Rex Ryan pointed the direction: “It’s on to Arizona.”
And the Jets head coach’s finger was pointing to the Cardinals because they’re in the exact opposite direction to the Patriots and the Thanksgiving game the Jets don’t want to see in their rear-view mirror as they put days and weeks in between that game and what remains in their 2012 regular season.
Ryan surely wasn’t selling a playoff push at today’s return-from-the-holiday news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, but he was asked if his approach for his team was to “run the table” on this season.
“Absolutely, that’s what you’re trying to do,” he said. “Our goal was to beat New England also, but that never worked out. That’s why you play. You try and win every game that you’re in.
“I’m not going to make a guarantee that we’re making the playoffs or that deal. We have to get better. It has to start right now. You can’t look down the road. Of course, you’d like to run the table, I guess that’s human nature to say, ‘Hey, I see what’s on our schedule, we have to win all five games, we have to do this, we have to do that.’ We have to win this game. I think that’s where the entire focus is.”
The shame of it is that the Jets’ final five games are table-runnable. Every opponent — Arizona, Jacksonville, Tennessee, San Diego and Buffalo — is 4-7 or worse. Their combined winning percentage is .327. While not an apples-to-apples comparison, if that strength-of-schedule held up the rest of the season, it would be the lowest SOS of the last five opponents’ records when the Jets played them in any season in franchise history.
But to think ahead at this stage for the equally 4-7 Jets right now would be foolhardy, and no one we heard in the locker room after the midday practice was going there.
Reporter John Holt dropped in on the media gathering around Yeremiah Bell’s locker. Here’s John’s report:
Bell has always considered Thanksgiving a special holiday.
But this year the holiday wasn’t as enjoyable for the Jets’ safety as the Green & White were defeated by the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.
“Just from a feelings standpoint, I mean, that was about as low as you can get, especially on national television,” Bell said this afternoon after practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center. “But you know, it’s over and you just move on to the next.”
“Obviously it was an embarrassing game,” No. 37 said. “Kind of a low point, the way we went out there and kind of what we put on the field. But we know we still have five games left, so we’re more focused on the Arizona Cardinals and taking each game one game at a time.”
Although the Pats won by 30 Thursday, Bell wouldn’t concede that New England was a better team than when the teams first met in Foxboro on Oct. 21. The Jets led that game with less than two minutes to go in regulation before the Patriots sent the game to overtime for the 29-26 win.
“I think they’re a good team, no doubt about it,” the former Miami Dolphin said. “But do I think the score reflects how good they are? Maybe not. They’re good, no doubt about it. But there were some crazy things that happened in that game [Thursday].”
The craziest was three New England touchdowns in a span of 52 seconds, something Bell said he’d never witnessed.
“I’ve never seen a game and the things that happened in that game spin out of control so fast,” he said.
With five games remaining on the schedule, maybe a players-only meeting could prove beneficial.
“We’ve talked as players,” Bell said. “But at this point it’s just about doing your job. I don’t know how much more you can say it or how much more clear you can say it. It’s about guys doing their jobs and not doing the boneheaded things in games; not turning the ball over, not committing stupid penalties on defense and things like that. We just have to do more as a group.”
LaRon Landry, Bell’s safety mate, put the same sentiments in his own words:
“We have five more weeks and I’ll take it one day at a time, one practice at a time, like I’ve been doing. Go out there and give it my all and let the outcome speak for itself. I can only control what I can control.”
“There’s nothing more to say about it — we stunk it up,” LB Bryan Thomas said of their Turkey Day trimming. “Hats off to the Pats. Now we move on. Arizona’s coming in and we’re getting prepped on them, even a little bit today. Our sole focus is on this game. What would we look ahead for?”
And guard Brandon Moore uncharacteristically stepped on some reporters’ questions.
On the games down the road—
“It’s only about today for me.”
—but the possibility of running that proverbial table—
“I don’t know. I’m focused on today. I’m not going to even go there.”
That is the way it is today, will be this week. Only after Arizona will the focus shift to Jacksonville, and Tennessee will be unspoken before the Jaguars game. That’s the way it must be for this Jets team in this season.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Brandon Moore, Bryan Thomas, LaRon Landry, New England Patriots, thanksgiving, Yeremiah Bell
Posted in Randy Lange | 47 Comments »
Updated, 4:01 p.m. ET
Thanksgiving is a time for turkey, but Thursday night the Jets and Patriots could give each other indigestoin by grilling up several New York strips.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan had Rob Ninkovich on his mind, if not on his tongue, earlier this week in discussing one of the many challenges the Jets will face against the Pats.
