Green Day: Pettine factor overrated

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
6:00
AM ET
A morning briefing on news and goings on around the New York Jets:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Buffalo Bills have a copy of the New York Jets' defensive playbook. Not literally, of course, but Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine spent 11 seasons at Rex Ryan's side, so he knows every nuance of the Jets' scheme.

How much value does that have? Not much, according to Pettine's successor, Dennis Thurman.

"I don't think it's anything where you have to sit here and worry about it," Thurman said. "It's not the scheme, it's the players within the scheme. ... Remember this: Buddy Ryan had the 46 defense in 1985, right? Jeff Fisher took that same defense to the L.A. Rams with John Robinson and tried to run the same system. They got fired. It's not the system, it's the players. It's always going to be about the players."

On Sunday, we'll see which team has the better ... um, players.

ICYMI: Guard Willie Colon was upset with the $35,000 fine levied by the league for his role in the New England melee. He will appeal. Some perspective: That's about 60 percent of his weekly game check, which totals about $58,800. ... How safe is Geno Smith as the starter? Ryan downplayed the speculation about Matt Simms, indicating Smith is his guy -- even if he's not The Guy. Understand? ... Rookie cornerback Dee Milliner was benched last week because the coaches wanted to help his confidence. How's that? ... C.J. Spiller is fast. The Jets aren't worried. ... Receiver Santonio Holmes (foot) didn't practice, but that was planned ahead of time. Rookie offensive tackle Oday Aboushi, a fifth-round pick, hurt his knee in practice. No initial word on the severity, but keep an eye on this.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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