Luck reminds Jets of Manning, Brady

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
10:42
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets are impressed with Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck. Who isn't?

"He's one of those rare (quarterbacks) -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, those types that only come along every so often," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Thursday. "You can just tell, he's a gym rat. He's the kind of guy, even though he's a rookie, you can't treat him like one."

Pettine said Luck is smart enough to dissect basic coverages. He said they have to disguise their coverages and try to confuse him, just like they would a veteran QB. CB Antonio Cromartie said Luck reminds him of Manning.

Luck is off to a terrific start. He already has passed for 1,208 yards, the second-highest total in league history for a rookie in his first four games.

CHAOS: In an effort to avoid a repeat of the confusion that caused the Jets to burn two timeouts in Monday night's loss to the Texans, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano said Thursday they will take a "streamlined" approach to changing personnel packages.

What does that mean? Pretty simple. Sparano said the entire wide-receiver group will stand next to WRs coach Sanjay Lal on the sideline. That way, it's easier to hear when the personnel group is called out. Previously, the receivers stood in different areas.

The operation broke down Monday night when WR Clyde Gates went out with a shoulder injury. He was replaced in some of the Tim Tebow packages by Jason Hill, who was signed only five days earlier. That led to some confusion.

"It's something I obviously have to take responsibity for," Sparano said.

NOSE TO NOSE: The Jets have a nose-tackle problem. With Sione Po'uha (back) likely to miss Sunday's game, and with backup Kenrick Ellis (knee) out 4-6 weeks, they're down to rookie Damon Harrison. Pettine said they should be able to get by the next two weeks because the Colts and Patriots are one-back offenses that use zone blocking, minimizing the impact of the nose tackle. Newly-signed DT Daniel Muir, a former Colt, could dress for the game. Pettine said Muir impressed in the preseason with the Packers.

UNITY: During the pre-game introductions Monday night, the starting defensive backs decided to come out as a group instead of individually. That idea was hatched by Cromartie, who has become more of a leader since Darrelle Revis was injured. Pettine joked that he was "starting to panic" when he didn't see any DBs running out of the tunnel when their names were announced.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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