What did Bart Scott have to say about giving the Bucs their first first down of the game when he was called for unnecesary roughness with 9:11 left in the third quarter?
Scott was apologetic about his scuffle with Niko Koutouvides and knows he should've kept his cool and avoided the selfish penalty. Especially given that the Jets had sacked Josh Freeman for a 2-yard loss, which would've resulted in fourth-and-11 and a punt if not for Scott. The penalty set up a field goal for the Bucs' only points.
"Yeah, man, I'm sorry. -- happens," Scott said jokingly before turning serious. "I never get personal fouls. It was one of those things that his helmet came off, so it'll happen that way. Everybody knows how I play and what I do. But I know how to toe that line, generally, and I never get a personal foul. But unfortunately his helmet came off. If his helmet didn't come off, they just would have broke us up and it would've been that.
"I understand the ref was trying to get control of the football game. He did what he had to do because it was snowballing. They were getting frustrated and we were getting frustrated . . . It's one of those things, man. I'll make it right. I plan on making it right."
Scott loves to get on others, so his teammates had to bust his chops a bit, didn't they?
Without a doubt. Even the quiet David Harris was giving it to him. "Oh, yeah, oh, yeah," Harris said. "We was on him tough. It was fourth down, they were about to punt the ball. Late flag, but that's the type of guy Bart is. He's very passionate. It was a cheap shot by their player because the guy was coming off the sideline and pushed him in the back. The guy wasn't even on the field at the time and Bart retaliated. You know how they always catch the second guy. They got three points out of it and it kind of messed our shutout up, but hey, we'll take it."
A lot was made of Kerry Rhodes starting or not starting. Rhodes was out there on the first snap of the game, right?
Technically, Rhodes did start because the Jets came out in an unconventional three-safety look. But Rhodes didn't play much in the Jets' base 3-4 package overall. He still recorded his third interception of the season when he picked off Freeman's pass intended for Maurice Stovall late in the fourth quarter.
Rhodes said he is "cool" with his role, praised the defense's play and believes the Jets ought to have a better record than 7-6. "We should be 10-3 or 9-4 right now," he said. "It was the best defensive effort I've been a part of in a first half."
The Jets executed their fourth successful fake punt of the season, this time with upback Brad Smith taking the snap on fourth-and-7 and completing a beautiful pass to Eric Smith for a 27-yard hookup. What was Brad Smith's take on the play?
"It was kind of what we hoped for," he said. "You have several options when you go out there and Westhoff trusted us enough to go with it and make that check. It felt good today to actually execute it with all the practice that we've been doing. Eric did a great job. He chipped in and he caught it and ran well with it."
Was that Brad Smith or Leon Washington out there wearing a No. 16 jersey?
The Jets used Smith in a variety of roles, and he certainly was more of a factor than he had been all season. He had 84 all-purpose yards on nine touches, which includes a 21-yard punt return in the first quarter, the first of his career. Smith became the first Jet to throw a pass, catch a pass, rush the ball at least once, return a punt and return a kickoff in a game since Washington did it against the Chiefs on Dec. 30, 2007.
Smith was ready for his increased duty. "I kind of got that feel during the week," he said. "There were a couple of plays that I might have a chance to get my hands on the ball. Then with special teams, we knew that their punter [Sam Paulescu], he would hit some short balls and I had a chance to get my hands on the ball in that sense. It feels good. It's been a while since I had an opportunity to contribute in that way."
How was Nick Mangold feeling afterward? He missed two plays near the end of the third quarter and rookie Matt Slauson had to come in and take his place. What happened?
"Took a little knee to the stomach, actually," Mangold said. "Took the wind out of me and I had to assess the situation. I was able to get back out there."