Curran: All Jets can do is own up to train-wreck season

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Curran: All Jets can do is own up to train-wreck season

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Jets starting quarterback ran into an offensive linemans ass with his face.
 
And fumbled. And that fumble was returned for a touchdown. On national television. In prime time.
 
And the Jets explanation, supplied by their head coach?
 
Thats probably the first mistake hes made giving a handoff all season . . . Again, guys, its a one-in-a-zillion play. Im not sure what happened on it, but thats the reality of the play. In my opinion, its the first time that hes made that mistake all season.
 
So the starting quarterback and former fifth overall pick was due to run face-first into an ass. He was on borrowed time. We all knew it was coming
 
Well, I guess thats owning it.
 
This is where the Jets are. This is what theyve become. A cornucopia of absurd. Given the tenor of the Rex Ryan Era in New York, we could have imagined his End of Days on the Jets sideline would be spectacular, but this was too, too much.
 
A 49-19 loss to the Patriots in which the Patriots scored 35 second-quarter points and 21 points in 52 seconds.
 
In less than a minute, the Jets did things the Patriots dont do in five seasons. And if any one of those things happened on Bill Belichicks watch, you can be pretty sure he wouldnt be saying, Guys, weve all seen quarterbacks smash their faces off the guards hindquarters and drop the ball, havent we? Whats the big deal? Guys still are giving it every ounce. Theyre bleeding for me. And Im . . . Im bleeding for them.
 
No. One thinks not.
 
After this win that lifted the Patriots record to 8-3, I could have gone to hear what they had to say. But the Jets have an irresistible pull. Like a freak show. You know youre going to feel bad looking at it, but something makes you want to see just how bizarre it really is.
 
Step right up, step inside, you wont believe your ears or your eyes as the Amazing Shrinking Coach defines his quarterbacks night.
 
Mark . . . he had a 94 quarterback rating, said Ryan. I thought Mark threw the ball well.
 
Right into the arms of Patriots safety Steve Gregory in the first quarter to snuff a would-be Jets scoring drive. Just the sixth red-zone turnover of the season for Sanchez.
 
Ryan defends Sanchez by saying hes not the sole reason the Jets are 4-7. And hes not. Its the program. Its the lip service offered week-in, week-out in which the Jets own their mistakes, pledge to stop making them, promise to give it their all, and then play rudderless football.
 
On the Patriots first touchdown, the Jets had three defenders in the end zone covering two Patriots receivers on a play that started at the New York 3-yard line. Two of the defenders went to one receiver, another covered air and Wes Welker scored without a defender in arms reach.
 
On the Patriots second touchdown, a pitch to the flat to Shane Vereen that turned into an 83-yard touchdown . . . well let Antonio Cromartie explain it.
 
Some calls we got into, they knew what coverage we were in, he explained. Like on the wheel route, our inside linebacker Bart Scott was supposed to take that but its hard for him to take that when hes too far inside and the running back slides out. Some of the calls that we got into put a hardship on us. . . . We shoulda gone for another scheme and I shoulda put a safety on the wheel and put Bart on the inside guy on the curl route.
 
It was Cromartie, Eric Smith and Scott involved in that play. Thats 25 years of NFL experience between them.
 
But, well, hindsights 20-20 and theyll do better next time.
 
Theres a big whiteboard in the hallway leading to the Jets locker room.
 
On it were these words.
 
Focus
Do Your Job Execute
One Play At a Time
Definition
Details
Destruction
Domination
 
The only two things satisfied on that list were the last two and they were applied by the Patriots.
 
The Jets have been non-competitive in several games this season. 27-10 loss to the Steelers. 34-0 against the Niners. 30-9 against the Dolphins. 28-7 against the Seahawks. And Thursday night.
 
Were about as wounded as we can possibly be, but were not dead, said Ryan.
 
(ITS JUST A FLESH WOUND!)
 
I can tell you this: we will give everything we have, every ounce of energy we have to get this thing going. Thats from a coaching standpoint as well as the players. If not, then well make adjustments.
 
Its getting a little late for if, then. At some point, someones going to pry Woody Johnsons attention away from his yo-yo and point out that his billion-dollar investment is rotting.
 
And then? One has to figure an uncomfortable housecleaning will ensue.
 
I asked Ryan if he expects to be coaching the Jets in 2013.
 
I do, he answered. I think our team will play a heck of a lot better and I dont believe anybody will ask that question by the time the years over.
 
They may not be asking it because the answer may be very clear by then.

