Ty Law’s not the only Jet whose achy, breaky joints and muscles we’re concerned about heading toward the team’s flight to Nashville in a few hours.
In fact the whole Jets team (except for Law) went from playing the St. Louis Rams on a Sunday to taking on the Patriots four nights later to "resting" for more than a week before tackling the Titans on Sunday, 10 days after their last game.
I asked a few players around the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room on Friday how they felt this week. Specifically, has physiological equilibrium been achieved? Do they feel the same now as they would have had they played Sunday-Sunday instead of Sunday-Thursday?
For the most part, the Jets said they felt strongly both ways.
"I feel pretty much the same as usual," tight end Chris Baker said. "If I was going through any kind of injury, it might be different. But aside from that, there’s not much of a difference. It does balance out."
"Yeah, it’s all right," said linebacker David Bowens, who’s kind of the human epitome of "all right." "I feel super-fresh today. Last week I was a little sore Thursday morning. The flip side of it was, when we got back and practiced Wednesday of this week, I was still sore, even with the days off. Then yesterday’s practice was good. The soreness went away fast."
Fellow ‘backer Calvin Pace said he just didn’t think the timing of the games mattered to him. He’s just sore as always this time of year.
"My body’s not bad, but you’re going to definitely feel the wear and tear of the season," Pace said. "It’s tough, man, it’s tough. The worst I ever felt, though, was when I played special teams and I really wasn’t playing that much defense — that’s a suicide mission every time."
Different opponents, Pace added, bring different challenges for the body.
"This game ahead’s probably going to a more physical game," he said, "whereas Arizona was just ‘air it out.’ "
DT C.J. Mosley, who had one of his best games as a pro (five tackles, a sack and his first two-PD game) with extended playing time on the sub packages’ front line, wasn’t buying the six-of-one-half-dozen-of-another theory.
"Me personally? I don’t feel the same as usual. Definitely on the bad side," Mosley said. "You wake up in the morning and you’re like ‘Wow!’ You look at the clock and say, ‘Please, just five more minutes.’ "
Yet he’s on the mend. He has no choice. Head coach Eric Mangini scaled back the few practices before the Patriots game but he cranked the tempo back up, often to the beat of "Rocky Top," which the Jets will hear quite a bit at LP Field on Sunday.
"I’ve been in the hot and cold tubs, doing the contrast thing," Mosley said. "Definitely one of the things Coach Mangini has been preaching this week is to keep doing the things you usually do as far as preparation and taking care of your body."
Guard Brandon Moore is another of the guys who said he’s always sore.
"At practice, we didn’t have pads on but it’s still moving and hitting, it’s cold out on the field and you’re a little tight."
Yet Moore said he felt the five-day break before returning to practice this past Wednesday was a good thing. He also said, "I actually love a short week. I wish we could do more."
I couldn’t tell if Brandon was joking or not. But one thing’s for sure. If the Jets keep playing as they have been recently — six wins in seven games to take sole possession of first place in the AFC East — more short weeks will be ahead in their future schedules.
The three Jets who were up for sponsored NFL awards this week were also-rans.
The Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week award didn’t go to TE Dustin Keller for his New England pass-catching heroics but to Denver LB-FB Spencer Larsen, who became the first Bronco ever to start on offense and defense in the same game in the road win over Atlanta.
The GMC Sierra Defensive Player of the Week went not to LB Eric Barton but to Pittsburgh LB James Harrison in the Steelers’ unique 11-10 win over San Diego. And Eric Mangini took a backup role in the Motorola NFL Coach of the Week running to Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy after the Packers’ 37-3 thumping of the Bears.
But never fear. I suspect we’ll have more Jets nominees over the last six weeks of the regular season.
You may have heard that Tennessee is juggling its secondary in advance of the Jets’ visit. Injured CBs Eric King and Reynaldo Hill were both listed Friday as out for the game and have been placed on IR. To fill in, the Titans have signed veteran Tyrone Poole and promoted Tuff Harris from their practice squad.
If Poole does a "Ty" and plays against the Jets on Sunday, it will be the fifth opponent he’s played for against the Green & White. He’s played for Carolina, Indianapolis, Denver and New England against the Jets, most recently with the Pats for the 2003 home-and-home series.
Tags: Brandon Moore, C.J. Mosley, Calvin Pace, Chris Baker, David Bowens, Ty Law
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