Penalties are under attack at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
The penalties in question are, of course, those committed by the Jets in the first eight games this season. Head coach Rex Ryan knows there are too many of them.
“We’ve got to work on penalties. We’re doing everything we can,” Ryan said at today’s news conference following the team’s midday practice. “We’re looking at video, taking things from the NFL, how they teach certain penalties, showing it to our guys with our officials there. You name it, we’re doing it.”
The reason for the emphasis is that the Jets’ 63 flags marked off for 577 yards are setting an alarming pace half of the way through the campaign. Double that up and the full season would be 126 penalties for 1,154 yards. The flags would be approach the franchise record of the 135 penalties committed in the 15 games of the 1987 strike season. The yardage would bust the mark of 1,078 yards set in 1995.
“The whole organization is committed to finding a way to get better at this,” Ryan said.
And that’s not just empty whistling. One more thing Rex and his staff were enforcing was the old pushup tax for penalties committed during practice. Every time a player has committed a penalty this week, the entire team drops to the turf and does 10 pushups.
And not only the team on the field. At about 3:35 p.m. ET today, more than 80 people on the business side of the operations here walked outside onto the turf field and, led by executive vice president Matt Higgins, also did 10 pushups for each penalty committed at today’s practice.
Good thing there were only three infractions whistled by the Jets’ officiating crew today.
Ryan didn’t have to be told that this is a problem that needs to be corrected.
“No blood, no harm, that’s pretty much my philosophy on it. We try to be a clean team but a physical team. We have some personal-foul penalties we’ve got to get cleaned up,” Rex said. “If you’re not coming after our guys, we’re not coming after you illegally. We want to be the most physical team in the league within the confinement of the rules.”
Browns Over Lightly? Not Likely
Jason Taylor was asked about taking the Browns lightly. He responded with a short soliloquy on why no one should ever take anyone lightly in the NFL.
“As a player in this league, you don’t look at records,” Taylor said. “People on the outside do. Fans do. People in the media may or may not. I understand why they do, but in this league, you cannot look at the records. We played Detroit last week and probably didn’t deserve to win the game against a team that was 2-5 at the time.
“Records mean nothing. If you look at the way teams are playing, the talent that they have, you respect every opponent. Obviously, you put the tape in and you watch last week’s game and who the Browns beat. If it doesn’t keep you up a little later at night, something’s wrong.”
The big news on the injury front was that as predicted by both the head coach and the player, Matt Slauson (knee) went from not participating in practice to practicing in all team drills today. “We expected him to practice and he was full-go,” Ryan said. “I expect him to play.”
CB Marquice Cole (hamstring) was thus the only player to not practice again today. Josh Mauga (hamstring) remained limited. Old guys LaDainian Tomlinson and Tony Richardson, held out yesterday but not due to injury, were full participants today.
Has Tomlinson, as outstanding as he’s been so far, been wearing down a little lately? Rex said no, and that was not the reason the 31-year-old tailback rested yesterday.
“This was planned for the whole season,” he said. “Once you get up there with the experience they’ve had and all that stuff, you just want to keep them fresh for the games. If you’re going to back them off at all, you back them off in practices.”
Tags: Jason Taylor, Matt Higgins, Matt Slauson, Mike Tannenbaum, penalties, Rex Ryan, Woody Johnson
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