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Nov
3
2007

Clemens, Kendall, Moss and Jerseys

No, that's not the name of a law firm, but I couldn't come up with a better headline for this mishmash of a post.

Kellen Clemens, last year's second round pick with the rifle arm, will make his first home start against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.  The fans have been crying for the kid out of Oregon and now they get to see first-hand what he can do.

And it won't be easy against the Redskins.

Washington's secondary is filled with former No. 1 picks -- corners Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers and safeties Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry.  They also have CB Fred Smoot (who's listed as questionable for Sunday).  Sean Taylor leads the NFL with 5 interceptions this season.  It may be difficult to attack the 'Skins through the air.

The Redskins are also stout against the run.  The Burgundy and Gold rank 9th in the NFL in average rushing yards allowed per game (90.9).  Middle linebacker London Fletcher is a big reason why and ranks third in the league with 68 tackles.  The defensive line consists of the 6'6, 315 pound mountain Anthony Montgomery and the former Giant Cornelius Griffin.

Oh, and the Redskins are coming off a 52-7 thumping at the hands of New England last week.

Great.

Here's a Redskin fan's view of the importance of the upcoming game.

The Jets will also most likely be missing their best receiver.  Laveranues Coles is listed as doubtful for Sunday's tilt.  The gritty wide receiver sustained a concussion in last week's loss to the Bills.  It was a scary moment as Coles laid motionless for several minutes on the field.  LC has started 104 consecutive regular season games and hasn't missed a game since 2000.  Laveranues also suffered a concussion in the next-to-last regular season game last season against Miami and was in a fog for the next two weeks.  The Green and White were fighting for and playing in the playoffs then so I know why Coles willed himself to play those games, but there's nothing on the line now.  Coles is a tough guy, but I hope he sits this one out.

Clemens may also have to deal with a re-shuffled offensive line.  Rookie guard/tackle Jacob Bender could see action against Washington.  The sixth-round pick got some reps at right tackle this week and backup guard Wil Montgomery may steal playing time from the struggling Adrien Clarke. 

Speaking of the offensive line, former Jets left guard Pistol Pete Kendall will make his return to the Meadowlands wearing a Redskin uniform.  The Kendall-Jets soap opera was a big topic during the preseason before Gang Green finally unloaded the unhappy camper to Washington.  Kendall is on the downside of his career and maybe it will be better in the long run, but the Jets could have certainly used him this season.

Another ex-Jet will also be coming home.  Wide receiver Santana Moss will make his first start against the Gotham Green on Sunday.  Moss was traded for Coles after the 2004 season.  Moss' best season as a Jet came in 2003 when he hauled in 74 passes for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Santana has had a quiet season so far in Washington (20 receptions, 248 yards, 0 TD), but he's another guy the Jets would like to have back in their green jerseys.

Speaking of jerseys, I have zero luck when it comes to wearing them.  Let me explain.  My first Jet jersey was a gift from my uncle -- a No. 99 Mark Gastineau.  It was different from the replicas you can purchase today since it didn't have the name on the back and had the word JETS spelled out on the front, but I was thrilled nonetheless.  A few years later, Gastineau quit the Jets to be with Brigitte Nielson.

My second one was a green Al Toon replica.  This was my most coveted possession during my early  adolescence.  I loved that jersey.  Toon's career ended prematurely due to repeated concussions. 

The third was a white Blair Thomas jersey.  I don't think I have to go into detail here.

For a long time I was out of the jersey business, but then in 2003 I decided to get back in the game and picked up a green Chad Pennington jersey.  A week later Pennington broke his wrist in a preseason game against the Giants.  He's now on a fast track out of New York.

My latest jersey is a white Jonathan Vilma.  This was following his spectacular rookie campaign in 2004.  I convinced myself that he was going to be the guy manning the middle of the Jets defense for a long time.  In 2006 the Jets switched to a 3-4 defense and he hasn't been the same player since.  Last week Gang Green placed the former No. 1 pick on IR with an injured knee.  He's future with the team is in doubt.

I think I'm going to stay away from buying any jerseys for awhile.

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