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Jets Q&A: How did they feel about having their victory formation attacked?

Quarterback Michael Vick #1 of the New York

Quarterback Michael Vick #1 of the New York Jets meets outside linebacker Jason Worilds #93 of the Pittsburgh Steelers following a game at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

Did the Steelers really try to break up the Jets’ victory formation?

When Mike Mitchell went airborne, Nick Mangold did the only thing he could: He grabbed the safety in midair and body-slammed him. And he made no apologies for his actions after the game. 

With the Jets leading 20-13 and 1:14 remaining, Mitchell ran toward the line of scrimmage and leaped over his own defensive linemen in an attempt to create a turnover against the Jets’ victory formation. A skirmish ensued.

“I think it’s a dirty play. That’s what it is,’’ said Mangold, who simply shrugged when he was shown a video clip of his body-slam.

Former Steeler Willie Colon agreed. “I think it was just BS,’’ said Colon, who was drafted by the Steelers in 2006. “I love that team, I was birthed into that organization. But I felt it was uncalled for. And I reacted the way I reacted.’’

This isn’t the first time a team has tried to blow up an opponent’s victory formation. Former Bucs coach Greg Schiano came under fire when he tried it against the Giants in 2012 and the Cardinals in 2013. But the Jets clearly saw it as a bush-league move.

“I kind of saw him coming,’’ Mangold said of Mitchell. “Didn’t expect him to do that. But he did it. And I think it wasn’t the smartest of plays. But we’re glad he wasn’t able to get to Mike [Vick].’’

Speaking of Vick . . . were the Jets upset that their quarterback took a lot of hits?

Rex Ryan thought there was a discrepancy between how the officials “protected’’ Ben Roethlisberger and Vick.

“I got a little upset,’’ said Ryan, who was caught by cameras shouting an obscenity as he left the field.

“ . . . In this league, there is a huge emphasis on protecting the quarterback — protecting all players, as they should. I’m not so sure our quarterback was protected as well as the other quarterback today. I think I got a little upset with that.’’

In the second quarter, Vick was knocked out of bounds by James Harrison and hit late by Lawrence Timmons. No flag was thrown, although Vick’s helmet flew off his head.

Vick also was knocked out of bounds in the fourth quarter and was hit with an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty after he got up and flipped the ball at cornerback William Gay. Upon seeing the flag, Ryan completely lost his cool and fired off a round of expletives at the officials. That got him flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, too, creating third-and-46.

“When you’re in the pocket, and even when you are outside of the pocket, the rules are the rules,’’ Vick said. “They shouldn’t be able to be broken for anybody.’’

Colon agreed with Ryan, adding: “The ref’s got a job to do . . . I felt it was spotty at times. But at the end of the day, I don’t make the call.’’

Vick hopes the league will review the sideline hit that caused his helmet to fly off.
“I’m not asking for more calls than another guy,’’ he said. “Everybody has a job to do and I think it should be done. I play this game, I want to protect myself. I know I put myself in harm’s way and that is the way I play, but I try to protect myself, as well. Sometimes I need the refs to protect me, too.’’

Does Vick’s milestone of 6,000 rushing yards make him feel young?

Actually, quite the opposite.

“Really, it makes me feel old because that’s years of hard work,’’ he said of becoming the first NFL quarterback to surpass the 6,000-yard threshold.

Vick carried eight times for 39 yards, including an 18-yarder that set up Jace Amaro’s touchdown catch in the first quarter.

"Continuing to play the game at a high level at my age makes me appreciate the game of football,’’ he said.“ . . . Those 6,000 yards came through a lot of guys blocking for me, a lot of guys putting their bodies out on the line for me and a lot of sacrifices, so it wasn’t just me. I give a lot of credit to my teammates that I have played with, from Atlanta to Philly to New York.’’

How will the Jets spend their bye week?

They will practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Ryan likes to give his players the week off, but he decided to do things a little differently this year.

“We’re going to change it up a little bit since we’re awful coming out of the bye,’’ he said.

Since Ryan took over in 2009, the Jets have lost the first game after their bye four out of five times. They were 5-4 heading into last year’s bye week before losing three in a row, including 37-14 to Buffalo the day after the Jets took a team-bonding trip to a Central New York arcade.

Coincidentally, the Jets are facing the Bills on the road again after the bye week.
Joked Ryan: “I don’t think we’re doing Dave & Buster’s, if that’s what you’re asking.’’

 

How will the Jets spend their bye week?

They will practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Ryan likes to give his players the week off, but he decided to do things a little differently this year.

"We're going to change it up a little bit since we're awful coming out of the bye,'' he said.

Since Ryan took over in 2009, the Jets have lost the first game after their bye four out of five times. They were 5-4 heading into last year's bye week before losing three in a row, including 37-14 to Buffalo the day after the Jets took a team-bonding trip to a Central New York arcade.

Coincidentally, the Jets are facing the Bills on the road again after the bye week.

Joked Ryan: "I don't think we're doing Dave & Buster's, if that's what you're asking.''

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