Jump to content

Jets show their holes in loss to Bucs - Star Ledger


Recommended Posts

Jets show their holes in loss to Bucs

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Star-Ledger Staff

TAMPA, Fla. -- This much is known about the Jets after their first preseason game: They have a quarterback, but no running back or nose tackle, and that could be a recipe for disaster.

Chad Pennington, who is firmly entrenched as the starter, served notice that he and his twice surgically repaired right shoulder are here to stay after taking several hits on the shoulder and leading the Jets on two 13-play drives, although he didn't put any points on the board in a 16-3 Jets loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.

Running back Derrick Blaylock, being given the first crack at replacing an injured Curtis Martin, had just 12 yards on six carries and backup Cedric Houston had 17 yards on five attempts and looked better than Blaylock. The Jets had just 44 yards rushing.

Defensively, the Jets need some beef in the middle of their line as the Bucs rang up 167 yards rushing. They'll likely keep searching for a nose tackle as Dewayne Robertson seems ill-suited for the position.

"We did a pretty good job in the first half but we couldn't finish the drive," said coach Eric Mangini. "In the second half, it was fundamental football. They blocked better than we did and tackled better than we did."

Pennington, however, was the story.

"It was fun to get back out there with my teammates. You miss that," said Pennington, who completed 9 of 14 passes for 54 yards. "It was bittersweet because we didn't get into the end zone. ... I just take what the defense gives me. We had two 13-play drives but at the end of the day you have to make sure you finish those drives."

On his second drive, Pennington, who was sacked once and had two fumbles, led the Jets to the Bucs' 6-yard line but he was sacked on a safety blitz by Kalvin Pearson and fumbled. The play was frighteningly similar to the play on which he injured his shoulder last season against Jacksonville as Pennington was hit while he was in his throwing motion.

The entire Jets organization exhaled after Pennington got up. He went to the sideline and threw a few balls but didn't return. Mangini said he planned to take Pennington out of the game anyway.

"It was definitely similar, no doubt," said Pennington, who was slow to come out to address the media but insisted he was fine. "I did take a few shots but everything worked out. At the quarterback position, you're going to take some hits."

Overall, though, it was a great night for Pennington and rookie Kellen Clemens, who hit 10 of 14 passes for 92 yards. Clemens led the Jets to a field goal in a two-minute drill before the half. Patrick Ramsey hit 2 of 3 passes for 9 yards in his only series and Brooks Bollinger didn't play.

"Some throws and decisions I'd like to have back," Clemens said. "But to play in a live game with live bullets, it was a good experience."

The Jets' new 3-4 defense needs some shoring up as Bucs' third-string running Earnest Graham looked like a Pro Bowler. He tore through the Jets defense for 68 yards on 16 carries.

The Bucs finished with 305 yards total offense, 167 yards rushing. The Jets had 185 total yards. Tampa did most of its damage against the backups, but the starting defense struggled as well.

"It's actually minor, not major," middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "It's a technique issue. They were running the same play up the middle. It's just using the correct hand placement and getting off your blocks."

Although the starters played only two series, their troubles against the run were evident. The Jets' second-team defense gave up two 80-yard drives, with third-year cornerback Rayshaun Reed being beat for two touchdown passes.

In addition to needing a nose tackle, the Jets have no depth along the defense line, especially the interior. The unit was dealt a big blow as tough backup nose tackle Sione Pouha (knee) has undergone surgery and is out for the season.

"They hit us with some plays here and there," defensive end Shaun Ellis said. "We have to go back and correct our mistakes."

Notes: Rookie LT D'Brickashaw Fereguson went against Bucs Pro Bowl Simeon Rice in the first series. Ferguson didn't allow a sack but he had plenty of help and Rice beat him on a couple of quick moves only to face an addition blocker. "I want to look at the tape and evaluate the whole experience," Ferguson said. ...

Derrick Strait, whose versatility has the Jets excited, started at safety in place of the injured Erik Coleman (appendectomy). ... The Jets moved Kimo von Oelhoffen to NT and Robertson to DE but the Bucs continued to move the ball. ... Rookie C Nick Mangold had a false start. ... LB Victor Hobson dropped an interception. ... Veteran nickel back Ray Mickens committed a bad pass inference penalty on a second-and-21 with the Bucs pinned on their 9-yard line. ... Rookie WR Brad Smith was a gunner on punt returns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...