The Road From Cortland to Cincinnati
FLORHAM PARK, NJ — The second phase of camp has turned to the Jets finishing up their annual portion of training camp in Cortland, NY. The team now heads to Paul Brown Stadium to face off against another playoff team from last season in the defending AFC North champion Bengals.
Geno on the spot
When the Jets acquired Michael Vick in free agency many people thought he’d have a legitimate shot to win the job. However through camp the team has shown otherwise despite what’s been called an open competition numerous times by GM John Idzik and Head Coach Rex Ryan.
The Jets’ brass drafted Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft to be the ‘guy’. Smith made a big leap forward in his the final four games of his rookie year.
For Geno, the greatest thing the team wants to see from him is consistency. In order to further consistent play from him it begins with the ‘others’ around him. Is it there with Eric Decker? Can the Jets run the football behind him with Chris Ivory & Johnson? Can Marty Morningweg design the offense to get people open in space.
Before those questions can be answered, the Quarterback answered another — overcoming less than ideal conditions. Battling ugly weather this week in Cortland has been a benefit to the offense, as Geno Smith told nyjets.com — the elements were helpful for insight and preparation to the kinds of scenarios the team could have to play through this season.
“Any time we get in the red zone, guys are animated just because our offensive linemen and defensive linemen take pride in that, getting in the end zone,” Smith said. “It was very animated. I think the weather kind of boosted everyone up a little bit.”
Although its preseason, don’t tell that to the Jets who want to bounce back from the worst loss in Rex Ryan’s tenure on October 27, losing by 40 to the same team they’ll see Saturday night.
Safety turned Cornerback Antonio Allen is slated to start for the Jets’ on Saturday. His first test? Against all-pro Wideout, the Bengals’ A.J. Green.
Coach Rex Ryan has confidence in Allen’s ability to hold his own adding “If Allen can effectively cover Green, he can cover them all.”
Allen’s versatility gives the team belief that he can hold down the fort until Dee Milliner returns from injury. Allen, was once a hybrid linebacker at South Carolina, prior to being drafted in the seventh round by the Jets in 2012.
When teammates go out in front of you, it’s an opportunity to step up and for Allen there’s on bigger challenge than going up against one of the league’s best.
The Jets’ became the latest NFL team to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge mania which has swept the nation. The Cortlandville Fire Department supplied the materials to help drench the team with cold water as fans in attendance cheered on.
Ironically the Jets were nominated for the ALS Challenge by their greatest in recent years, the New England Patriots. On being chosen for ice cold water treatment on a summer afternoon, Rex Ryan appreciated the Patriots choice.
“Anytime you get issued a challenge by New England, we’re going to accept that challenge,” Ryan said.
The Jets have nominated the team’s flight crew to continue the nationwide challenge and awareness effort for ALS.
According to Bengals.com, Head Coach Marvin Lewis said at practice Thursday that Quarterback Andy Dalton is going to play around 15 to 25 snaps (First quarter plus) against the Jets and its doubtful that backup Jason Campbell plays this week
This will be the first time the Jets play the Bengals in Cincinnati since the Bengals defeated Gang Green 49-9 in October
With the players and NFLPA lobbying for just two preseason games, training camps of the future may include fewer games and more intersquad scrimmages (like the ones we’ve seen the Cowboys partake in with the Raiders and Patriots employ with the Eagles and Redskins)