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Blog

Sanchez Feels Good … Keller Not So Much?

Posted by Randy Lange on December 7, 2012 – 2:59 pm

Mark Sanchez has had an “excellent week of practice,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said today.

“I see a lot of energy from him, I see him bouncing around,” Ryan said at his news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center following this morning’s final practice before Sunday’s game at Jacksonville. “You can tell he feels good, he feels good about the plan, he feels confident.”

Yet Sanchez, playing for the first time since Ryan pulled him in the third quarter of the Arizona game last Sunday, could be without one of his biggest security blankets of the past four seasons. TE Dustin Keller (ankle) did not practice again today and is listed as doubtful for the Jaguars.

“With me, doubtful usually means he’s not going,” Ryan said. “It’s unfortunate, but this is like the sixth time this season we haven’t had Dustin.”

If Keller is inactive for the Jags, it will be the fifth game he’s missed this season, and he had one-catch contributions in the Buffalo opener and the Indianapolis game sandwiched around that early four-game hiatus due to his aggravated hamstring injury.

DK is on pace for 48 targets, 37 catches and 423 yards, which would all be career lows since his 2008 rookie season. He was the Jets’ receptions leader in 2010 and ’11, the first Jets TE with that distinction since Mickey Shuler in 1984-85.

That’s a difficult security blanket to reweave, but Jeff Cumberland has at least filled in well in his first full, healthy season with the Green & White. His 35 targets, 21 catches, 233 yards are close to Keller’s line and his two TD catches match Keller’s scores. And even with Keller missing for a stretch, the tight end numbers this year are pretty close to the previous three seasons, with the average yards per catch at the position (11.3) the lowest since 2008 yet not far off the Keller-influenced 11.5 for the position in ’09.

Injury Statuses for the Game

As for the rest of the Jets’ injured players, only WR Clyde Gates (concussion) has been declared out, and NT Damon Harrison (ankle) is the only other “doubtful.” There are three questionables: QB Tim Tebow (ribs), WR Stephen Hill (knee) and NT Sione Po‘uha (low back), all of whom were limited in practice.

All 17 other Jets on the report are probable for Jacksonville, including RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle/ribs), who practiced full. Click here for the full report.

Jacksonville’s final report is one of extremes. Six of their 13 injured players are out for the Jets: RBs Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) and Rashad Jennings (concussion), WR Cecil Shorts (concussion), OL Mike Brewster (hand), CB Aaron Ross (calf) and DE George Selvie (concussion).

The other seven are all probable: S Dwight Lowery (foot), CBs Derek Cox (hamstring) and Rashean Mathis (groin), D-linemen Tyson Alualu (calf) and Austen Lane (foot), C Brad Meester (foot), and FB Greg Jones (thigh).

A Tale of Two “Strengths”

ESPN has noted that the Jets have gone from first in the NFL to last in one interesting measure: strength of schedule.

In the first 12 games of the season, Jets opponents’ combined record is 83-59-2, a .583 winning percentage that is first in the league. In other words, the Jets had the NFL’s toughest schedule (based only on opponents’ combined record) in the first three-quarters of the season.

The final four Jets opponents’ composite record is 15-33-0, a .313 percentage that is 32nd in the league. The Jets’ final quarter is the league’s “easiest” finish. Ominously, with Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati at least two games ahead of them for AFC Wild Card berths, that favorable final quarter may not be enough to provide a 2009-like storybook regular-season stretch run into the postseason grid.

But as Mike Westhoff said this week, “I’m a big believer that until someone tells us that we’re not in it, we can finish strongly and be in this thing, so that’s how I’m seeing it every week. You just don’t know in our crazy business, and it’s our responsibility to fight through that to the very end.”

And ours as well.


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Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments »


30 Responses to “Sanchez Feels Good … Keller Not So Much?”

  1. By Jet Fan Since We Had an Elite QB Tom on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    And by the way, Randy, I applaud you for having the courage to write that Cumberland’s numbers are pretty much the same as Keller’s. And now I’ll write what I wouldn’t expect to you write: Cumberland’s numbers are about as good as Keller’s because Keller is an average TE and somebody we’d be stupid to overpay for. A 2-yr deal for average $ is absolutely as far as I’d go but you know Mr T, he’ll tell us he’s one of the premier TE’s in the league. Also by the way, some of you may remember when I said that there was no reason for Mr T to offer to rework Revis’ deal in 2010, just like there was no reason to rework Sanchez’s deal last yr. The biggest lack of mental toughness on this team is in the GM’s office.

