The Jets' three coordinators — Mike Pettine (defense), Mike Westhoff (special teams), and Brian Schottenheimer (offense) — will speak briefly with reporters every week. Here are some highlights of their news conferences Thursday afternoon. (Westhoff didn't speak with reporters this week.)
One of the Jets most dangerous offensive weapons — RB Chris Johnson — will be on everyone's radar this week because of his ability to make the big play. He's also quite a versatile back, one of only six in the NFL who leads his team in both rushing yards — 254 on 31 carries — and receptions — 10 for 98 yards.
Pettine is conscious of Johnson's skill set.
"I think people have made the mistake of assuming that he's a track guy that plays football, he's only a guy that can be on the perimeter," he said. "He runs just as hard inside as he does outside.
"So he's a special challenge for us. This is a guy where you've got to make sure you take great angles and if you think you're taking a good enough angle, maybe adjust it a little bit steeper. He has that kind of speed. He's a home run hitter."
CBs Lito Sheppard and CB Donald Strickland did not participate in practice Wednesday or Thursday. Even with their status unknown for Sunday, Pettine is happy with the Jets' depth at DB.
"We're hopeful that those guys can go, but if they can't we have a plan in place between Drew Coleman and guys like [Dwight] Lowery and Ahmad Carroll," he said. "That's the one strength I felt that I was very pleased with coming into the season was our depth in the secondary."
Lowery had several deflections against New England, including the fourth-and-10 breakup of a pass intended for Joey Galloway to end the Patriots' hopes for a comeback.
"We felt we had a guy that could very easily start for a lot of teams in this league," Pettine said of Lowery. "I think what happened this past weekend was a credit to his professionalism and his preparation. He had a specific role in the game and didn't get a lot of reps outside on the edge."
Mark Sanchez went on the injury report today with knee tendinitis. Schottenheimer was asked by reporters if he'll play Sunday.
"I never pay attention to injury reports," said Coach Schotty. "I guess I probably should now. Mark will play."
On the Jets' first offensive play against the Patriots, Sanchez fumbled the ball on Mike Wright's sack. The Jets lost 17 yards on the play, got a false start on third down, and had to punt from their 6. Not a great start against the Patriots.
Schottenheimer has addressed that in practice and said No. 6 will take better care of the ball to start the game vs. the Titans.
"That is something that Mark can work on, trying to keep two hands on the ball in the pocket," he said. "It came out. I thought Alan [Faneca] did a great job of getting on the ball. It came out and it was a negative play that set us back. We were able to get back on the ball. It could have been really bad."
He also said that the rookie QB is "in the high 80s to 90 percent" in knowing the playbook and that he needs to work on his footwork a bit and "slow his progression down some".
After the Jets rushed for 117 yards vs. the Pats, the OC said there is still room for improvement and to be patient, saying that they will get better as the season wears on.
"I've always felt that the running game doesn't get established until the fourth or fifth game of the season," he said. "It just takes time. I'm not discouraged with where we are. We started slow against Houston but we kept the 'ground and pound' mentality and had some big runs late in the game."
Keep in mind that the Titans are second-best against the run in the NFL. But Schottenheimer will take whatever their defense gives him.
"They're a really good defense," he said. "They're good against the run, they're good against the pass.
"Early in the [Patriots] game they tried to really load the box. I'm not holding Mark back. I know Mark is a really good player. He's a big catalyst of the offense in the passing game."
In the fourth quarter of Sanchez was sacked for a loss of 9 yards while trying to run the clock out. Schottenheimer said he did the right thing by going to the turf to end that play.
"He likes to say he stiff-armed Adalius Thomas," Schotty said with a laugh, "but that really wasn't part of the design. The design was to roll out and if we could get a quick completion, try to get it of course.
"If it wasn't there, they did a good job of defending it, he was to make sure he maintained possession of the ball. He went down to keep the clock running."