Antonio Cromartie is comfortable playing the lead role. The 28-year-old DB, who was acquired by the Jets from the Chargers in 2010, has set the tone for the Jets corners with Darrelle Revis out for the season.
"Leadership-wise," he told me on "Jets Talk LIVE" after I asked him how he has changed since making his way to the East Coast. "Making sure guys are doing what they're supposed to do, making sure they're doing their job, making sure they're studying the film and making sure we're getting the right looks from our show team in practice.
"If a guy doesn't do something right on the practice field from what we saw on film, then I'm trying to make sure we get it the right way. Royce Pollard is playing Wes Welker this week, so I just try to make sure he gives Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant the right looks of how Welker is supposed to look."
While Cro is in his comfort zone, WR Jason Hill is in the middle of a whirlwind. Hill, who signed with the Jets on Oct. 3 and was on the receiving end of a 5-yard scoring strike from Mark Sanchez in Week 6, is playing catch-up with the Jets QB.
"Mark is very good. He's a hard worker. I don't know if the fans see that," said J. Hill on his JTL appearance. "He puts in a lot of time — he's here early and he's here late. When he's here late, that's when I get a chance to work with him. I enjoy the way he works and I think vice versa. He calls me the 'highlighter guy' — I highlight all my notes, so I think that shows him I'm on it and I'm trying."
You can click the video players to watch both interviews.
After asking Jets Nation for some of their thoughts on Sunday's matchup, we received a number of quality responses. Here are a few excerpts…
The Jets have to match LaRon Landry on Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Cromartie on Aaron Hernandez and Kyle Wilson on Wes Welker. They should have David Harris just spy on the RB and hold them to 3-4 yards a gain on the ground. Despite the injuries everywhere on the Jets, it should be a good game. Jets Win, 21-20.
Brian J.Wappinger Falls, NY
The offense can't turn the ball over and the Jets have to limit the Pats' possessions. Defensively, the Jets need 3rd down stops.
Patriots WR Wes Welker, after not being involved at the beginning of the season, again is tearing up the league. The quick and speedy CB Isaiah Trufant might be a better match to cover Welker who has the same attributes. That would leave #1 CB Antonio Cromartie, who kept WR Reggie Wayne under wraps for most of the Colts game, to cover TE Rob Gronkowski.
If the Jets can stop the run, this will make the Patriots one-dimensional, allowing the Jets DL pass rush to take advantage of the Patriots OL weaknesses. It is of further importance as the games the Patriots lost are those they rushed in less than 50% of their offensive snaps.
The Jets OL will have to contend with rookie DE Chandler Jones who seems to set up camp in the opponent's backfield. Double teaming Chandler may not be an option as C Nick Mangold is a little nicked up and may need help against NT Vince Wilfork. Double-teaming both may leave RT Howard on a island.
If KR McKnight can't go, CB/WR/KR Antonio Cromartie might get a chance to play in all phases in this game.
The Patriots seem to be their most vulnerable as a team in recent years. The secondary is young and inexperienced, the OL is a mess, they seem dependent on the run, and have resorted to up-tempo trickery to keep defenses from shredding them to bits.
With the AFC East all tied up a 3-3, a win in Foxboro could go a long way in determining who will win the division. This is the true test to see if these Jets are playoff caliber — stop Brady and Belichick in NE.
Jets win, 28-24.