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‘Slugger,’ ‘Mayhem’ Give Pass Rush a Spark

Posted by Randy Lange on October 19, 2011 – 5:07 pm

Update, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Jets may be getting their pass-rushing inspiration these days from non-football on the television. For Calvin Pace it’s Albert Pujols. For Aaron Maybin it may be Dean Winters.

“I needed that, man,” said Pace about his two-sack smackdown of Matt Moore and the Dolphins on Monday night. “Sacks are one of those things that come in bunches. I had to get off the schneid, so to say. I’m a home run hitter but I’d been striking out a little bit. I had to hit a couple of homers.”

Pace told me before the Dallas season opener that 10-plus sacks were in his sights this season. He promptly got a takedown of Tony Romo, but then a couple of more sacks just eluded his grasp in the ensuing weeks. Now that he’s back on track, he can enjoy the Jets’ practices during the day this week as they get ready to chase down Philip Rivers and the Chargers, and at night he can sit back and enjoy Pujols and the Cardinals’ World Series quest that begins tonight against the Texas Rangers.

As for Winters, you may not recall the name but you probably remember his most recent role as “Mayhem” on the Allstate car insurance spots. So does Maybin.

“That’s always been my favorite commercial,” said the Jets’ lightning-fast linebacker. “But I’ve had that nickname since I was at Penn State. It started off almost like a joke. I think Joe [Paterno] called me that by mistake one time when I was a freshman and it kind of stuck. The guys on the team never let me forget.”

And now Jets head coach Rex Ryan won’t let him forget.

“He’s been calling me Mayhem for a while,” Maybin said. “He finally dubbed me Mayhem in the locker room.”

Meanwhile, on the field, Maybin is making up for lost time. He got the first sack of his three-year pro career in the Sunday night game at Baltimore. A quiet New England game was followed up by his come-from-behind style as he poked the ball loose from Reggie Bush’s grasp late in the second quarter, then got his second strip sack of the year late in the fourth against Moore.

Both balls skittered out of bounds so the Dolphins retained possession, but Mayhem … er, Maybin is hardly discouraged.

“Obviously, that’s the goal, that’s what you’re coming in trying to do. You try to create a big play on defense that might be able to get a spark that might turn the game around,” he said. “If we keep on coming and keep on swinging, eventually those balls are going to start rolling our way.”

The combination of Pace, Maybin, David Harris, Bart Scott, Jamaal Westerman and the rest of the Green & White QB chasers has done some interesting work lately. With four sacks of Moore following four sacks of Tom Brady, the Jets now have 17 sacks. That’s tied for third-most in the NFL (with 12 teams having played only five games, not six) and the sack rate (pass plays per sack) is fifth.

Naturally this doesn’t mean the jury is done deliberating on the quality of the Jets’ pass rush. They could have used more than the one second-half sack of Brady while he was directing four scoring drives (two TDs, two FGs) in the 30-21 win. And if any of their Monday night sacks had come in the first half, perhaps that would have slowed the ‘Fins down even more.

But suffice it to say the Jets are crashing the other team’s pocket with some more regularity lately.

“I can’t do it without the rest of my guys,” said Pace, whose emergence as a 10-sack monster would be a most welcome development over the final 10 regular-season games. “The secondary played great, we had some young guys come in and play well up front. So it was a total team effort.”

More such team efforts will be needed, especially in the next three games against Rivers, Buffalo’s hot Ryan Fitzpatrick after the bye, and then back to Brady at home four Sundays from now.

Rex Cetera

Ryan’s first injury report of the week was not overly alarming although six players did not practice in team drills in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center fieldhouse today due to the steady daylong rain in North Jersey.

CB Antonio Cromartie, who came out of the Dolphins game with a groin pull, rested, as did C Nick Mangold (ankle), DT Ropati Pitoitua (knee), CB Isaiah Trufant (hamstring) and WR Logan Payne (wrist). RB LaDainian Tomlinson was a non-injury DNP. And utility man Joe McKnight had a knee issue that had him limited.

“I think they’ll be limited during the week because we just played Monday,” Ryan said of Cromartie and Mangold. “We’ll see how they progress, but I expect them both to play.”

For the Chargers, DE Luis Castillo (tibia), the Garfield, N.J., product, did not participate in today’s practice. TE Antonio Gates (foot), WR Vincent Jackson (hmstring) and CB Marcus Gilchrist were limited. And RB Michael Tolbert (concussion) and DE Jacques Cesaire (knee) went full.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “‘Slugger,’ ‘Mayhem’ Give Pass Rush a Spark”

  1. By Karan on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    All the leaders from this team are gone. Only one we have is LaDainian Tomlinson. We need more! Sign T-Rich for the heck of it! And phooey on Mr. T of not doing enough this offseason, the jets went cheap this season, now you see the price.

