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Rex on Johnson: He’s No Secret, a Little Scary

Posted by Randy Lange on December 14, 2012 – 4:57 pm

There may be a perception among NFL watchers and fantasy players that Chris Johnson is having a down year. But then again, everything after his 2,006-yard sophomore season as the Titans’ tailback would pale in comparison.

But CJ2K also is making a comeback of sorts. He’s already cleared 1,000 rushing yards for the fifth time in five seasons and his 4.7 yards per rush are his best since his 5.6 in 2009.

“He’s still one of the leading rushers in the league,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said today. “He’s a dangerous guy. He’s somebody, every time he touches it, you hold your breath. He’s that kind of athlete, so a dropoff in play? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily see it because he’s the same explosive guy to me on tape. You don’t get a whole lot of sleep worrying about this guy, that’s for sure. He’s a great player. Obviously, everybody knows about him. He’s no secret.

“I think when he first got into the league, you weren’t necessarily that sure. You saw a guy, ‘Hey, he’s a little undersized for a running back,’ and then he’s blowing by you and ‘Oh, man.’ You can say a guy is fast, you can read the numbers, but when you see it on the field, it’s happening right in front of you, it’s a little scary. I saw it first-hand several times when we played against him here but also in Baltimore.”

Actually, Ryan defenses have done pretty well against Johnson. In ’08, Rex’s last year with the Ravens, Johnson had 44 yards on 18 carries. The next year vs. the Jets, he had 97 yards on 22 carries. But the Titans lost both of those games.

However, while the Jets have improved in many areas and rankings on defense, is this year’s run defense improved as well? The Jets are still ranked 29th in rush yards allowed per game, not a good omen against Johnson and running QB Jake Locker. Ryan said, “I think our run defense has definitely improved,” but he was clearly unhappy with yielding that untouched 32-yard TD jaunt by Montell Owens at Jacksonville.

Yet one ranking that isn’t mentioned a lot is opponents’ rush yards per carry. The Jets after five games were allowing 4.9 yards per carry, 29th in the league. In the last eight games, the average is 4.0, which has improved their league ranking to 19th.

It will have to be good enough. As Ryan said, this week vs. Tennessee “is a bit of a challenge.”

Tebow Upon Further Review

One day after Rex Ryan said he didn’t see Tim Tebow Wildcatting and personal protecting on Monday night at Tennessee due to his still sore ribs, the Jets coach saw enough improvement at Thursday’s practice to put all the familiar TT roles back on the table today.

“I was just adamant about, well, there will be no Wildcat, but I’m like, he may be able to go back to similar roles,” Ryan said at today’s news conference. “He’s always been cleared to play, but as good as he looked to me, I don’t want to rule that out for the simple fact that this is as good as he’s looked in several weeks.”

Tebow, holding rare back-to-back locker room news conferences (he normally talks to reporters Wednesday and Friday, but before the Monday night game, Thursday was the new Wednesday this week), was encouraged.

“I try to go out there and compete like any other practice. I’m glad he felt good about it and thought highly,” Tebow said, adding about getting ready for game contact for the first time since Nov. 18 at St. Louis, “I’ll be ready for that first hit … I think I will be.”

So the ‘Cat is back in the game plan? “I guess,” Tebow said, “it could be considered.”

Cynics might say this is all a ploy to make sure Tennessee is spending extra time getting ready for the Wildcat when the Jets really aren’t planning to run it. Well, maybe, but as Titans coach Mike Munchak said Thursday, “I think it’s obviously something we would prepare for anyway.”

Friday Injury Picture

Ryan reported today that X-rays on RB Bilal Powell’s toe came back negative. Both Powell and LB Bryan Thomas (chest) went from DNPs to limited work in team drills at today’s practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center. S LaRon Landry (heel) got his usual mid-practice-week day on the sideline. The rest of the Jets report remained the same as Thursday.

WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring) was limited for a second straight day. Ryan: “We’re being cautious there. I’m going to lean on the trainers. We’re hopeful he’ll be able to go on Monday.”

Titans RB Chris Johnson (ankle), who didn’t practice Thursday, and T Michael Roos (knee), who was limited, both were full-go at today’s practice in Nashville.

One Confusing Facemask

Upon reviewing the video of the Jets’ Sunday win at Jacksonville, we wanted set the record straight one more time, primarily because it involved some fans perhaps giving Muhammad Wilkerson a demerit for his latest strong performance when in fact Mo didn’t deserve the markdown.

The play was the fourth-quarter penalty on the Jets (their only flag of the game) for grasping the facemask of scrambling Jaguars QB Chad Henne. Referee Al Riveron got the error parade going by announcing, “Personal foul, facemask, No. 96.” That’s Wilkerson, but No. 98, Quinton Coples, was actually the guilty party, as the CBS slow-mo replay showed.

A referee announcing the wrong number on a penalty isn’t a frequent mistake although it happens probably more than you’d think. In this case, 96 and 98 are swarming the QB, Riveron is told the wrong number by the side judge or the head linesman, he reports it to the world.

However, that’s when network analyst Solomon Wilcots compounded the error as he spoke over the replay of Coples clearly hooking Henne’s mask as Wilkerson was closing ground from the left.

“He was going down anyway,” Wilcots said. “Take a look here. Now why’d you have to grab the facemask? There it is right there, Muhammad Wilkerson. Wow.”

Wow, indeed.

Monday McKnight Football

Laura Clemente, our communications coordinator and social media maven, reports on an opportunity to win a neat prize during Monday’s Jets-Titans game:

“While the team is on the road and you’re tuned in to the Jets-Titans Monday night match-up on ESPN, you will have an exclusive opportunity. All you need to do is check into the game via Viggle on your smartphone or iPad and you could win a Joe McKnight autographed football. So watch the Jets on MNF, download the free Viggle app from the App Store or Google Play and enter for a chance to win! Check out viggle.com for more on how to download the app, win great prizes and get points for rewards.”


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Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »


30 Responses to “Rex on Johnson: He’s No Secret, a Little Scary”

  1. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Wilkerson did have a good game and as for the facemask penalty, Couples number should have been called and not Wilkerson’s. As for the defense stopping the running game. I hope that will improve Monday night against the Titans who are playing pretty good right now. But I am still not keen on how MS will perform, I am not an MS fan based on his poor performaces over the last 2 years. As for TT, here we go again with “we are gonna do this, we are gonna do that”. TT has not made any significant plays this entire year. Maybe it is because he had “NO” real playing time. That you can blame on Sparano and Rex. I know it will not happen, but if MS does not perform in the 1st quarter I would like to see McElroy in as QB…

  2. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Only the most deluded , optimistic fan could entertain the hope that The Jets could do anything in the playoffs , like a real football team . That is if they were able to back in to the playoffs through some miracle charity …We can’t even hand off the football in the right direction ..Trully HOPELESS

  3. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    (Continued)

    I would even prefer TT if MS does not perform by the end of the 1st quarter. My preference is McElroy. But, what the heck, who am I but a disappointed JET FAN… LETS GO JETS ON MONDAY NIGHT…

  4. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Randy , could you call up Bill Parcells and just find out what he has been up to lately ? …Is he still interested in coaching football ? ..Then please tell Woody A.S.A.P. …..

  5. By SCfromNY on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I am so pumped for the fact that Tebow may run the Wildcat. His success both running and passing out of the Wildcat has been tremendose. A vital part of the Jets march to the SB. WAIT! I am afraid i was reading news conferences before the year started. I personally feel that Tebow was lied to and misused this year. I do not think he is or ever will be an NFL QB but he desearved better. It has been talked to death. We need to see what McElroy has. We need to see Rex suck it up and give players a chance to succeed. The goal of a 7-6 win must be replaced by getting at least 24 pts per game. That means if we ever have a lead to keep playing like we are 13 down and 4 minutes to play.

