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Barnes: Starting McIntyre makes sense

San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes looks on

San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes looks on during a game against the Denver Broncos. Credit: AP, 2011

Antwan Barnes didn’t seem surprised that Rex Ryan tabbed Garrett McIntyre as Quinton Coples’ replacement in the Jets base defense.

“Yeah, I kind of was expecting it,” said Barnes, who was signed this offseason to a three-year deal worth close to $4 million. “He’s more of a run-stopping type of guy and I’m that guy that, I know every call, everything like that, so if you need me for emergencies, I go in there and do it.”

Ryan said Monday that Barnes, 28, also will see more playing time due to the absence of Coples, the Jets’ 6-6, 290-pound defensive end/outside linebacker. According to a source, Coples suffered a hairline fracture in his ankle during Saturday night’s preseason win over the Jaguars. He is scheduled to undergo a “medical procedure” Tuesday and is out indefinitely.

“I don’t know the particulars right now on surgery,” Ryan said, referring Coples – the 16th overall pick in last year’s draft. “We just know that he’s out for at least the preseason game. We’re putting it that he’s ‘out indefinitely’ because we don’t know exactly the timeframe on it.”

Ryan said McIntyre has “earned the right” to start from here on out – beginning with Saturday’s preseason game against the Giants. But while Barnes will primarily be used as a pass rusher, the former Charger also will rotate into their base defense as well, Ryan said.

“I’m used to it,” Barnes said of being used on first and second downs as well. “I started before. When I was in San Diego, I started [five] games [in 2011], so I’m pretty much used to it. It’s just about going out there and doing it.”

Barnes, a pass-rush specialist for the Chargers, had 18.5 sacks over the past three seasons – though 11 of them came in 2011.

Speaking of the defense…I asked Barnes about the Jets’ issues with Jacksonville’s no-huddle. Granted, it’s the preseason, and teams aren’t game-planning. But the Jets defense made Blaine Gabbert look far better, allowing the Jaguars quarterback to complete 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. Oh, and he 130.5 rating.

Barnes, however, wasn’t fazed.

“It kind of got us ready cause we know New England does it as well,” he said of opponents running the no-huddle offense. “So we’re kind of glad it happened to us, so we’ll know. What we saw as a defense it kind of caught us off guard a little bit, but we learned our lesson from it. We’re going to get it again in New England.”

As for the unit’s poor tackling -- which upset Ryan to no end Saturday night – Barnes said there’s a simple explanation.

“It probably started off with poor communication,” he said. “When we first got into the play, once you have no communication, then everything goes off from there. And that’s when you get the poor tackling cause we don’t know where guys is at, don’t trust the guys behind you, don’t trust the guys in front of you. But we’re going to work on that this week and everything should be alright.”  

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