a little something to do with that.

Q: Were there any similarities to what San Francisco was able to do in the run game and what Minnesota did ?

What Carroll said : "It wasn't the same style of runs, but it was similar in that we made errors. The good part for us is they're really easily corrected. Those are things that we can fit better, and there were things that we practiced against that we didn't do well. We did one play, and then the next play, we came back and didn't do well the next time."

What Carroll meant : Do you really think it's as simple as one play? That our opponents found our kryptonite, and it's a trap running play that's a staple of high-school JV football? It's a little more complicated than that. Some of it has to do with the fact there are 300-pound professional athletes blocking us, and some of it has to do with the fact the majority of our defensive starters don't have two full seasons with this team.

And for all the rough spots you point out, we haven't allowed more than 30 points in a game yet this season. You know how many other teams can say that in this league? Atlanta, which is the NFL's only undefeated team. And Chicago, tied for the second-best record in the league with a defense that has scored almost as many touchdowns as Jacksonville's offense. And San Francisco, which is 6-2. And, well, that's it. We're one of four teams that hasn't given up 30 points yet this season, but yeah, go ahead and say we're struggling.

Q : Early in the season, the offense was kind of slow to get going and the defense was playing really well. Are the roles kind of reversed ?

What Carroll said : "I think it's the reality of how the game goes and how the seasons go is just at hand. You need everybody contributing, and sometimes it's special teams that bails everybody out. I mentioned that today to the players that it's cool to see that the balance is there. That the offense can pick up when the defense is struggling and give us a chance to get righted, which we did, and then we both took off in the second half."

What Carroll meant : So it's a bad thing that we were able to dig ourselves out of two first-half deficits? Didn't everyone spend the first month of this season talking about how we were potentially wasting a great defense by starting a rookie quarterback ?

Well the rookie quarterback threw for three touchdowns in the first half as the offense came back and won a game for us. That's a problem? No. That's how it has to be in the NFL sometimes unless you missed all those explanations about how this is, "a quarterback's league."

Q : These past two games, your defense has given points than it has earlier in the year. It's two different opponents, but do you have any overriding concerns ?

What Carroll said : "I do think we're overtrying a little bit. I think, just in general, guys are trying to live up to the expectations, and we're trying really hard and at times. It takes you out of your game. That's something we're really concerned about. We just want to play the way we're capable of playing. Sometimes guys try to go beyond their responsibility to make a play and they get in a bad situation. That's just because they want to do really well and they're trying really hard and all of that."

What Carroll meant : You know how many teams have yet to allow 30 points in a game this year? Oh wait. I already told you we're one of four teams. My bad. Look, it's a 16-game season and the guys on the other side of the ball spend as much time studying as we do, and they've seen that we react to the flow of the play more than we should. And they're keying on that. And the fact that we have exactly one player on this defense who was a full-time NFL starter prior to 2010 means that we're a little green and headstrong. We're going to mature or ripen or whatever adjective you want to hang on the fact that evaluating a 10-quarter stretch in the middle of a season in which we're 5-4 is not exactly the final judgment.

> http://seattletimes....syndication=rss

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Can the Jets make the playoffs ?

We've grown accustomed to a certain style from Rex Ryan over the years, but the Jets coach threw a curveball when he addressed the media upon the team's return to work after the bye week.Ryan didn't make any bold proclamations about making the playoffs and he didn't bubble over with emotion to the 3-5 first half. No, Ryan showed both restraint and a pretty fair assessment of where things stood for his team before ending with an optimistic note."We’re not where we want to be, we’re not even close," Ryan said. “We’re not even sniffing the playoffs, we’re not sniffing anything right now, but I want to get there, man. I’m excited about the prospects in front of us."

Safety LaRon Landry took a slightly different and considerably saltier approach than the boss. Landry isn't even ready to contemplate the possibility that the Jets season won't be ending with a playoff bid."We still can be in the playoff run," Landry said. "Sh—, if we don’t get into the playoffs, man, it’s a boring-a-- season. F--- that."So can the Jets help Landry avoid the boredom that he's experienced in four of his five previous seasons as a professional? The schedule is one reason to think they have a shot. Playing in Seattle is never an easy draw, but Ryan's defensive acumen against a rookie quarterback is never a bad draw. It's not any worse against Sam Bradford, John Skelton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker or Ryan Fitzpatrick either.

The defense is coasting on Ryan's past achievements at this point, though. Antonio Cromartie has played very well and the young defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson has had his moments, but it's hard to point out any other defender who has played well above average at this point in the season. All of the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow focus has served to keep that fairly well obscured, but the truth is that this defense hasn't been good enough to win games by itself. As long as Jeremy Kerley is the top receiver, Stephen Hill keeps dropping the ball and Shonn Greene fronts a mediocre run game, that's going to be the easiest path for the Jets to take to victory.

We'll find out soon enough if they are up to the task, but it's really hard to find anything other than a restoration of the defense that can get these Jets playing well enough to start sniffing the playoffs. A boring answer ? Perhaps, but it is the only one that even begins to answer the questions the Jets face at the start of the second half.

> http://www.nbcnewyor...-177533911.html

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Scouting report : Early look at Seahawks

A quick look at the Jets' upcoming opponent, the Seahawks :

1. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2008, Week 16, when the Jets traveled to Seattle and lost in a blizzard, basically ensuring the demise of Eric Mangini.

2. There are some familiar faces on the Seahawks -- coach Pete Carroll (Jets head coach in 1994), RB/KR Leon Washington and WR Braylon Edwards. Washington, whom the Jets traded away after the 2009 season, is sixth in the NFL with a 29.1-yard kickoff return average. Edwards (eight catches) has been a non-factor since Week 1. He missed the past two games with knee swelling, but you know he'd absolutely love to face the Jets, who sent him packing as a free agent after the 2010 season.

3. The Seahawks have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. They're 4-0 at home, including wins over the Packers (a gift, thanks to the "Fail Mary") and the Patriots. It might be the loudest outdoor stadium in the league, making it extremely difficult for the opposing team's offense.


Quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch give Seattle a formidable backfield.

4. The Jets, with their 29th-ranked run defense, have to prevent RB Marshawn Lynch from going off. Lynch, second in the league with 881 rushing yards, has three straight 100-yard games. He has a league-high 11 100-yard games since Week 9 last season -- three more than any other player, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He's a powerful runner who makes a lot of yards after contact. That doesn't bode well for the Jets, who haven't been a good tackling defense.

5. QB Russell Wilson has experienced his share of rookie growing pains, but he plays like a seasoned vet at home -- 9 TD passes, 0 interceptions. On the road, he has four TDs, eight interceptions. He's particularly good on deep balls.

6. The Seahawks' defense brings a lot of pressure, especially from the edges. DEs Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin have combined for 12 sacks, tied for third among pass-rushing tandems. Irvin, whom the Jets reportedly coveted in the draft, already has five sacks despite having played only 40.3 percent of the defensive snaps. Let's put that sack total in perspective: As a team, the Jets have only 12.

7. The Seahawks are a rugged defensive team, and they will cause problems for the Jets. They're fourth in total defense, seventh in pass defense and third in scoring defense. They haven't allowed more than 23 points in any of their home games.

8. The Seahawks have this much in common with the Jets: They're struggling on offense. Despite Lynch's brilliance, they're 28th in total offense and 24th in scoring offense.

> http://espn.go.com/b...ook-at-seahawks

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Mysterious injuries can't keep Seahawks down

With the Seahawks holding their own in the hunt for an NFC playoff berth after a 30-20 victory over fellow contender Minnesota moved their record to 5-4, injuries continue to provide an intriguing subplot. At the top of the list is the concussion suffered by second-year SLB K.J. Wright early in the win over the Vikings that team insiders believe could be a very costly injury should Wright end up missing extended playing time. “Ever since he stepped in so well for an injured David Hawthorne early last year at middle linebacker, he has been ridiculously solid,” one daily team observer said of Wright, whose status for the Week 10 tilt against the Jets is considered questionable at best. “At 6-foot-4, with long legs and long arms, his coverage ability would definitely be missed in sub-packages. He wasn’t missed much after he went out against the Vikings, but that was mainly due to the offense doing such a good job of keeping the defense off the field in the second half.”

