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Rex’s Key Sunday Matchup: MLB Harris vs. RB Helu

Posted by Andrew LeRay on December 2, 2011 – 3:34 pm

After a week of preparation, the Jets are ready for the trip to Washington. The Redskins are fresh off their 23-17 comeback win in Seattle in Week 12. The Jets also enter on a high note after defeating the Buffalo Bills and keeping their playoff hopes very much alive.

“Full of energy, fast tempo, and the ball never hit the ground,” head coach Rex Ryan said about today’s practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “It was an excellent Friday practice, and I’m excited about that.”

The ‘Skins have had a healthy rotation of tailbacks this season, with three backs carrying the ball at least 55 times. Washington head coach Mike Shanahan announced that rookie RB Roy Helu would take the bulk of the carries on Sunday after his 23 carries, 108 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks.

“At Nebraska, he averaged [6.8] yards per carry last year,” said Ryan. “He has speed and home-run-hitting ability. He’s similar to [Bills RB C.J.] Spiller in that way.”

The Jets held Spiller to 55 yards on 19 carries last Sunday. They will aim to do the same against Helu, and will be led as usual by LB David Harris. Harris is quietly enjoying a terrific season, and Ryan praised his defensive stud today.

“He’s leading our defense,” said Ryan. “I don’t know who’s playing better than him at middle linebacker this year, but he’s a guy that has to be considered for the Pro Bowl. I think he’ll finally go this season.”

Shifting his focus to the other side of the football, Ryan spent some time addressing his offensive line and their stellar performance against the Bills. The O-Line allowed no sacks and paved the way for Jets rushers to run for 6.0 yards per carry, and on Thursday were named this week’s Madden Protectors Award.

On Sunday the Jets face a much more violent pass rush from the Redskins, who are tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 33. Can the OL duplicate its performance vs. the Bills?

“It’s going to be a huge challenge, but I think we can,” said Ryan. “I think that’s the kind of line we have. We had a great week of practice, and I expect them to play well.”

One member of the offensive line has particularly blossomed this season. LG Matt Slauson has taken on a role of leadership and has impressed Ryan with his play.

“It’s like he’s an old pro, and that’s what you like about him,” said Ryan. “I see a guy that you assume has played for years and years. He’s always been a big, strong, tough guy and brings that each week. Now he recognizes everything and just fits in with those guys.”

Friday Injury Reports

The Jets were surprisingly healthy this week, as other teams deal with impactful injuries in the waning season. RB LaDainian Tomlinson and WR Jeremy Kerley will return to action following their knee injuries that held them out against the Broncos and Bills. Rex said both will be back in “similar spots” as before their injuries. That includes Kerley as the primary punt returner.

“The past couple weeks have been a little rough, guys have been a little banged up,” said Kerley. “We were moving guys around, trying to see if they can fit the spot, but I’ll be back there.”

The only Jet ruled out for Sunday is DT Mike DeVito, who suffered a knee injury of his own on Sunday. Rookie DT Kenrick Ellis will start in his place in the base defense.

For the Redskins, hard-hitting S LaRon Landry has been ruled out with a groin injury. DE Stephen Bowen participated in practice for the first time this week, albeit on a limited basis, and is questionable for Sunday’s game. Veteran LB London Fletcher is also questionable with an ankle injury.

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Posted in Andrew LeRay | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Rex’s Key Sunday Matchup: MLB Harris vs. RB Helu”

  1. By logan on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    The Skins are not going to lay down for the Jets especially at home. I expect a hard fought defensive struggle, should be a good game for all football fans regardless. I would love to see the Jets put EVERYTHING togeather for one really good game this year, they have so much potenial

  2. By Tom Spicer on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    I am glad to see that Ellis is goig to get the start but wouldnt it be better if they put him at NT & move Pouha to Devitos spot?

  3. By Karan on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    Come on Jets, lets shut DeAngelo Hall up!

  4. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    I think it’s great that Ellis is starting and I don’t even care if he has the worst game since the last time Gholston wore the Green and White. When you draft two huge DL guys and you have problems on the DL, you oughta play ‘em and find out what you’ve got, not treat them like fine china.

