New York Jets: Adam Jones

Nelson keeps his money, looks for payback

November, 11, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- David Nelson predicted two weeks ago his $7,875 fine for unnecessary roughness on Adam Jones would be rescinded -- and he was right.

The New York Jets wide receiver revealed Monday that he won his appeal.

This was vindication for Nelson, who was accused of dirty play by Jones after the Cincinnati Bengals' 49-9 rout of the Jets. Jones, known for his volatile behavior off the field, said Nelson was guilty of three cheap shots that warranted fines by the league. In fact, Nelson was flagged only once.

Jones was livid after he was decked by Nelson on a running play; the cornerback felt it was a cheap shot because it occurred away from the play. Jones told Nelson, "I'm going to find out where you live and come get you." Despite the penalty flag, the league office deemed it a legal block.

Nelson has a new focus -- the Buffalo Bills, whom the Jets face Sunday. He spent three seasons with the Bills, catching a career-high 61 passes in 2011, but they cut ties with him last spring by declining to make him a qualifying offer. Nelson found out on Twitter, which didn't sit well. He said he harbors no bitterness toward the Bills, but ...

"I could do the typical cliche and say it's just another game, but that's not the case," he said, adding, "I, like a lot of other players in that situation, took it personally. I'm out to prove this week they made a mistake."

Nelson said he will be "on the edge and excited all week," looking forward to the return trip to Buffalo.

"It will be a lot of fun, but at the same time, the front office made a decision not to re-sign me and that's a whole other animal," he said. "They made a decision and you always want to go back and show your ex-girlfriend and your ex-team what they're missing out on. It's that mentality. I'm not bitter towards them, but you still want to go back and show your talent and show what you can do."

Nelson has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets. In five games, he has 16 receptions for 199 yards.

Nelson says he was fined for hit on Jones

October, 31, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson, accused of dirty play last Sunday by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, said Thursday he was fined by the NFL for an unnecessary-roughness penalty on Jones in the third quarter of the Jets' 49-9 loss.

Nelson wouldn't disclose the amount of the fine, but he said he will appeal it.

Jones said after the game that Nelson committed three cheap shots after the whistle and deserved to be fined for each one. Jones started jawing with Nelson in the second quarter and, at one point, Jones told him, "I'm going to find out where you live and come and get you."

On Monday, Nelson defended himself to reporters, saying he used only one cut-block on Jones. Cut blocks are legal, but Jones wasn't happy because it occurred away from the ball. On the unnecessary-roughness penalty, Nelson lowered a shoulder into Jones as they ran side-by-side toward a running play. Jones went flying, got up immediately and had to be separated by a teammate from going after Nelson. Jones started jawing with the Jets' sideline, including coach Rex Ryan.

Nelson is confident he can win his appeal because he believes his block on Jones was legal, occurred before the whistle and took place close enough to the play.

Film review: Pacman stretches the truth

October, 29, 2013
Unlike the New York Jets, I watched the tape of the 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. A few thoughts and observations:

Pacman Jones is full of it: Bengals cornerback Adam Jones accused WR David Nelson of dirty play, saying he used cut blocks after plays were over. Jones said there were "three real cheap shots after the play." He believes Nelson should be fined for those three plays.

[+] EnlargeDavid Nelson
Mark Zerof/USA TODAY SportsBengals cornerback Adam Jones tackles New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson during their Week 8 game at Paul Brown Stadium.
Jones is stretching the truth.

I studied every play on the coaches' tape, which shows all 22 players, and the game unfolded exactly the way Nelson said it did: He used one cut-block on Jones (no penalty). There was also the unnecessary-roughness penalty on Nelson, which I thought was a borderline call. If anything, Jones sparked the tension by head slapping Nelson on a running play late in the second quarter. No one has made mention of that. As Nelson walked to the huddle after blocking downfield, he received a slap from behind by Jones. There was no penalty. Based on what was visible on tape, this was the first sign of trouble.

Midway through the third quarter, Nelson cut Jones away from the ball on a third-and-1 run by Bilal Powell. There was no flag, but Jones clearly didn't like it. Powell was tackled on the right hashmark. Nelson took down Jones about eight yards away, just inside the painted number on the left side. Powell already was down, but Nelson didn't see that because his back was to the play. I could see why Jones was angry, but Nelson was merely carrying out his assignment.