If Wright is forced to miss action,the onus falls on second-year pro Mike Morgan as his replacement.“He has the speed and athleticism that (head coach) Pete Carroll likes,and he has done enough on special teams to be kept around,” the observer said of Morgan.Meanwhile, a real air of mystery surrounds other noteworthy Seahawks injury victims such as OLG James Carpenter, DE Jason Jones and WR Braylon Edwards.After making a surprisingly effective comeback from a serious knee injury, Carpenter was a late scratch against Minnesota because of a concussion that seemed to come out of nowhere.Jones, who has provided an unsung inside presence on the D-line, has an ankle injury that was being called “day-to-day” by the team that has sidelined him the past two games.Edwards was expected to battle Golden Tate for more playing time at split end before he was a late scratch against the Lions in Week Nine after his knee suddenly swelled up. He is now likely to remain a nonfactor after Tate’s strong two-TD effort in Week Nine.

> http://www.profootba...p-seahawks-down

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Defense expects to make playoff push

On the first day back from a stressful bye week, the Jets' defense returned to a 3-5 record and some pretty long odds when it comes to making the playoffs. The team is not mathematically eliminated, and safety LaRon Landry, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Yeremiah Bell think the Jets can post a successful second act.“Most definitely,” Landry said. “Our mindset is to win each and every ballgame to get in the playoffs. We can’t just look at history as made.”Landry thinks the team has the ability, but he also isn’t ready to just play out the string. There have been too many seasons when his teams limped to the finish line and he doesn’t want to see that happen to the Jets. “I said we still could be in the playoffs running,” Landry said, “and I feel confident that we will do our best to get in the playoffs. That’s what it’s all about. If we don’t get in the playoffs, man, it’s a boring-ass season.”

Jets coach Rex Ryan addressed the team Monday morning, calling his words, “blunt force trauma, just tell it the way it is like always.” LB Aaron Maybin explained Ryan’s message to the team.“Our record says that we’re this, and this is what people are expecting,” Maybin relayed, “but look at the numbers, this is where we are. We’re not where we want to be, but we're not as far off as people want to make us. It’s reassuring, it sounds good, but we still have to go out there and do the little things that are keeping us from getting the wins.”Things looked bleak in 2010 as well, before a late-season run gave the Jets a playoff berth. Cromartie said that if those problems can be fixed, this is the right time to make a run.“Definitely,” Cromartie said. “I think the months of November and December, that’s when most teams are made anyway. I think the biggest thing for us is just to make sure that we take care of the things we need to take care of one week at a time. Just take it and understand that when we say one week at a time, we have to focus in on that one week and not try to look forward to anything else.”

The Jets are playing in Seattle, a tough place for any team and one where the Jets have not been successful. The team will leave Friday and stay on east coast time. It doesn’t get much easier after Sunday, when the Jets travel to St. Louis for back-to-back road games.“We’re definitely not where we want to be,” Bell said. “I think we’re middle of the pack somewhere and we want to be at the front of the pack, so in order to get that done these last 8 weeks it’s going to take max effort on our part and a little togetherness back there.”

But do the Jets have the ability to reach the playoffs ?

“Yeah, we definitely have the resources to get back into this thing,” Bell said. “We have the players, we have the coaching staff and we have the “want to.” The thing is going to be just us on Sundays just going out there and executing. Like I said, we can’t help teams get a shot here, get a shot there and kind of stretch the game a little bit. So we’re going to have to be a lot more disciplined in that area.”

> http://espn.go.com/b...-for-postseason

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By the numbers: Jets at Seahawks

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seahawks%20new%20100.jpg SEAHAWKS jet-mark-1-cl-thumb-50x29-3972.gif JETS 2012 NFL rank 2012 NFL rank 312.1 29 Total offense 317.4 27 138.9 7 Rushing yards 109.8 14 173.2 31 Passing yards 207.6 25 (tie) 18.9 24 Points 21 21 13 12 (tie) Turnovers 14 18 (tie) 15 7 (tie) Sacks allowed 19 18 (tie) 56 19 (tie) Penalties 55 17 (tie) 309.2 4 Total defense 347 16 102.4 11 Rush defense 141.4 29 206.8 7 Pass defense 205.6 6 17.1 3 Points allowed 25 24 13 12 (tie) Takeaways 13 12 (tie) 25 3 (tied) Sacks 12 29

> http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawksblog/2019626109_bythenumbersjetsatseahawks.html

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Just another game for Leon Washington

To Leon Washington, returning a kickoff for a touchdown this Sunday against his former team, the Jets, would mean the same to him as it would if it were any other team in the NFL. Washington is playing Gang Green for the first time since the team traded him away in 2010.“There is no added attention to me playing the Jets,” Washington said on a conference call. "Honestly, I’m very serious when I say this: we’re concerned with what we are doing out here. We got a really good football team so we’re trying to put things together. We’re not too concerned about our opponent, we’re prepared for them but we’re concerned about doing things we need to do for us to win the game.”

Washington, a fan favorite during his time with the Jets, rushed for 13 touchdowns in his career with the Jets and was a threat out of the backfield. As a return man, he showed he was among the league’s best, earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2008.The running back broke his leg in a win against Oakland in 2009 and missed the remainder of the season. After he suffered the injury, the Pro Bowl return man was worried that if he would ever be able to get back to that same level. He ranks second in the NFL with a 29.1 kickoff return average this season, and is second all-time in kickoff returns for touchdowns.

“Obviously the doubt from breaking my leg that part of it was like, wow, can I ever get back to being Leon, can I ever get back to returning kicks and making plays,” Washington said. “That’s the only hesitation that I had but obviously playing football again was a great opportunity that Pete (Carroll) gave me out here in Seattle. I’m thankful for that part of it. Just to play football again is awesome.”After Washington signed a one-year tender with the team, the Jets ultimately shipped him and a seventh-round pick away for a fifth-round choice in the 2010 NFL Draft. Washington said he was told the team needed to pay its stars, like center Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis, and he understood the decision. Since leaving the Jets in 2010, Washington has 90 carries in his 41 games with the Seahawks.

“It’s a business, I understand it,” Washington said of his trade. “I was just thankful I had the opportunity, they drafted me in the first place. It was awesome.”Washington is still close with some of the Jets and keeps tabs on his former team. He said he was surprised to see Rex Ryan was recently voted the most overrated coach in the league since he believes Ryan is a player’s coach. Washington played under Ryan for one season in 2009.“I saw that yesterday it’s kind of like man, the Jets are 3-5 this year and he’s overrated. A couple years ago when they’re going to AFC Championships and things he’s the best coach in the National Football League,” Washington said. "You know how things like that go. Every year it’s something different in the National Football League.”

> http://espn.go.com/b...leon-washington

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Going beyond Sanchez-Wilson comparison

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said some interesting things about quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Russell Wilson on Wednesday.Ryan, whose Jets visit the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, compared how his team handled Sanchez's 2009 rookie season to how Seattle is handling Wilson, its rookie quarterback.There are similarities. Both teams had strong running games and strong defenses. Neither asked its quarterback to carry the offense or team, as a general rule."We were built similarly to what Seattle is doing," Ryan told reporters during a conference call. "Seattle right now probably throws the ball less than any team in the league, but is efficient when they do throw it. I don’t know how many times we ran it, but I promise you it was more than any team in the league that first year."Indeed, the 2009 Jets led the NFL with 607 rushing plays, 82 more than any other team. They attempted 393 passes, 48 fewer than any other team. The 2012 Seahawks lead the NFL in rushing plays. They have attempted fewer passes than every team but San Francisco, which has played one fewer game.

