Preview: Jets at Patriots

The Mets might be the story of the town, but they’ll take a back seat on Sunday when the New York Jets (4-1) travel to New England to face the Patriots (5-0). The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. and will be broadcasted on CBS.

The coaching staff and players won’t say it, but this is a statement game if I’ve ever seen one. The Jets are 4-1, but I’m not sure how many are believers in a team with a rookie head coach, journeyman quarterback and streaky wide receiver. Even with the great start, I think it’s safe to say New York is still flying under the radar.

That could change this week. There’s nothing quite like Patriots week. Let’s take a look at the matchup:

Getting to know the Patriots

The defending super bowl champions are cruising right along in 2015. You might not be able to tell judging by some of the final scores, but the Pats have hardly been tested this season. Last week in Indianapolis was maybe the best anyone played against them all year. They did some things that the Jets will hopefully learn and benefit from.

Of course, it all starts and ends with the head coach and quarterback. Bill Belichick usually has his team prepared for everything at any given time. Tom Brady rarely makes a mistake, which again has been the case this year. He’s completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards, 14 touchdowns and one interception.

It’s not like the Pats are loaded with offensive talent. Julian Edelman is one of the game’s best wide receivers, Rob Gronkowski is the best tight end, but everyone else kind of blends right in.

Running back LeGarrette Blount was suspended week one and a non-factor week two, but he’s been a steadying force in the run game for the Pats. Blount and fourth year back Dion Lewis average 5.1 and 5.0 yards per carry, respectively.

The Patriots defense, even with the offseason loss of Darrelle Revis, is playing good ball. That unit has to be considered one of the most athletic defenses in the NFL, especially in a loaded front seven that includes Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich on the edges and a linebacker core of Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower.

The Patriots rank ninth in the NFL in total defense, but can be pushed around in the run game. New England gives up 114 yards per game on the ground.

Flip the script?

The Jets have been able to rely on their top-ranked defense for most of the year. The Jets have given up just 74 points all year, and 14 of those came at the hands of the special teams, who have given up a punt return and had a punt blocked for touchdowns.

Their hands will be full with Brady and company. This could be one of those games where the offense really needs to control and move the ball early while the defense settles in.

Of course, the Patriots are going to go on long, methodical scoring drives. it’s just what they do. The Jets have to limit those drives to three points instead of six. That’s easier said than done, as the Patriots are second overall in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns at a 73.9 percent clip.

Bring the noise?

It’s no secret that the Jets like to blitz. It’s just in the DNA of head coach Todd Bowles. However, Brady’s completion percentage of 69.2 percent against the blitz is tough to ignore.

The Jets defensive line had a very underwhelming performance against the banged up Redskins. They controlled the run game, but many expected quarterback Kirk Cousins to be flat on his back most of the game. That wasn’t the case, with just sporadic pressure reaching Cousins.

It goes without saying that the Jets’ defensive line needs to have one of their best performances of the year. I’d expect the Jets to blitz a little less and hope that their line of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams and whoever else is out there can knock around Brady.

Top target returns

Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell sounds like he’ll be playing for the first time this year. LaFell is one of the patriots top targets. His return means there’s just another guy the Jets will have to keep an eye on.

Last year, he caught 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns. At the very least, LaFell out there means it’s less time for the likes of a Revis to cover Edelman.

One other thing to note about the Patriots passing game: New England looked out of sync last week with the Colts throwing double coverage on Gronkowski. I’d look for the Jets to do the same. Hopefully David Harris and Demario Davis are up to the task.

Rolling right along

For as much time as I’ve spent talking about the matchup problems the Patriots offense brings, things won’t be easy on the other side. The Jets have the seventh best scoring offense in the NFL, and do it with a balanced attack.

A lot of credit has to go to the Jets offensive line, which has helped get Chris Ivory do his thing at the second level and is keeping Ryan Fitzpatrick upright. Fitzpatrick has only been sacked twice this season.

