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Shane Vereen: ‘I was a little surprised’ to break free on 83-yard TD 11.23.12 at 2:24 am ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD — Shane Vereen – with a big assist from Wes Welker – broke free for a huge touchdown on Thursday night, the touchdown that sparked the 21-point binge in 52 seconds for the Patriots. And it began innocently enough. Tom Brady threw to him on a wheel route out of the backfield, spotting him open on the left sideline.

The key to the play was Wes Welker coming over and chipping linebacker Bart Scott just long enough to spring him down the sideline. Scott was shown on TV huffing and puffing, trying in vain to catch him.

“He had a wheel route and they carried Wes and [Brandon Lloyd] on the outside,” Brady explained. “They [Jets defense] just carried them up the field and there was a lot of space. Once I threw it to him, he’€™s so fast. He can outrun those guys. He caught it up the sideline and it was nice seeing the back of his jersey running all the way down the field. He opened it up and it was a great play.”

Vereen’s reaction?

“I was a little surprised,” he said. “I thought the cornerback was on me, but the receivers ran (the coverage) off and I was able to finish the play. As soon as I turned, the ball was on me.”

As for starting a 21-point outburst?

“I’€™ve never seen it before personally. But, that’€™s what happens when you play hard,” Vereen said.

Read More: Bart Scott, New England Patriots, New York Jets, nfl
Patriots Potential Playoff Opponents: New York Jets 12.30.11 at 8:43 pm ET
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With the Patriots securely in the postseason, it’€™s time to start sizing up their possible postseason opponents. This is part of a weeklong series of features on the rest of the AFC playoff teams. We’€™ve already profiled the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Today, it’€™s the New York Jets:

The skinny: Ah, yes. The Jets. Over the last three years, no team has talked more trash — and yielded fewer results comparatively — than the Jets. Currently, New York needs some help to get into the postseason. With an 8-7 record, they would need to beat the Dolphins this weekend and hope the Bengals, Titans and either the Broncos or Raiders lose to make the postseason. However, they’€™ve lost their last two and four of their last seven, so even if they do beat the rapidly surging Dolphins and get some help on Sunday, it’€™s not like they’€™re heading into the playoffs on a roll.

Offense: The offense has been wobbly over the second half of the season in large part because of the ineffective play of third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez (287-for-511 for 3,267 yards, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions). When Sanchez has looked to throw, it’€™s been Dustin Keller (58 catches, 770 yards, four touchdowns), Santonio Holmes (51 catches for 654 yards and eight touchdowns) and Plaxico Burress (41 catches, 555 yards and eight touchdowns). When it comes to running the ball, LaDainian Tomlinson (64 carries, 224 rushing yards, one touchdown) has been pretty much an afterthought this season, as the Jets have leaned almost exclusively on Shonn Greene (239 carries, 999 rushing yards, six TDs entering Sunday’€™s contest). Overall, the Jets are 21st in the league in passing (203.5 yards per game), 22nd in rushing (104.2 yards per game) and ninth in average points (24 per game). And the offensive line is in miserable shape — as the New York Daily News has pointed out, four players since Week 10 have won Defensive Player of the Week honors after facing the Jets.

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Read More: Bart Scott, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller
Michael Lombardi on D&C: Rex Ryan ‘hasn’t been really honest with himself’ about struggling Jets 10.21.11 at 9:27 am ET
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NFL Network columnist Michael Lombardi made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss news from around the NFL.

Lombardi said there should be concern in New York, where the 3-3 Jets have shown few signs of improvement.

“The Jet team to me is just not an overly talented team, especially on defense,” Lombardi said. “They’re front seven doesn’t have a dominating player that can control the game. And then they have to play great defense, because they don’t want their quarterback to ever affect them in the game. They want to minimize Mark Sanchez‘ effect in the game, so it has to complement their defense. And if their defense can’t stop the run, which they haven’t been able to do all season, and their defense can’t handle some passing games, which they’ll struggle with San Diego this week, I think that’s a concern.”

Asked if the Jets won’t make the playoffs, Lombardi said: “I suspect they really won’t. I think they’re a team that’s kind of built up with this false bravado that they’re the greatest team ever, and I think that Rex [Ryan] hasn’t been really honest with himself. I think when you look at their front seven and you analyze every player, Mike DeVito‘s the best player on their front seven. And last week they finally got him back on the field because New England ran him out of the nickel defense, and [the Jets] came up with a nickel front that puts DeVito back on the field. They’ve got to play that.

