(Darrelle Revis – Neil Miller / Sportsday Wire)
Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles made clear on Thursday that, even if Antonio Cromartie cannot play Monday night in Indianapolis, the Jets are still strong at the cornerback position.
On if there was any progress with Cromartie, Bowles said, “Not yet. He still didn’t practice, (he’s) just over there with the trainers right now. So, he’s still day-to-day, week-to-week.”
On if it’s unlikely that Cromartie will play Monday, Bowles said, “Not yet, no.”
Bowles then responded to the question of if he feels stretched thin at the cornerback position by saying, “No, we still have four corners. We still have (Dexter) McDougle, (Buster) Skrine, (Darrelle) Revis (and Marcus Williams).”
With Revis back, the Jets should be able to cover for an injured player. The whole point of bringing Revis back was for games like this against a high-powered Colts offense, especially wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
On challenges T.Y. Hilton presents, Bowles said, “He gives them another weapon. He’s fast, he’s a good route runner. He runs well with the ball. He’s not just a deep threat. He’s an inside-outside guy, he blocks. He’s the full package. I mean he’s a load. They have a bunch of them that are a load.”
The Colts also boast Donte Moncrief, another tough wide receiver that will be tough to defend.
Bowles said of Moncrief, “Between (Andre) Johnson, Moncrief, (T.Y.) Hilton and they still have (Phillip) Dorsett, they have a bunch of weapons, not even to mention the tight ends. We have our hands full. Moncrief has got size, he’s got speed, he’s got a vertical, he’s got good hands. They’ve got a bunch of places to throw the football.”
On Andre Johnson, Bowles said, “I mean, Andre is Andre. He’s a great player. He didn’t get all the balls that they wanted to throw to him. I’m sure they’re going to amp him up a little bit more this week. We understand they have a lot of great receivers so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
While focusing on the Colts’ receivers, the Jets may see one of their rookie wide receivers make his debut.
Devin Smith was drafted by the Jets in the second round of this year’s draft out of Ohio State. He missed all of training camp due to broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Smith practiced on Thursday and was at “full-speed,” according to Bowles. Smith also took part in minimal contact drills, and Bowles said of how he responded, “I saw some of it. He survived and he did okay.”
On if he anticipates Smith playing on Monday, Bowles said, “We’ll see at the end of the week, (after we) see how many plays he can get in. We’ll decide that at the end of the week.”
Brandon Marshall had a nice debut for the Jets on Sunday battling Cleveland’s Joe Haden.
Marshall has another big test this Monday night, as he will be matched up with Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. Bowles said of Davis, “I had Vontae my first two years in Miami and to see him grow to where he is now, he’s been physically gifted for a long time, (he) put the mental part of the game together with his physical and he’s become a complete player.
Bowles said of what Davis does especially well, “He does everything. He’s one of those corners you’re not going to push around because he’s big. He’s a rocked up, 200-and-something-pound corner who runs a 4.4, with a vertical and he has great quickness. He has great quickness and hand-eye coordination. It’s going to be a challenge for Brandon.”
On if he has given any tips to Marshall about going up against Davis, Bowles said, “They played against each other in Miami. They know each other pretty well from that standpoint. So, they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Bowles said of Revis serving the same purpose with the Jets, battling Marshall every day in practice, and if he believes that makes Marshall better prepared for games, “I’m sure it helps him. It helps both of them. But, there are tough corners he’s going to face every week. So going against Revis every day, he just doesn’t get any days off. He doesn’t get any game day stuff off, he doesn’t get any practice time off.”
Bowles said of the Colts defense, “They can get after the quarterback. They’ve got good corner play and they’re a tough team. They’re a tough bunch to play, you don’t win a division then come in and all of a sudden become a bad team. They had one outing. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s early in the season.
“We understand that these guys are (a) playoff championship game caliber team and that’s the team we’re expecting, said Bowles.
On if he gives that message to the team, Bowles said, “Yes, they understand that. They understand what they’re going into.”