There’s also the beast that is wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall is looking to get his fifth straight 100 yard receiving game, and his size is going to be a problem for a smaller Patriots secondary. I’d expect to see the Pats spend a lot of time trying to take Marshall out of the game, stack the box to take away the quick hits and dare Fitzpatrick to beat them even a little down the field.

Health

Cornerbacks Marcus Williams (hamstring) and Buster Skrine (concussion) are probable. Wide receiver Chris Owusu (knee) is also expected to return. Guard Willie Colon (knee) is expected to play again. Running back Bilal Powell has been ruled out.

Parcells Talks About Belichick

Former NFL coach Bill Parcells joins The Michael Kay Show to discuss his time with Bill Belichick and Charlie Weis and his new book. He also discusses the Jets \ Patriots prime time game on Thursday Night Football.

You can read more about his new book and discuss the New York Jets and Bill Belichick in our forums.

Tim Tebow Signs With New England

Sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Ed Werder that Tim Tebow, released by the Jets in April, has signed with the New England Patriots. Yes, to play quarterback.

Bill Belichick has always spoken highly of Tebow and the move reunites Tebow with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was head coach in Denver when Tebow was drafted.

The terms of the contract aren’t currently public, but Werder confirms that Tebow has signed to play quarterback. Needless to say, Tim Tebow fans won’t be able to make a case to have Tebow starting in New England, because Tom Brady is a much more accurate quarterback than Mark Sanchez.

But it’s unlikely that the Tebow circus will be as out of control in New England. Bill Belichick has always run a much tighter ship, with fewer leaks, than Rex Ryan.  And Robert Kraft has been less concerned with headlines than Woody Johnson.

Here is a thread with Jets fans reacting to the move from the Jets Nation forum.

 

Q & A – Veteran Football Reporter Chris Pollone Provides His Insight On The Patriots

Sports/freelance journalist and co-host of “Patriots Monday Aftermath” on Spreecast.com Chris Pollone (@ChrisPollone; Facebook.com\Cpollone) gave Jetnation his thoughts on the Patriots before their Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Jets.  Pollone covered Southeastern Conference (SEC) football for over 15 years and hosts an SEC show Saturdays on Spreecast.com, this week’s show title “Tide and Tigers”:

JN:  Patriots all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm against the Colts. How do you see the loss of Gronkowski affecting the Patriots offense?

Chris:  It’s obviously a huge loss Gronkowski, along with Jimmy Graham, is one of the best tight ends in the league in terms of being a real weapon in an offense.  They are lucky it happened now since Gronkowski could be able to return for the playoffs.  The Patriots will have to adapt but they’ve had to adapt before being without Aaron Hernandez and have dealt with problems along the offensive line, others guys are going to have to step up.

JN:  The Patriots offense usually relied heavily on the pass but they are 5th in rushing this season.  Could you tell us about the team’s running backs and how they’ve created this more balanced offense?

Chris:  Bill Belichick does not believe in the star system running back.  He is not a guy who is going to go out and find the hot running back, because the Patriots have found that over the years that if you have capable runners who don’t fumble and have a good offense line you can have an affective ground game.  In the past they’ve been quick to give up on that ground game and go more towards the pass, especially when the defense was struggling.

This year they’ve had many more attempts running the ball then they did last year, and part is the play of the offensive line, the play of the tight ends and then you have some dynamic runners.  Second year player Stephen Ridley out of LSU has done a very nice job but the biggest surprise, who the Jets will not have to face due to suspension, is Brandon Bolden out of Old Miss, he has been a big bruiser, you’ll see Shane Vereen get some carries and he is pretty good in space.  The Patriots use to have for years Kevin Faulk on third down and now the former Jet, Danny Woodhead, is filling that role nicely.

JN:  New England’s offensive line has gone through some transition.  How are the players currently on the offensive line performing?

Chris:  Over the past few years the offensive line has been the biggest concern because everybody knows the key to disrupting the Patriots offense is getting to Tom Brady.  In the preseason the line was having a real hard time coming together but the play of Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald filling in for guards Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly has been nothing short of surprising.  Right now the play of the line is not a huge concern and as Mankins and Connolly get healthy the line will once again be an asset in terms of depth.

