Jets Ready For Preseason Opener On Thursday

CORTLAND N.Y.- The Jets hit the field again on Tuesday and went through a light practice in anticipation for their preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Thursday.

Overall, it was an uneventful pad-less practice.  The Jets offensive and defensive first and second teams practiced against scout teams and worked on plays  After a strenuous Green and White scrimmage led to a sluggish practice yesterday, today’s light workload should not come as a surprise.

One thing to take away from today’s practice is that the Jets players are ready to play against someone other than themselves.

“Yeah it’s about that time [to play another team]” said wide receiver Eric Decker “I thought these last two weeks, we put in good work, (the) scrimmage, we got some good work in, really live action. And now it’s just fun because you go up against the same guy, installing the same stuff,  so it’s fun to see kind of where you’re at with a different opponent.”

Quarterback Michael Vick is especially looking forward to going up against another opponents defense. “I’m looking forward to playing against a different opponent. I’ve been (playing against) our defense every day.  It’s been a great camp (and) been rough though going against those guys. But hey, it feels good to put the pads on against somebody else. “

Here are some other news and notes coming out of Jets’ camp on Tuesday.

Geno Smith said the game has "slowed down" as he enters his second year. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

GENO CONTINUING TO GROW

Geno Smith is coming off an incredibly inconsistent first year. At times he looked like the franchise quarterback the team hoped he would be and other times he looked overmatched out there.

But during training camp it is evident that the experience Smith gained by starting all 16 games his first year has been incredibly valuable to him.

When asked what was different for him now in comparison to this time last year, Smith said, “The mental side of it, I’m not thinking as much, not swimming as much. I have a better grasp of the offense. Really just understanding my surroundings a lot better.”

Smith also said that the game is beginning to slow down for him, “Yeah it is [slowing down.]… It definitely slowed down for me a ton.”

Smith’s growth has impressed many including his competition for the starting quarterback job Michael Vick.

“Geno’s working extremely hard to be the best quarterback that he can be in this game,” said Vick. “You see guys around the league around his age going out having success and doing some good things for their ball clubs and I think he wants to fall right into that echelon… he’s going to be great. He’s going to be 10 times better than where he was last year and I’m looking forward to it.”

EXECUTE OFFENSIVELY

It has been well documented that the Jets offense has had their good days and their not so good days so far in training camp. One day the offense looks fantastic and another it looks like a work in progress.

After a sluggish Green and White scrimmage the main thing that the Jets are looking to do offensively according to Geno Smith is to execute.

“Execution. It’s always about execution” said Smith. “Its always about us doing the right things on the field. We want to execute to the best of our ability. Go out there and be sharp mentally, be sharp physically, be accurate, be sharp with the reads, and get good plays in.”

Smith’s number one target, wide receiver Eric Decker echoed similar sentiments, “Well I think the biggest thing for us offensively is that we execute, as far as moving the chains get some first downs, (and) if we get in the red areas, scoring a touchdown is key. Just the little things that right now we’ve been working on as far as execution, everyone doing their job, eliminating penalties, having some explosive plays if possible. I think all in all, fluently playing the game.”

NEWS AND NOTES

Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley missed practice today because of an illness but he should be fine to play against the Colts on Thursday. Without Kerley in the lineup last season, the Jets went 0-4.

Calvin Pryor will not play Thursday against the Colts. Not because of any lingering injury, in fact Pryor returned to full contact practice on Monday but because he has missed a lot of practice time. Head coach Rex Ryan said, “ He [Pryor] missed a lot of work. We’ll get him back and get him up to speed for the next one.”

Things are not looking good for fellow rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. Today Ryan described Evans’ injury as “severe” and hinted that Evans could be done for the season.

Rex Ryan said that there is a “good chance” quarterback Michael Vick will get a series with the first team offense. This should be no surprise because Vick also got one series with the first unit during the Green and White scrimmage.

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