As Sunday night fast approaches, the Jets are ready to roll out their new-look offense and showcase their veteran additions. With news that Cowboys CB Terence Newman is unlikely to play with a groin injury and fellow CB Mike Jenkins is dealing with neck and knee issues, the passing game may start the season off with fireworks.
The notion excites WR Santonio Holmes, the vocal leader of the receiving corps.
"It's going to hurt those guys a lot," Holmes said after today's practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "I hope those guys are ready because it's going to be a fast-paced game for us, and we're going to be clicking on all cylinders."
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer acknowledged the situation, but if he was as excited as Holmes, he didn't show it.
"We're aware of what's been reported, but we have our plan," said Schottenheimer. "We have a pretty good idea of what we want to do, and then we'll adjust from there."
Of course, a pass-heavy offensive attack would mean plenty of opportunities for WR Plaxico Burress to make plays. The big wideout hasn't played since Nov. 23, 2008 as a member of the Giants, and he's beginning to feel the excitement.
"I'm going to be as fired up as I've been in a long time," said Burress. "It's been a long time coming for me and my family."
While emotions will be a major factor for Burress, he has focused his efforts this week on further mastering the playbook. He admits it's a process that will take time but is confident he can make an impression this week.
"I'm getting to the point right now where I'm learning what I have to, which is playing fast," said Burress. "That's definitely where you want to be at this time coming into the season."
Both Holmes and Schottenheimer also stressed the need for Burress to continue in the learning process. To ease the transition, Coach Schotty has inserted Burress into a position with which he is familiar.
"The thing with Plax, the X position is something he feels comfortable with, but we're not opposed to moving him to another position," said Schottenheimer. "We know he can handle it. It's nice to have him sitting on the backside of things, and if he doesn't, it's usually something we can take advantage of."
Burress said that he is comfortable playing different receiver positions besides the X or split end spot, but there is still work to be done to play at the speed he wants.
"Maybe there's a time in the next few weeks where we can call a play and I can think fast without thinking," said Burress. "There's a lot of verbiage in this offense. I'm just getting comfortable right now with my position."
As Burress continues to familiarize himself with the playbook, Schottenheimer believes he will still be used in a major role. After all, Plax has been here before.
"I wouldn't say there are a lot of limitations," said Schottenheimer. "We are dealing with veteran players. It's not like we've got a bunch of guys who are new players."
Schottenheimer has new tools to work with in creating a productive offensive machine. With the season opening Sunday, he refuses to succumb to the same problems he faced in last year's opener against the Ravens.
"We didn't play very well, we didn't coach very well," he said. "But I don't worry about that coming into this game. It's a different game with different people."
That same confidence was shared by Holmes, who missed last season's opener while serving a suspension.
"As far as this first game goes, we pretty much know what to expect," he said. "In terms of what we've got going on, we just have to be ready to fire at these guys, no matter what coverage they throw at us."