JN:  The Patriots just released veteran receiver Dion Branch, can you give us your thoughts on the release of Branch and the receiving core as a whole?

Chris:  It’s amazing how the Patriots tend to get good receiver play out of guys you won’t expect it from, with the exception of the Randy Moss years, they really haven’t had a head turner in the receiving core, and that is why guys like Hernandez and Gronkowski were so important.  You’ve got an incredible slot receiver in Wes Welker but lining up on the outside you never really knew what you were dealing with.

The move to bring back Dion Branch was almost a security blanket type of thing for Brady, the guys played together for years, they won Championships together, when quarterbacks have a favorite receiver they know instinctively where they are going to be, how they are going to run the route, where’s the ball is going to be and that is how it was with Brady and Branch.

I think Branch was seen as expendable, this is the second time he has been released in the past year, and he is not getting much of a look from the rest of the league.  Branch might have hit the end of his stride in the NFL and his skill to separate from the defenders, so to strengthen the defense they brought in (Aquib) Talib, let go of Branch and promoted (Greg) Salas.

At this point Brandon Lloyd is doing enough, he’s not the home run hitter that the Patriots expected just yet, but when you line up Lloyd and (Julian) Edelman or Lloyd, Welker and Edelman they could be very effective.

JN:  Rookie first round draft choice defensive end Chandler Jones has 6 sacks so far this season.  Could you just tell us about Jones and the other Patriots rookies?

Chris:  It’s been a little bit of an up and down season for Jones, there are times when he is not generating the pass rush he needs to, but Jones is leading the team with six sacks as a rookie and does have games where he is very effective.

The other big rookie is linebacker Dont’a Hightower out of Alabama.  I cover him for his entire college career and I think he has the potential to be a very special player in the NFL someday.  He was a pass rushing linebacker at Alabama but is being used more in coverage with the Patriots.  He is playing more and more snaps, the coaches are gaining confident in Hightower as the season goes along and he’ll just need to continue to improve.

JN:  New England traded for cornerback Aquib Talib. How do you see the acquisition of Talib helping the New England secondary and are you concerned about Talib’s off the field issues?

Chris:  I think you saw an immediate effect, the difference Talib makes is he moves (Devin) McCourty to safety, he is a much better player there.  Now the secondary looks a lot better because McCourty is not lost, which will start to pay dividends and Patrick Chung, who has been injured, at some point will be back in playing opposite McCourty.

As far as the off the field issues the Patriots are very good at taking players under their wing, he has to understand this is his last chance to impress and get a new contract.  The Patriots have some veteran leadership and Bill Belichick does not play, so he will not sacrifice a season for a guy, the second he makes a false move he is cut and may never play again.

JN:  Can we get your prediction on the upcoming Jets v. Patriots game?

Chris:  Jets did have some success passing the ball against the Patriots earlier in the season but I feel the Patriots defense is playing a little better now and possible the “real” Mark Sanchez shows up on Thursday night:

I have the Patriots winning – Final Score:  Patriots 31 – Jets 24

 

Will The Jets Win, Cover Or Both; Predicting Each Game Versus The Point Spread

While we all have an opinion on what the 2012/13 Jets record will be, Las Vegas (Cantor Gaming) has already provided the point-spread/betting-line for weeks 1-16 in the NFL.

You’re not supposed to make predictions in May but what fun would that be?  Here are some predictions based on the current lines for all the Jets games, week 17’s line is estimated.  Note: This is for recreational purposes (fun) only and the author retains the right to change his mind and/or opinion at anytime.

Week 1: Sunday, September 9, 1:00pm:

  • Buffalo Bills (+5.5) at New York Jets

Can you be a “sleeper” team if everyone predicts you as a “sleeper” team?  Well the Bills are the off-season “flavor of the month” as they actually spent money and got some players.  While they’ll be formidable, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 23 interceptions in 2011 (most in the league) and the Jets defense made him look like a guy that never put on a uniform before in Buffalo last year.

Prediction: Bills improved defense keeps it close, Bills – lose/cover; 17-13.

