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Role reversal for Jets, Steelers

 

Before the season started, the Steelers’ game against the Jets shaped up as a matchup between a 3-2 team and a winless squad still trying to find its way. Who would have guessed, though, that the Steelers would qualify as the latter?

The Jets, team turmoil in 2012, have emerged as one of the early surprises this season. They shocked the Falcons, 30-28, Monday night in Atlanta behind the splendid play of rookie quarterback Geno Smith, and they take a winning record into their Sunday game against the Steelers.Smith threw a trio of touchdown passes and led a game-winning drive after the Jets had squandered a 13-point lead. Just as significant in one of the biggest upsets of the season was the play of the Jets’ defensive line. The Jets dominated the Falcons up front, making it more imperative for the Steelers to shore up left tackle before Sunday.

Levi Brown, acquired last Thursday in a trade with the Cardinals, practiced for the first time with the Steelers Monday and early indications are that he will be given every opportunity to win the starting job.

The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.Cotchery played his first seven seasons with the Jets, and he is coming off his first 100-yard receiving game with the Steelers. The 10th-year veteran should continue to play a big role in the passing game, benefitting from the extra attention afforded to No. 1 wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The Steelers’ lack of takeaways have been well documented. Just as problematic are the 11 turnovers the Steelers have committed through the first quarter of the season. The Steelers are making a run at a dubious record due to the frequency with which they have turned the ball over.The Steelers are relatively healthy following their bye, and the biggest question mark is starting left guard Ramon Foster. The fifth-year veteran is nursing a pectoral strain, and a decision on his availability for Sunday won’t be made until near the end of the week.

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/1328/role-reversal-for-jets-steelers

 

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The Falcons played very soft against Smith.  Not sending to many blitz's to rattle his cage.  Smith had time to step up, plant his feet and throw.  When Smith has time he is very dangerous.  The Steelers are going to come after him

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New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson States his Case for Defensive Rookie of the Year

October 8, 2013 10:17 am EDT by Greg Sulik

 

sheldonrichardson.jpg

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets traded Darrelle Revis this offseason, the main prizeicon1.png they got in return was the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. They used that pick on Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson, who would move from a 4-3 tackle to a 3-4 end in the Jets’ scheme. There were some concerns that Richardson might not be a great fit in the Jets’ defense, but he has erased all doubt.

 

Richardson has been absolutely outstanding to start this season, and yesterday’s gameicon1.png against the Atlanta Falcons was his best yet. Richardson recorded 5 tackles, 1 sack and 1 pass deflection, and most of those 5 tackles involved him stuffing Atlanta’s running backs at or behind the line of scrimmage.

 

The Jets hit a home run with this pick, and Richardson is showing that he will be a star. He is near the top of the list for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and this nationally televised coming out party will definitely help. Richardson has a had a huge impact on one of the NFL’s highest ranked defenses, and his play is a big reason the Jets are a surprising 3-2.

 

Richardson’s main competitors for the award at this early stage are Buffalo Bills LB Kiko AlonsoCarolina Panthers DT Star Lotulelei and New Orleans Saints SS Kenny Vaccaro. Each has their merits, but Richardson has had the biggest impact on his team.

 

Statistically, Alonso is the clear choice, but his position makes it much easier to rack up stats than Richardson’s or Lotulelei’s, as neither’s real impact can be found in the box score. Richardson’s presence has helped turn the Jets defensive front into a dominant one, and they are tied for 5th in the NFL in sacks and rank 2nd in the league in rush yards allowed per game.

 

Richardson has had a huge role in this outstanding play, and his individual performances are only going to get better. Richardson is one of the best young defensive linemen in football, and he deserves to be recognized for that.

 

Greg Sulik is a New Yorkicon1.png Jets writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GregSulik or add him to your network on Google

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/2013/10/08/new-york-jets-sheldon-richardson-states-his-case-for-defensive-rookie-of-the-year/?SfL9ofzerOeTo0yl.99

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TE Kellen Winslow Frustrated Despite Jets Win
 

BY ERNIE PADAON - 

 

OCT 8TH, 2013 AT 11:19 AM
 
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New York Jets TE Kellen Winslow didn’t appear to be pleased on the sideline on Monday Night, despite the Jets pulling off the upset against the Atlanta Falcons. QBGeno Smith said that Winslow was expressing frustration on the sideline. I am sure that he is frustrated with the amount of playing time that he has been getting. He has been playing behind TE Jeff Cumberland on the depth chart and only saw one target in the game. He only played in 19 snaps on the night.

 

Winslow was approached by reporters at the end of the game and he shunned them away saying: “I don’t think that would be a good choice.” (ESPN New York)

 

The Jets are one of the most surprising teams in the league and they just took down a big time opponent. The Atlanta Falcons really haven’t done much this season, but it still was a nice win for a team that many observers didn’t expect any type of life out of.

Topics: New York Jets

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Drive of the Game: Geno delivers
October, 8, 2013
OCT 8
11:15
AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
  •  
A look back at the key drive in the New York Jets' 30-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons: 

The Drive: Eight plays, 55 yards, setting up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal as time expired. 


The Situation: All quarterbacks dream about this situation. Down by a point, Geno Smithgot the ball at his 20-yard line, with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. He had all three timeouts, needing about 50 yards to get into Folk's range. 


What Happened: This was textbook execution from the coaching handbook: Two-Minute Drill 101. Smith started out with a 12-yard slant to Stephen Hill, his first catch of the game. The clock kept ticking as the Jets went to no-huddle for the next three plays -- a 13-yard slant to Jeremy Kerley, another 9 yards to Hill and an 8-yard scramble by Smith out of bounds that stopped the clock at 37 seconds, ball on the Falcons 37. Almost within Folk's range, they got conservative, running Bilal Powell off left tackle for 4 yards (followed by a timeout) and throwing to Clyde Gates for 3 yards (another timeout).
 
 

On a third down from the 31, Smith was in shotgun for a pass play, but he recognized a look in the Atlanta defense, deciding to audible to a run. It nearly backfired, as DT Jordan Babineaux knifed into the backfield for what should've been a tackle behind the line. But Powell slipped the tackle and gained 6 yards -- six huge yards. Rex Ryan let the clock bleed to three seconds before using his final timeout. In came Folk, who nailed it from 43 yards. 
 


The Impact: It lifted the Jets to a stunning upset and may have ruined the Falcons' playoff aspirations. It stamped Smith's arrival on a national stage, a tremendous turnaround after last week's poor outing in Tennessee. The Jets improved to 3-2, moving into a second-place tie with the Miami Dolphins. Who'da thunk it?
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Green Day : Jets hurried, Steelers rested
Minutes after Monday night's dramatic win in Atlanta, Rex Ryan made a sarcastic comment about this week's schedule, noting the New York Jets' quick turnaround and the Pittsburgh Steelers' two-week layoff.

After their loss to the Minnesota Vikings in London, the Steelers (0-4) went right into their bye week. They will be well-rested for Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium. As for the Jets, they didn't return home until 5 a.m. Tuesday. The coaches went to work immediately on the game plan, cramming a lot of prep work into one day -- a challenge when facing a non-divisional foe. That they have a rookie quarterback makes it harder, because he has less time to study up on Dick LeBeau's complex defensive scheme.

It doesn't seem fair, but there are always scheduling quirks that can't be avoided. On paper, it should be a mismatch, as the Steelers are off to their worst start since 1968. But they're a proud franchise and they always cause problems for the Jets. The Steelers own the all-time series, 18-4, including two postseason wins.

ICYMI: As expected, QB Mark Sanchez decided to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. It happened late Tuesday, according to the Jets. He's done for the remainder of the season, and likely done in New York. ... Pass-rushing specialist Antwan Barnes went for tests Tuesday on his injured knee. No word on the severity. Ryan didn't sound overly optimistic. ... Yep, the Jets are playing the no-respect card. ... OC Marty Mornhinweg has some Rex in him; he likes to attack.
 
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After watching the rookie score twice in his NFL debut, Ben Roethlisberger commented on the progress Le'Veon Bell has been making.

It has been a while since the Steelers have seen any consistency from a running back on the team. Maybe that has led Ben Roethlisberger to make a stretch of a comparison of Le'Veon Bell with Adrian Peterson.

To be fair, Roethlisberger would only say that Bell showed glimpses of skills that Peterson has. But this isn't just about how Bell ran for two touchdowns against the Vikings; this is also how Bell is doing the little things right.

No. 7 has been struggling to find any remote from of a pocket from Pittsburgh pass protection, so any help would be appreciated. Bell did help in that regard, consistently finding his assignment in the protection scheme to help Roethlisberger have more time to find open targets.

Pretty much every Steelers fan has been waiting for Bell to come in and bring back a strong rushing attack to the Steelers' offense; but what may be one of the more unsung contributions he can bring to the field is his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a whole. It's great to have a strong runner, but a halfback who can effectively block in coordination with a protection as a rookie may show promise of fitting into the system.

That's what Roethlisberger likes most from Bell, that the game "didn't seem to big for him." As the Steelers start to rotate in their next generation of players, it's going to take more players who quickly adapt to the NFL's fast paced style of play. Not just in terms of how physically fast players are, but how quickly a player must discern what their assignment is upon an adjustment.

