Jets caught break on Lowery grab

December, 20, 2010
12/20/10
7:30
PM ET
Did Dwight Lowery get away with a pass-interference penalty on the long pass to Emmanuel Sanders? Rex Ryan dodged the question Monday, which pretty much tells us that, yes, Lowery got away with it.

"I never saw that," Ryan said, smiling.

The play in question began with 29 seconds left in the New York Jets' 22-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. From the Jets' 26, Ben Roethlisberger threw long for Sanders. It was overthrown, incomplete, but replays showed that Lowery grabbed Sanders' jersey from behind and jerked him, slowing him down at the 7-yard line.

"I'll say this: That was a December game between two physical teams, and they let us play," Ryan said of the officials. "They let us decide it on the field. I thought that was great. That's what you want."

Wonder if he'd be saying the same thing if it happened to one of the Jets' receivers.

Other notes:

BLACK AND BLUE: The Jets are a beat-up football team. They didn't list any specific injuries, other than Mark Sanchez's sore right shoulder, but Ryan mentioned that CBs Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie received treatment Monday for unspecified aches and pains. S James Ihedigbo, who returned after missing one game with a high-ankle sprain and sprained MCL, was hobbled. Once again, his status for the upcoming game might not be determined until later in the week. Ryan gave the team off Monday.

THE SPEECH: Ryan, commenting for the first time on his rousing address to the team Saturday night in Pittsburgh, said it was "overblown." He credited the players for winning the game, saying, "I'm just an average person who speaks from the heart."

As they did after the game, players commended Ryan for his fiery speech, which almost brought him to tears.

"It does a lot," OLB Calvin Pace said of Ryan's passion. "You've got a guy standing in front of you, pouring his heart out. You see the disappointment he has in us just because he believes so much in us. He sticks his neck on the line. He says a lot of stuff that ruffles feathers, but he truly believes it."

Said FB Tony Richardson: "Rex is like a father. Sometimes your dad believes in you more than the kid does ... When you've got a coach that passionate and lays it out there, it was -- whew -- a pretty emotional meeting. Guys took everything to heart."

CLOCK ISSUES: If you thought the Jets screwed up their clock management at the end of the first half, it's because they did. They got the ball at their 37, with 29 seconds left, and two timeouts. A couple of completions and they would've been in field-goal range. Braylon Edwards caught a 6-yard pass and the Jets, inexplicably, didn't call timeout.

They snapped the ball with nine seconds left, and hit LaDainian Tomlinson for 6 yards. Then came a timeout, with three seconds left. At the 49, you expected a Hail Mary, right? Nope, just a not-even-close incompletion along the sideline.

Ryan admitted they mishandled the situation, saying they were in a gray area -- wanting to be aggressive, but not wanting to commit a killer mistake.

"Obviously, I should have gone for a timeout there," Ryan said, referring to the second-down play.

Another blunder: The Jets never should've tried a pass on third-and-3 with 2:24 to go. A run would've forced Pittsburgh to burn their final timeout. The Jets have been guilty of numerous clock-management gaffes this season, the kind of mistakes that often come back to bite you.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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