Week 2: Sunday, September 16, 4:15pm:

  • New York Jets (+4.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Don’t think you’ll be seeing any cover-zero against Tebow this go around.  The Steelers are in transition but often still find away to be an elite team.  Tough road spot for the Jets as Ben Roethlisberger will still be healthy this early in the season. 

Prediction: Jets lose a close one late, Jets – lose/cover; 20-24

Week 3: Sunday, September 23, 1:00pm:

  • New York Jets (+1) at Miami Dolphins

The Jets look to erase last year’s debacle in south Florida.  The Dolphins are 33rd in my power rankings, had to add an imaginary team, that’s how bad they are.  Can’t wait for the owner Stephen Ross to say stupid things on “Hard Knocks” and just think no one wants to play for him now.

Prediction: Jets soak-up the victory, win/cover; 31-21.

Week 4: Sunday, September 30, 1:00pm:

  • San Francisco 49ers (+1) at New York Jets

This game will be an ugly defensive slugfest with the team making the least mistakes wining.  TGIML (in Met-Life) the 9ers have to travel east for a one o’clock game that usually spells trouble for the road team. 

Prediction: Jets hold their own in a tight game, win/cover; 13-9.

Week 5:  Monday, October 8, 8:30pm:

  • Houston Texans (PICK) at New York Jets

Another conference favorite with a top defense but the Jets own Houston having never lost to them (5-0).  Just can’t see beating top contenders back-to-back weeks.

Prediction: Houston is too deep, Texans – win/cover; 13-21

Week 6: Sunday, October 14, 1:00pm:

  • Indianapolis Colts (+7.5) at New York Jets

Andrew Luck can run all the “Y bananas” per Jon Gruden he wants.  The Jets will end up splitting him as Ryan/Pettine throw blitzes never seen at Stanford plus Dwight Freeney playing linebacker?

Prediction: Jets are simple better, win/cover; 27-9.

Week 7: Sunday, October 21, 4:15pm:

  • New York Jets (+8) at New England Patriots

The Pats gained some new offensive weapons, like they needed them, and added players via free agency/draft to improve one of the worst defenses from 2011.  This game will be tight or a blow-out. 

Prediction: Blow-out, Patriots – win/cover; 6-37.

Week 8: Sunday, October 28, 1:00pm:

  • Miami Dolphins (+4.5) at New York Jets

Ryan Tannehill should start by now but he’ll be meeting the Met-Life turf mostly, Wife Lauren better get the ice-packs ready.  Rex Ryan will throw everything and a kitchen sink, yes he’ll bring a sink and throw it, at Tannehill.

Prediction: Jets “squish the fish”, win/cover; 34-9.

Week 10: Sunday, November 11, 4:05pm:

  • New York Jets (+1.5) at Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are very mediocre but always tough to play at home (10-7) including a playoff win over the past two seasons.  Jets come off a bye week, which should help the cross country journey, but were 2-6 on the road last year. 

Prediction: Jets put up a stinker, Seahawks – win/cover; 10-24.

Week 11: Sunday, November 18, 1:00pm:

  • New York Jets (-3) at St. Louis Rams

The Jets see their old QB Kellen Clemens in this game as Sam Bradford is injured again thanks to the Rams poor offensive line.  Our friend Brian Schottenheimer has Clemens drop-back 60 times and he gets knocked down 40.

Prediction: Rams turnover fest, Jets – win/cover; 31-10.

Week 12: Thursday, November 22, 8:20pm:

  • New England Patriots (-5) at New York Jets

The schedule makers love to stick it to the Jets.  Last year the Jets played home Sunday night then traveled to Denver (95 yard Tebow drive) for a Thursday night game.  Pats get Week 10/11 home games after their bye while Jets get to go to Seattle then St. Louis before a Thursday/Thanksgiving day match-up against their division rival.  Bill Belichick had no problem stopping Tebow in the playoffs even with his terrible defense.

Prediction: Patriots offense too much to overcome, Pats – win/cover; 17-27.

