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It's the kind of play the St. Louis Rams envisioned from rookie wide receiver Brian Quick when they took him at the top of second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.Quick knocked San Francisco defender Chris Culliver off balance with a powerful stiff arm and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 7-0 lead in their eventual 24-24 tie against the 49ers on Sunday."I'm a physical player," Quick said. "It's going to happen from now on if they continue to feed me."

It was Quick's first NFL touchdown, but he didn't keep the ball."I don't know, I just got caught up celebrating," Quick said of losing track of the ball.Quick saw little action after the touchdown other than a few blocking plays."Yes, we probably should have played him more, but he was in the game" Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "We had Danny (Amendola) back and we had the other two guys going pretty well."Quick said the touchdown pass came on a play that actually was designed for rookie Chris Givens, who along with rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins, was inactive for the game due to breaking an unspecified team rule.

Quick, who has six catches for 126 yards this season, said the touchdown whetted his appetite for more action."I'm always hungry," Quick said. "Just get better in practice, so I'll be able to play more in the game."Quick conceded that the jump from Appalachian State to the NFL has been bigger than he expected."Yes, I wish I would have known more, but I couldn't help where I came from, and it's about where I am right now," Quick said. "I'm willing to get better."

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

> http://www.bnd.com/2...l#storylink=rss

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Who's the first to go at season's end ?

The futures of Mike Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez hang in the balance

The New York Jets, three games under .500 for the first time in the Rex Ryan era, are heading south faster than the Florida snowbirds. Statistically, they have a 1.4 percent chance of making the playoffs, but this season no longer is about the postseason. It's about personal survival.Everybody in the organization is on notice: Ryan. General manager Mike Tannenbaum. Quarterback Mark Sanchez. Everybody.Barring a miracle turnaround, this will mark the first time under Woody Johnson's ownership that the Jets have endured two straight non-winning seasons. That makes it hard to predict how the boss will respond. Last year's fall guy was offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who will be on the opposite sideline Sunday when the Jets meet the St. Louis Rams.


Mark Sanchez may find himself on the bench if his play on the field doesn't improve.

Haunted by a scapeghost ? Oh, that would be cruel symmetry.Johnson, who hasn't made any public comments since proclaiming that he expects to have two more years of Tim Tebow, will have some tough decisions to make. Let's examine:


His regular-season record in seven seasons is 54-51, with no division titles, three playoff appearances and four postseason victories. He deserves credit for stocking the roster from 2006 to 2010, culminating in 2010 with the most talented team the Jets have had in nearly a decade. But there has been a slow, steady drain, caused by a win-now, quick-fix approach that has left them woefully thin at many positions.Tannenbaum survived in 2009, when Johnson decided to fire Eric Mangini after three seasons. Tannenbaum was instrumental in the hiring of Ryan -- largely a positive -- and he has demonstrated the ability to reload after poor seasons (see 2006 and 2008).In the end, the biggest stain on Tannenbaum's record could be the Tebow trade, which was handled clumsily from the outset and has sabotaged the team on multiple levels. It's hard to determine how much of it was Tannenbaum, and how much he was prodded by the Tebow-obsessed Johnson, but you know one thing: Owners never hold themselves accountable for deals gone bad.Does Tannenbaum get another chance ? Johnson tends to make impulsive decisions, based on public sentiment, but he might want to take a look at the Houston Texans. Owner Bob McNair showed patience, sticking with GM Rick Smith through tough times. Now they're reaping the benefits. Thing is, can Johnson sell that approach in the New York market ?


Like Tannenbaum, Ryan is signed through 2014. They both got new deals after the surprising success of 2009. The perception that they're joined at the hip will be tested after this season.

The 50 Greatest Jets


Drawn from more than five decades of history, ESPN New York presents its 50 Greatest Jets. Top 50 photo.pngRank 'EmFrankly, it would be a surprise if Ryan is fired. Johnson loves Ryan and what he has brought to the franchise, on and off the field. Simply put, his larger-than-life personality is good for business and exposure, and we all know that Johnson likes the back pages.

Unless the blowouts continue, Ryan probably built enough collateral with back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game to survive this mess. But he doesn't get a free pass here. Since the second championship game, the Jets are 11-14, having lost nine of their past 12 games. It's their worst 12-game stretch since 2007.The injuries to Darrelle Revis and Santonio Holmes were tough, no doubt, but the Jets should be better than 3-6. Ryan's biggest shortcoming is his detachment from the offensive side of the ball. He made it a point to mention last week that he's more involved than ever with the offense -- he took pride in announcing he installed a couple of plays -- but he still lets coordinator Tony Sparano run the entire show.

And that show is unwatchable.


A lot of Monday Morning Quarterbacks are screaming for Sanchez to be benched, but it's not that simple. When the Jets extended his contract last offseason, they guaranteed Sanchez's 2013 salary -- $8.25 million. It bought him extra job security.Sanchez will be back next season, but the circumstances could be different. If he continues to struggle over the final seven games, he almost certainly will be thrown into an open competition. The Jets will have little choice but to import a veteran to challenge Sanchez -- unless Greg McElroy gets an audition and proves worthy. It won't be Tebow, because they obviously have no faith in his ability to throw the football.The Jets unwittingly rattled Sanchez by bringing Tebow into the equation, and it never was more apparent than in Sunday's 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The sequence near the goal line epitomized the season and the failure of the Sanchez-Tebow dynamic.Tebow was inserted on third down from the 1-yard line to run a counter, but the play never happened because of a penalty on Dustin Keller. Tebow was visibly angry as he came off the field. In came Sanchez, who threw his fourth red zone interception -- most in the league.

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Week 10 gallery photo.pngSanchez revealed a hint of frustration after the game. He was asked about the rotation and its impact on his rhythm. When a reporter mentioned the 32-yard completion to Keller in the fourth quarter, Sanchez interjected, "And came right back out, yeah. It's something we're all getting used to, and I'm getting a better feel for it."On Monday, Sanchez received another vote of confidence from Ryan, who doesn't seem concerned that his starting quarterback might take him down.

"I'm never going to make a decision to save my job," said Ryan, who still sees Sanchez as part of the solution.

The roster

There are only a dozen or so players with true job security, thanks to long-term contracts. The rest of the players are fighting for their future. Nine starters are slated to become unrestricted free agents, so there will be significant turnover in the offseason, regardless of who's calling the shots.Ryan doesn't expect to go anywhere."I'm confident I'll be the coach," he said, "because we'll find a way to win."

They've got seven weeks to convince the owner he's right.

