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A Bye Week of Work – and Rest

Posted by Randy Lange on November 5, 2007 – 6:01 pm

The Jets’ bye week schedule could have gone either way. You could’ve seen head coach Eric Mangini going double sessions from now to Pittsburgh or giving them this week off to rest the players’ weary brows.

Mangini took the road that passes closer to the R&R approach than to boot camp.

"We’ll work here tomorrow and the next day with the players," Mangini said at this afternoon’s news conference, "and go through the different phases over those two days, then they’ll be off after that."

Those regular work days are today, Tuesday and Wednesday. The players will get Thursday through Sunday to recharge their mental batteries, maintain their physical condition, then return Monday to begin preparation for Pittsburgh the following Sunday.

This is sure to alarm half of you who think the Jets need more work rather than less to fix all that ails them. But this is Mangini’s schedule and it really does make sense based, as he said, on last year’s success coming out of their Week 9. Yes, it’s a different season, yes, last year’s schedule wasn’t as taxing, but there was a definite improvement from 2006’s first eight games to the last eight.

Here’s a chart of their Jets’ NFL rankings in four key defensive categories last season and this season:

  Time Span Overall Rushing Passing Points
  2006 First 9 Weeks 31st 30th 22nd 25th
  2006 Full Season 20th 24th 14th 6th
  2007 First 9 Weeks 30th 29th 23rd 27th

"The first part of the season here, you lose five games by seven points or less, that’s a tough situation," he said. "But it’s encouraging in the sense that those games are close, and if we can improve, if we can make some strides like we did last year during the bye, then some of those will turn in our favor."

I am not going to offer a defense that close losses are like victories. I remember a few times when Bill Parcells was asked, probably in 1999, if he felt as if his team was really a 1-6 team or a 4-8 team. "What’s our record?" Tuna would ask rhetorically. "That’s the team we are." I’m sure Mangini feels the same.

But my point would be to argue — bear with me on this — that the close nature of most of the Jets’ games this season is a good omen for a bounceback next season. I base this on all the NFL teams that started 1-8 since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978.

There are 39 of them, and some of those teams were outscored through the struggles of their first nine games by less than a touchdown a game, while others were being thumped on average by two touchdowns or more.

And the definite, although not ironclad, conclusion, is that if you’re competitive through those first nine games, you’ve got a better chance of being one of those NFL turnaround teams of the new millennium.

The Jets, being outscored by 7.7 points per game, are in the 8.0-and-under group that does the best the following season. No guarantees of playoffs or anything, but The average improvement in that category is along the lines of going from 3-12-1 to 7-8-1.

And of the 11 teams that were better than minus-8.0 after nine games, five made it to 9-7 or better the next year and three — Cleveland in 1984, Houston in ’86 and San Diego in ’91 — made it to the playoffs.

It’s not much to hang your hat on. But this is why the coach does things like punting into the "Evil East" end zone from Washington’s 39 in overtime yesterday, why he says he’s "proud" of the way the Jets fought in the loss to the Redskins. Not to upset you, but to keep trying to win, to keep things competitive and to keep the Jets players’ heads in the game for this season. If that happens, next season often falls into place.

That’s What Roomies Are For

Joe Kowalewski got everybody pumped up with his first pro touchdown and his resulting celebratory actions in the second quarter of the Redskins game.

"I was as happy as anybody can be for him," said fullback Stacy Tutt. "He works hard. He deserves the opportunity."

But that’s not the only reason Tutt made sure he picked up the ball Jo-Ko spiked and handed it to the first-year free agent tight end.

"He’s my roommate," Tutt said. "I wasn’t going to let that ball get away."

"I was waiting so long to spike a ball," Kowalewski said. "In college, we weren’t allowed to spike the ball after touchdowns. I’ve been waiting a long time for that."

And losing the souvenir pigskin was never in doubt. "Stacy’s got my back," he said.

‘Inside the Jets’

The guests on tonight’s "Inside the Jets" will be rookie CB Darrelle Revis and Kowalewski. With regular host Bob Wischusen working a college football game tonight, Greg Buttle steps in and kicks the proceedings off from Charlie Brown’s restaurant in Garden City, N.Y., at 7 p.m.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 36 Comments »

36 Responses to “A Bye Week of Work – and Rest”

  1. By gino on Nov 5, 2007 | Reply

    jets better work hard over this bye week and make alot of adjustments because they have a tough game against the steelers in week 11.

  2. By Ira on Nov 5, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, I am with you about a bounce back season next year. Second i totally agree with Eric’s approach for the bye week. If it was me i would have meetings tomorrow and then give everybody off until next Monday to clear out all this bad karma. Comeback Monday and start off fresh to get ready for the Steelers.

  3. By Frank on Nov 5, 2007 | Reply

    I agree the players need rest from Mangini. His non-stop harranging has worn out the team since week one. The players are tired and mentally done. Clemens will lead the way he is 2 dropped passes away from 2-0 as a starter not like Chad whose 4th quarter int’s are the reason the team is where it is. Mangini should install a 4-3 or even 5-2 and 2 gap the d-line to stop the run play man in secondary

  4. By Joe on Nov 5, 2007 | Reply

    MEMO TO MR. JOHNSON: Please, for goodness sake, fire the entire coaching staff and front office in the off-season. They have turned our beloved Jets into a joke. The coach has clearly lost this team with his childish, Draconian behavior. We season ticket holders deserve a better product. Please don’t risk thousands of empty seats in your brand new stadium. This needs to be addressed NOW. Thanks!


