FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Coach Rex Ryan gave his players last week off after the Jets' Oct. 28 loss to Miami. But it was hardly a vacation.
"It was a strange bye week," safety Yeremiah Bell said Monday.
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Like so many in our area, the Jets returned to work Monday with tales of what happened to them during and after Sandy. Ryan still has no power in his New Jersey home. Some players were able to get out of the area; others remained and dealt with the same conditions as the rest of the population.
"We haven't had power for a while," Ryan said. "That's just like anybody else."
The players were not required to come to the Jets' training facility during the bye week. But some did, anyway -- to shower.
"I was thankful that this place got power on Tuesday or Wednesday," wide receiver Chaz Schilens said. "I was just thankful that I had a place to come and take a shower and do some stuff. It was all right for me. I don't know if they had a generator or what, but I think this was the only place in Madison and Florham Park that had power for a few days. I was thankful for that."
Some traffic lights still were out Monday on the streets surrounding the Jets' facility. Players and coaches were able to buy gas in the area -- if they could find any -- only if their vehicles had odd-numbered or vanity plates, as New Jersey has gone to gas rationing in some counties. (Vanity plates count as "odd" in the system.)
Ryan said he and the assistant coaches worked last week at the facility if they could. Some coaches took their laptops and other material with them and worked from home when travel became too dicey.
"A lot of preparation was that way, where they had to take some of their stuff home," Ryan said. "But again, you're never too far away from your work, that's for sure. And obviously, you want to make sure that they're protecting their families and that they're there with their families in these trying circumstances."
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie stayed in the area, lost power for two days and spent about four hours in a gas line Thursday. He tried to leave the area after the Miami game but "I couldn't get out," he said. "Couldn't take a flight, and I definitely didn't feel like driving with my kids."
Center Nick Mangold, whose house still was without power, said: "It's been difficult. Not as bad as some people have had it."