Monday, September 19, 2011
This week, game balls for defense
By Rich Cimini
Rex Ryan was so steamed with his defense after the season-opening win over the Cowboys that he broke a tradition. He excluded the defense from the post-victory, game-ball presentation, recognizing only players from the offense and special teams.
This week, that will change, as the defense was dominant Sunday in the 32-3 win over the Jaguars.
"They'll be a couple of game balls out there," Ryan said Monday. "I think we all know one in particular that will get one. That Cromartie kid did okay, I guess."
Actually, Antonio Cromartie may have been the most spectacular player on the field, intercepting two passes for 63 yards and returning two kickoffs for 85 yards.
"Cro is zero to 60 in a second," Ryan said. "His explosiveness is unreal."
INJURY REPORT: WR Santonio Holmes (knee/quad), LB David Harris (toe) and S Eric Smith (sprained ankle), all of whom went into the game with injuries, came out fine. The key injury, of course, is C Nick Mangold (high-ankle sprain).
RUN, MARK, RUN: Mark Sanchez scrambled for a career-high 29 yards -- and Ryan is okay with that. As a matter of fact, Ryan said his franchise QB has the green light to run against certain coverages. Unfortunately for the Jets, it's never a good thing when your quarterback has the longest run on the team, 17 yards.
After two games, Sanchez's completion percentage is 63.2 percent, about eight points higher than last season. That has been an area of emphasis.
TEAMWORK: It can be a delicate balancing act, trying to keep everybody happy on offense, but so far no one is complaining about ball distribution. Ryan said he's not worried about any complaining.
"Everybody signed up to come here to win, so that's the beauty of it," he said.
During Sunday's game, Holmes was lobbying on the sideline for Plaxico Burress to get the ball, Ryan said. Burress finished with no catches.