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'Monday Night Football' could help answer questions about New York Jets

The Jets, the focus of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' this summer, will host the Baltimore Ravens in the first game of a doubleheader. San Diego plays at Kansas City in the second game.

September 12, 2010|By Sam Farmer

As the focus of HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer, the New York Jets showed humor, hubris and high drama.

But did they reveal too much of themselves?

That question could be answered Monday night when the Jets play host to Baltimore in the early game of a "Monday Night Football" doubleheader. The second game is San Diego at Kansas City.

Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told reporters last week that he was able to mine some useful information about the Jets by watching the reality show — a show that debuted in 2001 with the Ravens as its focus.

"There was probably a lot revealed in that strategically, the way I viewed it," Cameron said in reference to the Jets. "At least what we were jotting down … I've had people newsreel it because you're looking for any strategic advantage just like anybody else would."

Hogwash, say the Jets.

"What are you going to learn?" Jets Coach Rex Ryan said, speaking to reporters. "You guys saw it. What did you get out of it?"

Ryan said it would be far more useful for the Ravens to concentrate on how he schemed games in Baltimore, as the team's defensive line coach then defensive coordinator from 1999 through 2008.

"I was like, 'You've got the playbook right there,'" Ryan said. "There might be something in the playbook that might be a little more revealing than what you saw on 'Hard Knocks.'"

As for the Chargers and Chiefs, both AFC West teams, they're intimately familiar with each other. But San Diego has a wrinkle this season: rookie running back Ryan Mathews, the 12th overall pick, in place of the departed LaDainian Tomlinson.

"Ryan gives us explosive plays," Chargers Coach Norv Turner said. "He's got great speed and he's going to crank off some 10-, 15-, 20-yard runs."

The main weapon still will be quarterback Philip Rivers, who directed San Diego to two blowout wins over the Chiefs last season, outscoring Kansas City by a combined 80-21.

In those games, Rivers threw for 585 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Two of those were to tight end Antonio Gates, who had 173 yards receiving. Gates is coming off a season in which he caught 79 passes for a career-best 1,157 yards, with eight touchdowns.

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