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EA Q&A: Start Me Up

Posted Oct 2, 2015

With the Clocks Ahead in London, Will the Jets Play Fast at Wembley Stadium?


EA: Players and coaches want to win. Athletes and coaches are creatures of habit, so they have to adjust to new schedules and some will handle it better than others. Randy Lange penned an article this week on how the Jets are trying to make this a “normal” business trip.  Travel is part of NFL life and the outgoing trip to London is probably not too much longer than a cross-country jaunt to Seattle. The five time zone change could be tricky, but the Jets have done everything in their power to make this a smooth trip. Now it’s just don the pads for a practice, get the mind right at the walkthrough, win and get some rest during the bye.  As Ryan Fitzpatrick said the other day, a lot of guys think it will be a “cool” experience and he’s hoping it brings the team together even more.


EA: I think they already have. Kacy Rodgers and Todd Bowles made halftime adjustments in Week 3 and the defense shut down the Eagles over the final 30 minutes. In fact, the Birds were limited to just 52 total yards and 15 passing yards while going 0-of-7 on third down. Eagles RB Ryan Mathews was very effective in the first half, getting to the perimeter on occasion and breaking a couple of tackles. Both Mathews and Darren Sproles found some space in coverage at times, but there are ways to counter as far as better coverage technique and zone options. The Jets defense was above average Sunday – just not to the elite standard they set for themselves. Football is a complementary game and special teams gave up 7 on the Sproles PR and the botched Marshall lateral set up a short 36-yard scoring drive.  Through three games, the Jets have allowed seven points in the second half while forcing seven turnovers and seven three-and-outs.


EA: You can’t play with pace if you don’t have the ball. The Jets just didn’t covert early on third down while failing to establish any sort of rhythm. But early on in 2015, the Green & White rank a respectable 13th on third down with a 42.9 conversion percentage. Fitzpatrick, an 11-year veteran working under Gailey a second time, does look awfully comfortable while operating the hurry-up. You think about both home games this year and how Fitz marched his club down the field to score before the break. Game plans change each week and we have no idea how Gailey will try to attack the Dolphins. This is a Miami defense that has been scuffling to date, but there is talent there with the likes of DT Ndamukong Suh, DE Cameron Wake, DE Olivier Vernon and CB Brent Grimes.


EA: Decker, who is battling a knee ailment, did not practice Wednesday. Last week, he was a game-time decision before being declared inactive. Let’s see how the week progresses.


EA: That remains to be seen. An accomplished pro, Kerley stepped right into the lineup and finished with six receptions and a TD. He remains a crafty route runner with good hands. The Jets liked what Decker gave them on the inside and his absence was evident early in their 24-17 loss to the Eagles. The Green & White were adjusting on the fly with Decker and Chris Owusu out as both Kerley and rookie Devin Smith became lineup regulars. While Kerley is a good player and Smith has enticing potential, Decker had developed a good rapport with Fitzpatrick early. The sooner he gets back – the better. More on Decker below…


EA: Speaking of Decker, let’s go into the film room with Chad Pennington. You can have success against a loaded box. And believe me – safeties are finding where No. 15 is at every single play. Bilal Powell, who had a career-high seven receptions in Week 3, has 78 career catches. He also is a dependable blocker who has at times lined up wide in spread formations. Zac Stacy, who caught 28 passes his rookie season and had 2 TD receptions in the preseason, has flashed ability as a receiver as well. The Jets hope Chris Ivory is full-go on Sunday in England. He is the bell cow.


EA: No. Saturday is a walkthrough, but I would encourage folks to either attend the NFL Kickoff Rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday or watch us live on NYJets.com. We’ll get our live programming kicked off from practice on Friday – grab your cup of coffee as Voice of the Jets Bob Wischusen and I set the scene from the pitch.


EA: I have no idea! But it’s not lost on me what a wonderful opportunity we have to cover this game at Wembley Stadium. I think I am sitting next to Jamir on the plane, but if a veteran player up in business class wants to move back – I’m all ears. Once we arrive, I’d like to meet as many Jets fans as I can in England. Here is our programming schedule.



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READ: 6 Ways Jets Are Making London a 'Normal' Trip

READ: Jets' Live Programming Schedule in London

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