By Peter Schwartz
As far as Friday’s pre-season game is concerned, the Jets plan on using their starters into the third quarter. It’s a final dress rehearsal for the season since the starters are not expected to play at all next Thursday in Philadelphia.
Coming back in the game after halftime Friday will be important for the starters.
“We’ll make our halftime adjustments and come out and see what a team is trying to do,” said linebacker Bart Scott.
The Jets defense will be facing a Redskins offense that will be without starting quarterback Donovan McNabb who will be sidelined with an ankle injury.
McNabb’s absence takes away what would have been a good challenge for the Jets defense.
“I wish he was playing,” said Scott. “You always want to play against the best. McNabb is good a picking up our blitzes. You can trick a young quarterback. McNabb forces you to hold your reads and hold you looks. You can’t sneak the safety down.”
Still, Washington has the capability of making some plays against the Jets defense.
“They threw for 400 yards against the Ravens defense last week,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “Even though they scored only three points, they moved the ball up and down the field.”
Offensively, the Jets will see a Redskins defense led by coordinator Jim Haslett, formerly the head coach of the Saints and Rams. So far in pre-season, the Redskins lead the NFL in third down defense and the guidance of Haslett is a big reason why.
“He’s been a good defensive coordinator for a long time in this league,” said Jets right tackle Damien Woody. “They have some good players on defense. The one thing that you notice about them is that they fly around to the football.”
Haslett spent last season as head coach of the Florida Tuskers in the UFL.
Mark Sanchez is also impressed with what he has seen in preparing to face Washington. The Jets quarterback will pay close attention to safety LaRon Landry as well as cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers.
“(From) everything that I’ve seen in their two pre-season games, they look great,” said Sanchez. (Linebacker Brian) Orakpo is everywhere on film. So, it’s going to be a good test for us and we’re excited about the challenge.”
The Jets will get an up-close look at the controversial Albert Haynesworth. Under new head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins have switched to a 3-4 defense so Haynesworth has not been happy with having to move from defensive tackle to nose tackle. He’s been exchanging verbal salvos with Shanahan while having limited practice time because of physical issues. Haynesworth missed several days of workouts until he finally passed a conditioning test and he’s been dropped to second string nose tackle on the depth chart behind Ma’ake Kemoeatu.
Still, he presents a challenge for the Jets offense.
“He’s a heck of a player,” said center Nick Mangold. “You watch him on film and he’s still an unbelievable athlete and it’s going to be quite difficult.”
USA FOOTBALL MONTH
The NFL and NFLPA are recognizing August as “USA Football Month”
On Friday night, the Jets will hold USA Football Youth Appreciation Day. All kids are encouraged to wear their youth football jerseys or their school’s jerseys. After warmups, four local Pee Wee teams will demonstrate their skills on the field and will lineup with the Jets and Redskins during the national anthem.
USA Football is the sport’s national governing body on the youth and amateur levels and is a non-profit organization that was started by the NFL and the NFLPA via the NFL Youth Football Fund in 2002.
That’s it for now! Enjoy the game on Friday night!