> http://espn.go.com/n...-decision-ahead

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Tipsheet: Jets lose altitude en route to STL

The Rams are catching the Jets at their low point under grandstanding coach Rex Ryan.

Their offense is sputtering. Their once-dominant defense has sprung leaks. They are three games under .500 for the first time in this regime.To paraphrase their popular team chant, the J-E-T-S are a mess, mess, mess. Their Sunday showdown against the 3-5-1 Rams could be a watershed moment.Will they pound the Rams, regain some swagger and fight back into postseason contention? Or will they lose to a rebuilding team and signal the need for a top-down overhaul?

Here is what scribes are writing about this situation :

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: “The New York Jets . . . are heading south faster than the Florida snowbirds. Statistically, they have a 1.4 percent chance of making the playoffs, but this season no longer is about the postseason. It's about personal survival. Everybody in the organization is on notice: Ryan. General manager Mike Tannenbaum. Quarterback Mark

Sanchez. Everybody. Barring a miracle turnaround, this will mark the first time under Woody Johnson's ownership that the Jets have endured two straight non-winning seasons. That makes it hard to predict how the boss will respond. Last year's fall guy was offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who will be on the opposite sideline Sunday when the Jets meet the St. Louis Rams. Haunted by a scapeghost? Oh, that would be cruel symmetry.”

Greg Cote, Miami Herald: “Jets coach Rex Ryan was voted as NFL’s most overrated coach in a players poll. Cannot confirm he also was voted most overbearing, most obnoxious and most likely to regain all that weight.”

Peter King, SI.com: “In his four years as starting quarterback for the Jets -- including this star-crossed one -- Mark Sanchez has ranked 28th, 27th, 23rd, and, this year, 30th, in passer rating. The slide well below mediocrity continued Sunday in Seattle, when Sanchez's 9-of-22 day helped the Jets fall, 28-7. He had only two drives of more than 35 yards, and one ended in an interception. Enter Tim Tebow. The Jets have so far used him on 10 percent of all offensive plays, just under half of those as a runner. They've also let him pass on just four occasions. And of those 55 plays, he's never been allowed on the field for three consecutive offensive plays. In this game he was brought in for 18 percent of the 55 offensive plays (including penalties). What he did in itself wasn't bad. On his eight non-penalty-erased plays, Tebow picked up three first downs and made no major errors.”

Pat Kirwin, CBSSports.com: “In the second quarter of the Jets-Seahawks game with the score tied 7-7, Mark Sanchez takes over at his own 38-yard line and completes a pass for six yards. Second and 4, in comes Tim Tebow, who runs for three yards. Then Tebow again for three yards, and in comes Sanchez, who completes a pass for 43 yards. Sanchez deserves a lot of credit for coming off the bench and executing. Before you know it the Jets are at the 7, first and goal. Two runs up the middle by Shonn Greene with Sanchez under center, and Sanchez has the team third and goal at the 1. Here comes Tebow again, and what happens? A false start and the Jets are back at the 6. In comes Sanchez to clean up the mess, and he throws an interception. The Jets have managed to make their offense dysfunctional. Either play Sanchez or Tebow, but this in-and-out routine is making things worse than they already are for the Jets. This just in: the Tebow plan hasn't fooled anyone yet.”

Steve Serby, New York Post: “The clock is ticking now on Mark Sanchez, and it is an alarm clock, with only 60 more minutes on it. Sanchez and the Jets are in free fall, and if they crash and burn Sunday in St. Louis with their old offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, in the house plotting revenge, Rex Ryan cannot possibly continue to stand by his man, the way he did yesterday, cannot continue to sell Sanchez as the Sanchize to his team and to a disgruntled fan base that is mad as hell and can’t take it anymore. It will be, for better or for worse, Tebow Time. Which should not be confused with Tebow Savings Time, because I remain firmly in the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department.”


After the Jets get a good look at how 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tore up the Rams Sunday, how can they not switch to Tebow start this week ? The Rams allowed Colin Kaepernick to scramble for big yardage chunks and extend passing plays with his feet. So what if the kid missed some passes down the field? His rumbling mobility wrought havoc on Jeff Fisher’s squad.And nobody does rumbling mobility better than Tebow.The skittish Sanchez figures to struggle against the Rams pressure. By switching to the unpredictable Tebow, the Jets could force the Rams to chase and play tag.

This should be the easiest coaching decision Rex Ryan ever makes.


Last week Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. pretty much dismissed Rams quarterback Sam Bradford as a draft bust. He sang a more optimistic tune after Bradford’s clutch showing at San Francisco :

“I can envision Bradford throwing to (Danny) Amendola as a slot/move-the-chains guy, Chris Givens as the perimeter home run hitter and Brian Quick as a hopeful do-it-all No. 1 receiver type behind an improved offensive line. They have to be aggressive in improving the line, but Scott Wells and Harvey Dahl should make a strong center-guard combo, and Rodger Saffold looks like another qualified starter, so that rebuild might not be as extreme as some think. And with time, we know Bradford can make great throws, which appeared to be the case Sunday against an excellent San Francisco defense.”

> -http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jeff-gordon/tipsheet-jets-lose-altitude-en-route-to-stl/article_e672bce4-77dd-5708-af96-ec476823f2f0.html

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Burwell : Givens, Jenkins need to wake up


Amendola says he's bouncing back

When you treat professional athletes like grown men, there’s an expectation for them to actually behave like adults. That’s always been Jeff Fisher’s way of doing business as a football coach.As a former player, he understands what rules make sense and which ones are just plain stupid. It’s one of the reasons the causes of Sunday’s benching of Janoris Jenkins and Chris Givens go well beyond disappointing and race all the way to just plain stupid. We still don’t know for sure what the two talented rookies did to get into Fisher’s doghouse, but trust me on this, it wasn’t for something trivial. The rules Fisher creates for the Rams would have probably worked quite well with teams like the old renegade Oakland Raiders, who could dance with the devil all week, then show up on Sunday ready to go to war.But even the renegade John Madden’s Raiders had standards, among them being that showing up on time for work is a big deal. It’s the same with Fisher’s Rams, so straying out of bounds with the Rams’ head coach takes some doing. And now Jenkins and Givens are going to find out the hard way that getting out of Fisher’s doghouse might be even harder than getting into it.Fisher’s no wide-eyed novice in dealing with bad boys. He has had some very good success stories and some notable disasters. But with each one he has learned what worked and why things went wrong and not only kept good notes but made corrections all along the way. It’s what distinguishes him from the naïve coach who thinks that he can play Father Flanagan with every unrepentant knucklehead who lands at his door. Fisher knows he can’t save everyone. He’s not one of these guys who fool themselves into believing, “Oh, it’ll be different with me.”

