Many of this year’s preseason games have moved at a snail’s pace, largely because of the amount of penalty flags being thrown as part of the league’s increased emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact.
Not every flurry of flags is due to those changes, though. The Jets were penalized 12 times against the Bengals on Saturday night, but half of those were 15-yard personal fouls and the Jets had a seventh 15-yarder that was declined by Cincinnati. The offensive line was particularly aggressive, with Brian Winters, Willie Colon and Breno Giacomini all getting flagged for at least one big penalty.
Coach Rex Ryan wasn’t upset at his team after the game, though. He said he thought his players were sticking up for one another in response to chippy play by the Bengals and said that his team wouldn’t ever do things any differently.
“We’re not here to take anybody’s stuff, period,” Ryan said. “Again, we’re not here to take anything from anybody. If a teammate is at risk, then we’re not going to take that. We want to be a clean, physical football team, and that’s what we plan on being.”
The Jets need to find a way to be physical in the regular season without winding up buried under a mountain of yellow flags because that kind of undisciplined play will cost them games. They saw as much last season when late penalties by the Buccaneers and Patriots helped put the Jets in position to win games that they probably would have lost otherwise.