  2. By jetken on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    A little better result this week but we did play one of the crappiest teams in the league. The offense needs some big time help and it must start with Mr.Sanchez.I’m not totally convinced he really knows what he’s doing yet.His completion percentage is terrible and he looks very jittery and sometimes he even looks confused as to where to throw the ball. The defense and special teams carried this team the last two years and to be honest they really weren’t spectacular performances, with a squeak into the playoffs with some help and last year was a touch better. In my opinion Sanchez should be tearing these teams up being in this system for now the third year regardless of who he’s throwing it to, if he’s the quarterback they thought he is.

  3. By Scott on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Maybin has been in the league for three years and this is his second sack? Hardly a force to be to be spotlighted. The fact is the Jets had an ugly win at home against a terrible Dolphins team. This is not the same team as 2010 there are fundamental, deep flaws,The are learning the hard way Sanchez is not the quaterback to build an offense on.The are learning the hard way that you can not spend 2 years in jail and expect to preform at a previous high level in the NFL. The are learning the hard way the won last year in spite of the offensive coordinater. The have to get back to the physical “smash mouth ” defense, with the aggressive blitz, constant pressure. You have not got a Montana here and you never will , run the ball, throw 25 x

  4. By viveca on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Maybe this is not as good a team as the last two years, but i belive it is a more PROMISING team. We’ve lots of young talent, Mac Knight, Ellis, Wilkerson, Maybin, Wilson…Waiting in the wings are Mac Elroy, and Cumberland. Maybe the game against the Chargers will be the game when it all comes together. Let’s hope…Not ready to throw in the towel!

  5. By Another Tom on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I saw an impressive interview with Brandon Lloyd..great attitude. would be a nice fit. It sure seems likes there a some missing ingredients to this years recipe. I agree with other posters that We tried to save $$ and we are now seeing the result..I still think we can turn this season around and make the playoffs by simlply making tackles, catching the ball and avoiding stupid penalties

  6. By McQueen on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Scott, we are learning the hard way that you are a broken record

  7. By Tom Spicer on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Scott, The Jets are no longer a smash mouth team they dont have the running backs or the O line to do it. Greene has not proven that he can carry the load & our O line is no longer built like that Hunter while younger & cheaper than Woody thru the first 4games was terrible & thou he has stepped it up the last 2 games. He is not close to the run blocker that Woody was. Slauson while younger, cheaper & a better pass blocker is also not a good a run blocker as Faneca was.

  8. By Karan on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I think Sanchez is a really good QB, but besides that and the bad playcalling, I feel like Schottenheimer’s triggered something in Sanchez’s brain to not throw down the field even when it’s a nice play-action, Mark will sometimes look at a receiver but choose to throw it to LT or Greene for a small gain. I understand you don’t want to throw an interception, but you can’t always play so conservative. He needs to let loose a little, because I know he can make those throws. Can he play a little better accurately wise? Yes, definitely, but he’s going to get better. I think it’s a little annoying when his own fan-base bashes him. The kid’s a good QB, his passer rating this season is actually a bit higher than Matt Ryan’s. No one mentions that,eh?

  9. By cgb on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    mr. T. has to deal with the trades he has made.well the whole jets organization has to deal with it.there has to be enough qualified personel within this organization to realize what is happening. rex is the head coach,bottom line work more closely with mike . I trust your football mentality more then I do mike T. I can only say one thing that I see important, that the jets have not done.please look at the play-makers that you have on your roster. then get them involved in the game planning for that week.I HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS WEEK, and also the offense opening up as the season moves forward.

  10. By IRA on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I had Pace at 10 sacks and Westerman at 6 and they are on their way to those numbers. I loved maybin’s burst and speed off the line in the summer and now we are seeing Rex put him in situations where he can make plays. He will get better and better as the season goes on. So maybe they blew the VG pick but it looks like they replaced it with Maybin. Love they way he has a knack to strip the ball.
    Randy, I see McKnight is avg 44.1 yds per KO return. If he continues at that pace i thnk that would have to be some type of NFL record?

  11. By Randy Lange on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, in 1967, Green Bay rookie Travis Williams set the NFL record for single-season kickoff-return average at 41.06 yards on 18 returns.

