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A lot to get into today . . .
Ryan Kalil wasn’t supposed to practice today, but then he did.
He is dealing with a shoulder injury. It might be his right shoulder. Why do I believe that? I saw him at practice winding that should trying to get it loose. Also, that’s the shoulder he had surgery on a couple of years ago.
The Jets lineman were doing work today with blocking sleds. I didn’t see Kalil do this, so at that point, I figured he was going to avoid contact. But then the linemen were working on blocking technique against fellow offensive linemen, and several times he engaged 6-8, 310-pound offensive tackle Connor McDermott.
Maybe Kalil feels that the Jets have an in-season Super Bowl coming up, so he has to will himself to play. What I mean by “in-season Super Bowl” is the Jets need to win on Monday night to have any chance at getting back in the wild card hunt. A win would make them 2-4. If they lose and go to 1-5, their slim playoff chances are probably done. If they can get to 2-4, with Jacksonville and Miami coming up, maybe they have a shot to get to 4-4, but a 1-5, they are essentially finished.
A lot of shoulder issues on the Jets’ offensive line right now. Kalil, Brian Winters and Kelechi Osemele. Winters seemed to have some kind of brace or other apparatus on his right shoulder at practice today, and Osemele’s shoulder controversy is well-documented. I will get more into Osemele next week, but as we reported in JC in the spring, Jon Gruden and Osemele battled over his availability for games last year, and the Raiders coach felt the guard quit on Oakland. I have no opinion on this, just telling you how the Raiders felt . . .
Once again today, I saw new defensive back Blake Countess working with the corners, not safeties, in individual drills. I saw him in the locker room today. He looks a lot more like a corner physically than a safety. He is listed at 5-10, but I’m not he’s even that.
Also, while we are only allowed to watch a small part of practice, cornerback Nate Hairston looked very good running around on the practice field, not looking that bothered by a knee injury that forced him to miss the last game, and also has limited him in practice.
As we have said before, you need all hands on deck at cornerback when facing Tom Brady, so having Countess and Hairston as extra cover guys to deal with Patriots corners, is a good thing for the Jets.
As Rex Ryan proved, it’s probably best to limit your pass rushers and flood the field with cover guys against Brady.
Blitzing him a lot usually doesn’t work out well, with a perfect example being that 41-yard gain by tight end Ryan Izzo in the first quarter of the first meeting. Izzo went out for a pass into an area that Jamal Adams abandoned since he was blitzing from that side, and this left the tight end wide open
With Countess working with the corners, the Jets only had three safeties on the practice field today – Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye and Mathias Farley. I didn’t see Rontez Miles on the field . . .
Jets linebacker Neville Hewitt, who missed practice on Thursday, was back on the field today. While Hewitt is listed with a shoulder injury and a knee, I think the knee is the bigger issue now. Hewitt had a neck stinger against Dallas, but came back into the game following that scare. Neck stingers are scary, but they often go away pretty quickly. Hewitt was wearing a knee brace on his left knee in practice today. Remember, I mentioned he had a medical sleeve on his left leg on Thursday . . .
Henry Anderson (shoulder) did seem to participate more in practice today than yesterday. But while we were being escorted off the practice field after the media time was up, I did see him going over to work with a trainer in the rehab area.
He will probably be a game-time decision. If this was last season, I would say not having Anderson would be devastating, but not this year, and it’s not his fault. Lining him over offensive tackles, which is happening a lot this year, isn’t his game, and he got hurt in the Philly game when he was pancaked by an OT on a running play. Anderson is much better over guards than tackles. The problem with “Goose” playing over tackles is he’s not quick enough to beat them off the edge, and not strong enough to bull rush them. Anderson over offensive tackles is a square peg in a round whole . . .
This game is going to be a huge challenge for Gregg Williams strategically.
The Jets’ pass rush is pedestrian, without much coming off the edge. But as I mentioned before, Brady is lethal against the blitz, so what will Williams do? You have a DC who loves to blitz, but is facing a QB who tends to eat that up, but the DC doesn’t have much of a natural pass rush to turn to, so what will he do? . . .
October 18, 2019
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