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Blog

Lankster Picking Up Where Trufant Left Off

Posted by Randy Lange on November 16, 2012 – 3:33 pm

Updated, 4:15 p.m. ET

Ellis Lankster said he would be watching NFL highlights or ESPN’s Top Ten and see blitzing cornerbacks from other teams coming free all the time, swooping in on unsuspecting quarterbacks and separating them from the football.

“And I would say, ‘Why? Why do I never come free like that?’ ” he wondered.

At Seattle, it happened. Lankster, playing nickel after Isaiah Trufant suffered his season-ending first-quarter knee injury, came off his left edge in a five-man rush. No Seahawk stepped up to block him, and suddenly there was rookie QB Russell Wilson, as big as day and looking the other way.

“My whole time running, I was saying in my head, ‘Don’t throw it, don’t throw it, don’t throw it,’ ” Lankster recalled. “He didn’t throw it. I was so happy.”

Lankster hit Wilson and the ball came loose. In one instant, the third-year man who’s been waiting his turn for his career to get rolling had just picked up his first sack and first forced fumble of his career.

As luck would have it, the Seahawks recovered the loose ball at their 7. It was still a big third-down play, forcing a 3-and-out, but it was one of several plays that could have signaled a Jets upsurge in that game but went the other way. If only Dustin Keller didn’t false-start, if only Mark Sanchez saw Stephen Hill in the back of the end zone, if only the Jets had recovered that ball and Jeremy Kerley hadn’t muffed the punt …

That’s what happens to teams on losing streaks. But teams that pull out of those streaks do so by relying on positive trends that develop during those negative teams. We have more on that in our Sunday morning preview of the Jets-Rams game, but suffice it to say that Lankster, to help him should he have a clear shot at Rams QB Sam Bradford, has been going to the Jets’ video library.

“I never played with Drew Coleman. My first year here, he was gone,” he said of the former Jets corner and strip-sack artist who played last year with Jacksonville last season. “Coaches will be like, ‘Go back and watch how Drew Coleman did it, or how Donald Strickland did it.’ “

In fact, Lankster did a great imitation. He became the first Jets DB to execute a strip-sack in 28 games, or since DC had three in a three-game span (two against Ben Roethlisberger) late in the 2010 season.

There’s no guarantee Lankster will be running forward unblocked again Sunday and on Thanksgiving night back home against the Patriots. But an improved Jets rush will help him as he tries to fill Trufant’s role in coverage against those teams’ top wideouts, Danny Amendola for the Rams and Wes Welker for the Patriots. In fact, as Ryan said a few times this week, Amendola “kind of looks like Wes Welker, and his game looks a lot like it, too.”

The shame of that is that Trufant likely would have been a key player in the Jets’ nickel. He’d been flashing on blitzes himself and got praise for helping to hold Welker down four weeks ago at New England. Unfortunately, Trufant’s left knee got jarred by LB Garrett McIntyre as both went for the tackle of ex-Jet Leon Washington on his first punt return on Sunday. That injury landed Trufant on IR on Tuesday.

But ‘Zaiah may yet make his presence felt under the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday.

“Ever since he got hurt, he’s been telling me to ‘hold it down,’ ” Lankster said. “He’s been sending me texts, saying, ‘Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s your time.’ “

Perhaps it will be.

Here is the list of strip-sacks by Jets DBs from the Bill Parcells era forward:

2010 — CB Drew Coleman 3

2009 — S Jim Leonhard 2, S James Ihedigbo 1, S Kerry Rhodes 1

2008 — S Abram Elam 2, CB Hank Poteat 1, CB Darrelle Revis 1

2006 — Rhodes 3

2001 — CB Ray Mickens 1

1999 — Mickens 2

1998 — S Victor Green 1

Friday Injury Reports

Mostly good news on the Jets’ injury front. The good: For the first time this season, the Jets list no players as either doubtful or out for the upcoming game. “I expect us to have a healthy roster,” Ryan said today, “and we’ll see how that goes.”

