- Craig Gorbunoff
New York Jets Training Camp Report
This weekend marked the start of New York Jets Camp, and you best believe Interstate of Green was there. Prior to going I found myself wondering, what would the atmosphere be like? I was so used to going under Rex Ryan’s regime, I wondered what would be different. I wanted to see Geno Smith play quarterback and see how he’s progressing. I wanted to see Leonard Williams play on the D-line, and I couldn’t wait to see Brandon Marshall and Darelle Revis face off. Well I got to see all of those things.
Lets start with the atmosphere. While it was very similar it still seemed very different. At today’s camp many former Jets players were there signing autographs. Even got to see a couple of New York Jets Super Bowl Rings. It seemed more family friendly, but at the same time practice seemed more professional. There were bleachers for fans to sit, not just crowd the fence. It was slightly more removed from the players, but in some ways I preferred that, gave me a better vantage point and I felt the players were more about business.
Geno Smith is as good as everyone has been saying this offseason. I’ve seen him in camp every year since they drafted him. Prior to this year he always came off as sluggish. His throws didn’t have zip, he seemed a step slow. Today he was a leader; he threw the ball hard and accurately. He read the field and the only interceptions thrown were in drills where Revis and Marshall were going one on one. Overall I was very impressed by the third year QB. I will say Fitzpatrick did not look great to me, balls were often in the dirt. But rookie Bryce Petty looked great with the backups, but don’t let that go to your head they’re backups for a reason.
Leonard Williams by every stretch of the imagination earns the nickname “Big Cat”. He plays with the viciousness of a lion, and it seemed about every play he was breaking through the offensive lion and creating havoc for the quarterback. I will say I think he needs to do a better job of backside contain on running plays, but that can be worked on. Plus much of this issue I noticed came when Mohammed Wilkerson left the field due to a tweaked hamstring. And in case you’re wondering, Sheldon Richardson did not play with the 1st string at all, even with Mo leaving the field, only the backups. Another rookie that looked good was Lorenzo Mauldin, got penetration and also looked great in Special Teams drills.
Lastly, what most people like to see was the skill positions. Before I get into the big names, I do have to highlight a few people lower on the depth chart. Chris Owusu was as good as everyone has been saying. Marcus Williams made some great pass defenses. Eric Decker runs the best routes I think I’ve ever seen by any receiver, his breaks are incredible. I think 1 person on each side of the ball that needs work is obviously Dee Milliner on defense and on offense I wasn’t too impressed by Jeremy Kerely. But now to the big matchup. If I had to declare a winner I would say it was Darrelle Revis, but Brandon Marshall many times was able to use his big frame and box out Revis to make his catches. He even had a one handed grab on the sideline that was breath taking. All in all I think against a corner not named Revis, Marshall looked unstoppable.
All in all the team looked sharp on both sides of the ball. Obviously we won’t be able to tell how good they are or can be until the preseason starts. But I am feeling optimistic about this teams chances to at least be competitive again and not an embarrassment. I see them being an above 500 team. Regardless of this though we can all agree on one thing, thank god football season is back!
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