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(The MUCH Needed) Jets News Thread 9/12/09


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Kris Jenkins looking to finish strong after 'hitting a wall' last season

It will be different this year, Kris Jenkins promised Friday. He's not going to fade away in the second half of the season like he did in 2008, when the Jets went from being one of the hottest teams in the NFL to ultimately being one of the bigger disappointments.

"I was a little caught off-guard,'' Jenkins said, when asked why he had a Pro Bowl first half and didn't finish as strongly. "I know that (former Jets coach Eric Mangini's) system's been under a lot of criticism in the past and I'm not going to add to that.

"What I will say is that last year, I was in a new position (moving from a 4-3 defensive tackle with Carolina to a nose tackle in the Jets' 3-4 defense) and ... one of the things you can't understand is how that different position is going to affect you as the season progresses. That was something that I was not aware of, and that became an issue.

"I never played in a 3-4 before; I didn't know what I was preparing myself for,'' he continued. "So when I got to that position, basically, I hit a wall. And hitting a wall in your eighth year is not a good thing. That's what happened.''

Jenkins, 30, struggled to make big plays in the final five games as he dealt with a back injury and opposing teams scheming to take him out of games. But in the offseason, he said he learned to listen to his body in an effort to prepare it for the long haul -- he learned to rest when he needs to rest, and to push through fatigue when he needs to do that.

He also will benefit from Rex Ryan's version of the 3-4 defense, a more sophisticated scheme than Mangini's basic, ends-over-tackles, nose-over-center look, according to inside linebackers David Harris and Bart Scott.

"He's just not lining up in one spot and being a sitting duck for offensive linemen to fire off on him,'' Harris said. "This new system, Rex is doing a good job of moving him around to different spots on the D-line, using his quickness and size and strength to our advantage.''

"Last year, he'd line up in the zero (directly over the center) all the time," Scott said. "Everybody knew where he was going to be, so they just took shots on him. They wore him down."

Jenkins, who is listed at 6-4 and 360 pounds, had 53 tackles and 31/2 sacks in 2008, but much of his value to the defense is hard to quantify in terms of numbers. His unique combination of size, strength and quickness causes major protection problems for opposing teams.

"He's a guy that you can't, pretty much, single up (block one-on-one)," Scott said. "So whenever one guy can take two (blockers) that allows you that much more freedom -- and ability to roam free. Because linemen can't just work up to me immediately; they have to chip off to him. And even if they chip off too fast, he still can make the play."

"There's not many guys in the league that really command the respect of guys the way Kris Jenkins does," Ryan said. "He's a difference-maker in the middle of your defense. I'm glad he's on our side."

Jenkins, like everybody else, can't wait to see Ryan's defense in action for real, in a game that counts, Sunday in Houston. He's confident that the defense -- even without the suspended Calvin Pace and Shaun Ellis -- will perform well. And he likened the Jets' 2009 defense to the defenses he played in Carolina, under then-defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

"It was something that was very similar to this defense,'' he said of Del Rio's scheme in Carolina. "So I am familiar with it, I do understand it, and I'm very confident in it. I've seen what it does when it's executed the right way. So we know what we have to do to go out and execute it the right way. And this is the first time that everybody gets to see what it really looks like."


Tight end Dustin Keller was added to the Jets' injury list with a toe injury, though Ryan said Keller looked good in practice Friday.

"We're just going to put him down there because he did report having a little problem with the toe, but I think it's fine,'' Ryan said.

DE Mike DeVito (hamstring) is listed as questionable, because he was limited in practice. Rookie RB Shonn Greene (ribs) is good to go, according to Ryan.

The Jets practiced indoors, but not because of the rain. Houston plays in a dome.

The team will have a sendoff rally Saturday morning at the practice facility, beginning at 10 a.m. Ryan and safety Kerry Rhodes will speak and the players will go through a fan gauntlet, high-fiving fans.

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Mangini ducks blame for injury report problems in New York

Posted by Mike Florio on September 12, 2009 12:40 AM ET

We continue to be amazed by the league office's sudden interest in the failure of the Jets to include Brett Favre on the injury report last year.

For starters, the fact that Favre claims he played with a partially torn biceps tendon has been known for months. But it only became a problem this week, when Favre talked about it for the umpteenth time, suggesting for the first time that his arm was so bad that maybe he should have been benched.

