Not feeling nostalgic about his return to Buffalo, Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is operating better than ever with Ryan Fitzpatrick. The latter passed for more than 10,000 yards and 71 TDs under the former with the Bills between 2010-'12, but Fitz is playing the best football of his career this season while completing 60.8% of his passes and having established career-highs with 3,724 pass yards and 29 TD.
"I don't know what it is. It's just one of those deals that we can talk to each other," Gailey told reporters Thursday. "He's open-minded, I hope I'm open-minded. I think that there's a trust factor there between the two of us that allows us to get along, maybe better than some other coordinator/quarterback relationships that exist. I don't know that. I don't have anything to compare that to, but you hear things. I think that we're fortunate that we both have a level of trust in each other."
Gailey, who described it as "sickening" to review film of the Bills' 22-17 Week 9 win over the Jets, gave an honest assessment of his feelings heading into any game.
"It's a constant battle in your heart and your brain and your gut of extreme confidence and scared to death. It is because you want to make sure everything is right," he said. "But I'm that way every week, don't get me wrong. It's not just this game, every week you're that way. You have extreme confidence in and you're over here in the other corner wanting to make sure everything goes right. Have you got all your bases covered? You're struggling with that balance every week, but we've been doing this game for the last five weeks in a row, so it's the next one."
The next one will mark the end of Leonard Williams' first NFL regular season. Through 15 games, Williams has made 14 starts and collected 69 tackles with 3.0 sacks.
"We would definitely say the arrow is up for Leonard," said defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers. "But the way he stepped in, we're very pleased with him. We think he has a tremendous ceiling left to go. But he's done everything we have asked him to do, and the game is not too big for him and we think he's doing a pretty good job."
Williams, who amassed six tackles in the teams' first meeting, and the Jets' front will be challenged Sunday by dual-threat QB Tyrod Taylor. Taylor, who was sacked four times by the Green & White at MetLife Stadium and held to just 12 yards on six carries, has totaled 3,370 yards (517 on the ground) & 23 TD in 2015.
"It just goes to show you the way this league is," said the first-year defensive coordinator. "Guys get their opportunities and kind of make the most of it. When you kind of go through his numbers and the stuff he's doing, you really have to take your hat off to him."
Quietly, the Jets' special teams have strung together their most solid three-game run of 2015.
"I think we're at the very best we've been right now," said Bobby April. "How that is compared to everybody in the league? I don't know, but I think the players have done a good job of incrementally improving."