Start of a Run?
Josh McCown will lead the Jets offense against perhaps their most difficult defensive opponent to date in Carolina. The Panthers are an experienced group full of intelligent ball players at all three levels including DE Julius Peppers, a teammate of McCown's in both Carolina and Chicago, who is leading the Panthers with 7.5 sacks. Additionally, Peppers and McCown are also the two lone active players from the 2002 Draft.
"You have to really stay on it this week and go get it this week," McCown said. "It will be a tough one going against Carolina, but when your mindset shifts to this mode that you have to play in down the stretch, when you're trying to make a run, what better way than to go against a top defense and a top team and get your mind, and your team, focused on going in the right direction."
Honoring Those Who Serve
Sunday's matchup against the Panthers marks the 18th annual Salute to Service game as the Jets will feature a variety of events to honor the men and women who serve. Earlier in the week, Jets players made their way to Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn to coach a flag football game between soldiers.
"It was just a tremendous honor and a privilege to be out with these guys," linebacker Demario Davis said. "These are the true heroes of our country. They lay their lives on the line for our country."
"I think ultimately understanding what they do and the sacrifices that they truly make is special," added quarterback Josh McCown.
Sunday's National Anthem will be performed by Voices of the West Point Band and 100 military members will line up with Jets players and coaches during the National Anthem. Prior to kickoff, the West Point Parachute Team, the Black Knights, will jump from a helicopter and land on the field at MetLife Stadium. And lastly, veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War will serve as the Jets honorary captains.
"It's great to see the support of a community as large as the National Football League with its fan base out here to support the military," Lieutenant Colonel Judd Floris said of the flag football game Tuesday and Sunday's festivities. "It's an amazing opportunity for my soldiers to enjoy the time with the Jets players and have a well-earned afternoon off."
Demario Davis, Josh McCown and Chad Hansen and Jets Personnel Pay a Visit to Fort Hamilton Leading Up to the Salute to Service Game
Despite battling toe, foot and shoulder ailments this season, DL Muhammad Wilkerson went into the bye on a tear. In Weeks 8-10, Wilkerson totaled 19 tackles (three for loss), two sacks, six quarterback hits, three pass defenses and an interception.
"In my 18 years of being around this league of coaching defensive line, I've never had anyone who's played at that level who's missed as much practice as he has," said defensive line coach Robert Nunn of the seven-year veteran. "Just the timing of everything from blow delivery, taking on and shedding blocks, it's just different if you're not able to do it during the week. He's done an exceptional job of that."