So far, so good. But Ryan also acknowledged an important difference.

"This young man Russell Wilson, I saw something that blew me away which was a 154 [passer] rating over the last five games on third down," Ryan said. "That is ridiculous and pretty impressive. Each guy is different, and you always do what you think is in the best interest of your football team."

2009 Sanchez vs. 2012 Wilson: Games 6-9




Action plays












Pass yards



Pass TD









Pass FD






Success rate






Rush yards



Rush TD



Rush FD









Total QBR



Source : ESPN Stats & Information

Wilson's third-down passer rating over the past five games has been 103.4, which ranks fifth in the NFL over that span. That is up from 45.4 over his first four games, a figure that ranked 32nd out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks (only Arizona's John Skelton had a lower one at 41.1).Seattle is getting much better production from Wilson lately. That is where the Sanchez-Wilson comparison breaks down.The first chart compares both quarterbacks' production through nine NFL games.Wilson comes out ahead, but the difference is far more pronounced when we single out their sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth games. The second chart carries the breakdowns for those games.Sanchez actually got worse over his 10th through 16th starts. He tossed three touchdown passes with eight interceptions over that span, taking 11 sacks and posting a 24.1 Total QBR score over that closing span.

Chart notes :

"PAA" shows how many points the quarterback's play added compared to an average quarterback, using methods explained here. "PAR" shows points above what a replacement quarterback might provide, noting that backups are worse than average. For Total QBR, 50 represents average, 100 is maximum and anywhere in the 65-plus range represents Pro Bowl-caliber play over the course of a season. "Success" refers to quarterback plays improving a team's win probability.

> http://espn.go.com/b...lson-comparison

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Sibling rivalry when Seahawks play the Jets

Trufant brothers will be front and centre at CenturyLink Field

Yet for all those experiences, one of the most special moments in his football career with the Seattle Seahawks will come this weekend when he takes the field against his younger brother Isaiah of the New York Jets, and after youngest brother Desmond, a senior at Washington, plays on the same field the night before.Three brothers, all playing the same position, two of which are already in the NFL with a third very likely to join the professional ranks next season.And this weekend, all three will take their places on the turf at CenturyLink Field in a span of less than 24 hours. On Saturday night, Desmond will play the final home game of his college career when the Huskies host Utah. About 14 hours after the youngest Trufant walks off the field, Isaiah's Jets will face Marcus' Seahawks.

There is no guarantee any of the three will be playing in the NFL next season. Desmond will likely be an upper-round draft pick when April comes around, but Marcus and Isaiah both have contracts that expire at the end of the 2012 season.So while this weekend doesn't feature all three in the same game, being on the same field a few hours apart will be cherished by the entire Trufant clan, especially parents Lloyd and Constance. The half-Marcus, half-Isaiah jerseys have already been made for Sunday, but only after everyone breaks out their No. 6 Washington jerseys for Desmond Saturday night."It'll be a big day for us," Desmond said. "(I'm) proud of my brothers, what they're doing and we've got to keep it going as a family, keep producing, keep doing good things."

In many ways, the Trufant name is near the top of the football hierarchy in Washington state. All three were prep stars in nearby Tacoma, all three were standouts at state universities and all three beam with pride about their roots.They have touched every level of football in the state of Washington. The three were prep standouts at Wilson High School in Tacoma. Marcus was a star at Washington State, Isaiah at Eastern Washington and Desmond now at Washington.Marcus has spent his entire NFL career with Seattle. Isaiah started his pro career playing indoor football in Spokane before being named the UFL defensive player of the year in 2010 with Las Vegas that helped earn his chance in the NFL, making up for being the shortest of the trio at just 5-foot-8.

"Growing up, he was the guy I always looked up to and wanted to be like," Isaiah said. "Before any professional athlete, it was always big bro trying to do what he does and trying to be like him."

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Jets coach Rex Ryan on Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch : ‘He is one tough rascal’

If there’s one phase to pay attention to this weekend when the Seahawks host the New York Jets, it’s the running game. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch, the NFL’s second-leading rusher, will be going up against New York’s 29th-ranked run defense.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is expected to unleash the Beast.

“He’s a tough dude. He is one tough rascal,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said of Lynch on Wednesday.“I will never forget when I was in Baltimore, he came in to visit with us. And as he left, we were going back and forth and I told him if he came here he was going to get his butt kicked in practice every day. And he’s like, ‘Man, I’ll show you.’ I really liked him and as soon as he left I was hoping we would get that kid.“Having gone against him several times, he is a guy that really is a physical back. I think he leads the league in yards after contact. He is a very powerful and physical runner, and you can never assume that this kid is down.”After nine games, Lynch has 881 rushing yards on the season with four touchdowns, and has legged out more than 100 yards in five of his nine games so far. He is averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and also has 110 receiving yards on 13 catches.

Meanwhile, New York’s defense against the run is one of the worst in the league; the Jets are giving up an average of 141.4 rushing yards per game. They do have the NFL’s sixth-best passing defense, but Ryan is quite aware of his team’s weaknesses.“We have to fix that and fix ourselves before we really worry about who we’re playing,” Ryan said, adding that the Jets have also struggled on third-down defense and special teams. “With that being said, this week is probably about as difficult a challenge that a team could face.Seattle's Marshawn Lynch runs against the Vikings during the second half Sunday. He had 124 rushing yards for 1 touchdown against Minnesota.

“Here’s a team that’s 4-0 at home with wins over Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay and New England. It starts with the running game, of course, but by the way, the quarterback has a 120 rating at home, which happens to be the best in the NFL. So that is certainly going to be a challenge.“On defense, they’re the fourth-rated defense in the NFL — a big, physical group with some guys that can really rush the passer. So it’s definitely a huge challenge for us.”Of course, the passer the Seahawks will rush Sunday is quarterback Mark Sanchez. One of the more divisive figures in sports right now, he’ll be taking most of the snaps while QB Tim Tebow waits for his few chances in the wildcat.

If you thought the Russell Wilson-Matt Flynn controversy in Seattle was bad, you have no idea. A good deal of New Yorkers have been calling for Tebow to start under center, despite his being recently named the most overrated NFL player in a poll by Sports Illustrated.“You know what,” Ryan said, obviously tired of answering questions about the Sanchez-Tebow brouhaha, “I don’t hear very well, so it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Meanwhile, speaking with reporters Wednesday, Ryan also had some very nice things to say about the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson.“I saw something that blew me away, which was (his) 154 quarterback rating over the last five games on third down,” Ryan said. “That is ridiculous and pretty impressive.”

Visit seattlepi.com for more Seattle news. Contact Nick Eaton at nickeaton@seattlepi.com or on Twitter as @njeaton.

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Pete Carroll stands by USC advice to Mark Sanchez

When Mark Sanchez left USC a year early Pete Carroll -- then his college coach -- was not happy.

The reasons for Carroll's sentiment were a topic of discussion Wednesday as Carroll's Seattle Seahawks await a visit from Sanchez's New York Jets on Sunday afternoon."I did not blame Pete Carroll one bit because if I had that young man as my quarterback, I'd say whatever it took to get the guy to stay with me. Like, 'Oh you're not ready, son. As far as you know you're not ready to play.' Deep down he knew he was ready," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said, according to the New York Daily News.

Carroll stands by his comments that Sanchez -- who quarterbacked the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but has continued to struggle -- could have benefited from playing his senior season."I told Mark exactly what I would have told my son," Carroll said, according to the Seattle Time. "I just told him what I knew was the truth. He could have been better prepared if we'd have had him for another year. And I think it would have served him even better."