Included in those expectations are the five players listed as questionable for the Rams: RB Bilal Powell (concussion), RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle), NT Sione Po‘uha (back/ankle), LB Bart Scott (toe) and — the only semi-negative injury news — WR-PR Jeremy Kerley, who didn’t practice for the first time this week with his heel injury plus a hamstring complication.

WR Stephen Hill practiced full after sitting out two days with an illness and said he’s feeling a lot better. He’s probable, as are LB Calvin Pace (DNP today due to personal reasons) and the 12 other players on the list.

All four injured Rams players are listed as questionable for the game: LB Mario Haggan (thigh), WR Austin Pettis (toe), DE Eugene Sims (knee), S Darian Stewart (knee). None is a starter.

Penalty: Gannon

Last week at this time we noted that Marv Albert was about to call his 100th Jets game on network TV. He and Rich Gannon (doing his seventh Jets game since ’08 as a network analyst and his fifth teamed with Marv) in the CBS booth generally had a good game. Gannon in particular was tough but insightful on Mark Sanchez’s play and the Jets’ use of Tim Tebow.

But Gannon committed a late-game gaffe that we’d like to correct for the record. When Yeremiah Bell rocked RB Richard Turbin as a Russell Wilson pass sailed over their heads, and YB was flagged for what ref Ed Hochuli announced was “unnecessary roughness, helmet contact to a defenseless player,” Gannon offered this:

“Yeremiah Bell’s been tagged a couple times this season for these type of hits.”

False. Until that penalty, Bell hadn’t been flagged for any plays of that kind this season. The only penalty he’d been called for previously was for holding TE Heath Miller in Game 2 at Pittsburgh.

If Gannon had said the Jets safeties as a tandem had been tagged a couple of times, he would have been in the ballpark. LaRon Landry was flagged for two late hits, on Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller in the opener (offset) and on Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders the next week, plus a horsecollar tackle on Antonio Brown in that game. He’d gone unpenalized for six games, or until he was called for pass interference on Seattle TE Evan Moore in the back of the end zone.

That Landry penalty vs. the Seahawks, by the way, was a rarity, since it officially was for zero yards yet still gave the Seahawks a first down. The ball was already inside the Jets 1 and the penalty moved the ball half the distance to the goal line, which was a foot away. That’s still statistically considered the 1-yard line.

Special Thanks to A-1 First Class

The New York Jets want to extend a special thank-you to A-1 First Class Moving, the proud moving partner of the Jets, for helping deliver items from the organization’s Sandy Relief Drive to New Jersey Cares.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 28 Comments »


28 Responses to “Lankster Picking Up Where Trufant Left Off”

  1. By IRA on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    Lankster has improved and it was great to see him get to the QB last week. Too bad they had to tell him to watch tape of Coleman they should’ve never let him go in the first place. Some very good players in that list above that Randy posted. Biggest shame was that Rhodes had to be traded and they couldn’t get him to get his head right and focus on football. He could’ve been a great safety if he had.

  2. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom of Few Words on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    NFL News’ Kimberly Jones writes more honestly about this team than any guy or gal out there: “The Jets live in a delusional little world where logic is generally discarded and sometimes disavowed. Where words have no consequences and, for now it seems, neither does losing. In January, Mr T and Ryan said OC Brian Schottenheimer would return. Ten days later, he was gone. In April, Mr T publicly and privately delighted in suggesting that second-year guard Caleb Schlauderaff could be the next Jeremy Lin. Schlauderaff hasn’t played a snap this season. In August, Ryan compared Quinton Coples to Jason Pierre-Paul. (Please. Stop.) ” Give that gal a job in the FO!

  3. By scjoe on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    While watching the Miami Buffalo game last night, and seeing CJ Spiller find the holes, hit the holes, get to the edge, display unique cut back ability and keep drives alive, I had to wonder once again, what were the NY Jets thinking about in the free agency period and the draft? How could they not make a quality RB a top priority? How a quality RB could have made an immediate impact on this sorry offense in a way that their 2nd rd pick of a WR did not? Who knows, there may even have been an outside chance it helps Sanchez reach that “average” plateau for a QB? God knows their plan didn’t!

