Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Notebook: Cro flies on kickoff return
By Rich Cimini
The most exciting play of the Jets' 17-3 win over the Giants was delivered by CB Antonio Cromartie ... on a kickoff return.
With the Jets trailing, 3-0, in the second quarter, Cromartie changed the momentum with a 68-yard return to the Giants' 35, setting up the only touchdown by the Jets' first-team offense. Cromartie fielded it five yards deep in the end zone, muffed it and came flying out, shades of his huge return in last season's wild-card win over the Colts.
"If I didn't bobble the ball, I might have taken it to the house," Cromartie said.
Rex Ryan said the plan was to get Cromartie one preseason rep as a kickoff returner -- and that was it. Usually, the Jets consider him a situational returner -- like when the situation calls for big yardage -- although Ryan hinted he could get used in the season opener.
Asked if he'll consider using Cromartie more often this season, Ryan cracked, "Well, as far as Dallas is concerned, he will not be our returner."
He laughed and rolled his eyes.
INJURY REPORT: NT Sione Pouha (knee) was a surprise scratch from the game. Ryan explained the decision, saying he didn't want to push Pouha because he wanted to take a look at their two young nose tackles, Martin Tevaseu and rookie Kenrick Ellis. Pouha could've played if it were a regular-season game, according to Ryan.
The Jets reported only one injury -- WR Logan Payne (wrist). Payne is battling for the fifth receiver spot. FB John Conner had his left ankle taped after the game.
REST IN THE FINALE: Ryan announced the obvious, saying he has no plans to play any starters in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Eagles.
"I would say absolutely not," he said.
KILLER FLAG: The Jets were driving toward a potential touchdown on their first possession of the second half when RT Wayne Hunter threw a punch at LB Jonathan Goff and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"They always get the second guy and I was the second guy," Hunter said. "They just saw me punch, and that was it. It was stupid. I just have to pick my battles, but it was just to protect my right guard (Brandon Moore). Any good tackle would've made the same play."
SOLO CAPTAIN: WR Plaxico Burress was the Jets' only game captain, a special honor because he was facing his old team. Ryan likes to do that. A year ago, he made Jason Taylor the only captain when the Jets played the Dolphins. Burress downplayed it, saying his only goal was to win the coin toss. He lost.
ODDS AND ENDS: LB David Harris and S Jim Leonhard recorded interceptions, giving the Jets six in three games. "I think that's the big thing we want to focus on," CB Darrelle Revis said of the turnovers. "The coaching staff has been harping on us a lot about that." ... T.J. Conley probably moved ahead of Chris Bryan in the punting competition. Conley had a strong night, with a net average of 43.7 to Bryan's 35.7 ... The Jets made a big deal about trying to improve the running game, and they did. Shonn Greene, back after a one-game foot injury, rushed 11 times for 42 yards (3.8 average). Greene said he felt no ill effects from his foot ... The Jets didn't get much pressure on the quarterback out of their conventional rush. The only sacks were recorded by nickel back Kyle Wilson and backup LB Nick Bellore.