Archive for August, 2010

Day Two Recap

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

CORTLAND, NY - This morning’s practice started just how one would expect, with the chirping from the Jets players growing incessantly louder. The trash talking between the players, and even some of the coaches, was just one of many loud distinct sounds that could be heard tearing through the air in upstate New York.

Jets fans should get used to the sight of seeing rookie Jeff Cumberland make big time plays. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Practice was once again open to the public and there was an excellent turn out as the fans showed up bright and early to support their team.

As practice began, you could tell the intensity had been kicked up a couple of notches from yesterday. Once the drills started, the sound of shoulder pads and helmets violently crashing into each was immediately followed by an echo of enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.

Over the last couple of days everyone could literally feel the optimism and confidence exuding from the players, today it was the fans turn to show off their confidence.

Jets fans tend to be pessimistic by nature, but they are growing into the personality of their team and coach. The fans emotions and support did not go unnoticed by the newcomers to the team.

When asked about his impression of the fans, L.T. said, “Great fans and I always knew that. You know throughout the years of coming to play the Jets and also when the Jets came to San Diego, they travel well, so I always knew they had great fans.”

L.T. even went on to talk about how he is adjusting to, what is one of the favorite sounds of a Jet fan, “I really enjoy the chants, you know the, JETS JETS JETS. I’ve heard that so much throughout my career, but now being on the other side and hearing them say it, it motivates you and it’s fun to hear.” If hearing it here at Cortland gets L.T. motivated, Jets fans should be waiting on pins and needles to see how he responds to that sound percolating from the Meadowlands.

Early on in the practice there was a fracas of sorts that broke out and it was the first thing Rex Ryan wanted to speak on in his press conference. “Okay, first off, I think the biggest news of the day is the sensitivity fine I had to, I’m going to have to go through the league on this one, I had to place on Schottenheimer and Bob Sutton. You know their little competitive spirits out there, they got a little sensitive I thought, but that’s always great to see. You love that kind of jazz (laughing.) I think Rob Turner was in it, it was just a little skirmish, but they day he isn’t fighting maybe we should report on that.”

To see that type of intensity and competitiveness coming from coaches during the second day of training camp really got the crowd’s attention. It was hard to tell exactly what was going on during the, “little skirmish,” as Ryan called it, because all you could hear was expletives flying around everywhere.

There was one under the radar player who has really stood out the last couple of days, and it’s not just because he is 6′4″ 249 pounds, and both the fans and Ryan seem to have taken a liking to him. Rookie tight end, Jeff Cumberland was turning heads all over the place today and was a constant topic of conversation whether with the fans or his coach. “Without question, (Cumberland stood out.) I mean it’s hard not to notice when he is catching 40-yard passes all the time.” Ryan said.

Ryan wasn’t exaggerating, Cumberland stole the show today. Watching this gigantic human being swiftly flying down field to make outstanding catch after ridiculous catch impressed anyone who had a view of him. However it wasn’t all praise for the rookie as the coach made sure to let everyone know he still has plenty of work to do. “His blocking, when he is getting knocked into the backfield, it catches your eye as well. Hopefully he can improve his blocking a bit because he is definitely a threat as a receiver.”

After what he showed today that is definitely putting it lightly, because with this kid’s size and speed it makes your head hurt just thinking about who could possibly cover this guy.

Obviously being a tight end, blocking is something Cumberland will definitely need to improve on in the future, but for now starting tight end Dustin Keller looks to have made considerable strides in his blocking ability over the offseason.

During mini-camp the coaches were constantly calling his praises for his blocking and Ryan thinks he has picked up right where he left off. “I tell you he is improving, his blocking really is improving. I think that’s going to help us.” Ryan went on to say, “Dustin’s got to a lot of that blocking this year. A lot of teams will defend him like he is a wideout, but he can block better than that. We know what he can do as a receiver, it’s just getting his nose dirty and knocking people off the ball, that’s what we’re working on.”

Sanchez looked sharper today, throwing the ball harder and much more accurately than he did in the morning practice yesterday. Today he was throwing those tight spirals fans always hope to see from their quarterback.

Today officially marks Darrelle Revis’s third day of his holdout and the fans made sure to let the Jets brass know how they felt about the failed contract negotiations by constantly cheering, “WE WANT REVIS!”

This afternoon’s practice is a special teams only practice, if anything important develops we will have all the information you need, here at Jetsinsider.com and make sure to keep checking back with us for more updates throughout training camp.

