With Darrelle Revis (hamstring) out this week, the job of covering Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall goes to Antonio Cromartie. This is familiar turf for Cromartie. He faced Marshall four times in the AFC West, when they played for the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos, respectively.
In Week 2 of the 2008 season, Marshall went bananas, recording 18 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. Cromartie bristled Thursday when asked how often he covered Marshall on that historic day.
"All I know is, he had four catches versus me," Cromartie said. "That's his biggest game against me. I don't care what anybody says about the 18 catches."
The man speaks the truth. Marshall had four catches for 43 yards and a TD against Cromartie, according to ESPN Stats and Information. (Cromartie did have three penalties in that game.) In four matchups against Marshall, Cromartie has allowed only seven catches for 74 yards.
That bodes well for the Jets on Sunday night. On Thursday, Rex Ryan went out of his way to praise Cromartie, saying he set an "all-time Florham Park record" for recording 10 interceptions in practice. (No, none of them came against Mark Sanchez. It was a Mark Brunell-Kellen Clemens combo platter.)
"I just think he's sharp. He's focused," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "I know he's competed against Brandon Marshall before and he's looking forward to the challenge. That certainly showed in his preparation. He knew right away that Darrelle (Revis) was going to be down and that all of a sudden everybody's looking at him and (saying), 'Hey, you're the No. 1 guy.' I think he's not a guy who's going to hide from that opportunity. He relishes in it. Looking at the way he practiced, I can tell he can't wait until Sunday."
• Not that there was much doubt, but rookie Kyle Wilson will replace Revis in the starting lineup.
• C Nick Mangold, who missed practice for the second straight day, has an AC joint sprain (first degree) in his right shoulder, according to Ryan. Mangold is expected to play.
• Backup OT Wayne Hunter (bruised shin) also is likely to play. If he can't play, they will have to activate rookie Vlad Ducasse for the first time. The Jets can't be too concerned about Hunter because they waived backup OT Patrick Brown. They probably will fill his roster with WR Patrick Turner, currently on the practice squad.
• If Turner is active, anybody want to bet he's a game captain?
• Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Sanchez' three-touchdown, no-turnover performance last week: "All in all, I think it really was his best game that I've seen him play."
• Classic stuff from Ryan on his return to Miami, where he got into a heated exchange with fans last January at an MMA match (see: Rex flips the bird).
"I would expect a standing ovation," he joked, adding, "That's one of those deals where I'm coming out with a helmet. I'll try to sneak out there a little bit. That's why I've been losing a lot of weight. Maybe they won't recognize me."
• Schottenheimer said the uncertainty over Braylon Edwards' role won't impact the game plan or how he calls the game. Schottenheimer: "I know one thing: He'll be extremely motivated to come out and play really well. I know he wants to take this and turn it into a real positive thing."
• Schottenheimer admitted that he scaled back the offense after the Baltimore Ravens debacle: "When you have six months to prepare (for a game), you tend to over-think things schematically. In hindsight, I think we probably did a little of that."