New York Jets’ OTA Report: McDougle Debuts, Decker Shines


Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Heath Farwell (55) in the third quarter in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets had their weekly practice open to the media today, as well as open locker room and a Rex Ryan press conference. The two main stories of the day were that Dexter McDougle finally got to remove the red non-contact jersey and participate fully in practice and that Eric Decker had a great day, especially in the end zone.

McDougle getting back this quickly took Rex Ryan by surprise as he was worried when the Jets drafted him that he might not get back quick enough to make a difference:

Interesting. Rex admits he was cautious about drafting McDougle because of injury/lack of reps. Credits Idzik, DT and scouts for pick. #NYJ

— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) June 11, 2014

Ryan also added that he challenged McDougle before practice and came away impressed with the rookie:

Rex on McDougle – “I called him out in front of the whole team & I thought he was impressive.” #Jets

— (@JetsInsider) June 11, 2014

Here is one of the reasons why he was impressed:

McDougle cheating a bit here for OTA’s. Jams Amaro at the line w/ a little stiff arm to the chest #Jets

— Chris Nimbley (@Cnimbley) June 11, 2014

Eric Decker had a good day today making a number of nice catches, especially in red zone drills:

Decker with a pair of great catches, second one ruled incomplete in end zone but it looked like he dragged both feet to me #Jets

— Chris Nimbley (@Cnimbley) June 11, 2014

Eric Decker dominating in a red-zone drill. Jets had only 8 red-zone TD catches last season; Decker had 7 with the Peytons. #nyj

— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 11, 2014

Decker also showed some leadership qualities while talking to both Jace Amaro and the media:

Special Teams period just wrapped. Eric Decker spent the entire time with Sanjay Lal discussing routes/formations. #NYJ

— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) June 11, 2014

Decker with some quick words of advice for Amaro in between sets #Jets

— Chris Nimbley (@Cnimbley) June 11, 2014

“He’s a very mature kid at the age he’s at.” – Eric Decker on Geno Smith.

— Dan Leberfeld (@jetswhispers) June 11, 2014

Decker on Rex Ryan standing up for him in wake of the CMA Music Award dust up:

“That’s what so great about Rex Ryan, and really this organization,” Decker said. “Everyone here is a family. You take care of one another. That’s how you build a winning culture. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and for him to stand up and say that means a lot for me.”

Decker’s play on the field, the extra work with coaches and fellow receivers as well as his media savvy make him a de facto locker room leader and he is handling it well so far.

In other good news Dee Milliner practiced and did not have any ill effects coming from his hamstring tightness. Rex Ryan clarified that is not a hamstring pull of any kind, they were just exercising a large amount of caution.

Next week is mandatory mini-camp. It’s basically the same practice schedule except it’s mandatory. Next week we should get another advance in the Mike Goodson story. Hopefully they excuse him and keep him away from the rest of the team until they release him which seems to be the way they are heading. We’ll see next week.