If there was one thing Shane Vereen learned as a member of the Patriots for four seasons, it was disdain for the Jets.
“You have to,” he told Newsday, with a grin, of the hostility for green and white uniforms that is instilled in New England’s players.
Now he’s a Giant facing the Jets, and while the stakes are a little different, the vibe is feeling pretty similar.
“At this point in the season both teams are trying to get to the same point and we’re both kind of in the same area,” Vereen said of the playoff quests of the Giants and Jets. “In that sense it kind of heightens the game. We’ve got to be locked and loaded and alert and ready to go.”
In five games against the Jets while with the Patriots, Vereen was never on the losing side. He carried the ball 35 times for 172 yards in those five games and caught 9 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
That was against Rex Ryan’s defenses. Now he’ll be facing Todd Bowles’.
“They have their own wrinkles,” he said of the change.
Overall, though, it’s mostly familiar.
“Their attitude seems to be the same,” Vereen said. “I got a sense of that in the preseason game and just watching film, that attitude has not changed. They’re still a very downhill, hit-you-in-the-mouth, physical defense… From the running back position, there are a lot of different things we have to be prepared for and a lot of different ways they can attack us. Pass protection, run blitzes, you name it. There is a lot of stuff we’ll have to adjust to.”
Having a distaste for the Jets, though, is not one of them.