FLORHAM PARK, NJ – As the Jets gear up for their third preseason game the most notable part of practice was the fundamental mistakes from the offensive line. During 11-on-11 drills there were a multitude of penalties, mainly false starts that forced Todd Bowles to stop practice and have the team run sprints.
This comes after a poor showing in their week two game against Washington where the run game generated only 64 yards on 22 carries. The lanes and alleys simply weren’t there, which is a direct result of poor line play. George Atkinson III had an 18 yard run during the game, the only 10+yard run all night.
For the Jets, the run game and offensive line play has been a heavy factor in determining how far they can truly go. In 2010 the combination of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene would wear defenses out and led to easier opportunities for Mark Sanchez. No matter how good any of the quarterbacks look in practice or in preseason the Jets still need plenty of help on the offensive line to ensure their success. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck showed promise of being a top QB in the league when he first arrived but has slowed down due to injuries from poor offensive line play.
Todd Bowles had enough of the mental errors following consecutive penalties in today’s practice. At that point he stopped practice and made the team do sprints for the next five or so minutes. Backup lineman Darius James went down after the sprints from what looked like possible exhaustion/dehydration.
As for the quarterbacks the reps continue to favor Sam Darnold. In the two 11-on-11 sessions, Darnold almost doubled Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown in total reps. What’s even more positive was that both Darnold and Bridgewater had phenomenal practices. Teddy opened 11-on-11s with a strike to Clive Walford down the seam for 20 yards. He followed that up with a 15 yard curl route to the chest of Quincy Enunwa. Bridgewater seems to becoming more comfortable in the pocket. His judgment on reading plays and understanding the correct throw has progressed immensely since day one of camp.
As for the kid, Darnold received a ton of reps in practice while showing flashes of solid connection with Robby Anderson. The two linked up multiple times during 11-on-11s for easy completions. Darnold’s best completion of the day came from a 25 yard seam route to Walford. After going through his progressions he saw Walford in the middle of the field, and proceeded to fire a strike in a perfect high location for Walford to go up and get it.
The quarterbacks were also gifted the return of Isaiah Crowell, who practiced today after missing week two of preseason with a concussion.
With week three around the corner the Jets look to gear up for their most important preseason game.
“We do more game planning and watching film,” Linebacker Avery Williamson said after practice. “We have to make sure to polish up on the mistakes. As a defense we’re doing good things but we have to be more consistent.”
Other notes from today include Trumaine Johnson sitting out after straining his hamstring in the game against Washington. Bowles said that it was done out of precaution. Trenton Cannon returned a few punts during drills but saw significantly less work than Andre Roberts and Lucky Whitehead.