If Bell can continue to show those glimpses that Roethlisberger speaks of, and make them more consistent, he can become a leader in the youth movement that is needed in Pittsburgh among their latest top draft picks.

 

> http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/latest-news/2013/10/9/4818862/steelers-jets-week-6-leveon-bell-fantasy-football-ben-roethlisberger-comments

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Jets vow to avoid trap vs. Steelers  -- The old saying goes: "You are what your record says you are."

But to the New York Jets, the winless Pittsburgh Steelers may as well be challenging the Broncos and Chiefs for AFC supremacy.

"We understand who we are playing. We are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers," Jets right tackle Austin Howard said of Sunday's opponent. "Very good team, whatever their record is. We know they can come out and beat any team at any given time, any given week."

Heading into Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, which has all the makings of a trap game, the Jets are vowing they will not overlook their 0-4 opponent. The Steelers have lost each game by at least seven points and a once-stout defense is yielding 27.5 points per game.

"There will be no letdown," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "If the Pittsburgh Steelers beat us it's because they beat us. There's no other factor because our focus is strictly on them."The Jets are riding high after their come-from-behind 30-28 win over Atlanta on Monday, while their opponent is one of four winless teams in the NFL. Add in a potential first-place showdown with New England in two weeks, and Sunday has all the makings of a letdown for the Jets.

The Jets insist this won't be the case, though. Ryan maintained that the Steelers are a proud organization, and with Mike Tomlin at the helm, he knows the Steelers are going to be well prepared. The Steelers do have the scheduling advantage for the game, coming off a bye while the Jets are on a short week after visiting Atlanta on Monday.The Steelers also have some history on their side as they have historically dominated the Jets. They are 18-4 against them and have won the last two games, including last year's tilt, but this Steelers team hardly resembles those teams of the past.

"Pittsburgh is no joke," said Jets offensive guard Willie Colon, who was released by the Steelers during the offseason. "I tell you that from being an ex-Steeler, knowing how those guys think in the locker room. It's a lot of pride in that locker room, from that organization, from every man that wears that helmet. They are going to come in here and battle. We better be ready to go too."

If the Jets are able to beat Pittsburgh, it would mark back-to-back wins, a rarity for them over the past few years. Dating back to 2011, the Jets have won consecutive games just once in their past 24 games. Ryan joked Tuesday that the NFL sent him a memo saying teams are allowed to win two in a row.

The Jets will get their chance Sunday against an 0-4 team that they pledge not to take lightly.

"No one is saying we have to keep on going out there and losing one, winning one, and losing one and winning one," Howard said. "It doesn't have to be a roller coaster season."

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/28823/jets-vow-to-avoid-trap-vs-steelers

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It's not going to be a scene out of a movie when Jets guard Willie Colon suits up Sunday against Pittsburgh, the team that drafted him and ultimately released him this offseason.

"I'm not going into this game snot-balling and tears running down my face. That's not going to happen," Colon said. "I'm going to go out there and be passionate and play my game. I think people expect me to come out the locker room yelling and screaming. That ain't happening."

Colon will play against the Steelers for the first time when the Jets welcome winless Pittsburgh to MetLife Stadium. Colon played for the Steelers from 2006-12 and won a Super Bowl title with them.

"I got a lot of respect for this organization for what they gave me and the memories and my career," Colon said. "At the same time, it's Week 6, they're our opponent and plan accordingly and go to work."

The Steelers drafted Colon in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft and he started every game for them from 2007-09 before injuries slowed him down. He missed the 2010 season after tearing his Achilles tendon, and then played just one game in 2011 after tearing his triceps. Last season, he only played 11 games as a knee injury forced him to IR. He missed 36 of a total 48 games from 2010-12.

Pittsburgh signed Colon to a five-year, $29-million deal in 2011, but they re-signed guard Ramon Foster this offseason, which signaled to him his time with the team was up. The Steelers eventually released Colon, who started 62 games during his time in Pittsburgh.

"They couldn't keep both of us, and I was due to make a good sum of money that year and me coming off my third IR it was time," Colon said.

After the Steelers released him, Colon latched on with the Jets and has started each game at right guard. He said he's had talks with the Jets' staff to share any tips he might have about Pittsburgh.

In sizing up his former team, which enters Sunday 0-4, Colon said the Steelers are a very prideful team that he expects will give the Jets all they can handle. He believes they are dangerous and can easily hit the restart button and put the first four games behind them. He wasn't sure why they were struggling, guessing that perhaps there are internal issues.

While Colon downplayed going against his former squad, he had nothing but fond memories of his time with the Steelers. The Bronx native started at right tackle in the Steelers' win over the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

"The family and the family atmosphere in that locker room. The look in those guys' eyes every time we touched the field. The passion. Steelers Nation. The fans. The Super Bowls. Playoffs. The list goes on and on," Colon said. "That city gave me a lot and I gave that city a lot. It's a new chapter, I'm a Jet, and I ain't looking back."

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/28847/colon-ready-for-former-team

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Hearing from the Jets Jets Coach Rex Ryan and guard Willie Colon talk about Sunday's game against the Steelers.

Jets Coach Rex Ryan

Do you feel like you guys got things turned around the other night in Atlanta?

No. We just obviously feel fortunate. We finally had the game going pretty much our way, but give those guys a lot of credit, they fought back and battled back, which we knew they would, and then took the lead with under two minutes. We were fortunate to get out there, have three timeouts remaining and drive into field goal position, and Nick fold delivered. It was a good game. We know we have to make a lot of improvements as a football team and we’re working hard to get better every day.

Re: Progress of Geno Smith:

This last game, it starts with protection. As a football team, you’ve got to protect the quarterback and give him time to make his reads. The young man has got a lot of talent, and he’s accurate with the football, but again, we have to do a great job to try to keep him away from the clutter and things. Going against Pittsburgh, there are a heck of a lot of defenses that are easier to play than the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dick LeBeau and company. We know how big of a challenge this is going to be and we’ve got to do an outstanding job. Certainly the Pittsburgh Steelers – this will be the biggest challenge to date for our offense, without question.

Most didn’t predict for you guys to do many good things this year. How have you been able to get to this point so far?

Inside our walls our expectations were certainly much higher than other peoples. When they have you 32nd in the league, they weren’t paying attention. That’s as simple as that. But again, we know we have a long way to go. We’re taking a workman-like attitude and our guys are preparing to the best of their abilities. We try to get better every day on the practice field.

How do you feel about rookies playing right away on the offensive line? Are they more ready or less ready? How do you feel about that?

Certainly, I think the quarterbacks are more ready now to come in and contribute because teams are throwing the ball so much in college football now. With an offensive line, we have Brian Winters starting at left guard for us as a rookie. We have five rookies that will be starters for us out of this class. I think we have seven new starters or eight new starters on defense and the same on offense. We’ve got different guys all over the place. I think today the game is so different now that guys are more prepared when they come out of college to come into the league and contribute.

Is that more true with offensive linemen?

It’s hard to say. Usually there are guys. We have some guys that have come in and had some success as rookies and then there are others that struggle. I’d still say that’s probably the toughest position to come in because the speed of the game. You’re seeing so many different fronts and techniques. It’s tough. We’re fortunate that we drafted Brian Winters. We feel really good about him.

There are only two teams in the NFL right now giving up less than 300 yards per game. You are one of them. What’s happened to defenses around the league?

I think the way the game is played offensively. Teams do a lot of no-huddle stuff and that’s going to pump your numbers up, but doesn’t pump your wins up a lot of times. There are some teams that we’ve played that they’ve come out and they’re snapping the ball every 22 seconds, and they want to brag about that. They get some yards but they don’t get any wins. I think sometimes it’s more about your team than it is for just getting numbers. Sometimes those numbers can be inflated a little bit, I think through all the no-huddle and stuff. At the end of the day, your good teams – you look at Pittsburgh with Dick LeBeau, you know what his team is going to be. It’s the same way with us. We know we’re going to end up first, second or third in the league every year. That’s the way it is with a Dick LeBeau defense. I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of good defenses and then you usually get one team that shows up one year. Historically, and not bragging, but myself and Dick LeBeau are going to be in the top three, generally, every year. The teams that play great defense will continue to play great defense.

How do you stop the combination of Ben Roethlisbergericon-article-link.gif and Antonio Brownicon-article-link.gif, which has been very successful?

I don’t know [Laughs]. That’s certainly going to be a challenge. I will say this about that kid, he is quite a dancer. We did a little dance thing at a Pro Bowl one year when he made it as a returner. His score was like a zillion times higher than mine, but either way that goes without saying. He is quite a receiver, and then the [Emmanuel] Sanders kid as well.

Jerricho Cotcheryicon-article-link.gif is still doing a great job, averaging close to 17 yards a catch. Big Ben, gosh, every time I see him out there I’m like, “Who is going to tackle this big monster?” He can hold the ball. He doesn’t have to throw it in rhythm like a lot of quarterbacks, even though he will. He can shake off a guy, and he’s always done that. Against me, he’s done it several times. He is still a tremendous player and obviously it’s hard to stop him. Nobody has stopped those guys yet.

With that being said, how are they 0-4?