“Number 50, Ninkovich, if that’s how you pronounce his name, he’s a good player. I know him by number,” Ryan said. “He’s forced, I think, five, six fumbles this year, so they do a great job of attacking the football. I think they lead the league in forced fumbles. It’s something they’ve always done a great job of, so we have to make sure we’re protecting the ball at all costs.”
Rex’s research was right on. The Patriots lead the NFL with an impressive plus-20 turnover margin. They’ve done it in large part by leading the league unofficially with 19 forces and officially with 14 fumble recoveries. Ninkovich is tied for third individually with five forces and tied for first with three recoveries.
And Ninkovich has been a Jet-killer the past two seasons. He had the two interceptions of Mark Sanchez last year on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, one returned for a TD, and his overtime strip sack of Sanchez provided the crushing coda to the Green & White’s 29-26 overtime loss at Gillette last month.
“Ninkovich is one of the best at it, it seems,” Sanchez said. “He’s really getting after the quarterback, he’s getting after the football, and that’s really their whole defense, that’s kind of their MO.”
He’s not alone. Two other linebackers, Brandon Spikes (4 FFs) and Jerod Mayo (3 FFs) are in the top 10, along with rookie DE Chandler Jones (3 FFs). That has the attention of Joe McKnight, who looked to be back at close to full speed from his ankle injury with several nice plays on kickoff returns and out of the backfield at St. Louis.
“From the mistakes I’ve made in the past,” he said with a small smile, “I just have to be more conscious of the ball. I’m always thinking about the ball before I even get the ball.”
He even shared his informal mental checklists with us. Before each kick return it’s something like:
1. Put my mouthpiece in.
2. High-and-tight the ball.
3. Two hands in traffic.
4. Make the kicker miss.
5. Score the touchdown.
Before he gets the ball from Sanchez on a run, he has a similar list:
1. Get the ball first.
2. Two hands in traffic.
3. Keep your feet when you run through the smoke.
4. Make the safeties miss.
5. Score the touchdown.
Needless to say, such emphasis for all the Jets’ skill players will be important tomorrow night. But they are not weaponless in this high-stakes game of strip poker, even if they were to lose a fumble. That’s because they’ve been stripping the ball away from QBs and RBs (and even kickoff returners, as New England’s Devin McCourty knows from five weeks ago) almost as well.
The Jets have 11 forced fumbles this season, tied for fourth in the NFL, and recovered 10, tied for third. And recently, they’ve been on even more of a roll. Their six FFs at Seattle and St. Louis are the most in the league the past two weeks and are the most in back-to-back games since they had seven forces on two occasions in the ’08 season.
The movers and shakers in this area have been DE Muhammad Wilkerson and S LaRon Landry. Wilkerson’s been involved in three separate fumble plays in those two games — two forces and the fumble-return TD vs. the Seahawks, and that’s the most in back-to-back games by a Jets player since Calvin Pace was involved in four fumble plays in consecutive games in ’08.
“I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops since Mo first got here,” NT Sione Po said of Wilkerson’s recent emergence. “His IQ level is more of like a six-, seven- or eight-year player in terms of what he’s playing at, his production and what he does to help this team as a whole. It’s just phenomenal. I’m glad I’m playing on the same side of the ball he is.”
Landry, who has three forced fumbles this year, with two coming against the Rams, declined to give his secrets, other than his patented crunching hits, one of which forced rookie RB Daryl Richardson to cough up the ball Sunday and set up the Jets’ final TD under the Edward Jones Dome. But he provided some general guidelines.
“You’ve got to have a knack for that, man,” he said. “It’s a knack and an attitude. It takes some practice. Part of it is the point of attack, and you’ve got to be aware of what kind of offender you’re going up against, tight end, receiver, running back. And you’ve got to finish. You’ve got to have a knack for it.”
These longtime rivals have shown they’ve got the knack this year. Who’s better at the strip Thursday night may have a lot to say about who comes away with the victory drumstick.
Final Injury Report
The Jets held a short, closed practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center this morning.
Just before 4 p.m., both teams released their final injury reports of the week. The Jets’ injury list seems manageable with seven designated “questionable” for the game: CB Aaron Berry, NT Kenrick Ellis, WR-PR Jeremy Kerley, RB-KR Joe McKnight, NT Sione Po‘uha, LB Bart Scott and QB Tim Tebow. Tebow practiced full today with his sore ribs while the other six were limited.