  5. By Row on Nov 5, 2007 | Reply

    This season reminds me of when a high school team is losing a bunch, they give their seniors and people who haven’t scored a chance to score. The Jets are a PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM! I WANT CHANGE! Thank you so much to the reporter who questioned Brian calling the signals, and didn’t let up on why we signed TJ. (to pass block) We should have signed him to add a different element to the O.

  6. By cactus hugger on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Hey Randy, I agree with your premise. In fact, I was thinking the same thing last night. I’m glad the players will get some R&R. Once they’ve rested, KC needs to spend lots of time throwing to his receivers, they need to get used to catching passes with mustard on them. I hope the coaches rethink the defensive scheme and wait to use the 3-4 till they have Jabba the Hut to put in at nose tackle

  7. By Brandon on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Living in VA everyone is a Skins fan, having to tell everyone the should have no problems with my Jets was easy to say, but i was surprised how well they looked…until i knew and i called it that they would have a 2nd half collapse like they have all year, letting Portis who is a decent back at best get 200yds on them…Jets are so awful it hurts to watch.

  8. By Brandon on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    To be honest i think Chad Pennington should be a coach of the Jets. He should retire and become a coach. Because I think he is the only one with a brain on that whole team who is on the sidelines. Total waste of talent, its a shame he gets to ride the pine it really is.

  9. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Hey Randy,cool article,definately something worth thinking about.I was very happy for Kowalewski’s TD.He went bananas,I thought it would sike the team up.Also real cool that Tutt retrieved the ball for him BUT,why was Tutt there?Barnes must be real happy about his decision to come here!Why is Harris playing special teams?If he gets hurt,Well have to trade a draft pick to get Shnagel back from Cin.

  10. By Ira on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Did you see some of the Steelers game last night? Now thats how a 3-4 D works.

  11. By Viveca on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Since everything is going bad, little has been said about the shaky season our kicker and punter are having. Graham has been very erratic. One great punt is followed by a poor one. Nugent started off with better kickoffs this year, but now he’s again kicking them short. His leg isn’t strong enough for long fieldgoals over 50. On top of everything else, do we also need a new punter and kicker?

  12. By viveca on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    We are blaming our losses on the tougher schdule this year. So far the only excellent team we have played is the Patriots. The truly tough schedule starts after the bye week!! Scary!How much worse can it get? Plenty!

  13. By greenjello on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    The Jets will be within the realm of beating Pittsburgh. The one talent they have is usually forcing opponents to play down to their level. Unfortunately they will still lose b/c of shotty play calling on offense and that horrible “3-4″ defense.

  14. By Ira on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Now that R. Washington has beed released i think they sign EJ Underwood to the active roster. On the lite side the Jets won on Chrebet Day so maybe that karma will follow to Martin’s Day and they upset the Steelers. Can only hope. GO JETS!!!

  15. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Viveca,Ive been questioning our kickers for a while now.Its been forgotten because everything else looks so bad.Graham was great last year,this year you hold your breath.Nugent must be replaced,there is not one part of his game that could be called a strong point.At least Hall used to kick the ball in the endzone.Nugents’ kicks are short and have no hang time.With that accuracy is useless!

  16. By Dylan on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Look all the jets fans got wut they wanted. KC is the starter, and even though he played tremendous they still didn’t win, so there is proof it isn’t all on the quarterback. This is a team that needs improvement on the defense more than anything, they are extremely young with a bright future they just need to close out this season on a positive note, pick up some d players and look to get better.

  17. By Ira on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Viveca, Your’re correct about the kickers. I was very surprised that the Jets didn’t keep the back up kickers in camp atleast until week 3 of camp. I was worried when Nugent and Graham were both talking all the reps that they could be over worked and get tired during the season. I think that is why both are having erratic season. I disagree with you and think Nugent can make those 50 yd FG’s.

  18. By Brian Sommer on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Maybe Mangini should use this time off to rethink that 3-4 defense. I agree with Ira. Pitt is a true 3-4 defense. We don’t have the players for it. I hope this rest helps the players, coaches and the fans.

  19. By POST MY COMMENT on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    for all of you that are saying clemens isn’t special is out of their mind he sustained drives with 13 or more plays at least 4 times in that game keeping the ball in our hands he can make better throws then chad ive been watchin chad play since he was drafted what ever zip he had is gone and he is a sitting duck back there. oh by the way clemens converted on 3rd down alot too.

  20. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Dear Mangini, Please for the love of God sit Dyson and play Drew Coleman!The pass in the end zone that Dyson defended should of been a touchdown,just like the pass he intercepted in the begining of the year.If that was Heinz Ward or any other respectable WR it would of been a TD.Dyson is DEFINATELY GONE,so lets see what else we have before we make a run for Asanti Samuel.