  12. By uncle joe on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    So now Jenkins is talking about our Locker Room and how we have no leaders because he,Woody and Ellis are gone,Really! We went to the AFC Championship game TWO years in a row without you and did it last year without Woody. Ellis looks like NE’s defensive OchoCinco. Cotchery made his big career move demanding to be let go so he can get more playing time which I believe he now gets on Pitt’s Practice Squad! Our Leader was Defensive Player of the week ONLY because a team thought it was a good idea to test him! Go away Jenkins,just Go AWAY!

  13. By uncle joe on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think there are alot of people in San Diego, players and fans and OWNERS alike who are mumbling under their breath that Rex Ryan is right. Game Two of our EIGHT Game winning streak is on the Horizon. The NEW Ellis is now Official and Mayhem Flight # 51 is preparing to be Launched!

  14. By IRA on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    After looking back at what has taken place this season so far i feel the Jets season turned on that McFadden play. The D was playing ok not great and the offense was playing much better than now. Then the Ravens game really killed their confidence. Slowly they are getting it back plus getting Mangold back is huge. Even Plax played well in the Oak game. The perfect fix is for them to go out and beat SD then clear their minds and re-focus during the bye week.
    Jets 27- Chargers 23
    GO JETS!!!!
    Oh and for those Sanchez killers out there 369 yds 2 TD’s and 1 INt QB rating 96.0 @Oak.
    He needs a good game this week to get back his confidence.

  15. By JDunn on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Look at the young {24 years old} QB”s playoff record and big game performances….Give the kid a break and stop being impatient…Theres only 1 Rodgers at QB…Letting Braylon who knew the O go and Woody gone is whats hurting this Offense!!!!!…We’re tied for 3rd in sacks soooooooooo stop bitching….lol…We do need to stop the run though and then we will be that dominant D that we should be…Maybe a DE in the draft or a huge beast of a Offensive tackle would be good….

  16. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Memo to Spicer re your post, jetken: Don’t talk about who is and isn’t a deep threat until you check out Cimini’s numbers on Sanchez throwing over 21 yds. Some of the worst numbers in the league, including a 40% rating. We don’t know yet whether MS is really the QB they thought he is, jetken, and I just advocate making a change if he can’t answer that question in 4 or 5 yrs. In one of the most obvious duck-and-cover moves I’ve ever seen by a HC, yesterday Rex said that takes 6 yrs and “sometimes more, sometimes less.” I’d love to see him find any QB who needed more than 6 yrs to prove he was elite. That’s what I mean about Rex setting the bar low and making excuses for his team, yet he also has that other side — cut without warning.

  17. By wayne on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


  18. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Great post about those “leaders” who can’t seem to perform in the NFL, uncle joe. I noticed Jenkins, who couldn’t suit up for us 2 yrs in a row, mouthing off yesterday and I thought it was incredibly self-serving, so I congratulate you for nailing him on it. Anyone with a brain knew that S Ellis wasn’t worth that kinda $ and now that Rex has gotten over his typically Jet-like fear of draft choices, I predict K Ellis will do just fine. Like I told you, GaryC, J-Co’s the #5 on PIT and I don’t know what ever made him or anyone else think he’d be more than that. As for what Rex said about Turner and SD, I’ll be glad when we either win a SB and Rex is “man enough” to talk less or when we get a new coach who knows when to keep his mouth shut.

  19. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Karan, I like that comment about Matty “ice”. Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford, all do not impress me, yet Sanchez catches all the heat. Uncle Joe, I could not agree with you more on Jenkins. I think he’s just mad his knee couldn’t hold up long enough to play under Rex Ryan.

  20. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I also think Bradford looked 100 x better last year under Pat Shurmur. Under Mcdaniels, he looks worse then Mark. That’s what i’m talking about when I say a bad offensive system. I think Pat Shurmur recognized Bradfords strengths and weaknesses and I feel the same way about Colt Mccoy. I like Colt, but I don’t believe he’s better then Mark, just in a better system for his skill set.

  21. By Tom Spicer on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Karan, You are right this is the bash Mark Sanchez site but the fact of the matter is this he had 1 bad game. Everyone has a bad game Brady had 4 picks this year in a loss to the Bills. Marks numbers in his games 1 Boys 26 of 44, 59%, 335 yards, 2 TDS, 1 pick, 1 fumble, 88 rating & this is after getting sacked 4 times. 2 Jags 17 of 24, 70%, 182 yards, 2 tds, 2 picks, no fumbles & a 85 rating (We were blowing out the Jags so he left after 3 quarters) 3 Raiders 27 of 44, 61%, 369 yards, 3 tds (2 passing & 1 rushing), 1 pick, no fumbles, 93 rating & this is after getting sacked 4 times. 4 Pats 16 of 26, 61%, 166 yards, 2 tds, 0 picks or fumbles & a 105 rating 5 Miami 14 of 25, 56%, 201 yards, 2 tds (1 passing & 1 rushing), 0 picks or fumbles

  22. By Tom Spicer on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    & a 95 rating. So if you take out the Raven game where is his bad game? Read the above stats & tell which one of those games was bad?

