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‘Fast Friday’ En Route to ‘Necessary Sunday’

Posted by Andrew LeRay on December 9, 2011 – 4:17 pm

It was another “Fast Friday” practice for the Jets at Atlantic Health Training Center today. Head coach Rex Ryan and his staff keep the mood light on Fridays with an abbreviated practice working mostly on red zone situations. Instead of beginning the day with special teams drills, the offense takes the field and each receiver, back, or tight end runs an individual route, receives a pass, and is then congratulated by a chorus of cheers and applause from his teammates.

Today, even offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was involved, throwing a short screen pass to tight ends coach Mike Devlin, eliciting a chorus of cheers and applause. Fast Friday is one way to maintain a positive vibe throughout the team heading into that weekend’s game. Staying positive is crucial, especially in the midst of a crowded playoff race.

While the Jets have had no problems keeping morale high, Ryan hopes it’s spreading to their fan base.

“We’re fighting for our playoff lives,” said Ryan. “Have we made it easy being a Jets fan? Probably not like we wanted to. One thing about our team, we’re going to give it everything we have. I think our fans appreciate that.”

In hopes of jump-starting that wave of positivity, Ryan has made a special request to have his offense introduced individually before Sunday’s opening kickoff against the Chiefs, and he expects a rousing ovation from Jets Nation. After all, it’s the same Jets offense that has come from behind in the fourth quarter in consecutive weeks to keep the playoff dream alive.

“I want everybody to know that Mark Sanchez is a pretty good quarterback,” said Ryan. “I think it will be a shot in the arm when he comes out to applause because I think that will happen.”

In addition to Sanchez, RB Shonn Greene has been enjoying increased success lately. Due in large part to the elevated play of the offensive line, Greene has averaged 4.7 yards per carry in his last two games and had a career-high three-touchdown performance last week at Washington. Greene seemingly has won the battle with inconsistency that plagued him earlier in the season, and is now battling a rib injury sustained in Week 11 in Denver.

“He’s tough. This time of year everybody is beat up,” said Ryan. “The tough guys hang in there and keep going. When you look at our backfield, everybody is hurt.”

Ryan’s commitment to the ground game has been reaffirmed in the last two games, as the Jets have run the ball 53 times. Greene has taken 35 of those carries, and it appears the approach won’t change much on Sunday.

“We know as a football team we had to run the ball better,” said Ryan. “Washington had a good front, Kansas City is a good front, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge. We know we have to keep hanging in there. To me, rushing attempts are more important than rushing average. You keep running the football, eventually good things are going to happen.”

Ryan fell in love with the run game in his first season as head coach, when RB Thomas Jones posted career bests with 331 carries, 1,402 rushing yards and 14 TDs. Now Jones is in Kansas City and will make his return trip to East Rutherford, N.J., with the Chiefs.

“They have one of the best running games in the league,” said Ryan. “We have to stop the run so we can get them in third-and-longs. That will play to our advantage.”

The Chiefs are ranked ninth in the NFL in rushing, averaging 120.7 yards per game. Jones is part of a three-headed ground game along with RB Jackie Battle and RB Dexter McCluster. The three have helped keep the Chiefs alive in the AFC West race.

While the Kansas City passing attack may not be their strength, Ryan insisted that his secondary must stay alert for the big play. The Chiefs’ only touchdown in last week’s 10-3 victory over the Bears came on a Hail Mary completion to McCluster to end the first half.

“On the back end, we can’t fall asleep,” said Ryan. “This team is capable of throwing the football. They’ve got big-time wideouts on the outside. They’ll run the Wildcat, they’ll run bootlegs, and [QB Tyler Palko] is pretty decent on the move. There is certainly a challenge there.”

Injury Picture

DT Mike DeVito (knee) did not participate in practice this week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. RB Joe McKnight practiced on a limited basis and wore a brace on his arm to protect his hyperextended elbow. He is also listed as questionable. In case he can’t go, Ryan said that rookie RB Bilal Powell will be active.

RG Brandon Moore missed the week of practice with soreness in his surgically repaired hip. Ryan listed Moore as questionable, but Moore had no doubts that he would play in his 125th Jets regular-season game and make his 118th consecutive start come Sunday.

“I’ll get out there before the game, get on the field, warm it up, come back and get ready for the game,” said Moore. “I don’t know if anybody is 100 percent, but I’ll be ready to go.”

Rounding out the Jets listed as questionable is DT Marcus Dixon, who is also nursing a sore hip.

The Chiefs are abnormally healthy this late in the season. Recent waiver-acquisition QB Kyle Orton is doubtful with a finger injury on his throwing hand. LBs Jovan Belcher (shoulder) and Demorrio Williams (groin) are both questionable.