The league's sudden interest in taking action likely arises not from the reality that the Jets violated the rule but because the violation of the rule has become so damn obvious, thanks to Favre and his tendency to talk and to talk and to talk some more whenever he is asked a question.

Indeed, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello previously vouched for the Jets' injury-reporting habits after it had been plainly established that Favre finished the 2008 season with a hidden injury.

"[W]e didn't have a problem with the Jets as far as complying with the rules," Aiello said in June. "Some media get frustrated when you won't go beyond what's on the injury report. But we don't require more than that."

Then again, the violation also was obvious during Super Bowl week. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger secretly underwent X-rays in the days before the game. But Roethlisberger's name didn't appear on the game week injury report. After the Super Bowl, Roethlisberger told Peter King that he played with broken ribs.

As I thereafter told King, "My problem is the injury report focuses only on availability to play without giving full information as to whether a player will be effective. It's called an injury report. Roethlisberger was injured, and he wasn't on the report. I think that's wrong.''

So how is it that the Steelers didn't get busted for Big Ben's hidden injury, but that the Jets face scrutiny for the same thing?

Again, it has become so obvious this time around that the league had no choice but to act.

But I digress. The point of this post (and, yes, there is a point to it) is the uncanny ability of former Jets coach Eric Mangini to avoid blame for the injury-reporting shenanigans. Instead, G.M. Mike Tannenbaum nobly has taken the blame for conduct that we suspect Mangini dictated.

On Friday, Mangini (now the Browns coach) was asked about whether he's handling the injury reports the same way he handled them in New York.

"The approach has really been consistent, from my perspective," Mangini said. "We're always going to try to work to follow the rules in the strictest fashion. That won't change. I respect the rules and we're going to follow the rules. . . .

"Again, there are a lot of different things, a lot of different rules that you look at it and you're trying to do it the right way. That's been the approach and it'll stay the approach, to try to stay in the context and do it the right way. If you have questions, try to ask the questions to make sure that you're doing it the right way."

So, basically, Mangini is saying that the rules weren't violated last year in New York, even though Tannenbaum already has conceded that they were.

For Mangini, it's not about complying with the rules but about maintaining a competitve edge. Mangini didn't want the Jets' opponents to know that Favre was hurt, for the same reasons Mangini doesn't want the Vikings to know who the starting quarterback will be on Sunday.

So Mangini, we suspect, was the root of the failure to be honest about Favre's arm, and we think he should do the right thing and acknowledge his role in the violation of the rules.

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Cheers, no tears, for stadium finale

Date published: 9/12/2009


Randy Thomas isn't a sentimental man. Occasions such as tomorrow's don't stir much emotion inside him.

But with the Washington Redskins set to play at Giants Stadium for the last time--barring a playoff rematch--he didn't hesitate this week to rehash his favorite memory of the arena the New York Giants and New York Jets have called home since 1976.

"The Monday Night Miracle," he said with a wide grin.

Thomas' tenure with the Jets from 1999-2002 generated a few cherished moments. That puts him among the minority inside Washington's locker room, though.

The Redskins generally haven't fared well at the Meadowlands. They have lost six of their last seven games there and are 11-22 all-time.

Their only victory in recent years was a 22-10 decision on a blustery Sunday night in December 2007. The win was the second in a four-game streak that resulted in a playoff berth.

A few Redskins, such as Thomas, Santana Moss and Cornelius Griffin, called Giants Stadium home before they joined the team.

Thomas' highlight was the Jets' scintillating 40-37 comeback win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football in October 2000.

New York trailed 30-7 at the end of the third quarter but sent the game to overtime on the most improbable of plays.

With 42 seconds remaining in regulation, tackle Jumbo Elliott reported as eligible receiver and made a juggling, diving 3-yard touchdown catch.

"Just seeing Jumbo's eyes in the huddle getting the call for the touchdown," Thomas recalled. "We were tricking at him before the play. 'Are you really going to catch it?' He almost missed it.

"It was a weeeeeeeird game," Thomas said, shaking his said. "Nothing stopped clicking in the fourth quarter. Everything we did worked."

Moss, who played for the Jets from 2001-04, scored three touchdowns in a Jets home game against the Giants in November 2003.

