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Jets Journal

Jane McManus of The Journal News on the Jets.

Archive for November, 2008

Denver over Jets, 34-17


Here is Kerry Rhodes and his delightful quote on Jay Cutler, “I don’t like him, I don’t want to talk about him today. Next.” I love that Rhodes is honest there. If you’re a competitor, and you took it on the chin all night, it’s OK if you don’t profess love for the guy who got the better of you.


Here is Brett Favre on the two passing plays with one yard to go for a first down in the third quarter:

“On the first pass, they covered,” Favre said. “On fourth-and-one, it was a play where they were going to load everyone in there because it was fourth-and-one. We just took a chance on a pass. We played the odds. We had converted on some big ones earlier in the year on those types of situations. Given the situation we were in, I haven’t talked to Brian Schottenheimer, I think they were good calls. They didn’t work, and I’m no different than anyone else, it is always easy to second guess it when it doesn’t work.”

Jerricho Cotchery said he had possession of that ball in the first quarter, the reverse from Brad Smith. (Wildcat alert!) Here’s his description of the play.

“Coming around I just couldn’t get a grip on the ball,” Cotchery said. “Brad made a good toss to me. I just couldn’t get a good grip on it. Once I was going down to cover up the ball I had it covered up until the dude came in and hit me. That is when it (the ball) came out.”

Eric Mangini was mad after the game. His nose was still red from the rain and wind, and he was all buttoned into that black windbreaker, and he looked angry enough to spit. Here’s what he opened with.

“I was really disappointed with the way that we played today,” Mangini said. ” We’ve established a certain way to play football around here. We’ve established a certain identity and that was nothing close to that today. I don’t think we played well in any of the three phases. I don’t think we coached well. I think when you have that – this is what you get.”

Bottom line, the Jets knew the Broncos were going to come in pass-heavy. (Even I knew, check back to my post with the Master P video.) And still the Jets could not stop the pass. If you are going to look for patterns or big picture issues to come, think about the teams the Jets could meet in the playoffs, and whether those teams present a problem through the air. Think San Diego, and over 400 yards passing for Matt Cassel at New England, a game the Jets were very fortunate to win in OT. If the Jets want Be a threat in the postseason, the team will have to neutralize the pass.

Posted by Jane McManus on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 11:49 pm |

Wild game vs. Broncos


Jets are looking porous against the pass in the first quarter, already a wild game against the Broncos. The Jets failed to score on the opening drive for the first time in seven games, and gave up the first touchdown on a wacky botched reverse.

Jets WR Brad Smith took the direct snap and flipped it to Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery fumbled, and Broncos S Vernon Fox picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown.

The Jets tried to review the play, but as it was explained to them, a live fumble isn’t reviewable if Cotchery never had possession, which was the ruling on the field.

Thomas Jones however, scored on the very next play from scrimmage, a 59-yard run that is the longest of the jets running back’s career. With that run, Jones has 1,014 yards this season, his fourth straight 1,000-plus-yard season. Score 7-7 with 8:21 left.

But the Jets have been giving up yards to the pass, and Eddie Royal scored on a 41-yard pass with 6:44 left in the first, 14-7 Broncos. The Broncos got close enough for a field goal at 1:44 to end the first up 17-7.

Now for another weird play. Jones got the handoff from Brett Favre and seemed to be brought down. Jones landed on Broncos DT Kenny Peterson and rolled over him, without any part of his body or the ball touching the ground. Jones popped up as the Broncos defense stood around and ran the ball 29-yards into the end zone. The review let the play stand, the kick was good and the Jets trailed 17-14 with 12:44 left in the first half.

Reminded me of Leon Washington‘s heads up special teams play a few weeks ago, where he stepped out of bounds before grabbing the ball. Buffalo I think. Gotta know the rules inside out and then take advantage.

The Jets were not as successful on defense however. Peyton Hillis scored on a 1-yard run, Favre gets picked and the Broncos again lined up for a 35-yard field goal to end the half up 27-14.

In the first half, the Jets have given up 316 yards of offense (230 passing) and gained 178 (only 66 passing). The Jets have a lot of ground to make up in the second half…

Big holding call against the Broncos C Casey Wiegmann when they were in the red zone. Had the play been clean, Hillis would have added another touchdown to Denver’s scoreline. Instead, rookie CB Dwight Lowery intercepted a later pass in the endzone with about 6 minutes left in the third quarter.

