Mo looks to rattle Russell on Sunday

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
3:47
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets offered up some bulletin board material for Seattle on Friday when defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson basically said the Jets were going to target Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson during an interview with WFAN.

“I feel like, you know, we’re going to get this guy rattled,” Wilkerson said during the station’s morning show. “We’re going basically go there up to Seattle — we know they’re 4-0 at home but we’re not worried about what’s going on over there in Seattle. We can only worry about what the Jets do ... we’re going to go in there and pretty much set the tone.”

Asked about the remark later, Jets coach Rex Ryan didn’t back Wilkerson as forcefully as he’d done with Antonio Cromartie the day before, when Cromartie told the NFL Network’s morning show the Jets would make the playoffs. Instead, Ryan tried to temper Wilkerson’s remarks.

“The point I’m sure Mo was trying to make was, to do that, we have to stop the run,” Ryan said. “I think that’s the number one priority. When you’re going up against this Seattle football team, they actually throw the ball less than any team in the league. We have to do a great job of stopping the run, and then put Seattle in a position where they don’t want to be, where they have to throw the ball more. I think that’s the thing.

“This quarterback is an outstanding quarterback, but like any young quarterback, you want to mix your pressures (and) coverages (and) give him different looks. That’s certainly what we’re trying to do.”

Wilson has a 87.2 quarterback rating and has thrown for 1,639 yards and 13 touchdowns in this, his rookie season. He’s also rushed for 155 yards. Asked about them after practice, Wilkerson didn’t back away from his remarks. He was asked how the defense would approach Wilson.

“Give him different looks, get hits on him, just try to put pressure on him and get him uncomfortable,” Wilkerson said. “They’re 4-0 at home. Of course he’s going to feel like he can do it all at home but just make him uncomfortable.”

On WFAN, Wilkerson also expressed confidence that the Jets would make the playoffs, something he reiterated later.

“Backing up my teammate Cromartie,” Wilkerson said. “We feel like this is the second half of the season, we put the first half behind us. And we feel like we’re going to get the job done and do what we need to do to make a strong push to make the playoffs.”

Maybe the Jets will make sure they get their players a strong cup of coffee before the next morning appearance, so any definitive statements are made with eyes wide open. But Wilkerson was ready to provide a little more for the bulletin board after practice.

“(Wilson is) a rookie so he’s not as experienced as someone like Tom Brady,” Wilkerson said, “so we’ve just got to get after him.”
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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