Sanchez, who's played it cool off the field this season amidst some trying situations, has no regrets about his decision."It was a big jump, a really big jump," Sanchez told The Star Ledger. "He just didn’t want someone who he thought was talented to get lost. But who knows? Everything was timing. I was lucky, but that can break a player. ... That was me, my decision and this is what I always wanted to do. I'm happy with it."

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Po’uha’s Back , Ready to Rumble with DL Mates

Sione Po‘uha is back in the mix. And “back” is the operative word.

“I’m feeling well. I’m feeling like my old self,” the Jets’ veteran nose tackle said in the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room following today’s first big practice of Seahawks week. “I’m just glad to be able to contribute to the team again and to be there for my teammates.”More than a few of us speculated if that might ever happen again. “Big Bo” came up with his sore lower back in August during the Jets’ Cortland training camp. He was inactive for the opener against Buffalo, started the next three games at nose, then was deactivated for the next three, before starting again two Sundays ago vs. Miami.He has spent every practice day this season on the injury report, including two-plus weeks when he didn’t practice at all. And when he was seen around the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room, it was usually to say, “I can’t talk today. Got to get rehab.”

When all of that happens to a 33-year-old man who’s spent much of his previous seven seasons getting into three-point stances and crashing into opposing offensive linemen and running backs like a 325-pound bighorn sheep, well, I asked him this afternoon if he ever worried during this season if he might have reached the end of the line as an NFL player.“Nah. It was just another challenge, another obstacle in the road,” he said with a smile that didn’t seem to be derived from pain shooting up his torso. “Everybody’s road in the NFL is never easy. A lot of guys have physical, emotional, spiritual things they just have to go through in this league.”Yet when I asked him if this was possibly the toughest physical challenge he’s had to endure in his distinguished, still maturing career, he didn’t disagree.

“I think it is,” he said after a pause. “I missed some significant games. But I accepted that challenge, I accepted the journey. And one of the things that keep me going is that at the end of the day, it’s all about helping my teammates.”It’s always been about more than just Big Bo for Po‘uha. He’s become a steadying influence, a big-brother-figure on the D-line. Certainly Muhammad Wilkerson and Mike DeVito have becoming reliable defenders, rookie DT Quinton Coples has shown flashes, and NT Kenrick Ellis was and is on his way to that same status except for his knee injury. But missing his presence in the middle hasn’t helped the line move along smoothly this season.And now Sione’s back, seemingly ready to rock and roll in the second half of the season. First up is a tough test with Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks. Po‘uha said his and his teammates’ approach this week through Sunday will be simple.

“It’s all about executing, each of us doing our part,” he said. “Seattle’s got a great running back but it’s all about the game plan we’ve got from Rex and Coach Pettine. It’s all about preparing and getting out there and making it happen.”And Bo is back with his Bros to try to make it happen for the Green & White in Seattle’s hostile environs four days from now.

Rex Cetera

Jets head coach Rex Ryan was asked his reaction to being ranked the most overrated head coach in the NFL in one of those Sports Illustrated player polls. Rex laughed.“My first thought was I saw who was second and I said, ‘Hey, I finally beat Bill Belichick,’ ” Ryan said of the rankings, which listed the Patriots’ head coach as the second-most overrated HC in the NFL.“Like gollee, it hadn’t been a tough enough year,” he said, turning serious. “Nah, I wasn’t offended by it. You know what? The overrated thing, it is what it is. At the end of the year we’ll see who’s overrated.” A few sentences later, he added: “As long as they want to come here and play and I’m overrated, that’s fine. But I want ‘em to come here and play.”

Regarding the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, Ryan said their homefield advantage extends beyond this year’s 4-0 record and the ‘Hawks’ 52-24 home mark since ’03, fifth-best in the league in that span.“You think it’s an indoor-type atmosphere, with the noise level when you get there, even though it’s an outdoor stadium,” he said. “I don’t know the exact number, but since ’05, I believe there’ve been 113 false-start penalties on opponents when they’re playing games at Seattle. That shows you it’s a tangible thing. That talks about the noise and how much that 12th man gets involved there in Seattle.”

The 12th man was in effect for the Jets’ last visit to the ‘Link in 2008, then known as Qwest Field. Besides the fans throwing snowballs at anybody in Jets green that day thanks to that rare Seattle snowstorm, the officials threw three flags for presnap penalties on the Jets that day — two on offense, one for a Damien Woody false start and one for an illegal formation, and one on then-punter Reggie Hodges for a delay of game.However, the Seahawks didn’t take full advantage of their HFA that day. They got three false-start penalties called on their O-linemen as well.

Wednesday Injury Reports

The 15 players on the Jets’ injury list to start this week may sound like a lot but it’s the fewest players they’ve had on any daily report this season. NT Kenrick Ellis (knee) and RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle) didn’t participate in practice, while limited players besides Po‘uha were LB Bart Scott (toe), TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist), C Nick Mangold (ankle), G Brandon Moore (hip), RB Bilal Powell (shoulder) and S Eric Smith (knee). You can find the Jets’ full injury report here.

The Seahawks are listing 11 players, with seven of them not practicing in Seattle today. Among them are former Jets WR Braylon Edwards (knee) and former Jets twice-annual foe RB Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist). Other DNPs were DE Red Bryant (foot), G James Carpenter (concussion), S Kam Chancellor (quadriceps), DT Clinton McDonald (groin) and LB K.J. Wright (concussion).DE Jason Jones (ankle) was limited and WR Doug Baldwin (ankle), G John Moffitt (knee) and C Max Unger (finger) were full-go.

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SEAHAWKS: I Couldn't Be More Proud of Mark

Transcripts of conference calls by Seattle's Pete Carroll and Leon Washington with Jets reporters on Wednesday afternoon:


On how things are in Seattle…

You guys are easy. It’s going fine. We’re pumped up. We haven’t been home very much this season so far. To have two games back to back is cool. We’re excited about it. This is a great place for us to play. We love playing here. With the bye week coming up next week, we’re going to try and make the most of it.

On his comments about Mark Sanchez…

I told Mark exactly what I thought was the right thing to do for him. I talked to him just like he was my own son. I told my own kids the exact same thing. He could have been at USC for another year, and in that position to have so much come his way and be at USC when we were going to have a great team, would have allowed him to prepare himself in the way you can only uniquely get [in college]. I was very close with his dad throughout the whole time and he knew exactly what I thought was the truth. It wasn’t that I was trying to keep him, but I mean that was part of it. If he was going to stay, he would have had a chance to play for us, but that wasn’t the reason I talked to him. I never talk to our players in that way. I talk to them about what is best for those guys in my mind.

The thing that was thrilling about it was to see Mark really, first off, go against what I thought and his dad thought. It was a tremendous illustration for him doing what he believed. I thought it was really amazing that he was strong enough to do that. We both thought it was going to serve him better to not go. The fact that he went there and was successful and won those first three games — isn’t he the first rookie ever to win his first three games or something? — it was just extraordinary. I was so thrilled for him.

Just because he didn’t do what I thought doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing. He went out and proved that he was ready. To get into the playoffs and take it so far and then come back the next year, I thought it was just a tremendous demonstration of a guy who believes in himself. He did that because he knew he could do it and he believed it was the time. He even went against some of the people that were closest to him to do that. I respect him for that.

On if Sanchez not staying in school has hurt him…

No. I think that’s well and done. All of that is washed out by now and he’s been in the hot seat and we’ve been through a ton of things with championship games and all that together. I think that eventually gets washed away. My thought is, I always wanted our guys to be the very best they could possibly be when the time came so they could make the most of it. When you have that thought, then you think in a certain way. I wanted him to maximize his preparation so he could maximize the opportunity. He got through it and overcame it. Whatever I thought he had to overcome, he left that in the dust and kicked butt and had a great first two years and he’s having a great career.

