FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After getting roughed up by Baker Mayfield and Blake Bortles in consecutive weeks, the New York Jets are planning to work overtime in an attempt to clean up their issues on defense.
After Friday's practice, the defense will hold a players-only film session during which they will review their calls and adjustments in a final prep for Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The objective, of course, is to eliminate any potential communication breakdowns that might occur on the field.
Safety Jamal Adams mentioned the possibility of the meeting Tuesday in a radio interview, and several players confirmed Wednesday it would happen. Truth be told, it had been a topic of conversation since last week. The dreadful performance in Jacksonville, where the Jets gave up 503 total yards, escalated the sense of urgency.
"We're going to start doing it every Friday to make sure everybody is on the same page and make sure we see everything together as a group," middle linebacker Avery Williamson said.
Obvious question: What took so long?
Actually, the defense played reasonably well for first 2½ games, not falling apart until the second half of their Week 3 loss to Mayfield and the Browns. Evidently, the Jets figured that was an aberration.
Then came the Bortles beating, which put the Jets -- losers of three straight -- in crisis mode. At 1-3, there's a feeling that the season is slipping away, so this is a unified attempt to prevent it from happening.
In six quarters against Bortles and Mayfield, the Jets surrendered 589 passing yards. Do the math; it's 98 yards per quarter.
Players sit in meetings for several hours a day, listening to coaches discuss the game plan and scouting reports on the opponent. The defense is separated for a chunk of that time, with the line, linebackers and secondary meeting in different rooms. The players will have more together time in the Friday sessions, which they hope will translate into a smoother operation on the field.
"We have only so much time to go through every call together as a defense," linebacker Brandon Copeland said. "We have to split up as a group to go through certain things, which means certain little things and nuances might be lost in translation or lost from room to room. By watching film together, the hope is we're all on the same page now."
The Jaguars did a masterful job of confusing the Jets with their route combinations, resulting in ridiculously open receivers. The most blatant breakdown came on T.J. Yeldon's 31-yard touchdown catch. He came out of the backfield and ran a criss-cross with wide receiver Dede Westbrook. Linebacker Darron Lee, responsible for underneath coverage, followed Westbrook for a couple of steps, then realized he was supposed to cover Yeldon.
Too late. It was a walk-in touchdown. Inexcusable.
If a defender gets beat in a competitive situation ... hey, it happens. But when receivers are running free in the secondary, it creates the perception of confusion and unpreparedness -- and that reflects poorly on coaching.
"We harp on it all the time," coach Todd Bowles said of on-field communication. "Some of it wasn't communication issues. They were individual issues that had nothing to do with communication."
Bowles downplayed the Friday meetings, saying there's nothing unusual about them. He said they've been occurring every Friday since he became the coach in 2015. Evidently, the players believe something extra is needed. Former Jets and Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, a co-host on WFAN radio in New York, said the Ravens held Friday film sessions on a regular basis.
"Ultimately, we feel like we're moving as one heartbeat, but this is just something we feel like we're doing to take that next step and ultimately be better on Sunday," Copeland said. "We're trying to get it right, as opposed to other teams that might not necessarily take that step."