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"The Giants? We've Got To Work On The Jets"


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08/18 — The Jets' postgame locker room Friday night was not a happy place. Players weren't suicidal, nor should they have been. But they were this side of ticked off, which is what you'd like to see in a team that has a healthy self-image yet still fell at home to the Minnesota Vikings by 37-20.

"One word? It stunk. That's the only word you get," said LB Jonathan Vilma, who actually used another S-word to describe the experience. "It is what it is. We have to be glad it's not the regular season. All we can do is get better."

"As an individual, I don't think it's concern," Chad Pennington said of his feelings about the game after he completed nine of 10 passes, just as he did vs. the Vikings in the '05 preseason — although two of those completions were to Vikings defenders Darren Sharper and Chad Greenway, who took the picks for touchdowns. "It's a disappointment and a want-to, to just get it fixed."

One thing that most irritated the defense were a few nice Minnesota runs, none nicer than rookie Adrian Peterson's burst out of CB Andre Dyson's tackle attempt near the line for a 43-yard gain. It was the longest preseason run yielded by the Jets since the Giants' Tiki Barber went 54 yards in the 2002 preseason and the second-longest run given up in any game, pre- or regular season, in the Meadowlands since '02 behind Willis McGahee's 57-yard TD bolt for the Bills last December.

"I don't think that was a scheme issue," head coach Eric Mangini said, "as much as it was an execution issue on the perimeter."

It was also a Peterson issue. Barton, who again was active at the point of attack, admired what the Oklahoma rookie brought to New Jersey.

"I thought he as really impressive. He looked good. I'm sure the Vikings are happy with him," Barton said. "I think he's a lot faster than I imagined him to be." Peterson finished with eight carries for 70 yards, including a muscular 3-yard TD burst that made it 21-6 in the second quarter.

The solution is simple, although not necessarily easy, said LB Eric Barton.

"First of all, do not panic," Barton said. "Watch the tape and fix what you did wrong. There's no other options. Work harder and hopefully next week we'll play better. ... We'll be all right."

"I think things weren't as bad as they looked," said safety Erik Coleman, who ranged well to break up a long ball intended for Troy Williamson early in the game. "There are some things we need to work on. But we're not accustomed to giving up plays like that. Even though it's the preseason, we demand nothing but the best out of each other."

No one was in the mood to look ahead to the next preseason game, against the Giants next Saturday night.

"It starts with Sunday," Pennington said, referring to the next training camp practice for the Jets back at Hofstra. "Our practices aren't like other people's practices, normal practices. They throw a lot of stuff at us. ... Whatever Coach has in store for us, we'll be ready. He probably has a few tricks up his sleeve for us this week, and we'll motivate ourselves."

"The Giants? It's definitely too early to talk about the Giants," Vilma said. "We've got to work on the Jets."


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