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:
In case you didn't notice, Calvin Pace made his return to the field last week.
"I thought his effort was good, his intensity was good. I just thought there were a couple of things technique-wise he was rusty on, but that's natural for not having played for four weeks," said Pettine. "He's in tremendous shape, so he had no issues and he played all but five or six snaps in the game."
Even with the return of No. 97 vs. Miami, the Jets were unable to record any sacks. Their total through five games is only four, which is tied for last in the league with Jacksonville. But the coordinator of the No. 8-ranked pass defense in the NFL in yards allowed (194.4) is not worried about that sack total because of the pressure they put opposing QBs.
"The number is not there, but I've never looked at sacks as being a measure of a quality defense," he said. "I think it's as a group we apply pressure that way. If the sacks come, they come. People say they come in bunches. That'd be great. To me, as they come in the context of us winning the football game, that's fine. I can go the rest of the year with four sacks and pile up the wins."
The Jets had several missed tackles against the Dolphins but as head coach Rex Ryan emphasized earlier in the week, "We've moved on," putting the focus on their Week 6 matchup. In looking forward to playing better defensive football from here on out, Pettine said the theme in the past few days was to "get back to the basics." Specifically the Jets have to "defeat blocks" and, most important, they need to "tackle."
In one game it was proven that Braylon Edwards can be a great playmaker for the Jets. He made several plays in his Green & White debut but one play was spectacular. Or as Mark Sanchez said earlier this week, "I've never seen a catch like that in my life."
"Obviously the catch down on the boundary on the third-and-21 is not what you game-planned for," said Schottenheimer. "It was just a great throw and a great catch. That shows you the type of player he is."
A mildly surprising stat was Dustin Keller's zero in the receptions column against the Dolphins. Coach Schotty said they are calling plays for the tight end but Miami was double-teaming him, especially on third-and-long.
"Sometimes the progression doesn't play out," he said. "He is a big part of what we're trying to do. He's a guy that we can move around and put in a lot of different spots. He hasn't had the productivity in the passing game, but I think he's become a better player. I think that's evident when you turn on the film in the running game."
With Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith battling injuries, keep your eyes out for special teams ace Wallace Wright in the passing game this week.
"We have a lot of good players on this offense. Usually I can't get the ball to them all anyway," Schottenheimer said. "I think a guy like Wallace, he's been here for a long time, and if he has to answer the call, there is no question in my mind that he will."
The Jets and Bills have several intriguing matchups in this weekend's game, including special teams. The two units have two of the longest-tenured ST coordinators with their current teams in the NFL— Westhoff is in his ninth season with the Jets, Bobby April is in his sixth season with the Bills.
Buffalo's teams have consistently ranked as one of the best in the league under April since 2004 in the annual rankings by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. But this season they've committed turnovers on returns and are in the middle of the pack in kickoff and punt returns.
They have scored a TD on a fake field goal, and that's something that Westhoff and his squad are preparing for.
"They've obviously struggled a little bit and now they're trying," he said. "They'll try a bunch of things. They'll run fakes, they'll onside, they'll pop. They're just not throwing fastballs down the plate. I wish they were. I think it will be a good contest and matchup."
And despite fumbling the punt that led to the game-winning FG by the Browns last week in Buffalo, Roscoe Parrish has the highest punt return average in NFL history (13.96).
"Parrish has had a couple of mistakes and we saw the one that he made last week, but I think he's an outstanding football player," said Westhoff. "He can get it and go. He's dangerous as can be. I have a tremendous respect for him."