The Jets' coordinators — Mike Westhoff (special teams), Brian Schottenheimer (offense), and Mike Pettine (defense) — speak with reporters every week. Here are highlights of their news conferences Thursday afternoon:
Considering the two kickoff-return touchdowns in the Miami game, Westhoff alluded to activating speed guys Ahmad Carroll and Marquice Cole for this weekend's game against the Jaguars. He said it is "the absolute toughest thing" for him to do, when he and the coaching staff have to meet prior to the game and determine who will be active.
"You get a couple of injuries or then you get a guy who's a little bit nicked up and you go, 'Well, what if? What do we do? What if we lose him?' " he said. "And then all of a sudden you dress a guy who hasn't played that much for me and that can become a factor. We got a little bit stuck in that [vs. the Dolphins] and ended up putting some guys down that we had previously had up."
The Jaguars kick returner, rookie WR Mike Thomas, is no Ted Ginn. According to Westhoff, "I don't think he has great, great, great speed."
But that doesn't mean he's not dangerous.
"We face so many good guys every week," Westhoff said. "Everybody has a weapon, or could have a weapon. It's just a matter of making the play.
"He's a good athlete. I like his athleticism. He has good quickness, a good burst. He looks like he reads things well. He's a solid guy."
The Jaguars showed a different defensive front in their last game, a 24-21 victory over the Chiefs.
"They made the decision to go exclusively to the 3-4 for most of the season," he said. "And then just out of nowhere in the Kansas City game, they totally changed and played all four down. I'm sure we'll see both."
Schotty expects to get Brad Smith back this week. Smith has been out for the past three weeks with a quadriceps injury and even though he was limited today in practice he's expected to play on Sunday.
"Brad helps in a lot of ways, because he wears a lot of hats and can do a lot of things," he said. "The wrinkles that you can run with some of your gadgets and gimmicks, the Seminole package and all that stuff comes back with him being there."
With rookie QB Mark Sanchez at the helm, the Jets' passing game is ranked 27th in the NFL with 164.5 net yards a game. Schottenheimer would like to improve upon that number and start "taking the timely shots when they're there".
It should also help that for the second game they will have their top two receivers back in the lineup in Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards. We got a preview of what to expect with both on the field together in Week 8 when the two had a combined seven catches for 144 yards and a TD. The chances of continuing that success should be there against the Jaguars' 26th-ranked pass defense (242.3 yards allowed a game).
"Some of it just comes down to getting Mark familiar with all the new targets," Coach Schotty said. His advice to Sanchez this week was to "Think fast, talk fast" so that this week he can continue "making throws in tight coverage."
The D has been focused on trying to shut down Maurice Jones-Drew all week as they expect to see a lot of him when the two 4-4 teams meet. Pettine said that they "stressed all week" the same thing last season when he was Baltimore's linebackers coach and the Ravens played the Jags in the regular-season finale. Despite Jones-Drew being questionable with a knee injury, "he still managed to really get some runs on us."
One thing that makes MJD a little bit harder to bring down is the fact that he's 5'7" and stays low to the ground. The Jets' four starting LBs are all at least 6'2".
In preparation they've had RB-turned-WR Danny Woodhead wear the No. 32 scout-team jersey in practice to simulate Jones-Drew. The 5'9" Woodhead is around the same height and he's "a versatile enough athlete". Pettine's advice for the LBs: "You've got to bend" when trying to take him down.
Winning the turnover battle is a big part of coming out with a W. In the Jets' four wins they've had a plus-7 turnover ratio. In the four losses they've had a minus-7 ratio. That's not something they're going to force this week and leave themselves vulnerable on D, but Pettine feels that if everyone plays his role, that turnovers will increase.
"We don't have a guy try to do somebody else's job or roll the dice and come out of a coverage or come out of a rush lane just for the sake of making a play," he said. "We like to think that when all of our guys do their jobs that the ball will find us."