FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Penalties now equal punishment at 1 Jets Drive.
Coach Todd Bowles instituted a new rule on Wednesday, resulting in even more post-practice sprints for his players.
"We said any time we had more than five penalties, we're going to run gassers. There were more than five penalties in practice. We had six, so we ran," Bowles said, adding that the team's 17-penalty performance in last week's preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons was the impetus for the new rule.
Bowles has used the gassers as punishment on a few occasions during training camp -- first, after a sluggish practice on Aug. 10 and then again on Aug. 17, after two separate skirmishes broke out. So far, so good it seems. There hasn't been any fighting since his players were forced to run the width of the practice field.
Asked if he thinks gassers will be as effective with grown men as it is with high school players, Bowles said matter-of-factly: "I know professional guys don't want to run."
Unlike his predecessor Rex Ryan, Bowles isn't big on setting preseason benchmarks or setting statistical goals for his units. "There are certain things we have to be good at," Bowles said. "Statistical goals are a false lead." During his six-year tenure with the Jets, Ryan made it his mission to have a Top 5 defense. But on Wednesday, Bowles broke down the flawed logic in focusing specifically on certain stat sheet categories.
"If you're offense isn't moving the ball and they're running for a bunch of yards and they're not throwing the ball, your pass defense is going to be good," he said. "If your defense is on the field all day and they're airing it out, offensively, your run game is going to be bad because you're trying to throw to catch up all the time. Being first or 31st, you want to be good but you want to be good in certain categories. For me, certain categories define how good and how efficient we can be. So, statistical goals? No.
"It comes with all of the other things that you try to do and if you get them, great. There were years when New England won a Super Bowl and they were ranked 28th in defense, but they're scoring 40 points a game. So stats are misleading. You have to kind of take it as it comes."
Rookie DL Davon Walls (knee) cleared waivers and was placed on injured reserve . . . Veteran OLB Calvin Pace (groin) is "still day-to-day" and it's unclear if he'll suit up for the Giants game Saturday night. "I'll get a better idea [on Thursday]," Bowles said. "If he does something, I'll be hopeful. If he doesn't, I'll be doubtful." . . . LB Trevor Reilly is expected to start against the Giants in place of injured rookie Lorenzo Mauldin (knee) . . . WRs Chris Owusu (concussion) and Shaq Evans (hyperextended back) will play . . . Bowles said defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers will again call the plays. "I'll help with the game plan and everything else, but he'll call it this week," he said. "I have input on the sidelines, and I'll say things when necessary, but I still want those guys to jell and work together so it's important that they work together again this week." . . . As of now, the plan is to have starters play the entire first half, but there's a chance they could see action in the third quarter, as well.