  2. By IRA on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    The Jags are the perfect team for Mark to start to get his confidence back. I expect a very similar gameplan this week as the one vs Tampa in 09 when Clemens started and they really focused on running the ball. Results 26-3 Jets i expect a 23-10 win this week for the jets.
    GO JETS!!!!

  3. By scjoe on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    The Jets absolutely need a win in Jacksonville this week, if for no other reason then not to hear the following at Rex’s post game presser. 1-We had a great week of practice and there were some points we left out on the field. 2-Sure, there were some throws out there that Mark wishes he had back. 3- That’s one heck of a football team we played out there today, we knew coming in it was going to be a dog fight. 4- Mark wasn’t the only one that played poorly out there. 5- We got to go in and watch the tape and try to correct all these mistakes we seem to be making week after week and play after play. OK, I added my own little twist to #5 But you get the point!

  4. By SCfromNY on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    I remember when Rex declared we are out of the playoffs after Atlanta and then we made them. Unfortunately there are too many teams witha 2 game lead on us with only 4 games to go. Possible yes. probable, NO. Just like Sanchez turning into a good QB. Possible, yes. Probable, NO!

    How many off the other possible 5 playoff teams do you think the Jets could beat?

  5. By JR on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    The only ” bounce” Sanchez needs is the door off his butt on the way out. Why not let GMAC play? I just don’t get it…what in the world possibly changed in a weeks time/ What? Now Sanchez is a better passer? Now he can hold onto the ball better? Now he can make better on field decisions? C’mon Rex…I think your better than this. Are you afraid to make the ultimate decision? Trust me..someone will make it when it is time for you to go if you don’t get it fixed. Just so tired of being a fan of a loser and trying to justify that to myself.

  6. By GaryC on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    the jet game plan for this week,CONSERVATIVE,they will run Greene about 25-30 times if the run game is going,I can see it now,game will be closer then it should be then Folk misses field goal to win it,Then no more excuses not to play McElroy, Playoffs done.Our best chance to win will have 8 losses.

  7. By Bennett on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    I’m thinking they put the leash on Sanchez keep him around 20 -25 must passes. This way his chance for the pics, fumbles, sacks, running around like a chicken with its head cut off and running into the behind of your lead blocker go way down. The key to winning is to not let your incrediable 5th pick throw the ball to much in fact try not to have him handle the ball to much at all.This seems like a logical offensive plan which means the Jets will do something totaly opposite

  8. By Charliejet on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Norv Turner for O.C.

  9. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    The Jets are the worst team in pro football ..They are Unwatchable ..They couldn’t be any worse … Please Woody hire Bill Parcells and let’s rebuild a completely new team …From the ground up …

  10. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Fireman Ed quit …That says it all …When your masgott quits it’s over . As an organization …The Jets are as bad as the Kotite years ..

  11. By harry-o on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Henne for the jags worries me
    should MS play bad or there is another 52 second melt down
    the jets just aren’t a come from behind team
    Gmac came in only down by three with twenty minutes to go, your still in the game.
    if the jets offense sputters , depending on the score give the next guy enough time to rally back, don’t wait too long Rex.
    if the jets romp, let Gmac and tebow play late.

  12. By Jet Fan Since We Had an Elite QB Tom on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, Ira, those were the good old days, squeaking out wins against terrible teams while backing into the playoff so our mediocre QB could fail to measure up when it counts. scjoe, your post is hilarious and I had the same thought yesterday. I can pretty much only stand to watch the games and read posts and certain articles on this site, anything in the way of spin from the coaches or FO is just too banal to deal with. JR, Rex is NOT better than this, he’s shown no guts at all in coaching this team. He loses his cool, plays favorites, makes excuses for everyone, and worst of all talks like a politician even when directly addressing the fans. In other words, he’s everything the HC’s he claims to idolize weren’t and aren’t and so HE MUST GO!

