Expect running back Bilal Powell to see a lot of touches Friday against the Lions
As I make sure to do at least once a year, I took the long drive up to SUNY Cortland to watch the New York Jets practice. Just as I always do, I set myself up on the 50 yard line and anxiously awaited the start of practice. It turns out that Santonio Holmes’ father was standing right next to me. He was a great guy and had many awesome stories about his son. Before long, it was time for practice. Here are just some of my observations from camp today.
1. The D-Line is VERY Deep– Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Kenrick Ellis, Antonio Garay, Legar Douzable, Damon Harrison, sometimes Quinton Coples, and others make the defensive line one of the strongest units on the team and it is quite evident during practice. One thing that stand out right away is the quickness. These guys can really move and get after the QB or the ball carrier. Although they only went up against the first team offensive line a few times, it was evident that these guys are going to be tough to stop this year. I expect Wilkerson, Richardson, and Coples to be the leaders of the Jets defense for years to come. Look for big years from the Jets D-Line.
2. Geno vs Mark– It has been talked about everyday and it will continue to be a hot topic until one guy is officially named the starter. Today at practice everything was sort of at “half tempo” since the Jets have their first game on Friday. I will say that Sanchez had two nice passes to Clyde Gates in the endzone during practice and Geno threw a beauty to TE Chris Pantale for a nice 40 yard completion towards the end of practice. I will say this, by just being at camp it is quite evident that this is a legit QB competition. No guy got more reps than the other and it did not seem at any point that one guy had an advantage. Overall it was a pretty quiet day for the QB’s, but both still had some promising moments even during half speed.
3. Rex Ryan is more involved In the offense– Compared to recent years, in my opinion it seems that Rex is getting much more involved in practice. At one point today Rex even ran downfield to try to make a play on a kickoff. More importantly, many times I saw Rex talking with the offense and going over certain strategies and tactics that they will most likely use on Friday. In my opinion, I have no problem with Rex getting involved, and hope to see more of it during practice.
4. Safety Competition– We know that Dawan Landry will be one starter, but who will line up next to him week 1 vs Tampa Bay? If you asked me a few weeks ago, my guess would have been Josh Bush, but at this point it seems that Bush will serve as Landry’s backup this year. Instead Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett seem to be battling it out for the starting spot. They each rotated in and out during practice today, but it was hard for either to stand out since they did not hit during practice today. If I had to guess, I would say Allen wins the job. But maybe it is just a hunch of mine, but do not be shocked if you see Kyle Wilson takes some reps at the Safety spot this preseason.
Overall, this practice was pretty much just a tune up/ walk through type practice before heading to Detroit. The things I mentioned are just some of my observations. I highly recommend trying to go catch a practice this offseason! As always, thanks for reading.