First a few updates:
1. Kerry Rhodes got into a shouting match with secondary coach Dennis Thurman today because of his frustration about rotating with Eric Smith. Rhodes had an attitude with reporters after practice and made it sound like he isn’t thrilled with Rex Ryan or the prospect of playing in New York again next year. My opinion? See you later Kerry, we’ll be fine without you. The guy is lucky enough to be making a start this weekend because he certainly didn’t earn his position back last week. It is time for him to shut up and perform.2. Larry Izzo has been placed on injured reserve with a neck injury. Rex Ryan said he expected Donald Strickland to be able to play this weekened but isn’t as confident in Dwight Lowery suiting up.
3. Kellen Clemens sounded confident talking to the media yesterday. This is a big game for Clemens career. He is auditioning for a job next season with another team because I expect the Jets to move Erik Ainge into the backup role next year. Another thing on the quarterbacks, I think it is insane to think Rex Ryan is punishing Mark Sanchez for not sliding. Ryan is simply being cautious with his franchise quarterback against a 1-11 team.
4. Anybody else enjoying all the drama going on in New England the past couple of days?
Jets vs. Bucs: Game BreakdownOffense: Run, Run, Run. I would expect to see plenty of the Jets heavy set, where they bring in an extra lineman as a tight end and only split out one receiver. Tampa Bay knows the Jets are going to be running and I don’t think the Jets are going to care. You can bank on Thomas Jones getting 22-25 carries and Shonn Greene getting 10-15 carries. Also, expect to see the Jets continue with the misdirection plays to Tony Richardson or Brad Smith, which they used against Buffalo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Wildcat snaps with Smith either. Eventually, the Jets are going to have to take a shot down the field. Hopefully, Kellen Clemens can take advantage of some single coverage and an overstacked box by hitting Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, or Jerricho Cotchery for a big play. Remember that Clemens has no chemistry with Edwards, so he may look to Cotchery or Keller more.
Defense: Expect the Jets to come after Josh Freeman early and often. I don’t know if the Jets will lock Darrelle Revis on to Antonio Bryant, considering he is their top big play threat. Kellen Winslow could also be a match-up problem. Eric Smith and Kerry Rhodes will likely both take turns covering him. The reality is that the Jets defense should keep up their dominant streak against a Tampa offense that lacks big play capability and is susceptible to turnovers. This should be a healthy stat-padding game, but then again this is the Jets we are talking about. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Freeman go off and Cadillac Williams run for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Special Teams: Bucs return man Clifton Smith is out for the season. Brad Smith should continue as the Jets kick returner. He has been okay. I still would like to see Jerricho Cotchery off punt returns but it looks like he will keep the job for now.
In Honor of AI Returning to Philly…Practice?