The New York Jets are going back to push-ups for penalties.
That means whenever a player commits an infraction on the practice field, everyone out there – from coach Rex Ryan to owner Woody Johnson – needs to drop and give `em 10. Meanwhile, the penalized player will just stand and watch.
”I want him to notice who he’s affecting,” Ryan said Monday. ”He’s affecting all of us. I think that’s where it’s like, `Oh, OK.’ After you’ve done a few of those, you’re like, `Really, you got a penalty again?’ And they’ll get on each other.
”There’s a little bit of accountability, especially if you look and the owner’s knocking them out.”
The Jets (2-1) beat the Buffalo Bills 27-20 on Sunday, despite committing a team-record 20 penalties. They also became the first team to get called for that many penalties and win since the Browns beat the Bears in 1951 despite being penalized 21 times. That’s a distinction the Jets aren’t particularly proud of.
”We don’t want our team to be associated with penalties, no question,” Ryan said. ”That’s not who we are. I want a physical football team, but I also want to be the least penalized team in the league, not the most penalized team.
”It’s not acceptable.”
That’s why Ryan and his staff brainstormed and put a few measures in place that would help cut down on the mental errors, although he only would reveal the mandatory push-ups. He tried the same thing in 2010 when penalties were a problem, and the team improved in that area.
”We don’t want to look like Jack LaLanne or somebody,” Ryan said with a smile.
According to the team’s official site, the Jets committed 63 penalties in their first eight games in 2010, but had just 40 in the second half of that season as the push-ups were put in place. And, yes, the owner was right there with the players.
”Woody knocks those things out pretty good,” Ryan said with a laugh. ”I’m the one that struggles, but I’ve got the strings for arms.”
While it might seem funny, the Jets know the penalties are no laughing matter. Not when they almost handed the game away to the Bills.
”Those are self-inflicted wounds and we’ve got to correct them,” defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said. ”We know that those penalties can hurt us in the long run.”
By the numbers, the Jets thoroughly outplayed the Bills Sunday in every aspect.
They rolled up 513 yards of total offense – the most during Ryan’s four-plus years – and it was the first time New York had 500 or more yards of total offense since 2000. It was also the first time in team history the Jets had a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers.
Bilal Powell ran for a career-high 149 yards on 27 carries, and is second to Tennessee’s Chris Johnson in rushing in the AFC.
”Man, oh man, he was outstanding,” Ryan said.
On defense, the Jets sacked EJ Manuel eight times, including two by Wilkerson.
But, it all was almost wasted by the frustrating mistakes. It took Geno Smith’s 69-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the fourth quarter to bail out the Jets with the go-ahead score.
”I don’t think any game’s going to be 100 percent perfect or pretty,” right tackle Austin Howard said. ”The fact is, the `W’ goes in the win column. That being said, we understand that there’s a lot of stuff for us to learn.”
Smith outplayed Manuel, the only quarterback drafted ahead of him in April, finishing 16 of 29 for 331 yards and touchdown passes to Holmes and Stephen Hill. But, he also had two interceptions, giving him six in three games.
”It just can’t happen,” Smith said. ”I have to find a way to eliminate those. It comes with time and patience, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get there at some point and time.”
Sooner rather than later, the Jets hope. And that goes for everyone, not just Smith.
”We’ve done some good things as a team, but obviously we’re not near where we need to be even in our execution of things,” Ryan said. ”The penalties, man, we know we can fix it.
”And it needs to start this week.”
NOTES: Ryan didn’t have an update on RB Chris Ivory’s hamstring injury, but said it was the same one (left leg) that ailed him during training camp. He had just 5 yards on four carries. … With just one television camera set up in the back of the press conference room, Ryan noticed. ”OK, one camera when we win, and 15 when we lose,” he said with a grin.