As an undercard to today’s Rex report, we bring you some excerpts from wideout David Clowney’s new blog. On his first pro regular-season touchdown reception, the 35-yard man-beater from Mark Sanchez at Oakland, he said:
"I almost came to tears on the sideline. I’ve been waiting on that thing for three years. All the times I’ve shined in the preseason, I finally got an opportunity in the regular season and I made it happen."
Now to the main event. Head coach Rex Ryan expressed optimism that more of those kinds of plays are in the offing and that he won’t become overlooked with Jerricho Cotchery returning to health to rejoin Braylon Edwards.
"I don’t think that’s going to happen anymore," Ryan said at today’s news conference. "I think there’s a lot of trust now. I think our coaches believe he’s going to be where he’s supposed to be. David, I think, is getting the mental part down. He obviously has the physical tools.
"I just think David gives you a weapon. If you just want to play man-free coverage or single high safety, he can blow the roof off, and I think he’s proven that. So I think that’s going to help us. The more balls he can catch underneath with the crossing routes, the little drives, the shallow routes are only going to help him become that big-time receiver also. He’s working like crazy to get better catching those intermediate and short routes as well."
Clowney started doing that seriously at Oakland as the Raiders focused on preventing Edwards from hurting them. His other three receptions went for 11, 14 and 19 yards. All four catches moved the chains; three converted third downs.
"We didn’t throw the ball a lot against Oakland, because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it," Clowney blogged. "We had two running backs running the heck out of the ball, so we just had to keep running it. That’s great because it’s going to open up plays for myself, Bray, Jerricho, Wallace and Brad."
And the positive health report today from Rex is that, while Clowney (ankle), Cotchery (hamstring) and Brad Smith (quad) remain "limited" at practice, "I think everybody looks pretty good" for Miami on Sunday.
"I think that’s going to give us a heck of a receiving corps, I really do," Ryan said. "When we got Braylon, that really upgraded our receiving corps. I really believe we have two No. 1 receivers now with Jerricho and Braylon, and you’ve got an emerging guy in David Clowney and then you’ve got the multidimensional Brad Smith and you’ve got Wallace Wright. I think that’s an excellent group."
Mix that in with the Thomas Jones/Shonn Greene-led running attack and Mark Sanchez’s growth curve and the prospects are good. We have to see who dresses and how it all shakes out vs. Miami, but just remember that in prime time three games ago, with Cotchery limited and Brad Smith out after he pulled his quad, Clowney reeled in his 53-yarder from Sanchez, still the Jets’ long reception this season.
A little special teams updated: Justin Miller continues to look good returning kickoffs and "he’ll be our kick returner" for Miami, Ryan said. Playing defense in this new Jets system "is probably French class to him," but Miller will be doing more on special teams than just KORs.
Ryan said Danny Woodhead isn’t moving into a prominent kick or punt returner at this time, although he’s a backup in those roles. But Woodhead’s three kickoff-coverage tackles led the Jets at Oakland "and that doesn’t happen by accident." Since he’s also developed something along the lines of dual offensive citizenship as a WR and RB, Rex said, "He’s a valuable player right now for us."
Tags: Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, Danny Woodhead, David Clowney, Jerricho Cotchery, Justin Miller, Miami Dolphins, Rex Ryan
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