“Now, DeVito’s never been the best player on any team he’s played for, going back to high school. But he is on this Jet team right now, and that tells you where they are. Bart Scott‘s not the same player. Guaranteed contract for next season as well. Calvin Pace, not the same player. By the way, guaranteed contract for next season. This Nnamdi Asomugha recruiting process that they got caught up with really has affected the team, because they re-did some contracts that affected them for next year on players that might not be good enough this year.”
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Read More: Al Davis, Bart Scott, Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell
Tom Brady on Antonio Cromartie: ‘I don’t care what he says’ 10.05.11 at 3:45 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady wouldn’€™t take the bait on Wednesday.

Asked twice by writers about comments from Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, the Patriots quarterback responded with a terse, ‘€œ[I] don’€™t care what he says,’€ on both occasions before appearing to cut short his weekly press conference.

Cromartie said last season that he thought Brady was an ‘€œass—-’€ and sounded like he took issue with some of Brady’€™s perceived post-touchdown antics.

‘€œWe see that a lot. He does it a lot,’€ Cromartie told the New York Daily News last January. ‘€œThat’€™s the kind of guy he is. We really don’€™t give a damn, to tell you the truth.’€

Asked about his comments earlier this week, Cromartie didn’€™t back down.

‘€œWhat I said last year, I meant it,’€ Cromartie told Newsday. ‘€œI’€™m not going to take back anything. I’€™m definitely looking forward to this rivalry game. I still have the same feelings. Feelings don’€™t change. Whatever I said last year is not going to change.’€

On Wednesday morning — before appearing to prematurely leave the podium in the media workroom — Brady called Cromartie an ‘€œexcellent player’€ who is part of a talented New York secondary.

‘€œThey have two very good corners — well, they have a bunch of very good corners actually,’€ Brady said. ‘€œThe two that are out there on their regular defense are very good. They’€™re both fast, they’€™re both physical. They play well at the line of scrimmage. They’€™re very disruptive. They lead the league in pass defense, so that kind of tells you everything you want to know about them.’€

New York knocked the Patriots out of the postseason last year, taking a 28-21 win in a divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. But Brady said Wednesday that loss wouldn’€™t serve as motivation for this Sunday’€™s game.

‘€œThat was a long time ago,’€ Brady said. ‘€œSo, that game doesn’€™t have much bearing on this week. We’€™re a different team.’€

While Brady said the Patriots are a different team, he said when it comes to the Jets, it’€™s the same as it ever was.

‘€œ[We'€™re going to get] pretty much what we get from them every time we play them. They’€™re a tough team [and] they’€™re physical,’€ Brady said. ‘€œI think they lead the league in a bunch of defensive categories. They’€™re very challenging to play. They have been — it’€™s always the Jets — since I got here 12 years ago; they’€™re challenging.

‘€œThey’€™re good — they were good last year, they’€™re good this year, and they were good two years ago. I think as long as Rex [Ryan] is coaching that team they’€™re going to have good defense. They have a lot of good defensive players — David Harris and Bart [Scott]. [They have] a good front, corners can cover — safeties [Jim] Leonhard, [Eric] Smith, and Brodney [Pool] have given us problems. So it’€™s a good team.’€

Read More: antonio cromartie, Bart Scott, Brodney Pool, David Harris
Bart Scott: We’ve got better players than the Patriots ‘all across the field’ 01.17.11 at 12:32 am ET
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FOXBORO — Maybe now people will start respecting linebacker Bart Scott and the Jets. At least, he hopes so.

Scott lashed out at the media following his team’s 28-21 win over the Patriots, claiming the media was all about praising Tom Brady and the Patriots suddenly-hot defense.

Scott feels they overlooked one key thing – playoff experience and execution.

“We were just ready to play against a quarterback that couldn’t get touched and you guys talked about how great he was playing,” Scott said. “But what Rex pulled out for us was his last three playoff games, what his record was and what his rating was. He had a 66 quarterback rating for the last four or five playoff games, and you guys didn’t look deep enough into the notes, and that’s what we leaned on.

“We knew we had more playoff experience than that team. And we knew that when the pressure was on, our guys would perform at a high level and we’ve been there and done that. We just let you guys build them up, let them read things and now watch them go kick rocks.”

Scott had lectured the media earlier in the week about the difference between the regular season and the playoffs, and he hammered that point again Sunday night in the locker room.

“If you go down, look at our roster, look at their roster, we’ve got better players all across the field,” Scott said. “You guys talk about how great this defense is playing. Last time I checked, they’re ranked 25th in the league and we were third and we were the ones who get disrespected for not being able to put pressure on the quarterback. That why perception isn’t reality all the time. You perceive they’re playing so well and we’re playing so bad. Guess the cream rises to the top.

