New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace came under fire for declaring Gang Green was trying to force Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush out of Sunday's game in Miami. Bush left in the second-quarter with an apparent knee injury and did not return. Subsequent MRI results have indicated there is no structural damage to his knee and Bush could be back in the lineup as soon as this upcoming Sunday. Pace clarified his earlier remarks, claiming neither he nor any of his teammates intended to hurt the speedy back.
"Before I) answer any question about any game stuff, apparently, I said something about Reggie Bush trying to get him out of the game," stated Pace. "I wasn't trying to say it as if we were trying to hurt him. I'm sad to see him get hurt. We aren't running any kind of bounty system or anything like that, and actually, looking at the play, somebody just fell on his knee. That's all I have to say. I guess I need to say things in a different manner, and I'll do a better job of it next time."
With the air cleared, Pace moved on to more pressing matters, mainly the injury status of the team's best player. While the season will carry on without Revis, Pace has come to grips with the fact his team will have rally together in the upcoming weeks.
"I talked to him after the game, then I saw him this morning and he said it was pretty much over," said Pace with disappointment on his face. It's a sad moment, because to my knowledge, he's never missed a game, the guy has always been healthy. For somebody (who is hurt), (and) I've been hurt before, rehabbing is harder than playing, because you're sitting out, watching the guys go out and practice, playing games, and you're trying to stay positive. It's a tough situation, but everybody's here for him, we're going to try to keep his spirits up. But again, we all have jobs to do on Sunday, so we just have to keep moving.
With cornerback Darrelle Revis lost for the season due to a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament, Pace and the Jets pass rush will need to elevate their game. Through three weeks, New York has produced just three sacks and Gang Green's defense is the worst in the NFL at getting off the field on third downs. According to Pace, the Jets won't look to replace Revis with one player, instead they'll have to get better collectively and trust one another.
"We're not going to ask Kyle (Wilson) to go out and be Darrelle, we're not going to ask Ellis (Lankster) to go out and be Darrelle, Pace noted. "A number of people have to step up and try to affect the game in the same way he did. Obviously, it's not going to be in the same manner. We have to find a way to regroup and we (have to) try to get better as a whole defensively, it hasn't been good enough."