Florham Park, NJ – On the first full practice after the news broke about Quincy Enunwa being out for the year the offense had one of their better practices. It still wasn’t all that great; false starts, problems getting the correct play call and interceptions but the good was about as good as we’ve seen all training camp. It wasn’t a case of the defense being bad either, they made plenty of plays and the offense legitimately won the plays they won instead of winning them because of mistakes on defense but there were still too many mistakes to declare the day a total success for the offense.
1) McLendon leads a huddle – For the second time this camp we saw the team stop practice halfway through and huddle up at the middle of the field. The first time it was Muhammad Wilkerson leading the way, this time it was Steve McLendon. As the team started to get ready for team drills McLendon called for everyone to meet at midfield. We couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying but it was obvious he was making a passionate speech. After practice ArDarius Stewart told reporters that McLendon wanted them to, “basically just step the practice up. We weren’t practicing to our standard and he just came in and enforced that we needed to.”
Causation does not necessarily equal correlation but it did the trick and the tempo definitely picked up a notch or 12 after that meeting and it lead to a very entertaining practice the rest of the way.
2) Marcus Maye and Demario Davis – Leonard Williams was, as expected, a beast up front and made numerous plays but the two defenders that stood out the most were Maye and Davis. Both have had excellent camps but today was even more impressive. Maye delivered several big hits and picked off a Christian Hackenberg pass and Davis continues to look like a different player. He’s delivering huge hits constantly, has seldom found himself out of place, is much more vocal (and it’s not exactly like he was quiet before) and is playing with a confidence I have never seen before.
I questioned the decision to bring Davis back but right now it’s looking like a smart move. I din’t question the selection of Maye, but plenty of others did. Obviously it’s only camp so we have a long way to go until we find out the ultimate verdict on these moves but it seems like the advantage is in Mike Maccagnan’s favor on these two moves.
3) QB ups and QB downs – Each quarterback threw one beautiful touchdown pass a piece, but they all had their share of bad throws as well. The middle was pretty good until they got to red zone drills where they all struggled, some of that was due to the offense playing great and Petty was victimized by a dropped touchdown by Elijah McGuire (who had turned in a really impressive last few practices).
Hackenberg started it off by hitting Robby Anderson for a 70 plus yard touchdown. Anderson absolutely burnt Juston Burris to the point that Anderson had to slow down to catch the pass (that’s not a knock on Hackenberg’s throw either, just Anderson was running that fast) and he still had a good two-three steps on Burris and easily continued running the extra 20-30 yards for the touchdown. McCown had a gorgeous 25 yard post route to Jordan Leggett with Morris Claiborne in tight coverage, there was only one spot for McCown to put it and have it be caught and he hit that spot. In the two-minute drills Petty threw a perfect pass for a 35 yard touchdown to Myles White, splitting Ronald Martin and Dexter McDougle. It very well might have been the best pass I’ve ever seen Petty throw.
Now for the bad, Hackenberg threw his first interceptions in 11-on-11s, the first one he tried to hit either Frankie Hammond or Deshon Foxx (couldn’t tell who the intended target was because it wasn’t close to either of them and equal distance apart from both of them) but Marcus Williams had the ball sail right into his arms (Foxx also had to leave practice after that play because he got hurt on the play). The second pick came on the aforementioned throw to Marshall that was picked by Maye. In red zone drills Hackenberg found Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the touchdown, who won that round as Jamal Adams had him tightly covered but Seferian-Jenkins outmuscled him for the ball. But that was Hackenberg’s only completion during that set of red zone drills.
Still, despite all of that, it was one of the better days for the quarterbacks and receivers which let’s you know they have a long way to go to become a competent offense.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)