“I think you have to look at each individual and set of circumstances and what the issues were,” Fisher told me last spring during rookie minicamp. “That’s what we did (with the 2012 draft class).”You give them clear rules that make sense. You surround them with strong-willed leaders in the locker room and you surround them with smart people outside the locker room who will help teach them how to make better decisions with their lives than they did in the past.One of the drawbacks of dealing with young players is that sometimes their immaturity gets the best of them and they do dumb things. But this isn’t college, where coaches might look the other way when a kid misses a curfew, shows up late for meetings or misses a practice.Fisher definitely isn’t one of those coaches. He gives you the simple responsibility of expecting you to behave like a grown man. But that means that when you’re given that sort of responsibility, Fisher expects you to actually behave like a grown man. And that’s why Jenkins and Givens’ stupidity must really frost the coach.

The Rams took a chance on both of them. Jenkins’ off-the-field escapades in college are well-documented. It’s the reason he fell from a sure high first-round selection into the second round, costing him millions in guaranteed money in the process. But there were a few good reasons Givens was still available in the fourth round even though his performance grades had him slated much higher. Several NFL sources have said quietly that the league had some suspicions about his off-field behavior, too. And now they’ve both done something severe enough to tick off Fisher — who does not tick off easily. They have now merited a one-game benching that could end up even longer if Fisher doesn’t see any meaningful attitude adjustment.“It’s an issue that’s between me and the players and the club and the players,” Fisher said after Sunday’s game. “They violated rules and I deactivated them. As to whether they play next week or not, I don’t know. We’ll see.”

On Monday, Fisher said both players would be back on the practice field Wednesday but offered no guarantees that their game status would necessarily change just yet.

Well, good for Fisher.

The world is full of guys like Jenkins and Givens. In high school and college I played with a few of them and watched their self-destructive behavior get the best of them. Professionally, I’ve covered the lives of so many gifted young men who had all the talent in the world, but for some reason allowed demons and bad choices to derail their lives. I don’t know if that’s what’s happening here with Jenkins and Givens, but I do know that every one of those tragic stories I witnessed in the past started out just like this.The craziest thing is, the Rams have provided all their players with all the proper support systems you can imagine to ensure they they don’t run into trouble. But all the support systems in the world won’t help if the athlete doesn’t want to be helped.A young player who continues to make knuckleheaded mistakes can find himself on a startling free fall from promising starter to benched trouble maker to unemployed in a hurry in pro football. On Sunday, the Rams moved on without Jenkins and Givens without skipping a beat. Trumaine Johnson replaced Jenkins and did a decent enough job at starting cornerback. Danny Amendola came off the injured list and lit up San Francisco’s secondary.

And Brian Quick’s 36-yard touchdown catch ?

In the original game plan, that was drawn up for Givens.

That’s how quickly things move in pro football. One man’s misfortune is another’s opportunity, and let’s hope that Jenkins and Givens don’t have to learn that lesson the hard way.

> http://www.stltoday....e10df0b7dc.html

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Gang Green still acting optimistic

The numbers and their recent level of performance indicate the Jets are done for 2012.

Their comments say otherwise.

Somehow, in the wake of two awful outings in losses to Miami and Seattle, the Jets talk about remaining confident, about turning things around, about eliminating the mistakes that are killing their chances.Indeed, after coach Rex Ryan again emphasized that Mark Sanchez is the starting quarterback despite his sinking play, Sanchez mentioned Monday how "once things go right, they turn around so fast it will make your head spin."

Others might call that spin. The Jets (3-6) describe it as staying optimistic."I'm confident in who I am and my abilities, and I've said it a million times, I'm confident in the guys who coach with me and play for me," Ryan said after the Jets dropped the ninth game in their last 12, including the 2011 collapse in which they lost their final three games to miss the playoffs for the first time in his tenure."I know we have the talent, not just as players but in our coaching staff. We're going to get this thing done."Getting anything done, beginning Sunday in St. Louis, must start with cleaning up their on-field act.

Although they are in the middle of the pack with a minus-2 turnover differential, the Jets are destroying themselves in the red zone. In Sunday's 28-7 loss at Seattle, Sanchez pretty much threw away at least six points and perhaps more with bad decisions.Richard Sherman's interception on third-and-goal despite Sanchez having plenty of time to survey the field was costly. So was a fumble on a sack."Two plays really stood out," said Sanchez, who turned 26 Sunday but had nothing much to celebrate. "The sack-fumble and the interception, especially as well as our defense was playing in the game early. We had a chance to take the lead and I have got to make better decisions. Careless mistakes. Totally on me."The slump has been a team effort, prompting questions about whether the Jets have enough talent to compete. For the last month, the answer would be no.

"Week after week, we continue to punish ourselves," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "Self-inflicted wounds, time after time. That's something that as players we have to get corrected.

"We're going out there, being competitive, we're playing hard. But in this league you can't help teams win.

> http://www.recordonl...130319/-1/rss02

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Scouting report: Early look at the Rams

A quick glance at the Rams (3-5-1), whom the Jets face Sunday in St. Louis :

1. Hey, they tied the 49ers on the road. That's saying something. They beat the Redskins, Cards and Seahawks. The Rams are 9-3 against the Jets, who haven't beaten them on the road since 1970. The last meeting was in 2008, a 47-3 rout by Brett Favre & Co.

2. Much of the focus this week will be on the former Jets, namely offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He left the Jets after last season in what was described as a mutual parting. Other Jets on their roster are C Rob Turner, OT Wayne Hunter, QB Kellen Clemens, TE Matthew Mulligan and RB Terrance Ganaway. Turner is the only starter. Hunter, who ripped Jets fans after being traded in the preseason, started earlier in the season, but now he's back to his "jumbo" tight-end role.

3. Statistically, Schottenheimer's new offense is performing similarly to his old offense -- not too well. The Rams are ranked 24th in total offense and 28th in scoring offense, but they're in a rebuilding mode in the first year of the Jeff Fisher regime. The offensive line (25 sacks allowed) is struggling to protect Sam Bradford.

4. Bradford's No. 1 weapon is WR Danny Amendola. In fact, he completes 72.4 percent of his passes to Amendola, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His completion percentage to all other receivers is 59.6, with six interceptions.

