TheJetsBlog’s guide to training camp in Cortland (with map)

cortland jets camp

Jets players reported Wednesday afternoon to SUNY Cortland in Cortland, NY to begin training camp for their first practice on Thursday, July 24 at 10 a.m.

Brian Bassett,

For most football fans, it is all about the sixteen regular seasons games. But for my money, I love Jets training camp. I love watching young players improve from year to year, to see NFLers work on technique and skill up close, witness who the vocal leaders are of any position group and watch what wrinkles the coaches work into the play packages. But most of all, I love to see players fighting for roster spots and working to make every rep count before the team winnows the roster from 90 players to just 53.

To me, it is thrilling.

During practice days, the team trains on two practice fields at the west end of the SUNY Cortland campus. Signage is well marked as you enter town from any highway exit of I-81 and the parking is a short walk to the fields. On the way, be sure to check out the Jets Fan Fest which has souvenirs and activities for kids.


As far as watching the players? The areas where fans can roam are slimmer than at Mets camp, but there’s generally plenty of room to get close to the fence and watch the team. There are small sets of stands set up which would provide good perspective on both fields, and the best viewing spots where you won’t have to move much would be along the sidelines on the field where the filming towers are set up for the day. Generally, only one field gets the towers and that’s the field where they do offense on defensive scrimmaging toward the end of practice, and that’s generally the most exciting part of the practice.

For the uninitiated, practice is an ever broadening confluence. Players start with stretches and warm-ups. Then do some warm up work with their position group. The warm-ups turn into drills that might include another position group (ie. quarterbacks throwing to receivers) and then those drills begin to include opposing players (ie. quarterbacks throwing to receivers with defensive backs in coverage) until it is full eleven-on-eleven scrimmaging.

Also, be sure to check out which players are on the small side field on the bike or doing conditioning work. It might tell you who is dealing with injuries and who likely won’t be practicing. This year I’ve christened the conditioning field The Santonio Holmes Memorial Field. No, not really.

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GEICO SportsNite: The Jets arrive in Cortland

As the Jets arrive in Cortland, Rex Ryan and Sheldon Richardson discuss the team’s optimism heading into training camp, and Michael Vick, Geno Smith, and Ryan talk about the QB situation.

Photo Gallery: Jets players arriving in Cortland

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Despite the rain, Jets player made it to Cortland yesterday. Take a look at some of the images captured during their arrival.

Jets training camp preview: Quarterbacks

We will be providing position-by-position breakdowns during the start of Jets training camp.  For now, we focus on the quarterbacks.

Brian Bassett,

On the roster: Geno Smith, Michael Vick, Matt Simms, Tajh Boyd

Michael Vick

What role will Michael Vick play for the Jets in 2014?

2013 notes: Geno Smith was the Jets 2013 season at quarterback, with a few sprinklings of Matt Simms during Geno’s worst moments.  A lot has been written about Geno and his 2013 season, for two good pieces read Bent’s BGA on Geno’s use from the shotgun and this one after his win over the Browns.  While the stat line wasn’t pretty for Geno (3,046 yards, 55.8% completion percentage, 12 TDs, 21 INT, 4 FUM) he had a great finish to the season over his last four games putting up four touchdowns and just two interceptions.  While some might point to the ease of the schedule, his steady though not spectacular game against a peaking Carolina defense was the most compelling game for me.

Smith struggled much of the season, but showed promise over the last month of the season and as a result he enters training camp as the player that the Jets hope can hold onto his starting job.

Matt Simms saw time in mop-up work for Smith, but never gave anyone a compelling reason for him to become the team’s starter.

With Sanchez injured and David Garrard acting more as coach than viable quarterback the team didn’t have much of a choice?  Geno Smith or Brady Quinn?  There were no options for the Jets when Smith played poorly, which made the 8-8 team live and die by their quarterback.

Overall outlook:  If everything goes to the Jets’ plan, Geno Smith will be the starter for this team from Weeks 1-17. It’s not often that anything goes according to plan for any NFL football team, so no one should be surprised if Vick sees time during the course of the season.

Adding Michael Vick to this team give the jets a viable (though less compelling year by year) option on the bench.

Rex Ryan the cardinal sin for quarterback is turning the ball over and putting his defense in a bad spot. For Geno Smith, it comes down to his ability to hold onto the football and move the chains. If he can do that than Rex feels confident his rebuilt defense can do the job. If Smith can’t hold onto the football, then Rex will have a quarterback in Vick who might not be the playmaker he once was, but should be able to do enough to keep this team afloat.

Camp competition:  The field is obviously tilted towards Geno Smith, so don’t expect too much in the way of competition between Smith and Vick.  Vick has downplayed it, the coaches have talked it up … which is it?  Vick will likely see less snaps than Smith and that will be a function of Smith’s need to soak up more time on the field compared to Vick’s familiarity with the offense.  The only way I see a real competition is if Geno Smith’s turnovers are so bad they can’t be ignored.

