Photo: Junior equipment managers


The New York Jets ask children from the crowd each day if they want to help the players with their pads and jerseys after practice.  Here are two of Saturday’s junior equipment team helping TE Jeff Cumberland.

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Amaro confident, looking for big 2015 campaign

After he struggled as a rookie last year, Jets TE Jace Amaro is looking to make an impression during his second NFL season.

Amaro, a 2014 second-round draft pick out of Texas Tech, finished his college career with 1,352 receiving yards — second-most in school history. But in his first year with the Jets, Amaro grabbed just 38 passes for 345 yards (July 4, TheJetsBlog).

The tight end said now that he’s had a year under his belt, he feels more ready and mature for the upcoming season (Aug. 1).

“I feel more confident in myself,” Amaro said at training camp. “I feel more glued to the system. I feel ready to go. I’m not a rookie. I’m going into my second year. I’ve seen it all. I played against some pretty good teams last season. I’ve seen a lot of defenses in practice and in games. I feel like I’ve got a lot more used to the speed. I think that’s the biggest thing, just adapting to that. I feel a lot more comfortable.”

Brian Bassett,

Last year at this time Amaro’s head was swimming with the new concepts that were being put on him in training camp.  His role in Marty Mornhinweg‘s offense was that of the “F” tight end, a role which has its routes determined by both the offensive playcall AND the defensive alignment.

While we’re sure there is some situational awareness based on what the defense shows in Chan Gailey‘s scheme, the basis of his responsibilities in 2015 will be more familiar for Amaro thanks to his days in a spread-oriented offense at Texas Tech.  

Even though this regime didn’t draft Amaro, Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan are pragmatic enough to know that it is in their best interests to see if Amaro can be their long-term answer, and this year could go a long way to prove it.  Watching Amaro, I still see a player who can labor at times when he is catching and running with the ball; I’m not mistaking him for a Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates … but if he keeps at it, projecting him to become a Jason Witten or Heath Miller-type player is a real possibility.

One of the best things I’ve seen is that he is getting significantly better as a blocker.  That’s a good thing because it means it will keep him on the field for more snaps.  More snaps mean more potential for targets, more targets mean more catches and more catches means more yards and touchdowns.  And maybe that can help him with his unnamed goal for the year.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Daily Links: Send in the Colons

– Jets promote Davidson to Director of Football Administration [Jets Official Site]

– Milliner participates in team drills, performs well [NJAM]

– Maccagnan confirms Jets’ interest in Mathis, but nothing imminent [ESPN New York]

– Willie Colon activated off the PUP list [USA Today]

– Rex’s subtle shots at Idzik and Woody hint at “agendas” [NY Post]

– Offense, behind strong performance from Geno, wins the day [Newsday]

BentBent, In recent years, it seems like the defense was always ahead of the offense in early practices, so it was surprising to hear that the defense was made to do push-ups at the end of the first day in pads. On paper, both units have been upgraded since last season, but the offense seems to be doing well so far, while the defense has yet to record an interception.

When Rex Ryan started out as Jets coach he was, like Todd Bowles, another defensive-minded, first-time head coach with a first-time defensive co-ordinator. The difference there, though, was that his defense was facing off in practice against an inexperienced offensive co-ordinator in Brian Schottenheimer. By contrast, Kacy Rodgers‘ defense is facing off against the experienced Chan Gailey which may present some early challenges. The continuity of having Ryan’s system in place definitely helped the defense to dominate early camp practices in recent years though, even when Schottenheimer was replaced by some more experienced offensive minds.

In case you were wondering, the Jets are scheduled to practice again Sunday at 2:20 p.m., so we’ll get a chance to see whether the defense can come up with a counter-punch.


GEICO SportsNite: Coakley at Jets’ camp

Jeane Coakley reports from Jets’ training camp where general manager Mike Maccagnan spoke to the media regarding Sheldon Richardson.


Jets cut FB Copeland

The Jets have waived fullback J.C. Copeland, the team announced Saturday afternoon (Aug. 1).

Copeland was signed in May after he participated in the Jets’ rookie minicamp.

The fullback out of LSU had previously signed with the Cowboys in 2014 as an undrafted free agent, but was cut before the season began.

He had seven career touchdowns and 92 rushing yards during his time with LSU.


It sounds like Copeland had a rough day today, with the on-site beat reporters noting two rough plays he had in drills.  Apparently Lorenzo Mauldin juked him badly and Deion Barnes lit him up and knocked his helmet off.  