Update 8:30 p.m.: The Jets lose 34-17. I’ll have more from the locker room later tonight but I have not seen Eric Mangini this pissed all season, and Kerry Rhodes — who is usually the most agreeable interview in there — refused to say a word about Broncos QB Jay Cutler because he was so visibly annoyed about the loss.

Jets gave up 357 yards to the pass, and had some play-calling issues — two passing plays on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 as I recall. Red zone efficiency? 0-2. Mangini lamented the tackling as well.

Posted by Jane McManus on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 6:20 pm |



Today’s inactives at a very rainy Meadowlands.

For the Jets: K Mike Nugent, QB Brett Ratliff (3rd), WR David Clowney, RB Marcus Mason, CB Drew Coleman, S Eric Smith, LB David Harris, TE Bubba Franks.

For the Broncos: S Marlon McCree, CB Champ Bailey, RB Selvin Young, FB Andrew Pinnock, LB DJ Williams, LB Nate Webster, DT Nic Clemons, DE Tim Crowder.

A lot of people over here are talking about Plaxico Burress. So he doesn’t wear green and white, he does play in this stadium. If the story as has been reported is true, hard to think of many things that would be more unfortunate/idiotic than accidentally shooting oneself in the leg in the middle of the NFL season. Going to a nightclub with a hamstring injury and a gun in your pants. That defies reason.

Have to say that the Giants have been handling this well. The team released a statement about the shooting on Saturday, and made the GM and team owner available to the media today. This isn’t the kind of story that will go away with silence, especially if the gun was unregistered and Burress falls under the NYC mandatory minimum for carrying a firearm like that.

I can only imagine the scrum around Antonio Pierce after the game.

So Jets watchers, who is the Jet most likely to make me call a police information officer? Or is this team’s character a little different.

This is from the NFL Network’s NFL Gameday Morning.

“If Drew (Rosenhaus) doesn’t want to touch it, you know something’s wrong.” – Marshall Faulk on Burress’ agent Drew Rosenhaus issuing a ‘no comment’ on legal ramifications concerning incident.

“All of a sudden you become Jesse James? This isn’t the wild, wild west…Ask NFL security for help and they will protect you.” – Warren Sapp on players protecting themselves when they go out.

Posted by Jane McManus on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
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More on Feely


I talked to kicker Jay Feely on Friday about living with the uncertainty at his position (there’s more on that about two posts down), and asked him what he planned to do after his day-to-day career in football.

He said politics. And for the next 10 minutes he showed a real depth issues like education policy and  welfare. The only thing that would hold him back, he said, are four young kids. “I know what kind of dad I want to be,” Feely said.

Here’s part of the story that ran today in The Journal News. (That pic is Feely from the Easter Seals annual meeting.) The whole thing is here.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – In the last few weeks, as the thigh injury that has kept place-kicker Mike Nugent out of the lineup has healed, there has been a competition between the season-opening starter and his replacement, Jay Feely.

Each week they go against each other in practice, and each week the coaching staff decides who will start. Although Feely has been chosen each time, he has never been told ahead of time he is playing. Not once. He just dresses for the game, and Nugent gets pulled aside to head out for warm-ups with the other inactives.

This week, Nugent has been listed as “probable” to play. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be chosen to be the kicker for the 8-3 Jets today in their 4:15 p.m. game against Denver (6-5) at the Meadowlands.

The ability to remain clear-headed despite the drama, Feely said, is part of what it takes to be a good kicker anyway. And the ability to negotiate the shark-infested waters of professional football is great training for his next field: politics.

Over the years, Feely has met with Karl Rove and former presidents Jimmy Carter and the late Gerald Ford. President George W. Bush and he once waited for an hour outside Tony Blair’s London office before the then-British prime minister had to take an emergency call from another head of state.

Most of those meetings wouldn’t have been possible without the NFL on his resumé.
“When I got into the NFL, that provided me with the platform to get that name and face recogntion that is so key,” Feely said.

J.C. Watts, whom the Jets drafted in 1981 with the second pick in the eighth round, is one of the politicians from whom Feely sought advice. Watts, a Republican from Oklahoma who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-2003, told Feely to use those football connections to bolster recognition for a possible run for congress in his home state of Florida.

