- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
It was a rough day for wide receiver Stephen Hill, who dropped two passes in wet and windy conditions. Hill has been all over the map in camp, ranging from spectacular to skittish. It'll be interesting to see his role in the regular season. Right now, he's their fourth-best receiver, behind Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson. Hill received public support from Geno Smith, who said, "Stephen had some drops, but I'm not going to get down on him. I'm not going to yell at him, I'm not going to create a scene." Hill is a tease -- talented, but inconsistent. If I were the Jets, I'd look to trade him for a cornerback. He might draw some interest because of his potential and his reasonable contract. Asked about Hill's lack of progress, Rex Ryan praised his blocking, akin to complimenting a blind date on her great personality.
After a slow start because of a concussion, rookie safety Calvin Pryor is starting to assert himself. He's feeling frisky, and that was evident in practice, particularly when he jolted wide receiver Saalim Hakim on a crossing route. The Jets' first-round pick can expect a heavy workload Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. He'll play a little with the starters, a lot with the backups and some with the backups' backups. "I think the guy has a chance to be big time," defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said Tuesday. For now, Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett are getting the first-team reps.
It was a rough day in the red zone for the offense, as Smith and Michael Vick were a combined 1-for-8. The one completion was a 10-yard touchdown, Smith to Decker, who beat safety-turned-cornerback Antonio Allen with a nice inside move. Cornerback Ellis Lankster broke up two potential scores, defending passes to Hill and rookie tight end Jace Amaro. The Jets have to improve in the red zone, especially in the air. In 2013, their passer rating inside the 20 was 81.7 (26th), according to ESPN Stats & Information. They also need to spend more time in the red zone; their 106 total snaps ranked 30th. The addition of Decker, no doubt, will help the overall efficiency.
Congratulations, Tajh Boyd. That was a nice touchdown drive and a well-deserved celebration with your teammates.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, addressing reporters for the second time in camp, acknowledged they could use Michael Vick as a change-of-pace quarterback. "I suspect, looking forward, there will be times where you see a little bit of it," he said. But Mornhinweg agreed with Vick, saying it disrupts the rhythm of the starter -- a "real" issue, he said. They don't want to mess with Smith's psyche. It also would put Vick in harm's way. My take? Dust off the Vick package once in a blue moon, but that's it.
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