The 270-plus pounder Copeland, who was also in training camp last season with the Cowboys, was probably a long-shot to make the roster.  The more versatile Tommy Bohanon is now the only pure fullback on the roster, although it’s possible Chan Gailey‘s offense will operate without one.  After Devin Smith‘s injury, I would imagine the Jets will now look to bring in another receiver, although Greg Little (who recently worked out for the team) has since signed with the Bengals.

Brian Bassett,

My esteemed colleague Bent got it right in his reaction on Copeland.  Even though it seems like a quick hook for a guy who did have a pretty bad day, there’s also probably some larger forces at work.  
With the news about Smith’s injury I would not be surprised to see the Jets replace Copeland’s roster spot with a receiver who might stand a better chance at fighting for a spot with some flux in the receivers meeting room.


Devin Smith also has punctured lung, out 4-6 weeks

Devin Smith suffered a punctured lung in addition to broken ribs stemming from a collision Friday and will be out 4-6 weeks (Aug. 1, 5:52 p.m.).

Smith, a rookie receiver, left training camp Friday after colliding with S Jaiquawn Jarrett while making a catch (July 31).

“So much prayer is going out there for Devin,” WR Chris Owusu said. “You don’t like to see that happen for a young guy. But I know he’s going to bounce back strong, so our prayers are out to Devin.”

He was New York’s second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Smith was thought to be a vital asset in Chan Gailey’s offense, but with him out for the next several weeks, the team may look to T.J. GrahamJeremy Kerley and Owusu as his replacements in the interim (Aug. 1).

Brian Bassett,

It is a good thing that the Jets training staff was on hand and able to get him to the hospital quickly to avoid any further concerns.  The good news here is that if his recovery timeline won’t be extended due to the punctured lung, he can jump back into the offense some time in September.

Smith was going to be a big part of the offense, but look to see how they fill out his reps over the next month with the likes of Kerley, Graham, Chris Owusu, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa.


Photo: Organizational cornerstones


Todd Bowles and Woody Johnson chat on the sidelines on day two of training camp while receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker work on drills


How will the Jets deal with the injury to rookie WR Devin Smith?

Brian Bassett,

It’s unfortunate that rookie receiver Devin Smith will be missing some significant time due to his broken ribs, but the Jets need to soldier on until he can return to the field in a month or so.  While I never want to see anyone get injured, in some ways I was relieved to hear that it was his ribs and not a concussion … which was my first instinct when I saw him laying on the ground during the second day of practice after Smith’s collision with corner Jaiquawn Jarrett.

Before the opening of camp, I wrote that Smith could be a pivotal part of the offense and how Chan Gailey implements his quarterback friendly system but the good news is that with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker manning the top spots, the Jets will be able to work around the problem.  Before the injury, Smith saw significant snaps with the first team reps three-wide “11” sets.  So how does the team replicate his role with the players they have on the roster?

We expect it will be a mix of players who take on the hole left by Smith … but who are the players most likely to see substantial time there?

Let’s take a look.

The Speedster: TJ Graham To read more of this story, click here

Darrelle Revis

Daily Links: The King stay the King

– Revis is still “the king” [Grantland]

– Fantasy projections for the wide receivers []

– Feature on Canton-bound ex-Jets executive Ron Wolf [Yahoo: Shutdown Corner]

– After Jets pass on him, Little beats out two ex-Jets to re-sign with Bengals [NJAM]

– Ravens hire former Jets executive Scott Cohen [Baltimore Sun]

– Did Lorenzo Mauldin hurt his wrist? [Jets Confidential]

BentBent, Hopefully, the injury to Mauldin is nothing serious, but injuries are always a concern at this time of year. Even the most insignificant short-term injury can really set back a player’s progress at this point in the offseason, as we saw with rookies Brian Winters and Geno Smith in 2013.

Speaking of Winters, head coach Todd Bowles gave another injury update which affects him. Winters continues to split first-unit reps at right guard with youngster Brent Qvale, as Oday Aboushi remains something of an afterthought. According to Bowles, however, incumbent starter Willie Colon could be activated from the PUP list within the next few days and will presumably join the competition for that role.

Of course, the other injury news yesterday was wide receiver Devin Smith’s rib injury. That’s an unfortunate development for the rookie because, as noted above, being forced to miss time could seriously slow down his development. Smith was a good deep threat in college, but had not really shown an ability to run the full route tree, so the Jets were banking on him being a quick study if he was going to be a significant contributor this season.