  5. By cgb on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    roy helu is a stud at rb. I so wanted the jets to draft this guy. I new it would’nt take long for him to adjust to the nfl. He finally had his break out game last week against the seahawks. Please jets you need to contain helu and the rest of the redskins rb’s.

  6. By Karan on Dec 2, 2011 | Reply

    I’m glad Rex is trying his best to get Tom Moore to come out as much as he can. I understand Moore is a bit older so its hard for him to always travel, but its great he’s with the team giving major offensive tips. Article on ESPNNewYork says Jets players seem to really like him, I’m glad. Oh, and he will be attending the Washington game, I think our offense will have a fine day :)

  7. By GaryC on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    here is another reason to stop knocking sanchez, when the strike was on and teams were getting some of their players to practice on their own the packers didn’t and it hasn’t seemed to hurt them.maybe it is because they had ALL of their receivers back,CONSISTENCY REAPS REWARDS,RIGHT JET FAN TOM, did plastico practice this week. bye the way,I am also wondering why Ellis is playing end this week,considering he probably hasn’t got a lot of reps there this year,looks like the redskins are going to run reverses and sweeps to his side,hope is ankle is in shape.

  8. By GaryC on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    to say who the jets are drafting is way to presumptuos, you don’t even know what juniors are coming out and where the jets are drafting,I agree you don’t take offensive lineman unless he is a stud,with the jets you better get a game changer,that is why if Blackmon, Jeffrey are there,those will be my wideouts and second position will be the rush linebacker,I’m already hearing Upshaw the outside linebacker at Alabama.

  9. By Kevin65Fan on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    LOL…64 Tom, great post on your Bizarro World feature although Spicer has better Bizarro World comments with Sanchez. I thought back in August this was it…the break-out year. More mature, more confident, better accuracy and making him captain with his stellar leadership. How Bizzare is that. Oh wait, Rex was talking about Aaron Rogers. Whats more bizzare is where is Pace and Scott..filling out their applications for the nearest old age home. Sure Harris is playing fantastic in the middle…cause he’s making up for all the mis tackles by Scott. Lets see if teams are leaning on blocking Maybin more and if it frees up Pace..but I doubt it..seriously lost a step.

  10. By Kevin65Fan on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    Against Washington is going to be a real slug-fest. This is one of the strongest D’s Jets will face since the Ravens…and they better be ready. Unless we score at least 2 touchdowns in first half…easily this will be a match of field goals…tough defensive battle and again down to the last minute…more like a 16-13 score game…and we better be on top.

  11. By DJ Zeb on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    as always, it will be close, but i believe our defense overpowers their offense in the end

  12. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 3, 2011 | Reply

    Excessive talk about new WRs is for losers, GaryC, not for elite QBs. Elite QBs just segue into good communication with their WRs like Brady and Ben R have done. I don’t say Sanchez has to play on that level now but when we stop claiming his lousy play at times has to do with the WRs, we’ll know he’s become an elite QB. Glad you like the Bizarro World bit, Kevin, I doubt you’d hear a HC like Cowher making excuses for MS by wondering aloud if Holmes and Plax are running their routes properly, like Rex did the other day. Rex and Sanchez have a long way to go before they accomplish a fraction of what Holmes and Plax have done — win the big one with the big play.

  13. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 4, 2011 | Reply

    “As always, it will be close” writes DJ Zeb, whom I’ve never noticed posting here. So welcome aboard, DJ, and nothing against you but, yes, our offense is so pathetic that by now we’re all used to close games against anyone. The possibility of blowing out any team no matter how bad is seen as remote if not inconceivable. That spells nothing resembling a championship team but Emperor Rex’s new clothes can’t be exposed for fear of being called disloyal. scjoe, I see what you mean about some of the wishy-washiness on this site lately. Maybe every week we should give someone the Charlie Brown Award for Wishy-Washiness — except there wouldn’t be much suspense to it, since Spicer would win it several times a day talking about Sanchez alone.

  14. By GaryC on Dec 4, 2011 | Reply

    Oh, so that is it Jet fan tom, you make one play in your career and you are anointed sainthood in your eyes,now we know why the love affair with Plastico and Holmes.

  15. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 4, 2011 | Reply

    Gary C, if you don’t think Rex and Sanchez and Schotty would trade everything they’ve ever done, had, owned, or dreamed about to make that one play…

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