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Jets News 12/2


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Bills DE says Brick's a wall

By MARK CANNIZZARO

Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel, who has been a headache for the Jets over the years, yesterday praised the man he'll be going up against tomorrow night in Toronto.

When asked about Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Schobel said, "He's playing as good as anybody at that position. He's definitely playing quite a bit better than he has the last few years."

Schobel ranked him with Cleveland's Joe Thomas and Miami's Jake Long as the NFL's top tackles.

"He could be the best," Schobel said of Ferguson. "He's definitely up there. I think he's definitely in the top three."

When told of Schobel's praise, Ferguson joked, "He's just trying to butter me up."

Cornerbacks Dwight Lowery (ankle) and Donald Strickland (concussion) will not play tomorrow night. Neither has practiced this week.

Ryan said Mark Sanchez, who tweaked his knee Sunday, "moved well" in practice and "looks great."

Ryan, who has emphasized his team protecting the ball -- the Jets have turned the ball over 26 times, second most in the league -- talked to WR Braylon Edwards about the way he has carried the ball with one hand after some catches.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi's talk to the Jets after practice was refreshing to the players.

"Oh, that was great, man," CB Darrelle Revis said. "That was the first time I met him. He gave us a little pep talk about the outcome of this year that they had and some of the ups and downs they had. I took something out if and it was unity. It was a great speech."

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LOOKING BACK

Since the arrival of WR Braylon Edwards, TE Dustin Keller has been piling up the numbers. In the past four games, he has 21 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. This past Sunday, he had four catches for 68 yards and lost a fumble at the Panthers

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Jets left guard Alan Faneca reacted with amazement. The 12-year veteran and eight-time Pro Bowler has been fed hundreds of stats during his distinguished career, but this one took him aback.

Since 2005, only one running back has gained more yards than the Jets

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As part of the new ball-security program installed to help out Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan invited Joe Girardi to the Jets' practice at Florham Park to show the rookie quarterback how to slide.

The Jets are pretty adept at sliding. They've been doing it since Week 4.

OK that was a gratuitous cheap shot. But having Girardi come over to practice was a pretty good idea because Sanchez needs as much help as he can get down the stretch.

Girardi, who deftly guided the Yankees to a World Series championship this season, also took some time out to address the Jets on being champions. Cornerback Darrelle Revis said he took away something from the pep talk.

"Unity," he said.

Good. The Jets won't fall apart as they go hand-in-hand to ... nowhere this season.

Girardi's pep talk and his teaching Sanchez to hook slide are a little too late to help the Jets this season. They aren't going to the playoffs because they don't have what it takes to run the table, which is what they have to do to have a chance. Hopefully Sanchez will retain the fundamentals of sliding and won't get decapitated this year and will be a much better quarterback for it next season.

Sanchez and the Jets will play the Bills tomorrow night in Toronto. It is a rematch of the worst game of the year for the quarterback and the team. That was the game in which the Jets had their hearts ripped out and were exposed as playoff contending frauds.

Sanchez threw five interceptions in his first real meltdown, and remarkably, because the Jets rushed for more than 300yards (Thomas Jones had 210 himself), they were still in position to win the game. But they lost in overtime to a Bills team that was more of a train wreck than the Jets.

Sanchez had another meltdown in his rematch against the Patriots, throwing four more interceptions. This time Ryan decided to do something about it. He came up with a color-coded plan to help Sanchez get a better feel for playing the position.

There is no truth to the rumor that the Jets' playbook is now a two-page coloring book and Sanchez has been given four crayons (red, blue, yellow and green) and told to stay inside the lines.

Tackle Damien Woody believes Sanchez is not the same quarterback who threw five picks against the Bills.

"I think he's starting to grasp and understand what ball security means to our team," Woody said. "I think he now realizes that he holds the life line of a lot of people in his hands with what he does with that football."

It is a valuable lesson to learn, albeit a little late for this season. The Jets are 5-6 and will need at least 10 wins to get a shot at the playoffs. Besides Buffalo, they play at Tampa Bay, which isn't a back breaker. But they finish with Atlanta, at Indianapolis and at home against Cincinnati. The Colts and the Bengals are division leaders and might not lay down for anyone in those last two games. Besides, the Colts could be playing for a perfect regular season.

The final part of the season will be a proving ground for both Ryan and Sanchez, two rookies who have taken their lumps in on-the-job training this season. You hope that they will be out of the learning curve by the time that they hit that final game against Cincinnati and will be ready to hit the ground running at the start of the 2010 season.

Yes, you might as well start looking ahead to next season.

The worst thing that could have happened for Ryan, Sanchez and the Jets was the fast start by the rookie quarterback.

"With the early success people just went overboard and weren't facing reality," Woody said. "He had only played 16 games in college and had only played a couple of games there at the beginning of the season. He has a boatload of talent, but what he was lacking was experience. That's where you see the growing pains right now."

