A heaping helping of Website Whispers

Aside from keeping tight ends in to block, the Jets are using another strategy to protect quarterback Chad Pennington.

They have been using a lot of three-step drops this year, making it more difficult for teams to sack Pennington.

This strategy frustrated a Bills pass rush that had been dominant the first two games. They finished the game with just one sack.

"We knew that was going to be their approach," Bills linebacker London Fletcher said of the three-step drops. "That's all they showed on tape. It's not a situation where you are going to get a big sack."

"He really didn't give us a chance to pass-rush him," said Bills defensive tackle Larry Tripplett. "It doesn't give us a chance to get after the quarterback.  He did a good job getting rid of the ball and getting it to his playmakers."

And it makes the job of the defensive backs very difficult.

"Pennington puts a lot of pressure on people because he gets the ball out of his hands so quickly," said Bills cornerback Terrence McGee. "The line couldn't get back there to disrupt him." . . .

Teams might be taking the Jets for granted because of low media expectations entering the season.

"I hope teams continue to take us for granted," said Jets wide receiver Laveranues Coles . . .

Running back Kevan Barlow suffered some kind of ankle injury that forced him out of the fourth quarter against Buffalo, but it doesn't seem serious. He had no wrap on the ankle in the locker room.

His absence finally allowed Cedric Houston an opportunity to run the ball, and he had two five-yard carries, the second one for a touchdown.

Jets coach Eric Mangini talked after the game, and then again on Monday, about how Houston earned an opportunity to play because of his solid work in practice leading up to the game. But that is a little misleading. While he was finally active for the first time this year, he never would have played if Barlow didn't get hurt. There is no way they would give red-zone carries in the fourth quarter to a back who hadn't touched the ball all day.

While the Jets coaches deserve a lot of credit for the team's 2-1 start, the handling of the running back position by the offensive staff has been misguided. The team isn't getting enough push up front, so a running back who can break tackles is just what the Jets need now. Yet Houston, the team's most rugged back, was inactive for the first two games, and then was on the brink of not getting in the third game.

That makes little sense and is indefensible . . .

The Jets' pass defenders better get their act together. When a backup-quality quarterback like J.P. Losman passes for 328 yards against you, what the heck is the Colts' Peyton Manning going to do next Sunday? A week earlier, the Patriots' Tom Brady exploited several blown coverages. If this happens against Manning, with his great field vision, the Jets could be in for a long day . . .

But while the Jets did give up a lot of passing yards to Losman, they also had several good moments where they confused the young signal-caller.

"They did some stuff we didn't anticipate," Losman admitted. "The way the corners played, especially to Lee Evans' side, gave me multiple looks to look at.  One of the corners (Andre Dyson) -- he was baiting me at times -- backing up, coming up, backing up. He did a good job and I will learn from it. Obviously, I failed in seeing exactly what they were doing." . . .

One thing that could really help the Jets stay competitive against Indianapolis is the injury report. The Jets are relatively healthy, and the Colts are one of the most banged-up teams in the league.

Kicker Adam Vinatieri will miss the Jets-Colts game with a groin injury, and will be replaced by Martin Gramatica. Another player who will likely be out Sunday is Indy's #3 wide receiver Brandon Stokely, who has a high ankle sprain. He is a key element in the Colts' passing game, taking advantage of single coverage to make a lot happen.

Another injury to keep an eye on is the buttock ailment to All-Pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. If Freeney can't go, this will be a huge break for the Jets. He is perhaps the team's best pass rusher.

Defensive tackle Corey Simon has yet to play this year after undergoing a knee ‘scope during training camp. His status for the Jets game is up in the air . . .

So what is the problem with the Jets' run defense? They have done a poor job three weeks in a row.  One issue is clearly related to the nose tackle position. Dewayne Robertson clearly isn't suited to play 3-4 nose tackle. Let's not forget, when he came into the league, the Jets drafted him to play the three-technique position in the 4-3 defense. These positions are polar opposites. The 3-4 nose tackle is basically a glorified offensive lineman, with the job of tying up offensive linemen to keep the linebackers free to make plays. The three-technique is the position Warren Sapp played in the Tampa Bay defense. That position is all about getting up field and making plays.

Most 3-4 nose tackles are built like Ted Washington and Keith Traylor, who are massive space-eaters. Robertson is much smaller than these players, and would be better off in a 4-3 defense. Expect the Jets to pick a nose tackle high in next year's draft.

The other issue hurting the Jets' run defense is poor gap- control. Players are doing a poor job picking the correct running lanes.

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