Training Camp Week Two Begins
Week two of the Jets training camp officially got underway this morning and from all accounts things picked up right where they left off last week. Abundance of story lines?Check. Fights breaking out? Check. Rex Ryan glowing about the performance of his players?Well that should go without saying by now.
The day started with the news that Jets All-Pro center, Nick Mangold, has officially ended contract negotiations with the Jets and will play out the final year of his rookie contract, hoping to re-up in the offseason. No word on how Darrelle Revis reacted to this news.
Ryan keeps talking about how the team obviously wants Revis to be with them, but they must prepare like he isn’t going to be here. The team has no such luxury with Nick Mangold, so it is imperative that Mangold is anchoring this talented offensive line through training camp and into the season.
Mangold knows the importance of his presence and with a battle taking place to see who will win a spot of joining the powerful offensive line, replacing Alan Faneca at left guard, Mangold knew he had to be here for things to run smoothly.
Both players battling for the position [rookie, Vladimir Ducasse and second year guard Matt Slauson,] got reps with the first team offense and the battle seems to be intensifying. When asked who he thought was winning the battle Kris Jenkins said, “I thought Slauson was running away with it, but Vlad’s catching up now.”
Team chemistry has been a hot topic for the past week at Jets camp, but what is also important to remember is that on any football team, there are teams within the team that all need to build their own chemistry as well. The chemistry of the offensive line, might very well be the most important part of a team.
When asked about the chemistry of this offensive line, anchor Mangold said, “With Alan [Faneca,] here, we built the foundation of a great offensive line. If we really believe we’re great, we’ll be able to put someone in and be as great as we think we are. It’s giving us a good challenge, but we have got great guys up front and we know how to get the job done.”
As important as the offensive line can be, they are just a portion of the collective that makes up a football team and all across the board the Jets continue to impress. Ryan said, “Today was a great practice. That was our best practice since we’ve been here, this year. I thought the tempo was good, it was lively, guys were banging into each other, we probably had a few too many dropped balls, but other than that it was a tremendous practice.”
This news maybe a couple years too late for some Jets fans, but one of the players who stood out to Ryan today was Vernon Gholston. Ryan said, “I thought Vernon Gholston, that’s the best day he’s had since I’ve been here. We’ll see, I wanna see him string some together, but it was interesting because it was almost like, ‘hey I can do this.’”
Ryan continued saying, “It started in a 5-4 drill… it’s the offensive line versus the defensive line and he came off and stood up Wayne Hunter. I was like Vern if you can do that against Wayne Hunter, you ought to be able to do that all the time. Because Wayne is about as good as it gets, as powerful a man as there is, but he jacked him up. I said now you just got to shed and get off the block and use your speed and man, he just started doing it and I was like it’s unbelievable. After that fight I saw him throw Rob Turner on the ground and I was like, alright my man’s here, …I’m excited about him, this is the most I’ve ever been excited about Vernon Gholston.”
Undoubtably Jets fans are reading this praise of Gholston and reacting in much the same way as your average NFL fan reacted to last week’s news of Brett Favre, “retiring,” which is to say they will have a I’ll believe it when I see it attitude.
Jets fans that are looking for something more tangible to put their finger on, don’t have to look any further than the play and confidence of Mark Sanchez. Early in training camp it was evident that Sanchez put a lot of time and effort into getting better and learning the system inside and out this offseason and with each passing day the payout for his hard work is increasing.
When Mangold was asked to compare the offense to last year at this time he said, “We finally found a quarterback (laughing). He finally came around. It took awhile for the kid. We’re doing good things. Mark has a much better understanding of the offense, so he’s able to make plays. If you look at our roster there’s a ton of playmakers out there. He’s got every option in the world available to him.” And today, just like he has all training camp, he used those weapons with confidence.
New weapons, old weapons it doesn’t matter to Sanchez, what matters is he knows what he wants to do from the moment he enters the huddle. Sanchez made sure to spread the ball around to all of his weapons, L.T. had another long screen pass he broke for a touchdown, Cotchery, Holmes (who is also drawing rave reviews), Keller, whoever was out there Sanchez was finding them.
Jason Taylor left practice with a slight groin pull and Braylon Edwards sat out with some sore knees, neither injury is serious. David Clowney returned to practice after dealing with a family matter and Mark Brunell got the day off to rest. Mangold isn’t the only player who put contract talks on hold until after the season, David Harris will also play out the final year of his contract. Special teams practices this afternoon and the entire team gets back out there tomorrow morning and JetsInsider will have all the news for you right here.
UPDATE: Revis Watch
According to The Daily News, Jets GM, Mike Tannenbaum, met with Revis’ agents this past Friday and Revis’ agents made a proposal to the team for a new contract. Revis and his agents are awaiting a response from the Jets.