On how often he talks to Sanchez…

I think the last time was before the season. We just communicate through texting or something. We communicate every now and then when one of our guys gets in a situation or does something good. We’re all watching the Trojans really closely. A group of our guys are still linked and I think will be forever. I’ll talk to him when I see him and we have so many people that cross over that we kind of stay in connection with what is happening.

On if there were any hard feelings about Sanchez entering the NFL …

Which comments are you talking about? No, no at all. We talked right through all of that. We sat together until about 2 o’clock in the morning the night before, talking it through. I love Mark and I love everything he stood for. When he made the decision he made, he made what was the right thing in his mind. He stood up and grew up and was a man about it. Then he went out and proved it. I couldn’t be more proud of him. That doesn’t have anything to do with what I thought. I didn’t have any other thoughts than what I just told you. We talked about it immediately after, whatever that was, soon after with the family. We were totally in favor of him [entering the NFL]. You ask him. I don’t think there’s a thought in the world that I’d have any hard feelings.

On what it’s going to be like seeing Sanchez on the other sideline…

It’s going to be cool. I love playing against our guys. The people that I love the most I like to beat the most. It’s always been that way and as we go against our guys, the bad thing is the former USC guys always play well against us. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know if they’re getting back at me or what, but I hope we can have the kind of day we want to have and get our win.

On how he felt about the Jets acquiring Tim Tebow…

I think like everybody else. We knew Tim, too. We’d been through recruiting with him and all of that. I knew that those guys knew each other so there was going to be an obvious relationship between them. I figured that if anybody could get it done, it was those two guys. They have tremendous character and integrity and they would figure it out and they have. They’ve done nothing but the right stuff in dealing with the competitiveness of it all and trying to fit it together and the rest of it is up to the coaches.

On if he is surprised the Jets haven’t used Tebow that much…

I don’t know. We’re expecting him to play. We have to count on him being in there. He’s done enough stuff and enough difficult concepts that we’re studying and we’re all over it. It’s totally up to them. They get to do whatever they want.

On how much preparation will be spent on Tebow…

A considerable amount, let’s put it that way. You want to know how many plays? [laughing]

On the progress Seattle has made…

It’s really taken us this time to get going. I think at the middle of last season when we crossed into the second half of last year, we kind of felt like we discovered the guys we want to lean on for the long haul. We put together the nucleus of guys that we had chosen. John Schneider did a fantastic job of accumulating guys and we started winning games the second half. We started to turn it and play better football.

We really haven’t backed off of that. Even though we’re still at 5-4 right now, we’ve been close to having all of our games. We haven’t been out of anything and have been involved with the ball in our hands with the chance to win or the chance to stop the win each week. The nucleus of the guys we have assembled here is one I think we’re going to ride for some time. We think from this point forward we have a chance to be a really good club and be very competitive and we’re going to try and prove that this week.

On if he is overwhelmed by the homefield advantage he has in Seattle…

No, I haven’t been overwhelmed by it, but it’s extraordinarily fun to be around it. This is a great place to play. Our fans are incredibly cranked up every time we go. The intensity factor and the way the stadium fits together with our crowd, it is really cool. It’s different than a great college setting. It feels different. It’s an NFL crowd, but they just won’t back off and they won’t sit down. It’s really an honor to be playing for them. It’s really fun, every time we go out.

On Leon Washington…

He’s been a real fixture for us. We’re trying to have a complete football team and you want to fit it together with special teams. We’ve been really solid on special teams throughout the time we’ve been here and Leon has been a big factor in that. He’s such a good, consistent threat that you have to deal with on kicks and punts.

Lately, the last few weeks, our opportunities have been minimized. Teams are doing a nice job of kicking the ball out of bounds or kicking the ball deep. We haven’t had that many chances, but we know that he’s just a play away from busting it at all times. That’s a really positive factor and he’s also been a plus to us when we’ve needed him on offense. He’s been a great kid in the program.

On Russell Wilson’s downfield throwing ability off of play action…

There are certain things that we look to do to complement the run game that we’ve championed. I just put that stuff as part of it. We’ve tailored everything, as I think we all do, to our quarterbacks. Russell has a really good arm. He can throw the ball a mile. He has good downfield accuracy and he has great vision. That has fit together.

We’ve kept it under wraps as much as we could to help him grow and keep him moving ahead positively in hopes that in the second half of the season we can really start to branch out and blossom. We’ll see how that goes, but he’s done a fantastic job for us. We’re thrilled about it. The future for Russell is bright. He’s just learning, but he studies so hard and works so hard at it that he’s going to grow as much as a young guy can grow in this position. Hopefully, we can keep doing things to complement that and support him.

On the status of Braylon Edwards…

He’ll get some work today and tomorrow he has a chance to go full-go. We’ll see if he can make it back. We’re kind of counting on him getting back this week.

On rumors that the Jets were going to draft Bruce Irvin…

We were not aware specifically of that, but I’ve heard that, too. We knew there were teams that were in the hunt for him and we weren’t exactly sure who might move to get to him. Some teams saw him one way and others like us saw him as an extraordinary talent. We knew him, knew the background of the kid and we were really hoping we would get the chance going into the draft to find a spot there where we could nail him.

We did. It’s worked out great so far. He’s off to a great start as a rookie and we’re playing him exactly as we had hoped. He plays in passing situations, and on early downs he plays right where Chris Clemons plays. It’s worked out great, but I do know that there were other teams interested. We’ve heard of probably four other teams that were lamenting the opportunity because they saw it, too.

On if he has a basketball hoop in Seattle…

In fact we do. If any of you guys show up early, I’ll take you to the hole [laughter].


On life in Seattle…

Life is good in Seattle. I love it out here. It’s the Great Northwest. Our football team, we’re trying to get things together. We have a good football team, so we’re trying to make this late run in the season. Besides that, the family is doing great. I have three beautiful boys and you guys know my wife, Charity. Everything is going great.

On if he imagined it would go as well as it has since he left the Jets…

Obviously, the doubt from breaking my leg, that part of it was like, “Wow, can I ever get back to being Leon? Can I get back to returning kicks and making plays?” That part of it was the only hesitation that I had. Obviously, playing football again, with the great opportunity that Pete gave me in Seattle, I was thankful for that part of it. Just to play football again is awesome.

On if he thought the Jets believed he wouldn’t come back from his injury…

No, not at all. I remember when I got traded, Rex came and talked to me and said, "Look, Leon, we have to pay a bunch of guys, Nick Mangold, David, Harris" — I remember him saying the names — "Darrelle Revis" and stuff like that. It’s a business, so I understand it. I was thankful that I had the opportunity that they drafted me in the first place. It was awesome.

On if he was surprised with the Jets' special teams performance against Miami…

I mean, I’m not surprised in the sense that it’s the National Football League. You know these guys get paid to make plays across from you anyways. We all know how consistent Coach Westhoff has been on special teams with the Jets and throughout his career, so I don’t look at it as one game against Miami, "They're not the old Jets." They’re a really good special teams unit, they do everything so well, so I’m not surprised at all. I think they’ll get back on the right track.

On the noise level at CenturyLink Field...

It’s awesome. We definitely use it to our advantage. We’ve led the league the last five years in false starts on the opposing team. The energy the fans bring to the stadium is so loud. When I’m about to do a kickoff return, I can feel the energy the fans are giving me. It’s awesome playing here. We know when opponents come here to play us it’s going to be a tough task for them to get a win. We definitely use it to our advantage.

On QB Russell Wilson…

It’s weird in the sense that it’s good for us. The first day he came in you knew there was something different about this kid, the way he prepared. I’m usually one of the first guys at the football facility, so when I pull up at 6:15 in the morning, his car is already in his parking spot. I’m like, man, this guy is special. When I came up here on Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon, he’s up here. You knew from day one when he got here how special this kid is and the way he handles the huddle and the way he prepares himself. He’s definitely not like a rookie. You can see why he’s playing so well because he prepares himself better than anyone I’ve ever been around at the quarterback position.

