Florham Park, NJ – On day five, things got messy. Really messy. Today was a mistake-filled practice, from the offensive side of the ball at least, and it wasn’t pretty to watch and the players and coaches were frustrated by their overall performance today.
Maybe it was the off day yesterday, that tends to happen in training camp, and maybe it was the fact that it was a heavy install day practicing red zone situations, but whatever it was it needs to get better. Even if you’re on team tank, you’ll still want to see better than today. Between dropped passes, penalties and a ridiculous amount of sacks the offense had an all around awful day. The good news is the defense looked really good, the less good news is even if the defense hadn’t looked really good the offense still would have looked bad.
1) Drops – The drops started early in practice, before they even started team drills, and they continued throughout the rest of the day. Many of the drops were from slightly off target passes, usually behind the receiver, but that might have been an adequate excuse if there were only one or two drops. Instead we’re still talking about close to double digit drops. After taking over the team periods during Tuesday’s practice Quincy Enunwa dropped three passes on the day, Robby Anderson had a couple of drops, tight ends were joining the drop party and rookie Chad Hansen had an easy drop as well. It was a rough day for Hansen, but we’ll get to that in the penalty section of these observations.
It wasn’t a good day for the quarterbacks either, more on that in the sacks section of the observations, but the receivers could have made the quarterbacks look much better if they could have just caught the ball.
2) Penalties – Not just penalties, a ton of false starts and considering they were running mostly red zone packages those types of mistakes are simply inexcusable. They’re fortunate it was only a training camp practice, but they only have so many of those before the games become real and those false start penalties can end up costing them points. Hansen had three false start penalties himself, he also had a fumble in the red zone which was scooped up by a defender. Todd Bowles has all players run laps after committing a penalty and it felt like Hansen spent the majority of the team period running laps.
This Jets offense is going to have it’s struggles this year, regardless of who is playing and who they are playing against, they certainly can’t afford to shoot themselves in the foot like they did today and expect to put points on the board. It was just one practice littered with penalties and again it was on a heavy install day, so you have to think/hope they can figure this out but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.
3) Sacks – This is year I’ll focus most of the credit on the defense, the offensive line and the quarterbacks need to do better (there were a lot of quick sacks and too many where the quarterbacks stepped up into the sack) but mostly it was the defensive front dominating. The big boys upfront got the push on the offensive line all day and earned themselves a few sacks but for the most part it seemed to be the linebackers cleaning up the plate set by the defensive line. Julian Stanford was flying all over the place today, off the edge, up the middle, it didn’t matter where he came from he continually found himself ending up in the backfield. Demario Davis got in on the action as well, he has strung together a few really impressive practices in a row and looks like a totally different, and far more confident, player.
The defensive line got plenty of sacks on their own, it was hard to see through the crowd to credit all the sacks (but Leonard Williams definitely caused a number of them and had numerous impressive plays against the run) but they all got in on the fun and there was a lot of fun to go around as there were 12 sacks during team drills.
Between the drops, penalties and sacks the excuses are there for the quarterbacks lackluster play, but once again there simply wasn’t much to get excited about. In fact Bryce Petty, who got more reps today than he has any other day, had the best day. Josh McCown looked awful and Christian Hackenberg was somewhere in between. We keep debating which quarterback had the best day, but the more accurate way to describe it would be who had the least bad day and today that was Petty.
Bonus – Jamal Adams sprained his ankle early in practice and was held out for the rest of practice. Bowles wasn’t overly concerned and shortly after practice had ended Adams tweeted that he was okay so know need to worry but the Jets would be wise to play it safe and give him another day or two off just to be sure.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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