RENTON – They’ve lost four of their past five games and sit tied for last place in the AFC East at 3-5, yet New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie confidently predicted Thursday his team will make the playoffs.
The team’s most popular player, backup quarterback Tim Tebow, has been in just 55 plays through eight games, and is not happy with his part-time role. Even more displeased is the team’s fan base, which would like to see Tebow supplant an ineffective Mark Sanchez as the team’s starting quarterback.
The Jets boisterous coach, Rex Ryan, guaranteed his team would make it to the Super Bowl last season before they missed the playoffs at 8-8.
While Ryan has been more reserved this year, he was voted the most overrated coach in the league in a recent players’ poll conducted by The Sporting News.
Welcome to the traveling circus called the New York Jets, due to arrive at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
“I look forward to the challenge,” Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson said about playing the most talked about team nationally this season. “I’ve always seen Rex on TV and see how he is. I’ve seen him on ‘Hard Knocks’ (the HBO behind-the-scenes documentary show in 2010) and things like that. So I’m kind of excited to play against him. I’m kind of excited to see some of the trash talk that I hear from some of their players, so it should be fun.”
Jets All-Pro center Nick Mangold said it helps to have blinders on when playing in the Big Apple.
“You try to focus in and look at the things that you can control, especially classroom, field, and practice time and in the games,” Mangold said. “You just put your mind into doing those things.”
Asked about the constant clamoring to put in Tebow, Ryan also apparently wears ear plugs.
“I don’t hear very well anyway, so it doesn’t bother me a whole lot,” Ryan said with a chuckle.
While he has not accomplished his Super Bowl prediction, Ryan’s teams had been successful until this season, falling one win short of the Super Bowl twice in his first two years as coach.
In four seasons with the Jets, Ryan has compiled a 31-25 record. Known for his fiery nature, Ryan’s developed a reputation for being a players’ coach.
“From the moment Rex entered this building, he’s always had his players’ back,” Mangold said. “And as a player, you really appreciate that. You want to go out there, and you don’t want to disappoint him, or prove him wrong.”
Added Seattle return man Leon Washington, who played for Ryan in 2009: “He’s a players’ coach all the way. I remember the meetings before the game on Saturday nights, and how passionate, and how emotional he was before the game. So he’s a players’ coach, so you know when they come, the players will be ready to go out and play for him.”
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman isn’t buying the hype.
“It doesn’t make any difference,” Sherman said. “They’re just another team. Big market, small market, there’s a lot of good teams out there. Whether you’re the most talked about or the least talked about, it’s the NFL.”
The injury report for the Seahawks grew Thursday as Sherman (illness) and defensive tackle Greg Scruggs (oblique) were added to the list and did not practice.
In all, Seattle had eight players – six starters – sit out because of injuries.
But receiver Braylon Edwards (knee) returned to practice as a limited participant with the hope of playing against his former team Sunday. Edwards had missed Seattle’s past two games.
Players sitting out for a second consecutive day were running back Marshawn Lynch (wrist/back), offensive lineman James Carpenter (concussion), linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (groin), safety Kam Chancellor (quadriceps) and defensive end Red Bryant (foot).
Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) was a limited participant for a second consecutive day. Receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle), guard John Moffitt (knee) and center Max Unger (finger) were full participants.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams