Cortland, NY– The Jets reported to training camp almost two full weeks ago, but today the team had their first real fight on the field and training camp has now officially begun. Coaches have always enjoyed training camp fights because it means the players are fighting for more than just a couple of extra yards. The tension is high and the competition is fierce, add full contact hitting and tempers will flare. No coach or teammate wants to see fights in an actual game, but in training camp? Absolutely.
It’s a shame Rex Ryan held his daily press conference before practice this morning, otherwise we might have seen him enter the press room with the Rocky theme music or maybe Shook Ones II by Mobb Deep. Ryan of course being the same coach that made no secret enticing ex-Jet Rob Turner to pick fights with another ex-Jet Vernon Gholston to try and get Gholston motivated. That’s what training camp fights say to coaches, it says the players care.
The fight started when Joe McKnight thought D’Anton Lynn [son of Anthony Lynn the Jets RB coach] was going overboard by continuing to push McKnight even after McKnight was out of bounds. So naturally McKnight threw the football directly at Lynn’s face which led to them wrestling each other down to the ground and teammates swarming the pile.
“We’re not trying to hurt each other,” Lynn told the New York Daily News. “I doubt he was trying to intentionally hurt me. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. (It) just got escalated. It was more wrestling than anything.…. We wouldn’t do that with another team because we know that there’s repercussions.”
Lynn added that it was, “nothing personal,” between the two. It was a heat of the moment thing and Lynn admitted he lost his, “temper for a second before,” adding that everything was, “cool,” between him and McKnight now. McKnight seemed to enjoy the scuffle and he had fun with answering questions about it as well.
“It was fun too,” McKnight told the New York Daily News. “I love being on the bottom of the pile. You can get cheap shots in… not against my teammates.”
With Lynn’s father, Anthony Lynn, being the running backs coach and McKnight being a running back the story of the fight gets a bit more intriguing, but Anthony Lynn wasn’t phased by the conflict of interest at all.
“You know, I’d probably just yell ‘Kick his ass!’ and neither one would know who I was referring too.” Anthony Lynn told the New York Daily News.
Mark Sanchez however, was not so amused by the fisticuffs.
“Tempers flare, that stuff happens,” Sanchez told the Star-Ledger. “There’s no excuse for it. There’s no throwing a ball at a teammate. There’s no shoving a guy out of bounds into the signs. One, it doesn’t look good. And two, it sends the wrong message to our team. We want to take care of our guys.
“Most of the stuff on the outside there was just guys goofing around. So there’s nothing wrong with that. But at the same time, somebody falls, trips into one of those signs. I don’t know, I’m not a fan of it.”
Sanchez brings up some valid points, but this fight is nothing new. Just because a couple of fights break out in training camp doesn’t mean the players will be looking to suplex opponents during actual games. Training camp is the perfect time to vent these frustrations and get it out of their system since the team will not be penalized for these actions during practice. If this became an everyday thing or spilled out into the dorms, then there would be cause for concern, but this was just a good ol’ fashioned training camp rumble and all involved parties have already put it behind them.
“It was something just happened at the spur of the moment,” McKnight told the Star-Ledger. “I’m over it now. We’re teammates. I love him, just like I love his dad, so we’re moving on.”
Other News and Notes:
*Joe McKnight had to come out of practice early after a big, and legal, hit, but McKnight said it was just a stinger and nothing to worry about.
*Santonio Holmes who was originally thought to have fractured his ribs in Saturday night’s Green and White scrimmage is now listed as day-today, but still not expected to play against the Bengals this Friday.
“Well, we’re lucky we never had a fractured rib like we thought, or I thought anyway, so that’s a good sign. Whether he plays this week, I’m not really sure. I’m not going to rule him out, but I would say he’s probably doubtful.” Ryan said this morning, “We’ll see. I thought Bart Scott gave him some sound advice when he said to put some barbeque sauce on that rib (smiling). We’ll see how that goes. Bart is just a loving teammate. But anyway, you can see him. He is obviously tender, but we’ll see how it goes.”
Interesting choice of magic healing power by Scott, personally I’d have gone with putting a little ‘Tussin on it.
* Ryan raved about what he’s seen from Muhammad Wilkerson and Mike DeVito.
“Oh, (it’s been) outstanding (with) both of those guys. Mike (DeVito) looks more athletic now than I’ve seen him in the past. I credit Karl Dunbar for that (and) a lot of those things. Karl is clearly one of the top defensive line coaches in the league and he’s done a great job with them. Mike has really taken to his coaching and he’s been impressive. Obviously, Mo (Muhammad Wilkerson), I think it’s without saying. Even though it’s his second year, he’s ready to take off.”
* After Quinton Coples showed how dominating he could be during OTA’s and Stephen Hill was impressive as well, including his first day of training camp, some people were worried about the rookies struggle at times in camp. Not sure why the cause for concern though, they are rookies after all and that’s what rookies do. Today both made big plays as Coples earned himself two sacks and Stephen Hill beat Darrelle Revis deep for a 50-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez.
* LaRon Landry was a full-go in practice today and delivered a few of his trademark crippling hits.
* Rookie safety Antonio Allen continues his strong camp, making his case for the pleasant surprise of camp.
“Another guy that jumped out at me, that’s a young guy, is Antonio Allen. Antonio Allen just keeps making plays. (He) doesn’t always do things 100 percent right, but he has a chance because when he’s out there and the lights come on, he’s ready to play. In fact, the most disappointed guy on the field when we cut practice, after we got our 60 snaps and we cut the practice off, was Antonio Allen. He still wanted to play.”
* Aaron Maybin continues to make a strong and lasting impression with his coaches, Ryan even called Maybin the, “Energizer Bunny.”
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