Week 13: Sunday, December 2, 1:00pm:

  • Arizona Cardinals (+6.5) at New York Jets

A warm weather team travels across most of the country to frigid Met-Life.  Perhaps the “Fordham Flash” John Skelton can will his way to victory or maybe not?

Prediction: On a late garbage touchdown, Cardinals – lose/cover; 17-13.

Week 14: Sunday, December 9, 1:00pm:

  • New York Jets (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

The stands will be packed for this one, with green number 15 jerseys.  No one knows if the fans will cheer for the Jags, Jets or just Tebow?  Chad Henne starts because Blaine Gabbert got benched for completing 42% of his passes. 

Prediction: Respectable early but Jets pull away late, Jets – win/cover; 27-13.

Week 15: Monday, December 17, 8:30pm:

  • New York Jets (PICK) at Tennessee Titans

The winner may have the inside track to the playoffs.  This’ll be a bite your finger nails down to the cuticles kind of game.

Prediction: Titans win/cover in overtime; 20-23.

Week 16: Sunday, December 23, 8:20pm:

  • San Diego Chargers (+2.5) at New York Jets

“Merry Christmas” Norv, as Rex and company deliver some holiday cheer.  You know Norv Turner will screw it up no matter what the Chargers record, besides they hate the cold. 

Prediction: Jets – win/cover; 27-17.

Week 17: Sunday, December 30, 1:00pm:

  • New York Jets (-1.5, best guess) at Buffalo Bills

Talk about polar opposites (week 1/17); Bills realize Ryan Fitzpatrick is junk and start Vince Young who keeps it close. 

Prediction: Bills – lose/cover; 21-20.

Revis Ups Ante With Belichick, Backs Off Hold Out Talk

Darrelle Revis has upped the ante with the Patriots, particularly with New England head coach Bill Belichick.

Two months ago, Revis called Belichick a jerk in a word association game that he played on an ESPN segment, while sitting next to Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski, no less.

In an article that appeared on ESPN by Rich Cimini today, Revis didn’t back off his comments. In fact, he was harsher. Stating that he respected Belichick because “winning is winning,” Revis went on to say, “When you say certain comments about the Jets, some things are disrespectful. It’s okay to have a rivalry, it’s okay to compete. But when it gets personal, then it gets disrespectful. I didn’t start this battle. It’s just the smart comments he says. It’s ignorant. It’s ignorant (toward) this organization.”

Revis is most likely referring to the comments Belichick made after the 37-16 Jets loss to the Patriots last November. Belichick supposedly said, “Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league. Suck my d*ck.” Belichick never denied the comments, stating he’d keep any conversation he had privately, private.

The comments clearly irked Revis, who said, “Why go there? You won, fair and square. Hey, we shook your hand after that game, but you start saying stuff like that, it gets too personal.”

The Jets and Patriots have been trash talking for years, the most famous incident lately being Bart Scott’s close to incoherent post-game “Can’t wait!” interview with ESPN after the Jets won the AFC divisional game against the Patriots in January 2011.

In the same article, Revis had this to say about his contract, “Yeah, I’m cool (with my current contract). I signed it two years ago. I’m not unhappy about nothing.” Revis is owed $13.5 million over the final two years of his deal. In the last month, there have been whispers that Revis would hold out to re-work the four year deal he signed two years ago after holding out.

Revis himself fueled the flames saying that, basically, he may or may not hold out and he was keeping all his options open.

It’s sort of an interesting development though, and being a cynical Jets fan, maybe Revis is smarter than we’re giving him credit for. He’s the best cornerback in the league, but holding out two years into a four year deal after holding out two years previously wouldn’t resonate well with Jets fans, who were mostly on his side two years ago.

But Revis backing off the hold out talk, making it look like the controversy was entirely created by the media, and calling Bill Belichick a jerk at the same time will probably win points with Jets fans. In the event he does hold out this season or next, this might be one of the things that Revis banks on Jets fans remembering about him – his loyalty to the Jets and his dislike of the Patriots.

“I’m the best corner in the league AND the fans love me” is great leverage for getting what you want in an image oriented, results driven league. Perception is everything. Jets fans’ support of Revis will put pressure on the Jets management, whether they admit it or not.

