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Vilma Wants W’s, Will Take the Top 10

Posted by Randy Lange on October 3, 2007 – 3:54 pm

Jonathan Vilma wasn’t about to do cartwheels through the Jets’ locker room today, but he was encouraged to hear that the Jets are an NFL top-10 team in one rushing defense category: yards per carry allowed.

"Yeah, we felt that against Buffalo," Vilma said of the run defense starting to tighten things up. "I don’t know how many yards we held them to, but I know it was under 100. That’s always the goal, to hold them under 100 and keep the yards per carry down. I felt we did a good job of that.

"The bottom line is still to win. We can have all those things, all the great stats, but we still have to find a way to win."

But perhaps stopping the run will help the Jets’ pass rush and coverage toward that end. Bills rookie Marshawn Lynch, while impressive in bursting through the Jets’ nickel front for his 10-yard touchdown run, finished with 79 yards on 23 carries, and the Bills were held to 86 rushing yards at 3.1 yards per carry.

That brought the Green & White’s per-carry average down to 3.7, improving their NFL ranking from 15th to ninth. Their rush yards allowed per game also improved to 112.5, with their ranking also rising from 20th to 16th.

These gains will be tested by the Giants on Sunday and by Derrick Ward, a seventh-round pick by the Jets in 2004 whom the Giants signed off their practice squad. Ward has taken over Big Blue’s ground game from the injured Brandon Jacobs and is averaging 4.8 yards a pop (73 carries, 353 yards). And this week word is Jacobs is ready to return from his right knee sprain and coach Tom Coughlin’s job will be to achieve an optimum blend of Ward and Jacobs.

Some Rest for No. 51

Vilma will be on the front lines again vs. the Giants, trying as always to stop the pass and the run. But it was interesting that at Buffalo, for the first time in two seasons, he was not on the field for every Jets defensive play. CBS without comment showed No. 51 on the sidelines for one of the four plays he said he came off the field for in the second quarter.

It’s not like Vilma has never sat out a play. He didn’t start his first two games as a rookie in 2004 and yielded his MLB spot here and there once Sam Cowart returned to health that season.

But by an unofficial count, in ’05, besides eight end-game plays, he missed only one midgame play at Baltimore. And last season Vilma was involved in all 1,093 of the Jets’ defensive snaps, including the playoff game at New England.

"It’s been eight or nine years," he said about his remarkable longevity of taking almost every rep, including his four seasons as starter and star at Miami.

The coaches, needless to say, are mixing and matching, scheming and subbing, trying to get the D up to speed. Rookie David Harris is getting more PT in the base, not to mention the nickel. David Bowens has been seeing more action on the outside. All active D-linemen are getting reps, and Darrelle Revis gives the Jets three corners who see action in the base.

Scoring Changes

For those keeping score at home, there have been some changes to the statistics from the Jets-Bills game.

The forced fumble originally credited to Jonathan Vilma late in the first quarter was actually forced by Darrelle Revis and now the official play-by-play correctly recognizes Revis with the FF.

Also, Jerricho Cotchery’s second 28-yard reception has been changed to a 29-yarder because the ball was actually advanced to the Bills 13, not the 14 as originally scored. And Justin McCareins’ ensuing illegal motion penalty, originally scored as a 4-yard penalty, becomes a 5-yarder.

That means Cotchery has 107 receiving yards, Pennington 291 passing yards and the Jets 347 total yards and 66 penalty yards.

No, Elias Sports Bureau did not find four missing points for the Green & White.

Newest Jet: Clowney

Head coach Eric Mangini announced that with Cody Spencer going on the Non-Football Illness list, the Jets have signed rookie WR David Clowney off of Green Bay’s practice squad. The Packers’ fifth-round draft pick (157th overall) out of Virginia Tech, Clowney checks in at 6’0" and 188 pounds. The Long Island-born and Florida-bred player’s preseason numbers for the Pack were not eye-popping, but what was impressive at the NFL Combine workouts was his 4.36 speed. He does a lot of special teams work, and not just as a returner but also on punt and field goal block and as a gunner on the punt cover team.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Vilma Wants W’s, Will Take the Top 10”

  1. By Schuyler on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    That’s progress at least if they stop the run, they might be able to make teams one dimensional and get some pass rush going. I would like to see Bryan Thomas elevate his game to what it was last year, no sacks this season for him if I’m not mistaken. If we see the passing defense tighten up we can get this ship turned back around. Go Jets!

  2. By Ira on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Clowney is an interesting p/u. Some draft guides had him becoming a solid NFL starter. Vilma’s streak was great but they do need to mix it up. Harris needs to be on the field as much as possible. He is their best run tackler.Maybe Bowens will show why the Jets signed him this week and get in Eli’s face. I hated when the Giants signed Ward. You could tell he would be a very solid player.

  3. By Schuyler on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    I just saw that the Giants dropped Anthony Mix, I saw this guy make some really nice catches during the preseason and has the size of Plaxico Burress (He caught a td against the Jets that was pretty acrobatic). I would rather have him than Clowney, what are the odds that we’ll get him. Probably slim to none, but from what I saw, whoever gets this guy, is getting a gem.