Nelson was flagged on the final play of the third quarter, a four-yard run by Powell. Nelson and Jones were running shoulder to shoulder toward the play, and Nelson lowered his left shoulder into Jones, who went flying -- a bit of a sell job, in my opinion. Jones got the call, though, and immediately started jawing with the Jets' sideline. That's probably when he told Nelson he was going to find out where he lives and come for him, typical in-game trash talk that was blown out of proportion.

Bottom line: Nelson isn't the cheap-shot artist that Jones made him out to be. In 36 career games, Nelson has been penalized only three times. Previously, he was flagged for an illegal shift and pass interference, both in 2011 with the Buffalo Bills.

Combo platter: Rex Ryan said the defensive game plan revolved around using four-man rushes, allowing them to drop seven into coverage against the Bengals' many receiving options. Obviously, the result was disastrous, but after breaking down the tape, it looks like Ryan called more pressure schemes than he let on. Unofficially, the Jets sent more than four rushers on 11 of 28 dropbacks by Andy Dalton (not counting three quick screens), a percentage not far off their usual amount.

Ryan was right about one thing: Nothing worked. They got beat every which way, whether it was a three-man rush or a six-man rush. Consider the grisly numbers by Dalton:

Three-man rushes: 2-for-2, 23 yards, two TDs.

Four-man rushes: 9-for-14, 184 yards, one TD, one interception, one sack.

Five-man rushes: 3-for-4, 63 yards, one TD.

Six-man rushes: 3-for-7, 46 yards, one TD.

Basically, it was a Murphy's Law kind of day.

Mo and Cro: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, commenting on the lack of a pass rush (one cheap sack), suggested the cornerbacks needed to do a better job of holding up receivers at the line of scrimmage. He's right, but there's more to the story. Dalton took several deep shots downfield, meaning there were legitimate opportunities for the pass rush to get home. On the two longest pass plays, a pair of 53-yarders to A.J. Green, it was a combination of both.

CB Antonio Cromartie, continuing his disappointing season, gave a 10-yard cushion at the line of scrimmage. Green was into the secondary in no time, and a four-man rush failed to pressure Dalton. On the other 53-yarder, the Jets rushed four (including S Dawan Landry), dropping seven into zone coverage. Once again, Cromartie gave a huge cushion. Green blew past him and CB Kyle Wilson to make the catch on an underthrown ball. Dalton needed only 3.0 seconds to unload the pass, and he was hit by Wilkerson on the release, so it's hard to blame the pass rush there.

This is hard to quantify, but it certainly seems like Ryan, known for his aggressive, man-to-man coverage schemes, is playing more zone (or more "off" man) than usual. Maybe he's taking a conservative approach because he doesn't trust his corners in press man.

Can't keep up with the Jones: The Dalton-Marvin Jones tandem was scalding hot. Dalton was 8-for-8 when he targeted Jones, resulting in four touchdowns and 15.3 yards per attempt, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Dalton was only 11-for-22, with one TD and a 9.2 average when targeting other receivers. Maybe the Jets should've doubled Jones.

Geno and pick-sixes: QB Geno Smith took the blame for his two interceptions, but I'm not sure the first one was his fault. Jeremy Kerley was listed as the intended receiver, but there appeared to be a miscommunication. Kerley and Nelson ran out routes in the same area, Nelson slightly deeper. Smith's throw looked to be headed for Nelson, who was open, but CB Chris Crocker -- covering Kerley -- stuck out his left arm and plucked the ball out of the air for a terrific interception. I'm not sure if it had an affect on Smith, but LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson got knocked on his rear end by DE Michael Johnson.

The second pick-six was Smith's fault. He looked for TE Zach Sudfeld on a skinny post, but he wasn't open against the Bengals' Cover-2 look. Smith went to Nelson in the left flat, but Jones read it beautifully and took it to the house. Cardinal rule of quarterbacking: Never throw late to the outside.

Ge-NO!: This was an unusual game for Smith in that he averaged only 4.9 air yards per attempt, his lowest of the season, per ESPN Stats & Info. He joined Matt Schaub, Chad Henne, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden and Eli Manning (twice) as the only quarterbacks to throw multiple interceptions on throws of five yards or less in a game. Those quarterbacks were 0-7 in those games.

Angry Pacman exchanges words with Rex

October, 27, 2013
CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam (Pacman) Jones, upset with what he perceived as dirty play by receiver David Nelson, got into a back-and-forth with the New York Jets' sideline late in the game. Jones exchanged a few words with coach Rex Ryan.

