Sunday, August 28, 2011
Two games, four days, no sweat
By Rich Cimini
The postponement of the Jets-Giants until Monday night means the Jets will close the preseason with two games in four days, finishing up Thursday night against the Eagles.
On the surface, that might seem like a daunting task, but not really. Essentially, the Jets will be a split squad over those four days. The starters and key reserves will play two-plus quarters against the Giants and, given Rex Ryan's track record, they'll all be wearing baseball caps against Philly. The junior varsity will take center stage in the finale.
Ryan hasn't been available to the media since Friday, so he hasn't commented on the game change and his approach.
Let's go back to last year's final preseason game, played in Philly. Ryan used only 43 players in that game, sitting every defensive starter (plus five key backups) and all but one offensive starter -- LG Matt Slauson. As you may recall, WR Santonio Holmes also played in the game, but he was about to serve a four-game league suspension, so they wanted to get him as much work as possible before losing him.
Then-rookie CB Kyle Wilson got the night off, but he was technically a starter at the time, with the Darrelle Revis holdout still ongoing.
This week, the second- and third-stringers will end up playing five-plus quarters over four days, but that shouldn't have a significant impact on the team as it begins preparations for the Cowboys in the season opener -- unless there's a rash of injuries to key backups.
Unlike the Giants, who finish the preseason in New England, the Jets don't have to travel, so that saves them the logistical headache of having to travel -- albeit by bus -- only two days after the game.