Most reporters and fans, even players and coaches, are human, and it is human to erroneously assume that coincidence equals causality.
Still, there was last week’s final Jets practice before playing Baltimore …
“I tell it the way it is,” head coach Rex Ryan recalled at today’s news conference. “Last week we said we had a poor practice on Friday with the offense. And we had a poor game.”
But the reason Rex brought that sore subject up again this week was for the purpose of comparison. “We had a great practice today,” he said. “Very, very few mental mistakes. Guys were bouncing around. We just looked crisp, we looked sharp out there. Great communication.
“You can tell by the way we hit the practice field today that we’re ready to play.”
That’s a good thing because as everyone around these green and white parts knows, this week is Patriots week. Nothing less than the Jets’ best will do at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and even their very best might not be enough.
But a great practice week can be one big piece to a victory puzzle involving the Jets’ biggest rival.
“Going into New England, you definitely want to be going in with a feeling of comfort and confidence in everything you’re doing,” said guard Brandon Moore in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room. “You don’t want any question marks going in there because they’re a good team and they’re coached by a good coach.”
Safety Brodney Pool, happy to accept congratulations for his first half-sack of the season on Sunday night (he has 5.5 for his seven-year career, also wasn’t about to dispute the premise that great practices help optimize game performances.
“Practice is huge this week,” Pool said. “We want to get back on the winning track. It’s a division game. We don’t want to be behind these guys. This week we’ve just hunkered down with all the [defensive] calls, everybody’s been getting extra film in, and out on the field during practice, the way guys are moving around, it’s just crazy, man. It’s how you want it to be.”
Yet how many times did the Jets have what they felt was an impeccable set of Pats Week practices, only to come up short against Tom Brady & Co. on Sunday? And as good as this week may turn out to be, can it overcome the trends the Jets reluctantly set in the road losses at Oakland and Baltimore?
Yet as Ryan argued, he’ll sign up for the good week and take his chances with his guys on Sunday.
“If you go out during the week studying tape and practicing to the best of your ability, in this league it doesn’t guarantee you a victory. But if you don’t do it, it almost guarantees you a defeat,” he said. “We obviously have to be a lot better than we were the last two weeks. Going against the Patriots, if we’re not at our best, we won’t win this game. We have to be at our best and then well see. I feel confident we will win.”
The Jets’ injury report was improved today over Wednesday as WR Plaxico Burress (elbow) was a full participant in team drills, LB Calvin Pace (abdomen) was limited, and rookie DL Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder) went from limited to full. LB Garrett McIntyre (concussion) remained DNP. “It’s probably real questionable about McIntyre,” said Ryan. “I think everybody else will be ready to roll.”
For the Patriots, three players who didn’t participate in Wednesday’s team drills were limited in today’s team work — DL Albert Haynesworth, TE Aaron Hernandez and DL Mike Wright. That made it 11 players in all who were limited. Four remained out of team drills for a second day — LB Jerod Mayo, T Sebastian Vollmer, RB Danny Woodhead and WR Julian Edelman.
Tags: Brandon Moore, Brodney Pool, Calvin Pace, Gillette Stadium, Muhammad Wilkerson, New England Patriots, Plaxico Burress, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady
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