5. Their leading rusher is the powerful Steven Jackson (504). They have a terrific change-of-pace back in rookie Daryl Richardson, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

6. Fisher runs the kind of defense that causes problems for the Jets. He believes in pressure and man-to-man coverage. The Rams have 26 sacks, tied for sixth in the league. Their leaders are Robert Quinn (8.5) and Chris Long (5).

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

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fyi :

~ ~ Let’s take a look at which players are rising and falling in the AFC East.

~ Rising

3. Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets defensive end: Wilkerson isn’t having a dominant sophomore season. But he did have a big game for the Jets in a loss to Seattle. Wilkerson recorded seven tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He was one of the few bright spots for the Jets.

> http://espn.go.com/b...-stock-watch-24

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Rams coach delivers slight Sanchez jab

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher took a small jab at Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on a conference call Wednesday, acknowledging that getting the ball to the receivers can be an issue for New York."So the (wide receivers) can make plays, and it's just a matter of getting the football to them," Fisher said.

stl.gifnyj.gifThe Jets' wide receivers have come under fire this year for failing to make big plays. That's part of the problem when a group is as raw as the Jets' unit, but the quarterback hasn't been helping them either.Sanchez is completing just 52 percent of his passes, a career low for the fourth-year player. While it could certainly be argued that his receivers aren't creating space for Sanchez to throw to them, the heat always falls on the quarterback for not making plays.While it's rare for an opposing coach to criticize a team it's playing in an upcoming week, Fisher seemed higher on the Jets' receivers than most."They're productive. Young, but productive with different types of abilities," said Fisher, who specifically praised Jeremy Kerley and rookie Stephen Hill. "You've got guys with a run-after-catch ability, you've got good route-runners, and I think that they've probably been unfairly criticized because this is a group that can make plays."

HERE'S SCHOTTY : The Jets will face former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Sunday. He now serves in that role for St. Louis.Schottenheimer served as the Jets' offensive coordinator from 2006-11 before leaving the team following the end of the last year's 8-8 campaign. His play-calling and offensive schemes came into question last season as it seemed Sanchez regressed."What I was excited about was that he was available," Fisher said about hiring Schottenheimer. "What happened in the past is the past. Brian's moved on. We've moved on together. We have a great staff that has a great working relationship and we expect to have a lot of success in the future."Fisher added: "He's done an outstanding job thus far. I was very excited when I found out that he was available. We hit the ground running. He's a big influence, I say, to this early turnaround of this football team."

WAYNE WATCH : The Jets will also get to see former right tackle Wayne Hunter, who they traded for tackle Jason Smith in August. Hunter drew the fans' ire for his poor play before the team sent him to St. Louis. He has been replaced by Austin Howard, and Smith is an extra tackle who plays sparingly.Hunter has played in seven games for St. Louis and has battled a back injury."This was a good deal for all four parties," Fisher said. "For Jason, for Wayne, for the Rams and the Jets. And that's why we did it."

> http://espn.go.com/b...ght-sanchez-jab

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Tipsheet : Divided Jets ready to fall ?

In the latest episode of “As the Jets Turn,” running back Shonn Greene called for the benching of quarterback Mark Sanchez."You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time, you want to win games,” Greene told Yahoo! Sports. “We're not here to protect people's feelings. If you want to win games, you've got to try something. If somebody's not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It's the same with coaching, or any position. You don't mean to belittle someone or say, 'He (stinks).' That's just the harsh reality.”At the same time, reserve quarterback Tim Tebow was reacting to a ringing vote of “no confidence” unnamed teammates gave him in a New York Daily News story.

How did he react to reading that he was a “terrible” quarterback ?

“I think some frustration and I guess some sadness,” Tebow told reporters at the Jets practice facility Wednesday. “It's never fun to hear criticism, but at the same time, it's something I've always used as motivation, and you try to get stronger from it. That's how I approach it. I always find the good and the positive from every situation. The positive from this is (I've) got to work a little bit harder and improve and build better relationships with your teammates.”Greene, for one, doesn’t believe Tebow would be a terrible option – despite his errant throws on the practice field."He does (struggle)," Greene told Yahoo! Sports. “I'm not gonna lie. His mechanics, his throwing . . . not looking like a normal NFL quarterback. But you know what? He's a football player. He makes stuff happen.”Beleaguered coach Rex Ryan added to the fun by labeling the anonymous Tebow criticism as “cowardly.” Tipsheet can’t wait to see how all this hubbub translates on the field Sunday when the Jets face the Rams.Will the Jets play inspired football ? Or will they come up flat again, as they did in Seattle ?

The Big Apple pundits don’t seem optimistic :

Ian O’Connor, ESPN New York: “So some New York Jets think Tim Tebow is a sorry excuse for a quarterback, the same Tim Tebow who last year beat the sorry excuse for a contender known as the New York Jets. Anonymous teammates quoted in a Daily News report apparently believe the trade for Tebow -- again, the guy who beat them in Denver last November -- was dumber than Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson, dumber than Phil Simms' most recent evaluation of

Eli Manning, and dumber than the sex, lies and audiotape defining the Gen. Petraeus case. One Jet was quoted in the News report describing Tebow as ‘terrible.’ And if the world's most famous second-stringer had even one mean bone in his body, just like the rest of us, he would've come out swinging Wednesday at the offending phantoms in the locker room. He would've reminded everyone about his conquest of the Jets in 2011, the one that helped ruin the losers' season and helped notarize Tebow's standing as an amateur-hour passer with a magical endgame talent for rising above his own limitations.”

Tim Smith, New York Daily News: "It’s obvious that the Jets have had a talent drain, but what is more disturbing than Tebow’s teammates trashing him is that the front office has a problem recognizing top-shelf talent. The first-round picks on defense the last three years have not turned into dominant forces. The talent drain has dropped the Jets into a hole at 3-6. Whether they will be able to climb out with Sanchez manning the shovel is questionable. If this season ends in disaster, coaches and members of the front office will be looking for cover. It looks like the sides are already starting to line up. Whoever called the receivers ‘garbage’ has already thrown the first shot at the player personnel department."

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: “Like so many Jets head coaches before him, Rex Ryan stood at a podium in a crowded interview room yesterday and played the part of the unconcerned leader in a time of crisis. In an effort to refute a report quoting several anonymous Jets players and team ‘officials’ ripping Tim Tebow, Ryan did what Joe Walton, Bruce Coslet, Pete Carroll, Rich Kotite and even Bill Parcells, Herman Edwards and Eric Mangini all did in times like this: He dialed up the spin cycle so furiously it left you a bit confused and queasy. When it was over, like many of his predecessors, Ryan sounded like a man whistling past a graveyard in the dark — doing his best to be oblivious to the demons.”


