The final open practice of the summer was marked with an outstanding tempo from start to finish, and plenty of good news on the injury front as the Jets head into their Saturday evening tilt against the New York Giants.
Kris Jenkins participated in all parts of practice for the second consecutive day, and cornerback Darrell Revis was also with the first team defense, their sights set on seeing time in Saturday’s matchup.
“It’s just nice to have everybody out there,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises, which I guess were just minor injuries, but guys are starting to get back. I don’t know if everybody will play in this game against the Giants, but I’m hopeful they’ll get in and see some action, whether it’s just for a series or two.”
“When I was told I could go back out on the field by the trainers and practice, they told me it was going to be their decision,” Jenkins said of his chances of playing Saturday. “All I’m trying to do is make sure I do what they tell me to do, so that I’m healthy for the longevity of the season. So if I’m good to go, and they approve, then I’ll be playing this week. But if they don’t, I won’t. I just have to go off what they tell me right now.”
As camp breaks, it’s certainly a welcomed sight to see these two stars back in full-speed action. Each player is one of the best at his respective position you’ll find anywhere in the league, and when healthy, they can take this defense to heights Ryan’s squad reached in Baltimore.
That may sound like a bold statement, but the unit is talented enough at every level to be one of the elite in the NFL. Even in a practice setting, it’s tremendous how they swarm to the ball, and the speed with which they do so. Having these players back in the fold will only heighten the group’s chemistry, and there is still plenty of time before Week One to get all the moving parts in order.
SANCHEZ SOLID WITH ONES
The newly-minted starting quarterback seemed extremely confident throughout the workout, connecting on three touchdowns to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery during seven-on-seven drills.
Regardless of the situation, it appeared the rookie was making a conserted effort to check the ball down if his receivers weren’t open; something the coaching staff must be extremely pleased to see. In full-team drills, he looked extremely confident in the pocket, and moved through his progessions seemlessly. No professional athlete will ever tell you that being in a competition affects your play in a negative way, but it almost has to. Knowing you’re the starter and you’re not competing against anyone gives you a confidence you simply cannot achieve when you’re in the midst of a position battle. It shows you your coaches are behind you, that they feel you’re the guy that can take them where they want to go.
Confidence is not something Sanchez ever lacked. But it has to be a nerve-wracking experience to compete with someone for a job, day-in and day-out. There will still be bumps in the road, but without the threat of losing the job hanging over his head, you may see them become few and far between.
OTHER INJURY UPDATES
Rookie running back Shonn Greene missed practice today due to a rib injury, and Ryan said the former Iowa Hawkeye will not play in Saturday’s game, and may possibly miss the rest of the preseason.
This is a tough loss for Gang Green. Hopefully the rookie will able to carry the rock by week one; his speed gives them an outstanding three-back assault when paired with Leon Washington and Thomas Jones. The league saw what a three-back rotation can do a season ago, when Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw became Earth, Wind and Fire for the Giants. There’s no reason why this group, if Greene can get healthy, can’t do the same.
GHOLSTON GETS THE NOD
With linebacker Calvin Pace set to serve a four-game suspension, Ryan announced second-year backer Vernon Gholston will get his first career start Saturday.
“I’m just focusing on the fundamental things,” Gholston said of heading into the weekend. “It’s a new defense. I’m just worried about my assignments and things like that. But you can get away from the fundamental things of being a football player; I missed a tackle I should have made last week, things like that. I’m just trying to stay disciplined and focus on the fundamentals.”
HUNTER STEALS THE SHOW
There may a new Jet throwing his hat into the ring for the wide receiver competition.
Offensive lineman Wayne Hunter caught not one, but two balls from qb Erik Ainge on bootlegs during 11-on-11 drills, to raucous cheers from his fellow players.
“The guys are helping me out with letting me know what my route is in the huddle, and I know they have to go through their progressions first before they come to me,” Hunter said. “If I’m open, I’m open. It’s a good thing I can catch the ball.”
“For how big he is, he’s so athletic it’s crazy,” Ainge said. It’s amazing what that guy can do, he does stuff like that all the time.”
NEW UNIS UNVEILED
Kerry Rhodes, Jerricho Cotcher, Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller and D’Brickashaw Ferguson donned the Jets’ new throwback threads for a post-practice event premiering the club’s remade New York Titans uniforms, homage to the franchise’s AFL days.
The team will wear the new unis on September 27 against the Indianapolis Colts, and November 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game at the Meadowlands is scheduled for 8:00 PM. You can catch the action on NBC.
Jets Seek Prospect to Suit Up and Lead Team Out of Tunnel
Tryouts Now Being Held Online at Jointhejets.com for Fan Appreciation Day
The Jets launched a nationwide search for a new recruit to suit up and lead the team out of the tunnel on October 18 when the Buffalo Bills visit the Meadowlands.
In a press conference to announce the search at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, Vice President of College Scouting Joey Clinkscales laid out the team’s criteria for the ideal prospect. “We need someone with a passion for the game, unwavering commitment as well as real mental and physical toughness,” Clinkscales said. “Specifically, we are looking at cheering decibel levels, out-of-chair vertical leap and, of course, a passion for tailgating.”
Clinkscales indicated that the team will waste no time putting this new recruit to work. On October 18, the rookie will suit up and lead the team out of the tunnel to take on the Bills. Anyone who thinks they have what it takes to lead the team can try out online by signing up for the Join the Jets Sweepstakes at www.jointhejets.com. Forward this to your friends and receive multiple chances to win.
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan stressed the importance of this every-down player. “This guy is going to be critical to the success of our team,” Ryan said. “The Meadowlands must be a miserable place for our opponents to play. I know this new addition can do just that.”
The Jets host their second annual Fan Appreciation Day on October 18 when they play the Buffalo Bills at 4:15 pm.