I think it’s the turnovers. When you look at them, obviously Pittsburgh is a team that is built on taking the ball away on defense, as are we. The fact that they’ve been struggling to do that so far, I hope that happens one more week. When you look at it, you know Dick LeBeau’s and my defense will always be up there, which we are. But here’s one [a stat] that blows me away, percent had intercepted. Pittsburgh is 32nd and we’re 31st. Are you kidding me? Two teams that you expect to get a lot of interceptions haven’t done it, quite honestly, up to this point yet. I think that’s the main reason, the turnover differential. I think it’s minus-11 for Pittsburgh, which is totally uncharacteristic for them.

Re: Update on Santonio Holmes:

We’ll see. I know he’s trying his best to get back out there. I’m not real sure about it. I don’t feel great about it right now. We’ll see how the week goes. He’s not going to practice today, I’ll tell you that.

What do you like about the wildcat?

We run it some. Sometimes it keeps you off balance, and it’s more about the numbers. It’s more about trying to create a numbers advantage to you, or at least not a disadvantage to you. That’s what some teams do with it and it’s certainly what we do with it. It just kind of changed the maps of the defense a little bit.

Can you talk about the impact Willie Colon has had on your team this year?

Oh my goodness, absolutely tremendous. Don’t think for a second – Mike Tomlin knows Willie Colon – and everybody knows this is a tough man. You guys know it as well as I do. He’s great in the locker room. He’s brought so much leadership to us and is still just doing a tremendous job for us as well. He had his best game of the season this past week and he has done a great job as a player, but I’m really proud of the contributions he has made for our football team. He is quite a leader, probably one of our biggest leaders on the offensive side.

Colon is kind of back home with you guys. Has that given him a little juice at this time in his career?

I’m not sure. You’ll have to ask him. I know he’s happy to be around his family, certainly.

Just to summarize, we should expect your defense and LeBeau’s to be right up there at the top. What about Rob Ryan’s defense?

Rob is usually down the pack a little bit, but he’s pretty good. My brother is pretty good. I’m proud of the way they’re playing in New Orleans. I think they haven’t given up more than 18 points in a game this year, so that’s a pretty good combination when you have Sean Payton and Rob Ryan. I don’t know what it is. He’s a little distant from Dick LeBeau and myself, I think when you look at the numbers. He is a great football coach and guys do things a little differently. He’s willing to give up the run more so than I am, historically. I like really stopping that run. He’s a guy that will give you more of the run. He’s a great coach in his own right, and hopefully one day he’ll be a head coach soon.

Critique Rex Ryan:

Just a guy that’s passionate about the game. He loves his team, and I love what I’m doing. I’m just having as much fun as I possibly can have and am just competitive as hell. I’ll say this about your coach; he’s the exact same way. Mike Tomlin is the exact same way. The only difference is that he’s got a couple of Super Bowl rings that I don’t have and that I’m certainly working every day to try to get, but the same kind of person, same kind of passion, same kind of energy, same kind of mentality that your coach has. Obviously, he’s one of my favorite coaches. I really respect Mike Tomlin and Dick LeBeau and lot of those coaches on that staff.

Re: Tight ends Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland working together as a pair:

I really like it. I think this Cumberland kid is a young man that is really coming into his own. He was a receiver in college and we converted him to a tight end, which would make you think that he’s a receiving-type guy. He’s just the opposite. He‘s more of a Heath Millericon-article-link.gif-type than he is a receiving type. Even though he’s got the great speed, obviously he was a 4.4 speed guy coming out of Illinois, so he gives some advantages in the passing game. But I’m more proud of his blocking than I am his receiving.

Jets Guard Willie Colon

How are you enjoying the Jets?

I’m having fun. I’m home, obviously. They’re treating me like the hometown kid, so all is well.

The Steelers can’t win without you.

Yeah, well that’s in the past now brother [Laughs].

What do you see when you see the Steelers defense on film?

I know those guys. I know Cameron [Heyward], and I know Troy [Polamalu], Ryan Clarkicon-article-link.gif, Ike [Taylor] and all those guys. Their back end is still playing at a high level. Up front, I think Steve [McLendon] is playing really well. [brett] Keisel is obviously doing a great job. I think defensively they’re still up there. They’re still doing what they need to do to be efficient. They’re kind of like us how we started off, the turnovers are killing them. The turnovers are killing us, so we can relate to that in that regard. But nevertheless, like I’ve been telling these guys, just because they’re 0-4, by no means can we overlook this team. Pittsburgh, even when I was there, was extremely prideful on defense. They’re going to give us their best shot. That’s just kind of the attitude that, “Hey, these guys are going to come into town and give us their best shot, and we’ve got to be ready to go.”

Have you looked at the offensive line at all?

Yeah, I look at the guys, of course. They’re still my family, and I still have a lot of love for [Maurkice] Pouncey and Ramon [Foster], and obviously Big Mike [Adams] and [Marcus Gilberticon-article-link.gif] and the rest of those guys. It’s tough to see those guys go through what they’re going through, but I know they’ll find a way to get it done somehow.

When you were released, did that come as a surprise? Are there any lingering hard feelings over it?

Honestly, I think once Ramon was signed, the writing was on the wall. I knew they couldn’t keep both of us. To be honest, I did kind of expect a pay cut with me coming off my third IR [Reserve/Injured List]. That didn’t happen so obviously it was a business decision for them to move in a better direction. I have the utmost respect for the Rooneys, Coach Tomlin, who I love to death. Coach Kugler, when he was there, he helped me out so much in my career. I have no hard feelings towards that organization whatsoever. I referenced something earlier that I carry a big chip on my shoulder, only because me coming off my third IR, I was kind of labeled a limit, like I was kind of done with. That pissed me off. I know how hard I trained in the offseason. I know how much work I put in to be the best I could be. I never want anybody to put me in a box. With me coming in here it was fresh start, a new chapter. Pittsburgh gave me everything. I gave them everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, I love that city. I love what they gave me, but it’s time for me to move on. I’m a Jet.

Would you agree that things have worked out almost perfectly then for you?

No, I wouldn’t say that. I think what’s happened that I’m content with is the fact that I have a fresh start, that I’m able to come to a ball club that appreciates me and that I’m in a locker room with guys who are starting to figure it out. They care about winning and they care about being a better franchise, and not being a circus group. I think having the Tim Tebow circus out of here and having different things that were kind of holding this team back are starting to go out the window. I think we’re all starting to care about football and only football, which is a good sight to see.

What do you love about Mike Tomlin?

Me and Coach T have a personal relationship. I think his ability to be a total general, his ability, when I was there, to always have a plan. There’s a plan A, there’s a plan B and there’s a plan C. Throughout it all, he never rode the emotional rollercoaster. He always had a direct order. He always believed in us as a line. He believed in my abilities to handle that room and he believed in me personally as a man. I’m forever grateful for that. There is so much I learned from him by just watching through my years there. It was priceless. I’m kind of in debt from him in that regard.

Do you think this team misses you?

I don’t know. I miss those guys. I miss Pouncey, I miss Ben, I miss Ryan Clark, I miss Troy, and I miss all those guys. Those guys are like family to me. At the same time, this is a business. We all know that. I wish all those guys the best of luck.

Re: What you bring to the Jets:

I came here with the attitude that this team was missing a lot. They were missing chemistry, and they were missing that fight and belief in each other. I don’t know how to do that but just playing how I play. Practice hard, leaning on your brother, talking to the guys, sort of like Aaron Smith did when I was there. When I was a young guy, Aaron Smith was a guy who I would just watch his work ethic and how he talked to guys and how he presented himself. I admire him. I admire Hines [Ward]. I admire Casey [Hampton]. So many of those guys I was just able to sit back and keep my mouth shut and watch how they went about their day-to-day business. They’re the reason I’m the pro I am today. I was brought into an amazing organization where all I had to do was just shut up and watch, and things worked out.

Cam Heyward and Ryan Clark both said you give the Jets a nastiness that maybe the Steelers would like on their offensive line. Your thoughts on that:

You guys know, that’s just my game. Coming here, Nick [Mangold] and Brick [D’Brickashaw Ferguson], those guys are not necessarily maulers. Those guys are just technicians that do their job well and do it at a high level. When I came here, I had an opportunity to kind of bring that spark, to not have a back-down mentality, to let them know that, “Hey, we don’t have to take crap from nobody.” We’re going to take every team on one at a time and we’re going to do this together. Those guys are starting to buy into it and it’s working out so far. We’ve still got a ways to go, and they know and we all know it. We’re getting closer week-by-week.

Re: Progress of Geno Smith:

Geno is doing well. His composure, how he prepares, I’m impressed by it. He understands that the weight of the world is on his shoulders and every time he’s out there he’s carrying the weight of New York on his shoulders. He’s doing a great job. He’s conducting himself accordingly. He practices hard, and we’ve got a great offensive coordinator that is doing a great job mentoring him.

 

> http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Hearing-from-the-Jets/7c24615f-3cbf-492d-8409-0d037422f664

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Willie Colon Counsels Respect for Steelers

 

Charlie-Frankel60x60.jpg Charlie Frankel Reporter

From the moment he was drafted seven years ago to the day he was cut seven months ago, Willie Colon wore his Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold uniform proudly.

He fondly recalls the family atmosphere, the passion, the fans, the Super Bowls — “The list goes on and on,” he said. But don’t let that fool you. Come Sunday, it’ll be just another game.