Some thoughts on the wonderful world of sports :

  • Turnovers, cold shooting, defensive breakdowns . . . SLU’s game against Santa Clara started bad and didn’t get better until it was much too late. Imagine what sort of practice Rick Majerus would have run in the wake of such a debacle.
  • Interim coach Jim Crews has some work to do with point guard Kwamain Mitchell sidelined. A healthy Mitchell could have stabilized the Billikens Wednesday night by taking charge and getting the ball to the rim again and again.
  • On the other hand, Santa Clara guard Kevin Foster would have worn out many teams with the way he played. He delivered a NBA audition reel.
  • New Illinois basketball coach John Groce nailed an impressive first recruiting class, landing five solid recruiting filling each need on the court. He hit Chicago and he expanded the Illini’s recruiting range to the East Coast. Well-played.
  • On Jeff Fisher’s watch, wayward rookies Janoris Jenkins and Chris Givens faced the media Wednesday and appeared contrite about their missteps. Accountability is a beautiful thing.

> http://www.stltoday....7508182ec5.html

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Defensive questions as Rams' offense rises

St. Louis Rams fans will enjoy what has to be the most resoundingly positive assessment of the team's offense in a long, long time.Rick Venturi's offensive film grades for 101ESPN St. Louis include high praise for tight end Lance Kendricks as a receiver and on "wham" blocks targeting San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.

Week 10: Colin Kaepernick vs. Rams D

Pass-rushers <5 5+ Called Runs Source: ESPN Stats & Information Act. plays 19 7 3 Comp. 8 3 -- Att. 12 5 -- Pass yds. 80 37 -- TD-INT 0-0 0-0 -- Sacked 1 2 -- Pass FD 5 2 -- Rushes 5 0 3 Rush yds. 45 0 21 Rush TD 0 0 1 Rush FD 3 0 2 Fumbles 0 1 1 QBR 61.3 0.4 99.6

Venturi thought the Rams' offensive line "blocked the hell out of the 49ers" much of the day, except when, in his view, the 49ers' tackles held the guards to facilitate twists (sounds familiar). And he called quarterback Sam Bradford nearly flawless.Venturi, a former NFL assistant, reserved his highest marks for receiver Danny Amendola."He wore Carlos Rogers out," Venturi said. "He'll drive Carlos Rogers out of football. There is no way you can allow him in that slot and not double him. Rogers was turned every way but loose. Then he gets on top of him. Just a tremendous performance."

Coaching strategy came into focus toward the end of this segment. Venturi thought the Rams should have used five-plus pass-rushers more frequently against 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Sure enough, as the chart from ESPN Stats & Information shows, Kaepernick did nearly all of his damage on called running plays or when the Rams dropped eight-plus defenders into coverage."To allow him to run around on your four- and your three-man rushes to have separation and lanes is suicidal," Venturi said, "because the guy is not going to go back in the pocket, at this stage of his career, and pick you apart. He is going to run around and make plays athletically. So, in my opinion, you played right into the narrative by not either bringing five or having balanced lanes."

> http://espn.go.com/b...s-offense-rises

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Scout's Notebook : Rams DLE Chris Long

Height: 6-3, Weight: 271 Speed: 4.79

Notes : Selected second overall in the 2008 NFL draft by the Rams after a standout All-America career at the University of Virginia, where he became the first player to have his jersey retired while he was still active and finished his career with 22 sacks, 14 of which came during his senior year. Started all 16 games as a rookie in ’08, 14 coming on the right side, and notched 40 tackles and four sacks. Racked up 43-5 in ’09 before moving to the left side in ’10 to replace Leonard Little. Started all 16 games in ’10, recorded 29-8½ and led the NFL in QB hurries (41½) to earn his first Pro Bowl recognition. Changed his jersey number from 72 to his college number 91 in ’11 and was voted a Pro Bowl alternate after racking up 37-13. After Jeff Fisher’s arrival, signed a four-year extension worth nearly $50 million and has started all nine games in ’12, recording 17-5.

Positives : Explodes out of his stance very low to the ground and plays with excellent pad level and relentless energy and effort ­— sets the tone for the defensive line. Strong at the point of attack and can set a hard edge — controls blockers and can anchor vs. the double-team. Excellent hand use with very well-coordinated pass-rush moves. Sets up blockers and has a very effective, quick inside rip move. Mentally and physically tough. Smart, hardworking, well-grounded and mature. Highly respected, vocal leader and team captain.

Negatives : Has short flippers, with modest 32 5⁄8-inch arms and slips off some perimeter tackles. Can be locked down once a defender gets his hands on him. Shows some tightness in his body (overly muscled) and is not an elite athlete. Lacks elite closing speed and finishing burst at the top of his rush — is often a step late to arrive at the quarterback (27 QB pressures). Sack production has come vs. inferior competition — against Bears ORT Gabe Carimi and rookies Bobby Massie (Cardinals) and Jonathan Martin (Dolphins).

Summary : A well-pedigreed power rusher who consistently makes plays against the run and pass, Long plays with a contagious energy that must be accounted for. A rolling ball of butcher knives who more than compensates for a lack of elite speed with savvy, strength, instincts and discipline. Brings a fiery on-field temperament that is fun to watch. After signing a four-year extension in July worth nearly $50 million, will be a cornerstone of an aggressive Jeff Fisher defense. Is an even better person than football player.

> http://www.profootba...-dle-chris-long

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Tim Tebow won't start on Sunday. And based on recent history, he probably won't be the decisive factor in whether the New York Jets win or lose in St. Louis.But as has been the case nearly every day since a trade with the Denver Broncos, he remains the top story in the green-clad football circus.In the midst of a three-game losing streak that's forged new performance lows since Rex Ryan's tenure began in 2009, the Jets' locker room has apparently devolved toward the same fractured mess that helped propel the plummet from 8-5 contender to 8-8 playoff miss just a year ago.A handful of anonymous players were quoted in a Wednesday story in the New York Daily News indicating a complete lack of faith in Tebow's prowess, with one player labeling him "terrible."