  13. By sal cottone on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    I think Keller is about as good as he is going to get with this coaching crew. Player and team development is not the strong point of this organization. I hope this nightmare is over in a few weeks. Build a reciveing core with somebody who can get them the ball, and figure out the run game, and change a few pieces on Defense is a must before training camp

  14. By sal cottone on Dec 7, 2012 | Reply

    Rex road the coat tail odf a strong team..decided to bring in his type of players, make his stamp,and this is what he got. The look on his face, the way he is now carries himself with the media tells me he knows he screwed up, and this was months ago!

  15. By 40 year fan, John on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    We could make a deal for lienhart .Or trade for Matt Stafford .. Rex Ryan could be demoted to defensive coordinator. Trade Sanchez , Tebow and the entire Qb staff . All we need is one good one. We have no offensive line . We have no running back . The recievers are lame . The defense is way too slow , not smart , and ineffective ..We need a completely new direction …

  16. By Barker on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Mark always has great practices it just never seems to translate onto the field. I live in Gainesville and I know there are going to be thousands of Tebow supporters at the game. It is going to get LOUD!

  17. By Tom Spicer on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Some of you continue to ignore the lack of skill position talent on this team. I would like for some of you to tell me what are NFL teams have worse starting RB’S than Shonne Greene? I think I can name 1 out of 32. Holmes has been out all year so Kerley has been our #1 WR. Can anyone tell me a team in the NFL with a worse #1 then Kerley? Can anyone tell me a team with a worse #2 than Schiliens? Can anyone tell me a team with a worse #3 than Stephen Hill who cant catch? Every web site, newspaper, magazine & analyst say we have th worst set of skill position players in the entire NFL. Tom Brady could be our QB & even he could not make these guys good!

  18. By SCfromNY on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    I have said repeatedly that moaning the loss of Keller and Holmes is silly and more evidence of the Jets setting the bar way to low. Holmes has averaged 44 catches per year. This is the number of catches you would expect from the #3 WR. which is what he would be on a team like the Saints, Broncos, or Giants. Or 2 weeks catches for Welker. If Keller was on NE he would probably stay on practice squad until needed. We have to stop thinking that our middle of the road players are #1s. They wouldn’t be on many other teams. Someone needs to do a spreadsheet of WRs & TEs in the league to show the difference between premier players and ours.

    The cost of having a winning QB is the SAME if Sanchez sits and McElroy plays.

  19. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Rex’s Almanac, Book of excuses, Mark had an excellent week of practice, bouncing around out there, Excellent, lot of energy,Bouncing around out there like how Rex? Sure wish with all these excellent practices we hear so much about. . maybe just maybe we’ll see it translate into at least one game, I mean I understand why you have to say what you do, with the situation You and Mike -T have put us in,with mistake after mistake regarding something that even resembles talent, But it’s not working he just don’t get it and never will. Hey, do they have a football team in Siberia? Just asking

  20. By GaryC on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Boy,that Clyde Gates signing is really working out,can we get Jason Hill back.

  21. By Byrdman on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    What exactly does a win against the Jags prove? What does a “good” performance by Sanchez against the worst D in the NFL prove? Will we all be jumping for joy in our Jet pajamas hollerin “YEAH – TAKE THAT JAGS” “TAKE THAT SANCHEZ HATERS, I TOLD YA” “I knew this kid had the right stuff” LOL Listen, there are about 3 or 4 players at the top of next years draft board that will be the cornerstone, franchise type pieces to a teams SB puzzle. Jets DESPERATELY need a Ray Lewis or JJ Watt type game-changer on Defense. There is no such thing as momentum between one season and the next, we’re not going ANYWHERE this year. the BEST that could happen for this teams future is to score a couple key players (not talking about QB’s) in the 2013 draft

  22. By Another Tom on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Practices with MS at QB sound very exciting..could they possibly televise them instead of the games ? then all of us suffering fans would surely have something to be encouraged about !

  23. By Byrdman on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t have much (any) faith that this front office, owner or coaching staff has what it takes to build a SB caliber team. What I’m hoping is that somehow we can stumble into so much talent (draft and FA) on both sides of the ball that Bozo the clown could coach em :D All they need to know is where the next game is and some uniforms. Woody if you want to fly em to the away games fine if not… that’s OK just stay home and we’ll go Greyhound. The Colts had to basically stink up NFL for one season to draft Luck, look at em NOW! They’re getting better each game, Guarantee they’re in a SB (or 3) before Jets ever get there.

