Revis and Harris give Jets reason to be thankful
By Chris Ruddick, NFL Contributing Editor
(Sports Network) - There have not been too many bright spots for the New York Jets this season, but a pair of rookies on defense have at least given a glimmer of hope for the future.
The Jets' 2007 draft was built around two players: defensive back Darrelle Revis and linebacker David Harris. The team traded up 11 spots to nab Revis in Round 1, then moved up to get Harris in the second round.
And by the looks of things so far, the Jets were right on both counts.
Revis, after a lengthy holdout that cost him most of training camp, has become the lockdown corner the Jets envisioned when they selected him 14th overall in April out of Pittsburgh.
After being disrespected by Dallas' Terrell Owens in the days leading up to the Cowboys' 34-3 Thanksgiving Day shellacking, Revis made the outspoken wideout a non-factor, holding him to just six catches for 65 yards and a garbage time touchdown that went for 22 yards.
"He did a really good job, said head coach Eric Mangini. "He played aggressive throughout the course of the game. He really did a nice job with his jams at the line of scrimmage. There was no sense of, 'I'm a rookie and you're a Pro Bowl player,' that sort of inherent tentativeness that you may find. He was aggressive throughout the course of the game."
If Owens didn't know who he was before the game, he certainly did afterwards.
"I thought it was a little bit disrespectful, though I'm a rookie still," Revis said after the game. "It's just competition. I don't even know exactly quite what he said. I don't try to feed him. I just go out and play. We talked after the game. I introduced myself. We had a real good conversation."
Harris, meanwhile, has not played as much as Revis until recently, but he has thrived as the team's starting middle linebacker in the wake of Jonathan Vilma's season-ending injury.
In his four starts since Vilma's knee injury, Harris has racked up 58 tackles and two sacks.
CLEMENS TO BE PUT TO TEST THIS WEEK
The jury is still out on Kellen Clemens as a starting quarterback in this league. It has been hard to judge his progress over the past couple of games against Pittsburgh and Dallas, two of the elite teams in the NFL this season, but this week he gets to face a Miami Dolphins team that has yet to win a game.
"Each game is important and each game is important for everybody involved," said head coach Eric Mangini. "It's not unique to Kellen. It's across the board. To evaluate any position, you have to be working in all the different areas to give it an honest assessment."
Clemens had his worst outing as a pro on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, completing just 12-of-27 passes for 142 yards and an interception. He was also sacked three times.
"It's absolutely frustrating," said Clemens. "I certainly didn't play good enough to put our team in position to win the game."
As bad as Clemens was, though, Mangini had no intentions of going back to Chad Pennington. In Clemens' defense, his offensive line was brutal against the Cowboys, and he was without his top receiver in Laveranues Coles.
Not that the Jets give out any information, but it appears that Coles' status for this week's contest with the Miami Dolphins will be up in the air until game-time on Sunday.
"We're going to go through the week and see where he is," said Mangini. "He's itching to get out there like he always is. He's got to monitor it as we go and continue his program for rehab."
Coles missed the Thanksgiving Day Massacre with an ankle injury he suffered in his team's win over Pittsburgh in Week 11. Coles' absence has had an impact on Jerricho Cotchery, who has just three catches the last two weeks after hauling in at least four a game in every other contest this season.
UP NEXT: JETS HEAD TO SOUTH BEACH
The Jets get a chance at win No. 3 this weekend, as they head to South Beach to face the winless Miami Dolphins.
New York holds a 44-38-1 lead in its all-time series with Miami, and has won six of the last seven in the series. The Jets were a 31-28 home winner when the teams met in Week 3, and also swept a home-and-home with their long-time AFC East rival last season. New York scored a 20-17 home victory when the teams met in Week 6, and outlasted the Fins by a 13-10 count in south Florida in Week 16.
The Dolphins' most recent win came at home (24-20) during the 2005 season.