Will Clyde Gates have a better grip on the football this Sunday?Florham Park, N.J. – The Jets are into themes this year. The mantra of competition is the obvious one…the other one…drops. The receiving core had a total of six last week against the Partiots (granted, it was pouring).

“You’re an NFL receiver, you’re paid to catch the football and we certainly need to do it,” Rex Ryan said. “Not saying that drops won’t happen, it’s just we’ve got to reduce that number.”

You may remember during training camp, WR Stephen Hill said with much bravado, “I don’t drop balls.” Well, we did see him drop one in primetime, but the guy with the recent case of the dropsies is WR Clyde Gates, whose butterfingers may have lost the game for the Jets in Foxboro last week.

“If we would have caught half of the balls we dropped, the outcome might have been a lot different,” Ryan said.

Gates dropped four balls in the Patriots game, including one in the end zone and another 10-yards outside of it. Having so much blame put on a player can really lower their confidence level a few notches. Gates even admitted to feeling down about his performance. However, Ryan doesn’t believe he has anything to worry about with Gates confidence going into this week’s game against Buffalo.

“Every receiver has drops,” Ryan said. “I know he’s going to have a big day. That’s kind of how I feel about it and I’m comfortable with it. And you know what, if he drops the first one, go catch the second one. I think that has to be his mentality. It has to be our mentality, ok that, ‘Now hey, I’m going to (catch it).’ But that’s the confidence that we have as a football team in each other.”

The team’s veteran receiver, Santonio Holmes, had some profound advise for the youngsters. “Catch the ball,” he said. “I don’t see any other way to correct it.”

Geno Smith is going to need his receivers to be on point when they face division rivals, the Bills on Sunday. Buffalo’s pass defense has looked solid so far this season. They’ve forced turnovers from Cam Newton and Tom Brady and sacked the QB nine times over two games.

The Jets did get a mini-vacay with the long week, we shall see soon if it did anything to cure the dropsies.

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