“I’m not going into this game snot bubbling and tears running down my face,” the eighth-year veteran guard said. “I think people expect me to come out of the locker room yelling and screaming. That ain’t happening.

"These are the Pittsburgh Steelers and I’ve got a lot of respect for this organization for what they gave me and the memories in my career, but at the same time, it’s Week 6, they’re our opponent, and we’ll respect them accordingly and go to work.”

Respecting them accordingly will require the Jets to overlook Pittsburgh’s 0-4 start to the season.

They’re no joke, Colon said, and with QB Ben Roethlisberger on offense, S Troy Polamalu on defense and Mike Tomlin leading the coaching staff, there’s still a lot to fear.

Where some might see a winless team, Willie Colon sees a team desperate for a win.

“Coming off a bye week,” he said, “they’re kind of like ‘All right, we’ve laid an egg. Let’s start our season again.’ Knowing how those guys think, they’re going to be ready to go.”

“They’ve had two weeks to prepare for us,” head coach Rex Ryan said on a conference call yesterday. “We’re coming off a short week so we know we have to get on top of them immediately as far as our preparation goes. I like the fact we’re at least playing at home."

Home has been good to the Jets this season, where they’ve won two games and lost none. Counting preseason, they’re 5-0 at MetLife Stadium in 2013.

On the flip side, however, the pattern en route to our 3-2 record has been to alternate between winning and losing games. That’s a trend that has to stop in order for the Green & White to achieve their playoff aspirations, and it can, Colon said, if the 53 men in the locker room “start walking with a bigger swagger.”

“We don’t have to win one and take a step back,” he said. “Good teams start stacking wins. Why not against Pittsburgh?”

As a member of the Super Bowl XLIII championship team, Colon has earned the right to talk about what it takes to win in the National Football League. He’s won wearing black and gold. Now, his task is to win wearing green and white.

“That city gave me a lot. I gave that city a lot,” he said of his time in Pittsburgh. “It’s a new chapter, I’m a Jet, and I ain’t looking back.”

 

> http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-5/Willie-Colon-Counsels-Respect-for-Steelers/a5e9a9ec-7a7b-4091-b143-7d65dd7036db

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After a one week hiatus, we are back this week with a new edition of “Know Thy Enemy”. This week, the Jets take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. For this week, we talk with Dominic DiTolla, the co-editor of the fansided site, Nice Pick Cowher.

Take a look at our conversation about the upcoming game:

THE JET PRESS: What is the feeling around Steeler Nation?  How desperate are they for a win on Sunday?

NICE PICK COWHER: The Steelers have yet to hold a lead during a second half of any of their games this year. With that in mind, I am sure this team is desperate to record a win.  I will say that it has been nice to be distracted by the recent success of the
Pirates and the Penguins, but the Steelers’ struggles have still garnered large
amounts of headlines. Hopefully this team can feel the pressure and stop their
lollyegagging.

TJP: This Steeler offense is not the same offense we are used to, under Todd Haley.
Can it get right against the Jets, with the number 2 defense in the league?

NPC: The returns of Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell are huge pluses. Bell should be a
“wild-card” this weekend, especially if the team can give him touches in the
ground game and avoid going to the air “too early and too often.” Of course, the
only way that this team has moved the ball successfully all year has been
through the air with Ben Roethlisberger running a hurry-up attack.At some point
this offense needs to develop an identity, and must do so quickly if they wish
to start winning games.  Honestly, I don’t see a chance in hell of this team moving the ball and scoring
many points versus the Jets stingy defense.

TJP: A lot can be said about Rex Ryan, but one thing he is undeniably great at is
coaching defense.  How do the Steelers attack the Jets?

NPC: I really hope that the ground attack can find some success early. That of course
will depend on the offensive line “nutting up” and the defense not playing like
garbage and spotting the Jets an early lead.

A talented back like Bell is a huge plus, but spreading the Jets out with
Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Derek Moye, and Miller with
Roethlisberger distributing them the football is never a bad choice either. Of
course Pittsburgh’s offensive line (which has allowed constant pressure and 15
sacks through four games) actually has to turn in an unlikely stellar
performance if the unit wishes to move the ball with any consistency.

TJP: Geno Smith is riding high off of the best game he has played so far, Monday night against the Falcons?  How do you see Dick Lebeau and company attacking Geno, and attempting to put him back down to size?

NPC: It would be nice to see Dick LeBeau not employing the same cake-easy soft-zone
which opposing signal-callers have exploited in recent years with patient
“dinking-and-dunking.” My hope is that LeBeau can find ways for his defense to
pressure Smith, have his corners play more “press man,” and force turnover-prone
rookie to make mistakes.

Of course, that is easier said than done. Pittsburgh’s issues when it has come
to stopping the run, creating consistent pocket collapse, and even tackling do
not inspire much hope that this unit can turn things around any time soon.

TJP: What is your prediction for Sunday’s result?

NPC: The Jets will win this game, and should emerge victorious by a comfortable
margin. Pittsburgh’s offensive line will be unable to stop Muhammad Wilkerson
and Sheldon Richardson, and Roethlisberger will be eating the turf for most of
the game. I seriously doubt that the Steelers’ offense will score more than one
touchdown in this game.

The Steelers’ weak run defense will be exploited mercilessly by Bilal Powell,
Mike Goodson, and the rest of the Jets’ running backs behind their stout offensive line, and Smith should be set up in many 2nd & 3rd and manageable situations when LeBeau’s soft-zone scheme allows the youngster to play “pitch-and-catch” for four to six yards on first and
second downs. I believe that Smith will have ample time to throw and the Jets’ offense will not turn the ball over once.

Jets 27

Steelers 10

Thanks very much to Dominc for his time.  Check out “Nice Pick Cowher” at the link noted at the top, they do a great job covering all things related to the Steelers.

Jets tickets are still available, so make sure to grab some before the best seats are taken.

 

> http://thejetpress.com/2013/10/11/know-thy-enemy-week-6-new-york-jets-vs-pittsburgh-steelers/

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GAMEDAY GUIDE: 10/13 Jets vs. Steelers
Your 3-2 Jets are back at home after a big Monday Night Football win in Atlanta. Our game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1 p.m. is presented by Hess and features a special halftime Ring of Honor ceremony. This game supports the NFL's A Crucial Catch campaign to increase breast cancer awareness.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

■ Parking lots open at 8 a.m. (See Parking FAQ)

■ Will Call opens at 10 a.m. (See Will Call on Stadium Map)

Tickets are still avaliable

Click here for the Stadium Map

■ Come help us welcome our players and coaches at the Jets Runway starting promptly at 10:30 a.m. The Jets Runway is in the main walkway between Lots F & G beginning at the flagpoles and ending at the MetLife Central Gate. See photo gallery from before the Buffalo game here.

■ Stadium gates open at 11 a.m. and player warmups start at about 12 p.m.

■ Fans are permitted to bring the J-E-T-S flags distributed at the home opener.

■ This week the players will be wearing green jerseys and white pants.

■ Sunday’s National Anthem will be sung by Cara Akselrad.

■ Our halftime will feature the 2013 Ring of Honor Ceremony as we induct #93, defensive lineman Marty Lyons, into the fourth class of inductees. The Ring of Honor halftime ceremony is sponsored by Hess and BankUnited.

ENHANCED PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY

A new carry-in bag policy has been instituted by the NFL for all teams in order to ensure a safe and secure game environment. Make sure you share this information with your family and friends attending the game! Effective immediately, fans may bring only the following style and size bag into the stadium:

■ Bags that are CLEAR plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12” in size.

■ One-gallon clear plastic food storage bag.

■ Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand (4.5” x 6.5”), with or without a handle or strap — this can be carried separately or within a clear bag.

Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: All purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags, and camera bags; seat cushions are also prohibited. For more information visit nfl.com/allclear.

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON GAMEDAY

■ Help welcome Marty Lyons into the Jets Ring of Honor Class of 2013 during a special halftime induction ceremony. Support a Jets great who played defensive line for the team for 11 seasons and was an integral member of the renowned New York Sack Exchange. Visit newyorkjets.com for more information.

■ Arrive early and don’t miss the special pregame festivities! Head to the gates by 12:15 p.m. to be in your seats for some exciting pregame action including player introductions, new videoboard features, locker room camera, J-E-T-S chant and Aviators Drumline.

■ Come visit our parking lot bean bag toss setup underneath the flagpoles in the corner of Lot G and play a few games during your tailgate.

■ Get an official Gatorade sideline pink Breast Cancer Awareness towel by being one of the first 20 fans to donate to our Jets Play 60 Sports Equipment Drive benefiting Up2Us. Support our new Jets Play 60 Sports Equipment Drive benefiting Up2Us by donating new and gently used athletic equipment every game between the Pepsi and MetLife Gates beginning at 11 a.m. Share your passion for sports and provide a great opportunity for a child to get exercise and Play 60! Up2Us is a nonprofit organization using sports to solve the critical challenges facing America’s children today. For accepted items visit newyorkjets.com/community.

■ The ESPN New York 98.7FM pregame radio show with Don La Greca and Greg Buttle will be broadcasting live starting at 11 a.m. from a mobile studio located between the MetLife and Verizon Gates.

