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Dan checks in from One Jets Drive, in Florham Park, with a heaping helping of Jets Whispers . . . check it out . . .
The Jets signing of WR Logan Payne (pictured above at the University of Minnesota) to the practice squad last week was definitely an espionage-related move. Remember, he was recently released trom the Minnesota Vikings practice, so the information was fresh. And we hear the Jets coaches picked his brain like crazy.
And it looked like it helped.
Further confirming that this was an espionage move, is the fact that Payne has a foot injury, and didn’t practice one day this week. He came to the Jets hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, they do like him as a receiver, but considering the timing of the move, and his injury, the Jets wanted Viking info, and they got a ton of it . . .
While it’s hard to take Jim Leonhard out of the punt return role because he’s so reliable, they Jets really are playing with fire. To play a 5-8, 185 as a starting safety and punt returner, is awfully dangerous, and he seems to getting banged up. He is dealing with left arm and left knee issues now. He’s going to play full this week, but the Jets are really rolling the dice on this one. He is taking an awful beating . . .
With the status of Darrelle Revis in question for Sunday, this is a very dangerous game for the Jets.
This Denver Broncos can throw the heck out of the football, and the Jets secondary has been very inconsistent this year.
The Broncos are loaded at receiver with the underrated Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal and first round pick Demaryius Thomas (tremendous size-speed ratio).
And we all remember Josh McDaniels from his time as New England’s offensive coordinator. The man really knows how to design creative pass sets.
When you throw in the fact that Jets haven’t been doing a great job with their natural pass rush, and have relied on a lot of blitzing, this game is very, very dangerous . . .
Backup linebacker/special team’s player Jamaal Westerman still isn’t 100 percent healed from his high ankle sprain, and might not be able to play at Denver.
But he did assure me that the hamstring injury he suffered in Miami isn’t career-threatening and he’s 99.9 percent healed (this is a running joke we have – he was accused of faking the injury to help the Jets grab a breather in the South Florida heat) . . .
While Mark Sanchez is much-improved this year, he still needs a lot of work on his accuracy. There was a quick slant today (I won’t name the target because we aren’t supposed to point out how personnel is used in practice), that was so off-target, I wasn’t even sure who he was throwing to.
Remember, on Monday night, he completed only 47 percent of his passes, which is way below the percentage you are looking for in the NFL. You want to be at least over 60 percent . . .
Speaking of Sanchez and the passing game, there is no excuse – they should have a huge game in Denver. We are talking about a Bronco team playing without half their starting secondary (CB Andre Goodman and S Brian Dawkins) and best pass rusher (LB Robert Ayers) . . .
With his bad-boy reputation, one thing that gets lost in the shuffle is that Braylon Edwards is very, very bright . . .
Sometimes I think we forget, Rex Ryan is only in his second year as an NFL head coach. While he’s doing a terrific job with the Jets, he still learning on the job. He made a mistake last week by leaving Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and Calvin Pace (foot) on the field for so many plays in their first game back from injuries. They needed to play a lot less than they did, and Ryan now realizes that. Sometimes you get caught up in the emotions and intensity of the game, and you lose sight of the big picture . . .
Matt Slauson, who grew up on Colorado Springs, says the rarified air issues, playing in Denver, are a moot point if you are in good shape. He said people who have conditioning issues generally have major problems in the mountain air.
The Jets are a very well-conditioned team under strength coach Sal Alosi, so they should be fine . . .