Feely, 32, describes himself as a social conservative but says he is more liberal when it comes to fiscal policy. He has been a financial planner during lean years when he wasn’t playing football after playing at Michigan, but he doesn’t want to go back into finance when the kicking gig is over.

Note: The Jets are asking fans attending today’s game to bring a new or gently used coat to benefit Jersey Cares. “This time of year, it’s more important that we give back,” Jets coach Eric Mangini said.

Posted by Jane McManus on Sunday, November 30th, 2008 at 9:00 am |
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Mangini is NFL coach of the week


Forget Brett Favre and Alan Faneca, NFL.com voters have named Eric Mangini the NFL coach for Week 12. Wow. From 4-12 to coach of the week.

Wrap. Brain. Around.

He even beat out Giants coach Tom Coughlin. I understand if you need a moment.

This is an older AP photo of Mangini, but I thought this captured moment of rare joy made up for it being slightly dated…

Posted by Jane McManus on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 6:56 pm |

Nugent is probable!


Here is the weird thing about the Mike Nugent vs. Jay Feely War of the Kickers (I’m just trying to work that up a bit, they are actually pretty good friends), neither of them has ever been officially told who is starting before the game.

Feely just puts on his uniform and heads out on the field, while Nugent gets taken aside and told to warm up with the inactives. No cake, no balloons, no admission that there is anything slightly tense about the whole thing.

But today Nugent was listed as “probable” on the final injury report, which could mean that his thigh injury has healed so thoroughly that it isn’t a decent excuse to sit him any more. Will Nugent be allowed to dress? Will Feely be cut? Will anyone tell either player before the National Anthem is played??

Stay tuned…

Here’s the rest of the report…

Key injuries
Jets: S Eric Smith (concussions) and LB David Harris (groin) are questionable. TE Bubba Franks (hip), K Mike Nugent (thigh), WR Laveranues Coles (thigh) WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder), DL Shaun Ellis (back), CB Dwight Lowery (thigh), WR Brad Smith (shoulder) and LB Jason Trusnik (knee) are probable.

Broncos: S Marlon McCree (ankle) is out. LB D.J. Williams (knee) is doubtful. WR Eddie Royal (toe), CB Champ Bailey (groin), LB Nate Webster (knee) and RB Selvin Young (groin) are questionable. G Ben Hamilton (wrist), RB Peyton Hillis (shoulder), WR Brandon Marshall (hip), DT Kenny Peterson (Achilles), RB P.J. Pope (ribs), DT Dewayne Robertson (knees), DT Josh Shaw (shoulder) and DT Marcus Thomas (hamstring) are probable.

Posted by Jane McManus on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 5:42 pm |


Potholes in my lawn


It’s the day after Thanksgiving, but the players didn’t really get a break yesterday. Today, David Harris and Eric Smith, in the red jersey, were both out practicing. I’d be surprised to see either dressed on Sunday

Eric Mangini said the drama between Jay Feely and Mike Nugent would continue through evaluations today, and he’s pick a starting kicker before the 4:15 p.m. start.

Although the Jets have had a lot of recent success — wins over the Bills, St. Louis, New England and the Titans have elevated the team to a place where “Jets” and “Super Bowl” is not a punchline — this Denver game could be tricky.

The Broncos are coming off a crappy loss to Oakland in Denver — much like the Jets experienced earlier this season. Denver is big into the pass, defending against which is not exactly the Jets strength.

And don’t forget that the Jets have struggled against teams with losing records before this season (Oakland, Cincinnati and Kansas City). This could be a game where the Jets come out and show they have turned into a juggernaut, or it could be a reality check.

Anyway, as for practice, Mangini didn’t play any “Rocky Mountain High” stuff, but he did play the Master P classic, “Make ‘Em Say Ugh,” which I have on my iPod. It was a hit with the receivers. I saw Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery getting down, while Dustin Keller, Brad Smith and David Clowney acting like they weren’t in grade school when the song first came out a decade ago. (Explicit lyrics, kids.)

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Posted by Jane McManus on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
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Favre’s change of heart


Brett Favre almost freaked out on the plane ride to New York. Deanna talked him off the ledge and, for that, Jets fans can give thanks. Here’s the story from The Journal News and Happy Thansksgiving day!