The 11 probables: TE Jeff Cumberland, DT Mike DeVito, WRs Clyde Gates and Stephen Hill, S LaRon Landry, C Nick Mangold, guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson, LB Calvin Pace, RB Bilal Powell and QB Mark Sanchez.
The Patriots listed their three DNPs this week as out for the game: TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip) as expected; DE Chandler Jones, tied for the team lead with six sacks; and G Logan Mankins.
Thirteen Pats are questionable: D-linemen Ron Brace and Trevor Scott, safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory, O-linemen Dan Connolly, Sebastian Vollmer and Nick McDonald, TE Aaron Hernandez, LBs Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes and Tracy White, and WRs Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker. The three probables are WR Julian Edelman, DT Kyle Love and LB Jerod Mayo.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and one way or another we’ll all meet up at the game.
Tags: Calvin Pace, joe McKnight, LaRon Landry, Mark Sanchez, MetLife Stadium, Muhammad Wilkerson, New England Patriots, Rex Ryan, Rob Ninkovich, Sione Pouha, thanksgiving
Posted in Randy Lange | 15 Comments »
What’s the Jets-Pats rivalry coming to?
Antonio Cromartie, for instance, today had words of praise for Tom Brady.
“The guy’s won Super Bowls. I have respect for him from that standpoint,” said Cro. “He’s a competitor. He’s going to compete. He reminds me a lot of Philip Rivers in that he’s going to trash-talk back at you.”
And then there’s Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick. When the Jets head coach called the Patriots’ head coach the best coach in football, etc., before previous matchups, some suspected Ryan of being insincere. Not true. Rex really does respect Belichick.
And today he went so far as to defend Belichick against media and fans in the Boston area who were critical of Belichick playing Rob Gronkowski on the last extra-point play of the Patriots’ 59-24 rout of the Colts on Sunday — the play on which Gronkowski suffered a forearm fracture that will keep him out of Thursday’s Jets-Pats tilt.
“Yeah, absolutely ridiculous,” Ryan, on a conference call with Patriots reporters, said of the flak Belichick had been drawing. “It was on an extra point. He’s done that probably 100 times this year for the simple fact of how many points they score. You never see that. Every single team in the league … we have D’Brickashaw Ferguson in there.
“You don’t play the game that way. It’s just an unfortunate thing. That’s just a freak deal that that would happen. But unfortunately that’s part of the game. Injuries do happen. We lose [Santonio] Holmes and [Darrelle] Revis to non-contact injuries and it’s just one of those things and it’s just unfortunate, obviously.”
Belichick seemed touched when told of Ryan’s defense at his own news conference with those same reporters.
“I didn’t hear it, so I’m just taking your word for it,” he said. “I feel like I have a good relationship with Rex. Obviously we want to beat each other. We’re in the same division and that’s just competitiveness. I see Rex from time to time during the year. Like I said, we had his brother on the staff here for four years. I’ve known his father for 30 years, whatever it is, it’s been a long time. I think that there’s a lot of…he’s a son of a coach, he’s a football guy, he’s been around it his whole life. I have, too. There are a lot of things we have in common.
“But this week,” summed up Belichick, back in character, “it’s about two teams trying to compete against each other. That’s all it is.”
The Life of a Hard Hitter
Jets S LaRon Landry was asked about the flap surrounding Ravens S Ed Reed’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday night, which initially drew him a one-game suspension and was reduced today after appeal to a $50,000 fine.
“Yeah, I heard he got his [penalty] reduced. That’s good. That’s great,” said Landry as one fellow hard hitter to another. “Being a physical football player, things like that happen. He was just trying to make a play. He’s good at what he does.
“I know Ed personally. I know that was not intentional. It’s football, man. But within this game we have rules that are going to be enforced.”
It’s not just professional courtesy. Landry and Reed are both Louisianans. In fact, they played against each other for rival high schools in the Metairie area.
The Jets made two roster moves today. They announced this morning that rookie free agent LB Marcus Dowtin had been waived. Then this afternoon, GM Mike Tannenbaum disclosed on our own “Jets Talk Live” with my partner Eric Allen that veteran WR Jason Hill had been released.
That gives the Jets three openings, since they were at 52 players on the active roster for the Rams. Expect a few signings to be announced before the Patriots game.
A perhaps interesting injury note is connected to J.Hill’s departure. He was listed on Monday’s injury report as not practicing due to a low-back injury. With that listing, the Jets had 19 players on the list. Today’s list is down to 18 after Hill’s release. The Patriots have also listed 19 injured players both days this week, and their two reports were also identical.
