Jets offense looks sharp on opening day of training camp
By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was yelling in Thursday night's team meeting, players said, urging his unit to be physical this year and telling them to get after it in the opening practice of training camp.
Looks like the message got through. The Jets offense looked sharp in its camp debut this morning, a 2 1/2 hour practice closed to the public."That was perfect, exactly what Coach Sparano preached to us last night," quarterback Mark Sanchez said. "Everyone was extremely excited, and thatís the kind of attitude you need to play with. And obviously you get results."
Sanchez's unit set the tone early with a deep 40-yard strike to rookie Stephen Hill on the first play of 11-on-11s. All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis tipped the ball, but Hill made an impressive grab.
"Awesome, right out of the gate, too," Sanchez said. "'Reve' made a great play to tip it, and Stephen stayed with it. Another great play, something fun, something all of us can kind of rally around."
Sanchez finished practice completing 7-of-8 passes on 17 snaps of 11-on-11 team drills. In 7-on-7 drills, he was 4-of-8, with an interception by Revis.
Sanchez also made a few nice connections with Santonio Holmes, including the grab Holmes made on Revis while tumbling to the ground in 7-on-7 drills.
"Just that attitude, that extra work we put in, the mentality coming into it that we're ready to attack this thing together," Sanchez said of his connection with Holmes.
Back-up quarterback Tim Tebow took 11 snaps in the 11-on-11 team period, completing 4-of-4 passes with a sack. He was 4-of-6 in the 7-on-7 period. Tebow also took several reps as the personal protector on the punt team, a spot where coach Rex Ryan said they want to take advantage of the threat Tebow is to run a fake punt.
Other notes and observations today:
-- S LaRon Landry (Achilles/heel) did not take part in either positional or team drills, instead working on the side with his jersey on. He was activated off the physically unable to perform list Thursday, and Ryan said he will be on a "pitch count" early in camp, but he that count is still at zero. Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith worked with the first-team defense, while rookie Josh Bush and Tracy Wilson were the second-team safeties.
-- Newly acquired tackle Jeff Otah spent practice working off to the side, without his jersey on. The Jets' trade with Carolina is pending Otah passing a physical within the next five days. Otah said he "tweaked" his troublesome knee in OTAs and needs to get strength back. Asked if he believes he can pass, he said, "we'll see."Otah was brought in to compete with Wayne Hunter at the right tackle spot. Hunter said he was given a heads up, and expected the team to bring in a "high-profile player" -- Otah was a former first round pick -- to compete with him. He views the job as his to lose, though.
-- Matt Slauson and Vlad Ducasse alternated reps at left guard with the first-team line. Slauson said he was told this morning they would rotate and was surprised at first. He hasn't been told it's a competition, but he's treating it as such. Slauson was sidelined all spring after shoulder surgery, and Ducasse filled in for him, but Slauson said he is completely recovered and full go for camp.
Slauson also took a few reps at right tackle, but he thinks the team just wanted to see if he could step in there in an emergency.
-- Kicking competition update: Nick Folk was 4-for-4 today between 38 and 48 yards. Josh Brown was 2-for-4 today. He made kicks of 50 and 52 yards, but missed from 42 and 44 yards.
-- Rookie G Robert Griffin left practice early with trainer John Mellody.
Jenny Vrentas: email@example.com