  24. By Jet Fan Since We Had an Elite QB Tom on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    sal, I wrote a post Randy didn’t print about Rex and his “I feel great about the decision” talk re Sanchez starting and called it encounter group talk, not HC talk, but I think you were a lot less snarky on this pt than I was. Same for you, Barker, on something Randy didn’t print that I said about all these great practices. Spicer, you got it a little backwards, on a team that knew anything about passing and had the QB, HC and OC to do it, Kerley would be blossoming into an All-Pro, he never drops a pass, fights for YAC better than most vets, and is one of the faster WRs we’ve had in yrs. Sanchez could have Fitzgerald, Johnson, and Welker in the slot and he’d still be ranked at the bottom in QB ratings. But I still want to trade Holmes.

  25. By ron alexander on Dec 8, 2012 | Reply

    Spicer, check out bleacher report today, got a nice piece on your boy Montae Ball.
    S.C.Joe, hilarious dude,loved it! Sad, but true! S.C.N.Y, the bar is on the ground(or buried underneath? BARKER, I’ll have you know that Mark is destined for greatness as Rex has nominated him for the NFL “all-practice team”! Of course Bozo the clown could look great Q.Backing against our defence with Pace,Thomas & Scott out there!

  26. By Jet Fan Since We Had an Elite QB Tom on Dec 9, 2012 | Reply

    Great post across the board, MJV, painful as I’m sure it was for you to write it. When I post that the Jets are going nowhere as long as Mr T, Rex and Sanchez are around or that what we should really be talking about is Woody selling the team or at least moving it back to New York, I know you’re one of the guys who can face reality sufficiently to consider such ideas. And one of the guys who probably agrees with me when I say that the Jets culture is largely one of playing cautiously, making excuses, and celebrating very minor accomplishments. This mindset took hold back when Namath started getting hurt too much and it became an event just to get him onto the field but weirdly, it’s lingered in the Jet DNA for decades after his departure.

  27. By SCfromNY on Dec 9, 2012 | Reply

    Now is the time for a new GM. Many teams are in turmoil and we should lockup Polian before he has too many better offers. There is no “cap” on management saleries. Sure Sanchez could be a $8,000,000 back up next but look at Seattle where they are paying Flynn so much. It is about WINNING! I think Rex has “tunnel vision” on game day, too focused on the defense that he misses other stuff. Unfortunately after 4 years there has been little growth. Rex gets excited when Scott actually makes a takle that he forgets the missed tackles and the chasing receivers and missing those tackles. NO team has gutted themselves as much as Indy leaving few “skill” players. BUT they have a leader and what looks like a future winning elite QB.

  28. By GaryC on Dec 9, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Ron,my guy is Montae Ball,he should of been a finalist for the Heisman.

  29. By Byrdman on Dec 9, 2012 | Reply

    At the moment I’m typing this, Jags have strip-sacked Sanchez and are in the red-zone. Jags going with their #4 RB and playing with more determination than our Jets. Feel sorry for Jag fans, many of them knowing the Jets QB situation probably figured they’d be watching Tebow play when they bought the ticket. Jet fans though for a moment, G-Mac would start or at least dress for this snooze-fest. Update – Jags scoop-n-score TD reversed. This week another former Jet, not good enough to play here – Dwight Lowery comes back to haunt T-Rex, like last week when Rhodes clowned Rex with his picks, J-E-T-S Tank 4 Te’o

  30. By ron alexander on Dec 10, 2012 | Reply

    GARY C, oooops, sorry about that. Yeah he should have been in the Heisman running but there’s a lot of politics involved with those post season awards. No sweat, he’s gonna be a really good pro if he stays healthy.Hopefully for us? S.C.N.Y, excellent point about M.S cap hit for next year.No question we will have to deal with it but I dont think its that big of a problem either as I doubt we will contend till 2014 anyway.With Wilkerson emerging and Coples starting to show signs of life, I think its time to address the offence by bringing in a top fleight reciever & R.B to make whoever the Q.B is life a little easier?

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