  4. By Jake on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    I think that the sucess that Ward is having behind the Giants line exemplifies the problems that we are having with ours. By our grading system he was one of our bottom tier runners but put him there and he is more than adequate. It seems to me that we are not playing relaxed and having fun but are getting too analytical and playing tight. They have been coached now lets let them play!!!

  5. By Jake on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    I love our coach but I think he has everyone on pins and needles about making a mistake. Its like golf, when you play tight your muscles tense up and your swing breaks down. They need to try giving the players some freedom of play calling in particular the offense. Let CP call plays on some drives and allow Vilma the same. I.E. give them some reckless freedom and lets kick some “G”men tail.

  6. By Drew on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    Randy I know you are working really hard to find some promise with the start of the season, in saying that the YPC stat is pretty misleading. We have no passruh and get beat thru the air often. The run D was better this week but Edwards killed us all day….Can you research how many 3 and outs this defense has produced so far? I only recall a handful. I need a W to get me out of this funk!!

  7. By Dunnie on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    Totally agree with Schuyler … Mix would be a fantastic pickup.

  8. By Randy Lange on Oct 3, 2007 | Reply

    Drew, the Jets defense has six three-and-out drives this season. After three weeks, their 17.9 percent three-and-out rate was 22nd in the NFL.

  9. By Ira on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    If F.Jackson was still available i would rather them get him then Mix. WR’s are not what they need now.Drew calm down. I am telling you the Jets will win this week. Jones goes for over 100 yds and Chad completes 2 passes of 40 yds. or more and the D forces 3 TO’s. Jets 24- Giants 20

  10. By Ira on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    The Jets o-line should take Tucks remarks about Chad personal. He basically said that Chad is a sitting duck back there. Great bulletin board material.

  11. By rudy iacono on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    With 5 starting players drafted in round 1 you would think that the Jet D would be one of best in NFL. Unfortunately that is not the case. In 2006 you could cut the D some slack as it was 1st yr switching to 3-4 but this year should of seen significant improvement. Mangini gets a F grade and should be held more accountable by the media. Tired of hearing lame excuses by their HC for teams poor play

  12. By Drew on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I love ya Ira and I do think/hope the jets will win this week but we cannot look past this last weeks performance. We got beat top to bottom by a baged up Bills team. Not a great sign if we want to make noise this year. I do not understand why we need another receiver?? Thanks Randy for the 3 and out stat. That stat tells the whole story about this D. They cannot get off the field.

  13. By Troy on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I just want to see some aggressiveness out of this team and it starts with the head coach and the coordinators taking more of an attack mode instead of sitting back and letting the other team dictate what you do,come out swinging first,only time theyve shown this was the 4th qt at balt.They let kellen attack and balt.didnt have an answer for it other than jmcariens let them off the hook.ATTACK 1ST

  14. By ralph on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I wish these jets beat reporter knew what they are talking about they never report what really happened during a game.Its not chad pennington’s arm strength it was Brian schottenheimers play calling and these guys get paid to report news

  15. By john on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    As just stated, #1 problem so far this year has been lack of stops on the defensive side of the ball. This translates to fewer snaps for the offense and hence not getting the running game going or getting more shots on to do other things (Smith not involved much this year as yet, etc.). There has been nothing positive so far for the defense – everybody underperforming

  16. By pat maio on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I agree with John & Ralph’s posts. Chad’s arm strength is just a figment of reporters needing something to write about or blame. The problem begins and ends with the defense— the conservative shell the coordinators have gotten themselves into. Theyret playing not to lose rather than playing to win. Eric has to come down from that Ivory tower and just play football. Forget how it was done in NE.

  17. By Jeremy on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I agree with a lot of the comments on this topic. The Jets are a good team on PAPER, both sides of the ball. With the losses this year they have beat themselves, which amounts to bad game plan, execution, bad play calling aka. getting out coached! All of these things compound when the defense can’t get off the field and the offense has no chance of building some momentum.

  18. By Darrell on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    Playing Harris is like adding cowbell. We need more cowbell!!!!!!

  19. By Brandon on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    Clowney is a good pick up. If anyone watched Tech games the past few years(living in VA its pretty easy to find them on TV) he is a solid WR.

  20. By Pete on Oct 4, 2007 | Reply

    I’ve always been a big fan of Chad’s, but his velocity looked totally awful last week. Not that he can’t throw the long ball, that’s easy. But he can’t zip the ball to the receiver on the medium to long out pattern. The recievers are open, but the D-backs get there before the ball. It’s great to catch a ball with so much touch on it, but the hit you take after the catch just isn’t worth it.

  21. By Dunnie on Oct 5, 2007 | Reply

    “Playing Harris is like adding cowbell. We need more cowbell!!!!!!”
    – This is the funniest quote I have seen all year !! Long live Walken !!!!

    BTW : I agree put Harris and Vilma on the field all the time together.

  22. By Kaya on Oct 5, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, the one thing I noticed in the 4 games this year is that Bryan Thomas is not the same force he was last year. Did the Jets management changed his assignment? He doesn’t seem to have that hunger like he had last year, since he signed that contract. Maybe it’s just me, but he seems to laid back.

  23. By Jalapeno on Oct 7, 2007 | Reply

    Osi will eat D’Brickashaw…. Eli way better than Chad…..

  24. By joe david on Oct 7, 2007 | Reply

    I have always liked penningtons grit but with his arm strength does it make it easy for the opposing defenses to game plan against .

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