The Jets offense is beginning to click on all cylinders and today the ground game really began to take flight. Anyone following Jets camp has heard about the glowing reviews of L.T.’s performance so far and today was no different, but he wasn’t alone. Shonn Greene had another big day of bowling defenders over and the rookie, John “The Terminator,” Conner, continued to bulldoze a path of destruction through the defense.
Shonn Greene isn’t the type of running back to stand out early in training camp practices. His game is about smashing defenders in the mouth and trampling past them, early on in camp the hitting is light, not allowing him to shine and do what he does best. With the intensity and tackling picking up more and more each day, Greene’s presence becomes more apparent everyday.
Jets fans are aware of his bowling ball style of play, but he continues to make strides both in blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield. During 7-7 drills, Greene caught a deep touchdown pass, placed beautifully by Sanchez, just over the outstretched arms of Antonio Cromartie. All of this is part of his goal to be a more complete running back and it sure doesn’t hurt for him to be around L.T. and maybe learn a thing or two about catching the ball and making plays.
Greene continued to impress in goal line drills barreling through a pile of defenders determined not to be stopped until he earned those six points. Of course Greene got some help from the rookie fullback as Conner cleared the lane like a plow truck cutting through snow in the middle of winter, Conner then followed that up by catching a touchdown pass off of play action from Brunell.
L.T. got stuffed on the first play in goal line drills, but the offense wasn’t going to let that slow them down. They came right back with a touchdown pass from Sanchez to Dustin Keller on a rollout, and the very next play was payback for L.T. as he dove in the air over the defenders and into the end zone. “It was good see L.T. jump over the top and score with one.” Rex Ryan said, “We can all see, he has a ton left. Every day he looks great to me. We talked about how he’s got that sizable chip on his shoulder, but this guy has got a tone of ability. The way he trained in the offseason, he came in and just really bought into the team here. I think he appreciates being around the guys and I think he’s looking to have a monster year.” Obviously L.T. agreed with his coach about the touchdown being a good thing to see, as he emphatically spiked the ball to celebrate his high flying dive into the end zone.
After being stopped on the first play of goal line drills the offense roared back scoring on the next five plays, leaving offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer absolutely thrilled on the sidelines, Ryan was not as pleased with his defense, especially the second team defense. Ryan said, “No that was not that ‘Freeway Defense’ you play where you want them to score. It just looked that way. There’s only one way to work the goal line and that’s go full speed. I don’t know what the deal was with the second defense. They decided not to show up that period. So good news, bad news.”
With the defense possibly having to prepare for life without Revis, this offense knows it will have to pick up some of the slack for him. The defense might not have to be quite as good as they were last year if the offense can take the leap that many expect them to. With the additions of L.T., John Conner and it being year two for Shonn Greene, the running game seems to be taking regular season form and if Sanchez can take that next step with the additions at receiver the Jets running backs should be finding much more open space to romp through this year.
The Jets did have Nick Mangold back in practice today, but they did all of this without Damien Woody, who got the day off to rest. Santonio Holmes didn’t participate in either the 7-7 or the goal line drills, but Ryan said that was just because the focus was on short yardage plays.
On Monday night the Jets play the Giants in the first preseason game of the year, Ryan downplayed the importance of beating the Giants in a preseason game saying, “I’d rather win. Sure I’d rather win, but you’re there really to evaluate your players, make sure your keeping the right guys… We don’t need to try and be gameplan specific against the Giants, Carolina, the Redskins or Philly. It doesn’t really serve us. If anything it’s just the opposite. You don’t want to show your good stuff, so to speak.”
Apparently Giants cornerback, Terrell Thomas, isn’t liking the fact that the Jets are getting the spotlight right now saying, “We want to send a message to them that it’s still our town, and it’s going to be our stadium.” Jet fans must love to hear this, a Giants player focusing on sending a message to the Jets in a preseason game? Thomas probably doesn’t realize the irony of a player chirping about sending a message about it being their city and their stadium, with a preseason game. If you listen to the Jets you won’t hear about any games other than the Super Bowl, the Jets have bigger fish to fry than a preseason game against the Giants.
Kris Jenkins wasn’t about to get caught up in a war of words with the Giants, but he wants everyone to know that the Jets aren’t going anywhere, “If that’s how they feel, that’s how they feel. You have to understand this: My job is to play football. My job is not to report the news or comment on it… It’s cool for them to feel that way. But we’re here to stay. And that’s it.”
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