■ Visit MetLife Central and enjoy our new Home Food Advantage signature items from Nonna Fusco’s (Italian specialty items), Liberty Sausage (new overstuffed sandwiches), Lucky’s (Asian noodles and dumplings) and Tacos Roqueros (fresh-made tacos and burritos).

■ NFL RedZone will be on in-stadium videoboards from gates open through pregame warmups.

■ Share your gameday Tweets using #nyjets for the chance to see yourself on the videoboards.

FREE AND SPECIAL OFFERS

■ All fans will receive a 2013 Ring of Honor poster after the game.

■ $2 bottled water is available with any entrée purchase at all of the following locations: Boardwalk Fryer, Bubba Burger, Papa John’s, Franks, Deli and Lobels.

Jets Shop Item of the Week: 20% off all GIII Apparel and Outerwear for Men and Women.

Home Food Advantage: Purchase Nonna Fusco’s Italian Roast Pork Sandwich and receive a free bag of Lays Potato Chips. $5 cans of beer are available at the Bud Light Beer Garden and portables located in Sections 106, 118, 133, 144, 201, 226, 305, 332, 330, 346 and MetLife Central.

Bud Light Beer Garden: Visit the Bud Light Beer Garden for $5 canned beers. You may enter, exit, and re-enter the Beer Garden through the Bud Light Gate from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

MasterCard: Use your New York Jets Debit MasterCard® to purchase one of two Value Meals and pay only $5, a $2 savings — hot dog, chips and a 12-oz. fountain drink available at all Franks stands, or turkey wrap, apple slices and 12-oz. fountain drink available at all Deli locations. Plus, use your New York Jets Debit MasterCard® from Chase at the Jets Shop Flagship Store and get 15% off.

JETS FLIGHT CREW CHEERLEADERS

Meet members of the Flight Crew Cheerleaders from 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. at the following locations:

■ Stop by the Jets Flagship Store to pick up the 2013 Jets Flight Crew Calendar and have it signed by members of the Flight Crew!

■ The Flight Crew Show Team will be performing at the MetLife stage.

■ ESPN Radio

■ Verizon plaza

■ Toyota Coaches Club and Chase Club

JETS FEST ACTIVITIES ON THE PLAZA

Gen Jets Kids Zone: Calling all Jets kids! Come play on the inflatable rides, get your face painted for free, draw with sidewalk chalk, and get your free caricature drawing. Visit the Gen Jets Kids Zone area between the Verizon and SAP Gates. The Gen Jets Kids Zone closes 30 minutes prior to kickoff.

MetLife Central: Visit MetLife Central on the West Side of the stadium. Test your football skills on The Turf and high-five Snoopy! Stop by from 11:15–11:45 a.m. to meet and greet with Jets alum Aaron Glenn. The Flight Crew Show Team will be performing from 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Pepsi: Enjoy free samples from Pepsi and show your Green & White fandom on the Pepsi green screen.

Bud Light: Come listen to great music by Under Pressure at the Bud Light stage. Don’t forget to stop by the Bud Light Beer Garden for $5 canned beers.

Verizon Corner: Stop by the Verizon Studio located on the 100 level in the Verizon Corner to learn how you can get closer to the game with the unrivaled speed of FiOS Quantium℠ and coverage of every NFL game on NFL Mobile. Get hands-on with the latest technology, enter to win official Jets gear and Season Ticket Holders, don’t forget to bring your Verizon coupon to redeem your free Jets/Verizon T-shirt.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Enjoy free Jets-themed coffee and donut samples from Dunkin’ Donuts on the inner-loop roadway. Spin the prize wheel for the chance to win $2 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.

Premio: Come watch the sausage eating contest between the MetLife and Verizon Gates. Enjoy live music, giveaways and free samples of Premio’s quality sausages.

Toyota: Check out the Toyota vehicle displays on the plaza.

Lexus: See the latest vehicles from Lexus, located on the plaza in front of the West VIP lobby.

Papa John’s: Papa John’s will be giving out free coupons to fans at each gate postgame. The offer is valid for 50% off order when the Jets win and/or two large cheese pizzas for $12.99 (available online only).

FANS FIRST

We are always on the lookout to keep your gameday safe and tackle bad behavior but we can use your help! To report an issue anonymously on gameday, text the word JETS to 78247 or call the Jets Guest Services Hotline at 201-559-1515.

JETS APP

Make your smart phone the command center for your Jets gameday experience. Download the Free Official Mobile App of the New York Jets to experience:

■ Live in-stadium video from multiple camera angles

■ Replays of every play seconds after it happens from live camera angles in-stadium

■ Live Red Zone Channel to keep up with the action from around the league

■ Real-time statistics and scores from the official NFL stats engine, head-to-head stats of the matchup, player stats, drive-by-drive stats, boxscore and out-of-town scores around the league

Plus, only at the stadium, your Jets App will have an interactive stadium map with searchable concessions stands and amenities and allow you to report any gameday issues.

NFL TICKET EXCHANGE

Need to sell tickets for a game? Buy or sell tickets at NFL Ticket Exchange powered by Ticketmaster, the official resale marketplace of the NFL. Buyers get in and sellers get paid. Visit here now.

 

> http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-5/GAMEDAY-GUIDE-1013-Jets-vs-Steelers/2da2abcc-6c6a-4323-9b48-decb72288971

 

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Playing Steelers Is Old Hat Now for Darrin Walls

 

Charlie-Frankel60x60.jpg Charlie Frankel Reporter

  •  
  •  
It was a Saturday night, late August, 2011, and undrafted free agent rookie CB Darrin Walls walked out of the tunnel ready to warm up on the Heinz Field grass as his Atlanta Falcons prepared to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Preseason Week 3.

For Walls, this game was more than just a chance to prove he belonged on an NFL roster. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he would be playing against guys whom he grew up watching on TV and idolizing.

“It was a big deal for me then,” he said, remembering a feeling of shock when the first person he saw on the field that night was QB Ben Roethlisberger. Now, however, as he prepares to face his hometown team at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, it will be “just another game.”

After spending most of last season on our practice squad, Walls played in our final six games and made the 53-man roster out of training camp this year. While first-round rookie Dee Milliner’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury, Walls has seized his opportunity and could possibly start his third consecutive game at cornerback on Sunday.

The third-year Notre Dame product believes things have been going well for him so far this season. He’s gaining confidence, and he’s having a less difficult time recognizing formations and splits as the weeks go by.

“I think I had a solid effort last week,” he said, “but I left a lot of plays on the field to be made.”

One play in particular came on the Falcons’ opening drive. It was third-and-5 near midfield when QB Matt Ryan received the snap out of the shotgun and fired toward TE Tony Gonzalez on the left side of the field. Walls jumped the route, the ball hit him in his hands, but he was unable to secure the catch for what would have been just our second interception on the season.

“I knew the play was coming once I saw their formation and everything,” he said, adding he was “thinking pick six” as the ball was in the air. “I think I probably thought about it a little bit too much. I was ready for it, but I just didn’t capitalize when the opportunity presented itself.”

Roethlisberger has thrown five interceptions in four games this year, so another opportunity could present itself Sunday.

Big Ben doesn’t make things easy on cornerbacks, though, as his ability to escape the pressure and keep plays alive forces the defensive backs to cover their men for quite a long time.

Against fast, elusive receivers such as Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and ex-Jet Jerricho Cotchery, “We have to really focus in on our fundamental technique,” Walls said. “They’re not the biggest, but they do have a lot of speed and they run really good routes, so we have to do a good job with our hands and our feet this week.”

Aside from the fact that he has 20 family and friends driving six hours from Pittsburgh to see the game, going up against his childhood team may not be anything special for Walls, but the same can’t be said for his high school teammate and current Jets practice squad member, S Rontez Miles.

He wears his love of Pittsburgh on his sleeves, or under his sleeves to be more precise, with the Steeler logo, the 412 area code and one of the city's bridges tattooed down the top of his left arm.

“Growing up with all the great safeties and defenses that came out of Pittsburgh made me love defense the way I do now,” he said.

It was an honor, he added, when the coaches handed him the No. 43 jersey for practice this week as he was assigned the task of mimicking the play of S Troy Polamalu.

“They told me just play how you’ve been playing,” he said, “and they’re giving me a little freedom this week to fly around.”

So might he replicate the safety’s patented move of hurdling over the offensive line at the precise moment the center snaps the ball?

“If they let me,” he said with a smile.

 

> http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-5/Playing-Steelers-Is-Old-Hat-Now-for-Darrin-Walls/f13aa9ba-68f8-4aef-b55c-1524e2a518dc

 

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Double Coverage: Steelers at Jets
nfl_split2x_576x324.jpgRoethlisberger and the 0-4 Steelers take on Geno Smith and the surprising Jets.

Things you didn't expect to see in the standings when the NFL released the schedule last April: The New York Jets at 3-2, the Pittsburgh Steelers at 0-4.

The rebuilding Jets were supposed to struggle under a coach who already was being called a lame duck, and the Steelers ... well, they were supposed to be the Steelers, a model of consistency.

The two teams meet up Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Steelers are off to their worst start since 1968, the year of the Jets' only Super Bowl season. If the Steelers lose this game, they're pretty much done in terms of playoff aspirations. The Jets played a similarly desperate team Monday night, and that didn't seem to faze them, as they stunned the Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Steelers should be well-rested coming off a bye week.