  23. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I believe with Peyton currently out of the NFL, there are only 4 GREAT QB’s and everyone else, is everyone else. Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford and Colt Mccoy, don’t impress me. Mcnabb, Tavares, Matt Moore and Luke McCown are straight up terrible. Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger are the two most overrated players in professional sports, Matty “ice” is also overrated and Joe Flacco’s mediocrity, somehow, flies under the radar. I don’t know how to explain Fitz in B-lo, other then he’s in a good system for his skill set, kind of like Sam Bradford under Pat Shurmur in 2010. Now it looks as though, Josh McDaniels is doing his best Brian Schottenheimer impression, by ruining a young talent.

  24. By john ski on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Great post “Jet fan since ’64”, the Sanchez numbers only go to prove that Schottenheimer should really be let go. MS does great when the run game is established which time and time again Shotty seems to love to stray from. I would dare to say if they stuck to the run like they did with T. Jones that Greene gets into a rhythm, the receivers get less coverage, we eat more game clock, and we play to Sanchez’ strengths. Hey Shotty, there’s nothing boring about a good run game! If you remember the Steelers with Jerome Bettis later in his career, the Steelers wouldn’t really run him until the 2nd half when everyone was way too tired to deal with him. We could use LT and SG in much the same way… Bill Callahan for OC!

  25. By GaryC on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, seeing there is always something lurking behind the steelers thinking,you think maybe they were trying to keep cotchery away from the ravens,just saying,maybe a team that continually thinks outside the box.they know a guy with cotchery’s experience would really help the ravens and possibly catapult the ravens past them.a guy like cotchery who could make those clutch third down catches to keep drives alive, something that the jet offense is severely lacking.Maybe that is why the steelers signed cotchery.

  26. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Clarke and Karan, if Sanchez can finish the yr with a better passer rating than all of those QBs you mention, and get us to the playoffs, and perform well in the playoffs, that will answer a lot of questions. But if he’s gonna start every game flat no matter who the opponent is, throw inaccurately, and fail to see the whole field consistently well, I don’t see us getting very far. For all the talk about how tough New York and New Yorkers are, it’s astounding to see people make one excuse after another for this guy. At some pt you have to step up, and this is the yr in which he has to do it — not in his 6th yr, as Rex so bizarrely said yesterday. Then again, Rex’s comments on the O are rarely worth taking seriously.

  27. By Tom Spicer on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    So Marks ratings if you take out the Raven game are 88, 85, 93, 105 & 95. That is a 93 rating in 5 games. Completion percentage 59, 70 ,61, 61 & 56. Thats 61% completions percentage in 5 games. Yards 335, 182, 369, 166 & 201. Thats 250 yards per game in 5 games. TDS 2, 2 , 3, 2 & 2 for 11 TDS in 5 games the kid has played well.

  28. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, you ask ME if I watch the games? That blizzard of stats for Sanchez is the biggest bunch of nonsense I’ve ever seen, even from you. First, some of those stats came in garbage time, as many have said. Second, his consistently slow starts, which go back to about 3 games into ’09, put the team at a huge disadvantage in terms of both O and D strategy. Finally, an exclusive focus on stats instead of a more complete view of how he’s leading the team is utterly foolish. The biggest stat is that with MS at QB, we lost 3 games in a row that we needed to win. Not all of that was his fault but plenty of it was. I can’t wait to hear your excuses for him if we lose the next 3. Jeez, he’s just a QB and maybe the wrong one, chill and deal with it.

  29. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks, john ski, I’m open to different amounts of running and passing but I don’t really expect that balance to ever work all that productively until Schotty is gone, Rex picks his own OC, and Rex learns to become a complete coach. It’s just very rare that anyone has gone very far at HC without doing so. Clarke, I agree with a lot of your comments on those QBs, especially Flacco. But his off-the-field stupidity aside, Ben R. is about 10 times the QB Sanchez is now and he’s got the SB ring to prove it. GaryC, have Rex’s roster moves gone to your head? I know what you mean but I can’t quite see the Steelers picking up J-Co ONLY to keep him away from the Ravens, it’s not like he’s some superstar.

