The phrase "patience is a virtue" is one that every eager soul reflects on when over-enthusiasm dominates.
WR David Clowney is heeding that wisdom more than ever after recording his first regular-season receiving stats in '09 despite the 31-27 loss to the Dolphins.
"I was patient, my time came, and now I have to just get better from here on out," Clowney said Wednesday. "The whole thing was when my number got called, I just had to make sure I produced."
His No. 87 was called four times in the Monday night affair, and "The Clown" caught all four passes for a game-high 72 receiving yards. The total included a 53-yard bomb on first down thrown perfectly over his shoulders by Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter.
"It was a V route, which is basically a corner, I go in and act like I'm going towards the safety and break to the corner," he said. "It was an excellent throw by Mark."
Four plays later, and after a 34-yard pass from Sanchez to Braylon Edwards — who also sees the benefits in patience after being traded from the Browns to the Jets — Thomas Jones punched it in the end zone to finish a five-play, 77-yard drive and put Green & White ahead momentarily, 20-17.
"I just want to go out there and make some plays," said Edwards. "I just want to go out there and continue to do what they were doing, which is winning."
The offense played well for most of the night in putting up 309 yards, 172 through the air. Even though the defense didn't play up to its usual stoutness, Clowney preaches the team attitude when it comes to victories and defeats.
"Our defense is doing a great job. It's a team effort no matter what happens," he said. "At the end of the day a win is a win, a loss is a loss. It's not the defense's fault, it's the offense's fault that we lost. We lost as a team. When we win it, we're going to win as a team. When we lose, we're going to lose as a team. Point-blank, period."
Head coach Rex Ryan likes the second-year receiver's mentality three weeks after deciding to deactivate him for the Titans game because of "practice habits."
"I think just like our team took a step back to take a giant leap forward. David Clowney took a step back and took a huge leap forward," Ryan said. "Sometimes what you might look at as a negative or criticism ends up being the best thing for that person."
"That's all I really wanted to do since day one," said Clowney, "to be out there on the field and contribute, help as much as I can."
Jerricho Cotchery was limited in the game Monday night with a hamstring injury, making just one catch for 4 yards, and Brad Smith caught one pass for 19 yards before sustaining a quad injury in the game. Neither practiced today, but just like defenders having to step in the past few weeks with the injuries to CBs Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland, Clowney likes his fellow pass-catchers' ability to fill those WR spots.
"With Brad and J-Co being down, of course me and Braylon had to get more reps. Wallace Wright, he stepped up, and Marcus Henry, he came in and got some snaps. Our receiving corps is going to be all right," he said. "We're all going to go out there, we're all going to make plays and when they get a chance they're going to have the same opportunity to go out there and make plays like everybody else."
Along with Clowney, Edwards sees improvement in the near future even after just one game with the Green & White.
"We can get a lot better. Everybody talks about how good we looked but there were a lot of things I wish we had back," said the newest Jet. "That's part of getting on the same page, spending more time together, and once we do that we can get a lot better."
"We haven't played our best football yet," said Clowney. "I think that's a great thing for the Jets and a terrible thing for the teams we have to play, knowing that we haven't played our best football yet and we still look as good as we do right now."