So for the first time this season, 32 separate injury reports in all, the Jets have listed fewer injured players than their opponents.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bill Belichick, Ed Reed, Jason Hill, LaRon Landry, New England Patriots, Rex Ryan, thanksgiving, Tom Brady
Posted in Randy Lange | 16 Comments »
Rex Ryan and the Jets did in fact enjoy their two-hour plane ride back from St. Louis to Newark on Sunday night, as he suggested they should. And the head coach was still smiling over the Jets’ not-perfect-but-strong-nonetheless 27-13 win over the Rams the day before.
But Ryan and his players had no time to banter or trashtalk too much about their Thanksgiving night home matchup with Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots.
“Right now we’re just swinging,” Rex said, going into heavy boxing/UFC metaphor. “We’re going to focus on our opponent specifically, but we’re behind where we have to be. We can only focus on ourselves. Like I say, just find a way to punch and swing. We earned where we are and we have to find a way to punch our way out. I’m not even worried about tweaking New England. It’s to a point where we have to focus on just us.”
The Jets did that with an altered schedule, returning to the Atlantic Health Training Center this morning and working out and meeting all day before starting the “first practice of the week” late this afternoon into early evening, which necessitated the lights ringing the complex’s outdoor turf field to be turned on for the session’s conclusion.
If any of the players lose focus now, it might not just be about losing that one-game-at-a-time mentality but also realizing how achy and breaky one’s body is after playing in St. Louis and before taking the field against the Pats’ band of offensive wizards and defensive opportunists three nights later.
“You have to see today like it’s a Wednesday practice,” TE Dustin Keller said from the . “You have to forget about the game yesterday. If you think about the game yesterday, you’re going to make yourself that much sorer.”
“It was a good win for us,” QB Mark Sanchez said. “We’re past that now, on to the next one. We have to try to get as many as we can.”
But only one at a time, CB Kyle Wilson said.
“We’re just really looking to improve this week, get better every day,” said Wilson. “We’re just focusing on New England. That’s all that’s there.”
One player who may not be there at MetLife Stadium, at least not in uniform, is New England’s Rob Gronkowski. Belichick told Patriots reporters on a conference call today, “I really don’t have anything” on the condition of the monster TE’s left forearm. And the Patriots’ official injury report released this evening only lists him as Did Not Participate in today’s practice, with a “forearm/hip” injury.
Unofficially it was being reported that Gronk fractured the arm while blocking on the final extra point of the Pats’ 59-24 win over the Colts and would be undergoing surgery sometime today.
“They have like five tight ends on their roster, so I don’t know if they will put another guy in that role,” Ryan said. “I’m not sure how they’ll do it. New England’s so multiple, they’ll give you four wides, five wides, a bunch of tight ends, so we’ll see as the game goes on how it affects them.
“Obviously, Gronkowski’s a huge target, especially in the red zone. I never like to see anybody get hurt. I’m not sad that he’s missing our game, but I hope he gets back soon.”
Sanchez has experienced the lows and highs of life as a quarterback the last two games, specifically when it comes to third-down accuracy.
At Seattle, Sanchez was 1-for-7 on third down, a 14.3% accuracy that was the lowest on that down of any game in his career.
Then at St. Louis, he rebounded with 8-for-9 accuracy at crunch time vs. the Rams. The 88.9% figure is the highest on that down in any game in his career.
On the other sideline, QB Sam Bradford and OC Brian Schottenheimer experienced those highs and lows in the same game. After one quarter, which was Bradford and Coach Schotty’s impressive 13-play opening touchdown drive, the Rams passer had a rating of 135.4 on 6-of-8 for 60 yards and the TD to Brandon Gibson.
The rest of the game, Bradford had to wonder where the magic went. He was 17-for-36 for 110 yards, one more TD to Gibby but one interception to Eric Smith, which all toted up to a 51.9 rating.
Love Those Short Fields
A few more note on the Jets-Rams drive chart. With the Rams help, the Jets finished 10 of their 13 drives in St. Louis territory. And two of those three series they didn’t cross the 50 were the Sanchez end-of-half kneeldowns.
Further, thanks to their three takeaways, the onside kick that Dustin Keller rescued, and a loss on downs after that, the Jets started five drives in St. Louis territory. That all added up to an average start on all drives of the Jets 45.9-yard line.
