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NY Jets articles 10/ 31/08


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BY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com

October 31, 2008

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Whether he starts, subs or does neither, it's all the same to veteran linebacker David Bowens.

It increasingly looks as if second-year inside linebacker David Harris will not play Sunday. If that's the case, Bowens, in his 10th season, will replace him, as was the case last week when Harris went out with a groin injury. Bowens had three tackles and a sack in the victory over the Chiefs and has 12 tackles and three sacks for the season. Harris did not practice for the second straight day.

"Same as it's been every week," Bowens said of his approach. "All my career, when I first was backing up Jason Taylor [in Miami], then I started opposite ... Every week I feel like I'm learning something new, which is a challenge for me, so I take it very seriously. I've always prepared. I've always been ready. When I went in last week, nothing ever changes, I was the same. My preparation's always been the same."

Although Harris has been quiet at times this season and hasn't always seemed completely healed from the hamstring injury that slowed him during the preseason, he still leads the Jets with 52 tackles. But coach Eric Mangini said he's comfortable with Bowens if Harris, who hasn't been officially ruled out, can't play Sunday.

"I think his strength, or a really significant strength, is his intelligence," Mangini said of Bowens, who has primarily been an outside linebacker. "He understands everything that's going on. ... He's got that veteran savviness that he can take a defense, understand what's happening and then be able to anticipate the changes and attack the changes."

Injury report

Besides Harris, S Eric Smith (concussion) and TE Bubba Franks also sat out practice for the second consecutive day. OL Damien Woody missed practice for personal reasons, as he did Wednesday, but Mangini said the right tackle "definitely" will play Sunday. "He's fine," Mangini said.

TE Chris Baker (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh), WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) and LB Cody Spencer (shoulder) were limited.

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Jets notes: Opportunity knocks for Mason Friday, October 31, 2008

Opportunity knocks

Newly signed running back Marcus Mason was the leading rusher in the NFL during preseason, but he knows that distinction doesn’t carry much weight now.

"Nah, it’s just preseason," Mason said Thursday. "Preseason doesn’t count." Yet he realizes his 317 yards rushing for Washington in August was important in at least one respect.

"It helped me," he said, "because it gave other teams a chance to look at me, and if I didn’t get that many reps during the preseason I’d probably still be on a practice squad. ... You know what they say - in preseason, when you’re a young guy, every day is a job interview. Being able to have that many job interviews helped me out a lot."

The 5-foot-9, 215-pound Mason was an undrafted free agent last year and spent 2007 on the Redskins’ practice squad. He was waived by the Redskins in their final cuts, and then signed to the Ravens’ practice squad.

Mason replaced veteran Jesse Chatman on the roster, after Chatman suffered a season-ending knee injury in the win over Kansas City on Sunday. Like Chatman, Mason figures to see most of his action on special teams.

Bowens ready

Inside linebacker David Harris (groin) didn’t practice again Thursday, and it’s unlikely he will play Sunday at Buffalo. That means veteran backup David Bowens, who has seen a lot of action at the position, but mostly in pass-rush situations, likely will start. Bowens filled in against the Chiefs after Harris left the game in the second quarter.

Bowens said his approach this week is the "same as it’s been every week. All my career, when I first was backing up Jason Taylor [with Miami] then I started opposite [him]. ... Every week I feel like I’m learning something new which is a challenge for me so I take it very seriously."

- J.P. Pelzman

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Jets' Leon Washington is small wonder at running back

BY OHM YOUNGMISUK

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Thursday, October 30th 2008, 9:45 PM

Sabo/News

Leon Washington

Leon Washington has pretty much heard it almost all his life. In fact, it might be the only thing he hasn't been able to outrun or shake.

From the moment he put on his first shoulder pads, Washington has always been reminded about his size and stature and been labeled too small to play football.

"When I was younger, a lot of times you would be playing Little League football and I'm 60 pounds and everybody else is 100 pounds," the 5-8 Washington said Thursday. "And I got to high school being 180 pounds and everybody else is big in stature. One thing I do know ... when you are a small guy, your heart doesn't pump Kool-Aid. That is one thing my dad always told me, having heart can overcome a lot of things. Being quick and having heart can overcome a lot of things."

The Jets and Herm Edwards' Chiefs certainly became aware of that on Sunday. Washington was a green and white blur, scoring on an 18-yard catch-and-run and then a 60-yard touchdown run. But the special teams dynamo also helped set up the Jets' two other TDs in their 28-24 win over Kansas City.

Washington squeezed out a first down on a third-and-eight at the Kansas City 10 when he took a short pass and got the necessary yardage to set up Thomas Jones' touchdown. And before Brett Favre's game-winning TD pass to Laveranues Coles, Washington nearly broke a punt return for a touchdown, returning it 37 yards and dragging Chiefs punter Steve Weatherford on his back a few yards to the Kansas City 46. Washington totaled 274 all-purpose yards on just 13 touches.