On if he keeps in contact with any Jets…

I follow a lot of the Jets on Twitter, I follow a lot of the beatwriters and I follow the team on Twitter, so I keep up with them. Honestly, I’m good friends with Darrelle, D’Brickashaw [Ferguson], keep in contact with those guys when I see them in the offseason. So I follow those guys. That was four years of my life that I spent there so it’s only quite natural and then you have some of the guys that’s still there so I follow them pretty good.

On if he’s asked about the Jets often…

Not really. Some of the questions I do get are like “How was Rex Ryan as a coach? Is he a player’s coach?” And I’ll be like, "Yeah, definitely, he’s a players’ coach. He’s somebody that you’d want to play for." Or some guys, my kicker today asked me, “How was Mike Westhoff?” I said he was awesome. He’s another players’ coach that you want to play for. In a sense, they ask me about that. Individual players, not too often. We’re too concerned about what we’re doing over here.

On if he was surprised Coach Ryan was voted most overrated coach…

Yeah [laughing], I saw that yesterday and it’s kind of like, man, the Jets are 3-5 this year and he’s overrated. When a couple years ago, he [reached two AFC Championship Games] and things and such and he’s the best coach in the National Football League. You know how that goes. Every year it’s something different in the National Football League. But I was kind of surprised to see that because knowing that he’s a players’ coach.

On if he would like to return a kickoff for a touchdown vs. the Jets…

[Laughing] Man, I would like to take one to the house anytime. Last week I was trying to take one to the house. I knew that question was going to come up. There’s no added attention to me playing the Jets. Honestly — and I’m very serious when I say this — we’re concerned about what we’re doing out here, we have a really good football team, and we’re trying to put things together. So we’re not too concerned about our opponent. We’re prepared for them but we’re concerned about doing things we need to do in order for us to win the game. Would I like to return a kickoff for a touchdown against the Jets? Yes. Would I like to return a kickoff for a touchdown against the 49ers, the Rams or whoever it may be? Yes. So to answer that question, yes.

On the criticism Mark Sanchez takes…

Being in the National Football League, players talk about the players across the league and such and such. You kind of follow it but not too much. Initially, when Tim Tebow got there, it’s kind of like, OK, what’s going to happen? Is it going to be Sanchez? Is it going to be Tebow? Whoever the case may be. So it looks like they’re sticking behind Sanchez. It’s the best thing for him to have that support from the organization. So I’m sure Sanchez is the type of player that he works hard, I’m sure he’s trying to get things together. Like I said, I’m more concerned about protecting for Russell Wilson and trying to make plays for him.

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Rex talks about Braylon Edwards

With the Jets thin at wide receiver, Rex Ryan was asked today if there was any regret about not re-signing Braylon Edwards, who the Jets will face Sunday at Seattle.“It’s always a two-way street,” Ryan said. “In our situation, we had just drafted a young receiver we felt great about. You had Santonio Holmes, you had [Jeremy] Kerley, a young guy that we thought could be a guy that’s on the upside. So you’re looking at your roster, you evaluate your team a certain way. Would things have been different had Holmes had an injury earlier? I don’t know.”

Edwards, 29, hasn’t had much of an impact with the Seahawks. Troubled by a knee injury, he has eight catches in seven games. He had only 15 receptions with the Niners last season. But in 2010, his second and final season with the Jets, Edwards caught 53 balls for 904 yards and seven TDs.“I’ll say this,” Ryan said. “I’ve always had a great deal of admiration and respect for Braylon Edwards. I thought when he was here, they way he works on the practice field, the way he blocks, the way he does the unselfish things on the field, that was what I really appreciated about Braylon. That’s a tough guy.”Edwards was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game on Wednesday.

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‘Max’s Guys’ improving with Unger at center of it

Even before he snaps the ball and crashes into large humans, a center in the National Football League must read the defensive front and make calls that dictate his fellow linemen’s blocking assignments.Seahawks center Max Unger encountered a bit of a problem against the Vikings on Sunday as it can be hard to point out blocking responsibilities when the middle finger of your right hand is bent perpendicular to its neighbors.And that’s not considering the difficulty of snapping a football with a dangling digit.Asked about it in the locker room Wednesday, Unger acted as if he had forgotten about it. What, this? He lifted a distended middle finger, which was taped to his index finger for support.“I’m not the first one to deal with this, and I’m sure I’ll not be the last,” Unger said. “This is the NFL, you deal with this stuff all year.”Asked to give a description of the finger’s appearance, Unger was brief: “Not pretty.”Unger was clearly angry when he came off the field and was forced into the locker room for an X-ray, and even more agitated when the X-ray machine was on the fritz, forcing him to miss a couple series. Eventually, the finger was manipulated into place and Unger returned to finish the game.

In his fourth season out of Oregon, Unger has performed so well that he was the lone Seahawks player listed on Peter King’s mid-season All-Pro team for sportsillustrated.com.Unger didn’t seem to know about that recognition, either, and responded with laughter. “No way … really?”None of this, however, is a surprise to the Seahawks staff and front office. General manager John Schneider arranged a four-year, $25 million contract extension for Unger this summer, which made him among the highest-paid centers in the league.Since then, Unger seems to have brought even more passion to his leadership role. It’s to the point that coach Pete Carroll often calls the offensive line “Max’s Guys.”

“He’s a really bright football player, he’s got a great competitiveness to him that makes him want to know everything that’s going on for everybody,” Carroll said Wednesday. “He’s really the captain of that line. (With) all the calls and the complexities that are there, you’re looking for a guy who will take care of that accountability, and he’s done a great job of that.”Unger takes part in extra meetings with line coach Tom Cable, and quarterback Russell Wilson, to master the intricacies of each week’s game plan.“Part of it comes with playing the position,” Unger said, his central location on the line making it a natural spot from which to direct traffic. “It demands a pretty good understanding of the offense and an overall knowledge of the scheme.”Unger is still in the process of maturing into the center position, having played right guard as a rookie and been sidelined with a foot injury all but one game his second season.“Where it starts to become really fun is when, as a group, you’re more aware of what you’re doing aside from just your specific assignment,” said Unger, when asked of his development. “You get a greater understanding of the offense and what you’re trying to accomplish with the game plan, and I think that’s what we’re all growing into now.”

You see, linemen tend to give answers in the plural even to “singular” questions.

Despite some injuries and position juggling across the line, Max’s Guys have blocked well enough that the Hawks are seventh in the league in rushing average and have allowed a reasonable 15 sacks in nine games. At this point last season, they’d given up 28 sacks.“It was a pretty big point of emphasis,” Unger said of reducing the sacks this season. “We broke them all down and watched them all.”The lowlight film of sacks this season is a much shorter reel. And part of that is due to the awareness and leadership of Maxwell McCandless Unger.“He studies hard, does his homework, and makes all the calls,” guard Paul McQuistan said. “He’s our guy.”

Tackle Breno Giacomini nodded in agreement: “It all starts with Max … he’s our fearless leader.”

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If nothing else, Rex Ryan was probably happy with Tuesday night's election results.

The outspoken New York Jets coach, soon after arriving prior to the 2009 season, confidently promised that his team would be heading to the White House to be greeted as champions by President Obama.So, with four more years added to Obama's claim to the keys at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it looks like Ryan has bought himself a little time.In the moment, though, it seems a .500 record would be a lofty enough goal.The Jets will come out of a conveniently timed bye week on Sunday when they travel to CenturyLink Field to face the host Seattle Seahawks in a critical -- for Ryan, at least -- Week 10 matchup.New York has dropped four of five games since a 2-1 start and finds itself alongside the Buffalo Bills in the basement of the AFC's East Division. The final pre-bye game was a competitive disaster and ended in a 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins before a predictably disgusted home crowd at MetLife Stadium.New York is two games behind the first-place New England Patriots and two games behind the current No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff race -- the Pittsburgh Steelers."We definitely have the resources to get back into this thing," Jets safety Yeremiah Bell said. "We have the players, we have the coaching staff and we have the 'want to.' The thing is, it's going to be just us on Sundays just going out there and executing."