That is the best average drive start in a road game since we started tracking that number in 1990. There are only three home games that exceeded that number: 2001, Game 13, vs. Cincinnati (46.8), 2003, Game 5, vs. Buffalo (49.8), and 2008, Game 4, vs. Arizona (49.8). That last is the last time the Jets and Cardinals met before they’re set to do it again a week from Sunday. But first, of course, the Jets must figure out ways to maximize their field position and hidden yardage on Thursday night vs. the Patriots.
The Early Injury Picture
This is the week for the special Wednesday Injury Report, Monday Edition. The Jets and Patriots both filed reports after their practices today.
For the Jets, 19 players are on the report but it has the feel of last week’s report, which is to say fairly healthy for November. Only one player didn’t participate today and that’s WR Jason Hill (low back), who hasn’t played in the last two games after being re-signed.
Six players are limited, including WR Jeremy Kerley (heel/hamstring), who participated in only 19 offensive plays and none on specials vs. the Rams as he played through his issues. Also, NT Kenrick Ellis, who left the game after aggravating the knee injury that kept him out the four previous games, said he feels OK and did some work. The other limiteds: RB-KR Joe McKnight (ankle), DT Sione Po‘uha (low back), LB Bart Scott (toe) and CB Aaron Berry (quadriceps).
Also for the first time since before the Week 6 game vs. the Colts, C Nick Mangold is no longer being listed with an ankle injury, only with a thumb deal. He’s one of 12 Jets who were full-go today.
For the Patriots, G Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) and rookie DE Chandler Jones (ankle) joined Gronkowski as DNPs. Thirteen players were limited: DT Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder/hamstring), G Dan Connolly (back), S Steve Gregory (hip), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont’a Hightower (hamstring), WR Brandon Lloyd (knee), OL Nick McDonald (shoulder), DE Trevor Scott (hamstring), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle) and LB Tracy White (foot).
LB Bart Scott is known for his Thanksgiving charity work in the city of Baltimore, where he started his pro career in 2002. Since ’03, he’s fed 250 men in the Helping Us Mission homeless shelter there, and this the fourth Turkey Day that Bart has conducted the dinner from a distance. The Ravens RB Ray Rice hosts in Bart’s absence, but the Madbacker talks with the attendees through Skype. This year’s event is Tuesday night.
Now rookie D-lineman Quinton Coples joins in the holiday cheer. Coples, who has a special affinity for his hometown of Kinston, N.C., gave away 250 turkeys in that town today. “Q” also is here in New Jersey, so his representatives, Millennium Sports Management, and volunteers distributed the birds on his behalf.
Tags: Bart Scott, Bill Belichick, Dustin Keller, Kyle Wilson, Mark Sanchez, New England Patriots, Quinton Coples, Rex Ryan, Rob Gronkowski, St. Louis Rams, thanksgiving, Tom Brady
Posted in Randy Lange | 34 Comments »
Wayne Chrebet’s 13th blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
What a great way to end Thanksgiving. Some pumpkin pie and a Jets win. At halftime of the Lions and Patriots game I thought that there was a chance that Detroit could pull it out. Obviously they didn’t. The Pats were scary good in the second half. That’s how you put a team away.
As the Pats showed in this game, when they’re on, they can score in bunches. They lead the league with 334 points. It’s amazing how year in and year out they have a great offense. Different offensive coordinator, different receivers, different running backs. But one thing stays the same. Tom Brady. He turns good players into very good players. Look what’s he’s done with Welker since he got there.
And now with Danny Woodhead. It’s a shame he didn’t get an opportunity with the Jets. Sometimes it’s a numbers game. I know the Jets would have loved to keep him but I’m glad that he has gotten a chance to play in New England. And he has made the most of it. One thing I do know is that when players play against the team that they were cut from or left, they get a couple more plays where they are the main target. If I was the coach, I would get the ball in his hands often. Not just to put it in the Jets face, but because he is a playmaker.
Deion Branch is back on the Pats. He replaced Randy Moss. Branch is very dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball in the open field. He reminds me of Santonio. Both can score on any given play. Definitely someone that they need to pay close attention to.
This Monday night at New England has to be one of the most important games in recent history for the Jets. This is the game of the year so far in the NFL and it is in front of a national crowd. Yes, there are four more games after this one, but the winner of this game has the inside track for the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. That first-round bye is huge. In 1998 we had it. Win two and you’re in the big dance. That extra week off really helps, too.
Like I’ve said before, the Jets need to throw the first punch. And it can’t be a jab. It has to be the real thing. One thing about a team like the Pats, they’re going to hit back. This isn’t the kind of team that you can easily break their spirit. But you hit someone in the mouth early and often, you have a chance to.