Whatever his motivation, this should make Jets fans feel good for the moment. Revis is loyal to the Jets, at least when it comes to the on-going grudge match with New England.

Rex Ryan The Players Coach

I Like Rex Ryan.  But there were times during this year’s disappointing campaign that I wasn’t sure I did.  His sidelines at times appeared chaotic, he needs to improve his game and clock management skills, and most obviously, he must be better tuned in to the psyche of the players in his locker-room.  But these are skills, and skills can be developed and improved.  Most coaches achieve greatness because of something beyond skill, something less tangible.  They have an innate quality that only exists in great leaders of men, to get the most out of each individual, sharing the virtue of suffering, sacrificing personal achievement for team success.  Coach Rex Ryan can be that leader.   It is clear after three seasons with the Jets, his players will lay it on the line for him.  The recognition of the exceptions and the taking of swift and decisive action is when true leadership emerges.

I first thought about this when I read that Patriot’s Head Coach Bill Belichick made rookie Stevan Ridley inactive for the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.  In a 45-10 victory over the Denver Broncos, Ridley fumbled in the third quarter.  Who would even notice a fumble in a game so dominated by the Patriots?  Coach Belichick took notice and action as Ridley didn’t see the field again that day and perhaps the rest of the year.  When you consider how many carries Ridley was getting for a team not very deep at running back, Coach Belichick’s message was loud and clear, achieve greatness or stay home.

Looking back on the New York Jets season there were plenty of opportunities to send this same message, most notably perhaps with Matt Mulligan.  When you consider penalties, poor blocking, and a sideline argument with RB coach Anthony Lynn, a missed opportunity by Rex to make a huge statement of Mulligan’s inability to achieve greatness, could have put the rest of the team on notice.  Leadership is having the courage to make unpopular decisions.  When you stand at a podium and insist you are good enough to win a Super Bowl but allow mediocrity in the locker room, it’s not talent holding the team back, it is a lack of genuine leadership.

When comparing the two coaches, Ryan and Belichick, there is one huge difference.  Coach Ryan wants to live up to his label of a “player’s coach”, to be liked by his players and they in turn will play hard.  It’s a “when they feel good they will play well” philosophy.  Coach Belichick has never sought the “player’s coach” label and he demands greatness out of everyone, all the time.  It’s a “play well and you will feel good” philosophy.

Ironically in the end, both coaches are liked by their players, but for right now many players who like Belichick, have rings on their fingers.

Bill Belichick Interview Transcript 1/12/11

On Wednesday New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media.  Here is the transcript courtesy of the  Jets.

On how much better he feels the offense has been since going to a “small ball” approach…

“I don’t know. Every week is its own week. We’ll see how it goes this week. We have our pluses and some minuses along the way, but in the end, none of that really matters. It just comes down to how we do this week, so we’ll see how it goes.”

On some of the things that concern him most about the Jets…

“They’re a good football team all the way across the board. They’re good on offense, defense (and) special teams. (They) beat the Colts in Indianapolis. We all know how tough that is. Everything concerns me. They’re good all the way across the board.”

On whether he has noticed any difference in Mark Sanchez’s play lately…

“He’s done a great job this year. There have been a lot of close games and (he has) brought them from behind, like in the Detroit game and the overtime games. (In) Cleveland, he made a bunch of big plays there. He’s done an excellent job in some tough situations and brought the team back and won for them. I think anytime a quarterback does that, that’s what you want on your résumé.”

On whether he saw a change in the Jets style of play after they got behind in the last game they played…

“I think, if that’s what they said, that’s the answer to the question right there. They’re the ones that are on their side of the field. They know what they were doing and how they felt and what they felt like they did, so I’d go with that.”

On whether he has any issue with how Tom Brady celebrates after a score…

“No.”

On how much he used pictures of the Bills being fitted for Super Bowl rings as motivation when he was defensive coordinator for the Giants

“I really don’t even remember being aware of that story about the rings. If it was, I’ve forgotten about it, but I don’t remember.”

