Florham Park – The Ravens and the Jets are two teams predicated on defense. They’re Rex teams. It wouldn’t be a shock to see a low-scoring affair Sunday, but while all the focus seems to be on the two defenses let’s focus on the Jets offense for a second.
The Raven’s have one of the greatest front sevens in the league. They’re stout against the run and are one of the top pass rushes. Needless to say the Jets offensive line better be up for the task.
“A huge challenge, not just for our line, but anybody’s line,” Rex said. “[The players] you mentioned, those are some of the top pass rushers in the league, especially Suggs, and Dumervil is always a guy that doesn’t seem to really get the credit.”
And Rex was quick to point out those aren’t the only two defensive players to watch out for.
“They have some guys inside, too,” he said. “Arthur Jones, I think, is an underrated pass rusher as an inside presence as well.
Rookie lineman Brian Winters is coming off a rough game against Buffalo. This week he’s going up against Haloti Ngata (if he’s healthy) another notable defensive player for the Ravens.
“[Ngata’s] a very talented, big man,” Rex said. “Fortunately, [Winters] goes against that every day here. We have some unusual guys as well. Haloti is an unusual guy. He’s got power. He’s got quickness. It’s going to be huge challenge. We’ll know where Haloti is also.”
Rex said that there were two problems with the offensive line against Buffalo: mental and physical.
“Certainly, we got beat on one-on-one battles more than anything, that was the key,” Rex said. “So, every guy has to step up and has to get better individually. Then, collectively, we missed a couple of calls, slide protection calls or whatever. But the mental part, I have no question we’ll improve in that area.”
He thinks the players were just having an “off day” when it comes to the physical part and he sees them rebounding this week.
“The one-on-one matchups have to get better and they’ve been better,” he said. “Some of our guys have been absolutely terrific all season and then kind of laid an egg last week.”
Geno Smith is young and turnover prone so let’s imagine what may happen if the offensive line lays more eggs. Yeah, the streak would break. But Rex lit up a bit when asked if Geno has learned anything from last week’s game. He said he’s been having a very accurate week at practice. That’s not the only thing the coach has observed.
“He sees certain coverages and knows that he can make some plays with his legs as well and I think that’s been encouraging to me,” Rex said.
The Internet came alive with Jets fans buzzing about Smith possibly being pulled to give Matt Simms a chance at the position if the second round pick continued to struggle.
Rex doesn’t seem to act as if this is a real possibility, saying he pulled him from the past two losses for two reasons.
“You can learn a lesson, but how many runs do you want the guy to give up leaving him out there?” Rex said. “Sometimes [you] pull him back, let him learn from the sideline. Also at the same time give Matt [Simms] some reps. He’s a young quarterback as well.”
In honor of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire being released…Jets, may the odds be ever in your favor.
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