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1st Offense: ‘No Excuses … Not Alarming’

Posted by Randy Lange on August 26, 2007 – 12:30 am

The Jets were upbeat in their locker room because of their 20-12 comeback win over the Giants tonight. And they were not beating themselves up over their first offense’s shortcomings.

"It’s good this is happening now and that we can figure things out with two weeks to go," QB Chad Pennington said, "and we’re not trying to look at things three or four weeks into the season and saying, ‘What are we going to do now?’ "

Later, Pennington said of his summer doldrums in particular, "There’s a lot of different factors, and there are no excuses, but to me it’s not alarming."

What the Jets were and will be looking at closely was the left guard situation. Jacob Bender started there and gave up a sack, then Adrien Clarke came in at the start of the second quarter, and the two rotated at the position into the second half. Certainly that was part of the Jets’ struggles: After hitting Leon Washington for a 79-yard touchdown strike on the game’s first play from scrimmage, the Green & White offense managed minus-5 yards, no first downs and 0-for-6 on third-down conversions before Pennington left after the first possession of the third quarter.

Head coach Eric Mangini described the struggles at guard as "part of the process. There were struggles at different points for all different levels of players. … We looked at the tape and we’ll see how it looks going forward. I think the reps that Jacob got tonight and that Adrien got tonight, were really positive."

Bender seemed to make it all right through his baptism by fire.

"My philosophy going into this was I didn’t want to just put my toe in the water — I’m jumping in head first," he said. On the 12-yard sack he yielded to DE Justin Tuck on the Jets’ fourth play, he said, "I didn’t use my technique and he capitalized on it. It was a great move."

Center Nick Mangold, the new leader in the center of the line, talked about building chemistry with the left guard and was pressed about whether that began late in the preseason with Bender, who was a left tackle in college and played a lot at right tackle before moving to left guard last week.

"It’s not so much a position-specific chemistry," Mangold said. "It’s finding out who each guy is, what he’s thinking, how he plays the game."

On Bender’s game alongside him, Mangold said: "I thought he did a great job. He built on each play, got better as the game went along. It was a testament to how he’s studying and learning."

One thing Pennington admits to learning is that the summer games have not been his forte.

"My history in preseason has not been real good," the QB admitted with a tired smile at the interview room podium. "I try to take the preseason games, take the film, learn from it, put it in my memory bank, work on it and learn from it."

Pennington’s recent preseason showing has not been hot, hot, hot. This year he and the first offense have produced seven points on 14 drives. In 2006-07 it’s 13 points on 24 possessions. And in his last three preseason games vs. the Giants, it’s 7 points on 23 drives.

Why is that?

"Sometimes you’re trying to work on your base offense and you don’t want to throw everything out there because you’re saving it for the regular season," he said. "We’re working guys in and out, a lot of guys are playing with the ones so we can see what they can bring to the table."

The Jets need to find out in the next two weeks before the Patriots come calling on Sept. 9.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “1st Offense: ‘No Excuses … Not Alarming’”

  1. By Ralph on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    I’m worried, and I think the Jets are more concerned than they are letting on. Did you see Mangini’s face during the game? He was not amused. Danny Ware should be HB2. Leon can be the scatback and play in certain situations. Until the line gets in order, he’s not strong enough to punch through.

  2. By james sollazzo on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Our offensive line is “offensive”. They knew kendall was a problem in march and did nothing about it. Now they have to start a kid froma school where they don’t throw the ball. They will probably overpay for a guard like they did with barlow last year!!

  3. By Drew on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Randy..did we look this bad in last years pre-season or were are expectations so low that we did not notice? It hard to not to be concerned when everything looks so awful! That Sept 9th game is starting to look scary. Any word on Thomas Jones?? He is the difference for this team.

  4. By viveca on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    This is alarming! No pass rush from the D-line as usual. The O-line’s play is even scarier. Brick has not improved. No answer to who should play left guard.
    K.C. should take over from Chad right away. He has smarts and an arm!

  5. By viveca on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Bill Walsh might have said that armstrength in a quarterback is not important, but he was talking, I’m sure, about adequate armstrength. Chad’s isn’t. He is a great guy, but should be replaced. Go with K.C. With Chad we aren’t going anywhere.

  6. By Pranit Sethi on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    I can’t stand the people/press who are blaming Chad for the screw up last night.. If the offensive libe gives him a second can he see downfield. The season is aat jeopardy guys. Tannenbaum and Mangini are the ones to blame. Thy hve put the season on the line with the kendall trade. Can jets recover?

  7. By web1030 on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Last night was quite a disappointment. The Giants utterly dominated the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense. If the Jets don’t find a way to win the battle up front, the promise this season showed will quickly be gone. I bet Pete Kendall enjoyed watching the highlights….

  8. By Howard on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    they better figure this out quickly,seems like no one on the o-line can block anymore.coack wise needs to start kicking some butt with his guys.no blocking equals long season.we have great skill position players but they need to be kept on thier feet not thier backs.Chad can lead this team anytime.

  9. By kelejets on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Am growing tired of Chad’s “its a learning experience” comments every time our O stalls. Fact is, the 1st team O looked horrible sans the 1st play & that’s not enough 2 win in this league. Kendall was missed ! Is the NYG D THAT dominating… i think not. Lets hope we pick up a good OL-man on Tues.

