(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The Jets will be traveling across the pond on Thursday for their game against the rival Miami Dolphins in London, which will begin at 9:30 AM here in New York.
The Jets enter the game 2-1 coming off a loss to Philadelphia this past Sunday, while Miami is 1-2 after being blown out by the Bills.
Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles said on Monday of the challenges of travelling overseas for a game, “It’s different. It’s different going over to London. It’s not like going to an away game, because the time change is such a difference for you. You have to prepare for these things a lot in the spring. No matter how you prepare for them, the sleeping and the sleep you get and the time you play is going to be a little different. I don’t think anybody is going to adjust full time. You get as much knowledge as you can. You get all the practice time in that you can to make sure they know what they’re doing and you move on.”
On why the team decided to depart for London on Thursday night, Bowles said, “We wanted to get a full day’s practice in here. One day and having to go there and set up and everything would have been hard to do on a Thursday. The two bulk days, Wednesday and Thursday, we wanted to get here.”
The Jets have brought in a sleep specialist to get ready for the time difference. On who made that decision, Bowles said, “The trainers and doctors.”
On if the team thought of departing earlier in the week for London, Bowles said, “Earlier in the spring, we did. If it was a preseason game, yes you can go over. But in the middle of the season that’s kind of hard. You really get caught back on the time change and you come back and you lose a little bit even if you do get the bye. You try to keep it as normal as possible.”
Bowles said of what preparations occurred in the spring for London, “It’s just hotel arrangement as far as practice fields and everything and getting all of the technical stuff out of the way. Not so much of the football things, but the technical stuff.”
On operations set-up this week, such as watching film, Bowles said, “We’re here Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll set up at the hotel Friday and Saturday, but the bulk of the stuff will be here.”
Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of playing in London, and if he has ever played there before, “No, I haven’t. So, that’ll be interesting. As we go through the week here, the logistics I know they do a great job here like they do with everything, but just getting our bodies acclimated and everything with the time change will be interesting.”
Fitzpatrick said of not leaving until Thursday and trying to become acclimated to the time change, “Both teams have to deal with going over there and do it. I think it’s even and leveled out in that regard.”
On if he’s received any advice from anyone that has played over there, Fitzpatrick said, “We’ve got a few coaches on staff that have been over there. I haven’t reached out to any players or anything yet. But, I’m sure by week’s end we’ll have plenty to draw from.”
Fitzpatrick said of there being an NFL team in London one day, “I think the biggest issue they are going to have to figure out is the travel. Just the time change. How do you do it? Do you do it in four-game blocks? Do you have somewhere in the United States where they are always playing? It’s going to be a difficult hurdle to overcome with the time change. It’s hard to say no. I mean, eventually, I would think there’s going to be a team there, but who knows when that is going to be.”
Bowles said of consulting any other coaches or players that have made a similar trip, “Earlier in the spring I did, yes.”
On if any of the coaches shared helpful advice, Bowles said, “I talked to Coach (Jeff) Fisher in the spring in St. Louis and they went out there, just talking about the set up and the meeting rooms and the outlets and those type of things. Getting ready to play, what you have, what you don’t have, how the grass is and what kind of cleats and those things we went through. Most of it was technical stuff. He was real helpful that way, from a travel stand point as well.”
On if going to London is an experience he is looking forward to, or something he would rather not have in the middle of a season, Bowles said, “It’s been going on for a couple of years now and nobody likes to travel that far, but it’s like going to a west coast game for us. It’s something we knew was coming in the spring and we prepared for it.”