5 Questions with Ray Mickens

The Jets' nickel back spoke about the team's turnaround and his new nickname, "the sackmaster."

Q: Was there a turning point for this defense during its turn around?


Mickens: Definitely.  During our bye week we made some corrections.  We analyzed tape to see what we were doing wrong.  We didn't really change anything, I think that we just understand the system better.  A lot of guys took extra time when we were off to study game film and see what we were doing wrong and make those adjustments.  I think that helped us in the long run. 


Q: Now you are only one game out of first in the division with DET coming up. 


Mickens: We are not amazed at where are right now.  We are still trying to find our way out.  It worked out for the better for us.  Because if we had won those two games against Cleveland and Kansas City, we would be sitting all alone in first place and they would be chasing us.  But we are not, and I think we are hungry for that.  We have a mentality of us against the world right now, and we are going to keep that mentality for the rest of the season, regardless of what happens.  It is going to be close, but we just want to be the team on top. 


Q: What do you think about how much the standings have changed since early in the season?


Mickens: There is a 180-degree turn from three or four weeks ago.  Three weeks ago, New England was hot and Miami was on top.  And now it has changed in the amount of four weeks.  We still have seven weeks left so that could all change again.  We just want to stay level-headed and keep playing good football because November and December are the months that you have to win in to make the playoffs.  So we are concentrating on playing good football for the rest of the season. 


I know we have Detroit next week, and it is Buffalo after that, but other than that we just want to concentrate on one at a time.  Regardless of who you play, you have to go out there and win.  I don't care if you are playing Cincinnati or Green Bay, it doesn't matter.  Any team can be beaten on any given day.  Every week you have to play to win. 


Q: Do you have a new nickname?


Mickens: No, I got the same nickname.  They are calling me "sackmaster."  I have only blitzed three times this year.  And I got two sacks, so I guess that is why they are calling me that.  I am just happy to help my team out. 


Q: Is that fun for you?


Mickens: It is real fun.  I like the way they are calling it.  They don't expect me because I don't come that much.  I don't want them to start dialing me up after every other play, because then they will start looking for me.  I like it the way it is now, once a game or once every other week because they are not really expecting me. 

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