Justin Tuck used the word "great" to describe Mark Sanchez, but he used it next to a phrase that quarterbacks often take as an insult.

"I think he does a great job of managing the game," Tuck said of the Jets' quarterback. "I think sometimes he can get rattled when you take away his run game, but if he can hand the ball off to Shonn [Greene] and they can get him into those third-and-short situations or the second-and-short situations where he can throw the quick passes and get into a rhythm, they're going to present a huge problem."

The last time Tuck noted that a quarterback "manages" the game, it was the 49ers' Alex Smith, who retorted after the game that he "managed to win."


Baas expected back

David Baas is expected to start at center Saturday, even though the offensive line has had three of its most productive games of the season with him on the sideline because of a neck injury. "It's not like I forgot," he said of getting reacquainted with his old position. "I've played a lot of football here and I plan on playing a lot of football here for a long time."

The move likely will push Kevin Boothe, who filled in at center, back to left guard and nudge Mitch Petrus back to the bench.

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Giant steps

RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) did not practice Thursday after working Wednesday. "Just to get it out of the way," he said of altering the order of his one-practice-per-week schedule . . . WR Mario Manningham (knee) missed a second straight practice and Tom Coughlin described him as "day-to-day." RB D.J. Ware (knee) also missed practice but Coughlin said he's expected back Friday.