  21. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Over 5000 posts,not bad Randy!At least your having a good season! So my man Hitman has 41 tackles in 2 starts,could he be a consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up?Hes on pace for 180 just counting games he started in!Ferg(not yet)but Mangold,Clemens,Leon,Revis,Harris,plus all the other guys,Stucky,we do draft pretty well.After this years draft we might have something.

  22. By bd on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Losing Chad Pennington at quarterback means one thing, the Jets will continue their losing ways. From an outside perspective (Steeler fan) “the passing the blame game around” is what is being played in Jet land. We forget so quickly that Chad was the reason this team made the playoffs since his heir as OB of this franchise. On a side note, did the Jets win last week with Clemens under center???

  23. By Mike on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Tangini releases Rashad Washington. Maybe they should have released themselves.

  24. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    I dont know how many games willis played but NFL stats say SF’s Patrick Willis a rookie leads the league with 83 Tackles,60 solo,23 assist,1 sack.HARRIS is 13 with 66 tac,45 solo,21 assist, 1 sack.Hes closing in(although SF did have there bye already)Vilmas in the 50s'(i think).

  25. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    In addition Revis is #27 in tackles tied for first among all DBs’ (with Indys’ Marlin Jackson & Washs’ LaRon Landry)with 57 tackles.47 are solo and Revis has the most Pass Def with 11.Eric Wright(also drafted last year )is #28.The Great Nate Clemens of SF is #100 with 41 tackles,36 solo,1 INT,6 pass defense. Just somethings to get us threw the Bye. Thanks again Randy You Are Our Fearless Leader

  26. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Kenyon Coleman leads all defensive linemen with 51 tackles,38 solo(he only has 1 sack)Ellis tied for 9th with 35 tac,D-Rob 12th with 34.NE doesnt appear until Ty Warren at #28 with 28.The 20 year old rookie DT Amobi Okoye has FIVE SACKS.He is listed at 6’1″ 302 lbs,an inch taller yet EIGHT POUNDS LIGHTER THAN our Robertson.

  27. By Uncle Joe on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    And last comment of the day 4 me,I really thought having Brian Cox on our staff would help our aggresion at the point of attack.If he wont suit up,could the Defense at least be forced to wear neck pads and watch Brian Cox highlights all week!

  28. By dave h on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    to all you haha Kellens in and you still cant win people, get over it already !
    nobody thought Kellen came with a magic wand, switching to Kellen was the best decision, win or lose, Chad is not mobile enough, and the line cant protect him, do you want to see him hurt? I wish Chad the best.

  29. By Charlie on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    I love the kicker discussion. John Hall was a nut. I held my breath for every field goal but loved watching him play kick coverage. Loved the way he wore his chin strap too. Graham’s got a little Hall in him. Those sideline rugby tackles are classic. Too early to call Brick a bust but seeing what McNeil does (as a second rounder) is SD is depressing. Jets in Queens would be season consilation

  30. By Row on Nov 6, 2007 | Reply

    Joe, I mentioned Cox a while back. Robertson isn’t having a bad year, neither is Ellis. Push is one thing, but 3-4 tackles aren’t really supposed to stuff the run, they are to provide gaps for the talented speed linebackers to run through, take a double team, do the thoughtless stuff. To me, it seems our LB’s are kinda roaming around as if in a zone? Randy, do we only have 52 players active?

  31. By Xavion on Nov 7, 2007 | Reply

    Uncle Joe Im not seeing your point in reference to the Okoye and Robertson comparison. The Jets and Texans Play in 2 different Defenses, Plus the texans have a #1 overall pick pass rusher that requires extra attention.

  32. By Randy Lange on Nov 7, 2007 | Reply

    Row, the Jets just announced today they have signed LB Marques Murrell, Adrian’s kid brother, to the 53rd spot on the active roster. More on Marques in Eric Allen’s Radar entry, which will be posted shortly.

  33. By Chris Canella on Nov 7, 2007 | Reply

    Jets are ranked dead last in overall team defense!!! It’s defense that wins championships. Can we please get a quality NT along with a star pass rushing linebacker. If Mangini really does come from New England, he should know what personnel is needed to make the 3-4 work.

  34. By Randy Lange on Nov 8, 2007 | Reply

    Chris, to be fair, the Jets this week are ranked 30th in the NFL in yards allowed per game, ahead of Cincinnati and Cleveland.

  35. By Dugan Terwilliger on Nov 11, 2007 | Reply

    I believe that the main problem with the Jets is a lack of pass rush. Their secondary is not bad with Rhodes and Revis, and they have a top linebacking corps, but they do not have any pass rusher that offenses will fear. Ellis is good, but his best seasons came when he had Abraham on the other side of him. Also, Robertson has developed into a good player, but he gets pushed off the ball often.

  36. By michelle on Nov 13, 2007 | Reply

    listen every year I watch you guys and every year i break something some day i will get to a game i am a dyhard fan who loses right along with you guys every year i take alot of torure because no matter what i will always be a fan..but guys i know we can do better a true fan that will never beable to afford tickets will be there every game..

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