Jets are relishing their new role; Kolb and Tebow growing into theirs
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- What I like about the Jets is they don't care if you hate them.
You're going to be hated when you say over and over that you think you're going to win the Super Bowl, when you allow NFL Films and HBO Sports into your camp for the most entertaining reality show/infomercial on TV and you're brash and full of yourselves doing it, when your coach swears like a sailor after 11 shots of Jack Daniels ("News flash -- football coaches curse!'' linebacker
And I mean it: They truly don't care.
They mock conventional NFL conservatism, which I love. GM
In the show,
In the show, Ryan and Tannenbaum have a contest to see who can throw a pass into a net cleanly, and Tannenbaum tries to catch a punt cleanly. Not done for the show. "They did the same thing last year in training camp,'' Scott said.
"I'm not sure people really understand what happens around a football team,'' Scott said after practice Friday. "There's a lot of meetings, a lot of practice, and a lot of fun. It doesn't have to be all serious. We did a lot of that stuff in Baltimore too when Rex was there, because he believes in making the game something the players will love. Remember in
When I walked into Ryan's office Friday afternoon, the immediate subject was his cursing. The politically correct thing would have been to say, "I really need to watch my mouth.'' Ryan laughed about it. Shook his head as if to say, Like I care people think I curse too much. It's football!
"I'll tell you one of my goals with this show,'' said Ryan. "I want every player in this league to watch this show and say, 'One day, I want to be a Jet.' ''
Just might be happening as you read this. Scott said he thought there were "over 10'' players on other teams who wanted to play for Ryan and the Jets. "After this show, there will be many more,'' he said.
Nuggets from the camp trail:
Everyone wants to know if Revis will come in by the Sept. 13 opener, and I think it's more likely he will than won't. To explain the contract in brief: Revis will make $1 million this year, and at the end of the season, the Jets would have the right to exercise the final two years of the contract at a total of $20 million for the two, or they could release him. Barring major injury, it's certain they'd exercise the option. That means Revis, under the existing contract, would make about $21 million over the next three years.
The only way I see this getting done is the Jets throwing a good-faith signing bonus at Revis right now, maybe $8 million, and adding one year to the end of his contract at, say, $12 million. That'd give Revis, in effect, four years and $41 million -- which would be less than Asomugha, but remember, Revis is dealing from the disadvantage of having three years left on his deal. That would be a bitter solution to Revis, I believe, but it may be the only one that puts him back in the game now. I don't see the Jets caving and giving him a deal anywhere near Asomugha's -- not with so much time left on the contract and with the prospect of a job action next year.
(For more on the Jets, here's
ANDERSON, Ind. -- Just ask him about tomorrow. The 2007 Defensive Player of the Year has missed more NFL games due to injury (49) than games he's played (47) since entering the league in 2004. "I don't look too far ahead, because it's a tough game to try to prevent injuries,'' he told me. "So I don't think about whether I can play 16 games.''
He never has played a full year in his six NFL seasons; either knee or biceps injuries have dogged him. But he looked fluid and fast one day in practice last week. I don't expect him to play healthy for four months -- I don't think the Colts do either, deep down -- but Sanders, who has been removed from team activities often in the last few seasons as he rehabbed, was in the offseason program and more engaged with teammates this offseason.
Odd perfectionist point made by the son of a steelworker from Erie, Pa.: "After the season I won defensive player of the year, I went back and looked at the film and I realized I wasn't as good as everyone thought I was. I did. I Iooked at the film and I'm my worst critic. And I really feel like there were a lot of things that I made a lot of mistakes on or I could've done better. There were interceptions and forced fumbles and stuff I left out on the field that I felt like, like, wow, I won defensive player of the year but I feel like I haven't even reached my potential. I have a lot of work left to do. I still feel the same way. I would never feel like I've made it, I've arrived and I'm this great player and I can't get any better.''
If I were coaching, I'd split the strong safety job between Sanders and
ALBANY, N.Y. -- You see how far that got them last year. Too many injuries last season, from the start.