That stadium is going to be rockin’. Very loud and very hostile. I remember playing up there in Parcells’ first year with us. As we drove through the parking lot with our police escort, there was like half a dozen guys hanging on the fence with their pants down mooning us. Sick puppies. They love their football up there.
I know I didn’t really touch on the Bengals game because it was a win. The Jets were expected to win and they did. They won the way that they are supposed to when you play a team that is struggling the way they are.
One thing that I wanted to point out was the performance by Brad Smith. He broke the game open. He catches a 23-yard pass up the seam, takes a reverse 53 yards for a score and returns a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown with one shoe on. One of the best performances that I have seen in a while. He is a true team player and a great asset to the team. I met Brad at an event at the stadium during his first year. We talked for a minute and he is as nice a person as you’ll find. Very respectful. A guy that I would have loved to play with.
The Patriots are the team that people love to see lose in recent years. People always get that way about a team that consistently wins, has a coach like they do, the whole Spygate thing, and are cocky. Even though they deserve to feel that way. I somehow feel that the Jets are looked at as that team now. That is just more incentive to prove people wrong.
Rex made a prediction in training camp they were the team to beat. Forget the first 11 games. This is going to feel like a playoff game. The Jets win this one they’re on their way to the promised land. It all starts now.
Tags: Brad Smith, Cincinnati Bengals, Deion Branch, Monday Night Football, New England Patriots, Santonio Holmes, thanksgiving, Tom Brady
Posted in Special Contributor | 36 Comments »
Hey, Jets fans! It’s Natalie from the Flight Crew! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. (And ate entirely too much turkey!)
The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to get down to business with the gift buying. No matter what holiday you celebrate, you are more than likely looking for the perfect gift for those special people in your life. It can be stressful, but no worries, I’m here to help…
First off, it’s my personal opinion that, unless asked specifically for by the loved one in your life, it is not a good idea to purchase a gym membership, vacuum, toaster, or any other type of cleaning/cooking product for a person. I totally understand that it may seem like the "perfect gift" at the time, but if a woman opens up a card that says "Year Membership" to your local gym, she may be caught off guard and take it the wrong way. Just my opinion (may save you a headache in the long run).
What’s always a perfect gift for the sports fan in your life (or for yourself, since I assume you’re a Jets fan if you’re reading this blog) is any kind of sports memorabilia from their favorite team. If you haven’t been in the Jets Shop in Manhattan, it’s definitely the perfect time to go! They have some amazing gift ideas and have even more items on the Website for that Jets fanatic in your life!
Also, let’s not forget the important people in your kids’ lives: their teachers! Teachers are so influential in children’s everyday lives, why not show them you care with a nice card, tin of cookies, ornament, etc.? It doesn’t have to be much! Regardless of the gift, they will definitely appreciate that you took the time out of your busy holiday schedule to recognize the hard work they have put in this year!
The gift card is always a gift that keeps on giving (and is a very popular gift in my family every year). Some stores sell the cutest ornaments that hold gift cards so that, instead of just wrapping up the card in its cardboard backing and putting a tag on it, it’s a gift within itself (and is great for regifting, of course. People will always give gift cards).
On that note, I also believe that the display of the package is half the present. Instead of just throwing the gift in a bag, why not take a little time to wrap the gift, add a bow or ribbon, and maybe even attach an ornament or candy cane to the top.
Everyone has their different interests and hobbies, of course, so it’s always a challenge to figure out that perfect gift. But just remember, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends. No matter what you give or receive, it’s the thought that counts. Have a very happy holiday season, and GO JETS!!!
Tags: Flight Crew, thanksgiving
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Hey, Jets fans, it’s Meredith checking in to say hello. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to meet with lots of you over the years, whether at appearances or before games, and I can truly say that you are the best fans in the NFL!
You have all asked me so many questions about what it is like to be a member of the Flight Crew so I thought I’d take the time to tell you all about some of the most frequently asked questions so I can give you guys an idea of what I’ve been blessed to experience over the last four seasons.
So here it goes:
Do you guys travel with the team?
Well, you would think that we would travel with the team to support them on the road, but the home team has its own cheerleaders. That doesn’t stop me from cheering on the Jets, though. I’m usually with some of the other Flight Crew members on away games watching from home or eating some wings at my favorite restaurant.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I do have one pregame ritual. I always eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with ketchup before every game. Ha ha, just kidding. I don’t have any rituals as far as superstitions, but I do carpool with Jenn, Danielle B. and Anne-Marie to every home game and I always sit in the same spot in the locker room.
