Wednesday, October 5, 2022
HomeSportsJets will settle for field goals to try and settle kicker battle

Jets will settle for field goals to try and settle kicker battle

Hold on to your remote controls instead of throwing them at the television. Suppress the urge to boo.

Over the next three games, the Jets are going to attempt field goals on fourth-and-short in the red zone. And they will settle for three points from parts of the field at which the analytics charts say to play for seven.

Think of it not as conservative managing but rather as trying to create as many preseason opportunities as necessary to settle the battle for one roster spot between veteran kickers Eddy Pineiro and Greg Zuerlein.

“Fans, don’t get mad,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “There are going to be some fourth downs where we send the kicking unit out instead of going for it. It’s for a reason — to see where those guys are at.”

The Jets lined up for field goals from 33 yards (twice), 43, 48 and 55 yards during practice Wednesday. Zuerlein made all five attempts, while Pineiro hooked one left from 43 as his only blemish.

Eddy Pineiro
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg
Greg Zuerlein
Greg Zuerlein

“It is neck-and-neck,” Saleh said. “They’re both doing a really nice job kicking the ball.”

If the Jets’ offense goes three-and-out Friday to start the game against the Eagles, Zach Wilson and the rest of the starters shouldn’t lose track of their helmets.

“If they put together a good first series, we’ll call it a day,” Saleh said.

“If not, we’ll just go out there and try to get a certain number of plays.”

Joe Flacco will be the next quarterback off the bench, followed by Mike White, Saleh confirmed — just as the depth chart suggests.

Saleh made an interesting point about the safety of players battling in the trenches in preseason games compared to training-camp practices. The risk is always getting rolled up from behind in a pile.

“You get nervous in this day and age because everyone talks injuries, because there’s tackling and all of that stuff, but for the O-line and D-line, it’s all the same,” Saleh said. “It’s no different than what’s out here [at practice]. It’s actually probably even safer because you anticipate guys falling because of tackling.”

Saleh compared training camp fights to sibling arguments. You are never too old for one of those.

“This morning I was in an argument with my brother,” Saleh said. “I am 43 years old, and it took me back to my junior year of high school and I suplexed him in the living room right on his face.”

Saleh then looked right into the camera, as if he knew his brother would see the video.

“That’s right, I did that.”

He continued: “It’s not like they don’t love each other, but it gets competitive out there. It’s hot, it’s sticky, they’ve seen each other over and over again. I think this is a really close group and a really cool locker room.”

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