If you see Leon Washington talking to no in particular during today’s Jets-Bengals game, don’t worry that he took a shot to the helmet or is delirious from the flu. Neon Leon has been miked for today’s game by NFL Films.
"Yeah, it’s the first time I’ve been miked," Washington told me Friday. "And it’s pretty cool, man. When you think about NFL players being miked, the name that comes to mind to me is Ray Lewis. I can still hear him on NFL Network — the passion he has for the game, the intimidation he seems to bring. And his leadership is the most important thing when he’s talking to his teammates before the game."
Washington’s a tad smaller than the Ravens’ formidable middle linebacker, but as he said, "I’ve got little man’s syndrome" and that could lead to some frothy comments that the NFL Films microphone will pick up during the game.
"I’m trying not to think about it. I told them just to put it on before the game," he said, adding, I’m usually a somewhat talkative guy. I’m sure I’ll have a few good sound bites. If I make a play, I’ll try to say something. I normally give a little speech to the returners before we go out on the field."
And if Washington takes a return to the house today, you can bet he’ll have something worth repeating on NFL Network and other outlets in the week ahead.
There is brilliant sunshine in the Meadowlands right now and it should be a great day for the 2-2 Jets to take on the 0-5 Bengals. The temperature is expected to reach into the low 70s with breezes from 5-10 mph. The flags and wind strips are barely stirring as Jay Feely, kicking for the fourth game for Mike Nugent, is hitting his warmup tries effortlessly from 33, 38, 43 and 48 yards.
Yes, the Jets are in their Titans garb again today, navy helmets, navy jerseys and gold pants. It is the last time they will wear their throwbacks this season, and for those who aren’t big fans of the look, take consolation and expectation in the fact that in their last two games of wearing the Titans units, the Jets have are 2-0 and are averaging 48 points a game.
The Jets inactives today are K Mike Nugent, QB Erik Ainge, WR David Clowney, CB Justin Miller, OL Will Montgomery, LB Marques Murrell and DL Kareem Brown, with Brett Ratliff again the third quarterback.
The Bengals have two big names on their inactive list, both due to injury developments during the week.
K Shayne Graham, who first appeared on Cincinnati’s injury report on Thursday as not participating in practice with a right groin injury, has been deactivated, with fourth-year man Dave Rayner signed and set to do the visitors’ placekicking today.
Rayner, formerly the Packers’ kicker, has played against the Jets only once, in 2006 in Green Bay, hitting a 34-yard FG but missing from 40 in the Jets’ 38-10 road rout that day.
Also on today’s list is normal starter Carson Palmer, sidelined by his recurring right elbow injury, as the third QB. Coach Marvin Lewis announced after Friday’s practice that Ryan Fitzpatrick would start in place of Palmer, who would be available only if absolutely needed.
Cincinnati’s other IAs: S Dexter Jackson, LB Corey Mays, WRs Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson, and DTs John Thornton and Jason Shirley.
The referee today is Gene Steratore, who has worked two other Jets games, both in 2006 — the season-opening win at Tennessee and the home shutout loss to the Bears.
Tags: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals, Jay Feely, Leon Washington, Mike Nugent, NFL Films, Ray Lewis, Ryan Fitzpatrick, titans
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