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Run D Wants to Spend Time in Miami’s Backfield

Posted by Randy Lange on September 20, 2012 – 9:32 am

Rex Ryan said nothing much good comes out of a loss except possibly the learning. And what the Jets may have learned is that their run defense can be all that it thought it was before C.J. Spiller creased them a few times on opening day.

“We’ve got to put the loss behind us,” DE Muhammad Wilkerson said of the Sunday slipup in Pittsburgh, “but we were challenging ourselves all last week about being physical up front. We just wanted to come out and attack the challenge.”

“We need to bounce back still from that first game,” said DT Mike DeVito. “We kind of took the pedal off the gas there and let the Bills run for some yards. We want to be the top run defense in the league. We’re capable of doing that. So now it’s just digging ourselves out of that hole that we started off in.”

By a few measures, the run defense was outstanding in Pittsburgh. The Steelers needed Ben Roethlisberger to carry them on his broad shoulders because their backs were finding no room in gaining 66 yards on 28 carries.

A big component of those figures were seven Jets tackles behind the line of scrimmage (six on running plays, one on a pass) for minus-22 yards. Led by Wilkerson (2.5 TFLs) and LB Garrett McIntyre (2.0 TFLs, two sacks), those two team figures were both the most in a game in four seasons under Ryan. The last time they had seven TFLs was in the 2007 home win over the Steelers. The last time they racked up more than 20 yards in losses was when they went 7-for-27 at Buffalo in 2004.

On their own, TFLs in a game aren’t great predictors of victory. But they can be an important part of a defensive game plan that can shut down a potent ground game and turn an offense one-dimensional, especially if led by a rookie QB.

Kind of like what the Jets’ run defense would like to do Sunday at Miami. Job One: Prune Reggie Bush.

“They’ve got a great back with Reggie,” Wilkerson said. “He’s a fast guy, so again we’ve got to be physical up front and don’t let him get outside to the edge, because if we do that, it’ll be a problem.”

Bush has been a feast-or-famine type runner over the years. Among the 56 NFL backs with 500 carries since 2006, he’s sixth in percentage of 10-yard-plus runs but he’s also fourth in percentage of “stuffs,” or being tackled for loss. So far this season he’s been feasting — his 241 rushing and 312 yards from scrimmage are both second in the league (behind Spiller, coincidentally).

“With a guy like that, this takes all 11 guys to stop him,” McIntyre said. “We’ve got to create lots of penetration. We’ve got to set edges. That’s huge this week.”

Especially because as poised as Ryan Tannehill has sometimes looked, he’s a rookie who’s been sacked four times, thrown three INTs to one TD and passed to a rating of 62.6.

Tannehill’s comfort in the pocket will be dependent on Bush’s comfort in running the ball and moving the chains.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us,” DeVito said. “That’s they key to the game, who we play as a defensive front.”

Revis and the Walking Wounded

The Jets’ injury list keeps growing each week. Today’s first report of the week is up to a season-high 19 players. But the good news is that 11 of them were full-go in practice today. And the news is cautiously optimistic on the key-player front as well.

CB Darrelle Revis? “He has not been cleared for contact. He has been cleared for practice,” said Ryan. “We’ll see how that goes.” Revis was in fact limited today.

TE Dustin Keller? Did not participate in practice but sounded confident again that he’ll be ready to play at Miami.

QB Mark Sanchez, who appeared on the list as full participation with a low-back twinge? “I just found out about it today,” Ryan said. “I don’t think it’s that serious.”

Also DNPs were LB Bryan Thomas (hamstring), S Eric Smith (hip/knee) and FB John Conner (knee). Said McIntyre about getting a second start for BT at OLB: “I’ve got to prepare like I’m going to be the guy and whatever happens, happens. I’ll do whatever role they want me to do, whatever it means, as long as we get wins. The more depth we have, the better we are.”

The Dolphins have listed nine players on their Wednesday list. Backup DT Tony McDaniel (knee) didn’t participate Starting CB Richard Marshall (back) and backup WRs Anthony Marshall (hamstring) and Marlon Moore (hamstring) were all limited. Five ‘Fins were full practice.

McKnight Prognosis: Two-Plus Plays

Ryan was pressed about two play-related situations by reporters. One predictably involved the Tim Tebow Wildcat, which went from eight plays vs. Buffalo to three at Pitt. How much will we see the ‘Cat vs. the ‘Fins?

