Confidence comes from within (and without) for Dee Milliner

Dee Milliner

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

CORTLAND, NY — The Jets enter the 2014 season with an overhauled cornerback position and there’s a lot of pressure this year on the most visible and talented holdover from last season, Dee Milliner.

Just in his second year in the league after playing at Alabama for Nick Saban, the Jets invested their their very first of two first round picks during the 2013 NFL Draft in Milliner, but of his class, the soft-spoken Milliner is often overlooked in favor of quarterback Geno Smith and the reigning defensive rookie of the year Sheldon Richardson.

Regardless, if you ask coach Rex Ryan, he’s confident that Dee is ready to be that alpha player the Jets need in the secondary.

“I’ve been around the game a few years and I see it without question,” Rex told reporters. “Dee is a guy that as you guys know I have a ton of confidence in.” To read more of this story, click here

Amaro leaves practice with hurt knee

 

The early goings of camp haven’t been kind to Jets rookies.

Second-round pick in tight end Jace Amaro left Sunday’s practice with a right knee injury and was diagnosed with tendinitis (ESPN, July 27th).  He is going to be out until Tuesday, further setting the Jets back.

The Jets are without first-round pick Calvin Pryor, who is being treated after a head injury suffered in practice on Saturday.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

I was watching Amaro on the play in which he was injured.  It was a high pass that was put a little too high by Geno Smith and Amaro dove for the ball out of bounds with Calvin Pace step for step in coverage.  Either the collision with the turf or some incidental contact with Pace might have caused the injury.  Amaro was hobbled walking back to the huddle.  To his credit, Amaro tried to stay in on his next play until he broke the huddle and pulled himself from the field and was attended by trainers.

Amaro spent the remainder of practice with a bandage and compress on his knee area.

Rex clarified the matter during his press conference referring to the injury as “tendinitis.”  Both Rex and Amaro seemed hopeful of a quick recovery and return to the field when the players resume practicing on Tuesday.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Jets take Colon off PUP

The Jets announced on Sunday that they have taken starting right guard Willie Colon (knee) off the PUP list and will allow him to practice for the first time later Sunday.

Colon had arthroscopic knee surgery in late May and missed the first three days of practices as he was unable to play.

Colon re-signed with the Jets in March to a 1-year $2 million deal. He started all 16 games last year.

What I Saw at Training Camp: Defense, Day Three

Leger Douzable, Muhammad Wilkerson,Quinton Coples, Damon Harrison

Day three has come and gone.  The players got into pads for the first time today and were able to get some hits in.  Here’s what we saw on the defensive side of the ball.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Concerns about Calvin

It wasn’t that far into the team’s first full-pads practice when right round draft pick Calvin Pryor came off the field due to an unfortunate collision.  Pryor jogged off under his own power with John Mellody the team’s head trainer.  After a short jog, the two rode in a cart, presumably back to the training facility,  before Pryor returned to the field in a wide brimmed hat with his pads off.  Pryor watched the remainder of practice, chatting with coaches and players.

“The new [NFL] protocol is that if we know there is a concussion, you guys will know about it immediately,” Ryan told reporters at Saturday’s press conference. “So don’t think we’re covering something up. As of right now, we don’t know if it’s a concussion or not. But it was a head injury, and obviously, when those things happen, you’re always going to side on being cautious. So that’s what we’re doing. Whether it’s a concussion or not, I’m not sure. We’ll see how that progresses.”

“He came in there and had a good collision, so it’s not like you can say he got dinged or whatever. But ‘dinged’ now means you be cautious and do what’s in the best interest of the young man. That’s where we’re at.”

Calvin has always been a hard hitter and at the very least this is a concerning turn for a player who with Dee Milliner is slated to become a leader for years to come.

If there is any silver lining to this cloud, it is that Jaiquawn Jarrett had another good day with the backups.  After an interception earlier in camp, he had a strip-fumble on tight end Chris Pantale as Pantale was running after the catch.  After being cast off by the Eagles he seems to be settling in with the Jets and is making the best of his time of his reps.

Turn on the turnovers

Rex said in his press conference on the first day of training camp that turnovers were going to be a point of emphasis for this team.

“Last year, I forget how many fumbles that they had, but we only recovered two or three of them all year,” Rex told reporters on Thursday after the first day of practice.  “That’s something we have to get better at and we talked about pursue the football like that ball is coming out. Let’s get more turnovers, we are certainly aware of that.”

