FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- This week, it's all about X's and O's and Zzzzs for the New York Jets.
In preparation for their trip to London, where they face the Miami Dolphins at 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday, the Jets will spend the next few days adjusting their body clocks for the five-hour time change. On Monday, a sleep therapist spoke to the players, offering a variety of tips -- getting extra sleep over the next few days, cutting down on caffeine, etc.
The Jets will have full practice days Wednesday and Thursday, leaving for London on Thursday evening. On Friday, they will have a light practice in London.
In the spring, coach Todd Bowles researched travel tips and logistics, speaking to St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, among others.
"It’s not like going to an away game, because the time change is such a difference for you," Bowles said. "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."
Players are creatures of habit -- coaches, too -- so this has to be considered an inconvenience. No one, of course, articulated that. Both teams are dealing with the same issues, so it's not like there's an advantage. The Dolphins played last season in London, so they've been there, done that. Maybe familiarity is an edge. Who really knows?
"It's weird," he said. "It's weird the way a professional athlete's body works. It knows when it's time to go."
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a self-proclaimed homebody.
"I love the 1 o’clock game and getting home and eating food from the crock pot and doing all that -- but I think it’s exciting, too," he said. "I think guys think it’s cool to go over there. It will be a unique experience for all of us and hopefully bring the team together even more."
The last time the Jets went overseas was 2003 -- a preseason game in Tokyo against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2009, they played a regular-season game in Toronto, defeating the Buffalo Bills. But this will be their first time across the pond in a game that matters.