Favre said he has never played with a running back as versatile as Washington, who has scored three TDs and set up three other touchdowns with significant returns or plays from scrimmage in the last three games.

"I don't know that (anyone) would step into an offense and be as productive after returning kicks the way he does," Favre said. "He's dynamic. He's very smart. Versatile is an understatement with him. He's quick as a cat. He's just got great hands. Maybe about the one thing he can't do well or great, is block Adalius Thomas, but why would you want Leon Washington to block Adalius Thomas? That's a mismatch. If you get (Thomas) covering Leon, now (the Patriots) have problems. How you use him is so important. He's an unbelievable player."

The Jets, who take on the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, know the 5-8, 202-pound Washington is their best playmaker and that he makes the most out of every touch he gets. His mentality has always been to do a lot with little. While at Florida State, Washington shared carries in the backfield with Greg Jones and Lorenzo Booker so he tried to do most of his damage on special teams. And here with the Jets, he spells Jones. That's why Sunday's game felt like high school for Washington, who never came off the field while at Andrew Jackson HS in Jacksonville, Fla., as a running back, kick returner, cornerback, safety, punter and holder.

Washington, 25, who set a team record with three kickoff returns for touchdowns last season, ranks third in the NFL with 27.6 yards per kickoff return, and fifth with 13 yards per punt return. He also has 155 yards rushing and two TDs, and 22 catches for 153 yards and a score. When he was asked if he was ever told to find another profession because of his size, Washington smiled, flexed and pointed to his left bicep, which was anything but small.

"He is a little dude but he is strong," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "Probably one of the stronger guys on the team, pound for pound. With him being strong, elusive, and quick and little makes him really tough."

GROUNDED JETS: TE Bubba Franks (hip), LB David Harris (groin), S Eric Smith (head) and OL Damien Woody (personal issues) did not practice Thursday. TE Chris Baker (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh), WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) and LB Cody Spencer (shoulder) all went through a limited practice. ... Buffalo QB Trent Edwards (ankle) was added to the injury report Thursday despite participating fully in practice. Bills WR Josh Reed did not practice for the second straight day.

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Buffalo's top pass rusher iffy for Jets game

Bills DE Aaron Schobel might not play on Sunday By Hoss Aultman

The Buffalo Bills pass rush was been substandard the last three games amassing just three sacks. Not helping matters is the foot injury to DE Aaron Schobel.

Schobel's left foot has been in a walking boot the last two weeks to protect a strained ligament. The boot finally came on Wednesday.

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Getting ready to shuffle

While this is only my second year on the Jets' beat, I covered them for The Record as a backup for nine years before that, so I have a little bit of a sense of history. I remember that the Jets' media relations department used to start off their release for road games against the Bills by saying 'Jets Shuffle Off to Buffalo.' That isn't done anymore.

Don't know why I thought of that, but maybe it was the gyrating on the part of some players when Bob Marley's 'Buffalo Soldier' was played during stretching before practice today. Nice job by mixmaster Brian Mulligan, although he didn't play the obvious followup--'Buffalo Stance' by Neneh Cherry. So I grade him as a B, rather than an A. Sorry, Brian, but I call them the way I see them.

The Jets' injury report remained the same. RT Damien Woody again was excused for personal reasons, but Eric Mangini said he 'definitely' will play Sunday. SS Eric Smith [head] and ILB David Harris [groin] again didn't practice, and I don't expect either one to play.

For Buffalo, WR Josh Reed [ankle] and DE Aaron Schobel [foot] again sat out, while QB Trent Edwards [ankle] was added to the report, although he practiced full.

It was cold, but sunny today, unlike the sleet and rain during practice yesterday. But if the Jets could get through that, they should be able to take any weather western NY dishes at them Sunday. As RB-KR Leon Washington said, 'You can get four seasons within one quarter' in Buffalo.

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Eric Mangini, in a conversation today about next week's election, was asked if there's any benefit to players or coaches speaking publicly about their political beliefs.

"Probably not,'' he said. "My dad used to say you shouldn't really talk about politics and religion.''

Given Mangini's aversion to talking about injuries, it's likely he added injuries to that mantra.

One person who is vocal about his political slant is Bills QB Trent Edwards, who said, "I'll be voting for Barack (Obama). I think that a change needs to be made and that's the biggest change out of the two candidates. I just feel like he's the most different from the one we have in power right now. Hopefully, he'll get elected.''

Asked if many of his teammates are voting the same way, Edwards said, "I think it's kind of divided, actually. We have a lot of different guys from a lot of different areas of the country who went to a lot of different schools with a lot of different views on politics and religion. I would say it's pretty even.''

****

The same four players who didn't practice at all yesterday sat out again today _ TE Bubba Franks (hip), LB David HarrisDavid Harris (groin), S Eric SmithEric Smith (concussion) and RT Damien Woody, who was excused again for personal reasons.