Drellich: Why David Ortiz should hang around the Red Sox more often

Drellich: Why David Ortiz should hang around the Red Sox more often

BOSTON — David Ortiz should stop by Fenway Park more often. 

There may be no tangible gain for his old teammates. At this point, it defies logic to think there’d be tangible harm.

On Thursday evening before Ortiz’s charity roast at House of Blues, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy recalled how it was a no-brainer to plan Friday’s jersey retirement so soon after Ortiz’s exit from the game. 

Kennedy said he was the one who actually broached the question with team management last year. Basically, everyone looked at him sideways because of the implication any other time but right away made sense.

“No person has meant more to the [John] Henry-[Larry] Lucchino-[Tom] Werner era than David Ortiz,” Kennedy said.

Let’s accept the premise wholly: that because Ortiz is so special, the timing for his ceremony deserved to be just as unique. The design of the day was centered on how much Ortiz means to people: fans, the team.

Why, then, has Ortiz been staying away from the ballclub? Dustin Pedroia has been a leader for years. Ortiz is a positive influence. The idea that having Big Papi swing by Fenway sometimes would actively stunt the development of the Red Sox’ identity is a stretch. 

There’s been a grace period of nearly three months. 

“Well I, I could never entirely walk away. I have been around,” Ortiz said Friday night in a press conference. “I have been watching the games and I have been in touch with my teammates. I have been in touch with the organization. You know, I just don’t like to, you know, be in the way of anything. 

“I know that, me retiring, it was going to have a big impact on what we do around here. So I don’t — I tell myself, give everybody their space and I don’t want to, now that I’m not playing, I don’t want to be a distraction. And I know that coming to the field sometimes, it can cause a distraction or something, so. I have been able to keep my distance so I’m not in nobody’s way. But I stay in touch with everybody and I have been pretty busy also, doing a lot of things. 

“But me and the organization, we’ve been talking for a while about me working with the organization. Probably Sam Kennedy can give you guys more info about it. But it’s going to happen, and at some point I’m going to be able to help out somewhere, somehow some way.”

It’d be ridiculous to say Ortiz is the reason Rick Porcello pitched well and Hanley Ramirez homered Friday. It’d be a flat-out lie.

But Ortiz’s presence shouldn’t somehow be a distraction, if leadership and the mentality in the Red Sox clubhouse is as the Red Sox describe it.

"Pedey has been a leader of this team for the entire time he's been here,” manager John Farrell said Friday. “To me, the clubhouse has been a place where guys have felt comfortable. They've been able to come in and be themselves. They have rallied around one another when times have called for that. When you remove an individual, there are going to be other people who step up. I firmly believe that has taken place.”

If that’s the case, then how does what Farrell said in the same pregame press conference yesterday make sense?

“[Ortiz] has a keen awareness that he could potentially keep others from flourishing with the potential thought and the question always being there,” Farrell said. “Well, he is around, is he ever coming back? All the things that I think have been reported on to a certain extent. I think David's keen awareness of himself and how a team works, I wouldn't be surprised if that is at the root of his decision to keep the space that he's done.”

But that decision seems flawed. No one in that room should be hurt or confused by Ortiz coming by occasionally — absolutely not now that the jersey’s hanging. (A little speculation he could un-retire was throwing the Sox off their game? Really?) 

If anything, the team should find comfort in seeing such an important, charismatic man with ties to the group.

Ortiz is special. The team has adapted well without him. If those are facts, the need for Ortiz to stay away doesn’t make sense.

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Danny Ainge made no secret of being miffed when Kansas small forward Josh Jackson canceled his workout with the Celtics in Sacramento at the last minute. 

The Celtics, of course, passed on Jackson and selected Jayson Tatum of Duke with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Suns GM Ryan McDonough's comments at Jackson's introductory press conference lend some credence to the theory that the canceled workout was part of Phoenix's plan to keep the Celtics from selecting Jackson and leave him for the Suns at No. 4.

Check out this portion of Jackson's presser via a tweet from Mike McClune of KPHO-TV: 

"I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition," said McDonough, a former assistant GM to Ainge with the C's "The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. [Armstrong, Jackson's agent] and I and...other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.

"We played by the rules – I guess,” McDonough said to some laughter in the room.

Jackson will certainly get more playing time with the rebuilding Suns that the contending Celtics. Ainge called Jackson "a terrific kid and a good player” after the draft, and said the Celtics were set on Tatum all along, even if they hadn't traded the No. 1 pick.

Jackson said his decision to blow off Ainge coach Brad Stevens and assistant GM Mike Zarren after their cross-country flight was "last-minute" and his plans to work out "just didn't work out."