CORTLAND, NY – This morning’s practice started just how one would expect, with the chirping from the Jets players growing incessantly louder. The trash talking between the players, and even some of the coaches, was just one of many loud distinct sounds that could be heard tearing through the air in upstate New York.
Practice was once again open to the public and there was an excellent turn out as the fans showed up bright and early to support their team.
As practice began, you could tell the intensity had been kicked up a couple of notches from yesterday. Once the drills started, the sound of shoulder pads and helmets violently crashing into each was immediately followed by an echo of enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.
Over the last couple of days everyone could literally feel the optimism and confidence exuding from the players, today it was the fans turn to show off their confidence.
Jets fans tend to be pessimistic by nature, but they are growing into the personality of their team and coach. The fans emotions and support did not go unnoticed by the newcomers to the team.
When asked about his impression of the fans, L.T. said, “Great fans and I always knew that. You know throughout the years of coming to play the Jets and also when the Jets came to San Diego, they travel well, so I always knew they had great fans.”
L.T. even went on to talk about how he is adjusting to, what is one of the favorite sounds of a Jet fan, “I really enjoy the chants, you know the, JETS JETS JETS. I’ve heard that so much throughout my career, but now being on the other side and hearing them say it, it motivates you and it’s fun to hear.” If hearing it here at Cortland gets L.T. motivated, Jets fans should be waiting on pins and needles to see how he responds to that sound percolating from the Meadowlands.
Early on in the practice there was a fracas of sorts that broke out and it was the first thing Rex Ryan wanted to speak on in his press conference. “Okay, first off, I think the biggest news of the day is the sensitivity fine I had to, I’m going to have to go through the league on this one, I had to place on Schottenheimer and Bob Sutton. You know their little competitive spirits out there, they got a little sensitive I thought, but that’s always great to see. You love that kind of jazz (laughing.) I think Rob Turner was in it, it was just a little skirmish, but they day he isn’t fighting maybe we should report on that.”
To see that type of intensity and competitiveness coming from coaches during the second day of training camp really got the crowd’s attention. It was hard to tell exactly what was going on during the, “little skirmish,” as Ryan called it, because all you could hear was expletives flying around everywhere.
There was one under the radar player who has really stood out the last couple of days, and it’s not just because he is 6’4″ 249 pounds, and both the fans and Ryan seem to have taken a liking to him. Rookie tight end, Jeff Cumberland was turning heads all over the place today and was a constant topic of conversation whether with the fans or his coach. “Without question, (Cumberland stood out.) I mean it’s hard not to notice when he is catching 40-yard passes all the time.” Ryan said.
Ryan wasn’t exaggerating, Cumberland stole the show today. Watching this gigantic human being swiftly flying down field to make outstanding catch after ridiculous catch impressed anyone who had a view of him. However it wasn’t all praise for the rookie as the coach made sure to let everyone know he still has plenty of work to do. “His blocking, when he is getting knocked into the backfield, it catches your eye as well. Hopefully he can improve his blocking a bit because he is definitely a threat as a receiver.”
After what he showed today that is definitely putting it lightly, because with this kid’s size and speed it makes your head hurt just thinking about who could possibly cover this guy.
Obviously being a tight end, blocking is something Cumberland will definitely need to improve on in the future, but for now starting tight end Dustin Keller looks to have made considerable strides in his blocking ability over the offseason.
During mini-camp the coaches were constantly calling his praises for his blocking and Ryan thinks he has picked up right where he left off. “I tell you he is improving, his blocking really is improving. I think that’s going to help us.” Ryan went on to say, “Dustin’s got to a lot of that blocking this year. A lot of teams will defend him like he is a wideout, but he can block better than that. We know what he can do as a receiver, it’s just getting his nose dirty and knocking people off the ball, that’s what we’re working on.”
Sanchez looked sharper today, throwing the ball harder and much more accurately than he did in the morning practice yesterday. Today he was throwing those tight spirals fans always hope to see from their quarterback.
Today officially marks Darrelle Revis’s third day of his holdout and the fans made sure to let the Jets brass know how they felt about the failed contract negotiations by constantly cheering, “WE WANT REVIS!”
This afternoon’s practice is a special teams only practice, if anything important develops we will have all the information you need, here at Jetsinsider.com and make sure to keep checking back with us for more updates throughout training camp.