Jets expecting to turn it around with Mangold

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Jets expecting to turn it around with Mangold

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO Vince Wilfork expects the struggling New York Jets offense to be better on Sunday for one reason: Nick Mangold.

The All-Pro center who has been out recently with an ankle injury, is expected back in time for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. But Wilfork wouldn't mind seeing the 6-foot-4, 300-pound center take another week off.

When asked if he wanted to see Mangold play, Wilfork responded, "No. I don't."

Wilfork added, "He's probably one of the best offensive lineman in the game. He's definitely a leader on the team for them. I know they'd love for him to play."

And that may be why Jets head coach Rex Ryan, never one to lack confidence, is pretty sure his team won't have a repeat of last Sunday's 34-17 debacle against Baltimore.

Ryan didn't need to see the video of the loss to the Ravens to realize that not having Mangold in the middle was a significant factor in his team losing for the second week in a row.

"You take out the best center in football -- no offense to (Jets reserve center) Colin Baxter -- but there's only one Nick Mangold in this league," Ryan said. "When he went out, that was a huge loss to us. With Vince (Wilfork) and all those guys, we need Nick."

Added Wilfork: "He gives them a spark. There's absolutely a difference when he's in and not in. I expect for him to be there (on Sunday), get things going and get his team off to a good start."

Mangold was drafted by the Jets with the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, the lone center taken in the first round that year.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign

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Gronkowski takes exception to Cowboys’ ‘Do Your Job’ sign

The Dallas Cowboys have a “Do Your Job” sign posted in their locker room and “Gronk Nation” isn’t happy about it.

Here’s an excerpt from “Gronk Nation” - the website of Rob Gronkowski and his family - about “America’s Team” co-opting the slogan of the 2014 Patriots' Super Bowl run: 

While we all know that the Pats thrashed the Cowboys 30-6 last October and Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the 1995 season, so they need all the motivation they can get – but can’t America’s Team come up with their own slogan instead of stealing ours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garoppolo: Panthers offer ‘closest thing we’ll get to Week 1’

Garoppolo: Panthers offer ‘closest thing we’ll get to Week 1’

One throw could have very well changed the overall assessment of Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance last Thursday against Chicago. 

Garoppolo had looked completely poised, on rhythm and decisive, carving up the Bears on four straight drives, including an impressive march to open the third quarter. And then, on third down in the red zone, the Pats quarterback correctly read man-under coverage, with a single high safety floating. But with his first two reads covered, Garoppolo pivoted back to his right and threw almost sight unseen to James White. One problem: Bears linebacker John Timu was sitting in the passing lane and dropped what should have an interception.

“Yeah, the linebacker made a nice jump on it,” said Garoppolo. “It’s unfortunate what happened.”

What happened was the Pats escaped with three points and Garoppolo exiting to excellent reviews. But that was a gift from the football gods, though the third-year pro shrugged it off.

“It was just one of those bang-bang plays,” said Garoppolo. “In the red zone, there are tight windows down there, so sometimes you’re going to make throws that get tipped or whatever it may be. You don’t try to make those happen, but sometimes it happens down there.”

A deeper review of the Pats approach versus the Bears showed a greater emphasis on Garoppolo getting rid of the ball the moment those feet settled on repeated three- and five-step drops. That resulted in the best performance by the Pats signal caller since before that full practice scrimmage in which the QB on the other side - a fella by the name of Tom Brady - went 25-for-25. That day, Garoppolo waded into choppy waters and took nearly two weeks to find solid footing. 

“I think part of that comes with just learning the offense overall,” said Garoppolo when asked about his decision making. “Year after year, you’re going to be more comfortable in the system, whatever it may be. I think I’m progressing the right way. There’s obviously a long way to go, you always want to be as precise and decisive as you can be, but I think I’m working in the right direction.”

No denying that, although now comes another test, the preseason tilt Friday night in Carolina against the defending NFC champion Panthers. There may be a greater strain put on Garoppolo and the starters, but as for the idea this is the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the regular season, Bill Belichick reminds you not to get it twisted.

“I think this is a good opportunity for us to compete against arguably as good as any team in the league. [With] all that being said, we’re not talking about a regular-season game here, “ he said. “We’re not talking about game planning and all of those kind of things, which I can’t imagine would happen in this game, but they’re going to happen in a couple of weeks so it’s a whole different ballgame. I don’t think you can compare this game to a regular-season game even though I’ve heard people try to do that. I’m not sure what game they’re looking at. “

Maybe the same thing as Garoppolo is…

“It’s pretty much the closest thing we’ll get to Week 1, so we’ll see how it goes,” he said.