By scaling things back for Sanchez and giving him those color-coded cues, Ryan said he saw an improvement in Sanchez last week and he doesn't have any fear pulling any play from the playbook and giving it to him if the situation calls for it.

"Let's face it, last week he could have had maybe not a Drew Brees game. I don't think I've ever seen that before, but he could have had numbers way up there," Ryan said. "He understood where I was coming from and where Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) was coming from. You just see the confidence."

The Jets should brace for another year of growing pains with Sanchez. It usually takes a couple or three years for a quarterback, even one as physically gifted as Sanchez, to get a real feel for the position.

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Rex Ryan's theme of the week: Ball security. One of his primary targets is WR Braylon Edwards.

In front of the team, Ryan told Edwards he needs to do a better job of protecting the ball. Edwards didn't have any fumbles Sunday, but he palmed the ball while running after a catch, flirting with danger. "He's got his own red, yellow, green card," Ryan said Tuesday, alluding to the color-coded system he designed for Mark Sanchez. "It says, 'Secure the ball, secure the ball, secure the ball.' That's his code."

"Obviously, I got a little lax with ball security," Edwards said. "I was in my own world, having fun with the game and I let it slip, which is something you don't want to do. You don't want to be the cause of turnovers in crucial situations. I'll get the ball tucked in, but I'll continue to have fun."

T.O. SOUNDS OFF: Terrell Owens has a message for the Jets: Beware.

"They are not going to be faced with the same team that they saw the first time," Owens told the Buffalo media Tuesday, referring to the Oct. 18 meeting at the Meadowlands, a Buffalo OT win in which he caught three passes for a season-low 13 yards. "I hope they don't think they are going to see the same me that they saw the first time."

Owens has caught 14 passes for 293 yards and two TDs in the two games since Perry Fewell replaced the fired Dick Jauron. "I'm drinking from the Fountain of Youth," said Owens, who turns 36 on Monday. In the first meeting, T.O. was neutralized by CB Darrelle Revis. "He's pretty solid, very competitive," Owens said. "He's one of those guys who can play on an island by himself and well-deserving because of his skills."

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By Doug Farrar

In this new feature, we compile a list of the top five defensive players of the week, and let you vote on your favorite. This week, we start with a young defender who's making his name as the best at his position. Yes, the Shutdown Corner defensive player of the week is a ... shutdown corner. Go figure!

1. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets

Against the Patriots two games ago, Revis limited Randy Moss(notes) to nothing but frustration and bubble screens. Last Sunday, he did the same to Steve Smith and picked off two Jake Delhomme(notes) passes to put his season total at four. While that may not sound too impressive, consider that as games go on, enemy quarterbacks stop targeting Revis. Once Tom Brady(notes) gave up on deep routes to Moss, he just settled for short stuff to Wes Welker(notes) instead. Like Nnamdi Asomugha(notes) and Champ Bailey(notes), Revis is at the level where he pretty much shuts down his side of the field all the time.

2. Darnell Dockett, DT, Arizona Cardinals

Dockett's performance was lost in the well-deserved hullabaloo over Vince Young's(notes) 99-yard drive, but it's worth mentioning, especially for an interior lineman. He racked up three sacks against the Titans, his fourth straight game with a quarterback takedown. Earlier in the season, Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that Dockett was the best defensive player he'd seen all year, and games like the one Dockett put up against the Titans put some weight behind that praise.

3. Kerry Rhodes, S, New York Jets

Rhodes was benched after New York's Week 11 loss to the Patriots

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Mark Sanchez's sliding lessons were no gimmick -- they were meant help the Jets rookie avoid a serious injury.

As Mark Sanchez lay crumpled on the turf in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Panthers, Jets coach Rex Ryan stood a few feet away with one thought racing through his mind.

Sanchez had just been tackled after a scramble around right end, and he was grabbing at his left knee. It was the same knee he injured just before the start of the 2008 season at USC, when he suffered a dislocated kneecap. Sanchez wears a protective brace on the knee.

As Ryan looked on, wondering if the kid he calls "Sanchize" was injured, he said to himself: "Just breathe. You'll be all right."

With $50 million invested in Sanchez, Ryan had plenty to fear. A season-ending injury to his prized rookie, and all the work during the last seven months would have been wasted. A career-ending injury . . . don't even think about it.

"Just breathe." . . .

The good news for Sanchez and Ryan: He got up, hobbled to the bench and was checked out by the team's medical staff. Within a few minutes, he was back in the game.

There was no injury; it's simply being called "a tweak" and Sanchez is expected to be in the lineup Thursday night against the Bills in Toronto.

That makes two New York quarterbacks with an ailing wheel: Sanchez's left knee and Eli Manning's right foot.

Both quarterbacks will tough it out as they lead their teams in hopes of earning a playoff spot. But Manning will do so as an established veteran doing everything he can to protect himself.