“That’s the beauty of it because we control it,” the head coach said. “The media’s not going to drive it and the opponents, they’re not going to have any idea what we’re going to do with him,” the head coach said. “I think I know the answer but I’m not going to give it to you. I think it’s in our best interests that our opponents don’t know exactly. Will the Wildcat really be featured this week or is it more back-burnered? I think that plays into our advantage.”

As for kickoff man McKnight, Ryan said his one play on offense, on which he ran for 12 yards with a handoff from Tebow, was a function of him being “a little nicked. We’ll see. I think he’ll have a bigger role this week.” How big? “I would think he’d play a bigger role than one snap.”

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Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Run D Wants to Spend Time in Miami’s Backfield”

  1. By RON ALEXANDER on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    IRA,Time for me to eat some crow on MacIntyre! You talked him up early in camp and i was not a fan. At this point I’m still not convinced he’s a long range part of the soloution but he’s a lot better than B.T.Anybody got a clue whats happaned to our projected pass rush specialist Aaron Maybin? Did he play at all vs.Pitt?Speaking about pass rushers, has anyone heard anything from Q.Coples lately? This is a big game for us as we cant afford to dig too big a hole as this team seems to have a fragile psyche.

  2. By scjoe on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    You know? Playing physical up front is great, but that is only part of the equation. You also have to execute, control the gaps, and peruse. Yes, the run D looked much better against the Steelers then it did against the Bills. Why? Because the Steelers did not have a Spiller. The Dolphins do! My concern isn’t just penetrating the back field, it is perusing the back once he leaves the back field. That didn’t happen vs Buffalo. If it don’t happen in Miami it will be a long day. Also, as I alluded to in the previous story, if this Jets O line, TEs, and backs can’t neutralize the Dolphins front 7 it will be extremely difficult to win.

  3. By scjoe on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Ron, to me, Mcintyre looked the most consistent of any of the LBs vs Pit. I think all this guy needs, besides staying hungry, is steady playing time, and for the life of me I can’t think of a single reason why he can’t get it. Just look at the alternative, something we HAVE been looking at for the past 3 years now. When/if Davis develops I would feel a whole lot better about this LB core.

  4. By scjoe on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting story on NFL.com. In a recent interview on NFL AM Danny Ammendola (Rams WR) had this to say about OC Brian Shottenheimer, and this is copy and paste.
    “So far in the NFL this is my fourth offense, and Schotty’s offense is the most intricate one, at the same time it has a mixture of all of them,” he said. “It’s very effective, it has the capability of making big plays, and we are all excited about it.”
    So, what is Shotty doing differently in ST. L then he did here in NY? Could “intricate” possibly be the key word here?

  5. By wayne on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Humongous game don’t matter that it’s only 3rd game of the season…..Jets(GQ) will be tight and MIA will be loose at start. This is not a gimme……Have no respect for this management team….They’re trying to distance themselves from this QB, whom THEY labelled a franchise QB when NO ONE ELSE DID…..They don’t get to get off that train unscathed……What good young QB prospect would want to be a part of this 3 monkey show………..I would not want my career ruined by these guys……Only way Woody lets management get away with this fiasco, if it goes south, is if he’s more clueless than we think…..about this football thing…..Can’t wait for some of you to start going overboard again with a win.

  6. By Steve D on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I do believe that Rex lacks confidence in Sanchez and would like to use TeBow more. However it is obvious he is also wary of letting TeBow pass the ball. It’s a catch 22 for him. The same can be said for his Defense. He is using Pouha and DeVito and Scott who can stop the run but get little pass rush on the QB rather than let younger players like Coples, Ellis and Davis get more snaps. If he is using more 4 down lineman schemes he has to have pass rushers in there to help the linebackers and secondary.

  7. By SCfromNY on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    It will be good to see how much our D learned when Bush is on the field. If our run game falters who, like Ben, will put the team on his shoulders to win the game? I have a suspicion that player, McElroy won’t be given a chance. Rex is still protective of Sanchez and doesn’t want him to look bad when compared to anyone else. He is so confident in Sanchez that I hope Sanchez goes when Rex does. Unfortunately I think Rex is a fantastic DC but would never take that demotion with the team where he was a HC.

  8. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    No way in the world I play Revis this game, Miami has no WRs and we need all hands on deck next week! Would sit Keller one more week too.

