Count Greg McElroy among those breathing a sigh of relief that the Mayans were wrong about the world ending on Dec. 21.
The Jets quarterback said Friday that friends had been peppering him with text messages about the end of the Mayan calendar and joking it might keep him from what will be his first NFL start this Sunday. Now in his second year in the league, McElroy made his first NFL appearance three weeks ago, taking over for Mark Sanchez and a struggling offense.
With the world here for at least another day, McElroy is firmly focused on this weekend.
“Everyone has asked me that several times this week, ‘Are you disappointed that the world could end before your first NFL start?’ And I’m like, ‘At that point, does it really matter? At that point?’ I’m glad we’re still around,” McElroy said. “I’m glad that everything’s OK. I wasn’t really all that worried about it to tell you the truth.”
McElroy takes over for a Jets offense that has regressed in recent weeks, including five turnovers this past Monday night in a loss at the Titans. This is the first week that McElroy enters as the starter for a game, meaning he has gotten the fair share of reps designated for the starting quarterback. Usually humble and perhaps a shade soft-spoken, McElroy said the week hasn’t changed his approach at all.
Even as he’s getting a little more camera time.
“More interviews, that’s really the only thing that’s changed to tell you the truth,” McElroy said. “As far as the workload, it’s always been the same. I’ve always tried to prepare exactly like I was going to be out there. It hasn’t really hasn’t changed my prep; it hasn’t really changed the way I’ve gone about things.”
Gang Green notes
» Not surprisingly, the Jets Team MVP Award went to cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who played some of the best football of his career following a season ending injury to Darrelle Revis. The Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational Award went to linebacker David Harris and tight end Jeff Cumberland was the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
» Head coach Rex Ryan said tight end Dustin Keller and cornerback Aaron Berry are both doubtful for Sunday’s game.
» A report surfaced on Thursday that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine turned down a contract extension from the team and may not return to the Jets. Ryan wouldn’t comment on the situation but did say Pettine is viable as a NFL head coach.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Ryan said.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.