FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Disgusting. Flat. And, now, loafing.
They’ve all been used while describing the performance by the New York Jets’ defense last Sunday at Oakland. And the criticism has come from the coaches and players, themselves.
Linebacker David Harris said the film of the 34-20 loss was “disgusting,” while defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson said the defense was “flat” and claimed “guys were loafing.” Coach Todd Bowles has acknowledged he wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, and was asked Wednesday if he noticed some players loafing when he watched the game film.
“We had some loafs on defense for the first time this year,” Bowles said. “They were minor loafs, but they were still loafs nonetheless and we have to have everybody to the ball.”
The statistical analysis website Pro Football Focus found 19 missed tackles. Bowles and his staff, however, are even tougher graders, with the coach saying their total was “in the 20s.”
Bowles attributed the lapses in effort to possible fatigue, but made it clear it’s unacceptable.
“Our guys don’t normally loaf,” he said, “and it shouldn’t happen anymore.”
The Jets came into the game at Oakland with the No. 2 overall defense. They gave up 451 yards in total offense, including four touchdown throws by Derek Carr.
The Raiders took a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter, and the defense did little to keep the Jets in the game.
“We’re not saying people were just dogging it all the way to the ball here,” Bowles said. “There might have been somebody getting tackled down the field and somebody pulled up a yard or two from the ball, or not finishing or something like that. It wasn’t loafing like we were just dog tired and we were loafing.
“Our guys understand what happened in the game, the coaches understand what happened in the game (and) we’ll work to correct that.”
That means the players have gone through the film carefully to see if they can take better angles, wrap up better on tackles or just improve their hustle to the ball. If the players don’t get their acts together at practice this week, Bowles warned, they will be doing extra running.
The Jets will certainly have a challenge Sunday at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by second-year quarterback Blake Bortles and an offense with some young playmakers in running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.
“It is one game, and it’s the first time we fell apart like that,” Bowles said. “We have to come back together and it can’t happen again.”
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