Our 'Corty' awards: A look back at Cortland

August, 15, 2013
8/15/13
3:54
PM ET

To commemorate the Jets' three-week stay in Cortland, which ended Thursday, we present our "Cortys" -- the best and worst from Cortland:

PLAYER WHOSE STOCK IMPROVED THE MOST: Bilal Powell. Without Chris Ivory and Joe McKnight for much of camp, and with Mike Goodson never making it to camp, Powell became the workhorse in the backfield and impressed with his all-around play. He'll be a key player, especially early in the season as Ivory works his way into top condition.

McKnight
PLAYER WHOSE STOCK DROPPED THE MOST: McKnight. He's lucky Goodson didn't report -- or else he'd be in serious jeopardy. As it stands now, he's not a lock to make the team. McKnight is as dependable as a weather forecast in South Florida.

MOST IMPROVED: Stephen Hill. It wasn't a drop-free camp -- I can recall two bad ones -- but the second-year receiver made great strides as a route-runner. He also has a better understanding of coverages. Now he has to take it to the games.

WAYNE CHREBET UNDERDOG AWARD: Ryan Spadola. Tell me if this story sounds familiar? Jersey kid from non-BCS school goes undrafted, signs a free-agent contract and turns heads in camp. Spadola has a good chance to make the 53-man roster. Shades of Chrebet in 1995.

Holmes
Holmes
TOUR DE FRANCE AWARD: Santonio Holmes. He spent a lot of time on the stationary bike, continuing his rehab from foot surgery. No one knows when he'll return to action. If the before-after is Week 1, bet the "after." By then, he'll have logged plenty of miles.

CONSPICUOUSLY QUIET: Dee Milliner. It's not often the ninth overall pick in the draft can remain relatively anonymous. He signed late and needed only a few days to leapfrog Kyle Wilson on the depth chart, but the rookie cornerback generated little buzz -- and that's not always a good thing.

DEJA VU MOMENT: Mark Sanchez's pick-six in Detroit. First series of the preseason ... a basic screen pass ... a lob toss and ... there goes Ansah for a touchdown! It took Sanchez less than four minutes to destroy the hopes of the optimistic Jets fans who dared to think this season might be different.

Sanchez
NINE LIVES AWARD: Sanchez. After an interception in the scrimmage, he fired a long TD pass to Hill. After the interception in Detroit, he led an 80-yard TD drive, culminating with a 26-yard scoring pass. Say this for him: He's resilient.

MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE: Rex Ryan on Geno Smith's Wednesday practice -- "It was brutal. That was Geno's worst day."

MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE II: Ryan on the Sanchez interception and Smith's performance in the opener: "I never saw it. ... You probably saw more plays than I did."

MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE III: Ryan on his future: "It's safe to say I won't be here if we draft [Jadeveon] Clowney."

BEST ROOKIE NOBODY IS PAYING ATTENTION TO: Tommy Bohanon -- or "Tommy Bahama," as Ryan calls him. The seventh-round pick from Wake Forest will be the opening-day fullback, count on it. Adios, Lex Hilliard.

Ryan It's safe to say I won't be here if we draft (Jadeveon) Clowney.

-- Rex Ryan
DREW ROSENHAUS AWARD: McKnight. Taking a page from the agent's celebrated 2005 interview about Terrell Owens, when he kept answering, "Next question," McKnight tried to stiff-arm reporters when asked about his turbulent camp. In a span of three minutes, covering 17 questions, he responded seven times with, "I'm not getting into that." P.S.: Rosenhaus ended up writing a book, entitled, "Next Question." Start writing, Joe.

MOST OVERPLAYED STORY: Sanchez hearing boos in the scrimmage. A turnover-prone quarterback gets booed for throwing an interception? Oh, my God, what's happening to society?

MOST TALENTED PLAYER WHO LEFT YOU WANTING MORE: Quinton Coples. He showed a flash here and there at his new position, outside linebacker, but the coaches expect bigger things from him.

WORST MOMENTS: Aaron Berry and John Griffin suffering season-ending injuries. They had a chance to make the team as backups, especially Berry.

ODE TO TIM TEBOW: Mike Sielski, beat writer for the Wall Street Journal. On a dreary day early in camp, Sielski conjured up memories of Tebow (not really) by pulling off his shirt and running through the rain. Surprisingly (or not), he was actually faster than Tebow.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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