Vilma with swagger after a great play
Head coach Eric Mangini's weekly mantra may have to be slightly tailored already in this, the second week of the season.
"The same approach needs to be taken week in and week out," the Jets skipper explained at this afternoon's news conference. Such a statement is preached every Monday afternoon regardless of Sunday's outcome.
However, because Week 2's opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, are scheduled for a Monday Night Football tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets players, coaching staff and scouting department have some quick and efficient adjustments to make.
Under normal circumstances, players and coaches receive DVDs of their upcoming opponents to take home every Monday afternoon — a homework assignment of sorts. Without DVDs today, the Jets will be able to do some live, in-game scouting on their own or perhaps with a few teammates.
"We get to watch them tonight, so at least we're going to pick up on some of the things and go from there," said defensive captain Jonathan Vilma. "I'm going to watch it more as a fan than as a player getting ready to play them. Ed Reed and Ray [Lewis] I want to do well. Willis [McGahee], even though he always kills us, I want him to do well, of course. I'll be watching more as a fan."
Rookie cornerback Darrelle Revis has a lot of confidence in his team's ability to bounce back and will also be watching.
"There's a lot of leadership on this team," said Revis, who started in his first career professional game Sunday. "I know we're going to get ready and be prepared for next week. We know the Patriots game is over with — that was yesterday. We're going to be watching tonight and looking to see what we can get out of it. We'll utilize whatever we can for the upcoming game."
Last season the Jets found success in a similar situation. In Week 13 at Lambeau Field, the Green & White trounced the host Packers, 38-10, just six days after Green Bay lost on a Monday night in Seattle.
Vilma, now in his fourth year in the NFL, has been known as an astute student of game video and that won't change tonight when he watches his next opponents in prime time. The former Miami Hurricane will be keeping a sharp eye on a pair of former 'Canes on the Ravens side of the field, one of whom is Lewis, who served as an icon for Vilma in his younger years.
"I'm always flattered to hear comparisons between us," said Vilma, who accounted for six tackles in Sunday's loss to the Patriots. "It's different from my point of view. I was 10 and 12 years old watching him play saying to myself 'I want to be like him' when he was at Miami. It's weird and funny when you hear people say that because you never envisioned yourself being in that mode or that role."
Another number on the screen Vilma will be looking for is 23, owned by McGahee, the newly acquired running back from the Buffalo Bills. Prior to each Bills-Jets matchup the past few years, the exchange of trash talk through the media between the two former Hurricane teammates was a topic of discussion. But not this year.
"I'm not talking to him," Vilma said, "until we beat him."