Sanchez is the far riskier proposition, as his daring - and sometimes dumb - risk-taking on game day suggests. Whether it was lowering his head on a touchdown run in a Week 3 game against the Titans - a move that was greeted with plenty of attaboys, despite the risk of injury - diving head first for a first down against the Panthers on Sunday or trying to outrace Carolina cornerback Richard Marshall before getting hurt, Sanchez sometimes plays with a recklessness that puts him at unnecessary risk.

Ryan has become so exasperated by the kid's daring that he decided to call the Yankees and ask for someone to teach Sanchez the finer points of sliding. None other than manager Joe Girardi showed up at practice yesterday.

"He showed me how to protect the ball while I am sliding and try not to fall on one side or the other on my shoulder, just absorb the blow with my butt and my legs," Sanchez said. "It was important for me to learn that and I really appreciated it."

OK, fine. Just one question: Why is Sanchez just now learning to slide, a move that is as essential for a quarterback as arm strength and pocket presence? Shouldn't someone on Pete Carroll's staff at USC have gotten to this before now?

Whoever's at fault, Sanchez needs to realize quickly that he cannot do it all at this level, that there are times when it is smarter to be conservative, forego a few extra yards, and survive to see the next play.

It's one thing to be competitive; it's another to be stupid. And Sanchez has crossed that line more than once this season. He's lucky it hasn't gotten him more than just this "tweak."

"I've never really been a slider," Sanchez said. "In baseball, I slid head first. In football, I've done the same thing, or tried to get out of bounds or throw the ball away. It's something that you need to learn at this level. Once you get the first down or as many yards as you need, just protect yourself and protect the ball and give yourself a chance to play."

He understands that now, but it offers no guarantee he won't react instinctively and go head first the next time he feels the need to make yardage. A lesson from Girardi was a good first step. Maybe a chat with Manning will offer some valuable reinforcement.

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When asked about Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Schobel said, "He's playing as good as anybody at that position. He's definitely playing quite a bit better than he has the last few years."

Schobel ranked him with Cleveland's Joe Thomas and Miami's Jake Long as the NFL's top tackles.

Hey! Imagine that. I feel like there's been people on this very board who've been saying that for quite some time now.

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By Doug Farrar

5. Stylez G. White, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was, without question, the season's best performance by any player who changed his name to honor the movie "Teen Wolf." After a slow start to the season, White was dominant against the Falcons, amassing 2.5 sacks as Atlanta tried to put a game plan together with backup quarterback Chris Redman(notes). The Falcons did overcome the woeful Bucs with a late touchdown pass from Redman to Roddy White(notes), but Stylez's performance in this game was a rare bright spot for a team that has seen its defense reach disaster status.

Stylez G. :lol:

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Too bad there's just as many morons that think he's a JAG.

DBrick is one of the best LT's in the game. Plain and simple.

you are a delusional homer. He's skinny!111!!

seriously though, he's improved a ton. I remember his second year when he would get bull rushed all the time. Now, he makes guys look like Vernon Gholston. They just stick to him.

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By Rich Cimini

Interesting quote yesterday from demoted S Kerry Rhodes:

"We've got five games left. I'm going to play hard. When you're in a situation like this, you can't go into the tank because ... other teams look at that."

Sounds like a player who's counting the days to get out of here. And if that's his wish, he just might get it.

As I wrote last week, the day his demotion became public, the Jets almost certainly will try to trade Rhodes in the offseason. I'm told his contract (he signed a five-year, $33.5 million extension before the '08 season) will have no bearing whatsoever on whether the organization decides to part ways with him.

Right now, Rhodes' cap number in 2010 is $6.9 million -- a $2.78 million base salary (guaranteed only in the case of injury), a $2 million roster bonus (due in early March) and a $250,000 workout bonus.

If they trade Rhodes, the remaining pro-rated portions of his signing bonus will accelerate into the 2010 cap -- $7.5 million in "dead" money. So, in essence, it would cost them more to not have him than to have him, but if 2010 is an uncapped year (that's how it will be under the current CBA), a cap hit like that will be no biggie.

Rhodes is not a Rex Ryan kind of player. That doesn't mean he still can't be a productive player in this league, but I just don't see it happening here. It would take a minor miracle over the next five games for Rhodes to convince the organization he's still the long-term answer. If he makes a couple of more interceptions, maybe he'll get his starting job back. At the very least, his trade value will increase.

* * *

CB Darrelle Revis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. You probably wouldn't get an argument from Steve Smith. Next up: T.O. in To -- Toronto, that is.

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By Dave Hutchinson/The Star Ledger

December 02, 2009, 3:13PM

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is tackled by Carolina Panthers wideout Steve Smith after catching one of his two first half interceptions.Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis continues to establish himself as perhaps the league's premier cover guy as he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Jets' 17-6 victory over the Panthers last Sunday.

Revis intercepted two passes against the Panthers, including one that he returned 67 yards for a touchdown. He held Panthers all-world wide receiver Steve Smith to just one catch for five yards. He also had two tackles.

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