“We were given virtually no chance, but we knew that his [Brady] TD/INT ratio was high in the last four, five playoff games. Some of the guys that came in last year were part of an ass-kicking by the Baltimore Ravens. We knew that we could perform and not be over-hyped. We can handle the emotion.”

Brady was sacked a season-high five times and intercepted once in losing his third straight playoff game.

But Scott did praise Brady in one very distinct sense. Without Brady, Scott said, Bill Belichick wouldn’t be who he is now, which is three Super Bowl titles better than Rex Ryan. Still, Scott said he’d take his coach over anyone, including Belichick.

“Why not better? Belichick is one Mo Lewis hit from being fired,” Scott said. “[Brady] don’t come in we might be talking about him on the unemployment line.”

Read More: Bart Scott, New England Patriots, New York Jets, nfl
Antonio Cromartie: My feelings for Tom Brady ‘haven’t changed’ 01.16.11 at 11:49 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Antonio Cromartie stood at the podium in a plain white t-shirt. He was triumphant but reserved in his comments. There were no “I told you so’s” coming out of out his mouth after his Jets eliminated the Patriots, 28-21, before a stunned Gillette Stadium crowd. For once, he just let his actions speak on the field.

And did they ever. He shadowed Deion Branch for most of the game, making a key 4th down stop on 4th and 13 at the Jets 34 as Tom Brady looked for Branch on the left sideline. Branch was targeted 10 times but caught just five balls for 59 yards and nothing deep.

“Our whole thing was just going out and doing the things that we needed to do,” Cromartie said in a very calm, relaxed tone. “I think we had success this game and got Brady all frustrated. [We] got him moving outside the pocket. We felt like once he moved outside the pocket that he wasn’€™t as accurate as a passer. We just did the things that we needed to do, and we went out and scored points. We caused turnovers and things like that, and that’€™s what you have to do.”

What Cromartie and the Jets caused Sunday was chaos, sacking Brady five times, knocking into him several other times and picking him off for the first time since mid-October.

Brady completed 29-of-45 passes for 299 yards but was hardly comfortable all game. As a matter of fact, it was the collective effort of Cromartie and Darrelle Revis on Branch and Wes Welker that gave Brady no open receivers for most of the afternoon.

Before the last game, the Jets were hit by the loss of safety Jim Leonhard. Cromartie said that hurt them then but not on Sunday.

“We were flat,” Cromartie said. “That week there are really no excuses, but when you lose a guy like Jim Leonhard during an important weekend like that, it takes a toll on guys because the communication wasn’€™t there [and] we had to put guys in to fill his spot. And coming into this weekend, we had guys to the point that we could go out and communicate. We have five weeks with those guys, and we’€™re all playing on a very high level. We had a great game plan. Coach Rex [Ryan] and his staff put a great game plan together.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: antonio cromartie, Bart Scott, Ben Roethlisberger, New England Patriots
Scott: Brady was ‘fidgeting’ in pocket at 9:23 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jets linebacker Bart Scott met with the media following his team’s 28-21 win over the Patriots. Scott was asked when he knew that the Jets were in the head of Tom Brady on Sunday.

“When he started looking for the rush when there was no rush,” said Scott. “When he thought after a certain amount of time, he was fidgeting. I give Ben Roethlisberger a lot of credit, he’s man enough to stay in the pocket, look in the barrel of the gun and take the hit. Most quarterbacks don’t like getting hit. When they get hit, they turn into a totally different person.”

Scott had lectured the media earlier in the week about the difference between the regular season and the playoffs, and he hammered that point again Sunday night in the locker room.

“We were given virtually no chance, but we knew that his [Brady] TD/INT ratio was high in the last four, five playoff games,” said Scott. “Some of the guys that came in last year were part of an ass-kicking by the Baltimore Ravens. We knew that we could perform and not be over-hyped. We can handle the emotion.

“They aren’t a vertical offense. We didn’t fear any of them deep, we knew they couldn’t get deep. We knew that they are small guys. People talk about how that’s a disadvantage to us, how about being a big, physical defense being an advantage for us? Those guys started wearing down on defense and offense.”

Scott was asked if this win meant that Rex Ryan could now be looked at as an equal of Bill Belichick’s as a coach.

“Why not better? Belichick is one Mo Lewis hit from being fired,” Scott said. “[Brady] don’t come in we might be talking about him on the unemployment line.”

Read More: Bart Scott, Jets, Patriots, Tom Brady
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