The Jets were a loose group this afternoon. Multiple players engaged in WWE-like battles on the field at the conclusion of practice and then Bart Scott got the old-school tunes thumping in a festive locker room.
If this is a team fatigued or stressed by another must-win game that awaits them Sunday against the Chiefs, they certainly don't show it.
"I think we always try to stay loose no matter the situation," said RT Wayne Hunter with a smile as the rhythmic melodies pumped throughout the joyous locker room. "I think the looser we are, we play a little bit better."
The small media ensemble gathered around RG Brandon Moore's locker after the team's longest-tenured lineman missed practice for a third straight day. Moore, still battling through following offseason hip surgery, will have to wait to get loose until Sunday morning.
"It's more mental," he said of his preparation. "Maybe more film and turning your brain on a little bit more than in the past and repping some things in your head. I'm going to get out there on Sunday before the game, go through everything and get ready for the game."
The offensive line has played well the past couple of weeks, holding the both the Bills and the Redskins without a sack and getting solid traction on the ground. Last Sunday's performance in Washington was especially impressive, considering the Redskins entered the game tied for third in the NFL in sacks.
"It's a good feeling," Hunter said. "It's good momentum going into the following game. It's like why can't we make it three games sackless?"
The Chiefs rank just 29th in the NFL with 20 sacks, but they are coming off a seven-sack performance in Chicago and Tamba Hali leads the way with eight.
"Lots of good players," Hunter said. "It's not only Tamba. It's their inside guys, and their two defensive ends [Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson] are first-rounders. They have real good pass rushers, are stout against the run, and you have Tamba on top of that. Every week's a challenge."
The true challenge for the Jets line is to maintain its consistency. The absence of All-Pro C Nick Mangold hurt them bad early in the season and then they didn't play up to their standards in Weeks 10 and 11 losses to the Patriots and the Broncos. Now they hope they've rebounded for the final time.
"I thought we hit a groove, and then we go down and hit a groove, and go down and hit a groove," Hunter said. "It's been inconsistent this year, but to have two sackless games back-to-back, especially coming against that type of defense last week — it's pretty special."
If Moore can't go, the Jets would start rookie Caleb Schlauderaff in between Mangold and Hunter. But you probably should pen Moore in to your Sunday lineup.
"I don't know if anyone's 100 percent," he said, "but yeah, I'll be ready to go."