The Jets and Giants Try a Quieter Approach This Time

No repeat of last year's trash talking ahead of this year's preseason tilt

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It wasn't something that we ever expected to feel after his departure as a free agent, but we're actually pining for Brandon Jacobs.

Now, let's be clear here. There's no desire to practice our helmet-ducking skills, nor is there any aching hole in our heart where Jacobs' sideways-tiptoeing used to dwell. 

No, the problem is that we miss Jacobs' willingness to never let a chance to talk trash about the Jets pass. Jacobs might have played for Tom "Talk is Cheap" Coughlin, but he didn't really buy into the team's philosophy on that front.

And he still doesn't, judging from this week's rip of the Jets as a not very talented circus act. Back in our neck of the woods, though, it's dead quiet in advance of Saturday's preseason tilt between the Meadowlands residents.

No one was expecting a repeat of the run-up to last year's Christmas Eve game between the two teams, not when these games don't count and both teams had their playoff futures hanging in the balance before Victor Cruz's 99-yard touchdown catch set the Giants on their way to the Super Bowl.

But we were hoping for something closer to the last few preseasons when the teams sent some not always good-natured barbs back and forth to set the stage for the annual unofficial battles for the soul of New York football. This year the only chatter is of the respectful variety that Jets linebacker Calvin Pace offered up via the Post.

"I do think there is a level of respect there, too, just in terms of some of the things we’ve done the past couple of years. Obviously, they’re the Super Bowl champions … you can’t do nothing but tip your hat to them. I like playing them. I think it helps us prepare for the season."

Instead of heated debates about big brothers and little brothers, or Jacobs telling Rex Ryan to shut his mouth, we get Justin Tuck doing a bizarre Hamlet routine about retiring when it is perfectly clear that he never had any intention of retiring and he simply wanted more attention for playing hurt last season.

The counterweight to that is whatever nonsense du jour the Jets serve up with Antonio Cromartie or Tim Tebow. 

Preseason football is painful enough to watch when the teams seem to have inflated the performance of the games. With nothing riding on Saturday night except the battle for the last few spots on each roster, it's hard to figure out exactly why you're supposed to be watching.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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