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Pettine: Jags 'O' boring, not pretty

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a Jets' playoff game. (Jan. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Joe Epstein

Mike Pettine believes he has a pretty good read on the way Jack Del Rio's Jaguars like to do things. 

"I think what they've done since coach Del Rio has been there, is they thrive on win boring," the Jets defensive coordinator said. "This is not a flashy offense, especially on the road. They are going to come in, they want to take the crowd out of it, they are going to run the football. It's not a lot of stuff down the field. You are not going to see a lot of deep balls being thrown."

At least not often. Luke McCown, now the starter at quarterback after Jacksonville released David Garrard last week, didn't complete a pass longer than 26 yards. He threw the ball only 24 times, completing 17 attempts for 175 yards.  

"Every once in a while, they'll block it up and take a shot [deep]," Pettine said. "But for the most part, I think the kid had 24 attempts only 170 yards. There weren't a lot of chunks in his yardage, but it was all efficient throws. It was three-steps, boots, screens, and the he plays to his defense. That's the style.

"It's not pretty. It's probably not what the league wants," Pettine added with a chuckle, "but it's effective for them, and it can get frustrating. Then you get guys try to come out of structure and make a play, and next thing you know, you are giving up a big play."

That's the last thing the Jets want to do, given Jacksonville has one of the best running backs in the league with Maurice Jones-Drew. The 5-7, 208-pound bowling ball carved the Jets up during their 2009 meeting, running for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Of course, Jones-Drew's heady play at the end of the game -- when he took a knee at the 1-yard line instead of bolting into the end zone -- was probably the most memorable play of the game, setting up Josh Scobee's 21-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, sending the Jets to a 24-22 loss. Jones-Drew foiled the Jets' plans of letting him score, something he noticed a play earlier when everyone on the Jets' defense was barking at defensive end Marques Douglas for tackling him.

"It was just a situation that we practice," Pettine said. "It’s for a one-point game, call it 'Freeway' where you try to be good actors and you allow an opponent to score, make it an eight-point game and now you have a chance. Because the way the situation was with the game, we weren’t going to be able to stop the clock, and it was right above the two-minute warning.

"As much as it goes against every shred of your defensive mentality in your body to allow that to happen, it’s part of the game and I’ve seen it used successfully for teams to get back and have the ability t o tie a game up. So we called it, and Douglas made a heck of a play. It was just an instinctive thing. He shed a block and dove and tackled, and right then he knew it."

"At the two-minute warning, we could see their coaches all talking to Jones-Drew on the sideline, and we realized we are not going to get that chance again. Sure enough on the next play, that’s when he ran down and broke the heart of some fantasy football owners and took a knee at the 1-yard line."

Jones-Drew also broke the hearts of the Jets' coaching staff, and Pettine remains ticked off about letting the Jaguars come back and win that game after the offense gave them a lead five minutes earlier. 

"We’ve watched that game and it’s still one that it bothers us," Pettine said, "because we allowed a team to come in here and be more physical than we were. We were inconsistent that game. We had stretches that game [where] we played lights out. But we allowed a long drive early and we had a chance to close the game out, had taken the lead and we let them drive right down the field and let them kick the game-winning field goal.

"That's obviously something we never want to have happen, especially at home."


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