  9. By uncle joe on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    If Holmes drops one pass in Miami I would bench him and I would have Gates in there alot. I have a feeling there won’t be too much Tebow in this game either, why would you show your cards with him running when Miami has a week secondary? Save it all for the Niners

  10. By sal cottone on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Well You can be a great run defence if you tackle the runner, finish the play and not knock out your own best defensive player… BARTMAN!
    I wont go on saying maybe they were missing a couple of leaders on D, Revis and the guy who cant finish a season in NY Leonard.. Jets have excelent personnel including Scott, I dont think runners tacking on yards after contact will happen much more! Big tests comming soon!!

  11. By sal cottone on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe the weight cut will take a little getting use too, maybe quicker, but the punch is not the same! At least get to the QB. Please!

  12. By IRA on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Ron, Its still early in the year but Maybin looked very good this summer. I expected 10 plus sacks. So far i feel teams have figured him out from the tapes from last year and he is having less success. Lets hope he figures out how to get to the QB.
    Randy is right their run D was very good in Pitt and better be the same or better this week or they could be in for a long afternoon. Also with all this about an improved secondary they have given up TD’s to Chandler and Miller both TE’s and that doesn’t bold well with Fasano coming up next.

  13. By Allan O'Dane on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    McIntyre and Davis should get a lot of playing time this sunday. After watching what C.J. Spiller did to NYJ Defense we need speed out there. Now I have a bone to pick with forbes….How in blue blazes can they pick Harris is overpaid at his position? This guy is what a true MLB should be…stout against the run..smart…team guy…never really out of position…Next to Revis he’s the most important guy on that Defense!…hands down!…Now Cromartie may not like sticking his nose in on tackles but he can cover. And if it weren’t for Revis he would be the #1 corner on this team and any other team at that. And let’s keep a eye on Maybin…Last year he was hungry….not seeing that same fire..

  14. By Allan O'Dane on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    On another note…Check out the new Durcell Commerical with Patrick Willis…all I can say is, this guy is angry…….very angry….

  15. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    Good point about not letting the management team off the hook for Sanchez if he doesn’t really blossom this yr, wayne. Problem is, making excuses for owners, management, coaches, and players is almost as cherished a pastime by some Jet fans as is watching the games. In fact, some folks on this site seem to enjoy raving about the team and predicting future glory on the field even more than examining the often disappointing results on that field…and you know who you are…

  16. By SCfromNY on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    I almost felt like writing TACKLING in bold 3X. This goes back to last year. Same thing every week. LBs chasing runners who go outside, watching them fall as the runner scoots past them, or lost in pass coverage. No excuses about the CBA every team is in the same boat. I realize we are split 50/50 on the coaching issue but how do some teams go from poor to good with a coaching change? I think Rex is out of his element and if truth be told he would probably be happier as a DC. As for holding back Coples because the Steelers were heavy. He’s a first round pick. Jason Taylor was never that huge but seemed to handle himself well. Long ago Giant Fred Dryer was very thin but did the job. Rex is afraid to play players that may fail.

  17. By TONY GARCIA on Sep 20, 2012 | Reply

    JET fan since 1969. 3 rd game of season very important division game even though its early.3-1, 2-2 first four games would be a good first quarter.

  18. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Couldn’t agree more about Rex being out of his element, SCfromNY, the only thing he really brought to the team that was original — all those wacky blitz schemes in the first yr — were figured out, have disappeared, and now we have a D that does well statistically but not that well on points scored. He’s never shown the all-around skills, much less the adult temperament, of a HC, which is why I think we’re more likely to win big in spite of him than because of him. But that would mean Sparano, Sanchez, Pettine, Hill, Holmes and a few of the other young guys would have to step up in a MAJOR way.

  19. By JetBlue on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    CSNY: You’re right about Rex. He is way out of his element. This apple didn’t fall from it’s tree. Rex’s daddy had his moment but faded quickly as the offenses found ways to beat his 46 defense. Buddy was never HC material. Now we see the same thing in Rex. His press conferences are filled with stumbling & bumbling, bad jokes, and useless information. I don’t expect Rex to lay out the game plan, but it would be nice to hear some form of intelligent coach-speak from our HC. Instead, we get a steady dose of “ya-know”, and “obviuosly”. The only thing obvious to me is the need for a new staff, including the GM.