New York has been beneath pedestrian on both sides of the ball. It sits 24th in the league in scoring defense (25.0 points per game) and is just 27th in total offense (317.4 yards per game). Perpetually maligned quarterback Mark Sanchez hasn't helped his own cause with six fumbles and five interceptions in the dismal 1-4 stretch.As the former Southern Cal QB faces his college coach, Pete Carroll, for the first time, Ryan maintains mystery."We will be doing some different things," Ryan said. "I don't want to get into the specifics of it. I hope you understand that if there's an advantage to be gained, I want to gain that advantage without letting our opponent know. We'll be looking at a lot. There are several things to improve and I'm excited about trying to implement some of these things."

The Seahawks, ominously for New York, are 4-0 at home this season -- their best home start since they were 8-0 at home en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XL against the Steelers.Seattle beat Minnesota, 30-20, last week to improve to 5-4 and remain 1 1/2 games behind the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West."It's obviously an extremely tough place to play," Ryan said. "Having wins over Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota and New England at home shows you the task that we have in front of us. With that being said, we're gonna roll our sleeves up and go up there and give it heck."Unlike Sanchez, rookie QB Russell Wilson has been a steady weapon under center while throwing nine TD passes and no interceptions at home in compiling a 120.2 passer rating. He had 173 yards and three touchdowns in the defeat of the Vikings."I definitely believe we are getting more comfortable; the more you play, the more you practice, the more you communicate through the week," Wilson said. "I think that's the biggest thing, just stay the course and just keep believing in what we're doing."Running back Marshawn Lynch has five 100-plus yard efforts in nine games and could be on the verge of another against a Jets defense that's been allowing ground yardage at a per-week clip of 141.4. Lynch had 124 yards and a TD against the Vikings and is 76 yards behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (957 to 881) in the race to lead the league's rushers."We need the rest of these games coming up, and fortunately for us four out of the next seven are at home," wide receiver Sidney Rice said. "We use this crowd for energy. We feed off them and we're thankful we have them."

On the injury front, linebacker K.J. Wright and guard James Carpenter are questionable for Seattle after suffering concussions against Minnesota.The Seahawks lead the all-time series, 9-8, but the Jets have won eight of the last 10. In the most recent game in December 2008 -- Brett Favre's penultimate game as New York's quarterback -- Seattle won, 13-3, at home.


Two words : Marshawn Lynch. The ticket out of Buffalo a couple years ago was a career-reviver for the former No. 12 overall pick, who's posted consecutive the two best season-long yards-per-carry averages of his career - 4.2 yards & 4.4 yards - in two full years with the Seahawks.He's on a pace to eclipse those watermarks in 2012 with a 4.8-yard average through nine games, and faces a Jets defense allowing 4.4 yards per attempt (eighth-worst in the league) and 141.4 yards per game (fourth-worst).New York has allowed 100 or more yards on the ground in five games -- losing three of them -- though only two individuals, Buffalo's C.J. Spiller and Houston's Arian Foster, have reached triple digits on their own. Spiller, like Lynch, is 5-foot-11, while Foster is just an inch taller at 6 feet.


A morale-boosting effort -- if not a chest-thumping victory -- at New England in Week 7 was cause for Gang Green celebration, right up until a flaccid home rout at the hands of Miami just seven days later in New Jersey.Mix in a bye week and some storm-related tumult and it's anyone's guess which Rex Ryan team shows up in Seattle. Problem is, unless it's one that can immediately tighten the defensive clamps on one of the league's best runners, it might not matter.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 23, Jets 14

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Three-point stance: Jets at Seahawks

The Jets fly west to play the Seattle Seahawks, one of five remaining teams with an unbeaten record at home. The Jets are 3-0 in road games following a bye week over the last 10 seasons.

sea.gifnyj.gifThe Seahawks could be as physical an opponent as the Jets see all year. Seattle boasts the NFC's leader in rush attempts, Marshawn Lynch, and ransk third in the NFL in fewest points allowed per game.Quarterback Russell Wilson leads all rookies with 13 passing touchdowns and has thrown nine of those at home with no interceptions. He will face a defense that has allowed just one passing touchdown (Colt McCoy, 2010) with eight interceptions against rookie quarterbacks during Rex Ryan's tenure.

Here are three keys to Sunday's showdown in Seattle :

Most Rushes from Backfield Formation <<

2012 Season

Rushes M. Lynch, SEA 117 A. Peterson, MIN 107 D. Martin, TB 95 A. Foster, HOU 93 R. Bush, MIA 90 >> Two or more skill players behind QB

1. Lynch has 100 yards rushing in three straight games and leads the NFL with five such performances. He will try to make it a career-high fourth straight against a defense that has allowed the second-most rushing yards after contact in the NFL. Lynch has totaled the second-most rushing yards after contact, behind only Adrian Peterson.Lynch is a physical runner and rarely speeds to the edge -- he leads the league in rush attempts between the tackles. The Seahawks also push opponents off the ball and block with a second player in the backfield for Lynch on more rush attempts than anyone in the NFL.

2. Gang Green will need to be on high alert against the deep ball from Wilson, who throws well at home. Five of Wilson's nine touchdowns at home have come on pass attempts that traveled more than 20 yards in the air, which leads the NFL. Wilson has completed 60.0 percent of throws that deep at home, good for second in the league, and holds a share of the lead with a perfect 100.0 Total QBR.

3. The Seahawks have big size all over the defense, especially on the line where players at the position rank third in sacks and batted passes and tied for second in total passes defended. The entire defense is tied with Denver for the second-most hits on a quarterback while throwing the ball.When they use a defensive back in pass pressure schemes to mix it up, the Seahawks lead the NFL with a minus-three TD-INT differential. The Jets will need to utilize the sidelines more because with heavy hitters at safety and linebacker, the Seahawks lead the NFC in fewest yards allowed per play after first contact inside the painted field numbers.

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Presumably refreshed after their bye, which included seven days of R & R, the Jets (3-5) return to their rapidly fading season Sunday against the Seahawks (5-4). The Jets' margin for error is all but gone. If they want to make a prophet of Antonio Cromartie, who guaranteed a playoff berth, it has to start with an upset in Seattle.

Kickoff is 4:05 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. Here's what to watch for :

1. Bring the ear plugs. The Jets should be accustomed to noise, considering all the yapping they do, but this will be a challenge like no other. This might be the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL, and the fans love making life miserable for opposing offenses. (There are rumors that the Seahawks pump up the volume by blasting artificial crowd noise, which is a no-no.)

sea.gifnyj.gifSince 2005, they lead the league in opposing false-start penalties -- 113. The Jets are good for one per game; they have a total of nine. They tried to simulate the noise by blaring loud music at practice. They also will rely heavily on hand signals and silent snap counts. No doubt, the noise will test the Jets' poise.

2. Lynch pin. The Jets' biggest defensive challenge is containing RB Marshawn Lynch, the league's second-leading rusher. The run defense has improved over the past three games (3.3 yards per carry), and Lynch is the type of runner that should be in the Jets' wheel house.He won't exploit the Jets' suspect edges, as he leads the league in runs between the tackles, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But that doesn't mean he'll be an easy mark. He's second in the league in yards after contact (359), and the Jets happen to be terrible in that category -- 485 yards, the fourth-highest total in the league. In other words, it's time to man up and hang on for dear life.