On four of the 12 playoff teams having general managers that worked under him at some point and what he tried to teach them about building a team…

“I think those individuals are all very talented and they’ve done a great job in their situations. They did a great job in my association of working with them in different capacities along the way. I think they, obviously, have done very well. They did a great job for me. Each situation, each team, each one is a little bit different, so I think in the end, it comes down to just doing the right thing for your team, making good decisions and finding a way to put the best team on the field. They’ve all done a great job of that.”

On whether he is proud of having people that work with him go on to success with other teams…

“Sure. I have a lot of friends in the business at that end, on the coaching end, players that I’ve coached and so forth, but when you compete against them on the field, then that’s competition. You have to put all that aside and compete. Then, when it’s over, you can go back to resuming whatever degree of friendship you have there, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the continued competitiveness of the situation.”

On what he thinks of Darrelle Revis…

“He’s an excellent player. He has had a great career and we’ve seen him have a lot of great games against a lot of great receivers. He competes very well against a lot of different receivers. He did it again against the Colts. We know he’s an outstanding player and we’ll just do our best to compete against him.”

On Antonio Cromartie’s comments towards Tom Brady…

“I’m really trying to focus on getting our team ready to play on Sunday.”

On Cromartie as a cornerback…

“He’s had a good career. He played in San Diego. We saw him out there and (then he) came to the Jets. He’s done a good job there. He’s a big corner who can run well and has good ball skills. The play in the Baltimore game, he made an excellent play on the ball and made a great kickoff return last week. It was a huge play against Indianapolis. It really put the team in a close position to score and then they got a couple more first-downs (for) the winning points. He can hurt you in a lot of different ways. He’s a good football player.”

On how much emotion goes into executing on game day…

“There are so many things that go into executing on game day. If you wrote a book, you still couldn’t include all of them. It’s really a combination of a lot of things and how it all comes together. It’s a long game that takes place over three-plus hours. Whatever it is, a lot of things happen within that span of time. How it all comes together is all very unique and that’s what makes football such a great game. Emotions are a part of it and so are a million other things.”

On Deion Branch saying the Patriots made a lot of mistakes in their 45-3 win over the Jets…

“You’ll have to ask Deion about that specifically. I think after every game there are always that you do well, hopefully, and there are things you don’t do as well and need to correct or make adjustments to. That’s pretty common after every game. The Jets are a good football team. They certainly cause a lot of problems. We’ve played four games since Rex has been there. We split on all four of them. We made some plays, they made some plays. In the end, both teams have won two games. We know it’s a very competitive situation. There are things we always want to try to do better. They give you problems in their schemes, their players, their coaching (and) in all three phases of the game, as I said earlier. We have a lot of respect for them. We know there are a lot of things we have to do well in order to come out on top.”

On if you can coach emotion…

“I think you try to coach a team the best that you can. As is said, there’s a million factors that go into that. They are all important.”

On if the game is personal to him…

“We’re going to do our best to win on Sunday.”

On if he’s going to have a pregame race with Coach Ryan…

“I think we’ll do our best to win on Sunday.”

On the advantage of having many different personnel groupings….

“I think in every game, you’re always looking for matchups . You try to create the ones that you feel give you an advantage and try to minimize the ones that you think don’t give you an advantage or give your opponent an advantage. However you want to look at it. I think that’s part of every game, whether it’s offense, defense (or) special teams. It really transcends through any sport. You try to find matchups that are advantageous. If you can find them, you try to utilize those and get the most out of them. If you don’t think that’s the case, you try to move on to something that’s better for you.”

On how they’ve used their two tight ends to create favorable matchups…

“We try to do it with our whole team, it’s all the players that are out there. Each of your linemen, each of your skill players, all of the guys on defense that you have to defend on the other side of the ball. It’s a constant challenge. Part of the competition is trying to put your players in a position where they can be successful on different plays and to try to do the same with your opponent. (You want) to keep their playmakers from making a lot of plays against you.”

On what it means to be a part of five 14-2 teams…

“There’s time to reflect on things, but right now I’m just trying to focus on the Jets and get ready for this Sunday’s game. We can talk about all that other stuff later.”