Mangini, though, said he expected Woody to be back with the team last night and said, "He'll definitely play Sunday.''

"He's able to watch practice through the system we have in place and when he does get back we'll spend a lot of extra time with him to get him caught up,'' Mangini said.

The fact that Bills' DE Aaron Schobel, who's been murder on the JetsNew York Jets over the years, is likely to miss the game because of a foot injury is good news to Woody and particularly LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson.

TE Chris BakerChris Baker (hip), WRs Laveranues ColesLaveranues Coles (hamstring) and Jerricho CotcheryJerricho Cotchery (shoulder) were limited in practice as was LB Cody Spencer (shoulder?), who appeared on the injury report yesterday.

****

Coles, speaking about the recent rumblings from some teammates about the inconsistent play calling on offense said, "As a player you can only do what you're asked to do. Whatever the coaches dial up it's left up to us as players to try to execute it and make it happen.

"You don't want to say anything that would be bad or make anyone else look bad. That's why players play and coaches coach.''

Buzz up!Posted by Mark Cannizzaro

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Jets' Leon Washington is small wonder at running back

BY OHM YOUNGMISUK

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Thursday, October 30th 2008, 9:45 PM

Sabo/News

Leon Washington

Leon Washington has pretty much heard it almost all his life. In fact, it might be the only thing he hasn't been able to outrun or shake.

From the moment he put on his first shoulder pads, Washington has always been reminded about his size and stature and been labeled too small to play football.

"When I was younger, a lot of times you would be playing Little League football and I'm 60 pounds and everybody else is 100 pounds," the 5-8 Washington said Thursday. "And I got to high school being 180 pounds and everybody else is big in stature. One thing I do know ... when you are a small guy, your heart doesn't pump Kool-Aid. That is one thing my dad always told me, having heart can overcome a lot of things. Being quick and having heart can overcome a lot of things."

The Jets and Herm Edwards' Chiefs certainly became aware of that on Sunday. Washington was a green and white blur, scoring on an 18-yard catch-and-run and then a 60-yard touchdown run. But the special teams dynamo also helped set up the Jets' two other TDs in their 28-24 win over Kansas City.

Washington squeezed out a first down on a third-and-eight at the Kansas City 10 when he took a short pass and got the necessary yardage to set up Thomas Jones' touchdown. And before Brett Favre's game-winning TD pass to Laveranues Coles, Washington nearly broke a punt return for a touchdown, returning it 37 yards and dragging Chiefs punter Steve Weatherford on his back a few yards to the Kansas City 46. Washington totaled 274 all-purpose yards on just 13 touches.

Favre said he has never played with a running back as versatile as Washington, who has scored three TDs and set up three other touchdowns with significant returns or plays from scrimmage in the last three games.

"I don't know that (anyone) would step into an offense and be as productive after returning kicks the way he does," Favre said. "He's dynamic. He's very smart. Versatile is an understatement with him. He's quick as a cat. He's just got great hands. Maybe about the one thing he can't do well or great, is block Adalius Thomas, but why would you want Leon Washington to block Adalius Thomas? That's a mismatch. If you get (Thomas) covering Leon, now (the Patriots) have problems. How you use him is so important. He's an unbelievable player."

The Jets, who take on the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday, know the 5-8, 202-pound Washington is their best playmaker and that he makes the most out of every touch he gets. His mentality has always been to do a lot with little. While at Florida State, Washington shared carries in the backfield with Greg Jones and Lorenzo Booker so he tried to do most of his damage on special teams. And here with the Jets, he spells Jones. That's why Sunday's game felt like high school for Washington, who never came off the field while at Andrew Jackson HS in Jacksonville, Fla., as a running back, kick returner, cornerback, safety, punter and holder.

Washington, 25, who set a team record with three kickoff returns for touchdowns last season, ranks third in the NFL with 27.6 yards per kickoff return, and fifth with 13 yards per punt return. He also has 155 yards rushing and two TDs, and 22 catches for 153 yards and a score. When he was asked if he was ever told to find another profession because of his size, Washington smiled, flexed and pointed to his left bicep, which was anything but small.

"He is a little dude but he is strong," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "Probably one of the stronger guys on the team, pound for pound. With him being strong, elusive, and quick and little makes him really tough."

GROUNDED JETS: TE Bubba Franks (hip), LB David Harris (groin), S Eric Smith (head) and OL Damien Woody (personal issues) did not practice Thursday. TE Chris Baker (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh), WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) and LB Cody Spencer (shoulder) all went through a limited practice. ... Buffalo QB Trent Edwards (ankle) was added to the injury report Thursday despite participating fully in practice. Bills WR Josh Reed did not practice for the second straight day.

To me the bold text seems like Favre is calling out the coaching staff ans saying that they don't know how to properly use personnel.

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