This year, new defensive coordinator
The Giants won the Super Bowl three season ago by sending blitzers through the A gap (over and around the center) as well as around end. This year, they're experimenting with sending different end/tackle and end-end combinations from everywhere. A healthy Giants team will create more problems than any defensive front except the maniacally variable Jets.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- I watched the coach's tape of Kolb's six-of-11 performance against the Jaguars Friday night and took notice of how comfortable he looked leaving the pocket and throwing to targets on the run -- or scrambling when the play wasn't there. On his first third down, he circled back out of the backfield, pressured, and ran left, his primary receiver running free on a cross to the right of the formation. Knowing he'd be stepping up into the rush and throwing across his body, Kolb just ran to the left boundary and made the first down. He looked like the coach's son that he is, like he'd been prepping for this day for a couple of decades, not a couple of years.
"We practice throwing off-balance,'' Kolb said after practice at Lehigh Sunday. "The good thing about playing here is that you go against this defense every day, and they bring a lot of different looks. And we know there're plays that are there to be made. When it comes game time and defenses want to bring the heat, then we'll gash 'em.''
Looks like Kolb is forming a nice bond with one of the rookie receivers, fifth-round pick
I saw nothing but the highlights of Tim Tebow's eight-for-13 opener Sunday night at Paul Brown Stadium. Three thoughts: He has to have better awareness of the pressure around him and make quicker decisions when that pressure's there ... The mechanics he worked so diligently to refine in the spring looked inconsistent to me; the sooner they become rote, the better he'll play, obviously ... His early downfield throw, a perfect 45-yard strike, was dropped. But he missed two open receivers too, so clearly he could have played better.
It's almost certain Tebow will be the number two quarterback to
"It's different, but I like it.''
Now there's a great example of a guy who shot his mouth off before understanding that the Washington defense under
"We want Ben! We want Ben!''
Starbucks, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y., Saturday, 6:45 a.m.:
I'm sitting there, drinking a latte and writing my Carolina Panthers preview for the
Who has the kind of time to stare into space and stare holes through someone typing for almost three hours? A contemplative half hour is probably healthy, but the guy sat there doing nothing for a half-hour longer than it takes a Kenyan to run a marathon.
Albany's a good spot. Had a swell time Friday night watching the Tri City Valley Cats walk off with a win over Staten Island in compelling New York-Penn League action in nearby Troy. Date night, obviously. Very Americana place. The stadium was crawling with 15-year-old girls and awkward boys feigning disinterest in them. My partners for the evening --
There might have been more varieties of beer at the ballpark than there were fans, including a fine local microbrew, which led to the quote of the night from young Willie, an Indiana University journalism student. "We live in a Coors Light generation, and it's so sad.'' Words to live by, young man.
"Meditation helps me,'' he said. "I don't try to do anything but just try to be, and to listen to God. I quiet my mind and listen to the message.''
I'm a big fan of this, though I don't do it, and I'm not a particularly religious man. We're so caught up in Blackberries and iPhones and Twitter and the constant flow of information that we rarely sit back and take stock of who exactly we are and what we're doing here. Good for Smith.
"Just got my press pass for Mon. night. Says I'm sitting in the f---- press box and parking in the f---- media lot. Must be a #NYJ home game.''
By my count, the show was 52 minutes long and featured 23 off-color words by the Jets coach: 10 f---s, eight s---s, two d---s, two a--es, and one b----.
Now that's the kind of inside football information you just can't get anywhere else.
You have spoken, and we have two winners that -- I hope -- will benefit from the half-marathon I'm running Oct. 2 in Bristol, N.H. The results from your Twitter voting last week:
Wounded Warrior Project 343
So next week I'll have details on how you can donate to Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org), which helps the most seriously wounded of the American military transition back to society, and Feed the Children (feedthechildren.org), which is
A few of you have asked how possibly I'm going to run 13.1 miles in the middle of the football season. Good question. I might be insane. (But you knew that already.) I did run (plod?) 6.5 miles last Thursday through Boston and Cambridge, and I'll have another run this morning before I meet the Steelers in Latrobe. The way I look at it is it's always been easy for me to find excuses to not be active during the football season. This will motivate me to make sure three times a week I do what I should be doing anyway to take care of myself. We'll see how it goes.
1. I think
Barrows asked him if there was any way he'd reconsider. "No, man,'' Coffee said. "I've already told Christ it's time to go. I've already rung the bell. That's not going to happen."
