There are worse places to stay and muse on what’s ahead for the Jets than Chicago, Chicago. But that’s where the Jets remain at the moment today. Due to conditions on the ground in the New Jersey/New York area, the team’s charter flight out of the Windy City (which apparently is no more windy today than Newark) has been delayed indefinitely. The goal remains to leave today and arrive back home tonight, but the blizzard of ’10 could still complicate those plans.
“We’ve pretty much just been staying in the room, resting, watching movies, room service,” LaDainian Tomlinson said on a conference call with Jets reporters, who are also stranded in Chi-town. “We’re doing the typical stuff you do when you have nothing to do.”
But of course the business of football marches on, so just like a usual Monday but in an unusual setting, the players also have just reported to meetings this morning at their Chicago hotel.
Head coach Rex Ryan gave his team and selected players some inspirational things to think about today when he announced the winners of some of the annual team awards. Linebacker David Harris has been named the Curtis Martin Team MVP and Tomlinson has earned the Dennis Byrd Award for the most inspirational player. Both awards are voted on by the team.
“It’s a special award, particularly because your teammates vote on it,” LT said. “I’m happy and honored to be in that position for them. And it’s a great history of guys that have won this award. For me, seeing the list — it’s hung up on the walls at the complex — knowing my name’s going to go up on that wall and for years to come guys will see my name, that’s very special.”
Here is the complete list of team awards:
Curtis Martin Team MVP — LB David Harris
Dennis Byrd Award — RB LaDainian Tomlinson
Ed Block Courage Award — DE Shaun Ellis
Marty Lyons Award — WR/KR Brad Smith
Kyle Clifton Award — DT Mike DeVito
Walter Payton Award — FB Tony Richardson
The Byrd award goes to the most inspirational player, the Lyons award to the player who “gives from the heart through charity and community involvement,” and the Clifton honor to the “good guy” who helps all the various departments in the organization when called on. The Block award goes to “the most courageous player” on each of the NFL’s 32 teams. The Payton award goes to one player on each team for his volunteer and charity work as well as his on-field excellence, and the NFL announces the league winner during Super Bowl week.
Ryan had more to say about Mark Sanchez (he’s not 100 percent sure this morning whether Mark will play or not play against Buffalo on Sunday), the defense and the importance of beating the Bills. We’ll have that information for you from Chicago shortly.
Playoff-Bound … to Where?
The question arises as to which opponent the Jets will draw in the AFC Wild Card Round in two weeks, and the answer is that right now, the Jets could play just about any opponent except New England in Round 1.
First, regarding the Jets’ seeding, fifth or sixth: It depends on the AFC North finish. If the Steelers win it, the Ravens would get the fifth seed no matter what the Jets do vs. Buffalo on Sunday, with the tiebreaker if both teams finish 11-5 being their season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium, the Ravens’ 10-9 win. If Baltimore wins and the Jets and Steelers both finish 11-5, the Jets get the 5-seed based on their head-to-head win at Pittsburgh two weekends ago.
So here is a non-definitive list, not from the NFL, on some scenarios as to how the Jets could end up where they’ll end up on the weekend of Jan. 8-9.
At Indianapolis — If the Colts win the AFC South but don’t catch the Chiefs, they’ll be the fourth seed and so would host the Jets in Lucas Oil Stadium if the Jets are the 5. Or if the Colts beat the Titans and the Chiefs lose to Oakland, Indy’s the 3 and would host the Jets if they’re the 6.
At Kansas City — Arrowhead is where the Jets are headed if they’re the sixth seed and the Chiefs are the third or the Jets are 5 and the Chiefs 4.
At Jacksonville — If the Jaguars win at Houston and the Colts lose at home to Tennessee, the Jags are the South winners at 9-7 and would be the fourth seed. The Jets would go to ALLTEL Stadium only if they’re the 5-seed, meaning they beat Buffalo and Pittsburgh loses out to Baltimore in the North.
At Pittsburgh — Can’t happen. The Steelers are the No. 2, 5 or 6 seed.
At Baltimore — Can’t happen. The Ravens are either the No. 2 or 5.
At New England — Can’t happen. The Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Tags: Chicago, David Harris, LaDainian Tomlinson, Rex Ryan, Shaun Ellis, team awards
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