The Jets are aware and they spent some time yesterday making sure that players are too.  The front seven and defensive backs all participated in turnover practice drills.  One was a tip drill (which Rex and some of the staff demonstrated) in which players batted the ball back to the man behind them in as long a continuous run as possible.  The other drill was one which players simulate coming off the edge to strip the ball out of a pass-thrower’s (a coach) hand as a he wound up his throw.  I can’t remember seeing the Jets practice these drills in year’s past but it was interesting

The statistical concept of regression toward the mean would indicate that the Jets are going to be better at recovering footballs this season, but Rex and his coaching staff aren’t just waiting for that, they are working to make it happen.

Sons of Anarchy Season Two To read more of this story, click here

What I Saw at Training Camp: Offense, Day Three

Chris Johnson

Day three has come and gone.  The players got into pads for the first time today and were able to get some hits in.  Here’s what we saw on the offensive side of the ball.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Counting on Chris

In years past, Rex Ryan has put some of his veterans on “pitch counts” to protect them from an unfortunate training camp injury that would derail their ability to contribute during the regular season.  Kellen Winslow saw a limited number of reps last year.  This year Chris Johnson and new linebacker Jason Babin are both working on such arrangements.

When asked today about specifics of Johnson’s rotation, coach Rex Ryan demurred to answer pointedly, but was willing to say that “there is a plan” for the amount of work they put on Johson.  While nothing’s official, an arragement like two days on and one day off might be what is in store for the veteran running back and hopeful playmaker for the Jets.

While Johnson sat, Bilal Powell saw a lot of work with the ones and twos and is taking advantage of it.  Powell demonstrated good speed and evasiveness on some runs to the perimeter.  Powell also had a nifty move in which he avoided a would-be tackler on a pass to the flat.  Powell’s solid day wasn’t limited to offense.  He also received lots of praise from special teams coaches on a kick coverage play where he read the play extemely well and overpowered the blocker, thereby allowing others to get set up for a quick “stop” of the kick returner.

Quarterbacks keeping Decker busy

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What I Saw at Training Camp: Junk Drawer, Day Three

NFL: New York Jets-Training Camp

Day three has come and gone.  The players got into pads for the first time today and were able to get some hits in.  Here’s what’s rattling around in my brain. Offense and defense coming soon.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

When the pads go on, the roof comes off

The energy level from the players seems to have been building over the last few days.  While Thursday was brisk, the level of play seemed a little higher yesterday and players got a little more physical with each other.  Today the excitement went to a new level thanks to the team’s first day of pads.

“It felt real good to be in pads,” Michael Vick told reporters. “When you hear the pads popping that’s when you know that training camp is official.”

Official it was.  Players cheered on their offensive or defensive line brethren in one-on-one drills, players howled and grunted at each other in positional work.  With the pads on today, players seemed a little more fiesty than they had in past days.  It made for a spirited practice despite the bad news about Calvin Pryor.

Determination Matters
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Calvin Pryor with Roger Goodell

S Pryor being evaluated for a concussion

Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor — the team’s first round pick — left Saturday’s practice after sustaining a head injury (Star-Ledger, July 26th).

Pryor, known as a big-hitting safety, is being evaluated for a concussion. Pryor is competing for playing time at safety. Head coach Rex Ryan addressed Pryor’s absence.

“You know the new protocol is that if we know there is a concussion, you guys will know about it immediately,” Ryan told reporters via the Star-Ledger. “So don’t think we’re covering something up. As of right now, we don’t know if it’s a concussion or not. But it was a head injury, and obviously, when those things happen, you’re always going to side on being cautious. So that’s what we’re doing. Whether it’s a concussion or not, I’m not sure. We’ll see how that progresses.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It’s an unfortunate way for Pryor to begin his career as a Jet on the team’s first day of full pads.  We’ll have to wait and see what Rex tells us in the coming days about Pryor’s readiness to return.

If Pryor is found to not have a concussion, then his timetable to return to the field might be rather quick.  If Pryor is found to have sustained a concussion, then it might be a prolonged period before he can return to the field … not days, but week or weeks.

That would be bad news for a rookie who needs this vital time in training camp to continue to immerse himself in the defense on the field.  It also means that the Jets best coverage safety might not be able to get as many reps as possible.

We’ll hope for the best, but the one thing that I would say is that Jaiquawn Jarrett has had a good few days of practice and is doing a solid job in coverage and around the line.  Look to see if his name doesn’t start to come up more with Pryor sidelined indefinitely.