BEREA – The New York Jets like to pressure the punter and go for the block, which is rare in the NFL. So the Browns will have to be ready Sunday.
“Not everybody in the NFL will rush punts on a consistent basis, but these guys rush punts on a consistent basis,” coach Romeo Crennel said.
Reserve running back Jason Wright is a key protector for punter Dave Zastudil. He said the Jets matchup means more time in the film room.
“It makes you be fundamental,” Wright said Friday. “You`ve got to study. It`s a week where you have to apply your mind as much as you do your technique. “They have a good scheme and good rushers, too.”
Wright said Jets safety Eric Smith is second only to Baltimore`s Ed Reed when it comes to rushing off the edge.
“It`s a really big challenge for us,” he said.
Special teams coordinator Ted Daisher said bringing pressure is a matter of philosophy. Most teams prefer to set up the return, including the Browns.
“It`s difficult to block a punt,” he said. “I`m sure there have been more kick returns and punt returns for a touchdown than there have been blocked punts this season. If you get a good snap and your operation is good and you don`t have a breakdown in protection, it`s hard to get to a punt.”
Daisher said the Jets haven`t blocked one this year, but have come close.
“They have affected the punter with pressure,” he said. “You`re trying to get a ball kicked poorly that gives your returner a chance to take the ball and get vertical fast. It`s a good philosophy.”
The Browns have a punt rush in the playbook every week, but the scenario needs to be right and Crennel needs to give the go-ahead, according to Daisher. He said the Browns haven`t tried to block one this year.
“That doesn`t mean we won`t do it this week,” Daisher said.
Third receiver Tim Carter was added to the injury report as questionable with an illness and didn`t practice. Six other Browns were listed as questionable and were limited in practice: tight end Steve Heiden (ankle), nose tackle Ethan Kelley (knee), defensive end Orpheus Roye (knee), linebackers Antwan Peek (knee) and David McMillan (knee) and cornerback Eric Wright (knee).
Right tackle Kevin Shaffer (knee) and defensive end Robaire Smith (neck) practiced and are probable.
The Jets could be without both starting receivers. Jerricho Cotchery (finger) is doubtful and Laveranues Coles (ankle) is questionable. Both were limited.
JETS COULD GO GADGET
The Browns defense must be prepared to see some trick plays Sunday. Under coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets mix things up and use the talents of versatile guys like running back Leon Washington and receiver/converted quarterback Brad Smith.
“I know what a headache those were getting ready for, so I just want to make sure that we can create the same headaches for other defensive coordinators,” said Mangini, a former defensive coordinator.
Joshua Cribbs, who played quarterback at Kent State, gives the Browns some of the same options for gadget plays. Coordinator Rob Chudzinski has used him on end-arounds and direct snaps, and Sunday let him throw a successful 2-point conversion.
Crennel must approve a trick play before Chudzinski can call one.
“If they work, I like them,” Crennel said. “If they don`t work, then they`re not quite as good.”
WINSLOW’S OFF DAY
Tight end Kellen Winslow was held to three catches for 35 yards last week by the Cardinals. It would`ve been more, but his 37-yard catch in the end zone on the final play was ruled incomplete.
Winslow explained the slow day with a reference to a popular video game.
“On Madden, you spotlight a guy,” he said. “Their whole defense was spotlighting on me. They were trying to jam me and playing a safety over the top of me. I`m sure they wanted to jam No. 80, hold No. 80.
“Of course they slowed me down, but it left other guys open. Some weeks it`s going to go my way, some weeks it`s not.”
BRAYLON MEETS ELVIS
Receiver Braylon Edwards walked into the locker room, turned on his stereo and started swinging his hips to Elvis Presley`s “Jailhouse Rock.” It was a pretty good impersonation for a guy who just discovered The King.
Edwards said he became a fan this week when he bought a bunch of Christmas CDs, including one by Presley.
“He`s got range,” Edwards said.
So Edwards picked up a “Greatest Hits” CD and has been listening to Presley since.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.