Injured Leonhard finds way to help

Jets Blog
Last Updated: 7:50 AM, January 15, 2011

Jim Leonhard might be the only Jet to open his mouth this week and not rip Tom Brady or Bill Belichick.

Leonhard, lost for the season when he broke his right leg in practice Dec. 3, wasn’t on the field for the 45-3 drubbing the Patriots laid on the Jets three days later, so it might not be as “personal” for him as it is for other Jets when they visit New England tomorrow in an AFC divisional playoff game.

Then again, maybe the Jets safety recognizes the incredibly difficult task his teammates will face when they try to stop, slow down or contain Brady, who torched the Jets for 326 yards and four touchdowns that infamous Monday night.


“We learned a lot from that game,” Leonhard said. “You learn from what they did well because you know they’re gonna attack you the same way and at least see if you corrected those mistakes. They have to be thinking that’s the way to attack us ...

“They got both their tight ends involved. That’s been their formula for success the last couple [of] months of the season. That’s definitely where our focus needs to be.”

Leonhard, speaking at the top of the Empire State Building, which will shine green and white this weekend in honor of Gang Green, has counseled the Jets secondary all week, hoping his expertise will pay off even though he can’t play.

What has he been telling them?

“Little things that I’ve picked up on Brady and different players that you hope there’s times during the game where they might be able to use it,” Leonhard said.

Does that mean Brady has flaws the Jets can exploit?

“I wouldn’t necessarily say flaws,” Leonhard said. “But everyone has tendencies, the way they operate and little things about their game. Sometimes it’s hard to take advantage of them, but you do the best you can and if it’s something you recognize during the course of a game, you try to exploit it.”

Leonhard said the Patriots are particularly tough to game plan for because they use so many different types of players — quick receivers such as Wes Welker, big tight ends like Aaron Hernandez and running backs like Danny Woodhead.

“They [have] a great mix,” Leonhard said. “They spread the ball all over the place, which is their M.O. now. I try to give [Jets defensive players] any little bit of information that helps them prepare for a team like this.”

Read more:

No comments: