Mini-Camp Day 3: Jets Soak Up Spotlight

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The New York Jets took the field of their plush new home in the Meadowlands to boisterous cheers and standing ovations Wednesday afternoon as they entered the last day of their mini-camp. With over 9,000 fans waving signs and shouting the trademark “J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS!”, reporters and anchors from all over the country and the film crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks, the Jets may have gotten a glimpse in to the life of a Beatle.

Okay, so maybe that is a bit of a stretch. However there is a buzz around this year’s Jets that has them at near boy band status, yet that has not deterred their central goal of winning a Super Bowl. In fact, despite all the fan fare and extra media attention (Hard Knocks aside, the Jets will have five prime-time games in 2010) the players and staff have been taking it all in stride and have, so far, been able to juggle the circus that is the media and still remain focused on the game.

“We’ve got everything we need to go get it done. There are no excuses. We have no reason not to be successful. All we have to do is come together and not be the one to let the team down,” says Bart Scott echoing the sentiment of the rest of the team.

A Flight Crew member mingles with the fans prior to the Jets open minincam practice at the gleaming new Meadowlands Stadium on Wednesday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The practice was light-hearted and very fan friendly, perhaps done to avoid the mishap of Giants’ KR Dominic Hixon, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee after making a cut on a punt return on Tuesday.

No matter the reason today was low-key and playful; providing a chance for the fans to see their new team in their new stadium. The highlight of the day featured Kris Jenkins jokingly dragging over the once-hated but now beloved Jason Taylor to a batch of taunting Gang Green faithful. “It’s fun,” said Taylor, “This is the first time I’ve been around all the fans. They’ve been chanting my name up here for 12 years. It’s only what they say afterwards that’s changing.”

Linebacker Bart Scott and the rest of Gang Green joke around during mini-camp practice. (Photo courtesy of JetsInsider.com)

While the Jets have yet to find a well defined rule for the 13-year pass-rush specialist, he–as well as the other newcomers–already feels right at home. “We’re all fired up. I think we’ve added a lot of good pieces this off-season. With two players like Revis and [Antonio] Cromartie playing corner it’s gonna be fun to rush the passer.”

Linebacker Calvin Pace added to the conversation as well. “We have a goal in mind. The guys who we brought in have that same goal. It’s just like adding another brother. The new guys have come in and it’s been like they’ve been playing here for the last three years.” Pace and the rest of the team have been shutting down the notion that all the off-season acquisitions will affect team chemistry ever since the NFL draft. However after watching everyone interact with each other over the last three days, it’s hard to imagine a team that has more of a connection than this one.

Gang Green has not shined so bright in the limelight since the days of Broadway Joe. It will be interesting to watch how the Jets handle themselves with a spotlight over them at all times.

Will the Jets meet their goal with a little help from their new friends? Or will they join Sgt. Peppers in his lonely hearts club? Only time will tell.

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