The High’s And Low’s From Day 4 Of Training Camp

July 27th, 2014

On day four of jets training camp physicality was a big theme.  In the second day with full pads the Jets turned up the tempo with live hitting for the first time.  Things got a little out of hand at times during practice, as there were two fights and a hit to the quarterback, which didn’t sit well the offensive line or Rex Ryan. “A lot of good things a lot of not so good things (from practice,) we have to learn to protect each other, we are only going to be at our best if we are healthy.”  Here are some of the things that stood out on day four of camp.

Geno Uses His Wheels

Geno Smith showed that he could use his legs as well as his arm on Sunday afternoon.  In one designed read option Smith took the ball back from Chris Johnson and took it up field for a huge gain. Smith also scrambled on a play where he stepped up from the rush and bursted through for a big gain. Towards the end of last season Smith started to flash his rushing abilities, which really added a new dimension to his game.  When Smith starts to run around it really takes his game to a new level.  Rex Ryan even said in his press conference, “a stat that is forgotten form last season is that Geno had the second highest quarterback rating for the second half of the season.” Read the rest of this entry »

What We Learned On Day 1

July 24th, 2014

CORTLAND, NY — The New York Jets 2014 season has officially begun as they opened up training camp on Thursday.  With high expectations coming into this season the Jets have once again made the trek up north to the quiet little town of Cortland, New York.  As any first day would go there were ups and downs but overall a productive day for the green and white.  “Today I thought was an impressive day.” Rex Ryan said to the media in his post-practice press conference.  Ryan also added “We are a zillion miles ahead of where we were last year.”  Ryan also said the day before that this is the first time every member of his team has past the conditioning test, which for one means that his squad is focused and is ready to go this season.  Here is what we learned on day 1 of camp.

Eric Decker is the Real Deal

New Jet Eric Decker was impressive on his first day of training camp. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Eric Decker is head and shoulders this best wide receiver on this team.  The way he runs routes and catches balls is just phenomenal. It is also something the Jets have not had in a long time.  In the 7 on 7 periods he made a number of outstanding grabs but one stood out above all else.  He ran a streak down the left sideline, one on one against Dee Milliner, and adjusted his body to make the leaping catch.  However not everything came easy to Decker as he joked, “I got lost (on his way to practice) but I learned the hard way, they gave us a map but obviously that didn’t work.” Decker also mentioned, “It’s just good to get out there and get back to football.”

It’s Geno’s Team

QB Geno Smith coming into his second year is much more comfortable and confident than last year.  You can see it on and off the field.  He was barking at receivers to get lined up in the right spots, making sure everything was correct with the play calls, which is what you want to see out of a starting quarterback.  David Nelson even noticed it on the field today as he said, “This is Geno’s team and you can see that in the way he goes out, just the small stuff, him putting us in the right positions and that is what we want from him.” Smith was also on point with most of his throws as he hit a number of receivers in practice.  “We got some good work in, I like how we came out today, but there are some things we can clean up throughout the week.”

The Defensive Line is Legit

The position that has the most talent on the team is the defensive line, and they know it.  Jokingly while all walking onto the field together the entire defensive line posed for a picture with the media.  This defensive line cannot only walk the walk but they can talk the talk.  Getting after it all day in practice, the defensive line had a number of sacks and hurries as they disrupted the backfield all day.  They are really going to be a force to be reckoned with this season as they have a number of young talented guys up front not to mention the addition of former pro-bowler Jason Babin you could say this defensive line is in store for a great season to say the least.

Dexter McDougle The Third Round Wonder

When the Jets drafted CB Dexter McDougle in the 3rd round out of Maryland it was a bit of a head scratcher because he was hurt for most of last season due to a shoulder injury.  But whoever scouted him might have found a gem because McDougle is looking to prove everyone wrong in his first professional training camp.  McDougle had a number of good plays as he broke up a few passes and even had an acrobatic interception during the 11 on 11 periods.  McDougle who is coming off shoulder surgery is going to have a good camp if he wants to see some playing time this season and if today was any indication of how he is going to play this season he might just find his way into the starting lineup.

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Geno and Decker Develop Chemistry

June 17th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - In 2013 what most people around the league, including Jets fans, said about the Jets was that they had no weapons on offense.  This year is a different story.  With the addition of some veteran singings and draftees the Jets have no excuses this season about not having any one to catch the football.  The most important addition to this offense has to be the 36 million dollar man himself, Wide Receiver Eric Decker.  Decker will have to be a major focal point for Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and number 87 will have to produce if the Jets want to win some games.

The Jets free agent prize of this off-season, Eric Decker hopes to duplicate with Geno Smith, the magic he had with Peyton Manning in Denver. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Coming from a high powered offense in Denver, where he had future hall a famer Peyton Manning throwing to him, was a luxury that not many wideouts experience. On paper, his new Quarterback, second year man Geno Smith, is seemingly a major downgrade but despite Smith’s lack of experience, Decker is taking it all in stride. “Everyday I feel more comfortable and it is always easier when you get more reps under your belt.”

