CORTLAND, N.Y. – The Giants claim to not be preparing for their preseason opener against the Jets.  Meanwhile, the Jets aren’t mentally prepared.  At least according to their head coach.

Rex Ryan challenged his team Saturday morning after being less than pleased with his team’s focus and specifically the production of his offensive unit.

Brad Smith might not be the only Jet taking snaps out of the Wildcat this season. ( Photo)

“The focus wasn’t very good,” said Ryan Saturday.  “I wasn’t real happy with the way our offense was picking up the blitzes and different things like that.”

“With the receiving core that we have, we’re going to see more pressure.  Because the longer you give us back there, the more time we have to beat you.  So, we’ve got to understand that and we need to have those things nailed down.  Not just talking about the offensive line but the running backs, receivers, the quarterbacks got to know when to get rid of the ball.  All those type of things we still need to improve on.”

Quarterback Mark Sanchez, wearing a compression sleeve over his surgically repaired left leg, struggled most of the day in 11-on-11 drills.  Sanchez finished the day, 3 for 8, overthrowing his receivers on numerous occasions.

The second-year quarterback attributed the offense’s struggles simply to the stale, monotony of the “dog days” of training camp.  Sanchez and his teammates are raring to go Monday night and play for real.

“I can’t wait,” he said.  “I think both sides of the ball are ready to play another opponent.  The dog days of camp start to set in, (and) you’re ready to move on and play a different uniform.  We’re (looking forward to) being on a real game stage, and that’s exactly what it will be.  We’re excited to see the fans in our home stadium that first night.  It will be good for all of us.”

Ryan stated Saturday that he will play his starters one full quarter and a series, on both sides of the ball in Saturday’s preseason opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

“We’ll play past the first quarter because we’ve had such a long time off,” said Ryan. “And that second game we play in five days, so that’s the plan right now.”

Another interesting storyline from the morning’s practice included running back LaDainian Tomlinson taking direct snaps out of the backfield in the Jets’ “Tiger Cat” formation.  Receiver Brad Smith was previously believed to be the only player on the roster capable of taking snaps out of that formation because of his ability to run and throw the ball down the field.

Adding Tomlinson to the Tiger Cat would be an interesting curveball for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to throw at opposing defenses.  Rex Ryan did not go out of his way to deny plans for Tomlinson to be worked into the formation.  In typical Rex fashion, he danced around the issue with some humor.

“I guess the cat’s out of the bag there,” joked Ryan after practice.  Tomlinson was unavailable for comment after the morning session.

Notes from the morning session

  • Kicker Nick Folk looked very impressive this morning, closing out practice by nailing 5 of 6 field goal attempts.  Folk’s longest boot was a 41-yarder.
  • The Jets announced this morning that they have signed guard Chet Cheofilo and waived injured guard Marlon Davis.  The 6-foot-3, 330-pound Teofilo played his college ball at California, where he started eight of 16 games in two seasons.  Teofilo originally signed with the Cowboys after going undrafted in April’s draft.  He was waived by Dallas in late June.  Davis had been hampered by leg injuries throughout camp, but was cut because of questions regarding his focus and attitude.
  • Linebackers Brashton Satele (ankle) and Josh Mauga (head) have already been ruled out for Monday night’s tilt against the Giants by Rex Ryan.
  • In one of the few highlights from the morning session, receiver Marcus Henry made a fantastic grab in the back of the end zone off a ball thrown by QB Kellen Clemens.  The 6-foot-4 Henry made a one-handed tip to himself to secure the pigskin.

More to come later, including notes from the evening practice.  Stick with for the latest and greatest from Cortland.  Follow us on Twitter: @JetsInsider.

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