CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The intensity level will climb a couple of notches Sunday, as the Jets practice in pads for the first time. David Harris likes.
"That's when it gets real," the veteran linebacker said. "We've been itching for it."
1. Ivory Coast: RB Chris Ivory has been kept under wraps since arriving in a trade with the Saints. He was limited in the offseason and he didn't practice the first two days of camp because of hamstring tightness. Because the team is in pads, this would be an ideal day for his return. Ivory is a big, physical runner -- think Shonn Greene, except with some elusiveness -- and it would be nice to see him in live drills. Rex Ryan hinted the other day this could be the day.
2. Dropsies: After dropping three passes Saturday, RB Bilal Powell needs a bounce-back practice. He was the primary third-down back last season, and he's competing for that role once again. It's never a good thing when your pass-catching back, you know, struggles to catch passes. It's especially important skill in Marty Mornhinweg's offense, which features the backs in the passing game.
3. Ravenous defense: Ryan's defense has to be hungry, especially the first unit. Surprisingly, it has failed to intercept Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith in a team drill. (S Antonio Allen picked off Sanchez Saturday in 7-on-7.) This is an area where the defense needs to improve. Takeaways will be vital to the team's success because of the anticipated struggles on offense. If the defense can create turnovers to create a short field for the offense, it would be a tremendous boost. That's what Ryan means when he talks about the importance of complementary football.