He had never caught more than six passes in a game, but that day he had 10 receptions for 121 yards.

"It's always nice to go back to New York, knowing that we played there," Moss said. "That was our stadium. It will be nice to close it out this year, knowing that we can look forward to something different."

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The rookie quarterback and the new coach will command the spotlight, but the Jets' season opener may very well be decided by what happens on the periphery when they take on the Texans in Houston tomorrow afternoon.

As much as everyone is anticipating Mark Sanchez's and Rex Ryan's respective debuts, all eyes may end up glued to the pivotal matchup between Darrelle Revis and Andre Johnson, the Jets' All-Pro cornerback and the Texans' All-Pro wide receiver.

"He's very explosive and he's their go-to guy on offense," Revis said Friday at the Jets' practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. "There's a couple things you can do to stop him and contain him, and that's what we've been focusing on all week, getting after him."

It won't be an easy task, even for a lockdown corner who Texans coach Gary Kubiak said was "as good as there is in the league."

Johnson led the NFL with 115 receptions for 1,575 yards last season, becoming the first player to top the league in both categories since 2005. Over the past three seasons, he has been the most productive receiver in the NFL, averaging 87.1 yards per game. He begins the year with 486 receptions and is 621 yards shy of 7,000 for his career, and he has caught at least one pass in 50 straight games.

It's a streak that Revis, who will often be lined up against Johnson in one-on-one coverage at the edges of the field, has no visions of stopping.

"I can't say I'm going to shut this guy out. What we're going to try and do is keep it to a minimum and don't give up big plays," Revis said. "He may catch a five-yard hitch, he may catch a drag route, well, OK, whatever. What we don't want is him making big plays on us: 50-, 60-, 80-yard touchdowns. ... We're going to do our best to stop him and shut him down."

And by "we," Revis means more than just his teammates providing help in the secondary. The best coverage may come from the defensive line every time Houston quarterback Matt Schaub drops back to pass.

"We can definitely do something to help Revis out, and we're going to try the best we can to take a lot of the pressure off of him," defensive tackle Kris Jenkins said.

Jenkins, regrettably, won't be fixated on the marquee showdown. "I wish I had the opportunity to sit back and watch it," he said. "Unfortunately I don't, I have to work at the same time."

TIME FOR TAKEOFF: The Jets are inviting fans to show up at the team's training facility in Florham Park, N.J., by 10 a.m. today and form a tunnel for the players to walk through as they board the team bus and head to the airport around 11. ... DE Mike DeVito (hamstring) is listed as questionable but told reporters he will play tomorrow, though he doesn't know if he'll start. ... TE Dustin Keller (toe) was added to the injury report Friday, but went through a full practice and is listed as probable, while Ryan said RB Shonn Greene (ribs) "is fine."

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Real Player Not FoundSorry. You do not have RealPlayer installed or your version is out-of-date.

Click here to install the latest RealPlayer so you can enjoy Jets multimedia.

The Jets' newest quarterback is not named Mark Sanchez. It's former Patriots backup Kevin O

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Last Updated: 4:40 AM, September 12, 2009

One of the reasons Mark Sanchez has won his teammates over so quickly has been his singular commitment to football.

One of his predecessors at USC quarterback, Matt Leinart, developed a poor reputation for being the stereotypical California party boy after he was drafted by the Cardinals three years ago, but Sanchez has made it his mission to separate himself from being lumped in with Leinart.

Sanchez has stayed away from endorsement opportunities and all other things that might distract him from getting better as a player.

"As a family and as a team, I've felt like in this city you can get caught up in a lot of things that aren't related to football, and I never wanted to be anything other than a great football player first," Sanchez said. "When other things come along maybe later down the line in my career, then that's great and I hope I made a lot of relationships to do that.

"Learning a new system, meeting all these new guys, finding a place to live, battling for a quarterback job, all that other stuff just seems so unimportant at this time."

Sanchez got some unnecessary criticism when he appeared in a GQ magazine photo spread, but he made it clear that shoot took place before the draft, before he was a Jet.

"We took a lot of heat for the GQ thing, but if people understood when it was done -- before the draft when you're sitting around working out every day -- you get your one day off during week and it as one of those fun things you do," Sanchez said. "Since I became a Jet, I've been here all the time. All I want to be is be here learning and soaking this thing up and playing well for all these guys, because this is a huge responsibility.

