The New York Jets have started training camp and the excitement for football is back in the air. Finally, after a long spring, football season is once again right around the corner. This past week, I was able to head out to Florham Park to watch the Jets practice as they prepare for the 2015 NFL season. One observation is clear, things are much different now that Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles are running the show.
From the start of practice, the overall attention to detail is clear this season for the Jets’ coaching staff. For example, when watching wide receiver drills, coaches paid very close attention to the routes run by the receivers. If a receiver made a wrong cut, the coaches were on them right away instructing them on how to do it for the next time. There is a very business-like feel to practice this year.
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When it comes to the game of football, there is no position more important than quarterback. For the past two seasons, quarterback Geno Smith has been wildly inconsistent. While it has only been a few days, it seems as if Smith is starting to show his true potential. Through the early days of camp so far, Smith has has been very impressive.
On Saturday, the third year quarterback from West Virginia made an excellent throw to hit WR Chris Owusu for a big gain down the field, which drew loud cheers from the fans in the bleachers. Smith also has great chemistry with pro bowl receiver Brandon Marshall. Smith and Marshall connected for many completions in the teams 7 vs 7 and 11 vs 11 drills.
Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) and quarterback Geno Smith (7) during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
If a cornerback is being talked about a lot, that is most likely not a good thing. So far in camp, two of the newest cornerbacks in the mix have not been talked about a lot, and that is simply because they are doing an excellent job. Both Buster Skrine and Darrelle Revis have been solid so far in camp for the Jets. Revis has consistently lined up against Marshall and Eric Decker and shut them down. Skrine has lined up mostly in the slot, playing the 3rd cornerback role behind Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Skrine has also held his own out there and performed well in his role.
In the case of most rookies, it normally takes them a good amount of time to adjust to the NFL. But in the case of first round pick Leonard Williams, the former USC star looks like a seasoned veteran. With Sheldon Richardson getting time with the second team due to his four-game suspension, Williams has seen a bunch of time with the starting defense and has certainly made his presence known. On one play, Williams was able to get by the offense line and cause havoc in the backfield and he blew up a running play designed for Chris Ivory.
Overall, it has been a very promising start to training camp for the New York Jets. Finally, football season is back.