This all unfolds -- or unravels, if you prefer -- while starter Mark Sanchez has had myriad on-field struggles of his own, posting a league-worst 52.0 completion percentage through nine games. He's coming off a woeful 9-for-22, 124-yard performance in a 21-point loss last week at Seattle.His 70.9 passer rating is 30th in the NFL."I have got to make better decisions," he said. "Careless mistakes. Totally on me."Ryan, however, has shown no significant inclination toward making a QB change."With me, I will never waver," Ryan said."I am not going to make a decision to save my job. I am in it to win games. I'm not sitting back concentrating on how do I save my job. I am concentrating on how do we win."Still, while the loyalty to Sanchez has player support according to the newspaper, the coach is concerned with the acerbic way that support is being broadcast.He said the situation comprised the content of a team meeting this week."If you're not going to put your name to it, I think that's about as cowardly of a thing there is," Ryan said. "I don't want to get into specifics of what I said, but I did address it with our football team. If you're searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team, my thing is, I believe in this team. I believe this team is (together), will continue to be and maybe even become tighter. I'm confident that will be the case."

Running back Shonn Greene was the most vocal Tebow supporter, saying "His mechanics, his throwing, (they don't look) like a normal NFL quarterback. But you know what? He's a football player. He makes stuff happen."Something's got to change. When you get to the point where you're 3-6, and losing and losing, a couple of guys are like, 'Oh, what would happen?' But guys at the same time have faith in Mark, so it's kind of an up-and-down thing."The quarterbacks, at least when microphones are close by, remain aligned."I always find the good and the positive in every situation," Tebow said. "The positive of this is to go and work a little harder and build better relationships with your teammates."Sanchez concurred."I've been in those shoes," he said. "I feel for Tim. You wake up the next day and you keep playing."The Rams, meanwhile, come off one of their most inspired efforts of the season, a duel with NFC West kingpin San Francisco that ended in an NFL rarity -- a 24-24 tie.And the deadlock came only after St. Louis lost a 10-point second-half lead."You know, we can be proud of the way we gave the effort," defensive end Chris Long said, "and like I said we went toe-to-toe with a team we have great respect for."

Quarterback Sam Bradford completed 26 of 39 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He's completed 66.9 percent over the last four games.Additionally, an overtime throw to Danny Amendola against the Niners might have set up a decisive touchdown, but it was negated by a penalty. Amendola had 11 catches for 102 yards after missing three games with injury."I think our offense as a whole has really made a lot of strides in the past couple weeks," Bradford said. "I think last week was evidence of what we're capable of when we don't shoot ourselves in the foot. We still made mistakes but for the most part I think that was our most complete game as an offense. We put up a lot of yards and a fair amount of points against a really good defense."The Jets are No. 6 in the NFL with just 203.8 passing yards allowed per game, but they're third from last among the 32 teams with a weekly opposition rushing clip of 145 yards -- a number that was boosted last week when Seattle's Marshawn Lynch and others rumbled for 174 yards.Against San Francisco, St. Louis's Steven Jackson had season-bests of 101 yards on 29 carries.The Rams have won nine of 12 all-time games between the teams and seven of the last eight, but New York was a 47-3 winner in the most recent game in November 2008 -- behind starting quarterback Brett Favre and coach Eric Mangini.Ryan has never faced St. Louis. Rams coach Jeff Fisher is 4-5 in nine career meetings with New York.


For the Rams, a great way to add to an already nose-diving Jets offense would be to ratchet up the pressure on a struggling Sanchez.

St. Louis is near the middle of the pack -- 13th of 32 -- with 228.7 pass yards allowed per game, but its 26 sacks are tied for sixth and a young, aggressive defensive line might be ripe for more against a New York offensive line that's excellent in spots and suspect in others. St. Louis had five sacks last week against San Francisco.


For the Jets, each week of the losing streak brings another referendum on Ryan. The loss to the Patriots was allowable to many, but the subsequent home blowout by the Dolphins and a post-bye flameout against the Seahawks makes it appear that his messages simply aren't getting through once adversity arrives.The Rams game, at the start of the season, was marked as a likely win. But with the way things have gone since, it looks no better than a 50/50 proposition. In that case, the tie goes to the host.

Sports Network predicted outcome: Rams 17, Jets 16

> http://www.bnd.com/2...l#storylink=rss

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Three-point stance: St. Louis Rams

The Jets play on the road in the NFC West for the second straight week as they travel to St. Louis. With the Rams hosting at the dome, it will be the first indoor game the Jets have played in their past 34 regular season games.The Rams enter Week 11 coming off the first tie game in the NFL since 2008. Against the 49ers, Sam Bradford posted his highest Total QBR of the season (82.0) against the NFL’s top scoring defense.This will be the first career game for either quarterback against the opposing defense. The Rams are one of three NFL teams (minus the Jets) Mark Sanchez has never faced.

Here are three statistical areas to focus on Sunday:

Most Pass TD on Throws of 21+ Yards

2012 Season

Pass TD R. Wilson, SEA 7 A. Rodgers, GB 6 S. Bradford, STL 5 M. Schaub, HOU 5 J. Cutler, CHI 5

1. Sanchez has faced an aggressive pass rush of five or more defenders on 39.2 percent of his dropbacks, more often than any quarterback in the NFL. The Rams should look to exploit that as they have sent added pass pressure on 65.7 percent of opponent dropbacks, third most in the NFC. The Rams also mix it up and have used a defensive back to blitz the quarterback at the sixth-highest rate across the NFL. Front seven players at defensive line and linebacker have benefited on such plays and lead the NFC with five sacks when a member of the secondary helped disrupt blocking schemes. While the Rams are strong up front with added pressure, Sanchez should note they are vulnerable downfield as one of five teams without an interception when they have sent five or more pass rushers.

2. You might remember these teams swapped offensive lineman in August with Jason Smith joining the Jets and Wayne Hunter going to St. Louis. The Rams are beatable up front where they have allowed a sack every 12.9 dropbacks which ranks fourth worst in the NFL. Sam Bradford has been under duress, sacked or hit while throwing on 24.3 percent of dropbacks which is the eighth most among 33 qualified passers. The woes on the offensive line have also hurt an otherwise powerful running game as the Rams are the worst NFC team in yards per rush when contact is allowed behind the line of scrimmage.

3. Bradford has added the deep ball to his arsenal and has already set a career high in completions on throws that travel more than 20 yards in the air. Half of his 10 touchdowns have come on pass attempts that deep, tied for third most in the NFL. Last week the Jets faced the NFL leader in that category and were hurt badly on the deep ball when they allowed all three completions to finish with a touchdown. While the Jets have only allowed nine big pass plays of 30 yards or more this season, eight of those (88.9 percent) have been on throws that traveled more than 20 yards which is the second-worst percentage in the NFL.

> http://espn.go.com/b...e-st-louis-rams

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Controversy part of landscape for Ryan's Jets

The New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams are similar ships, but they are traveling in radically dissimilar waters.

