What I Saw at Training Camp: Defense, Day Two


Friday marked our second of four days at Jets training camp in Cortland, New York. Here’s some impressions from what I saw on defense today.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Catch as catch can

It’s always hard to tell who would be credited with sacks in no-contact scrimmages, but it looked to me as if Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples would have gotten the credit for a sack apiece had it been a game situation.  Sheldon Richardson had another play in which he broke through the line and got close to Mike Vick, but was unable to corral him before Vick scampered out of the pocket and out of Richardson’s grasp.

This defensive line and rush linebacking unit is a pick your poison situation for most any opponent.  Taking away one player only means that other people will come free at other areas.  It is clear that the Jets will have any opponent’s attention up the middle and opponents can commit double teams easily.  With a svelter Coples along with additions like Jason Babin and Antwan Barnes (if he can get back on the field soon) this is a formidable group that can pressure the passer quickly and effectively.  With a young secondary and a defensive holding rule emphasis this year the best way to avoid the penalties and coverage breakdowns will be for the group to get to the quarterback and get him off his spot by any means necessary.

Am I off on my coverage?

I can’t be sure yet if I am selectively remembering things, but I think that the Jets have been playing a lot of off-man coverage in their defense.  This is notable because the Jets have used a rather aggressive man-coverage scheme in the past and what I can’t be sure of is whether or not the off-man coverage is a result of being early in camp or a deliberate move to try and draw less penalties with the rule emphasis on defensive holding this year.

Playmake on, playmaker

David Harris and Demario Davis are cornerstones of this defense, and one area in which they will need to play well this year will be in coverage.  Today both players had good days in that regard.  Davis stuck well with a receiver and batted a Mike Vick pass.  Harris batted a pass near the line of scrimmage that he tipped to himself for an interception.  It was a nifty play by Harris and it seems apparent that the defense knows that they will need to do a better job of helping create turnovers for this defense this year.  Rex talked at length yesterday about the continuum of how the offense and defense can help each other and turnovers was one of the areas that he brought up.  In talking to players.  It’s clear that it’s point of emphasis and that they want to become a more opportunistic playmaking defense.

Lightning round

  • Milliner had a great pass break up on a slightly underthrown long ball to Eric Decker.  Milliner was positioned perfectly, made a good move and defensed the pass.
  • Antonio Allen’s work has left me wanting during his man-coverage drills.
  • Babin saw most of his time on both sides of the second team defense, but did have a few snaps at the end of practice with the first teamers.

What I Saw at Training Camp: Offense, Day Two


Friday marked our second of four days at Jets training camp in Cortland, New York. Here’s some impressions from what I saw on offense today.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Please stop worrying about rookie tight end Jace Amaro

Today Amaro addressed the media after practice and fielded a number of questions.  I had one that I really cared about getting an answer to, which was “how much of what your role on a play is contingent on what you read from the defense?”

Amaro’s response was instantaneous and that on “every play” that is in fact the case.

This only plays into our assumption that Amaro is taking on the “F” receiver role for this offense, which this year will be a new wrinkle thanks to Amaro and his skill set. We’ve written extensively about the F receiver and 12 packages, but the simple version is that Amaro represents the pivot point for this offense when he’s on the field. It will be his job to read what the defense is set up for and to react accordingly and run the right route or take on the right responsibility according to the defense.

Amaro comes from a role at Texas Tech where he was deployed in a dead-simple spread offense and had little distinction in his role based on situational football. Doing what he is now being asked to do for Marty Mornhinweg is the antithesis of what he did at Texas Tech.  We fully expect that he will adjust in time, but worry that early overanalyzing of his plays and missteps on his part or someone else’s (which was the case on his bobbled pass today) might not get him off on the right foot with folks who follow the team.

As a blocker, he got a long way to refine his technique.  There were plays on some edge sealing blocks where his hands were out of position which could bring flags.

Amaro is going to be productive for this team in time, but TE is a role that can take at least a year or two to reach peak productivity for young players.

Listen in on part of the Amaro group interview: 

Geno and Vick’s deep passes are fun to watch

After watching Mark Sanchez and some of the Jets quarterbacks in training camp in years past it has been fun to watch the strength and accuracy with which the duo can throw deep passes.  The ease with which Vick throws a deep pass is a thing of beauty and yesterday Rex Ryan waxed about Vick’s abilities.  “It’s amazing how God touches people differently and certainly he gave this young man (Vick) so much ability, and he does things.  That ball is going 50 yards and it’s like ‘what?’”  Geno is no slouch either.  Smith was one of the league’s better deep passers as a rookie and that might only get better with a second year in the offense.  Often in year’s past receivers would be slowing down for passes or moving back to the ball … I will say I’ve not seen a lot of that so far in the two days of training camp.

