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Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich on giving up 54 points: 'I promise that won't happen again'

Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith tries to break

Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith tries to break free from Jets cornerback Brandin Echols during the first half of an NFL game on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP/Mary Schwalm

Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich showed more passion, resistance and resolve than his group did on Sunday.

Ulbrich expressed disgust over his defense allowing 54 points to the Patriots and vowed that level of incompetence won’t happen again.

"A wide range of emotions," he said of what he felt Sunday. "Embarrassment, anger, everything imaginable from that standpoint. It’s inexcusable and it can’t happen again.

"We absolutely did not play to the level that we’re capable of and coach to the level that we’re capable of, and we’re fortunate that we have a group that recognizes that. I promise that won’t happen again."

During their usual Monday meeting, Ulbrich told the defense that the blame is shared by everyone and that they’re all in it together. He also said he was "very transparent and brutally honest about what happened and how to fix


Ulbrich said tackle Foley Fatukasi and other players spoke up in the meeting.

"They were very receptive to it," Ulbrich said, "which is a positive [after] a very hard day, a positive from the standpoint that they’re absolutely all in this together, and because of that, it gives us an opportunity to overcome this."

LB unit very thin

Rookie linebacker Jamien Sherwood suffered a season-ending Achilles tear Sunday.

A fifth-round pick out of Auburn, Sherwood showed promise as he transitioned from safety in college to linebacker with the Jets. He started his third consecutive game Sunday and handled the defensive play-calling duties with C.J. Mosley out with a hamstring injury.

"It crushes me that he gets hurt because he’s a guy who absolutely loves this game and is all in," Ulbrich said.

The Jets are thin at linebacker and will work out some players on Tuesday, coach Robert Saleh said.

Injured linebackers include Quincy Williams, who is in the concussion protocol, and Blake Cashman, who suffered a groin injury against New England. Hamsah Nasirildeen won’t come off injured reserve before next week.

The Jets hope Mosley will return Sunday against the Bengals.

Saleh said Jarrad Davis, also on IR, will practice this week, but he’s unsure if he will play Sunday.

"It’s a hurting group," Saleh said. "There’s definitely some things we got to piece together."

Offense still in a funk

First-year offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said it’s "totally alarming" that the Jets still are having execution issues.

They’re the only team to not score a point in the first quarter this season.

LaFleur defended his play-calling in the first series of Sunday’s game. The Jets ran the ball on first and second down for little gain, and he said he called runs "to ease our quarterback into a game." On third down, Zach Wilson was sacked when Myles Bryant came in unblocked.

LaFleur said those breakdowns are a result of coaching. "We’ve got to keep on looking internal," he said. "I will forever and always put that on us as coaches."

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