The Rams (3-5-1) have the youngest roster in the NFL, a new coaching staff trying to flip a dilapidated franchise. The three-win present is banking on a better future.In New York (3-6), the seas are considerably more choppy. The Jets went 9-7 and three games deep in the playoffs in 2009, 11-5 and three deep again in 2010. After last year’s 8-8 toe-stub, better things were expected in 2012.The three-win present is a perceptual nightmare, haunted by one of football’s most diabolical demons – quarterback controversy. The Jets boat is taking on water and the bilge pumps are working furiously.In mid-week, another compartment flooded. A tabloid story quoted Jets players – mostly anonymously – putting a “terrible” tag on Tim Tebow. If nothing else, you must appreciate the irony.Tebow is the backup to Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. In limited playing time, Tebow has completed five of six passes and rushed for a 3.4-yard average. And he’s “terrible.”Presumably, the anonymous, those truly more accountable for the team’s .333 winning percentage, is a collection of all-pros.

When you wake up in the media market that never sleeps, it’s just another day.“It’s crazy,” said Rams offensive tackle Wayne Hunter, who played four seasons with the Jets before his trade to St. Louis in late August. “Every team has their issues. I mean, we have issues ... every team has issues. But it almost always falls on the Jets. It’s hard to explain, except for the fact that it’s New York.”When things go well in New York, they go extraordinarily well. When things go sour … well, the backup quarterback stinks. Jets coach Rex Ryan never has shied from the halcyon headlights of Gotham, nor does he encourage his players to clam up.

At the Rex-Plex, distraction is part of the attraction.

“You know what, distractions are like part of it,” Ryan said. “We deal with the media just like every team does … there’s just a few more of them, maybe like 10 times more. But you know what, I know I’m blessed to have this opportunity to be a coach, whether it’s in New York or anywhere else.“And I really, really enjoy the men that coach with me and the men that are playing for me. Our season has been miserable, not something we ever thought we’d be at. But I’m excited about the opportunity we have in front of us. We have seven regular season games left. I’m excited about the way this team practices, the way they prepare and I think things will get better.”With the number of media outlets represented in New York, with 53 players on the active rosters, an open-mouth policy invites unpredictable results. Some consequences are more acceptable than others. Anonymous ripping on teammates does no sit well. Ryan characterized the participants as “cowardly.”

“I don’t give any credence to an anonymous source,” Ryan said, addressing the Tebow turmoil. “You know, unless you put your name on it then I’m not going to recognize it, that’s for sure. We are a team that is open. Our media policy is not one where we think we have to, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to say’ and ‘I’ll be on line with this thing.’

“We’re a team that doesn’t think we have anything to hide. Now, is it always perfect? No, it absolutely isn’t. But I’d much rather be that way and let people show who they are and how they feel. I think it gives the fans an opportunity to identify with the players a lot more than, ‘Hey, here’s a standard answer’ and all of that.“It’s just a philosophy. I know mine’s probably different than any team in the league, but that’s how I feel about it.”Sanchez absorbs the brunt of that philosophy as much as any Jets player. The quarterback has been much maligned in New York’s disappointing start. That criticism is the impetus for the Tebow talk; a quarterback change is the context. But Sanchez has no quarrels with an air-it-out atmosphere.“That’s coach’s call all the way,” Sanchez said. “He leaves it up to us. He treats us like adults and it’s our job to act like professionals … our job to act that way. When those things happen, it’s Rex’s call ultimately how he wants us to do that. But his media policy is simple: you mention two players and a coach at some point during your interview or with every question if you can.“It really just builds your guys up. Even if it’s a question you don’t want to answer, find a way to say something positive. It’s not that hard when you really think about doing it and put the team first and protect the team. It’s when you don’t do that that article (Tebow the “terrible”) comes out.”

Sanchez took no satisfaction from the Tebow bashing. He also dismissed the notion his team’s preparations for a pivotal game with a fraternal twin has been impacted. When controversy is part of the culture it becomes routine.“People make it sound like we just went out to practice today and, like, threw all our stuff down and stopped playing; that wasn’t the case at all,” Sanchez said on Wednesday. “I’m not making light of it or trying to discount Tim’s feelings in this whole thing. If anybody knows, it’d be me; I’ve been through that.“After last year, somebody made an anonymous comment and said I’m lazy in practice and I don’t work hard and nobody’s challenging me. That stuff’s not professional. It doesn’t feel good when it’s said about you. I know it can’t feel good for (Tebow). But, at the same time, he worked his butt off today in practice, like he always does. So, it really didn’t affect what we were doing.”

Hunter, 31, has played for Mike Holmgren, Jack Del Rio, Eric Mangini and now Rams mentor Jeff Fisher in his lengthy NFL career. Like Sanchez and Tebow, Hunter has felt the wrath of ridicule in Mad-hattan. With the Jets stumbling last season, with their offense struggling in preseason, Hunter felt the whip. But he had no problem with Ryan’s policies or methods.“I love him,” Hunter said. “Coach Ryan is one of the better head coaches I’ve had and I’ve had good ones. I’ve had Holmgren, I’ve had Ryan and coach Fisher has been awesome.“Coach Ryan is different. I don’t know how else to put it, he’s a different coach. But personally for me, I got along really well with him and he’s done so much for me. I love him.”That’s not to say there aren’t times when Ryan regrets the gift of gab. As the Jets meet up with the Rams on Sunday, they confront their former offensive architect. Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was a Jets assistant for six seasons, the last three under Ryan. Familiarity is not a good thing where adversarial football is concerned. And where Schottenheimer is concerned, Ryan facetiously wishes he had kept the pie hole closed more often.“It is funny, because you picked each other’s brains so much,” Ryan said. “Right now it’s like, ‘Oh man, I shouldn’t have told him this’ or ‘I shouldn’t have told him that.’“But the thing I really appreciate about Brian is he’s got an outstanding work ethic. One day, this guy is going to be … head coach and follow his dad (Marty Schottenheimer) that way. It’s going to be challenging going back and forth at each other (on Sunday) and trying to set each other up.”

In New York, every week can be challenging for the Jets, and then they play football.

> http://www.stltoday....73772dec9f.html

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W2W4: Jets at Rams

The Jets haven't won a football game in five weeks. Can you say "desperate" ?

They hope to snap a three-game losing streak Sunday against the Rams (3-5-1) at the Edward Jones Dome. It's the Schotty Bowl, as the Jets face their former offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer. The Rams have their own issues -- an 0-3-1 stretch -- but this is a rebuilding year for them. Lately, the Jets (3-6) have looked like one, too.

