It took the Jets’ offense 33 plays to score against the Jets’ defense, and at that point, Bruce Coslet had seen enough. Right after Mickey Shuler took a 5-yard pass from free-agent quarterback Brent Snyder for the only touchdown of Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage -- and Pat Leahy added the PAT -- the Jets’ first-year coach called a halt to the festivities.
Afterward, Coslet said he “saw good things” on both sides of the field -- actually, both offense and defense shared the same sideline -- but acknowledged that the defense held a slight edge. “In half a game we only scored one touchdown,” Coslet said, “so I guess you could say they won.”
The Jets used four quarterbacks -- in order of appearance Tony Eason, Ken O’Brien, Troy Taylor and Snyder -- who completed 11 of 13 passes for 131 yards. Snyder saw the most action, 16 plays, and Eason the least, four. O’Brien and Taylor were sacked once each -- not counting one apparent sack of O’Brien by defensive end Marvin Washington -- and until Snyder finally found Shuler for the scrimmage’s only score, the closest the offense came to the end zone was Leahy’s 47-yard field-goal attempt that fell short.
“We set out to accomplish three objectives,” Coslet said. “We wanted to get everybody some contact, we wanted to hit hard, and we wanted nobody to get hurt. We accomplished all three. We’ve still got some work to do.”
The high point offensively was supplemental draft pick Rob Moore’s leaping catch of a Snyder pass for a 26-yard gain that set up Shuler’s TD catch three plays later.
As for the offensive line, which was guilty of two holding penalties, Coslet said, “We’ve got to get more consistent. We got sacked twice, but I didn’t see the quarterbacks running for their lives on every play.”
Coslet also was pleased with a resounding collision between Erik McMillan and Roger Vick -- ‘I think that one was a tossup on who hit who the hardest” -- and on the play of outside linebacker Joe Mott, who forced inside several sweeps for no gain.
Coslet, however, was left with one question. “Do we praise the defense?” he asked, “or (knock) the offense?”
Snyder, locked in a battle for the No. 3 quarterback job with Taylor, was the only quarterback to move the offense, but the second-year pro attributed that mostly to playing time. “When you get as many reps as I did, it’s a lot easier,” said Snyder, who completed 6 of 7 passes, including the TD pass. “It’s a lot different being out there for real than just going through the motions in practice.”
Snyder laughed when told that Coslet had boasted of “throwing the rookie quarterbacks some curves” by calling plays they were unfamiliar with. “He did do that,” Snyder said. “But that’s OK. Coaches are allowed to do that, I guess.”
Washington, who was credited with one of the defense’s two sacks -- Ron Stallworth had the other -- thought he should have gotten credit for another sack on the scrimmage’s sixth play, when he clearly reached O’Brien and planted a two-hand tag on him. But the play was allowed to continue and O’Brien completed a 15-yard pass to Carl Parker. “I definitely had him,” Washington said. “Maybe I should have tackled him.”
O’Brien waved off Washington’s complaint. “He sacked me? You’ve got to be kidding.”
LB Troy Benson (pinched nerve in neck), WR Al Toon (strained groin), RB Johnny Hector (knee), LG Mike Haight (sprained right ankle) and DE Dennis Byrd (shoulder) did not play. Toon and Byrd will practice Monday. Benson was to be examined by Dr. James Nicholas Saturday and undergo further tests during the week. Hector, said Coslet, is “a wait-and-see story.”
Benson’s injury is an old one that was aggravated when he ran head-on into rookie fullback Leon Perry, a 230-pounder. “It’s tough to tackle with a pinched nerve,” Benson said, “and being a linebacker, that’s kind of my job.”