Mohamed Sanu salutes his teammates Saturday night.
As good as the first teams looked on Saturday night, the second teams did not look so hot in the Bengals’ 25-17 loss and it was said all three coordinators looked as if they had swallowed a lemon.
“I’m very disappointed,” said offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. “After the ones went out, it looked like nobody had practiced. It’s disappointing.”
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther threatened the backups with their very jobs, proclaiming he was still looking for rosters spots 19-25. That’s about all that’s left because his ones have allowed only two field goals this preseason.
“They have plenty of good guys around this building to learn from,” Guenther said. “They see how it’s done the right way all the time. Fast , efficiently, and they go in there and they lose their minds. They panic…We have to get them better.”
One of the guys they should be learning from is the ageless one, cornerback Terence Newman. Less than three weeks shy of his 36th birthday, Newman blew up one Jets drive when he dropped running back Chris Johnson for a five-yard loss on a flare pass. He stopped another drive when he picked off a Geno Smith pass with the help of safety George Iloka’s blitz and then got his team into field goal range when he ignored the Jets’ foolishness following the interception and let them get the personal foul.
He could thank himself for the play on Johnson.
“I’ve seen that play quite a few times, when the back flares right now and the quarterback takes a little drop,” Newman said. “I literally watched the film in my locker today and saw that play two or three times.”
That’s the kind of preparation Guenther is talking about getting from his backups, the backups that promptly gave up 81 yards and two touchdowns to the Jets first teamers in a span of eight minutes in the second quarter. But Newman gave Guenther the credit for the interception: “I was in the right place and it was the perfect defense. I didn’t do anything. All credit goes to Paulie G.”
But that’s not why Newman threw him the intercepted ball after the two Jets offensive linemen were called for personal fouls for taking shots at Newman after the play.
“He told me he was going to get a pick tonight,” Guenther said. “He threw the ball from midfield through a crowd of people. Yeah, I caught it.
“He’s damn good. He’s a great pro. He takes care of his body, He asks good questions. He’s a leader in our room.”
A great enough pro that Newman let the Jets get the personal foul as he walked away and let his teammates cover for him. Half of the Jets’ 12 penalties were personal fouls or unnecessary roughing calls on the offense and the Bengals defense had none.
“I don’t want our guys to back down from anybody,” Guenther said. “But at the same time, we don’t respond.”
Guenther can only hope his backups start emulating starters like Newman.
THIRD AND DISAPPOINTMENT: Jackson’s joy of converting a third-and-one for a touchdown lasted less than three minutes. On third-and-one from the Jets 23, running back Giovani Bernard got blown up by nose tackle Damon Harrison, which would indicate rookie center Russell Bodine got beat but no one had looked at film to know.
Whatever, they didn’t make it and Jackson was furious.
“If we hadn’t screwed up the other third-and-one I thought we could have scored again,” Jackson said. “We’ll definitely fix it. We should make third-and-one. We’ll look at how we called it, how we blocked it.”
Bodine had a holding call on the previous drive.
MO-MOMENTUM: Andy Dalton and Mohamed Sanu were the two best players of training camp, so it was fitting that they hooked up on Paul Brown Stadium’s first TD of the season from 46 yards out. Sanu chalks up his camp to another year wiser.
“I’ve gained more experience. My body feels that much better than the year before,” he said. “It heals a lot better. I trained really well this offseason. And I’ve got another year under my belt. It’s knowing how to attack defenses, knowing how to be a better football player.”
MORE HUE: Jets head coach Rex Ryan wasted no time blitzing first-year quarterback Matt Scott from the blind-side with his first team defense against the Bengals backups. Bang. Fumble. Boom. Jets ball at the Bengals 19. Boff. The Jets score their first TD two minutes later.
With Jason Campbell on the bench (bruised elbow), backup quarterbacks Matt Scott and Tyler Wilson (with no regular season games between them) really struggled on 15 of 35 passing for less than a 100 yards, one interception and five sacks.
“I don’t blame him. Again, I’m not mad at Rex for what he decides to do with his team, you know?” Jackson said. “I’m disappointed in our offense that we didn’t get it stopped.”
INJURY ROUNDUP: Head coach Marvin Lewis thought the only significant injury coming out of Saturday was running back Rex Burkhead’s knee, and that appears not to be a season-ender.
But they had plenty of guys leave, starting with their first two picks, cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip) and running back Jeremy Hill (shoulder). Two other draft picks also came off, fifth-round linebacker Marquis Flowers (ankle) and wide receiver James Wright (hip). Pro Bowl WILL backer Vontaze Burfict go his shoulder checked out, but was cleared to return. Linebacker JK Schaffer, coming off a concussion, went out for good after a hit to the head.