The Jets will be put to the test by the Green Bay passing game on Sunday. The Packers’ yards after catch is a little down this year but the receivers that made up their YAC Attack that was No. 1 in the NFL in YAC in ’07 and No. 5 last year — Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones — are still around and ready to conspire with Aaron Rodgers to come after the Jets’ pass defense.
But as Rex Ryan said today, hit us with your best shot.
“We have to play an excellent team, a team that a lot of experts predicted would be a Super Bowl contender,” the head coach said at today’s news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “This is no easy task but we think we’ll be up to it.”
Specifically, one got the sense Ryan is feeling as if Darrelle Revis is back to his old self after battling that hamstring following his holdout.
“We’re past that now,” he said with his confident smile. “He’s ready to roll. I’m firmly convinced we’re through with that.”
So that could mean that Revis and Antonio Cromartie will be at their best in taking on Driver and Jennings. But with Jones, Jordy Nelson and TE Andrew Quarless (in place of the IR’d Jermichael Finley) operating as well, the Jets’ sub packages also need to be on point. And they also seem to be coming together with the big plays of Drew Coleman and Dwight “Closing Time” Lowery.
Which led to a question about first-round rookie CB Kyle Wilson and where he’s fitting in these days.
“I’m feeling better about Kyle. I think he’s practicing better,” Ryan said. “But we’re in the win business. Kyle’s going to be a great contributor to us. He does have some rules. But with the play of Coleman and the play of Dwight, his role is shrinking. And there’s only one way to get a bigger role, and that’s to show it on the practice field, and when you do get opportunities in the game, you’ve got to show up.”
There’s no question that Wilson has many great physical and intangible attributes, but also no question that he was under the gun early on, when he made starts in his first three NFL games.
What has Rex seen that Wilson needs to work on?
“The biggest thing is finding the football,” he said. “I think a part of it also is that he’s a young player, he’s a rookie coming in here. Especially with changing game plans each week, you think you’ve got it but now we’re doing something different. That’s the way the league’s played. Sometimes it takes a little longer for guys to get the feel of it. I think you see the same thing with [second-rounder] Vlad Ducasse. He’s not quite there yet.”
A Whole Lot of Green
The Jets and Packers became injury-intertwined today when it was reported that former Jets NT Howard Green was claimed off of waivers by the Pack.
The immediate thought is that coach Mike McCarthy and his staff might want to bounce some ideas off of “Big How’rd” on what the Jets like to do offensively. But there is another pressing problem for the Green & Gold and that is the health of their defensive front. Cullen Jenkins, Kris’ kid brother, remained limited in practice today with his calf injury and starting DE Ryan Pickett hasn’t been practicing with an ankle injury.
“I’m happy for Howard,” said Ryan. “It’s not surprising. I thought when we released him, I told our guys [the Packers would] probably pick him up. He’s a big, thick body.”
The Jets weren’t looking to lose their availability to Green, who’s been waived and re-signed several times in his two seasons with the Jets. But every time a player is reluctantly released, there is a chance he won’t return to that team, and there are always good reasons for exposing players to other NFL teams, some of them explained, some not, many of them having to do with the league’s roster rules. Ryan wasn’t going into detail on Green.
“We did what was in the best interests of our football team,” he said. “I’m happy for Howard. I’m not concerned he’s play for them. There are a lot of things that go into it. We’ll leave those things private with our team internally. Everybody knows what I think of Howard. He’s a tremendous young man. I appreciate everybody that comes through here. But every decision is in the best interests of our organization, our team, so that’s the decision we made.”
It appears Green fills the roster spot that opened up when the Pack placed injured starting LB Brad Jones on injured reserve.
The Jets’ injury list got even slightly better, with LB Calvin Pace moving from limited team drills to full practice today along with Revis and Nick Mangold.
The Packers’ list got a little boost as LT Chad Clifton (knee) went from limited to full. But as we mentioned, Jones went on IR and six starters remain either limited or not practicing.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, Donald Driver, Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery, Green Bay Packers, Greg Jennings, Howard Green, James Jones, Kyle Wilson, Rex Ryan
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