Day One Recap

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

CORTLAND, NY - During check-in yesterday many of the Jets players talked about how important it was to get off to a good start in training camp and set the tone for the season. Today they began to put that plan in action.

The players arrived on the field at 8:20 this morning and after some light warm-ups, the energy level quickly escalated into a frenzy like status. When the first teams lined up against each other, the trash talking began and the intensity continued to rise.

With the added excitement surrounding camp it is not surprising to see some rust from the players as they start to get back into the groove that is the NFL season. Players such as L.T. and Sanchez were sure to acknowledge the rust factor, but they are confident that they will get things running smoothly sooner rather than later. L.T. said “That’s (rust), always apart of it. Your always going to be a little rusty and myself, I felt a little rusty, you know just trying to get back into it. This is the first time we put pads on since January so there’s always an adjustment period.”

40 year old QB Mark Brunell made an impressive debut at Jets Camp today. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Sanchez looked comfortable, but a bit shaky at times. He looked confident he knew where he wanted to go with the ball, but his throws lacked that tight spiral and weren’t quite as sharp as Jets fans or himself would like to see. When asked if he feels more comfortable entering training camp this year than last Sanchez said, “Absolutely. Just kicking things off again, shaking the rust off. I think that’s the most important part of this practice. When we get our timing down, I’ll put a couple of throws on guys a little more accurately.”

One of the newest Jets, back-up quarterback Mark Brunell, was sharp, quick and strong with his passes. There is no quarterback controversy brewing, everyone knows this is Sanchez’s team to lead, but Brunell is looking forward to doing his part to mentor Sanchez and help him to become a better overall quarterback.

“Absolutely. We have three young quarterbacks. Kellen is not as young (laughing), but compared to me he’s really young and I’m looking forward to working with all three of them, certainly with Mark. We are off to a good start and I think we have a good working relationship and he’s a great kid and a hard worker and he obviously has ability. It’s a critical year for him, so I am excited to be a part of it.” Brunell said.

Sanchez and Brunell wasted no time getting to know each other as they took the three and a half hour drive up to Cortland together. Sanchez said, “I drove up here with (Mark) Brunell and shared some great stories with him and got to listen to him. That’s part of the reason he is here, is to really help me. It’s going to be a great relationship, I’m excited to work with him.”

If your looking for a standout player from the first practice that title would have to go to Braylon Edwards. Edwards arrived at check-in yesterday overflowing with confidence about his play and this morning he showed everyone why. Edwards made two back to back outstanding catches after Sanchez threw the ball just slightly off target. The first catch Edwards was laid out horizontally in mid-air as he snatched the ball with one hand. The second pass he out jumped the lanky Cromartie and managed to snatch that ball with one hand again as he feel to the ground staying in bounds.

Rex Ryan however had his own standout player in mind and it is certainly hard to argue with his reasoning. Ryan said, “Our young fullback (John Conner), we drafted from Kentucky, I think we all see why he has a short neck. I mean he was pounding people. He took the breath out of three guys today, three linebackers, so that was good to see.”

As far as first days of training camp goes David Harris thinks it was a successful morning practice. “It was a good day to start off, not too hot. The guys are are flying around having fun, as usual and now we got to come back later and do it again.” When he was asked about the energy level and if that was due to this being day one of camp, Harris said, “Yeah, I mean everyone’s got fresh legs right now. Give it about two weeks then we’ll see how everyone feels.” Training camp is known to wear on players, but with the cast of characters that are on this team it’s hard to imagine any type of let down taking place.

If anyone believes the extra energy and enthusiasm coming from the players is just them playing it up for the HBO cameras, Dustin Keller strongly disagrees. “There’s nothing I hate worse than phony enthusiasm, but we’ve got guys who truly love being out here and nothing matters to them except winning.” No matter who you talk to at Jets camp, you will see and feel the energy and optimism that is surrounding camp. One would be foolish to think that its a type of false bravado or that anyone on this team isn’t completely dedicated to winning and the players are painting a perfect picture of words and actions to make the NFL find out just how real they are.

The afternoon practice was open to the public and was a rather light practice. The Jets fans came out in droves to support their team and they wasted no time getting a little rowdy and breaking out some chants. Sanchez looked much sharper in the afternoon practice, throwing the ball with more zip to it. Overall the fans were treated to a light practice with a mixture of drills, finished off with autograph signings from some of the players.

