Jets CB Ty Law had a quiet but effective first practice on Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
When CB Ty Law signed with the Jets on August 8, he took the field in the afternoon and participated in individual defensive backs drills. Since then, Law has mainly been out of sight, watching his teammates from the sidelines during practices or working out with director of physical development Markus Paul to get himself back into game shape.
Law took the next step taking the field this afternoon and participating in team drills. Law is expected to see his first preseason action when the Jets face the Giants on Friday.
Head Coach Herman Edwards gave his assessment of Law’s first practice.
”He did well for a guy in his first practice,” Edwards said. “He has good instincts
and he understands the concepts we're trying to do as far as the language and how we play things compared to how he learned it in NE. It's kind of unique when you talk about a player who's been on one team for as long as he's been. Now, the language is a little bit different, but for the most part he knows that in cover two there are certain things you have to look for and he knows man-to-man.”
There weren’t too many balls thrown Law’s way this afternoon. “Eventually, we'll test him,” Edwards said.
The Jets will bring Law along slowly. “We’re not going to try and kill him,” Edwards said. “We just want to bring him in easy as he gets in shape and we’ll see if he participates this weekend in the football game.”
Having Law on the field certainly should help a secondary that has struggled through the first two preseason games. The play of the secondary has been one of the few weaknesses for the Jets, who have won both of their two preseason games.
Law will take over the starting left cornerback spot and the move will allow Derrick Strait to move back to the nickelback position where Strait seems most comfortable. It will also allow rookie CB Justin Miller to mainly focus on punt and kick returns.
Law was happy to be back on the field.
“It felt good,” said the Veteran. “I was real excited to get out there with my team. I'm thinking right now because it's one thing to do it in the classroom, but
getting out there on the field and getting your timing back is not going to happen the first day. I'm pretty pleased with where I'm at, especially with my foot. It's typical, like any other soreness. There is stiffness and it's sore after you sit down for a little bit, but other then that, I'm right on track.”
Law’s foot was a bit sore after the session but it won’t deter his practice regiment.
”It's like anything else,” said Law. If you have surgery, a sprain, or a ding, you
get sore. That is something that is to be expected. It is not stopping me from coming out and participating.
One position in the secondary that is still up for grabs is the starting strong safety spot. Oliver Celestin and rookie Kerry Rhodes are the front runners for the position and both saw a lot of time with the first team defense on Friday. Celestin has shown he is not afraid to lay the hard hit but Rhodes has come up with an interception in each game. Rhodes also had an interception in today’s practice, stepping in front of a QB Chad Pennington pass intended for WR Chas Gessner.
“There's still a battle. I don't think there's a starter yet there. It's still up for grabs,” Edwards said.
Edwards talked about what the secondary can do to improve. “A lot of the things are not just athletic ability; it's just technique, not playing it proper,” Edwards said. “I just think that we can work on that. It's one thing if it's technique; it's another thing if you don't think the athlete is good enough. But I think the athletes are good enough that we have back there. We just have to clean it up technically.
With the roster cut down approaching rapidly, this will be an important week for the young players to impress. “We told our young guys today that they have some opportunities to make the football team and mentally they have to show us what they can do,” Edwards said. “It's not the physical thing, it's the mental thing and that's where a lot of young guys are struggling now. They're thinking a lot and they're not using their talent because they're thinking so much. It's critical this week throughout the League with a lot of young players.
-Edwards said the starters will play into the second half against the Giants.
-Jets DT Sione Pouha was a teammate of 49ers player Thomas Herrion at Utah. Herrion died after collapsing after a preseason game last night. “I remember when he came up to Utah he was just a guy who was trying to make his dreams happen,” Pouha said. “His mom never had a chance to watch his games in high school
because she had to work two jobs. He was obviously happy when she came
to watch the games up in Utah. Spending two years with him and talking
with him over our senior year, he was definitely an inspiration to our
team when he was a senior there.”
-Undrafted FA Decori Birmingham has gone about his business quietly returning punts and has impressed Edwards. “He's done a great job,” Edwards said. “He got cut, came in here, and doesn't say two words. Just kind of goes back there, catches punts every day and that's the second week.
-Edwards on the punting situation: “Ben (Graham) did okay, but punted better last week. I think Micah (Knorr) hit a couple good ones so it's still open. Still a contest,” Edwards said. “
UDFA LB Mondoe Davis suffered a torn ACL in the game Friday and is out for the season. Davis had an interception in the first preseason game. S Rashad Washington, competing for the starting strong safety spot, suffered a concussion in the game Friday and was held out of practice today. FB Jerald Sowell (ribs) also did not participate in practice. WR Jonathan Carter, G Brandon Moore, and S Andre Maddox returned to practice. However, Edwards said Moore, Sowell, Maddox, Carter, and Washington are questionable for Friday night.
-LB Darrell McClover (foot): IR
-LB Mondoe Davis (ACL): Out
-WR Harry Williams Jr. (knee): Out 2-6 weeks
-S Rashad Washington (concussion): Questionable
- WR Jonathan Carter (hamstring): Questionable
-G Brandon Moore (hamstring): Questionable
-FB Jerald Sowell (ribs): Questionable
-S Andre Maddox (hamstring): Questionable
The Jets return to two-a-days tomorrow with practices at 10:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Both are open to the public. Check back to Jets Insider.com for the latest training camp news.