Thursday, December 30, 2010
Ellis hoping to play Sunday; defensive notebook
By Matt Ehalt
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. --Even though he has missed the last two days of practice with a back injury that he suffered Sunday against the Bears, Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis said he expects to play Sunday against Buffalo.
“I’m anticipating playing until I get further notice,” Ellis said. “Anytime you have the chance to play you should play.”
Ellis said the injury occurred during Sunday’s 38-34 loss on a play in which he got bent back the wrong way and “it didn’t feel good at all.” He was able to finish the game out, though.
Ellis has started all 15 games for the Jets this season and has 4.5 sacks on the year. He said he feels good but is trying to get rested up.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan is erring on the side of caution.
Said Ryan: “If it doesn’t get any better, clearly he won’t play as well.”
The Jets signed DB Isaiah Trufant off the practice squad Thursday while signing DL Matt Kroul to fill Trufant’s spot on the practice squad. Trufant’s promotion to the active roster was a move made with the playoffs in mind.
“We want to see the kid play,” Ryan said. “(Can) he help us in the playoffs? That’s what we’re trying to find out. He was (the United Football League’s) defensive most valuable player. He’s done some good things on the practice field. We want to see if translates to playing on Sunday.”
Trufant played for the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives for the past two seasons before signing with the Jets on Dec. 8. He had four interceptions, 13 tackles and four passes defended this season while winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
“I just want to go out and prove myself,” Trufant said. “This is my chance. I never had another NFL chance besides this so I’m trying to make the most of it.”
BUILDING THE FOUNDATION
After yielding 38 points to the Bears Sunday, it was back to the basics for the Jets defense this week. Ryan ran the base defense meetings Wednesday and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine explained Thursday how the team has had to “rebuild the foundation.”
“We summarized some of the mistakes and when the mistakes started to show up as things that are from Jets defense 101 as opposed to 401, that’s when you need to go back and make sure,” Pettine said. “We’re fortunate this week that we were able to build it in. It’s something, moving forward, we’ll look to do even more of just to make sure we have some of those basic things nailed down.”
Pettine also said the coaches wanted to increase the practice tempo and that it is on the coaches to keep the players performing at a high level and not “just out there putting in a day.”