Despite their limited time together so far, you can start to see some flashes of brilliance between Decker and his young quarterback.  OTA’s, mini camp, and training camp, in late July, will be critical for the two to develop chemistry before this season begins.  It will also be an adjustment for Smith, as he never really had a go-to receiver last season, however this season he has a whole lot of playmakers on his side of the football.

Over the course of this off-season Smith had the pressure turned up with the acquisition of veteran QB Michael Vick. Despite Vick’s signing, Smith is still the hands on favorite to start. To be successful, one guy he will need in his corner is Decker.  You can see OTA’S that these two have the potential to  build something substantial.  As OTA’s closed out last week, Smith looked and went to Decker early and often.  In the first eleven on eleven drills Geno threw to Decker twice in a row and number 87 caught both.  Again in the redzone drill Geno scrambled around and eventually found Decker in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.  In the two minute drill on the first play Geno threw a bomb down the sideline which was grabbed by Decker with Dmitri Patterson draped all over him.  So just in about 10 plays of full team drills Decker caught three passes for about sixty yards and a touchdown.  Those numbers would be pretty good for a game on any given Sunday.  I think its safe to say Geno has found his new favorite weapon, and look for the Geno-Decker connection a lot this season.

Top 4 Position Battles Heading Into OTA’s and Training Camp

May 29th, 2014

The 2014 New York Jets have high expectations coming into this season.  Not really from the so-called experts around the league, who mostly predict the Jets to only win seven or eight games this season, but from the green and white faithful who are desperate for a winning season.  The Jets have missed the playoffs for three straight years, but Rex Ryan and his staff have been saying all offseason that this squad will be a team to be reckoned with.  Rex has even been quoted as saying, “no one is going to want to play us this season.”  Rex could be right. By adding a bunch of key weapons on offense and defense from free agency and the draft, the Jets could be primed for an explosive season.  But before we get into how many wins or losses the Jets may or may not have this season, there is still a lot of work to be done before the opening kickoff at MetLife stadium on September 7th against the Oakland Raiders.  Organized team activities have just begun and training camp is only two months away.  With just a few months to go before preseason begins, here are the top four position battles to watch out for heading into OTA’s and Training Camp.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jets Rookie Mini Camp Day 2 Recap

May 17th, 2014

FLORHAM PARK,  NJ- On a beautiful sunny day at the Atlantic Health Jets training center the Jets concluded day two of rookie mini camp.  There were some flashes of brilliance as well as some “rookie mistakes” for the new members of the green and white. Many of the guys who made up the mini camp roster were tryout guys who will most likely not make it to camp. However the draftees did show Rex Ryan and his coaching staff what to look forward to this upcoming season.

Fourth round pick WR Shaq Evans impressed during Jets rookie camp this weekend.

Rex spoke very highly of first-round pick safety Calvin Pryor saying, “(Pryor) is smart, instinctive and is on top of it. Its rare that it comes easy and you see that in him.”  Pryor did show a lot off good stuff out there talking to the defense, making checks and flying to the ball.  Unfortunately, this is rookie mini camp and there are no pads so we did not get to see any of his famous hits.

Another defensive draftee that impressed Rex Ryan was the guy whose name no one can pronounce.  Ikemefuna Enemkpali, or IK for short. He is the DE/LB sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech.  Enemkpali showed good quickness off the line of scrimmage.  Also in the last play of practice Enemkpali beat the right tackle with a beautiful swim move to get to Tajh Boyd for the sack.

It wasn’t only about the defense on day two, the offensive side of the ball also showed some promise.  A couple of guys that stood out were TE Jace Amaro and WR Shaq Evans.  Amaro, the second-round pick out of Texas Tech, is just a physical specimen.  He is every bit of 6’5”, 265.  The tight end from San Antonio is big with huge hands and long arms who can make every catch and box out defenders with his massive frame. He did have one drop, but did make up for it with a couple of nice grabs over the middle. The Jets believe he will make a big contribution to the offense this season and finally solidify the void the Jets have had at TE for the past several seasons.

Evans, the fourth-round WR from UCLA is listed at 6’1” 213 pounds is solid.  He’s quick, has good hands, and can stretch the field. He made some nice catches but one stood out above the rest.  During the seven on seven drills Evans made a spectacular leaping grab over the defender and tiptoed his way in bounds to complete the catch.  If Evans can make those types of catches on Sundays then the Jets may have found themselves a real gem here.  With the lack of firepower at the receiver position last year, Evans could be counted on heavily this season.  After practice, Evans was asked how he would fit in with the rest of his teammates, “I just see myself being a guy that contributes wherever they put me. I’m a guy that can play inside and outside.  I’m just coming in here to work hard and do everything I can to help this team win.

All in all it was a good first two days of rookie mini camp.  It gave a chance for all of these players to go out and compete with one another.  Next up for these guys will be full-team mini camp in a few weeks.  This is where we will see who can separate themselves, as they will be going up against NFL veterans. Like Rex Ryan says in practice “Its Live Now!”