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The Coordinators' Corner


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:    


David Harris received the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award Wednesday because of his inspiring performance vs. the Texans. Harris was all over the field grabbing 11 tackles and one sack along with one pass deflection. The defensive coordinator talked about how increasing his speed in the offseason has helped his game.

"I think he took our advice in the spring when we first got here that he could go ahead and drop some pounds and maybe improve his movement skills a little bit," Pettine said.

He said Harris' performance is an example of how the Jets will play the entire season.

"He was very physical," the coordinator said. "We always want that to be a trademark of how we play, and he embodied that for that game."

Pettine addressed the question of if the Jets' multiple blitz schemes will leave them vulnerable vs. the Patriots.

"We want to come out of a game making sure that we've gotten hits on the quarterback but we're also not going to sacrifice," he said. "If we're playing against a team and it's just clear that the ball is coming out or they're getting a lot of runs on third down or quick screens or max protection, we're not going to chase it just for the sake of getting numbers."


Punter Steve Weatherford was signed a week before the season opener. He punted four times at Houston for identical gross and net averages of 41.0 yards — a decent performance by the veteran, but Westhoff needs to see more than that before he makes an accurate progress report saying, "It's one game. It's like one date."

What he was more impressed by was the work of the coverage team, which on those four punts forced three fair catches and saw the other one caught out of bounds.

"I believe the kid from Houston maybe isn't the best but I think he's maybe the strongest punt returner in the NFL," Westhoff said, "and we didn't give him a chance to take a step."

Regarding the Bills' Leodis McKelvin, who lost a crucial fumble in the Monday night loss to the Patriots, Westhoff assured the same won't happen with Leon Washington this week: "I'd be walking with Leon to midfield, saying, 'Don't run it out' "

He gave his reason for having both returners, Jim Leonhard and Washington, in the game together at times vs. the Texans.

"If they have good field position trying to punt us in the hole, Jim Leonhard will be back all the time," he said. "We want to have Leon out there when we have more field to operate on where we can utilize two guys."


The offensive coordinator was happy with the play of rookie QB Mark Sanchez last week. When asked if he's worried about this matchup against the Patriots, he said, "We're not going to change how we prepare Mark."

Schottenheimer talked about analyzing the way New England has played against former Jets QBs in getting Sanchez ready for the home opener.

"They tailor it to the plan," he said. "Going back, looking at the cut-ups just last night with Brett [Favre] last year, they played 2-Tampa and dropped eight guys on almost every third down in the end zone.

"A couple of years before that, with Chad [Pennington], they played with nobody in the middle of the field. They played way off on the outside."

Schottenheimer, who's coached against the Pats seven times in his three previous years with the Jets, has seen some changes in the way they play this year.

"The first thing that jumps out is that they are playing a lot of four-man front now," he said. "In the past they had it, but when you think New England, you think 3-4 defense."

The Jets are tied for third in the NFL in total offense after their performance at Houston. Schottenheimer has confidence in his unit heading into Week 2 at home.

"It's going to be a challenge for us," he said, "but I'll put our group up against anybody."

After Sanchez threw an interception to John Busing in the fourth quarter, he tried to get to Dominique Barber, who recovered and returned the Busing fumble, but was called on the play for a "low block" against DeMeco Ryans.

Schottenheimer liked his relentlessness on the play and also said Sanchez had learned another NFL lesson.

"Just another thing with a rookie quarterback — 'What do you mean, they might fine me for that?' " Coach Schotty recalled the conversation with his QB. "I said, 'Just wait until Thursday, see if you get a letter.' "

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