What do you do the night before a home game?
Gamedays are long and we need to make sure that we are on top of our game so we don’t let you down! That’s why I make sure I go to bed early and get a good night of sleep the night before a game. I usually double-check (hmm … make that triple-check) my bag to make sure I have everything packed and that I’m ready to go in the morning. We have dozens of unique dances that we prepare for every game so I make sure I practice them all.
What has been the best experience so far?
It’s a tough question to answer because there have been so many amazing experiences. My top two, which are completely different and rewarding in their own way, would be our trip to Seattle last year to support the troops and being part of our first-ever swimsuit calendar. Going to Seattle to see the troops was amazing. We got to meet lots of the men and women who support our country and were shipping off to Iraq the following week. We went right before Christmas and Seattle got a pretty bad snowstorm, which is pretty rare. We almost got stuck there but luckily made it back OK so I could spend the holidays with my family!
As for the swimsuit calendar, I still can’t believe I was able to be part of something so special and I’m truly honored.
I hope you all had a happy and safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones. We hope to see you each and every Sunday to root for the Green & White. Go JETS!!!
Tags: Jets Flight Crew, Meredith, thanksgiving
Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »
Hi, Jets Fans! It’s Flight Crew member Jennifer!
I cannot believe how quick this season is going! As we head into Week 12, it’s not only “Football Season,” it’s also now the “Holiday Season” — and my favorite time of year! As an NFL cheerleader I am extremely busy preparing for the games and attending appearances with the Flight Crew as well as working my full-time job. So as hard as I try to make time for family and friends, I always love when the holidays come around because I know it is a sure day to spend time with them.
Every year my Grandma and Grandpa host Thanksgiving dinner for my family. My Grandpa, being a butcher for 36 years, sure knows how to cook a great turkey, while my Grandma makes the most delicious side dishes … and desserts! In fact, my all-time favorite dessert is her apple crumb pie, which she always heats up and then tops with a scoop of your desired ice cream right before serving. Mine is usually a scoop … or two … of mint chocolate chip!
Although eating all the delicious food is a great part of the holiday, I always look forward to our traditional family game time! This is the part of the night that we really get in some family bonding and fun. I love playing Party Pictionary, where we attempt to draw pictures under the pressure of a tiny timer while the opposing team is shouting out answers as to what the heck you are drawing. I will have to say some of us are not so artistic, but that’s what makes it so entertaining!
So for this Thanksgiving I would like to give thanks to all of them for being the most loving family in the world! I am so thankful that they always know how to have fun during the most hectic time of year. I am also thankful for the friendships I have made with each and every member of the Flight Crew. I am truly grateful to be a part of such an amazing team of beautiful girls!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Jets fans! The stadium would be so quiet without you, so thank you for all of your continued support. The holidays are a great time to keep traditions, start traditions and share traditions. Thanks for letting me share some of mine with you. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the rest of the season! See you all this Sunday!
GO JETS, GO FLIGHT CREW!!
Tags: Jenn, Jets Flight Crew, thanksgiving
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
As many of us look forward to Thanksgiving, the unfortunate reality is that a lot of people — in Jets Nation, New York City, the country and the world — are hurting right now.
“I think we’re all struggling with this recession, if not directly, then indirectly," said Jets linebacker Bart Scott. "Maybe it’s a family member who lost a job or something like that. I think the only way for us to get out of this situation is to help each other and boost each other up and really be supportive.”
On Tuesday, Scott unloaded turkeys and fixings at CHIPS Park Slope Christian Help before serving a pre-Thanksgiving dinner meal to some needy folks.
“With Bart Scott coming in here to volunteer, hopefully it will inspire people to give back not just at Thanksgiving but year-round,” said Kim Keller, director of media services for the New York Food Bank, which oversees 1,000 food assistance programs citywide. “People are hungry year-round even though we think about it the most at Thanksgiving.”
The numbers are staggering. One New Yorker in five relies on the Food Bank to eat. Since 2003, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of people reporting difficulty affording food, from 2 million to 3.3 million. And among Brooklyn residents, 51 percent had difficulty affording food in 2008, up from 24 percent in 2003 (more than double) and from 39 percent in 2007 (a 31 percent increase). Of those turning to soup kitchens and food pantries, 509,000 reside in Brooklyn.
“It’s always a hectic time of year," Keller said. "This is when people think the most about volunteering and donating and we’ve seen an increase at our food pantries and soup kitchens — a 93 percent increase in terms of people who are coming as first-time visitors. That number only increases during Thanksgiving."