ESPN.com Jets team reporter Rich Cimini and Steelers reporter Scott Brown break down the matchup:

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

PickCenter in.gif

Can the Steelers pick up their first win?

Cimini: Scott, I look down the Steelers' roster and I still see a lot of those familiar names -- Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley, etc. It's hard to imagine how the Steelers could be this bad. I'm sure you could write 5,000 words on why they're 0-4, but how 'bout a few thoughts on what has gone wrong?

Brown: Rich, I think I have written triple that amount on everything that has gone wrong. Turnovers have been the biggest problem for the Steelers, and that is on both sides of the ball. The Steelers have committed 11 of them with six coming in the last two games by Roethlisberger alone, and they are still without a takeaway, which is unbelievable when you think about it.

Playing from behind has a lot to do with the Steelers' turnover problem, especially on defense. The defense is at its best when it puts opposing quarterbacks in obvious passing situations and forces them into the kind of mistakes that lead to turnovers. Would you believe the Steelers have had exactly two leads this season and those were 2-0 and 3-0 in the season opener against the Titans and in the second game at Cincinnati, respectively?

Rich, this defense usually confuses and frustrates rookie quarterbacks, but Geno Smith has hardly played like a first-year signal-caller. Has his play surprised you, and is it sustainable?

Cimini: I was surprised by how well he played Monday night in Atlanta because he had been a turnover machine -- 11 in his first four games. All of a sudden, something clicked. I don't know if it was a one-game thing or the start of a trend.

I know the Steelers' defense isn't what it used to be, but Dick LeBeau will have had two weeks to cook up something to confuse the kid. How Smith responds to new looks from the defense will decide this game. The Jets leaned a bit more on the running game last week, taking some pressure off Smith, and I suspect they'll take a similar approach on Sunday. Blitz pick-up will be a key, as will the receivers' ability to gain separation. I remember the Steelers were very aggressive last season in Week 2 with the Jets' wideouts. While on the subject of quarterback play, how would you assess Big Ben's play to this point?

Steelers at Jets: Stat of the Week
0

The number of takeaways by the Steelers' once-vaunted defense. No team has gone without a turnover in the first five games -- ever.

Brown: It has been fine other than the turnovers, and I think it will get better with tight end Heath Miller back and running back Le'Veon Bell giving the Steelers a legitimate threat in the ground game. Roethlisberger is on pace to throw for almost 5,000 yards this season, which would obliterate his career-high of 4,328 yards (2009). But Roethlisberger is also averaging just over 40 pass attempts per game. That number is way too high, especially given how leaky the Steelers' offensive line has been through the first quarter of the season.

The emergence of Bell should restore balance to the Steelers' offense. My question for you is, will such balance have to wait a week? The Jets’ defensive line looks awfully physical and it is hard to envision the Steelers having much luck running the ball against it.

Cimini: You're right, Scott, the Jets have been very good against the run. They've faced some good backs -- Chris Johnson, C.J. Spiller, Doug Martin -- and they're allowing only 76.2 yards per game and 3.0 per carry. I'd be surprised if the Steelers have much success on the ground.

The Jets' front seven is much improved from last season. They added more athleticism at nose tackle (Damon Harrison), tackle (Sheldon Richardson), weak inside linebacker (DeMario Davis) and rush linebacker (Quinton Coples). They're no longer vulnerable on the perimeter, as they were last season. I think they will make the Steelers one-dimensional, which should allow the Jets to get good pressure on Roethlisberger. Speaking of pressure ... four sacks for the mighty Steelers? What happened to that defense?

Brown: Man, depends on who you ask. The easy answer is to say that age has finally collared a once fearsome defense, but that is not entirely accurate. Defensive end Brett Keisel, strong safety Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor are among the most tenured Steelers, and they have played well this season.

Age has caught up with the Steelers a little bit, and the defense needs to get more out of younger players such as cornerback Cortez Allen and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Jones, the Steelers' No. 1 pick last April, is going to be really good, but he has not made much of an impact as a pass-rusher. The Steelers desperately need Jones to emerge opposite Woodley, who has three of the team's four sacks.

Predictions

The final word on Sunday's matchup at MetLife Stadium:

MATCHUP ANALYSIS nyj.gifpit.gifRich Cimini: Forget the records; I see this game as a toss-up. I'll go with the Jets because their defensive front will dominate the Steelers' suspect offensive line, forcing Roethlisberger into bad situations. I'd like to say the Jets will have the home-field advantage, but there will be a lot of Black & Gold at MetLife.
Jets 23, Steelers 20 Scott Brown: The Steelers are due. The Jets are hot. The Steelers have to play on the road. The Jets have to play after a short week. A month ago I might have predicted a Steelers blowout. Now I say the game will be tighter than the pregame traffic. The Steelers won't be able to run consistently against the Jets, but Roethlisberger will cobble together enough offense. The Steelers defense will rebound against a Jets team that is lacking in offensive firepower, and Pittsburgh finally breaks into the win column.
Steelers 20, Jets 13
.

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/28893/double-coverage-steelers-at-jets

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Sunday afternoon, the Road to MetLife Stadium continues. From MetLife Stadium, the 3-2 New York Jets take on Big Ben and the rest of Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Coming off of their bye week, the Steelers will be hungry for a win, with an 0-4 record. The Steelers are never an easy out for the New York Jets, even at home. Let’s look at the history between these two teams:

Overall, the Steelers have dominated, winning 16 out of 20, and seven out of the past ten. Lately, the Jets have been in control, winning two out of the last three.

The last time these two teams met was in September of 2012, when Ben Roethlisberger threw TD passes to Mike Wallace and Heath Miller, Isaac Redman added a TD on the ground, and the Steelers dominated the Jets by a final of 27-10. The last time these two teams met in New Jersey was back in 2007. Thomas Jones rushed for 117 yards, and Mike Nugent kicked four field goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Jets topped the Steelers 19-16.

Geno Smith is riding high, with an 80% completion rate last week, marking the second highest by a rookie that threw for three touchdowns. Over the last three games in the fourth quarter, Geno is throwing to a passer rating of 148.6, and completing over 82 percent of his passes. He will be looking to continue his great play on Sunday.

Jeff Cumberland, Geno’s newest favorite weapon, will be gunning for a third straight game with a TD reception.

It should be a good one on Sunday.

> http://thejetpress.com/2013/10/11/ne...ers-tale-tape/

 

 

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-- If Jets backup quarterback Matt Simms somehow ends up playing Sunday, there's extra incentive for him to win over the announcing crew. Especially the analyst, Phil Simms.
 

ny_g_simms_cr_200x300.jpg
Matt Simms will probably be stuck on the sideline on Sunday as his father, Phil Simms, announces the game.

 

"I would want to play good so my own father doesn't rip me on television. I don't want to put him in that position," Matt Simms said with a laugh Friday. "He did joke to me saying that if that ever did happen he'd probably just walk out of the booth."

For the first time in his career, Matt will be part of a game that his father, Phil, is calling for CBS. Matt has yet to play this season and likely won't see the field against the Steelers.

"It will be interesting but at the same time it will be a great moment, I guess, for everyone. Even if I don't play, it's a great moment. It really is," Matt said. "I don't have to be on the field for it to be something we looks back on and kind of cherish."

The Simms family found out only recently that Phil and Matt would both be at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, as Phil was informed approximately two weeks ago that he'd be calling the game. This is Matt's first season on an NFL roster, giving the pair their first shot to work the same day.

Matt, who lives at home, said the two have talked about the situation, but he has not given Phil any extra breakdown of the Jets. He did see his father at the Jets' facility Friday and goofed around as he went up to him and asked: "Hey, big Phil, how you doing?"Matt recognized some might find it awkward that his father is calling a game involving a team his son plays for, but he praised Phil for his professionalism. Phil, of course, is famous for his 14 years quarterbacking the Giants and winning two Super Bowls.

"He's great. He's a professional so I don't have to worry about anything like that," Matt said. "To be honest with you, he'll probably go out of his way to not bring me up. He's smart like that about it."

He added: "He's my father but at the same time he has to do his job to the best of his ability."

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/29032/simms-family-reunion-on-sunday

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Double Coverage: Steelers at Jets
nfl_split2x_576x324.jpgRoethlisberger and the 0-4 Steelers take on Geno Smith and the surprising Jets.

Things you didn't expect to see in the standings when the NFL released the schedule last April: The New York Jets at 3-2, the Pittsburgh Steelers at 0-4.

The rebuilding Jets were supposed to struggle under a coach who already was being called a lame duck, and the Steelers ... well, they were supposed to be the Steelers, a model of consistency.

The two teams meet up Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Steelers are off to their worst start since 1968, the year of the Jets' only Super Bowl season. If the Steelers lose this game, they're pretty much done in terms of playoff aspirations. The Jets played a similarly desperate team Monday night, and that didn't seem to faze them, as they stunned the Atlanta Falcons on the road. The Steelers should be well-rested coming off a bye week.

ESPN.com Jets team reporter Rich Cimini and Steelers reporter Scott Brown break down the matchup:

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

PickCenter in.gif

Can the Steelers pick up their first win?

