Pro Football|Jets Seeking a Sharpness They'll Need Sunday – New York Times


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The Jets? Ryan Fitzpatrick being hit by the Seahawks? Cassius Marsh in a 27-17 loss last Sunday. The Jets next face the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

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Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ? Despite off-season sessions, training camp and now one-quarter of the regular season, the Jets (1-3) have been plagued by miscommunication and missed assignments that they will have to fix to have any chance in Sunday?s road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1).

?It?s up to the coaches to make sure we address it,? Coach Todd Bowles said of the team?s offensive and defensive breakdowns. ?It?s up to us to work through the thing, but it?s up to them Sunday to carry it out.?

Bowles said he could not promise that there would not be missed assignments. ?But we work on it all the time.?

Chan Gailey, the offensive coordinator, said the mistakes had prompted him to scale back grander plans. ?We kind of need to get back to basics, where we started on this thing, get back to what we did well for the most part last year,? he said. ?I think we?ve tried to limit that other stuff that we were thinking about trying to do.?

Kacy Rodgers, the defensive coordinator, focused on correcting lapses in the secondary. The Jets have surrendered an N.F.L.-high seven completions of 40 or more yards; they have surrendered 17 completions of 20 or more yards.

?We have to make sure all 11 guys are on the same page all the time,? Rodgers said.

Failure to do so could be ruinous against Pittsburgh, which demolished the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 43-14, last Sunday night. The Jets lost in Kansas City, 24-3, two weeks ago.

The Jets have won only once in eight regular-season visits to Pittsburgh, beating the Steelers, 22-17, at Heinz Field in 2010. They may have to play without Darrelle Revis, their top cornerback, who strained his left hamstring last Sunday and was unable to practice last week.

If Revis cannot play, the rookie Juston Burris will get significantly increased playing time against the Steelers? lethal receiving tandem of Antonio Brown and Sammie Coates. Brown caught 526 passes through his first six seasons, more than any player in league history. Coates owns at least one catch for 40 yards in each of his first four games. He is averaging 21.7 yards per reception.

BLAME GAME Although Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has had two straight nightmarish games, throwing a career-high six interceptions at Kansas City before being picked off three times in the fourth quarter in last Sunday?s 27-17 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Gailey said Fitzpatrick was not solely at fault.

?This is a ?we? thing,? Gailey said, adding, ?Communication is the key for all of us to be on the same page all of the time.?

Fitzpatrick, though, accepted blame and knows he will have little room for error in Pittsburgh.

?You?re not going to win games that way, and I know that more than anybody,? said Fitzpatrick, who is in his 12th N.F.L. season. ?So I take full responsibility for all those, whether it was a throw, whether it was poor communication on my part, whether it was just forcing the ball. I own all those, and so I?ve got to continue to get better.?

DIFFICULT INJURY Bowles sounded pessimistic about wide receiver Eric Decker?s prospects of returning this season from a partly torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. ?I haven?t seen any progress from him,? Bowles said Thursday.

Decker has been following a rehabilitation program aimed at allowing him to compete this season. He said he still had that goal in mind, rather than committing to surgery.

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