Today’s practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center was kind of a cooling-down day from Rex Ryan’s special “Bloody Nose Wednesday, Special Thursday Edition” that he conducted the day before.
“We put in an extra period Wednesday, a little eight-minute period,” said the Jets head coach of the idea suggested by OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo to fire up the team in general and two areas in particular, the rushing offense and the run defense. “It was ones vs. ones, your base power boss running game against the defense. It was all runs, one play-actoin. We put our guys out there, put the ball down and said, ‘Let’s have at it.’
“I challenged our guys to really compete against each other, and the only way you get better is when you go full-speed against each other. And that’s what we did. It was an outstanding period, to the point where I’m like, ‘Oh, man, is that it?’ The period was over and I wished we could keep going.”
There are obvious restrictions, both CBA and coaching-wise, on having slam-bam practices like this. Only one full-pads practice is allowed per week, so Thursday was it for the Jets. It wasn’t tackling to the ground — that’s a sure way to get some more in-season injuries — but it was close.
“The backs, the quarterbacks, the receivers, we took care of them,” said rookie DT Quinton Coples. “But in the trenches, it was a dirty world.”
“We just had to get back to fundamentals,” said LB Nick Bellore. “Sometimes you get caught up in keeping each other healthy, but sometimes you’ve just got to go full-speed.”
“I don’t think it’s fun for nobody,” said Coples. “It’s old-school football, best man wins every rep.”
While it wasn’t necessarily fun, it seems the players as well as Ryan and his coaches knew something had to be tried, to help the OL work on staying on its blocks, the DL to get off blocks and cut down on the coaches’ count of 17 missed tackles vs. San Francisco, and equally important to jolt the team from any lingering 49ers doldrums in time to tackle the undefeated Texans on Monday night.
Ryan said the eight minutes of pad-popping intensity was worth it.
“It was just the focus, guys really competing against each other, knowing that’s what we have to do to get better,” he said. “If you’re not working hard, you’re not going to get better. So it’s a win-win situation. When you put that kind of emphasis on it, you’re taking care of each other by competing at a 100 percent level against each other.”
Will it achieve the desired effects? We’ll see the results in three nights’ time.
We checked in with RT Austin Howard the other week about the music he listens to as he warms up to play in a game. He gave a few names of his favorite old-school pregame performers — Sam Cooke and Marcel Howard.
That Cooke guy we’ve heard of. But Marcel who?
Austin’s brother, of course.
“Marcel lives in Chicago and one of his hobbies is putting together beats, tracks,” Howard said. “He sends them to me usually Friday night or Saturday night when I get to the team hotel.”
A Windy City musician, then?
“It’s just one of his hobbies, but he has worked with some artists,” he said. “He does all instrumental music. He has his own unique style, not specifically hip-hop, whatever he feels.”
If Howard appears to be feeling it against the Texans’ J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, Brooks Reed and company, we could credit the all-in-the-family tunes that got his mind right in the hours before opening kickoff.
Friday is like Thursday this week when it comes to injury reports.
And just as they have most weeks this year, they’ve added another player to their report as the week has gone on. Today it’s RB-KOR(-DB?) Joe McKnight, who was sent home with an illness and did not participate in practice. He’s the 25th Jet listed this week.
There are three other changes from Thursday’s list. LBs Bart Scott (toe) and Bryan Thomas (hamstring) were limited after not working yesterday. And S LaRon Landry (heel) spent his usual middle practice day of the week as a DNP.
Ryan was non-committal about his non-participants, in particular TE Dustin Keller and WR Stephen Hill, both sidelined with hamstring issues. “The fact that they’re now out another day of practice isn’t good,” he said, adding, “I know they’re making improvements, they’re making strides.”
The Texans added LG Wade Smith (knee) as a DNP today. Along with C Chris Myers (back, full) and G Antoine Caldwell (ankle/knee, limited), their three interior OL starters are on the list. So are three of their biggest skill players: RB Arian Foster (hamstring, full), WR Andre Johnson (groin, limited) and TE Owen Daniels (thigh, limited). They’re listing 17 players on their latest report.
Mangold Jersey App Opp
Laura Clemente tells us that there’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity ahead for all you Nick Mangold fans to get a No. 74 jersey signed by none other than No. 74 himself. If you’re not at Monday night’s Jets-Texans game at MetLife Stadium, then you’ll no doubt be tuned in to ESPN. While you’re watching, check into the game with the Viggle app via your Smartphone or iPad for that opportunity to win the jersey. You can download the Viggle app from the App Store or Google Play.
Tags: Austin Howard, Dave DeGuglielmo, Houston Texans, Nick Bellore, Nick Mangold, Quinton Coples, Rex Ryan, San Francisco 49ers
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