Cimini: Scott, I look down the Steelers' roster and I still see a lot of those familiar names -- Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley, etc. It's hard to imagine how the Steelers could be this bad. I'm sure you could write 5,000 words on why they're 0-4, but how 'bout a few thoughts on what has gone wrong?

Brown: Rich, I think I have written triple that amount on everything that has gone wrong. Turnovers have been the biggest problem for the Steelers, and that is on both sides of the ball. The Steelers have committed 11 of them with six coming in the last two games by Roethlisberger alone, and they are still without a takeaway, which is unbelievable when you think about it.

Playing from behind has a lot to do with the Steelers' turnover problem, especially on defense. The defense is at its best when it puts opposing quarterbacks in obvious passing situations and forces them into the kind of mistakes that lead to turnovers. Would you believe the Steelers have had exactly two leads this season and those were 2-0 and 3-0 in the season opener against the Titans and in the second game at Cincinnati, respectively?

Rich, this defense usually confuses and frustrates rookie quarterbacks, but Geno Smith has hardly played like a first-year signal-caller. Has his play surprised you, and is it sustainable?

Cimini: I was surprised by how well he played Monday night in Atlanta because he had been a turnover machine -- 11 in his first four games. All of a sudden, something clicked. I don't know if it was a one-game thing or the start of a trend.

I know the Steelers' defense isn't what it used to be, but Dick LeBeau will have had two weeks to cook up something to confuse the kid. How Smith responds to new looks from the defense will decide this game. The Jets leaned a bit more on the running game last week, taking some pressure off Smith, and I suspect they'll take a similar approach on Sunday. Blitz pick-up will be a key, as will the receivers' ability to gain separation. I remember the Steelers were very aggressive last season in Week 2 with the Jets' wideouts. While on the subject of quarterback play, how would you assess Big Ben's play to this point?

Steelers at Jets: Stat of the Week
0

The number of takeaways by the Steelers' once-vaunted defense. No team has gone without a turnover in the first five games -- ever.

Brown: It has been fine other than the turnovers, and I think it will get better with tight end Heath Miller back and running back Le'Veon Bell giving the Steelers a legitimate threat in the ground game. Roethlisberger is on pace to throw for almost 5,000 yards this season, which would obliterate his career-high of 4,328 yards (2009). But Roethlisberger is also averaging just over 40 pass attempts per game. That number is way too high, especially given how leaky the Steelers' offensive line has been through the first quarter of the season.

The emergence of Bell should restore balance to the Steelers' offense. My question for you is, will such balance have to wait a week? The Jets’ defensive line looks awfully physical and it is hard to envision the Steelers having much luck running the ball against it.

Cimini: You're right, Scott, the Jets have been very good against the run. They've faced some good backs -- Chris Johnson, C.J. Spiller, Doug Martin -- and they're allowing only 76.2 yards per game and 3.0 per carry. I'd be surprised if the Steelers have much success on the ground.

The Jets' front seven is much improved from last season. They added more athleticism at nose tackle (Damon Harrison), tackle (Sheldon Richardson), weak inside linebacker (DeMario Davis) and rush linebacker (Quinton Coples). They're no longer vulnerable on the perimeter, as they were last season. I think they will make the Steelers one-dimensional, which should allow the Jets to get good pressure on Roethlisberger. Speaking of pressure ... four sacks for the mighty Steelers? What happened to that defense?

Brown: Man, depends on who you ask. The easy answer is to say that age has finally collared a once fearsome defense, but that is not entirely accurate. Defensive end Brett Keisel, strong safety Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor are among the most tenured Steelers, and they have played well this season.

Age has caught up with the Steelers a little bit, and the defense needs to get more out of younger players such as cornerback Cortez Allen and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Jones, the Steelers' No. 1 pick last April, is going to be really good, but he has not made much of an impact as a pass-rusher. The Steelers desperately need Jones to emerge opposite Woodley, who has three of the team's four sacks.

Predictions

The final word on Sunday's matchup at MetLife Stadium:

MATCHUP ANALYSIS nyj.gifpit.gifRich Cimini: Forget the records; I see this game as a toss-up. I'll go with the Jets because their defensive front will dominate the Steelers' suspect offensive line, forcing Roethlisberger into bad situations. I'd like to say the Jets will have the home-field advantage, but there will be a lot of Black & Gold at MetLife.

Jets 23, Steelers 20 Scott Brown: The Steelers are due. The Jets are hot. The Steelers have to play on the road. The Jets have to play after a short week. A month ago I might have predicted a Steelers blowout. Now I say the game will be tighter than the pregame traffic. The Steelers won't be able to run consistently against the Jets, but Roethlisberger will cobble together enough offense. The Steelers defense will rebound against a Jets team that is lacking in offensive firepower, and Pittsburgh finally breaks into the win column.

Steelers 20, Jets 13

.

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/28893/double-coverage-steelers-at-jets

 

 

Scott Brown is right.  We suck, no weapinz, Steelers0-4 defense is confusing.  Why is Cimini trying to revers jinx us?   **** YOU RICH

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New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is expected to play Sunday against thePittsburgh Steelers despite being listed as questionable with a knee injury, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

 

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Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesAntonio Cromartie is questionable to play against the Steelers because of a knee injury.

 

Cromartie did not practice Friday and officially is considered a game-time decision, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Cromartie has not missed a game due to injury in his three-plus seasons with the Jets. The two-time Pro Bowler told some teammates on Friday morning that he expects to play against the winless Steelers, a source told ESPN.com.

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I REALLY REALLY want to see the Jets win this game. I HATE the Steelers and I swear I can count the times we've beaten them it seems on one hand. Plus, that AFCCG from a few years ago still stings and the way the Jets always s get screwed by the officials whenever they play Pittsburgh. I just hope that Walt guy isn't the ref crew. he HATES Rex and the Jets-and we would have zero chance tyo win if he is doing the game.

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Tomlin on the New York Jets

Coach Mike Tomlin takes a look at today’s opponent – the New York Jets :

Q. How would you evaluate Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith?

A. He’s a very even-keeled personality type. That lends itself to being able to ride the roller coaster that can be that position, particularly at a young age. He has done a nice job of managing it. I’m not surprised by that, and I’m sure the Jets are excited about the direction in which he and they are going.

Q. What dimension does Mike Goodson bring to the Jets running game?

A. He’s a Mr. Outside. Bilal Powell is a nice one-cut, deliberate, interior runner who finishes and works hard. Goodson has been a nice supplemental runner everywhere he has been – Carolina, Oakland – a guy who’s quick to the perimeter, a guy who’s dangerous in the passing game. He’s someone who needs to be contended with in sub-package football.

Q. What has Willie Colon added to their offensive line?

A. He has been Willie. He’s consistently physical. He has the proper play demeanor, and he appears to be a catalyst for that unit in terms of emotion. You see a lot of communication flowing through him, as it should be, because Willie is a solid veteran player. It looks like he’s playing good football.

Q. Would you characterize the Jets’ offense as tight end-oriented?

A. It is, but it also goes beyond that. They have a myriad of things to keep you off balance, and they do it thoughtfully. They have some wildcat, some pistol, they have screens to just about everyone – wide receivers, tight ends, running backs. One of the unique things about their offense is their tight ends are very much a part of their vertical passing game, particularly last Monday night vs. Atlanta.

Q. Is the Jets’ defense primarily a pressure defense?

A. They can be. That is their desire, but they’re also capable of dropping and covering, and they’re willing to do that, too.

Q. Who is their best defensive player?

A. It’s (linebacker) David Harris. He’s a guy for all situations for them, their man in the middle. If you look at them structurally and equate it to other Rex Ryan defenses, he’s Ray Lewis. There are no packages that Harris is not in. He covers, blitzes, he stops the run. He’s a really good solid football player and the center of their defense.

Q. How would you evaluate the Jets’ special teams?

A. They have a small and fast unit. It’s highlighted by defensive backs in the interior running down to cover kickoffs. We’re going to match their speed with some of our own. We’re going to have some guys suited today like Antwon Blake who fits this matchup.

Q. During the bye week, did you ever take the time to reflect on what it’s like to be coaching a team with no takeaways through four games of the season?

A. Depending on how you look at it, I’ve been in this business long enough to have experienced just about everything. Unfortunately, I’ve had turnover droughts before and have had pockets before where we’ve turned the ball over quite a bit. The big thing is that the answers are in the fundamentals, and we had a good fundamental week-and-a-half.

Q. Looking back on the game vs. Minnesota, was the primary issue the tackling?

A. It was. Not taking anything away from the Vikings – and I always want to be one who recognizes quality play and Adrian Peterson is a special guy and had a lot to do with our poor tackling – but we take ownership and responsibility of the way we play, and tackling was an element of some of their big plays.

Q. What was the coaching staff’s primary focus during the bye week?

A. Just to get better, and not only in terms of individual skill development, but we’re willing to look at all components of it and look at the utilization of people and the movement of people. We’re willing to turn over every stone necessary to try to win this football game.

Q. You made three personnel moves over the week-plus of the bye. It started with the trade for Levi Brown, and then signing of Stevenson Sylvester and Will Allen. What contributions are you looking for from them?

A. Those guys are going to be given an opportunity to contribute in some form or fashion. Their overall game readiness is going to have some bearing on that. Some guys are presented with an opportunity due to circumstance or poor performance, and some guys are presented with an opportunity due to injury. It doesn’t really matter. The great thing about it is we have a level of familiarity with these guys. They’re all stand-up, capable, tested football players.

