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DBs Get a Handful Sunday in WRs Boldin, Fitzgerald


During Thursday's media session inside the Jets' locker room, Dwight Lowery was asked what he's seen from Cardinals receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, and he responded with a question:

"What is there not to see?"

Lowery, a rookie cornerback who's played just three NFL games, says the tape does not lie. The gifted 'Zona pair are not only strong and physical but they compete on another level.

"You know these guys are going to go hard every single play," he said. "It's not only a good challenge for the game but it's a challenge for yourself, so you can try to measure where you're really at, where your preparation is, and what you need to do to improve to go against guys of this caliber."

Saying all this with a bright-eyed smile, Lowery is definitely excited for Sunday's contest. The 6'1", 217-pound Boldin, in his sixth NFL season, last December became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 400 receptions. He has 17 catches through three games this season, averaging 14.5 yards per grab, and has already been on the receiving end of four touchdowns.

"I've never been around a guy at the position who is so good with the ball in his hands," Cards quarterback Kurt Warner said of Boldin. "He's good at running you over and punishing you, and he's quick enough and elusive enough to make you miss. He scares DBs when he gets the ball in his hands because he's that special."

Boldin, who wouldn't mind getting a new contract, plays as if someone stole from him. A second-round pick out of Florida State in the 2003 NFL Draft, he embraces football's violent nature and wants to make defenders feel pain.

"I feel he's the type of guy," Lowery said, "that if you don't show him that you're going to compete with him and be physical with him, he's just going to embarrass you."

Fitzgerald also has the ability to posterize. At 6'3" and 220 pounds, he's got good size, excellent leaping ability and quality hands.

"His body control is amazing to put balls in places where only he can get them," Warner said. "To watch him maneuver his body and make those kinds of catches is phenomenal. I've never been around a guy in person who I've seen do that with his body and have that kind of ball skills when the ball's in the air as he does."

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Fitzgerald led the NFL in both receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,409) last season. He's caught 16 balls in '08 for 293 yards — putting him four shy of 350 for his career — and scored twice.

"They'll throw it to him even though he's covered because they have such faith in his ability to go get the ball and that he's going to win the jumpball battle between himself and the DB, so that's another challenge as well," Lowery said.

In Darrelle Revis, the Green & White have one of the most talented young corners in football. Revis (5'11", 204) helped hold Randy Moss to just two catches in Week 2 and he's a great cover guy. You figure the Jets will let him lock up one of the Cards' receivers and then let Lowery and safety help deal with the other.

"My mindset week in and week out is to cover the best receiver and try to stop them for catching balls," Revis said. "They're a high-powered offense and we know the ball's going to go to them, so we have to try to play our defense and schemes and try to shut those guys down."

Perhaps Revis goes mano a mano with Fitzgerald while Lowery sees his fair share of Boldin? We won't know until Sunday, but the young rook is very impressed with Boldin.

"You see him breaking three, four tackles on plays and that don't come from just being strong," he said. "It comes from being strong, being competitive and having desire that 'You're not going to tackle me — you're not going to bring me down.' That's the kind of attitude he plays with."

Both Boldin and Fitzgerald will apply pressure and the Jets' entire defensive backfield is going to need a strong game Sunday.

"Whether you have them covered or not, they both can make the play," said S Kerry Rhodes. "They can catch the ball short and go a long way as well. It's a unique situation to have two guys who can do that, but they're both great."

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