As of about 10 p.m. Thursday, the 2009 preseason became a memory for the Jets , a pretty good memory at that. After all, no one got hurt in any of the meaningless games. And the Jets began the process of developing their franchise quarterback, rookie Mark Sanchez, who has taken positive steps with each game he has played.
The Jets' 38-27 win over the Eagles at Giants Stadium completed a 2-2 preseason under the leadership of first-year coach Rex Ryan.
"I'm happy with this Football team," Ryan said. "This is a good Football team. We're going to find out next week. Really, everybody is going to find out next week. That's what I am excited about."
The 2-2 preseason record doesn't matter. What matters is whether the Jets are ready to be a contender as the Sept. 13 regular-season opener in Houston approaches.
Questions definitely remain, beginning at quarterback, where first-year players rarely succeed - Baltimore's Joe Flacco and Atlanta's Matt Ryan notwithstanding.
The defense, too, is a work in progress. Though it figures to be the unit that carries this team, the first team defense looked lethargic in its one series against the Eagles on Thursday, which ticked off Ryan.
Part of Ryan's issue has been an inordinate amount of penalties called on the Jets over the last two games. A week after being penalized seven times in the first quarter against the Giants, the Jets were flagged six times for 117 yards Thursday. Cornerback Lito Sheppard was called for his third pass interference penalty in the last two games. Even fellow CB Darrelle Revis, who has a good chance to go to the Pro Bowl this year, was called for interference.
"I'm concerned," Ryan said. "I want to make sure we're teaching our guys correctly and really look at it. I want to see if it was an obvious foul. I want Lito playing Football and staying aggressive, but we'll have to see the film.
"The penalties and all that stuff, we'll look at that and see how we can teach the technique differently. We need to look at that stuff."
Jets linebacker Bart Scott said it's up to the players to figure out how things are going to be called by the officials.
"We just have to figure out how the refs are going to call them," Scott said. "With the one with Revis, I thought that was incidental contact. The feet got tangled up. It's just their interpretation. It's preseason for the refs, too."
Asked if the rule changes are an issue, Scott said: "Every year they have different inferences. They over-call things during the preseason, and usually it settles down during the regular season. In that drive, I think they had 12 yards of offense, the rest was in penalty yards.
"Of course, we don't want to have penalties. We want to be the least penalized defense in the league. If that's how they are going to call it, then maybe we'll change our technique."
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