Beyond every number, there is a face and there is a story. That fact is not lost on Scott, a wealthy man from humble beginnings who could have elected to just write a check to help the Food Bank’s initiatives of direct services, food sourcing and distribution, nutrition and health education, financial empowerment, disaster relief and policy research.
But anyone who’s familiar with Scott knows that he’s a person who thrives on contact. He embraces the chance to help others in need equally as much as he anticipates violent collisions on the field.
“I’m trying to be a leader, and trying to be a role model is all about leading by example. Give time. It’s one thing to give money and that’s great if that’s all you can do, but it’s another to be in touch, to be reachable and to be a person,” he said.
“If you’re somebody people can talk to and actually touch, I think that’s more effective to being able to help people in help services. Put a face behind it and not just a dollar amount. I think it’s important for me to be down there working and not try to be some prima donna.”
So there he was on this Tuesday, on Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, unloading turkeys, potatoes, plantains and onions off a truck. Later, back inside the CHIPS kitchen, Scott was taking apples from the boxes and placing them in crates. And finally, he put on a Food Bank apron, served food and chatted with persons who stopped by for a meal.
“I think that’s the true definition of Thanksgiving — sacrifice, helping your neighbor and lending a helping hand to people who are less fortunate,” he said.
Scott, 29, who established his own A Son Never Forgets Foundation in 2006 to attack issues involving hunger, public safety, youth and the disabled, makes weekly grants to different local charities throughout the season, and the former Raven continues to be active down in Baltimore.
“I try to be an octopus and try to stretch out,” he said. “I don’t try to limit myself to just one area. I try to stretch out and help out as much as I can because I feel like it’s an obligation.”
But even if Scott had eight arms, that’s not enough. Tackling something like hunger takes a complete team effort and we are reminded of that more than ever on this holiday.
“I would say that everyone is in a position to help in some way," Keller said, "whether it’s volunteering at a site, volunteering at the Food Bank or making a monetary contribution."
Tags: Bart Scott, thanksgiving
Posted in Eric Allen | 11 Comments »
Hey, Jets Fans! It’s Justine from the Flight Crew. I can’t believe the season is more than half way over and we’re approaching my absolute, favorite time of year!
With the holidays just around the corner and Thanksgiving this week, we should remember to reach out to each other. While football is exciting, traditional and can keep our spirits high, some people must deal with the reality of not having all they need at this time of the year.
Giving back to the community is not foreign to the New York JETS! To keep with the holiday spirit, why not try reaching out this season to your neighbors and community by donating your time and volunteering at a local food pantry or soup kitchen? If every person donated one item of food to their local food pantry (or school/town/store food drive), imagine how many needy families can be reached! Hard times can fall upon anyone at any time. It would be comforting to know that other people are willing to help you get through the rough times. Then, when the rough times are passed, know that you can always "pay it forward."
What about inviting friends or family members that might be struggling a bit to your Thanksgiving Day feast to enjoy a day of turkey and football? What better day is there than that?
We all know our history lessons about the very first Thanksgiving and how it all started, being thankful for what we do have, coming together as family and friends to share a meal and our traditions. I have a dad and three brothers that are crazy football fans. I remember Thanksgiving Day since I was a little girl. I would wake up in the morning with the oh-so-familiar smells of turkey. My mom was in the kitchen, preparing all aspects of the feast ahead, including stuffing, potatoes and all the trimmings.
Meanwhile, my dad and brothers were preparing for a day of football in the back yard tossing a pigskin. They would be warming up for the "Turkeybowl" or in front of the television yelling, "Where are the appetizers?” As my many family relatives started pouring in, more trimmings in tote, I would start to have that warm, excited and peaceful feeling.
As we began to take our seats, my mom would ask us one by one, going around the entire, very long, seemingly endless table, what we were thankful for. (Do you remember the "kids table" at the end of the "adults table”? Well, I was unfairly put there until I was about 15 years old).
Just like I am every day, I am thankful for the health, happiness and support of my huge, loving, Italian family. But this year, I am thankful that on "any given Sunday" I get to do my favorite thing in the world. I’m thankful that I get to dance, perform and cheer for my favorite football team, in front of 80,000 of the best NFL fans in the country! I am truly thankful to be part of such an amazing organization as the New York Jets. I am truly a privileged girl!
That’s my Thanksgiving memory. I would love for ALL to have those same excited and peaceful feelings as I do! So donate, volunteer, befriend one another … and then eat, drink and be merry.
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL Americans! J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!
Tags: Jets Flight Crew, thanksgiving
Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »