Jersey Four: Santonio Holmes can’t be stopped and Rex Ryan has but one regret
|12.02.10 at 6:42 pm ET|
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – With apologies to the great Chris Price (and anyone who hates the Artist Formerly Known as Nicole Polizzi) here are the four things you need to know about the Jets after Thursday’s practice:
1. Santonio Holmes isn’t worried about Devin McCourty. The Jets receiver was asked about the Patriots secondary, a group that has obviously has had its ups and downs in 2010 – opposing quarterbacks have completed nearly 68 percent of their passes against the Patriots this season.
“If I could really speak my mind I would,” said Holmes, just before he began really speaking his mind. “But off the strength of me being a professional I’ll just say that I don’t worry about those guys. We have to worry about what we do here; I don’t care who they line up on the other side of the ball. It’s our job to get the job done.”
OK. Holmes was then asked more specifically about Devin McCourty, and if he felt a rookie could possibly shut him down.
“Negative,” said Holmes, who did not play in Week 2 because “negative” was not the result of his drug test, which led to a four-game suspension. “That was proven in the Super Bowl two years ago when they had a rookie follow me around the whole game. I wouldn’t do it if I was them.”
Holmes was Super Bowl XLIII MVP, catching nine passes for 131 yards and the game-winning TD for the Steelers. It was indeed a rookie cornerback – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – who covered Holmes for most of the contest.
While Holmes wouldn’t kick any praise McCourty’s way, Braylon Edwards – who declined comment on his pal LeBron James returning to Cleveland – sees a corner who has made huge improvements in his first season.
“So far what I’ve seen on film is that he’s a lot better than he was in Week 2,” Edwards said. “There are some things that he did during Week 2 that were rookie mistakes, typical things for a rookie. But lately he’s been more patient, he’s been strong at the line of scrimmage and he’s shown more confidence. He has played a lot better, made the interceptions we saw the past few weeks. He’s played a lot better, I just see a better player. I better bring my A-game.”
2. The Patriots aren’t the only 9-2 team in the NFL with a less-than-ideal situation at kicker. Nick Folk has missed five of his last 10 field-goal attempts, and in the Jets Thanksgiving night win over the Bengals missed a 44-yard field attempt and banged the upright on what was ultimately a successful extra-point kick. The Jets brought in Kris Brown for a workout on Tuesday (Kris Brown: the guy you call when you realize Morten Anderson is 50 years old) but have elected to stick with Folk for Monday’s game.
How short, exactly, is that leash for Mr. Folk, Rex Ryan?
“Honestly, if Nick misses extra points or something close to that, then we are going to have to do something about it,” Ryan said, who called bringing Brown in on Tuesday “due diligence.”
Never a good sign when a kicker’s locker is packed with media, but Folk took it all in stride on Thursday, claiming that he “probably would have done something similar” if he had been in the Jets shoes when it came to the Brown workout.
Could mean nothing, but in a game that figures to be tight a kicker that is struggling and knows he’s on the thinnest of ice has to be something to at least keep an eye on.
3. Regrets? Well, Rex Ryan has a few (had to get Francis Albert in here once, I am in Jersey). Or maybe just one. Danny Woodhead was released by the Jets on September 14 as the team decided to give wide receiver David Clowney a second chance. Well, Clowney is now in Carolina (the Jets cut him in early October), Woodhead has been an absolute savior for the Pats and Ryan is left to state his case, of which he is now certain.
“I think when Kevin Faulk got hurt and he was put in that role, it’s not surprising,” said Ryan of Woodhead’s performance since joining the Pats on September 18. “He’s a talented kid, does a great job in those situations, he’s a good receiver out of the backfield and running into seven-man spacing and all that kind of stuff. The guy is tough. As we all know he’s a tough kid, covers kicks and all that stuff. Do I regret, you know, cutting him? Absolutely, right now I do.”
If any of the Jets are in fact surprised at the success of Woodhead (who didn’t play in the Week 2 game – he watched it in a hotel room) they didn’t let on. John “The Terminator” Conner of “Hard Knocks” fame called Woodhead “a great player who just didn’t fit for us,” and Kellen Clemens knew that “Woodhead was going to stick as an NFL player somewhere.”
Darrelle Revis even weighed in – without any prompting – on his former teammate.
“They put him right in the mix,” Revis said. “We knew what type of player Danny was here. He knows everyone in this locker room and we’re friends and all of that, but it’s god. I’m happy for him, really I am. It’s great that he’s a key part of their offense.”
4. Revis doesn’t feel that Wes Welker has lost a step. The All-Pro cornerback joked about his old buddy Randy Moss – “Where is he now?” – but was very serious when discussing Welker, who torched the Jets for 15 catches and 192 yards in the Patriots win at Gillette last season.
ACL or no ACL, knee brace or no knee brace (or is it a new knee brace?) and Moss or no Moss, Revis believes that Welker is still the standard at what he does.
“The guy makes up his own routes, and I mean that in a good way,” said Revis of Welker, who has 23 catches in his last three games. “To me, he took the slot receiver position to another level, to another level of football. His footwork is exceptional, just great, his ability to read coverage. He’s one of the best – actually the best to me in the league.”