  10. By Rob on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Another pathetic display. Every down in the first half was a jailbreak. Reminded me of the 2005 season opener at KC. Defense is horrible.Frankly, the team has regressed this year. With the exception of Revis there doesn’t seem to any improvement. Mangini/Tannenbaum have laid an egg this off-season.

  11. By JOHNNYJET on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply


  12. By Ira on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Good points about Chad’s track record in preseason games. Get Jones back and get the new LG and they will be ready for the Pats. We can only hope so. Still have to give Chad a pass on last night. He had no help and they played it safe. Still you can’t have 6 3 and outs for negative yards.

  13. By aaron on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    jets wont recover the loss of pete kendell ( and u would see on very first game against arch rival, patriots) im nooo chad penington fan but to his defense, he wouldnt be to blame for poor offense if offensive line dont give him extra sec to throw..get ready for monster pat’s sacks against jets!

  14. By Ira on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Chad 100% gets a pass for last night. Don’t worry about the pass rush. In a 3-4 D the LB’s and DB’s get the Qb pressures and sacks. The D-line needs to do a better job but Sutton is not going to game plan or show much during the preseason. They blitzed more in camp than in the preseason games.

  15. By WILLIAMJETSON on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    everyone justs needs to relax. chad pennington would have 7 tds no ints if he were playing against 2nd and 3rd team defense. k.c. may have a good arm but there is a reason hes a backup. mangini is one of the smartest guys in the game and there is no way he would sit kellen if he was the better QB.

  16. By Larry Bennett on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Evidently Mangini will give Pennington a pass for yet another horrible preseason game. Why even play him in preseason games? Clemens looks great. Pennington looks bad. So lets start Pennington against the Pats. Typical Jet coaching strategy.

  17. By Drew on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Until Chad has a couple of really bad “regular” season starts he is my QB. if this runs into late September than we have a problem. Chad came into last year the same way and lit the Titans up in week 1. I just hope we can figure out the LG. Kendall must have been laughing last night

  18. By Ira on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Anybody who thinks Mr. T doesn’t have a plan is only kidding themselves. Maybe its even A. Jones or W.Smith. I doubt it though. They have to have a deal in place for a trade or player who will be cut. That could happen real soon.!!

  19. By Frank on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    I said it the other day Ferguson is absolutely lost without Kendall. Another sack this week that is 3 in three games this is a serious and alarming regression. Hey wait a minute is that Norm Katnick at Jets camp today? Sorry guys Tangini has destroyed the delicate bond in the locker room….

  20. By Frank on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    How do you think Coles and all the others that killed themselves in the brutal camp Mangini runs and managemnet in one ridiculous move takes away their best chance to succeed this season? Tangini severly underestimated the fallout from this. Kendall was the brightest mind on the offense sorry Chad.

  21. By Frank on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    2007 Predictions 1. Clemens becomes the starting QB by mid-season. 2. Ferguson is exposed Bender is new LT. 3. Season record 6-10. 4. Moore gets a new contract by the 10th game of the season(The upgrade Kendall didn’t) 5. Mangini gets a hug and a kiss from Belichick after the opening day massacre.

  22. By Brandon on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply

    Can someone let fans know what’s going on with Thomas Jones, Justin Miller, and others. I understand wanting to be discreet but aren’t the Jets in violation of NFL Injury Disclosure rules? It’s not fair as a fan (i.e. those who keep the team in business) to get zero info.

  23. By JOHNNYJET on Aug 26, 2007 | Reply


  24. By JetsWin1 on Aug 27, 2007 | Reply

    You guys are so fickle.

  25. By Schuyler on Aug 27, 2007 | Reply

    I think everyone needs to relax, this is the preseason. Chad might not be doing well, but who cares, he is a proven leader and a winner. He has the highest winning percentage of any jets quarterback. As long as they win, I don’t care. Thomas Jones will give the Jets a new dimension, the play action.

  26. By Alanjet on Aug 27, 2007 | Reply

    It started with losing Mawae, now Kendall. Why doesn’t Mgt realize the importance of great O lineman? Having a solid O line is key to a strong passing and running game. Someone tell me how it wasn’t worth 1 mil $ to keep Kendall. If Mgt doesn’t adress this soon we’re in serious trouble. HELP !!!!!!

  27. By rich on Aug 27, 2007 | Reply

    Look to San Fran for a possible trade… Justin Smiley is on the bubble… and Adrian Jones could play LG.

  28. By Dr. Jay on Aug 28, 2007 | Reply

    I watched Namath hbble through his tenure. Management realized then that no matter how great the skill or the arm, if your O-line doesn’t block, you are toast. You also can’t run if they don’t open the holes. I hope Mangini can out coach his GM and NE’s GM’s moves. His will have too…

  29. By Dr. Jay on Aug 28, 2007 | Reply

    Almost as bad as the O-line was the D-line. Why are people always able to push the Jet’s lines all over the field. If I notice it, the coaches of other teams must as well. They don’t seem to be as strong or have power moves, especially on D. The defense don’t get pressure on other QBs. FIX IT!

  30. By John Stone on Aug 28, 2007 | Reply

    I was so impressed about the Jets ability to pull together and to get it done. In the past it took a miracle. Today it is teamwork and how well the coaching staff and players have put out extra effort to make a difference. We are in for a treat for the 2007/8 season. Jets fan since 1970. GoJets

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