Jets Rumors & News
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Typically pre-season game #3 is the one to watch. It used to be in this game that the starters almost always played until halftime and sometimes even started the 3rd quarter depending on their performance.

In today’s NFL, most starters rarely play past the second series in all but the third pre-season game. In the third game they might play until halftime but usually always play into the second quarter (knowing in game #4 they might not even suit up).

The Jets play the Giants in pre-season game #3 this week and normally it would be the one pre-season game to attend or watch most of, not because of the rivalry, but because of the starters playing most of the first half. Not this week.

As if the pre-season games couldn’t get any more boring, this annual pre-season matchup pits two regular-season opponents against one another. So in what would normally be a game when you would see the starters playing longer and implementing regular season plays and strategies, you will instead see a “pretend” pre-season game.

Sure, they’ll still play hard. And the starters will play all of the first quarter and maybe some of the second, especially after last week’s lackluster performance. But don’t expect to see any exciting trick plays or blitz packages. With few exceptions, all of the plays you will see Saturday night have already been executed at some point during the pre-season.

Via the New York Jets website, Eric Mangini had this to say about the upcoming pre-season game against a regular-season opponent:

“This preseason game is unique in the sense that usually the third preseason game you play the starters more and you’re able to go through the normal game-planning process, but this is a team that we’re going to then play during the season. The approach is a little bit different because you wouldn’t necessarily do all the things that you may do now because you do face them in the season. So it’s definitely a little different than a normal third game……….I’m sure the same thing is true for them. You’re not going to put all the cards on the table.”

What will be interesting to see is how far along first-round draft pick Darrelle Revis is since joining the team officially just shy of a week ago. My guess is he’s in playing shape. What will be the bigger question is whether he is mentally ready to cover NFL-caliber receivers and if he is successful, if tested, as an NFL punt returner. He fumbled one of Ben Graham’s punts in practice on Monday. But he’s not the only NFL player to unsuccessfully catch Graham’s knuckle ball from the sky. Unlike if it was a Jets home game, the Giants fans won’t really care how Revis does. This might be a blessing for him should he start out slowly after holding out for more money over the next six years than almost anyone in the stadium makes in a lifetime.

I’m confident Chad Pennington will play two series and only play a third if he is as bad as he was last week. Kellen Clemens will get the ball for the rest of the first half and his results will also determine how long into the second half he plays. I’m also confident Thomas Jones won’t even know where his uniform is come game time.

Double session practices are over and the Jets’ final training camp practice is tomorrow at 12:15pm.

If it’s divulged by Mangini, check back for the latest report on who will play Saturday night and for how long.

Jon Buzby’s columns appear in newspapers and magazines around the country as well as numerous websites. He is also a frequent public speaker and has written two books. He can be contacted through his website at www.jonbuzby.com.

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