"I owe these guys. I'm indebted to them to play well every week. I'm accountable for that and I want to do that first before I get into anything too crazy. If things go well and we're winning I'm sure there's going to be plenty of opportunities to have fun with. This city is endless."


Coach Rex Ryan said yesterday that DE Mike DeVito (hamstring) is listed as questionable for the game because he has been limited in practice, but is expected to play. TE Dustin Keller is listed as probable with a toe injury, but Ryan said, "He's fine."


The Jets are inviting fans to come to their Florham Park facility today to participate in a pep rally-type sendoff before the team departs for Houston. Fans are encouraged to be there by 10 a.m. Ryan and Kerry Rhodes will speak to the crowd, then the rest of the players will come out to greet the fans. . . . Speaking of Rhodes, he was heading to last night's Yankees game with Keller and Sanchez in hopes of seeing Derek Jeter break the team's all-time hits record

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September 11, 2009 By KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Bryan Thomas sauntered to his locker with a big grin.

Even with the Jets' season opener against Houston looming Sunday, the eight-year linebacker says he is feeling no pressure, even as he attempts to master several defensive roles. Instead, he's looking forward to the challenge.

"It's just a matter of the next guy who is in line has to step up," Thomas said. "I always look at it as: A team is always as good as its backup player. And whoever's backing up that guy has to come in and fill that void like nobody has done."

That's good to hear because Thomas is more valuable than ever now that the Jets' best defensive weapons - linebacker Calvin Pace and defensive end Shaun Ellis - will miss the season opener because of league-mandated suspensions.

Pace must sit the first four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, and Ellis (who was fined $100,000) will miss Sunday's game against the Texans as a result of a marijuana-related arrest last November.

To compensate for the loss of Pace, who had a career-high seven sacks in his first season with the Jets, Thomas will be inserted into Pace's strong-side spot and Vernon Gholston will slide over to Thomas' old weak-side position. So far, Thomas has impressed.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said: "He reminds us a lot of Jarret Johnson, who we had in Baltimore . . . Jarret would play the strong side, the weak side, outside linebacker, he could play off the ball some, which we'll do with Bryan, and then in our third-down package, he can go down and play the nose guard or play the tackle. He can do all of it."

"He can handle it," coach Rex Ryan said. "He's a multitalented player . . . He's got excellent range in pass coverage. He's got natural length. He's got the long arms. He's got the height. He can rush the passer and he's a good defender so he's a guy that's very valuable for us. There's no doubt."

Teammate Bart Scott, a veteran linebacker of Ryan's defense from his days with the Baltimore Ravens, agreed: "He's shown his versatility and I think it's a credit to him, his athleticism and his mental capacity . . . You have to really be thinking. This is a 'thinking man's' defense."

Despite past inconsistencies (Thomas had a breakout year in 2006 recording a team and career-high 8.5 sacks, but reverted back to his disappointing play the following season), the linebacker said he won't allow himself to overthink things or second-guess himself during games. Instead, he plans to play like the veteran he is.

"I'm up for the challenge," Thomas said. "And I'm going to do it."

Notes & quotes: TE Dustin Keller (toe) was added to the injury list Friday as probable. DE Mike DeVito (hamstring), who was limited in practice, was listed as questionable, though Ryan said he thinks he will play Sunday against Houston.

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Posted on September 11th,


Mike DeVito (DE)

Practice: Limited Participation in Practice Hamstring

Game: Questionable Hamstring

Kellen Clemens (QB)

Practice: Full Participation in Practice right Elbow

Game: Probable right Elbow

Shonn Greene (RB)

Practice: Full Participation in Practice Ribs

Game: Probable Ribs

Bryan Thomas (LB)

Practice: Full Participation in Practice Ankle

Game: Probable Ankle

Wallace Wright (WR)

Practice: Full Participation in Practice Knee

Game: Probable Knee

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Who told you that you were allowed to stop in the first place? :biggrin:

Thanks for this, SFJ!

there was a contract being negotiated slats-my agent Mister Keels was bargaining hard via Twitter with Jet(s)Nation and Max...unlike Leon I was told to holdout the whole season if necessary until the numbers were were just right

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