The Hill has eyes To read more of this story, click here

Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson: ‘I’m underpaid,’ but…

Muhammad Wilkerson says he’s underpaid. But… he knows his time will come.

“Do I feel that I’m underpaid right now? Yeah,” Wilkerson said (Mehta, July 24). “But that’s part of the business. My time will come when I get a new contract. But right now I’m just worried about becoming a better player, a better teammate and a better leader.”

Wilkerson is coming off an All-Pro season and is earning $1.2 million this year. This is the final year of his rookie contract.

“We recognize that Mo is a huge part of who we are in building our team,” Rex Ryan said. “John (Idzik) will tell you that. Everybody in this organization will tell you the kind of person Mo is. If you had your druthers, you do want to pay your own. That means you drafted well. They’re part of your fabric for a long time. Your fan base identifies with those players.”


What happened at Training Camp today?

SNY’s Andrew Johnston and Leonard Orman are at Jets Training Camp, and here’s their dispatch of what they saw and heard from Day Two of camp…


  • Team morale is the best I’ve seen in my five years with the team. We’ll see how that plays out once the pads are on.
  • Quarterbacks: Looking good. Geno is clearly ahead of Vick. Interesting to watch the competition between Boyd and Simms. Boyd has been turnover happy. Simms likely winning the third spot.
  • Running Backs: They have been working hard on pass protection. Ivory is lightyears ahead of CJ2K in that department. Both have had sure hands catching the ball out of the backfield.
  • Tight Ends: Amaro dropped balls today. Rex said he needed to clean it up. Overall I’ve been impressed by their performance. Rex also commended the group today by saying the three (Cumberland, Amaro, and Sudfeld) are all “Very Good”.
  • DB’s: Guys are working on their jam off the line if scrimmage. Patterson and McDougle have embraced the contact. Milliner rather run with receivers.

To read more of this story, click here

TheJetsBlog Podcast: Camping in Cortland

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are in training camp mode, with Brian reporting from on site in Cortland. Quinton Coples checks in, and the guys cover all the news, notes, sights, and sounds from camp so far.

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For the show rundown, click here...
  • News Hits
    • Jason Babin
    • Eric Decker
    • Mo Wilkerson
    • Idzik and the media
    • Geno Smith
  • Quinton Coples Interview (14:15)
  • Unit Previews: Cornerbacks & Safeties (28:30)
  • Training Camp Predictions (49:00)

Idzik: No No. 1 QB right now

There is no No. 1 quarterback right now, GM John Idzik said on Friday.

Despite Geno Smith getting roughly 75 percent of the snaps with the first team, Idzik said that the competition is “not tilted at all.”

Idzik earlier “laughed off” QB decision questions, according to TJB’s Brian Bassett (Twitter, July 25).

The Jets have maintained that this will be an open competition between Smith and Michael Vick, but Vick seems to already know where he stands.

“Even though it’s not an open competition, we’re both competing every day,” Vick said earlier this offseason (Walder, May 22). “I assume Geno would be the starter,” if they both play similarly, he said.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The consensus from the assembled media will be that Idzik danced around and didn’t answer questions.  But they were questions that were either poorly based, unanswerable at this point, or ones without considering Idzik’s framework and core beliefs on building and operating the team.

Idzik said multiple times that competition doesn’t equate to the number of repetitions and that the concept should also permeate to all aspects of practice of the weight room and so on.  For instance Idzik suggested that if a player who is not taking a rep sees something he should come back and help the player who made the mistake or didn’t see something.

The point is that this merry go round will keep going around until something is made official.

TJB Friday Chat – 2pm ET

Join us at 2:00pm ET for our weekly TJB chat.

In order to access the room, you must now sign up for a chatzy account at chatzy.com – click where it says log in/sign up in the top right hand corner. Obviously if you registered already, you can log into your existing account. You will then be able to access the room at the usual address – Chatzy.com/TJB where this week’s password is pompomwaving.

Apologies for this extra requirement, but it will allow us to moderate the chat more effectively and prevent any abuse or vulgarity. The action gets underway at 2:00pm ET.