The Buzz From One Jets Drive

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Florham Park – Dan checks in from “The Atlantic Health Training Center” with a heaping helping of Website Whispers. Don’t miss out – just $7.95 a month . . .

Eric Smith was running with a limp today on the practice squad.

He had a brace on his injured knee.

I asked him if he is going to play on Sunday, and he said, “I don’t know yet.”

And it’s not just Smith’s knee. On the play he injured his knee this summer, he also hurt his hip, and that hasn’t healed yet either.

Smith is a player that doesn’t have great speed to start with, so having him play with both knee and hip ailments probably isn’t a great idea. Those injuries will rob him of a step he can’t afford to lose . . .

When John Connor re-injured his knee last week, the Jets were forced to use tight end Konrad Rueland at fullback in the second half in Pittsburgh.

Rueland is a little tall for that spot at 6-5, but the Jets had no choice – Connor is the only fullback on the roster . . .

Jets reserve tight end Dedrick Epps was on Miami’s practice squad all of last year, so he is very familiar with most of their defensive players.

“Their safeties (Rashad Jones and Chris Clemons) will come up and hit you in the mouth,” Epps said.

Epps thinks Sparano’s insight into Miami’s pass defenders, like the aforementioned safeties, and some of the corners (like Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll), will help the Jets’ passing game exploit their weaknesses . . .

The Jets were running a tipped ball drill for their defensive players, and Sione Pouha jumped pretty high (for a 330-pounder) to tip a ball, and one coached yelled, “The back must be feeling good.” . . .

Punter Robert Malone has been a little inconsistent in the first two games.

“He looks like T.J. Conley,” said one long-time team observer about Conley, the team’s former punter, who was plagued by inconsistencies.

But the last couple of days in practice Malone has looked excellent; he’s been crushing the ball.

We hear he changed his foot work earlier this week, shortening his steps a little, and that has contributed to him hitting the ball better . . .

The Miami Dolphins ticket situation is really bad. When they struggle selling tickets for the Jets game in South Florida, like they are this week, you know they are in dire straits at the gate.

Reports out of South Florida say this game could be blacked out.

And remember, the Dolphins were one of the few NFL teams to sign up for the league’s “85 percent rule”, which allows blackouts to be lifted at just 85 percent capacity. With this provision, the home team needs to pay a higher percentage of the gate to the visiting team, so they get the same amount they would at 100 percent capacity.

So the fact the Dolphins might still have to blackout the Jets’ game, even after signing up for the “85 percent rule,” shows how bad things are down there . . .

September 20, 2012

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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