The last time the Jets and Giants shared a practice field, it mirrored a scene from a WWE event.
Seventeen years later, after many regime changes between the two teams, the Giants will host their MetLife Stadium partners for a joint practice Thursday afternoon at Quest Diagnostics Training Center ahead of Sunday’s preseason finale.
So how did the idea of having a joint practice against the Giants come about?
“I have a lot of respect for Dabs [Giants coach Brian Daboll] and the person that he is,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday. “If he is anything like we are, it is going to be a respectful practice.
“It is going to be a competitive practice, but at the same time, treating each other like our own teammates and protecting one another and making sure we are getting what we need so we can play better.”
In 2005, a bench-clearing brawl erupted on the first play of the Giants-Jets joint practice at the University of Albany. Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey was at the center of the melee with several Jets players. However, things didn’t end there as Giants coach Tom Coughlin later got into a heated argument with former Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson.
Thursday will also mark the first joint practice held at the Giants’ facility since 2010.
With the two teams’ proximity, Saleh said he hopes the joint practices against the Giants can become more of a routine occurrence.
“It makes sense, they are down the street,” Saleh said. “We have preseason games with them every year.
“If we all do it the right way, we can all benefit from them.”
Saleh rested his starters during Gang Green’s first two preseason games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.
However, the Jets will treat their preseason finale against the Giants (Sunday, 1 pm, MetLife Stadium) like a dress rehearsal. Saleh told reporters Wednesday that all the team’s starters will play against the Giants.
That includes Joe Flacco, who is the starting quarterback while Zach Wilson is still recovering from last week’s knee surgery.
Linebacker CJ Mosley says the veterans on the team are looking forward to finally playing before the Jets’ season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 11.
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“Anytime you’re on the field, you can benefit from it,” Mosley said. “We’ve been ready since the first preseason game. We are always going to listen to our coach and it is our job to be ready when our name and number is called. It is apparently called for this Sunday, so we will be ready.”
The second-year QB who is recovering from meniscus surgery and a bone bruise to his knee was seen at practice Wednesday but not on the practice field. He was riding around in a cart, observing practice from afar.
Wilson could be out two to four weeks, but Saleh didn’t provide an update on when Wilson could practice with the rest of the team.
“I know he is working his tail off in regards of maintaining his progress with the playbook and the scheme,” Saleh said. “He’s in every meeting and he’s getting in extra work in with [Quarterback coach Rob] Calabrese and [offensive coordinator] Mike [LaFleur].
“When he’s ready to get on the field, he will be ready.”
Defensive lineman Quinnen Williams practiced with the team for the first time in almost two weeks after dealing with an ankle injury. Williams not only warmed up with the team, but he took part in team 11-on-11 drills.
Left tackle Duane Brown also practiced after he spent his first week as a Jet working with trainers on the side. Both Williams and Brown are scheduled to start along with the rest of the Jets’ first-string on Sunday.