When I visited 49er camp earlier this month, I sat with vice president of player personnel
2. I think I could spend 10 days at Jets camp and not research all the stories that need to be told and interview all the players who need to be interviewed. What a camp. I've never seen one like it.
3. I think, speaking of interesting but ignored Jets stories, I expect
4. I think we'll find out this week that defending NFL sack champion
5. I think the saddest story of the weekend -- and maybe of the first eight months of 2010 -- is what happened to Titans rookie free-agent running back
Johnson was hit after making a reception on the final play of the third quarter and came down hard on his right leg. The leg was immobilized in an air cast while coach
The kid got a ton of love from his followers on Twitter and sent
I hope it includes a good future, in or out of football, for Johnson.
6. I think these are my other preseason Week 1 thoughts:
a. For those in central Indiana on
b. Good debuts for two rookie left tackles who should start opening day: Washington's
c. Ditto, with an asterisk,
d. Dallas' first offensive unit, against Cincinnati and Oakland, has struggled mightily to score touchdowns. Cowboys gave up four sacks in the first 20 plays to Oakland.
e. The Raiders looked better than we all thought. Smart to keep
h. Bears could be looking for a backup quarterback, with already-iffy number two
j. Speaking of first-round backs,
k. Saw nothing of it, but how about
l. I get the feeling the Eagles really want fifth-round receiver
n. Stat of the Weekend: First-half total yards at Dallas: Oakland 95, Dallas 88. Even with the Cowboys' second-stringers on the field for much of the second quarter, that's a good number for Oakland.
o. Best sign by far for Cleveland:
p. Can't figure out for the life of me why
q. Pete Carroll Moment of the Night in Seattle: He high-fived the National Anthem singer at the end of the song.
r. Why preseason games mean nothing: The Jags lost to the Eagles 28-27. Looks respectable. But with the ones on the field, Philly steamrolled. In the first quarter, the Eagles outgained Jacksonville 165-10.
s. Why preseason games mean everything: Cards almost lost
t. I realize I shouldn't pity a man traveling on a bus that's nicer than some hotel suites, but when I heard
7. I think the
With 920 catches, 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns, the numbers show him to be one of the best 10 to 15 statistical receivers ever. (He's 11th in receptions, 10th in yardage, 27th in touchdowns.) But by the time he's eligible for the hall in 2015 (if he is through now), there could be 25 receivers with more catches, 50 with more touchdowns. It's already hell to get into Canton as a receiver. Holt's road will be very tough.
Second point: The Patriots have brought in four old veteran receivers in the last two seasons --
8. I think the Texans suffered the biggest loss of the preseason weekend, with rookie running back
I can hear you know: Who? Foster got his chance late last season (54 carries, 257 yards, 4.8 per rush), and he's the kind of physical presence Kubiak wants in the backfield. But he wanted the changeup that 4.43-in-the-40 second-round pick Tate could have provided.
9. I think one of my questions to the Steelers in Latrobe today will be: "Are you sure
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. You feel a lot smarter than you really are when you run through Cambridge, Mass. You think, "All these Harvardians and MITians are passing me, looking like they could run a marathon before breakfast. Maybe it'll rub off on me!''
b. Thanks sincerely to
Eschewing sugar, I had to pass on the peanut butter balls, but the rest of the marauding sportswriters destroyed the platter of the 50-cent balls with peanut bits covering each one. Then I wrote in there for a while. I think if Jeff gave me a sleeping bag, I could live in the funky place with the cool movie posters everywhere (like "Kansas City Bomber'' with Raquel Welch). My sincere appreciation for your kindness, Jeff.
c. Ditto to
d. Happy 50th,
e. Coffeenerdness: Living on six shots of espresso a day is not the way to go. My jittery hands should tell me that. I'll be home soon, ensconced in writing mode, back to no caffeine after noon.
g. Lay off
h. I have done a lot of idiotic things in my Rotisserie League this season, but picking up
i. Tweetup alert: I'll be having a get-together for my Twitter followers, and anyone else who wants to talk football, in Baltimore on Wednesday, 4:30 p.m, at Amicci's Of Little Italy in downtown. I'll be joined by