"He told me to shut the hell up," Jones told after his team's 49-9 rout Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Asked how he responded to Ryan, Jones said he pointed to the scoreboard.

"(Nelson) was playing dirty," Jones said. "He cut me like four times after the play. Thank God I took my medicine today, I guess, and I didn't go off. Hopefully he'll get fined. At least three fines. There were three real cheap shots after the play."

Nelson was flagged for a personal foul. Jones got the last laugh, intercepting a Geno Smith pass and returning it 60 yards for a touchdown to give the Bengals a 49-9 lead early in the fourth quarter. It was Smith's last pass of the game.

Nelson ended up having his most productive day as a Jet -- a team-high eight catches for 80 yards.

Mo's pick: Despite an awful game by the pass defense, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson made a couple of big plays. He recorded his seventh sack, which leads the team, and made his first career interception. It came on a weird, volleyball-type play. Wilkerson tipped a pass to defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who tipped it back to him. It could've been a turning point in the game, but the Jets only managed to convert it into a field goal.

Injury report: Tight end Jeff Cumberland left the game with what was announced as a head injury. Safety Antonio Allen suffered an undisclosed injury that will require tests Monday morning. Guard Willie Colon, who got up slowly after a play late in the game, was seen in the locker room wearing a heavy wrap around his ribs.

Simms debuts: First-year quarterback Matt Simms made his NFL debut, replacing Smith early in the fourth quarter. His most memorable play, if not the smartest, was trying to hurdle two defenders to reach the first-down marker. He's lucky he wasn't injured.

"I'm probably going to get a few messages from my father telling me to be a little smarter," said Simms, son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. "I wanted to show everyone that I’m going to sacrifice and play hard. I’m going to play to the last play, no matter what the score is."

Disappearing pass rush: The big, nasty Jets' pass-rush, which entered the game with 24 sacks, was a non-factor. They had only one quarterback hit, and that was Wilkerson's sack in the second quarter. That has to be alarming, considering the Bengals lost left tackle Andrew Whitworth in the second half.

Leaky secondary: Here's an unofficial breakdown of completions allowed by the Jets' defensive backs:

Cornerback Dee Milliner -- Targeted five times, four completions for 108 yards and one TD.

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie -- Targeted five times, two completions for 106 yards. Also a 34-yard pass-interference penalty.

Cornerback Darrin Walls -- Targeted three times, one completion for six yards and one TD.

Cornerback Kyle Wilson -- Targeted twice, one completion for nine yards.

Safety Antonio Allen -- Targeted three times, two completions for 22 yards.

Safety Dawan Landry -- Targeted twice, one completions for 14 yards and a TD.

Safety Jaiquawn Jarrett -- Targeted twice, two completions for 15 yards and a TD.

'Pacman' on Geno: Doesn't like pressure

October, 24, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Cincinnati Bengals CB Adam "Pacman" Jones played at West Virginia four years before Geno Smith arrived, but he monitored Smith's career from afar. On Sunday, Jones will face him for the first time, armed with some intel he acquired from watching his alma mater over the years.

Jones, in an interview with, noted a frequent criticism of Smith.

"He loves to hold the ball a little bit, so hopefully we can get him to pat the ball and let the guys up front get to him," Jones told the team's official website. "I know him a little more because he went to West Virginia. I probably couldn’t tell you about any of the other quarterbacks if we’re not facing them, but I did watch him a little more because he went to West Virginia. I got a chance to meet him a couple of times. He’s a good solid kid. Hopefully we can make it rowdy for him this Sunday, have the guys get to him a couple of times. I know he doesn’t like the pressure."

Jones is right; Smith does tend to hold the ball too long, which explains why he's been sacked so many times (25).

The Bengals haven't fared as well as you might expect against rookie quarterbacks. Under defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, they're 7-8 since 2008. In those games, the rookies compiled 16 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.

Zimmer said he's impressed with Smith.

"He’s got a cannon," he told "I showed the players (Wednesday) morning a ball he threw from one hash about 40 yards down the field on a rope to the far sideline. Obviously, he’s a young guy that’s maturing, but I do feel like he’s gotten much better in the last few weeks. ... He’s got some running ability. He’s starting to scramble more than he was earlier in the year. He’s got good speed, but he’s a strong runner, so all of these things become issues."