The Jets will head to Pittsburgh for Sunday’s game. There are a lot of uncertainties here — the Jets have never won at the Steelers, the field is such a mess that it’s a home field advantage, the Jets offensive problems have gone on for two straight weeks and the Sal Alosi tripping scandal expanded from an isolated incident to a scope that has other coaches questioning Rex Ryan’s denial that he was involved.
The team may not be back to normal on the field either. What was practice like this week?
“I thought it was solid, it wasn’t perfect,” Brandon Moore said. “it wasn’t a normal week where everything was clicking but we haven’t been clicking in general during the whole game for a while now. I think it was clean and things were cleaned up mistakes that happen in practice are addressed and you get them fixed.”
The Jets can expect cold, and although quarterback Mark Sanchez might don the full black face mask during outdoor practices, OL Rob Turner goes out in shorts. And running back Shonn Greene said he can handle Pittsburgh no problem.
“I played in Iowa so it’s pretty much the same thing,” Greene said.
He also said the Jets have a sold game plan against the AFC opponent.
“We got a lot of schemes and things that we think can work against their defense, very aggressive,” Greene said. “Going to try to hit at some of their weaknesses like the flats. It looks like they have a hard time covering the flats so we have a lot of routes going into the flats.”
The offense may not have to face Troy Polamalu, who is listed as doubtful on the injury report with an ankle, but the Jets are preparing to meet the Steelers safety.
“He’s playing,” said WR Jerricho Cotchery. “He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. I expect him to be out there, everyone on this team expects him to be out there. Whatever is in question right now, I got a feeling come game time he’ll be out there.”
WR Braylon Edwards said it doesn’t matter whether or not he plays if the Jets can’t catch the ball.
"They could have five or six missing starters,” said Edwards, “but if we don’t execute, or we don’t do the things that we've been coached to do, or the things we designed against these guys, it won't matter if he plays or not.''
Ryan made no bone about the importance of this game. Asked if they were desperate — a word Edwards doesn’t like to use — Ryan said yup.
"Pretty much,” Ryan said. “We need to win. There’s no question about it. The odds don’t look real good of us winning our division, clearly. Let’s just get in the playoffs.”
Greene said the team is approaching this game knowing just how important it is.
“Obviously we want to treat these games like we should, like they’re playoff games, like it’s one and done,” Greene said. “So we’re going to treat them like that and try to get the job done.”