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Jets practice report: Working the Wildcat

8/9/2014

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A few takeaways from Saturday's New York Jets practice:

The Wildcat is back: The Jets devoted an entire period to the Wildcat package. Two years ago, with Tim Tebow, it would've made huge headlines. Now they do it as part of their routine installation for training camp. As Rex Ryan explained afterward, it also helps the defense prepare for opponents that use it. The Jets dabbled a little with the Wildcat last season. When they wanted a wrinkle in the running game, they usually relied on the read-option as their change-of-pace package. They ran only two read-option plays in the preseason opener.

You're in, rook: Third-round pick Dexter McDougle worked exclusively with the first-team defense, replacing Dimitri Patterson, who struggled in the opener. But this was an injury-related move, as Patterson sat out with calf and ankle injuries. Afterward, Ryan revealed that McDougle was overweight when he reported to training camp. Ryan said he's not concerned with Patterson's uneven play, saying he expects the veteran to be peaking for the regular season.

QB update: Michael Vick received a larger percentage of the first-team reps than usual, but some of that was due to various packages that were employed. Geno Smith took 11 reps with the starters, Vick six. Smith ended up completing 3 of 6 passes, including a deep completion to David Nelson, who beat McDougle. Smith also hit rookie Quincy Enunwa on a slant that broke for a big play. Vick was 2 for 5 with a sack.

No. 1 is No. 2: First-round pick Calvin Pryor, who sat out the opener as he recovered from a concussion, worked with the second-team defense. The rookie safety made one noticeable play, baiting the quarterback on a throw and nearly coming up with the interception. He should've caught it, but the play still impressed Ryan. You will see a lot of Pryor in next Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Medical report: The nagging injuries are piling up for wide receiver Eric Decker. He didn't practice because of a quadriceps injury. Previously, he had been dealing with hamstring and foot issues. ... Running back Chris Ivory, who suffered a rib injury in the game, sat out. He was limited to the walk-through. Ryan said Ivory is feeling "much better." With Chris Johnson resting for most of team drills, Alex Green got a lot of reps. ... Linebacker Tim Fugger (hyperextended knee) didn't finish practice. ... Wide receiver Greg Salas (hip) was limited. ... Cornerback Jeremy Reeves (groin) sat out. ... Tackles Brent Qvale (concussion) and Markus Zusevics (knee) also didn't practice. ... Center Nick Mangold was excused for personal reasons. His wife gave birth. Dalton Freeman worked with the starters.

Odds and ends: Rookie tight end Jace Amaro, who was praised by Ryan for his in-line blocking in the game, missed badly on two plays in a one-on-one drill against a blitzing linebacker. ... Cornerback Dee Milliner made a nice pass breakup on a long pass to Stephen Hill. ... Enunwa had a drop, but came back to make a nice grab. ... Safety Antonio Allen had a pass breakup and a pass-interference penalty.