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Brett Favre grew up a Saints fans in Kiln, Miss., so he knew about rooting for a team that always seemed to break your heart. He supported the New Orleans franchise through losses and disappointment and it eventually changed the way he watched their games.

“You almost cheered for them to lose after a while because you just knew it was going to happen,” Favre said. “You didn’t want to get your hopes up. So why not get a high draft pick next year? It was one of those, wear a bag over your head.”

So he knew what he was getting into when he was traded to the Jets. Not to say that anyone needs to resort to anonymity, but he was aware that losing has a cumulative effect on a team and its fan base.

“There’s only one way to change it, and that’s win and continue to win,” Favre said. “It wasn’t long ago, the Giants last year, (the Packers) played them early in the year, beat them very soundly. They were ready to ship Eli (Manning) off, and coach (Tom) Coughlin and the rest of the guys. At the end of the year, there was a parade.

“I’m not saying that that’s going to happen to us, but it’s funny how things can change.”

The Jets are doing that. For those scoring at home, a 1-2 start is now 8-3, with wins over the Bills, Pats and previously undefeated Tennessee within the last four games.

Favre confirmed that he had a moment on the initial plane ride from his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., to New York where he wondered if he had done the right thing.

His wife, Deanna, had to remind him that he owed it to the Jets to give the team his best effort.

“I knew what I was up against,” Favre said. “It’s been well documented. I knew the odds were definitely not in my favor, that the expectations would be very high. Could I match those expectations? That was a question I had to figure out. I’m still trying to figure it out along the way.”

With each passing game, Favre seems a more integral part of the Jets. It may be only for a year, but Favre and his teammates are changing the tenor of this team. Jets fans can realistically hope for the playoffs, and don’t have to hope the team loses out to better its position in the draft.

“At some point we may have another rough spot,” Favre said. “But if we continue to stay the course, we’ll be fine.”

Posted by Jane McManus on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 10:50 am |

Lowery on injury report


Rookie cornerback Dwight Lowery is the newest addition to the injury report, which didn’t have a single player listed as out or DNP. At this time of the season, that is no small thing. There is practice tomorrow for the players on Thanksgiving morning, but no media availability.

Here’s the full list for the Jets.

Limited: WR Laveranues Coles (thight), LB David Harris (groin), K Mike Nugent (thigh), S Eric Smith (concussions). Full Participation: WR Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder), DL Shaun Ellis (back), TE Bubba Franks (hip), Lowery (thigh), WR Brad Smith (shoulder), LB Jason Trusnik (knee).

And the Broncos.

Did not practice: S Marlon McCree (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (toe). Limited: CB Champ Bailey (groin), LB Nate Webster (knee), LB D.J. Williams (knee), RB Selvin Young (groin). Full participation: G Ben Hamilton (wrist), RB Peyton Hillis (shoulder), WR Brandon Marshall (hip), DT Kenny Peterson (Achilles), RB P.J. Pope (ribs), DT Dewayne Robertson (knees), DT Josh Shaw (shoulder) and DT Marcus Thomas (hamstring).

And how about this Kris Jenkins quote. He’s talking here about how much he likes playing in front of the home fans at the Meadowlands. Oh and Fireman Ed Anzalone, I think Jenkins is allowed to call everyone else “little.”

“Yes, I miss the little guy with the fire hat doing his little signs on the video screen. I like that. He gets me excited actually. I know some guys on the team asked why I get excited. I am like, I never got to experience something like that. We have some intense fans here and I am glad to be a part of that experience. I definitely enjoy playing in front of the home crowd.”

Posted by Jane McManus on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
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Leon on the set


Offensive player of the week Leon Washington was on the set of nearly every ESPN TV and radio show in existence yesterday, and here is a photo of him from ESPN Live, demonstrating his running back technique. He wasn’t the only player on the media tour — Kerry Rhodes was on the Ed Lover show this morning.

Posted by Jane McManus on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 at 1:53 pm |

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A team of Journal News reporters share their thoughts on the Jets with the Lower Hudson fans.

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Jane McManusJane McManus joined The Journal News in 1999, after working at The Daily News and Newsday. Since she's been here, she's covered everything from girls basketball to the Final Four, the U.S. Open of both golf and tennis and recreational sports from rock climbing to roller derby (which she liked so much she joined the team). READ MORE
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