Bill Parcells stood before his team and cautioned them about all that could happen if they weren't careful. A few days later, he watched all those warnings go for naught.
"I was really disappointed with what happened yesterday from just the way we gave the game away," Parcells said Monday. "We kept giving them opportunity after opportunity, and when we had our few -- which were only a few -- something adverse happened.
"I recall on Wednesday standing before the team and telling them how this game would go if we didn't have that edge. I made reference to four or five things, and every single one of them happened. You could see it coming, and you try to prepare your team for it. But I didn't."
That rare admission of guilt on Parcells' part came after he saw the Jets make his worst fears come true. He told them if the defense was lethargic, it wouldn't force any turnovers. Although it did recover a fumble, linebacker Mo Lewis immediately fumbled it right back as he attempted to run with it.
He alerted his defensive linemen to be careful about jumping offside, because Rams quarterback Tony Banks would take advantage by scrambling on the free plays. Yet, tackle Jason Ferguson went offside in the second quarter, helping keep a Rams drive going.
Parcells mentioned how Amp Lee could hurt the Jets out of the backfield as a receiver, and New York even devised a double-coverage scheme to handle Lee. But Lee had six receptions for 62 yards.
"If we didn't watch it and we weren't alert, they would disrupt our offensive sequenes by some pressure or forcing some kind of mental mistake," Parcells also warned. "And we had Keyshawn (Johnson) wide open on that halfback pass -- we've got a touchdown there - but we get a mental error (in blocking) and we don't throw it.
"We get a short yardage situation on third-and-1 and we don't make it, and they're in the same defense we practice against. But we have another mental error.
"It's not just one play, there were about 10 of those."
Clearly, the Jets (2-3) weren't listening when the coach spoke to them. Or they simply didn't get the message, and that's a sign of immaturity.
"I don't know if I would say it is an immature team or a mature team, but that characteristic is fairly common with an immature team," he said. "But some of the more disappointing performances were not necessarily from the young players."
Indeed, veteran linebackers Pepper Johnson and Dwayne Gordon made some critical mistakes. So did the offensive linemen, from longtime pro Jumbo Elliott to rookie Jason Fabini.
Parcells knows he must get this inattentiveness cured immediately. He looks at the schedule and sees next Monday night's game at New England, followed by a home game with Atlanta (4-1) and a trip to Kansas City (4-2).
"I really can't dwell on this too long," he said. "I'm just trying to get the team performing the way it did two weeks ago, and I know we are capable of it."
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