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Jets Journal

Jane McManus of The Journal News on the Jets.

Game notes


Had enough of blah blah blah Mark Sanchez? Here are your leftovers from last night’s 23-30 loss to the Rams at the Meadowlands, with just a little Sanchez sprinkled in.

Done so soon? Rex Ryan took Sanchez out after the touchdown because he didn’t want either potential starter to get injured with three first team offensive linemen out of the game.

“I think he showed us everything we needed to see,” Ryan said.

Kellen Clemens and the strip-sack-fumble. This was really the only blight on his performance last night. Clemens addressed it after the game.

“We were in the third-and-long, I believe it was third-and-nine,” Clemens said. “I dropped back and they played a coverage that the route takes a little bit longer to develop downfield. Chansi Stuckey was winning, but we ran out of time. The ball got knocked out of my hand. I had a little pressure from the front side. I have to do a better job of protecting it (and) stepping up into the pocket.”

Erik Ainge was happy to be out there. The third-string QB pointed out that it’s been a year since he played in a game that counted, and most Jets said he played well. He was 10-for-17 with 148 yards. Ryan said he had hoped to play Chris Pizzotti but stuck with Ainge because he wanted to win.

The owner is pleased. I bumped into Woody Johnson after the game in the tunnel and he was beaming pretty hard. Clearly he doesn’t want to annoint one QB over the other, but he noticed the 48-yard pass from Sanchez to David Clowney.

“I don’t want to keep dwelling on that it was pretty spectacular,” Johnson said.

Ryan said he wasn’t in on the long pass to Clowney for Sanchez’ debut. He allowed that Brian Schottenheimer is calling the offense on his own while he called nearly every defensive play of the first half.

“Let the guy warm up or something a little bit,” Ryan joked. “…But I think that shows you the kind of kid he is, he’s a cool customer.”

The third string cheese. Ryan was not pleased with the way the third string defense played. This is a job interview for guys like Zach Potter, Howard Green, Ty Steinkuhler, Keith Fitzhugh etc. etc. and they need to play well. So often we see the lighter side of Ryan, but he was not happy with the loss or parts of the defense.

Did anyone impress him?

“A couple players negatively,” Ryan said. “I know it’s the first game and you have pre-game jitters, but you’ve got to play in the NFL. You have to have skin like an armadillo (and I know it’s not skin). You have to be tougher than that. You can’t make mental mistakes. There were some guys that disappointed me, but I thought (Britt) Davis had a nice catch. That was good to see. I thought some of the young offensive linemen. (Matt) Slauson, from what I saw, did a decent job.  I thought (Matt) Kroul, at times, was pretty good on defense.”


Passing the rookie phenom torch: TE Dustin Keller was a rookie last season who impressed Jets fans out of the box and, while being diplomatic with both QBs competiting for the starting job, said Sanchez looked like he’d been out there 100 times before.


And other stuff: It was former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s first trip back to the Meadowlands as a head coach, but he didn’t really notice. “I was not wrapped up in where we were playing,” Spagnuolo said. “I have great memories here, but I was not wrapped up in that.  I just get a little bit in a zone. It’s football. It’s competition. I don’t think about much other than the next play to be quite honest with you.” … Wallace Wright was hit in the head in the third quarter  but walked off the field. … Danny Woodhead debuted as a kickoff receiver, gaining 20 yards in his first attempt. … Last year’s first-round draft pick Vernon Gholston had two tackles, but didn’t exactly look like the defensive end that Ryan has been tauting … CB Dwight Lowery got burned on a 50 yard pass form St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger to Laurent Robinson.

UPDATE: The Jets waived QB Chris Pizzotti and WR Paul Raymond earlier today. The team signed G Dennis Conley. Cutting Raymond was a pretty loud message: mistakes that cost the Jets the game will not be tolerated. Ryan is a funny guy, but he’s dead serious about that.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2009 at 4:13 pm by Jane McManus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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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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