Paoletti: Jets live up to their own hype


Paoletti: Jets live up to their own hype

By Mary Paoletti

FOXBORO -- They are who they thought they were.

The Jets. Those mouthy Jets. The team stays with the script after beating New England 28-21 on Sunday.

"That's for all you g--damn nonbelievers," Bart Scott hollers. He walks into the tunnel alongside Santonio Holmes.

"That's how you come in and f-----g take care of business," Holmes screams.

They're talking to no one in particular, to everyone within earshot. The Jets have ousted their rival from the playoffs after a week's worth of pressure building trash-talk. The fury of their postgame relief punches a hole in the pipes.

If you thought they were heated before, then you won't believe what's radiating from this scene.

Darrelle Revis slaps Sione Pouha on the back on the way into the locker room. Dustin Keller stops to lay thunderous high-fives on at least 10 outstretched hands. Braylon Edwards isn't content to merely walk; the receiver leaves the field with arms outstretched and 'Jet Planes' through the concrete hall.

"All the way in," he crows. "All the way in!"

Only LaDainian Tomlinson chooses to savor the moment quietly. He trails his team in a trance, lips locked in a tight smile, head slowly wagging side-to-side.

Tomlinson is an outlier.

New York entered Gillette Stadium at full volume. Beyond the rivalry, there was an embarrassing 45-3 Monday Night Football loss in early December for the Jets to reconcile.

"We just felt like we were totally disrespected," Shaun Ellis says Sunday night. "Granted, they ran the score up on us, Tom Brady with his emotions. They were doing our Jets run on certain plays. Going into this game we just wanted to get them back. Rex Ryan set the tone earlier in the week . . . "

He did, indeed.

The head coach belittled Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's study habits to set the banter ablaze. Corner Antonio Cromartie later called Brady a jerk. Then, Bart Scott returned Wes Welker's fun-loving fire with a physical threat. And how many times in between did Ryan make this bold prediction:

"We're not going to lose."

Lucky for him, they didn't.

Ryan's club won because his team made several key plays (five sacks of Brady, the most of the QB in one game since Super Bowl XLII) and because the Patriots missed some of their own (Patrick Chung's failed fake punt).

After Chung fumbled the direct snap, Ryan could be seen laughing and clapping his hands together gleefully. He looked in giddy disbelief of his own luck.

So of course the coach loped all the way into the end zone in the fourth quarter. He needed to congratulate running back Shonn Greene on his touchdown. He wanted to celebrate the fact that the trash-talking was no longer just trash-talking; it was truth.

"Our coach speaks his mind about what goes on inside and gets ridiculed for it,'' Scott says. "It's easy to say 'no comment,' to make no comments. That's easy. We believe in what we can do, that's why we enjoy hearing ourselves talk.

"I could care less if people believe in us. Win or lose, we don't care what you guys believe about us. All we care about is the people inside these walls believe. You guys can jump on the bandwagon or jump off, we could care less."

Despite the win -- or maybe because of it -- Scott is defensive in the visitor's locker room. He doesn't want to discuss the win with the media, he wants to beat them over the head with it until they apologize from their knees.

While the rest of the team packs up to go home, Scott stands at one end of the room, still in Under Armour and pads, dictating a lecture on 'Perception Versus Reality.' He raises his voice to be heard over Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" as it blares from the stereo.

The gist of the lesson? You thought the Jets were full of crap. Now, you're stepping in a pile of it.

Trevor Pryce is also feeling fresh. The defensive end lumbers from shower to locker, gums flapping. He's quickly surrounded by reporters.

Scribes from all over the country have invaded Gillette -- filling two floors of seating room -- and are now bumping into each other, tripping over discarded jockstraps, socks and wads of athletic tape, to record the most sensational sound they can find.

One needn't look far.

"Tom Brady's gonna figure it out tomorrow: 'Ohh, that's what they were doing!'" Pryce mocked. "Too late, motherf----r."

How does that saying go? 'Let us be humble in victory, and gracious in defeat'?


Reportedly, Jets assistant coaches were giving the middle finger to Patriots fans as they exited their suite. Did Ryan hand out chips for everyone's shoulders during training camp?

The coach set the bar astronomically high by gunning for the Lombardi Trophy before preseason even started. But five losses and some narrow escapes made them an underdog -- the undersized kind that never quits yapping.

Thing is, they like feeling their backs against the wall.

"We knew that we had that it takes to beat this team,'' Mike DeVito says in the post game. "We love it when you put us as the underdog and say that we have no chance. We thrive on that. We proved that today, we beat a great team in their own place. We're going to take it all the way this year. "

They might. And a whole lot of pundits and football fans will be surprised if New York does make it past Pittsburgh next weekend and wins a Super Bowl in Dallas in February. But with the rate the team is talking, they have to.

Only then will they be who they said they were.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language


Van Noy sees playing-time bump as he learns Patriots language

When Kyle Van Noy was traded to the Patriots in late October, he had a lot to learn. He needed to understand the layout of his new team's maze-like facility. He needed to adjust to a new locker room. He needed to adapt to a new home. 

He also had to become fluent in a new language.

The former Lions 'backer was inactive for two weeks before he was comfortable enough with the Patriots system -- and the coaching staff was comfortable enough with him -- to get on the field. He played 29 snaps against the Niners in first game with his new club, then saw 28 plays against the Jets. On Sunday he saw his role expand as he played 40 of a possible 51 plays, which was more than Shea McClellin (38) or Dont'a Hightower (33). 

"Kyle has done a great job of working really hard to acclimate to what we’re doing, and he has had to learn really fast as far as the system, the communication, the language," said defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on a conference call Tuesday. "It’s like when you go to a different system, offensively or defensively, a lot of times it’s just learning the vernacular and the verbiage . . . That’s a big part of it. Then getting more familiar with that kind of terminology and the communication is critical because there’s a lot of calls and adjustments, things like that that we’ve got to do on the field."

Van Noy was making some of those calls himself on Sunday as he wore the green dot on his helmet when Hightower was on the sidelines. Even with the added responsibility, Van Noy was able to play freely enough that he put together what might have been the best game of his three-year career. 

Used at the end of the line of scrimmage as well as in a more traditional off-the-line linebacker role, Van Noy was effective in defending both the pass and the run: He stuffed three Rams rush attempts, he recorded a quarterback hit that led to an incompletion, he drew a holding call, and he recorded an athletic interception when he tracked a wobbling Jared Goff pass that floated over the middle after Jabaal Sheard hit Goff's arm as the rookie released his throw.

After several of his stand-out plays, Van Noy was visibly excited on the field and later on the sidelines. It was the culmination of six weeks of work, learning as much as he could from a coaching staff that was eager to teach him. 

"He’s extremely prideful in his work and his approach to the game," Patricia said. "He’s very cerebral. He’ll ask a lot of questions. He really wants to understand what we’re doing and why, which is great. We’re trying to give him those answers and insight into kind of where some of this either came from or developed or situations like that so that’s really good."