Sunday’s best on the Left Coast for Mike DeVito came as he was cradling Calvin Pace’s second strip sack of the game midway through the third quarter on the Oakland Coliseum grass.
"That’s more than I’ve touched the ball ever," DeVito reflected on this fumble recovery added to the fumble he plucked out of the Texas air at Houston in the season opener. Actually, it’s more than most defensive linemen touch the ball. DeVito became the first Jets D-lineman since NT James Reed in 2005 to recover two opponents’ fumbles in a season.
DeVito is also playing more than he has in his third year as a Jet, but not the way he wanted to, of course. Everyone along the front is getting more reps with Kris Jenkins gone for the year.
But the Raiders were the first opponents the Jets played without the big man, and that also went swimmingly not far from "The Bay."
"Actually, it flowed very well. Everybody felt well, nobody was really tired, we were rotating well," DeVito said. "We realize without Kris in there, we need to make sure everybody knows what’s going on, everybody’s firing each other up. It was a lot of fun. It was good to get a good start to it."
Cynics might say that it’s easy to have a good day as a defensive line against the NFL’s 32nd-ranked offense that controlled the ball for only 52 plays and 24 minutes of clock time. But the Jets needed a shakedown cruise minus Jenkins to get some rhythm and flow in time to take on the Dolphins this weekend.
And maybe they needed to give a little preview of what they can do to anyone in panic mode over not having Big Jenks in the middle of the line the rest of this season.
"It’s time for everybody to step up," DeVito said. "Everybody here gets paid. You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t do it. We realize we lost Jenkins and he’s a playmaker. Now it’s on us to make the plays."
That would be recommended against the Miami Wildcat, which clawed the Jets on Monday night three games ago. Here’s how the upcoming game looks from DeVito’s three-point stance:
"They’re a great running team. They have those two great backs and a really great offensive line. They do so many different things, they have so many different runs that it’s hard to key in, to know what they’re going to do.
"They’ve a very good team. It’s going to be a good challenge for us up front."
Rex Ryan’s news conference today was Friday-short. On the injury front, the head coach is listing CB Lito Sheppard as doubtful and WRs Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith and David Clowney, LB Bart Scott and DE Shaun Ellis as questionable. But as he said Thursday, he repeated today that "I expect everybody to play with the exception of Lito. We’ll see what happens with that group tomorrow and Sunday, but I feel good about our guys right now."
Ryan hasn’t released his bye week practice schedule yet but he responded to a question that it won’t be affected by whether the Jets win or loss against the Dolphins on Sunday.
"You mean if we lose, ‘OK, that’s it, we’re having two-a-days’?" Rex said with a laugh. "You may feel like that after a game, but you’ve got to look out for your players. Our bye week comes at a perfect time midway through the regular season. And we’ve had it planned way in advance of this on our schedule."
For those keeping score at home, since 2002 the Jets have gone 2-5 in the game before the bye week and 6-1 in the game after, including 3-0 since 2006. Meanwhile, Baltimore, in the four seasons that Rex was defensive coordinator, was 1-3 the game before its bye weeks from 2005-08 and 3-1 the game after its byes.
Weekly Awards Shutout
This week looked like a good one for Shonn Greene to win a league award, but the voters have spoken and the Jets rookie RB got shut out.
Greene’s 19-carry, 144-yard, two-TD showing at Oakland was in the running for both Pepsi Rookie of the Week and FedEx Ground Player of the Week. But today the results of the fan polling were revealed and Minnesota’s Percy Harvin took the Pepsi (214 net yards, including an 88-yard kickoff-return TD in the loss to the Steelers while Cedric Benson of the Bengals took the FedEx Ground with 37 rushes for 189 yards and a TD in the win over the Bears.
We’re biased but we thought Greene was a shoo-in for the Pepsi after stepping in early for the injured Leon Washington and posting game-leading figures in a big Jets road win.
However, it pays to remind oneself that this game is not about the awards. It’s about the victories, about winning each one-game season, as Ryan has put it. And we have a feeling more honors besides Mark Sanchez drinking from the Pepsi chalice will be on their way this season.
Big Weekend of Jets Media
Besides the Jets-Dolphins game, there are a few other Green & White programs on WCBS-TV, Channel 2, in New York this weekend.
On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. we already let you know earlier this week about "Making of the Flight Crew." It’s a half-hour show that all about the building of this year’s New York Jets cheerleading squad, from auditions through calendar shoot and on into this season.
The on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., it’s the latest edition of "Jets Flight Plan." In this show, head coach Rex Ryan discusses the Jets’ outstanding performance against the Raiders and their pivotal rematch against the Dolphins. Also, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stops by to break down the offense through the first half of the season. The weekly Flight Plan feature takes us all to the lanes, where numerous players go bowling to help support a teammate’s charitable foundation.
And don’t forget, after watching those shows, to check in with us on newyorkjets.com, to join in our Live in-game chat presided over by Eric Allen and Kyle Richardson and to keep up with my tweets throughout the contest.
Tags: bye week, Jerricho Cotchery, Kris Jenkins, Miami Dolphins, Mike DeVito, Oakland Raiders, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene
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