  4. By MIKE on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    Despite the Jets lack of wins’ there are still many things to like about this team. Just not the coaching or QB situation. D line looks young and solid, LB is solid with emergence of Davis, and Harris still playing at high level. DB’s are great, especially when Revis comes back. Wouldn’t mind seeing more of a ball hawk at FS.

    On O, I like Kerley, Hill and Keller. The O line needs some help. I would use 1st round puck on O line. The Jets desperately need a play maker at RB. And last but not least QB, MS must go. He is not a winner.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    It’s just like Kimberly Jones says, scjoe, words and actions don’t go together on this team. We’re supposed to “go back to ground and pound,” but we don’t get a RT or a RB with which to do so. Sanchez takes a step backward in his 3rd yr, so give him a new contract. “Mark’s the starter,” so pick up Tebow to bring absolutely no value but tons of new controversy to the team. You can’t make this stuff up…

  6. By 40 year fan , John on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to apologize for my harsh words last post ..That was alot of painfull jets years being vented …That being said , I still think we should hire Bill Parcells to do a complete overhaul of this club ..Give him complete control ..Let him shop for the groceries and make the dinner …We could all enjoy …

  7. By 40 year fan , John on Nov 16, 2012 | Reply

    64 Tom – Great quote that article sums it up succinctly …

  8. By Charliejet on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    What happened to McIntyre if I recall he was doing pretty good @OLB? Don’t see him any more. Showed heart as well. Like to see McIntyre and Demario Davis out there – both young and have speed. But nahhhhh it won’t happen. What a mess fellow jet fans, what a mess…

  9. By SCfromNY on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe: The Jets will continue to delude themselves that they have a pro ball player at every position. I won’t say Greene has been a bust just not warrented the “Bell Cow” desination. The constant praising of mediocre players is part of the problem. The Jets give future HOF status to players and wonder why they are losing. The question is: Is Rex and Tanny really BAD evaluaters? Is it a plan to inspire middle of the road players? I beleive Tanny is incompetent but thinks of himself as a great football guy. he forgets he was hired a a cap guy. I truly think that Rex is really enamered with his players and sees skill that is either not there or long gone. Best example his excitement and anticipation of Mason, a player once great now finished.

  10. By GaryC on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Typical Jet luck,when their team is lousy,there will be no stud quarterback coming out this year,and please I do not want to hear about Colin Klein,people who watch him,who does he remind you of,to me he looks like Brooks Bollinger,weak arm,and running from the shotgun.yes,the running back will have to be top priority to open up these defenses,Greene runs like he is slogging through three feet of mud,even on astroturf.

  11. By ron alexander on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    IRA, I heard you on with Steve Summers the other night, you did your usual good job. Summers in my mind is the best guy on the FAN. He is knowledgeable, funny but most importantly he treats his callers with class & respect. Did anyone here catch Mike Francesca’s interview yesterday with Tannenbaum? It took a while for anyone to really go after him but Mike pulled no punches. If you want you can go to WFAN.com and its well worth the time. S.C.Joe, The draft this year will feature 5 or 6 R.B’s who could really help this team. You are dead right on this issue. We would have really helped Sanchez this year if we had provided him with a guy like Spiller.

  12. By harry-o on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Rams are better in every category but pass defense
    as long as jackson does not run all over the jets
    jets have a chance
    I can’t see the offense getting shut out for a third time in ten games
    even if they need to score seven FG’ s to win

  13. By ron alexander on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    MIKE, are you watching the same L.B’s the rest of are?C.Pace?B.Thomas?B.Scott? G.MacIntyre?Thes guys are getting blown off the ball and have zero speed! Even Harris is not playing up to his usual standards. Apparently you are not seeing Kyle Wilson @ c.b. getting beat like a drum on 3rd downs either? Come on Mike keep it real bro.There are more holes on this roster than a 200lb block of swiss cheese! GARY C, hold off on the Q.B draft stuff. Its just too early to tell if there are any franchise Q.B’s in this class. So far certian guys have dissappointed this season but there is still time for them to step up plus we have the Bowl games,Sr. Bowl & Combine to learn more about them. Actually C.Klein reminds more of a righty Tebow.

