Jul 26, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Matt Simms (5) and Mark Sanchez (6) and Geno Smith (7) drop back to pass during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Training camp is in full swing, isn’t it great? The team is working hard, and the competitions are in full force. Finally, football is back. It’s time to look ahead to the fall, as we see our 2013 New York Jets get put together into the product we will see week one.
Many fans get the opportunity to head up to SUNY Cortland and see the team practice. For those of us that aren’t afforded the time, we have to live vicariously through reports and tweets from the people in attendance. This morning, I wanted to give you guys a few reminders to keep in mind, while reading these reports.
DEFENSE IS ALWAYS AHEAD OF THE OFFENSE EARLY
Whenever any team’s training camp opens, you are going to hear more positive plays from the defensive side of the ball than the offensive, initially. The defense gets their part down far quicker, and the system has been in place for a long time here. They are predominantly concerned with getting after the football, and personal technique. That will always be ahead of schedule.
Add that to the fact that the offense is learning a new system again, and you know that the offense will be behind. This early in camp, it’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s just the way it is.
DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN BY QB COMPETITION STATS
Many of the mainstream media will write about this, to generate interest in their Twitter accounts and pages alike. What am I talking about? Individual stats in the quarterback competition, that’s what. You can guarantee that on several accounts, you will see both Mark and Geno’s completions and attempts, after each practice.
My advice: please don’t get bogged down by this information.
First of all, look at the two guys. One has trouble with accuracy, and the other is a rookie. Do you think there might be a couple of interceptions during camp? Duh. I would be shocked if there weren’t any. There will always be interceptions during camp. It truly doesn’t mean a lot, unless they increase as camp goes along.
Secondly, look at the past. Last summer, Mark blew Tim out of the water, statistically. Not that it wasn’t expected, but he did, completing nearly 70% of his passes during camp. How did that work out for us? Not very well. The stats mean very little.
Instead, when you are reading, look for concepts. Who is putting the ball consistently in the right place? Who is leading? Who is making the strong throws? If you want insight into the QB competition, look more generally instead of the specifics with the stats.
READ THE OPINIONS OF MANY
If you don’t have the chance to head to practice (myself included), don’t limit yourself to reading one or two accounts of the events. Read several. Take a look at Cimini, Coz, Jake Steinberg, Kristian Dyer, ..etc….as many as possible. Why do I say this?
For one, if the opinions of specific players/plays are similar, you get an idea of really how good/bad they are. If everyone is making similar comments, it will give you a unique insight as to what is happening on the football field. If everyone is talking about a particular throw, you know just how good it was, for example.
Then again, if the opinions differ, you know that the play is questionable, or maybe not that important. If people don’t see the same thing, you question what is going on, and maybe put it out of your mind a bit.
There you have it, some reminders as we get into camp.