A day after Abraham lashed out at the Jets coaches for playing conservatively in the second half and not trying to attack, Herman Edwards had an interesting response. The Jets head coach usually diffuses any controversial issue amongst his team, but his comments today seemed to reveal a little bit of anger.
"I told [the players] if you want to make comments on whatever, you need to watch the film before you do that," said Edwards. "Make sure you're stating the right thing. I know what kind of player John Abraham is and I know he was frustrated. I'm not going to put a gag order on a player. But just make sure you know what you're talking about before you talk."
Defensive Coordinator Ted Cottrell said he wasn't at all angered by Abraham's comments and that he understood they came out of frustration. The two met for 15-minutes today to discuss the issue. Edwards knows his players are frustrated, but did not feel the play calling was too conservative. After scoring 21 points in the first half, the head coach said he saw nothing that would lead him to believe the offense would stall out like it did in the third quarter, when the team only ran 11 plays.
Cottrell revealed today that the Meadowlands field is causing a bigger problem than anyone realized. It has apparently had an effect on the defensive play calling, and Cottrell has called less man-to-man, in fear of players slipping and giving up the big play.
"It's difficult with the footing, so you have to call things where guys aren't going to be slipping and giving up a big play," said Cottrell. "I'm looking out there and seeing guys slipping and falling and it enters into my thinking."
A team being unable to call certain defenses because of the playing surface is unheard of on the NFL level, and something must be done next year to improve the condition of the field.
An MRI revealed no serious damage to the ankle of T Kareem McKenzie. It is just a sprain, and he is listed as day-to-day. S Jon McGraw was inactive for the Cleveland game, and but is doing better. He suffered a neck stinger early in the Vikings game two weeks ago.
Cleveland's unorthodox substitution methods seemed to confuse the Jets at times during the game. The Browns flirted with violating league substitution rules by holding an extra man in the huddle until the last minute, making it difficult for the Jets to pick up on their changes and match up correctly. The same thing happened week three in Jacksonville.
Edwards has been heavily criticized for punting on Cleveland's 40-yard line, with a tie game in the fourth quarter. Today, he said he that with 12-minutes left in the game, he felt they would still get two more possessions before the game ended. The Jets almost pinned Cleveland on their one-yard line when Matt Turk made a great punt, but the ball trickled over the goal line before anyone could stop it.