The return to normalcy has begun for the Jets, many of whom are still trying to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Unlike their crosstown rival the Giants, last week was a bye for the Jets, which proved to be a double-edged sword. Some, like nose tackle Mike DeVito, were able to escape before the storm swept through the area. Others, like cornerback Anontio Cromartie and even head coach Rex Ryan, were pinned down by the storm.
“You have to make sure you take care of your family; that’s first and foremost, obviously. Yourself probably second and this team third,” Ryan said yesterday. “Our organization does a tremendous job of helping our players any way they possibly can, but in this situation our players are no different than anybody else in the community, and that’s the way it should be. And those are things everybody in the area have to deal with, and our players aren’t exempt from that.”
Ryan says his home, 10 minutes away from the team’s facility, has no electricity. Cromartie was without power for two days and unable to leave the area with his children. Joe McKnight is still without power, and others, such as Ellis Lankster, sat in lines waiting for gas, like everyone else.
“It was a strange bye week, but at the same time we got a little time off, a little time away,” said Yeremiah Bell. “For the most part, it was good to recap where we’ve been so far and where we need to go.”
The coaching staff was able to meet in person before the storm hit but then went to their respective homes, taking their laptops and game plans with them. They stayed in contact via text messages and phone calls as much as possible.
DeVito was one of those who read the forecast perfectly and decided to bolt. While he lives in a hotel just five minutes from the practice facility during the season, DeVito has a house in northern Maine that he drove up to after the game last Sunday. He was able to escape the high winds and floods just in time.
“We went right to our house. Thank God they gave us time off because we would have been stuck in the area with no power and nothing to do. They closed the facility here so we couldn’t even use that,” DeVito told Metro.
In Morris County, N.J., where the Jets have their facility and the bulk of the players live, one-third of the area’s residents are without power.
“That’s why I left my wife back in Maine with the uncertainty of it all. In fact, they got power at the hotel just an hour before I arrived yesterday,” DeVito said. “The team did the right thing closing it down and making sure we were able to take care of ourselves. We’re just happy to be back though.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.