3. Rex vs. the rookie. Historically, Rex Ryan-coached defenses eat up rookie quarterbacks -- a 1-to-8 touchdown/interception ratio since 2009, per ESPN Stats. Now here comes Russell Wilson, who appears unflappable at home. The kid doesn't make many mistakes, he throws well on bootlegs, he's deadly on third down and he scorches opponents with his home-run ability. He has five touchdown passes on throws more than 20 yards (all at home), the second most in the NFL.His favorite target is WR Sidney Rice, but Rice will have trouble against Cromartie. The Golden Tate-Kyle Wilson matchup is huge. Wilson could be a target because he doesn't have great catch-up speed.

4. Avoid killer mistakes. This means across the board -- offense, defense and special teams. The Jets can't win if they commit turnovers in the red zone (Mark Sanchez has three interceptions) and self-destruct in the kicking game, as they did in their previous game. They also need to be sound in pass protection, because the Seahawks can bring the heat, especially from the edges with Chris Clemons and rookie Bruce Irvin.The Jets' blitz pick-up is suspect, which could be a factor because Pete Carroll loves to blitz with defensive backs. The Jets' receivers must help out by gaining quick separation, but they'll have to eat their Wheaties because the Seahawks' corners, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, are 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-4, respectively.

5. Role playing. The Jets used the bye week to tweak the roles of certain players. Naturally, the biggest spotlight is on backup QB Tim Tebow, who could get a few more snaps on offense. How many times have we heard that before ? The big question is whether they have the onions to give Tebow an entire series or two at quarterback. OLB Ricky Sapp will be used as a situational pass rusher, perhaps at the expense of Aaron Maybin. WR Clyde Gates, LB DeMario Davis and LB Marcus Dowtin also could have bigger roles, as the Jets attempt to get more speed on the field.

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Seahawks won't miss Revis on Sunday

2012 New York Jets

On/off Field Revis No Revis Source: ESPN Stats & Information Plays 88 440 Yards/play 6.1 5.1 Yards/pass att. 5.4 6.8 Comp. pct. 53.8 56.4 TD 1 8 INT 4 3 NFL rating 38.2 83.8

The Seattle Seahawks won't have to worry about Darrelle Revis when the New York Jets visit CenturyLink Field in Week 10.Revis, widely acknowledged as the NFL's best cornerback when healthy, will not play until 2013 after suffering a knee injury during the Jets' second game of the season.This can only be a good thing for the Seahawks' improving pass offense. The Jets run a complex defense putting additional pressure on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to figure out the scheme. Not having to worry about Revis has to help.

"It's a very difficult scheme on defense for our offensive guys," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters this week.

2011-2012 New York Jets

On/off Field Revis No Revis Source: ESPN Stats & Information Plays 1,066 455 Yards/play 5.1 5.1 Yards/pass att. 6.6 6.9 Comp. pct. 54.1 56.7 TD 15 9 INT 23 3 NFL rating 66.2 85.9

The first chart shows per-play defensive passing stats against the Jets with and without Revis on the field this season. The second one shows the same information for 2011 and 2012.

Antonio Cromartie is the cornerback Wilson and the Seahawks need to worry about the most.Pro Football Focus recently named Cromartie to its all-AFC team at midseason."Cromartie earns it for how he has stepped up since Darrelle Revis went down," PFF's Khaled Elsayed wrote. "Hes allowed just 41.9 percent of passes into his coverage to be complete, so you can look past the high (six) penalty count." Officials have flagged Cromartie three times for defensive pass interference, twice for illegal contact and once for unnecessary roughness. That included three penalties during a Week 6 game against Indianapolis.

The Jets' other starting corner, Kyle Wilson, has had a tougher time.

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Jets prep for Seahawks

It was cold this morning when the Jets took to the turf at their practice facility on the same day they will travel to Seattle in preparation for Sunday’s game. RB Joe McKnight (ankle) worked off to the side, but all the other players took part in team drills.That included LB Bart Scott (toe) and defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis (knee) who both practiced in a limited capacity despite missing the Miami game before the bye.

Judging from Rex Ryan’s comments yesterday, the team is confident that they will still make the playoffs despite a 3-5 start. That is likely to mean winning the wildcard given that the Jets have already lost games to Miami and New England. But Antonio Cromartie (who didn't want to talk to Jets reporters after practice yesterday) was pretty confident that his team will make the playoffs.Having Ellis and Scott back on the field this weekend would be a good start. Ryan hasn't made any definitive calls about any of the three who didn't play last week, but he could shed more light later when he holds his press conference.

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Russell Wilson doesn’t rattle easily and hasn’t really rattled at all when the Seahawks are at home, but the Jets are convinced they’re up to the task tomorrow.The impressive rookie quarterback is 4-0 at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field this season, with nine touchdown passes, zero interceptions and a 120.2 rating that is the best in the NFL.“He’s done pretty well at home, but we’ve got some things in the game plan that we do feel comfortable and confident in that will rattle him,” defensive end Quinton Coples, a fellow rookie, boasted yesterday as the Jets prepared for the long trip West Coast trip.



TOUGH TALK: Quinton Coples, sacking first-year quarterback Andrew Luck during the Jets’ win over the Colts a few weeks ago, said Gang Green have a game plan to rattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who is 4-0 at home.That’s tough talk from a 3-5 team with just 12 sacks (ranking Gang Green a dismal 29th in the NFL in that category), especially considering coach Rex Ryan’s team will be visiting a stadium widely considered the noisiest and most treacherous spots in the league.Wilson has a big arm, throws well on the rollout and also is a running threat, a potent trio of skills that makes the 5-foot-11 Wisconsin product one of the few pro quarterbacks whose small stature isn’t a hindrance.But Coples isn’t the only Jet confident the scheming of Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine this week will allow them to frustrate Wilson in a building where he already has beaten Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo this season.

Are the Jets whistling past the graveyard? Not according to defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson, who sounded almost as cocky as Coples about handing Wilson his first NFL home loss.“We’ve got some great [defensive backs], and if they lock on their [assignments] and we get after them up front, we should have no problem,” said Wilkerson, who yesterday also backed up teammate Antonio Cromartie’s vow that the Jets will rally to make the playoffs this season.Wilkerson complimented Wilson but said his inexperience will work to the Jets’ advantage tomorrow.“He’s rookie, so he’s not as experienced as somebody like Tom Brady,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve just got to get after him. We’ve just got to go in there and set the tone. They have a unique offense, but we’ve got a great gameplan.”But as Mike Tyson famously said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the nose. Other more senior Jets weren’t nearly as outspoken, mainly because they realize how much of a handful Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense can be on their home field.

Marshawn Lynch is averaging a whopping 4.8 yards per carry and has almost 1,000 yards rushing in just nine games, numbers that also make Seattle’s use of play-action among the most dangerous in the league.Just ask the Patriots, who fell for a 46-yard bomb off play action from Wilson to Sidney Rice in the final moments last month in Seattle to give the Seahawks a 24-23 upset of the defending AFC champs. The play-action aspect allowed Rice to easily split two New England defenders and haul in the picture-perfect heave from Wilson.Rice isn’t the only big-play target Wilson will have at his disposal against the Jets tomorrow. The Seahawks also boast Golden Tate (five touchdown catches), tight end Zach Miller and Lynch out of the backfield, and they also expect former Jet Braylon Edwards to play this week.

No wonder veteran Jets defenders don’t seem willing to join Coples or Wilkerson in the bulletin-board department.“At home, he doesn’t look like a rookie,” safety Yeremiah Bell said. “When they’ve got that running game going, [Wilson] looks really good. It’s hard to see him sometimes because of his size, so on film you see safeties getting caught out of position a lot of times. We’re going to have to be on our toes, because this is a huge challenge.”


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