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OTAs are important but not the true test that awaits

By Luis Tirado Jr.
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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As the New York Jets continue their organized team activities, remember, it’s not the true test that ultimately awaits.

During organized team activities, it’s important to remember something in the grand scheme of things. These are just players in shorts, t-shirts, and most importantly, no football pads. It’s basically light football activities sprinkled in with some basic positional drills. The New York Jets have had several OTAs already with some news here and some news there about all the new players on the team showing some major potential.

Whether Sam Darnold lights it up during organized team activities or Isaiah Crowell does well when running with the football, it should all be taken with a grain of salt. OTAs are merely light prep work for when the real test begins.

That is, of course, training camp. It’s all fine and dandy that some players are performing well in these basic drills but at the end of the day, it’s just warmup for the real deal in about a month. This year, Jets training camp will feature a plethora of positional battles and competitions to get down to the final roster heading into the upcoming season.

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It’s good to see a lot of players, especially those still rehabbing back from injuries attending OTAs but it won’t mean much if they don’t prove their worth when it matters most in training camp. From the quarterback position, wide receiver corps, and even the Jets defensive line, a lot of players are not only competing to stick around but hoping to showcase enough to be worth keeping around for 2018.

Fans shouldn’t expect much or believe that any particular player will be ready for what awaits in training camp. Those that are playing well now can fizzle out by then and as always, new names emerge as potential hidden gems in the rough.

Wouldn’t it be great to find that next great pass rusher? What about finding an offensive weapon that can do crazy damage through multiple ways on offense and special teams? Wouldn’t it be nice to see Darnold or even Teddy Bridgewater emerge as the clear-cut starter under center for Week 1? All this and more awaits in training camp as what happens now during OTAs doesn’t mean much until then.

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