  30. By GaryC on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    but jet fan tom, that is a pretty good threesome of boldin, evans and cotchery,sounds a little better than what the jets have now.

  31. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Although I agree with you ’64 Tom… He’s made some really ugly, seemingly simple throws. I just would like see one year of him in a new system, to see if he has more confidence. I am by no means on the Mark Sanchez bandwagon, I’m just a dude, that really wants this to work out, I guess.

  32. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I also don’t think a Super Bowl ring really proves anything other then being a part of a great team. I guess you can make the argument that most Super Bowl winners have great quarterbacks, but sometimes, they’re just serviceable. Roethlisberger is obviously miles ahead of Mark, but Mark is also a baby. When we threw a 22 year old kid, with very little college experience under center, it could’ve turned out much worse than this.

  33. By scjoe on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Karan, Ira, Spicer, I don’t believe you are looking at the big picture re: Sanchez. At some point you need to look beyond the stats on NFL.com. Because stats such as consistency, reading defenses, looking beyond the first and even the second read will not appear there. Many of the “experts” some which I have respect for, some which I don’t, all tend to agree on these issues, MS has trouble with his accuracy, with his reads, with his consistency, and often with his footwork. If it were one or two or maybe even three or four, you could discredit them, but all of them? And I see exactly what they all see.

  34. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I’d like to have seen more than a few yrs of Sanchez in a new system, that’s for sure, Clarke. As for SB rings, they may not always mean everything but last time I looked nobody on the Jets had gotten one in more than 40 yrs, even if Rex can’t stop talking about the ones he thinks he woulda had at SD. And in Ben R’s — and Holmes’ — cases, the rings for that one particular game mean a bit more than just being part of a good team. Besides, Ben R and Brady were kinda thrown in there, too. Once again, like I told Spicer, I’m judging Sanchez by the kind of move we made to get him and the way we handed the franchise to him, not the way I’d judge, say Matt Robinson or Kellen Clemens.

  35. By scjoe on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    When Maybin was released early in the process I thought it was an absolute head scratcher. Based on what we had as far as pass rushers with some speed I just couldn’t believe they (Rex/Tanny) did that. Now, I read an article like this and wonder, “what has changed in Maybins ability between then and now” See what “can” happen when one is given a chance? One who had the ability to begin with. To think that this guy could have been doing this for some other 3-4 team kind of gets you thinking.

  36. By Clarke W. Griswald on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, I’m still not a Ben R. fan. Sorry I’m not gonna budge for you there.

  37. By jetken on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    All of the jet fans on this site have some pretty good points,but the way things are going today, not last year, not 2 months from now, it looks pretty scary to me with all the talking Rex has done about super bowls with the jets and even teams he hasn’t coached and never will coach. The jets have alot of room for improvement and I think they will get better as the year goes on. But I don’t think right now they are as good as Rex thinks they are. Hopefully they will get better on both sides of the ball. The O-line needs to get better and then Sanchez will be more comfortable. the run D needs to be better and this game against S.D. will be a good measuring stick because they are much better then the fish.

  38. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    That’s okay, Clarke, I’m not a big Ben R fan either. I just know he’s a heck of a lot better than Sanchez is gonna be anytime soon unless divine inspiration strikes him.

  39. By Chicago Bob on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    This leadership thing is so blown out of proportion – these guys are professionals and are paid to do a job. Granted, some guys are more vocal than others however if you need players around you to “lead” then that does not say a whole lot about your own abilities. Maybin looks to have some potential – he brings speed in the LB corp that was sorely lacking. Sacks need to start from our front three – Ellis is the key – if he can develop into a quality NT and create a push, we will at least have two quality down lineman with him and Wlkerson. Devito is solid however an upgrade is needed there – he creates no pash rush whatsoever. WE DONT NEED ANOTHER STANDOUT RECEIVER – JUST GET KELLER THE BALL MORE – if he were on N.E., he would be All-Pro.

  40. By no one listens to Blinka on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

    No one cares when Blinka is right either.

    I said the offensive line would improve and it did, plus the power formation is improving as Conner gets more experience. But still conserned about D-line. Ellis and Wilkerson are helpful, but not until next year.

    Now for the bittnerness segment:

    Take a look at the Pats remaining schedule. Assuming the Jets & Steelers beat them, the Jets will have to win out to tie them. Big Blue is our only hope.
    And my prophecy is coming true, Luck to the Fish. Comes into his own as Brady fades, Jets divisional champs not until another 15 years at least

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