There still haven’t been any Revis sightings nor any indications that we should expect one soon. Kris Jenkins and Kellen Clemens also sat out practice with injuries and spent their morning stretching, running or riding a bike. Practice picks up again tomorrow, be sure to keep checking in with JetsInsider.com for more updates from camp.

Players check in as Revis checks out

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

CORTLAND, NY  – The excitement has begun. NFL fans are foaming at the mouth anxiously awaiting the beginning of the season and with all the different story lines surrounding the Jets this will no doubt be one of the most talked about camps throughout the league.

As the players checked into their dorms at SUNY Cortland today there were many common story lines being discussed by the players and the media, but none of them dominated more than the fact that Darrelle Revis was a no show and has now officially begun his holdout. So now the guessing game begins, who blinks first? The Jets or Revis?

Come on, you really didn't think the Jets would start camp without drama, did you? (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Reaction from the other players was pretty much the same across the board, when asked if Revis holding out would be a distraction Tony Richardson said, “No I don’t see that being a distraction at all, because unfortunately that’s the business side of it and I’ve been around this thing a hundred times before and I’ve seen these things handled. The thing about it is these things always have a way of working themselves out.” There wasn’t a player who checked in that didn’t get asked about Revis, but they all said they have no doubts the two sides will get this worked out and they are anticipating his return to the field. Revis was not the only player who didn’t check in, Santonio Holmes isn’t due at camp until Wednesday because of a family matter.

Revis or no Revis, the players are excited and looking forward to the beginning of what they hope will be a Super Bowl season. No one is content with matching last year’s success, the Jets have one goal and that’s the Super Bowl. NFL fans know about the Jets first ranked defense and rushing attack, they also know about all the big name acquisitions the team made in the offseason. What everyone is wondering is just how will all these different pieces mesh together?

The new players such as L.T., Cromartie, Jason Taylor and rookie Kyle Wilson are all ready to play their part and give the Jets what they were missing last year, so that goal of the Super Bowl can be reached. When asked what would be his message to wide receivers on other teams Cromartie said, “You know what I’m just going to tell them, best of luck because that’s all they are going get from me. I’m just going to go out and have fun and play my game the way I know I’m capable of playing.”

The players returning from last year are just looking to build off of last year’s success and work with the new pieces to be the best team possible. When talking to any of these players the first thing that jumps out at you is their confidence.  Can the Jets have the best receiving core in the NFL this year? Braylon Edwards thinks its possible. “No question it can be. It definitely should be a goal for us and at the end of the year it should be an attained goal.”

Is it possible that the Jets defense got better? Jim Leonard said a Rex Ryan defense is always trying to improve. “Our biggest concentration this off-season is making impact plays, interceptions and causing fumbles and things like that. That’s where games are won and lost and we feel like we got a great group of guys and great depth that can get that done.”

Adding to the excitement was the fact that HBO is taping the series, “Hard Knocks,” during training camp. Kris Jenkins nominated either Sanchez or Mangold to be the break-out star on HBO, “I really think it’s going to be Sanchez. Other than that I say Nick Mangold because Mangold is a comedian.” However most the other players said it was going to be Jenkins who would be the star of the show.

Jets fans hope Jenkins is right about Sanchez being a breakout star this year, they just hope its for his play on the field more than anything else. There is little doubt the right pieces are in place for something special to happen and a lot of the weight of that pressure falls on Sanchez. The other pieces, as good as they might be, need Sanchez to take a big step forward this year if they want that Super Bowl, luckily Jets fans will be glad to hear Sanchez knows and accepts this. When Sanchez was asked about the new weapons he has and how dangerous they can be he joked, “You know, we get a quarterback, we can figure things out, that would be nice.” Sanchez continued saying, “A lot of that pressure comes on me and that’s good, it’s what I’ve been working all offseason for and now we get to show our stuff.”

With all this hype, confidence, swagger/bravado surrounding training camp the players are confident it will not be a distraction and for anyone questioning the team’s chemistry Sanchez had this to say, “Not with Rex. He is the great equalizer in all this. When people ask about egos or personalities clashing, I don’t think that will be a problem at all.”

Tomorrow morning training camp begins and everyone will get to watch how everything begins to play out. We will have all the breaking news from camp for you starting tomorrow. Make sure to keep checking for updates.