  14. By Charliejet on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Tom you forgot to add the “Tebow will add an element to our offence keeping defensive coordinators up all night prepping for the jets” so what do they do?
    Call in Tebow at the worst possible times so he can run up the middle for a grand total of 2-3 yards EVERY TIME.

    Jets joke of the day:
    Q: What’s the difference between the New York Jets and a dollar bill?
    A: You can still get four quarters out of a dollar bill.

    Hey I’m trying to ease the pain here !

  15. By scjoe on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    64, sad, but unfortunately sooo true! It seems as though they go out and do the exact opposite of what needs to be done. I am not an insider, I am not a GM, I am not a Rhodes Scholar, and I know joeydelusional would love to hear this, but I think I could have made better personnel decisions for this team beginning with the conclusion of the 2011 season, then this “GM” has. The needs were obvious and almost none of them were filled. Of all the needed changes after this season, none is more critical then the GM position.

  16. By TONY GARCIA on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    JET FAN since 1969. WHAT a long and disapointing season,hopefully those responsible for players and fron’t office will be held accountable.WE do have some good young talent.

  17. By Mike Jet Vet on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Lankster, going to watch film, highlights of top ten CB’s through out the league, how to separate ball from QB, , WHY? You and we as fans watch week in week out Sanchez get separated better then any other in the league, By bottom ten,along with top, Sorry guy’s I hate being so negative, Players and coaches on this team just make it so easy, They have a way of putting salt on the woulds with these statements, Rexonomics are wearing off on players Lankster FYI if ya don’t know how by now you’re playing the wrong position..and wasting our time and yours,

  18. By jorge ospina on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    boooooooooo is all i have to say im so sick of this team mr t. needs togo.

  19. By chris long time jet fan on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    no quarterback nobody looks good?

  20. By Arte Olde School Section 327 on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    1 MO’ TIME! The Jets should most definitely win this game and let out all of their frustrations on the seriously weak Rams.. We’re all healthy now and I see us going on a mini run here at the end of the season.. If they play CONSISTENT they could run the table as well… 10-6 is their BEST chance of getting in this year.. 9-7 we’d have some serious competition with TIEBREAKERS determining who gets in… This year is complete parody.. Even this week some teams on the bubble will drop out of the playoffs.. Denver, Colts,SD, Pitt, etc.. The Wild Card will indeed be WILD this year.. JETS PUMMEL RAMS 20-0 OR MAYBE THEY GET 1 OR TWO FIELD GOALS! DEFENSE RISES TO THE OCCASION!! BRING ON NE BABY!!! SHOW SOME HEART FOR A CHANGE LIKE THE KNICKS AT LEAST!

  21. By Arte Olde School Section 327 on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Bye the Bye.. The greatest Football Decision the Jets could possibly do would be to CHASE, PURSUE AND SIGN BILL O’BRIEN AS A COACH.. I KNOW! AS Tom ’64 Says I AM A DREAMER BUT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!! How else can I stay hopeful about this team??? Bill O’Brien is the Offensive Mastermind we need for this team.. We MUST gte someone who can develop Sanchise-Not or at least get the most out of what little we have.. My worst fear is coming true.. Sparano started off hot and creative in Game 1 vs. the Bills… But now his playing calling reminds me ofd Shot-In-The-Dark.. This weekend should be turnover city with the likes of Shotty and Soprano DESPERATE for a win.. We know what happens when anyone is Desperate.. God Bless The Jets! Get O’Brien!!!