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Posted in Andrew LeRay | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “‘Fast Friday’ En Route to ‘Necessary Sunday’”

  1. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, TJ is part of a three-headed group with Battle and McCluster, both of whom were playing behind him before Charles got hurt. When Charles was ruled out for the year and TJ failed to even come close to stepping up, Battle and McCluster took over. TJ’s pitiful 3.0 avg, his 1.0 after contact, and his no-factor status as a receiver haven’t added up to much of a contribution, so I’m not worried about him. On the other hand, I’ve been wondering all week just how serious Orton’s finger is. If he’s okay to start, it’s a whole new ball game since he’s miles ahead of Palko…and right up there with Sanchez on a good day…

  2. By Franco on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Nice positive spin! I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! Go Jets! Now for a minor gripe that has nothing to do with the playuers on the field…Can somebody make sure that this site get’s updated more than once a week! I mean it had the New England game up all week until an hour ago! Come on man this is not the middle of no where this is the big city. I am sure one or two of those occupy wall street guys are out of work web designers, give them the job. Multi-million dollar organization, and a rinky dink webpage…come on man!

  3. By scjoe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Funny thing, Rex was a savior three years ago when he took over for Mangini, who was also a savior when he took over for Herm. Now, after 2 straight trips to the AFC championship game those same people who thought he was a savior now want him gone. I am not a big fan of all the talk either, but there is no one out there that is any better. And I mean NO ONE! Give Rex a starting caliber RB, a safety who can actually cover a TE or a RB, an OC and a OT and I will take my chances with him taking this team to where we all want this team to go. The answer is not simply changing coaches every 2-3 years.

  4. By GaryC on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe,to say there are no head coaches out there better is ludicrous,Holmgren,gruden,dungy,just to name a few and who have won super bowls,rex has accomplished a lot but those personalities usually fade quickly,IE, his dad so he better get it done soon.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    That’s right, scjoe, the answer is hiring a really top-notch coach with a full command of the game, giving him some clout in the front office, and sticking with him, not hiring these small-time, one-dimensional coaches we’ve hired lately every few years. Rex may be the best of those but he still isn’t firing on enough cylinders…except his mouth, which NEVER takes a rest, and usually charges into action well before his brain does.

  6. By Charliejet on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Franco I agree for the “Media Capital of The World” this web page is very slow….
    updates are ridiculous.

  7. By scjoe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, Dungy?? Where do you think he would have been without Peyton? How about where Caldwell is right now? Holmgren? First of all he is now a GM, and not a very good one at that, Mangini had the Browns playing much better then they are now. Players win and lose (for the most part) not the coaches. Want a perfect example GaryC, look at Indianapolis. I rest my case.

  8. By scjoe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I would bet everything I own right now that if either Gruden, Dungy, Holmgren, Cowher or anyone else took over this team next season and they didn’t win it all within 2 years we will be hearing the exact same argument. THAT, is what is ludicrous!

  9. By scjoe on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    Lets take a closer look at Jim Caldwell. Was he a “great” coach when he took the Colts to the SB in 2009? Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t this the same Jim Caldwell who is still coaching the 0-12 Colts today? Can anyone tell me what the difference is between that 2009 Colts team and this years version? C’mon man! The players have a little bit to do with it too.

  10. By fred on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    I expect & believe Sanchez will play well Sunday & its Jets 28 Chiefs 13

  11. By sal on Dec 9, 2011 | Reply

    While TJ is not playing great, he is not hurt,dont look at him as a no threat, when tJ left so did this teams ground and pound. I have been a life long Jet fan @ 51. Not exicted about the team, ,each of the last 2 years key players left for whatever reason, and everybody wonders why they are still trying to find out who they are. I look a little North and that team changed key players several times , GM countless coaches, they slide a little, but always pick themsefs up and take the division. The jets had their chances, and blew every one of them…Merry christmas
    And to top it off I think Denver as much as I hate the guy has a winner for a QB, that you cant teach!

  12. By wayne on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t know why you guys bother. Rex isn’t going anywhere and big time coaches want no part of this organization. If they come to NY/NJ, it’s to coach the NY Bigants, and the way it’s looking there could be an opening there. Parcells was one dimensional, Holmgren is an offensive guy, not defense, Gruden is no defensive genius, Belichick is a defensive guy, Cowher is strictly a defensive guy.Rex needs better coaching on the offensive side of the ball and Jets need a guy who knows how to acquire talent and develop it..TANNENBAUM IS A NUMBERS GUY. Give him some props for some good picks here and there, but there’s not enough talent being added to this team year to year. Renegades!!!! Can’t have the Prince so you seek after the king’s head.

  13. By NorCalJet on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Bottom line we need a win! This is not the same Jets squad from the past two years. Their record and lack of consistency have displayed that so far. All we can hope is that they can put it togther for the rest of the season. If not, let’s not jump to changing HCs and QBs right away. Demanding results is “accepted”, but changing the personnel and scheme would take years to get back where we stood the past 2 years. Two out of three deep playoff seasons is success, analyze us year four. SB is the goal. Go Jets!!!