  20. By hawkfist on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Ryan indeed appears out of his element, but then so does Tannenbaum, perhaps the talent scouts as well. Looking at the Giants for example, they always find talent in all rounds of the draft. Last night against the Panthers was an example of that. Jerry Reese (GM) drafts ahead, always looking forward, he seldom runs into salary issues that will hurt the team. Sanchez is no Manning, but Sanchez has no receivers around him, Holmes is a cancer and crybaby. Hill disappeared last week, and Sparano is a huge turkey. The LBs look slower than a duck, they miss tackles cuase they arrive “late”. It’s time to stop disguising this experiment, no more excuses! Play the game to win not to talk about meaninglesspostgame stats .

  21. By scjoe on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Give me a minute while I go out in to the field to find another dead horse to beat! I’m usually on board with a few of you guys on everything Jets, BUT, I don’t think the reason this team is underperforming is solely on rex. Last 3 seasons it seemed everything was on Shotty, look at how his new offense is performing (so far) now look at our “inconsistent” offense and how it is performing. Surprise!! Guess it wasn’t Shotty, maybe the personnel then? In the grand scheme of things this team has competed (for the most part) under Rex. That is not setting the bar low, it is just reality. Not sure the results will change with a change at HC. Not unless it was Lombardi. At some point, some of the blame HAS to go to the players.

  22. By scjoe on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    While watching that other NY team take Carolina apart on Thursday night football, I though for a minute, how great would it be to have a QB with that kind of poise, fire, accuracy, leadership ability, pocket presence, and desire to win. Oh by the way, that was a 4th or 5th string 2nd year WR out there taking apart the Carolina secondary to the tune of 138 yards. Gee, what ever happened to “chemistry?” I seem to hear that word all the time around here. Again, PLEASE, no more Sanchez/Eli comparisons.

  23. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Correction, scjoe, I’ve been criticizing Rex since November of 2009 — partly for listening to Schotty, true, but for many other things as well. Can you conceive of a universe in which BOTH Schotty as an OC and Rex as an HC are sub-par? I can, because this whole org from Woody on down is going in the wrong direction a lot of the time.

  24. By the commiter '' on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    our jets must do what the 62 packers ,did ,, have 2 qb’s in the backfield at same time . tebo ” can run , pass , or help with trick plays . pls ” rex ” listen to the commiter”

  25. By Tom Spicer on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Steve D, What Rex should do is start replacing these guys. Every passing down Davis for Scott, Maybin for Pace, McNtyre for Thomas, Coples for Devito & Ellis for Pouha get the youth & speed in the game. We already know what we have in these older slower guys they are NOT pass rushers!

  26. By scjoe on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    64, yes! I can. I am not saying Rex is “perfect” he, like 99.9% of the others have their deficiencies. I never argued he don’t. But what I am saying is, there is this illusion going around that if we brought in Cowher, Fisher (when he WAS available) or any of the other recycled coaches who failed somewhere else that it would be “problem solved” That just is not the case. Of course if they happened to have a GM who saw eye to eye with them on personnel issues things could improve, but that could happen here, now, with Rex as well. My theory is that it is 75% player, and player execution and 25% coaching. Some coaches increase those odds, not many, and none of them are available now or anytime soon.

  27. By scjoe on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    commiter, the problem with that theory is that any time Tebow touches the ball there would be one less blocker and/or skill player on the field and it would become advantage defense. It may have worked in 62, but it wont for long today.

  28. By the commiter '' on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    64 ” i understand ,, the game has got faster now,, but pls get this info to rex ,, i have been a jets fan ,, from 1966 & i do not want to die before i see them get number 2 superbowl rings . it will work 64 . thank you ” from a old jets fan . the commiter ”

  29. By Mike Jet Vet on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    For the few here who believe Tebow. is the answer, here’s how it will play out,if Sanchez totally lays an egg Rex starts Tebow, he may get 15 yards here 10 yards there,but lets face it, he hasn’t shown strong enough pocket presence since leaving college my friends. Actually less then sanchez if you can believe that, as a result any good coach and or defense with adjust to any thing we throw at them with Tebow and experiment over .. Rex is ruining his Rep as DC/ HC protecting Sanchez he isn’t that bad a coach. His defense for the most part are getting long in the tooth. he will work in young players all during this season defense will get better, offense will remain stagnate , not enough talent

  30. By richjet821 on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    You guys need to take off the blinders, including Giant fans. When Cruz, dropped all those balls, Giants lost. When Jet recievers, drop balls, get hit it the back with them, you lose. It’s the players and that stop drives. It’s as simple as that. Last year it was the line, and you can’t muff punts (Kerley). Hold on to the damn ball.
    Except for Holmes, the receivers are young and it’s early in the season. Rather have it early, so it can be worked on.

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