  22. By Jake on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Stephen Hill is a joke… honestly. When was the last time he made a catch that counted let alone even made a catch in a game. That 2nd round pick could have been used on a player in a position that could have made an immediate impact. Does anyone know if Mcknight is playing tomorrow?

  23. By Bitter Blinka on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Jet fan 64 Tom:
    Pardon me, but if I may:
    These beat reporters don’t know much more than we do. They are not behind closed doors and editorialize what they hear in the interviews. I have stopped reading and listening. I watch the games and listen to every press conference.
    I will refuse to make any judgements on how they respond to these idiots who will spin anything in order to create a buzz, both for the organizations they work for and themselves.
    After three plus season I know three things in order of importance from my own observations:
    1. Mark Sanchez is REAL BAD
    2. They misjudged or are too loyal to their core players who are not that good.
    3. Rex Ryan is a very positive person

    Sincerely,
    Bitter Blinka

  24. By GaryC on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Ron,Colin Klein is nowhere the athlete of Tebow,did you see any of the game last night,and he has the same quirkey delivery as Tebow without the elusiveness,I am not to sure the Bowl Games are bringing a quarterback to the jets where they are drafting,My guy Montae Ball played pretty good against a pretty good defense in Ohio State,too bad he fumbled at goal line,those things happen.If the jets have no interest in any of the quarterbacks they have,maybe they should inquire about Kirk Cousins who redskins took after RG3.maybe a blockbuster with Revis involved.Like maybe cousins and picks for Revis.

  25. By ron alexander on Nov 20, 2012 | Reply

    GARY C, I hate to contradict you but Klein is actually an excellent athlete. Like Tebow I dont see him as a NFL Q.B but i wouldn’t be surprised to see him drafted as a T.E or W.R or mabey even as a safty. He is actually faster than Tebow. I do think your on to something with the R.B idea for the draft. Right now unless things change we would probably be able to get Ball in the 3rd rd. Now, if we could get an elite NFL W.R in rd.1(like Keenan Allen 6-3,210 Cal.), a pass rusher (like Demantre Moore Tex A &M 6-4,250 in Rd.2 & Ball in the 3rd I would be thrilled. Because of their short careers I hate takeing R.B’s in Rd.1, and you can usually get a pretty good O.T in Rds 4 or 5.(unless you have Tannenbaum picking for you?

  26. By GaryC on Nov 20, 2012 | Reply

    Ron,I will be shocked if Ball lasts to the third round,look at the backs the last few years Rice,Martin,Turner,they are all about 5’8 or 5’9,better to hide behind the offensive line.The bigger the back,the more hits he takes in this NFL.

  27. By ron alexander on Nov 20, 2012 | Reply

    GARY C, yeah, you could be right about Ball. I like him too.Basically,I look at what all the so called experts are saying, combine it what I see when I watch them play and add in info gathered from watching the Bowl games, the all star games(especially the Sr.Bowl) and of course we get all the real heights, weights and 40 times from the physicals they take at the NFL combine. Obviously its way to early to form any concrete lists but most of what I have seen to date has Ball going in the 3rd Rd.Like I said, unless he is a franchise maker I hate drafting a R.B in the 1st. rd. They get hurt & we are screwed! So lets just hope he does last till the 3rd Rd because we need an NFL ready W.R.(not Hill) to spread the field & help the running game.

  28. By ron alexander on Nov 20, 2012 | Reply

    Jake, I agree Steven Hill is not ready for prime time NFL football but we do need to be patient with him. I remember this guy the 49ers drafted back in the early 80’s. I think his name was Jerry Rice? The guy dropped more passes than he caught. Like Hill he went to a college that didn’t properly coach him on the proper way to catch a football. In the unlikely event you dont know who I’m talking about he is now in the NFL hall of fame. Now, I agree Hill has a long way to go, & no one here has been harder on him than I have, but we could get lucky if the light goes on & sombody can actually teach him how to catch a football? Hang in there Jake, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

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