  6. By scjoe on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    You are absolutely right about Chris Johnson Rex. My question to you is why the NY Jets did not go out of their way in the off season, either through the draft or free agency and try to acquire a back who at least somewhat compares to Johnson? Think about the possibilities that could have been with a competent RB in the mix. Think about the pressure it could have taken off your QB, and God knows he needs that. But yet, RB was not addressed until the 6th round of the draft, and where is that player right now? So, lets just wait and see if it IS addressed this off season. From where I sit, it is as much of a priority as QB

  7. By russ on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    Working for a company that builds lousy cars and hoping your competitions cars breakdown so yours will sell. That’s the life and thinking of a Jet fan…

  8. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    I hope the rumors of Saban getting hired as the new Jets coach after this season are false …He has already proven he can’t step up to the big leagues ..We need a proven champion here .

  9. By 40 year fan , John on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    We need to start asking our players ,,…What can we do ? and stop wasting time on what is not working …exploit what we have ..Get back to basics …And this team is only as good as our record says we are ..

  10. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for Change on Dec 14, 2012 | Reply

    The way Rex is talking here about Johnson is the way he should always be talking, as a guy who knows D, who knows how to scheme on D, and whose opinions on O are only of passing interest. The way he talks about Tebow is the way a guy talks when he has no clue as to how to get a lifeless O started. In other words, Rex should always be talking from the perspective of a DC because that’s what he is and should be, on this team or any other. I don’t need to watch another snap to know he’s not HC material.

  11. By Charliejet on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut … in the end these are only games, long forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers to those families.

  12. By SCfromNY on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    One comment about all the concerns about Hill’s ability to catch. He is very fast and a good blocker. Being a good blocker means he is able to hit and be hit. Worse case scenerio; he never make it as a #1 or #2 WR. because while he has all the attributes except elite pass catching ability turn him into a DB. Tall, fast, and willing to hit. He “could” be elite at that position.

  13. By GaryC on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder if Fireman Ed is going to where a Dallas Cowboy jersey,for that matter,Ira too.You have a great team when you only have to root for your own team and not depend on others.

  14. By Mike Jet Vet on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    That’s right Rex way to go explain to all your underachievers . How great a RB Chris Johnson is, Last I looked Titans are no Titans, in case you didn’t get the memo.. HELLO! Last I looked their record isn’t any better than ours How about worrying about getting these so called players ready to play instead of talking up our opposition, and try not to embarrass us and yourself before playing the great Chris Johnson. Remember we have a Johnson here, you should be worried much more about

  15. By Byrdman on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    The fact that Rex is waffling Friday afternoon on whether to run some Tebow option plays is further evidence that the HC position has overwhelmed Ryan. Listening to a report last week about the Patriots, each player said they know every game plan is opponent specific. Pats players frequently get drilled by BB about the team they’re playing that week and if the player’s answer is wrong, that player’s role may be reduced. Think about that… Great HC’s like BB have their players thoroughly “schooled” on the opponents tendencies and weak-links so his team is prepared to exploit them on game day. Do you think it’s more likely that the superb players on Baltimore’s D made Rex look like a defensive genius, than the other way around?

  16. By GaryC on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    someone at the presser should of asked Rex was Braylon,surprised after bad mouthing the team that he received a call from the jets,a high fastball question,not those soft ball throws that you hear all the time.

  17. By kw65fan on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Why the heck does Tebow…2nd string QB..if that…gets a press conference once..or twice a week. THIS IS SUCH A JOKE. insult to us fans. And all the fluff answers…”Just happy to be here” (oh yea for 3 offensive plays a game average)…”Meand Mark are great…work well together”..Yea right. Stopped reading his garbage since week 3…but yet he is still there. And game time..sickeniong…at least..maybe more..8 to 10 shots on the sidelines..no other Jet except Marko sulking. This guy is not NEWS anymore…give it up CBS, FOX.
    And Tebow..you should be embarassed to even participate in this garbage…except of course you want the attention and help Woody sell Jerseys.