Q. Does Mike Adams have a chance to start again at some point?

A. He needs to go through a process. Sometimes in football – and in life, really – it’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you respond to it. He’s been put down, he’s been challenged to get better fundamentally and become more consistent, and I like his initial response to it. But it’s going to be something that’s done over an extended period of time. We’re going to leave the light on for him and provide him an opportunity to reclaim a position, but it’s not going to be something that’s microwaved. It’s going to be something that requires tedious repetition.

Q. What did Cam Heyward show you to get himself promoted to the starting lineup?

A. He just has been playing at a high level. It’s not taking anything away from Ziggy Hood, but we just wanted to flip the rep distribution and make sure Cam gets a significant amount of reps since he has been affecting the game in a positive way.

Q. What are the keys for the Steelers today?

A. It’s simple. We have to win the turnover battle. And we have to have unwavering belief in the midst of the adversity that happens in every football game. Sometimes when you’re 0-4, you’re capable of wearing adversity differently. We can’t wear it differently. We can’t carry bags into the stadium. Regardless of what happens, you recognize there’s going to be a little bit of adversity in 60 minute football games.

> http://www.steelers.com/news/article...2-b299c373a25a

 

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The Steelers face off against the Jets on Sunday in Jersey, and the Steelers are hoping to refrain from falling to a dismal 0-5. If they did, it would be their worst start since before the merger. Mike Tomlin ‘shook things up’ this week with some roster moves and also ironing out his daddy issues with his players in the locker room. The Jets are coming off their biggest win of the season so far after defeating Matt Ryan and the Falcons. They certainly have the momentum going into Sunday’s game, but how do they stack up against the numbers?

Steelers Offense vs. Jets Defense

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Big Ben should be prepared to see a lot of this in his face on Sunday. Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers offense has struggled all season and rank near the bottom on most major categories in the league. They rank 19th in the pass (341.2 yds/gm) while the Jets defense ranks 13th in passing yards allowed (222.8 yds/gm). The Steelers are ranked worst in the league in running the ball (dear God, I never thought I would ever hear myself have to say that). They are in the basement ranked 32nd in rushing yards (58.0 yds/gm) while the Jets defense ranks 2nd in rushing yards allowed (76.2 yds/gm). As if the Steelers’ struggles weren’t bad enough already, they will be facing a stout and stingy run defense. The Steelers have been on an upward trend of scoring points each week of 9, 10, 23, 27 respectively. Are things getting better? Or are defenses getting worse? We’ll find out when the Steelers have to attack the middle of the field in the passing game if they want to get anywhere with this Jets defense. The Jets rank 5th in the league in sacks with 16. Expect Big Ben to have another afternoon of being pressured, scrambling, and possibly having to force the ball late in the game. The Jets have only one interception so far this season which is tied with the Chargers as next to last in the league. Who’s last? I’ll give you one guess.

Jets Offense vs. Steelers Defense

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The Steelers can’t bank on a butt fumble from this kid, and will need to create their own turnovers on Sunday. Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

For the last several seasons, the Steelers have really depended on the defense to help bail out the offense and win some games. For whatever reason, whether it’s coaching, personnel, or a combo of both has put the Steelers in a some unfamiliar territory – an average defense that allows some big plays, has become bad at defending the rush, and hasn’t caused a turnover in 16 quarters of football. The Steelers are ranked 25th in the league in rushing yards allowed (122.8 yds/gm) while the Jets rank 11th in rushing (122.0 yds/gm). Jets RB Bilal Powell is not an explosive back, but has a decent 4.2 yards per carry and a fairly good yards after contact ratio. Surprisingly, the Steelers are still ranked highly in passing yards allowed – 5th in the league (199.0 yds/gm). The Jets rank 19th in the league is passing yards (228.6 yds/gm). Rookie QB Geno Smith has been…. well… a rookie. He has 8 interceptions to his 7 TD’s and has been sacked 18 times. If there were ever a glimmer of hope for the Steelers to get their first win, it’s through Geno Smith. Dick LeBeau is 15-2 all time against rookie QB’s and let’s hope that the Steelers can take advantage of the young QB by getting pressure on him and force some sacks and a turnover or two – things that the Steelers are terrible at this season because they have zero turnovers.

** Not By The Numbers:

- Jets TE Kellen Winslow was just suspended by the Commish on Friday for four games after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Winslow was Smith’s favorite target up to this point – hitting him 17 times for 169 yards and two TD’s. That could be a huge blow for the Jets and take some pressure off of the Steelers’ inside LB’s in trying to cover the big TE.

- Former Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon is a Jet. I can’t find the stat, but my sense is that Colon averages a drive killing penalty at least twice a game. I expect nothing less this Sunday, which should work in the Steelers favor.

- Le’Veon Bell had a good first outing in London two weeks ago. His health has been a concern since training camp, and the week off right after his first game might help the kid feel good and springy for his second NFL career game.

 

 

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This game screams "letdown" for the New York Jets.

nyj.gifpit.gifBefore we get into the particulars, let's pause for a moment to consider the incongruity of the previous sentence. That we're talking about the Jets in that context, not the Pittsburgh Steelers, is crazy. But crazy is reality in Week 6 of the NFL season.

For the surprising Jets (3-2), it has all the ingredients of a trap game: an emotional win Monday night ... a short practice week ... a winless and well-rested opponent, the Steelers (0-4), coming off their bye week ... and the first-place New England Patriots looming ahead.

What's more, the Jets don't know how to handle prosperity. Over the last 24 games, they've compiled only one two-game winning streak -- Weeks 13 and 14 last season. There's no rule against winning two in a row, Rex Ryan has told his players.

We'll see if they listen. Kickoff is 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium. What to watch for:

The rookie vs. the master: Geno Smith attended school in Morgantown, W.Va., only a couple of hours from Pittsburgh, so he knows all about the Steelers' venerable defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau. Giving a quick scouting report of LeBeau to reporters, Smith mentioned the coach's famous recitations of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." That's called doing your homework. LeBeau won't be in the holiday spirit for this game. His once-formidable defense has turned pedestrian, and he'll be looking to change things by unleashing his creative genius on the young quarterback.

This is a scary combination: LeBeau has had two weeks to tweak his defense and cook up new stuff to throw at Smith. And Smith lost a day of preparation because of the Monday night game. He'll see the usual array of fire-zone blitzes from LeBeau, but there will be new looks that will force Smith to think on his feet. He'll be tough to beat if he plays with the poise he demonstrated against the Atlanta Falcons.

Not the Steal Curtain: Perhaps the most mind-blowing defensive stat of the season is the fact that the Steelers have yet to record a single takeaway. Consider: no interceptions and no fumble recoveries in four games. That would be hard to fathom for any team. Because it's the Steelers, who have arguably the greatest defensive tradition in the league, it's even tougher to explain. No team in history has taken an oh-fer for the first five games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. This is one of the main reasons why the Steelers are off to their worst start since 1968.

Why the takeaway drought? The Steelers have been playing from behind, reducing the opportunities for turnovers. They also have an ancient secondary, led by S Ryan Clark (34), CB Ike Taylor (33) and S Troy Polamalu (32). The once-vaunted pass rush has turned benign. LeBeau is blitzing a decent amount (35 percent of the drop-backs, 14th in the league), but there are only four sacks to show for it. In other words, Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has as many sacks as the Steelers.

Big Ben is big assignment: The Jets' chances of winning will hinge on how they defend one player -- QB Ben Roethlisberger. With no running game, the Steelers are more Roethlisberger-reliant than ever. He's putting up big numbers -- 308 passing yards per game -- but he's also had a handful of "Geno" moments -- four lost fumbles, five interceptions and 15 sacks. He'll hold the ball longer than most quarterbacks, trying to make a play. Sometimes it works, sometimes it leads to careless ballhandling. The Jets are aware of it, and they will be focused on ball stripping.

Coverage is key: The Jets view the Steelers the way they did the Falcons: It's all about containing the passing game. If Jets CB Antonio Cromartie (knee) doesn't play, the degree of difficulty will increase. If they don't have Cromartie to cover WR Antonio Brown, who's averaging eight catches and 103 yards per game, it'll put tremendous stress on the rest of the secondary. Just watch, Roethlisberger will throw 45 times for 350-plus yards in this game. We know they can't run the ball, as the Steelers are averaging only 58 yards per game. The return of rookie RB Le'Veon Bell has helped, but the offensive line -- sans star C Maurkice Pouncey -- is a jumbled mess. Mike Tomlin benched struggling LT Mike Adams in favor of Kelvin Beachum or recently acquired Levi Brown. The Jets' front seven should be able to control the line of scrimmage.

Act like grown-ups: This game will test the Jets' maturity level. They're feeling good about themselves, but this team is still young and tends to lose focus (see the turnovers and penalties). This won't be a walkover. The Steelers are a proud, physical team that recognizes the urgency of the moment. Tomlin set the tone by benching a couple of starters and banning games in the locker room. They've been outscored by 10.2 points per game, the third-largest margin in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Steelers are better than that; the Jets should prepare for a street fight.

 

> http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/28878/w2w4-jets-vs-steelers>

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