Instead, where the competition might be fiercest will be at the third quarterback spot between Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd.  Since Vick only signed a one-year deal with the Jets, the team might be auditioning their third stringer as the eventual long-term backup for the team’s top quarterback.

Chris Johnson addresses the media

Rex: CJ2K ‘flying’ during Jets conditioning test

It might have been a slow start for new Jet running back Chris Johnson this spring, but it seems that his pace picked up rather quickly, during his first day of training camp in Cortland, New York.

Jets coach Rex Ryan characterized Chris Johnson’s speed during his conditioning test as “flying” after holding Johnson back in the spring for precautionary measures. (ESPN NY, July 23)

Johnson was medically cleared by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews after OTAs to participate in training camp.

“I’m pretty good,” Johnson told ESPN NY on Wednesday. “I’m ready to do whatever they ask me to do.”

Brian Bassett,

It will be very interesting to watch Chris Johnson over training camp and see how much they use them. Rex Ryan is known to often put proven veterans on “pitch counts” to avoid injury and save their strength for the regular-season.

It’s good to see that Johnson is at full speed and any concerns about his workload will likely diminish if he has a smooth training camp.. Pairing Johnson with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell could prove to be a pretty potent running attack for whoever quarterbacks this team this season.

Daily Links: Babin Time

  • Jets confident, but ‘talking won’t get it done’ [USA Today]
  • Jets Report To Cortland, Vow To Back Up Rhetoric With Hard Work [WFAN]
  • Wilkerson on Rex’s comments: ‘We’ve got to back him up’ [Star-Ledger]
  • TOJ Jets Roster Preview – Will the Jets’ Offensive Line Be Better? [TOJ]
  • Rex Ryan insists Jason Babin has ‘got plenty left in the tank’ [The Star-Ledger]
  • NFL pundits agree: Giants, Jets decidedly mediocre [NY Post]
  • New York Jets’ optimism is measured [ESPN: AFC East Blog]
  • 3 story lines to watch as Jets open training camp [Metro]
  • Plax discusses his infamous self-shooting incident. [VICE]

BGA: Scouting Jason Babin

Earlier today, the Jets announced that they had signed 34-year old pass rusher Jason Babin. Babin, a two-time pro bowler had worked out for the Jets on Monday and will presumably be in the mix for a situational pass rushing role, with Antwan Barnes currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

The 6-3, 267-pound Babin was a first round draft pick in 2004 and has made stops with several teams since then. He was a pro bowler with Tennessee in 2010 when he registered 12.5 sacks, but he topped that in 2011 with the Eagles when he led the league with 18 sacks and was named as an all-pro. While he hasn’t threatened that number since, he did have seven sacks in 2012 and 7.5 last year.

After the jump we review footage from the 2013 season to try and assess what he still has in the tank and how he might fit into the Jets defense.

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In case you missed it…

Bent recently wrapped up an epic six part series sharing exclusive data on how often Jets players were double teamed in 2013 and then analyzing what we can learn from this. Here are the links in case you want to catch up with this before camp gets underway.

In part one, there’s an explanation of the charting process, together with some examples of different types of double teams and how they’ve been treated in the numbers. Read more here.

Part two went into details of how often each Jets defensive lineman was doubled in the running game and what conclusions we can (and can’t) draw from this. Read more here.

In part three, the process was repeated for the pass rush. Read more here.

Part four saw us make comparisons between the numbers for the Jets nose tackles and other players around the league. How did Kenrick Ellis’ numbers compare with other backups like Ishmai’ily Kitchen? How do Damon Harrison’s numbers stack up with an elite nose tackle like Dontari Poe? Read more here.

The penultimate instalment saw us focusing on Muhammad Wilkerson. Did he see more double teams in 2013? Does he tend to see more double teams than those players who’ve been named to the pro bowl or on top player lists ahead of him? Read more here.

Finally, we looked at Quinton Coples, making an effort to compare him with someone used in a similar manner because a comparison with conventional edge rushers was proven to be inadequate for these purposes. Read more here.

Rex: Geno ‘head and shoulders’ above last year, all players conditioned

Geno Smith is already “head and shoulders” above where he was last year, Rex Ryan said as he arrived to camp on Wednesday (Waszak, July 23).

Still, Ryan wouldn’t put a timetable on when he would announce who would be the starting quarterback.

Ryan said this is the best QB situation he’s had since he’s been here. This is Rex’s sixth season as head coach of the Jets.

Ryan also said that all players have passed conditioning tests. The reason Willie Colon and Antwan Barnes were both placed on the active/physically unable to perform list earlier was just so the Jets could be “smart with them.”