    What a Joke…

  18. By punchie on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Hey FIREMAN ED try this this chant . G – R – E – G GREG GREG GREG

  19. By Jet Fan Since '64 Ready for Change on Dec 15, 2012 | Reply

    Byrdman, the way you’re talking here about BB’s grasp of the O is beyond the comprehension of some Jet fans, it’s like you’re talking about a member of a superior race from another planet.

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom and Plenty Fed Up By Now on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    “I’d prefer to run the football but that doesn’t mean we can’t throw it,” said Ryan, who said his only objective is to win the game however possible. “If that means we have to throw it 40 times then so be it.” It’s simply astonishing that Rex, after he, his QB, and his team as a whole have been reduced to the joke of the NFL, still even thinks of saying stuff like this. It’s as if it’s more important for him to “be himself” than even consider how the game is played these days, much less adjust to it. Come to think of it, that’s probably a lot of what’s going on with him, considering how much bigger his ego is than his ability…

  21. By GaryC on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    At least if Saban is hired,he knows how good a quarterback McElroy is,Rex will probably never find out.

  22. By Byrdman on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    The Nick Saban talk is interesting, clearly Pete Carroll learned a thing or two at USC, and it looks like he’s got Seattle headed in the right direction now on his second NFL tour. I heard Saban didn’t get along with Miami’s GM, the Owner and Front Office wanted to build a different type of team than Nick did. I’m sure Carroll or Saban would not have drafted Sanchez. Pete tried to warn us about Mark’s immaturity, and there’s NO WAY I could picture Saban choosing a fragile, insecure, china doll like Sanchez to be his field general. I’ll bet the locker room, practice field, film study, game prep, and overall discipline would be hard core, more military boot camp under Saban, than the Animal House we see and hear about under Rex Ryan.

  23. By AZ JET Fan on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Russ, do you work for Toyota?
    As for BB, he is a good coach, but I get sick of all the geniues talk with him. He is overrated, he is a cheat, and he has a loosing career record without Tom Brady.
    The tuck rule got him into one SB.

  24. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom and Plenty Fed Up By Now on Dec 16, 2012 | Reply

    I’ll take Saban over Rex in a New Jersey minute, GaryC! Any port in a storm and the storm of Rex’s ineptitude — I’m starting to warm to the theory, often voiced here, that his first 2 good seasons had more to do with Mangini than him — must come to an end!

  25. By Allan O'Dane on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I want to put football aside for a moment…and Give my thoughts and prayers to those family and friends in Newtown CT and to those little angels… Godspeed…….

  26. By scjoe on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Ditto that Allen O’ Dane. I have been there, done that!

  27. By scjoe on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Byrdman, you are probably correct about Saban not selecting Sanchez, BUT, remember one thing, Rex did not select Sanchez either, Mike Tannenmillian DID!

  28. By ron alexander on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    TO ALLAN & The rest of us here; AMEN! We should all pray for those personally affected by this tragady, But we should also pray for our nation as well. The fact that this type of thing is almost becomming common place is a scary proposisition for all of us as well as our chrildren.

  29. By russ on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    AZ Jet ,,I agree 100 pct on BB. I own a crappy toyota..pre tsunami

  30. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom and Plenty Fed Up By Now on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, Byrdman, I see today that Saban says he’s not interested in the pros yet, but what interested me about him is largely what you say, that a coach like that would instill a tough atmosphere which is clearly what this team so badly needs. Rex’s palling around with the guys hasn’t worked out at all and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s part of the conditioning problem as well, the one the Jets brass says they want to study in the off-season. Well, they can study it by hiring a HC who doesn’t treat his players like it’s always Spring Break. Allan, nice note on the Newtown horror that you wrote here, I thought the whole story of Cruz and the family was very moving.

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