CORTLAND, NY – Full Pads!
The third time’s a charm and such was the case in Cortland today as the New York Jets finally put on the pads for practice at SUNY Cortland’s Stadium Complex.
The fans were out and considerably louder, chanting the traditional J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS! rally cry heard in MetLife Stadium for home games.
Second year player Rontez Miles thrived with getting more reps and enjoyed the increased fan presence.
“It was loud man, a lot of people woke up today, the competition even excelled today. It’s football everyday but with the pads on there’s more excitement to it but we’re just trying to get better and keep everybody safe,” Miles said.
Drills, drills and more drills was the focal point of day 3 on a humid morning and afternoon at training camp. The quarterbacks Geno Smith, Michael Vick and Tajh Boyd were giving out calls, defensive players were pointing out changes in the offense’s signals while defensive linemen were working on sled drills with stripping the ball from the quarterback as the main point of emphasis.
Safety Antonio Allen, who is heading into his third NFL season, felt it was good to get back into the routine.
“Man it was great getting back into pads, hearing the players clapping for every drill, guys competing getting after it,” Allen said. “Just trying to get better every day man.”
Full pads at practice marks an unofficial annual rite of passage that begins the NFL season for teams and its players.
Offensive players for Gang Green donned white jerseys, defensive players wore green jerseys, quarterbacks wore red and special teams players wore orange helmets during punting and kicking drills.
Let’s play ball
Dawan Landry started things off with a huge hit on Chris Ivory, thus setting up a day of revamped intensity.
There was a stout effort from the front-four of the Jets’ as they clogged the middle and forced the offense to find successful gains running to the outside edges.
Bilal Powell had a breakaway run on third-down of the offense’s first possession which was followed by Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison overpowering Powell immediately after.
The full-contact action began with running drills, with the quarterback and wide receiver drills being split from the offensive and defensive line/linebacker/secondary groups.
Quarterback Geno Smith – After practice broke down his performance:
Positives – Changing plays at the line audibly with more comfort at the line
“Being in my second year I have a better grasp of the offense and better grasp of things that I like to get into as far as checks when I see certain looks,” Smith said.” “I try to take advantage of those things in practice so that I’ve built that rapport right now with the guys so that when we get in games we can do that as well and hopefully more and more.”
Negatives – felt he could never be too precise with throws and footwork, but with three days in it’s hard to pinpoint things.
“Everything needs to get better, I’m not going to sit here and say we’ve cornered the market with the offense,” Smith said.
Missing from the action
Although the level of play picked up, there were some precautionary measures taken.
Rookie safety Calvin Pryor was taken out of Saturday’s practice with a head injury in part from being a punt protector.
“It was a head injury and obviously when those things happen you’re going to side on being cautious and that’s what we’re doing,” coach Rex Ryan said. “Whether it’s a concussion or not I’m not sure. We’ll see how that progresses.”
Chris Johnson, had planned rest and did not participate in contact drills, sitting out on day 3. Johnson, coming off offseason knee surgery for a torn meniscus is treading lightly and easing his way back.
On the other side of the action, there were some light scuffles in camp, highlighted by two rookies (LB Jeremiah George, #53 and WR Michael Campbell, #18 exchanging brief pleasantries.)
Geno Smith with a sharp effort overall – Getting the bulk of the snaps (about 75 percent of the reps in practice).
Geno’s also getting the ball out of his hands quickly while making the proper reads. If he doesn’t find his man he’s checking down and taking off from the pocket.
Clyde Gates making a case to make the final 53-man Jets’ roster – Turbo speed from him thus far in camp and Vick found him on a beautiful deep ball for a touchdown
Jaiquawn Jarrett, has had a tremendous impact in camp – already with a pick he added a forced fumble on tight end Chris Pantale to his takeaway total.
Bilal Powell very elusive especially on outside runs, using a combination of jukes and spins to gain separation from defenders.
Antonio Allen broke up a nice zip pass from Geno to Jace Amaro, the team’s second round pick at tight end.
Rookie WR Michael Campbell wore interesting gloves – two shades of green (divided by one dark and one light) in spider-man pattern.
Rookie WR Shaquelle Evans out of UCLA, #83, has emerged as a rising force here in training camp. He beat fellow rookie, CB, Brandon Dixon, #42 on a deep ball thrown from another rookie Clemson’ QB Tajh Boyd, #3.
Going towards the first preseason game against the Colts on Aug 7, Allen has one goal in mind.
“I want to have my name out there as one of the best safeties in the league. The defense is striving to the best in many categories and just get after it, talking isn’t going to get it done just have to do it with our play,” said Allen.
TRAINING CAMP PHOTOS UPLOADED DAILY! For the largest collection of exclusive NY Jets Training Camp pics be sure to check out our photo galleries! CLICK HERE
JetsInsider.com is sponsored by Greek Peak Resort and Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland NY. Be sure to check out the awesome Stay and Play family training camp packages they offer with the largest Indoor Water Park in central NY!