FLORHAM PARK–Some good news. It looks like both Mike DeVito and Joe McKnight will play on Sunday. DeVito was limited, but McKnight was full go in Wednesday’s practice wearing a brace on his right arm. He said that the only effect the brace was having on him was that he’s holding the ball higher and tighter, not necessarily a bad thing. Otherwise he said it’s not bothering him at all. He wore it for the first time during pregame warmups on Sunday (just to try it out, since he didn’t play), and three days later, he’s gotten used to it.
Brandon Moore (hip) didn’t practice, but that was the plan all along. He’ll play against the Eagles.
Marquice Cole (knee) did not practice at all and right now he’s iffy for Sunday. Eric Smith (knee) was limited, along with Marcus Dixon (hip), but both those guys should play.
Although the Eagles are 5-8, they are three-point favorites for Sunday’s game. Asked about it, Rex Ryan said, “I’m not betting on the game, so it doesn’t bother me.” The Jets have never won in Philadelphia.
They are appropriately focused on not only what quarterback Michael Vick can do, but on the Eagles strong pass rush. “The Eagles defense has some of the best players I’ve seen all year on tape,” Mark Sanchez said. However, the offense is trying to stay consistent with the successes they’ve had in the red zone, improved protections and third down conversions, just to name a few points.
“We understand that chances we had early in the season. We understand that we kind of squandered some opportunities,” Sanchez said.
Of Vick, Ryan pointed out that it’s not just his running ability that’s a threat, but added that he, “Can throw a strawberry through a battleship.”
Ryan wants to make sure his team stays on its toes. They have to be vigilant and aware of what Vick’s able to do, but can’t be afraid to play their own game. “You have to treat him like he’s Michael Vick,” Ryan said. “But you have to take shots at him.”
In the meantime, Smith and Brodney Pool are working closely with the newly signed safety Gerald Alexander, helping him get up to speed. It seems very unlikely that Alexander will play this week, but he’s doing his best to learn the defense as fast as he can. He arrived in New York on Tuesday and still had a suitcase sitting in his locker. Mature, affable and polite, Alexander said,”It’s going to be a crash course,” describing what he’s going to have to do to in the way of studying over the next few weeks.
In addition to Pool and Smith, Alexander’s already got a friend in the room. He was a senior at Boise State when Kyle Wilson was a freshman so the two know each other well. “Kyle was a little pup when I was at Boise State,” he laughed. He said he’s enjoyed watching Wilson grow through the Boise State program and then the last two years in the NFL.
Since Alexander will probably be on the sideline, look for the appearance of Ellis Lankster and / or Isaiah Trufant. Lankster has, by his own admission, come a long way over the past few months. “In training camp I was lost,” he said. “But I’ve been learning from (Darrelle) Revis and (Antonio) Cromartie, learning how to take notes, learning how to study film and I can see myself improving.”
Anecdote of the Day: Sanchez seems to be quite unhappy with the haircut that Ryan made sure to announce following the game on Sunday. I saw his uncovered head, and it didn’t look that bad to me (it is pretty short), but before the cameras got near him, Sanchez had donned a knit hat that covered his entire head.