By Peter Schwartz
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Just seconds into the Jets’ 24-14 loss to the Eagles at MetLife Stadium, it was evident why many people feel the NFL will eventually go to two preseason games and eighteen regular season contests.
On the first play from scrimmage, Eagles quarterback Vince Young came up to the line and called timeout just :07 into the game. It was a moment to chuckle about, but nobody on the Eagles sideline was laughing in the 2nd quarter when Young left the game with a right hamstring injury.
The Jets felt the pain of preseason football as well. Earlier in the 2nd quarter, 7th round pick Greg McElroy left the game with a right thumb injury.
“I looked at my hand and it didn’t look right,” said McElroy. “An MRI will probably give me some more answers.”
That MRI will take place on Monday. Mark Brunell is already out with a calf injury but head coach Rex Ryan said that the lefty threw in warm-ups and is confident that he’ll be good to go as the backup to Mark Sanchez in the season opener against the Cowboys on September 11th.
With McElroy out of the game, Joe Willie… I mean Drew Willy replaced McElroy and on his first play hit Sanchez’s buddy Scottie McKnight for a 14-yard touchdown.
Not a bad way to endear yourself to the coach!
“Absolutely,” said Ryan. “The young man stepped up.”
As for the handful of roster spots that were up for grabs, Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum have some decisions to make.
“We will see,” said Ryan. “We have to judge it off the tape. I am disappointed in a couple of the guys, but happy with a few of the others.”
Ryan had said earlier in the week that linebacker Aaron Maybin had to show more in order to make the team. He had a sack and a half giving him two and a half for the preseason. Ryan said that he would have to take a look at the tape but that Maybin is in a fight with Jamaal Westerman and Garrett McIntyre.
The Jets signed cornerback Isaiah Trufant before the game. He was with the Jets last season after playing in the UFL. He is the younger brother of Seahawks CB Marcus Trufant. Isaiah has also played in the Arena Football League.
It wasn’t a good night for Trufant. In the 2nd quarter, the Eagles attempted a fake field goal but the pass was picked off by Kyle Wilson. However, Trufant negated the interception by jumping offsides.
Ryan said it’s unfair to blame Trufant. After the Eagles cut him on Wednesday, they didn’t tell him that the Jets were going to pick him up so he flew back home to Seattle. He then got right back on a plane Thursday and few back east in time to play.
Ryan must have thought he was having a flashback to last year’s pre-season finale against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
Joe McKnight fumbled in the third quarter.
CB Ellis Lankster provided some excitement in the fourth quarter when he intercepted a Mike Kafka pass and brought it back 67 yards for a touchdown.
HERE COMES THE TURK
NFL teams must get down to the 53-man roster limit on Saturday. As has been the case in the past, the Jets’ 53-man roster on Saturday won’t necessarily be what it looks like on September 11th against the Cowboys.
Once all of the teams make their cuts, the Jets will look around to see if anything is of interest of them and I would think they will search hard for a punter and some backup help on the offensive line. It’s also possible that they’ll see what receivers are out there. Otherwise it looks like Patrick Turner will be the 5th wide receiver although he did not have a catch against the Eagles.
THE SAN-CHIZE LENDS A HELPING HAND
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has partnered with international fashion group Hugo Boss to support Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit family service organization that has made a long-term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of 9/11.
As part of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Hugo Boss will match Sanchez’s contribution to Tuesday’s Children. The check presentation will take play at the Hugo Boss store at Columbus Circle in Manhattan on Friday where Sanchez will meet Tuesday’s Children families. He’ll sign autographs and copies of the September issue of GQ. Sanchez is on the cover wearing Hugo Boss clothing.
Next Sunday night’s Jets-Cowboys game at MetLife Stadium will be a part of the NFL’s daylong salute to the resilient spirit of America on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. There will be special tributes during all games that day in stadiums, on field, and on television.
The NFL outlined plans for the day in a press release:
“The games and broadcasts on that opening Sunday will unite fans to recognize those who lost their lives, honor the families who lost loved ones, and salute the American spirit, the early responders on 9/11, and other heroes that contributed to the nation’s recovery. The schedule of games for that day was designed to appropriately commemorate 9/11 on a national level and what it represents to Americans.
“Eight games will kick off at 1:00 PM ET, including the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are based approximately 80 miles from Shanksville, PA (CBS). The 4:15 PM ET window of four games includes FOX’s telecast of the Washington Redskins hosting the New York Giants. To conclude the day, the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Jets on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
“The NFL will unite fans on that day by synching the pregame salutes during the Sunday afternoon CBS and FOX telecasts, followed by a special Sunday night presentation from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on NBC. The special pre-game events that will be televised nationally also will be shown on videoboards in each of the stadiums hosting games that day.
“All games in each of the broadcast windows (1:00 PM, 4:15 PM and Sunday Night Football) will feature a special video introduction followed by performances of “Taps” from near the sites of the attacks, and moments of silence. For the 1:00 PM games, “Taps” will be performed in Shanksville, PA while the 4:15 PM games will feature a rendition from Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. The Sunday night game will include a performance from Hoboken, NJ, looking across the Hudson River to Ground Zero. Coaches, players and local first responders and other heroes will come together to hold field-length American flags for the playing of the National Anthem prior to each game.
“The nationally televised Cowboys-Jets game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ will feature additional special pregame and halftime presentations. Players, coaches and sideline personnel will wear a special NFL 9/11 ribbon as a patch or pin on their uniforms and sideline apparel. All stadiums hosting games on September 11 will feature the ribbon logo on the field.”
A GREAT WAY TO ENJOY THE GAME
Last season, the Jets were one of a handful of teams to offer their fans a unique gameday experience called “FanVision.” It will be back at the Meadowlands in 2011.
It’s a device that allows you to see live action of the Jets game as well as live action from selected out of town games. You can also view team and individual stats while also having access to replays.
In addition Jets games at MetLife Stadium, FanVision is also available for several other teams including the Bills, Eagles, Redskins and Broncos, all 2011 Jets opponents. So if you buy the unit, you can take it with you if you join the Jets on the road.
For more info, go to www.fanvision.com.
ARE YOU READY TO TALK SOME FOOTBALL?
This Saturday, I will be joined by WFAN’s Giants beat reporter Paul Dottino for a special pre-season football show on the FAN from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We’ll have some special guests, take your phone calls at 1-877-337-6666, and take a look around the NFL on a day when teams have to trim their rosters down to the final 53. Hope you can join us!
That’s all for now! Check back next week for more!
So now that the preseason is over, it’s prediction time! What will the Jets’ record be in 2011? Sound off below…