  14. By 38 year fan on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    I for one , am staying loyal . No matter what …No matter how long it $#@# takes . Even if it takes 38 more years .. This whole team is fighting hard , and I am proud to be a Jets Fan . ..Go Jets

  15. By Gabriel on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Typically, I remember how the Jet fans here were just begging to at least be superbowl contenders and go to th eplayoffs. Rex ryan takes us to the brink of superbowl twice and your complaining like usual. Some jet fans here have become spoiled and now want him gone! Are you serious, Rex Ryan is one of the best coaches out there and has done a great job of taking a pretty decent team to the AFC championship twice. Its football your suppose to talk this isnt a wimpy sport. I like Rex his not your typical coach and that is what makes him very successful. I seriously want to have one jet fan be coach for a day and see what happenes. Trust in him instead of criticsing him.

  16. By Dug on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Well put Wayne — go Jets and may all of you fans enjoy this beautiful time of the year !

  17. By GaryC on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, gruden won with brad johnson,remember.dungy was winning at tampa bay without manning,remember when the jets were after holmgren, what happened,did you forget that.

  18. By Kevin65Fan on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Rex has been the best thing for this franchise since Parcells where both of them have brought the Jets to the front pages in New york and has demanded excellence from its players and players play for them. Look at all the quiet nay sayer losers we had here starting right after Weeb…what you want another C. Winner…Holtz…Walton…(take back Walt Michaels anyday) …Clown from Cincy..forgot his name…infamous Kotite…and the old “We play to win the game” coach. So what if Rex is a loud mouth (not so much this year)..but he has installed a winning attitude with what he has got…Oh they’ll be changes with a new OC and DC (going to college is rumor)…and they will be stronger with comp. at QB and with a better draft. I’m a Bronx boy.

  19. By Kevin65Fan on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Bronx boy in heart and take no nothing from anyone and admire his brashness. This is what we need here in New York. Sure may rub some the wrong way…tough ****. Like I said before…not all head coaches handle both parts of the offense and defense. Most head coahes are specialist in either or and they have strong assistants as coordinators. I named them before and they are there clearly. Coaches that don’t have thae specialty I see them more as figure heads…motivators for the team…and they go no where. Sure bring back Holtz to sing ‘rah-rah’ fight songs as Namath laughed in his face. Great motivation for sure. I rather a smash mouth in your face coach anyday..any time…

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    sal, TJ was great for us but remember some of the holes the OL was opening in 2009 were enormous, last yr and especially this yr they haven’t come close to that kind of play, although this yr injuries were a factor. wayne, I think you’re right about the bigger HC’s avoiding the Jets and the Jets keeping them away by not really giving HC’s that much power, i.e. “suggesting” to Rex that he keep certain coaches including Schotty, for instance. Gabriel, I’m one of those who’s happy with a consistent contender and doesn’t need Rex’s SB predictions. And I don’t say get rid of him yet, just that if he doesn’t stop cutting the wrong guys, talking without thinking, and putting all the pressure on the D, I put him on the same 5-yr plan as Sanchez.

  21. By Rick Rosselli on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    If the JETS would have stayed with the same team as the last two year it would have be lights out and yes Rex you could have shouted from the mountian tops. We are going to the Super Bowl.So until you can get a team together like that, keep your mouth closed and just play Jet ball. You are losing respect of your fans by opening your mouth.

  22. By Row on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    This is a game that easily could end the Jets season. The Chiefs defense is weak in the secondary, but their LB’s are very fast. If we could somehow get a deep pass in the playbook, it could change the game. I still think LT is the best back here, but we have seen absolutely nothing from Powell aside from the goal line mishap. He probably gets 4 or 5 snaps a practice from Sanchez. If I was going to criticize Rex, it would be more along the lines of him trying to play all sides. I’d like to see him continue to run his mouth, but also demand the personnel he needs to succeed. He, along with most coaches plays favorites, which is a detriment to the team. With a safety and a QB who can make reads, this team IS a superbowl team. Win on Sunday!

  23. By scjoe on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, Gruden won with Brad Johnson AND a great defense, just like the Ravens with Dilfer. We do not have a “great” defense so it don’t matter if it is Gruden, Dungy, Ryan or Parcells, who by the way is one of the very, very, few coaches that actually can make a difference, but didn’t here. It simply comes down to the players my friend.

  24. By Tom Spicer on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with SCJoe 100% this is not even worth me commenting on Rex is doing more with less.

  25. By Jimmer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, Peyton is/was the colts. But not all teams are like that. We obviously have a much more complete team than indy. But I’m not so sure we’re better than the one Rex took over. Mangini really did put a good group on the field. I think that group had more heart than this years team.

  26. By GaryC on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, so how good was vince lombardi, he had the players too, what constitutes a great coach,only if you get more out of a team than is expected,every year rex says super bowl or bust,is he overrating his talent or is he not a good enough head coach to get the talent there.I don’t believe myself they have the talent,but how good is rex as pertaining to your criteria.

  27. By scjoe on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    GaryC, being the Lombardi fan I am and always was I will go out on a short limb here and say he was the best ever! He was a difference maker, Parcells is a difference maker, and as much as I hate to say it Belichek is a difference maker. There are no more. Ryan has taken this team (with it’s shortcomings) to the AFC championship game his first two years, with a not to stellar rookie QB I might add, and have a real good shot to make the playoff’s again this year. What more can we ask for? The team is playing hard and they are competitive and that is the name of the game. The only problem I see? To much talking.

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