Jets Return To Hofstra
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.- For the first time since 2010, the New York Jets held practice at Hofstra University, their previous training camp home for forty years.
Michael Wilson a Jets fan of four decades was excited about the Jets’ return to Hofstra saying “It’s nice to have them back here.” Wilson was also excited about the prospect of the Jets possibly holding training camp in Long Island next summer.
“I think it would be a lot better that way” Wilson said. ”Stay where the fans are.”
While the practice was nothing special with the first team offenses and defenses working against scout teams, the stars of the night were the Jets’ Long Island fan base.
11,000 Long Island Jet fans came out to James M Shuart stadium creating a high school football like atmosphere and head coach Rex Ryan enjoyed every minute of it.
“It’s great to come out here and see so many fans here. It’s fantastic” said head coach Rex Ryan.
When asked if Ryan felt the passion of the Long Island fan base Ryan said, “It’s always amazing when you get in here, the electricity here… the fans are awesome [and] it’s clear that the Jets are their team.”
Former Hofstra University star Willie Colon was also excited to be back at Hofstra, “It was fun. It brought back some old memories… it’s an honor to be back, especially back with the guys, it’s fun.”
Freeport Long Island native and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson said although it has been four years since the Jets have practiced at Hofstra, the fan support hasn’t dampened.
“It’s been a long time since we ‘ve been back but it’s good man” said Ferguson. “It’s a feeling of nostalgia but it’s good that we had a strong showing of fans [to] let us know that we’re still loved out here and it’s always good to be back home.”
While tonight’s practice was a fun and had an enjoyable atmosphere, the upcoming Snoopy Bowl against the Giants was still very much on their minds and with the starters expected to play into the third quarter, Rex Ryan expects to see a better effort than last weeks preseason game against the Bengals.
“I just want our guys to get better” Ryan said. “And on defense especially, I’d like to make sure the communications good and still keeping up with the physical make up of how we’ve been playing. So those are the things I am looking forward to watching.”
With each team exchanging trash talk this week, Ryan expects a physical game but not a chippy one. “It’s going to be a physical game. That’s what we want. Believe me [when] the Jets and Giants play there is extra energy in it… It’s a physical game. It’s not chippy and I think that is what the fans can look forward to on both sides.”
D’Brickashaw Ferguson also expects an intense game tomorrow. “It’s always a great game, we like going out there competing against our neighbors, I guess its for bragging rights but we enjoy it year in and year out.
Jet’s fans know that no matter when the Jets play the Giants it is more than just a regular game and Willie Colon acknowledged that fact.
“It just means something because I’m a Jet. I’m competitive and I want to win and obviously the bragging rights and all that kind of plays a part into it but at the end of the day that’s (MetLife Stadium) is our house and we consider it our house and (the) only one way to solve it is to win and beat them.”
Colon also said the Giants defense will serve as a great way to gage where the Jets are offensively, “They’re a stout defense. So it’s going to be a great test for us up front. They do a lot of things, they mix it up, they have a lot of guys that can get after so it’ll kind of be a big dress rehearsal for us and we’ll see if we’re as good as we say we are.