Kickoff is 1 p.m. What to watch for :

Midwest Jets : The spotlight will be on Schottenheimer, who spent six seasons with the Jets, the last three on Rex Ryan's staff. He can downplay it all he wants, but this game is special for him. The Rams' roster includes five former Jets -- starting C Rob Turner, OT Wayne Hunter, TE Matthew Mulligan, QB Kellen Clemens and RB Terrance Ganaway. Hunter, run out of New York during the preseason, is used as an extra blocker in jumbo packages. Mulligan plays about 20 snaps a game in a blocking role.

The Sanchez-Tebow soap opera : Mark Sanchez, who has four turnovers and 5.4 yards-per- attempt average over the last two games, needs to snap out of his funk. He probably won't lose his job this week -- it would be hard to switch to Tim Tebow on a short week for the Thanksgiving night game against the Patriots -- but there's no reason for another mistake-filled game. The Rams haven't forced a turnover since Week 5 and they've allowed 29 points per game over the last four. Look for Tebow to have an expanded role, as he did last week.

Under pressure : The Jets won't be a decent offense until they learn to handle extra pressure. No quarterback in the league gets blitzed more than Sanchez (5+ rushers on 39 percent of his dropbacks), and there have been too many protection breakdowns. Fortunately for the Jets, the Rams aren't a big blitzing team, but that could change.Don't be surprised to see Cortland Finnegan blitzing from the slot on third downs. Usually, the Rams rely on their front four, which has produced 19.5 of their 26 sacks. The Robert Quinn-D'Brickashaw Ferguson matchup is key.

Danny Boy : It's no secret where QB Sam Bradford likes to throw the ball -- WR Danny Amendola, whom the Jets describe as a faster version of Wes Welker. Bradford has completed 72 percent of his passes when targeting Amendola, who is deadly in the slot.That could be problematic for the Jets, who lost their slot corner -- Isaiah Trufant -- to a season-ending injury last week. Antonio Cromartie will cover Amendola on the outside, but not in the slot. That assignment could go to Ellis Lankster or maybe they will pull Aaron Berry out of moth balls.

Slammin Sammy : If there's one thing we know about the Rams, it's that they're not very good at protecting Bradford -- 25 sacks allowed. They've had a lot of moving parts on their offensive line. The Jets don't have a high regard for Turner, whom they let walk as a free agent without so much as an offer. Don't be surprised if they run some A-gap blitzes. The Jets are coming off one of their best pass-rushing days of the season, and they need to keep the heat on Bradford.

> http://espn.go.com/b...w4-jets-at-rams

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Former Jets lineman calls team 'the Cubs of football'

Ex-Jet Rob Turner kicked his old team when it was down Thursday, labeling Gang Green “the Chicago Cubs of football.”

Turner, a backup offensive lineman with the Jets for five years before signing with St. Louis in the offseason, compared them to baseball’s loveable losers as part of his explanation why Jets fans always seem so impatient and demanding.“People there want results and expect results, and right down the road we had the Giants who won [two] Super Bowls, so the expectations are there,” Turner said as the Rams prepared to face his former club here Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.“The Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl since ’62 or ’61 [actually, 1969], so they’re hungry for one,” Turner added. “It’s the Cubs of football.”

Turner, perhaps best known as a Jet for initiating a fight in training camp with epic bust Vernon Gholston at the behest of the coaches for the “Hard Knocks”cameras in 2010,has been the Rams’ starting center since Wk 2 because veteran Scott Wells was lost for the season due to injury.Turner claimed to enjoy his time with the Jets but said the constant controversy coming out of their locker room can be blamed on players he wouldn’t name as much as the New York media market.“The market lends to that, but some individuals may feed into it, too,” Turner said.

> http://www.nypost.co...tm_content=Jets

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Rex Ryan : 'We need a win desperately'

Rex Ryan knows the only thing that will change the conversation around the Jets is to end their three-game losing streak with a win Sunday at St. Louis. The Jets' last victory came Oct. 14 against the Colts.

"Forever -- that's how long it feels," Ryan said Friday. "Each week you go in there, you feel confident, and we haven't gotten it done. It's frustrating and all that. Obviously, we expect to win each week. You put everything you have into it. When you fall short, it's terrible."A couple of the Jets made playoff guarantees before last week's game, a 28-7 loss to the Seahawks. There was no such talk this week. But that doesn't mean Ryan has given up on the idea of a postseason run."We have to get a win," Ryan said. "We need a win desperately . . . Clearly, if you have goals, as any team would have goals, to make the playoffs and all that stuff, we have no choice. You have to win and there's no tomorrow. We need a win."

Jet streams

LB Calvin Pace missed practice for personal reasons . . . WR Jeremy Kerley is among the group listed as questionable after missing practice with hamstring and heel injuries. Ryan said all of the players listed as questionable have a chance to play Sunday, even RB Bilal Powell (concussion) . . . RB Joe McKnight (ankle) said he expects to play . . . WR Stephen Hill (illness) returned to practice and is probable . . . Ryan on Rams OL Rob Turner (a former Jet) saying the Jets are like the Chicago Cubs of the NFL: "We're bringing our mitts and here we come."

> http://www.newsday.c...ately-1.4231025

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Coach's big decision : How to cover Danny ?

This is one of those weeks where the Jets really miss Darrelle Revis.

The Jets would've assigned their star cornerback to Rams WR Danny Amendola, and it would've eliminated Sam Bradford's go-to guy from the passing game. Antonio Cromartie likely will cover Amendola when he lines up on the outside, but Cromartie doesn't cover receivers in the slot -- and that's where Amendola does a lot of his damage.

This could be problematic for the Jets.

Nickel back Isaiah Trufant, who wrested the job from Ellis Lankster three games ago, suffered a season-ending knee injury last week in Seattle. The injury didn't make headlines, not with all the other stuff going on around the team, but Trufant's absence will be felt. They can go back to Lankster and perhaps even use Kyle Wilson on Amendola in the slot.To say Bradford relies heavily on Amendola would be an understatement. In five games, he has been targeted 61 times -- an average of 12 per game. (He missed four games with a broken collarbone.) In last week's tie with the 49ers, he was targeted 12 times -- and he caught 11 of them. In the season opener against the Redskins, he was targeted 16 times -- and caught 15.

That's interesting. In his six years as the Jets' offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer always tried to make sure the ball was spread evenly. Now he's running a one-man show. The Jets have to be a show stopper in order to win Sunday in St. Louis.

> http://espn.go.com/b...-to-cover-danny

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