The Jets' three coordinators — Mike Pettine (defense), Brian Schottenheimer (offense), and Mike Westhoff (special teams) — will speak briefly with reporters every week. Here are highlights of their news conferences Thursday afternoon:
Facing the No. 1 offense in the NFL in yards gained (438.0) and points scored (40.0) per game might scare some, but not the coordinator of the Jets' third-ranked defense.
"These are the kind of days that defenses — if you consider yourself to be a good defense — that you live for," said Pettine. "You want to be challenged like this."
But interestingly, even though the Jets are playing the Saints on Sunday, through watching video of the upcoming opponents week after week, Pettine is getting to know the Bills' defense a lot, indirectly. Because of the way the NFL schedule has fallen, the Jets are facing many of the same opponents the week after their division rivals.
In Week 2, the Jets played New England after the Patriots beat the Bills in the Monday night opener. Last week the Bills played at home against the Saints. Both games were Buffalo losses. That's given Pettine and his defensive staff a chance to fix some errors the Bills made.
"It was a four-man rush. They didn't come out and reinvent the wheel. Buffalo did pretty much what they've done," he said. "It's one of those things where it was a bend but don't break."
The Bills held the Saints' No. 1 offense to only 10 points through 50 minutes, holding on as long as they could. Then the Saints, who ran for 133 second-half yards, scored 17 points in the last 10 minutes on their final three possessions.
"New Orleans was patient. I think that's the sign of a good offense. They didn't panic when things weren't there immediately for them," Pettine said. "I think they found a weakness in the defense and attacked it in the fourth quarter and you saw the result."
Westhoff was asked what kind of challenges New Orleans poses on special teams. Without even pausing to think about it, he said, "Reggie Bush."
"He's off to a slow start but he's just an incredible football player," he said. "Last year he had three touchdowns [on punt returns]. He should have had four.
"But I feel good about our coverage team and if we can hit the right punt and squeeze him, then we can stop a guy like that. That's what you have to do because he's a gamebreaker."
Jason Trusnik was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance against the Titans. In that game forced and recovered a fumble on the Tennessee 19 and recorded two tackles.
"Very explosive, extremely powerful guy," said Westhoff. "He hits hard, he hits real hard, it hurts. He's not the fastest guy, he's not Steve Tasker-fast, but special teams guys have roles and he's got the role of a big guy on teams. To me he's the quintessential big guy because he has all those ingredients."
The Jets are tied for 10th in the NFL in rushing yards per game and 22nd in yards per carry and would like to improve those rankings. Schottenheimer gave his explanation for why they haven't had more success with the run so far.
"Right now, there are just some individual breakdowns," he said. "We're trying to work to clean up some combination blocks, we're trying to clean up some checks. Quite honestly, there are just some things with the footwork and the timing of plays between the backs and Mark [Sanchez]."
What also has to be considered are the defenses the Jets have gone up against and opponents forcing the rookie QB to try to beat them.
"I'm not trying to build an excuse here — people are loading up to stop the run," Coach Schotty said. "You go back to Houston, you go back to Tennessee. Tennessee is excellent against the run. We averaged 2.7 [yards per carry], everyone else is averaging 1.9.
"Two-point-seven is not what we want, that's not our goal, obviously. We're not pleased with where it's at. But we are working very hard to get it cleaned up."
The Jets like to run the type of offense that can do what it wants to even when the opponent schemes against it. Schotty will continue that, while polishing the intricacies.
"We believe that whether it is goal line or a first- or second-down pass, there are things that we can call that no matter what the opponent does, we should have success," he said.
"The core fundamentals, the footwork and targets and phasing, the basics of going back and working on execution — that's the thing we are trying to do this week, trying to focus on the little things."