As Gang Green prepares for their game against the Ravens tonight, bombastic coach Rex Ryan continues to talk a big game (and presumably continues to give his epic pep talks). "Everybody expects us to be a great team, and we expect to be a great team ourselves," he told ESPN. But sports critics have a lengthy list of tips on how the team should accomplish that. Steve Serby of the Post says of a possible winning season:
It means Mark Sanchez dusting himself off after Terrell Suggs sacks him and finding Braylon Edwards deep down the sideline against single coverage for a touchdown.
It means Bart Scott talking trash from start to finish.
It means Sanchez commanding his huddle and emerging as the bold leader that this offense needs.
It means David Harris running sideline to sideline to contain Rice and showing why he is the AFC version of Patrick Willis.
It means a frisky, prideful LaDainian Tomlinson making a mockery of all the hard knocks from naysayers who believe he is less than the longest yard away from washed up.
It means Antonio Cromartie eating a cheeseburger after the game and forming a Batman and Robin tandem with Revis.
ESPN agrees that Sanchez needs to make up for his lackluster preseason performance and that Tomlinson should prove "he's still got it," and adds that cornerback Antonio Cromartie needs to "prove he's not the player he was in 2008 and 2009." Despite the caveats, owner Woody Johnson has full confidence in the team. He told New York Magazine, "We know who we are. We’re poised to go. We’re ground-and-pound football. Northeast football. Outside, all-weather. We love running the ball."