You can kind of tell where Drew Coleman’s coming from by how he treats the big-play football he comes up from time to time.
“I left a lot of plays out on the field Sunday night,” the fifth-year corner said after today’s practice, but he couldn’t deny that he took one very big play away from the Dolphins to preserve the Jets’ lead and win with his last-minute interception. “I kept that ball and actually sent it back home to my dad. That was the third ball I’ve sent back to him in my pro career.”
Pressed on the occasions for his other trophy case pigskins, the softspoken man from Henderson, Texas, swore he didn’t remember what one of the others was for.
“But I actually did keep a ball a few years back against New England for an interception,” he said. “The play was called back, but I kept it because it was against Tom.”
Jets fans will probably remember that pick in Coleman’s rookie season at Foxboro, which he lost due to a borderline roughing-the-passer call on Victor Hobson. But the Jets pulled out that win anyway, and Coleman, in his fourth pro start that season, had seven tackles and also forced a fumble.
The reason for this trip down memory lane with Coleman is that he’s been around the Jets for a while now, and he’s held onto his spot by being good and by being ready to contribute wherever and whenever called on.
Such as he may be called on Sunday at Buffalo. Head coach Rex Ryan said today that he and coordinator Mike Pettine are giving Coleman and first-round rookie Kyle Wilson reps with the first defense this week in the event that Darrelle Revis and his sore hamstring are not ready to return to action vs. the Bills.
“I think Kyle’s struggled a little bit,” said Ryan of Wilson, who’s started the last two games. “This guy quite honestly has been much better than I thought at picking things up. It’s the communication part of the defense, not a physical thing but more of a technical issue. Maybe it’s just tightening things up a little bit more and I think he’s going to be just fine.”
But, Ryan said, “I think Drew’s earned it. We put him in and he stood up. We think as coaches that he deserves a shot.”
Coleman has survived each year because he’s stayed humble and has been ready when that shot is presented to him.
“It’s definitely satisfying getting an opportunity with Darrelle out,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to help this team by going in and giving my best shot. With Rex, you’ve got to be ready. Everybody’s in the rotation. It’s something that we’ve stressed is going to happen during the season. Don’t be not studying, don’t be just messing around. Be ready when your number’s called.”
In other words, the phrase “Next man up” doesn’t just apply to the D-line post-Kris Jenkins. And whether Coleman starts or it’s Wilson again, you should figure that number 30 will be called sometime Sunday at “the Ralph.”
Kellen’s Replacement? Not
It was revealed today that the Jets put in a waiver claim for Trent Edwards, the Buffalo quarterback who suddenly became expendable and was cut. The Jaguars also put in a claim and were awarded Edwards, but the question that some will ask is what if the Jets got Edwards? Would that have been it for Kellen Clemens in green?
Both Ryan and Clemens said trenchantly said that was not the case.
“The obvious thing would be we were going to pick his brain — absolutely that’s true,” Ryan said. “But the other thing is that I think the young man can play, I think he’s a good quarterback. We always look at every opportunity to make our team better.
“Now before I did this, I brought Kellen in and said, ‘Kellen, you OK with this? I won’t even claim him if you’re not OK with this.’ He said, ‘Hey, Rex, I want to win as bad as you do. Absolutely, claim him.’ And that’s what we did.”
Clemens hasn’t always found it easy being in green, but he said later in the locker room he was never worried about what such a move meant for him.
“I knew it was coming,” he said. “He was willing to come to me first and give me the heads-up on the situation. As far as putting a claim in, I don’t care. That move had nothing to do with replacing me.”
Clemens is well aware that that’s what teams do in the NFL, especially teams in the same division as other teams. Using New England purely hypothetically and not because they picked up Danny Woodhead in a similar manner (not through waivers but by signing him after the Jets cut him), KC said:
“If you’re the Patriots and you’re looking at two guys with similar skill sets and one played for Miami and one played for Seattle, which one are you going to like?” he said.
Left unsaid was what the Jets would’ve done with four QBs on the roster again (and a fifth in Kevin O’Connell, who was cut, re-signed and is now on IR). But unstated or not, there was a plan. And Clemens said he’s feeling more like a part of the plan, whoever else is on the QB depth chart.
“I think the relationship between Rex and myself and Mike [Tannenbaum] and myself really continues to get better every day,” he said. “It wasn’t bad, but I feel I’m one of Rex’s guys.”
Ryan and his training staff aren’t categorizing anyone as out of the Buffalo game but today’s injury report did list Revis (hamstring), LB Calvin Pace (foot), OL Wayne Hunter (shin) and LB Jamaal Westerman (ankle) as not participating in today’s 11-on-11 drills. T Damien Woody (personal) also was a DNP.
The Jets list seven players, the Bills, four, all starters — DE Marcus Stroud (ankle), LB Andra Davis (shoulder) and TE Jonathan Stupar (foot), all DNPs, and LB Paul Posluszny (knee, limited).
Tags: Drew Coleman, Kellen Clemens, Kyle Wilson, Rex Ryan, Trent Edwards
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