New York Jets: Rookie minicamp 2013

Jets rookie practice report

May, 10, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan, trim and tattooed, stood in front of the defensive rookies and called the shots. Dennis Thurman may be the team’s new defensive coordinator, but Ryan was back in his old role, working almost exclusively with the defense, as the Jets officially began to prepare for the 2013 season.

It may have been the first day of the Jets' rookie minicamp, but what stood out more than Geno Smith’s accuracy was the new coaching rotation for the Jets. In a sense, there were two new teams on the field. After a massive housecleaning, new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and new quarterbacks coach David Lee were setting up plays for Smith, the second-round draft pick at quarterback, and Matt Simms, who rotated in but took far fewer reps.

In place of Mike Westhoff, longtime assistant Ben Kotwica led the special-teams drills.

Smith was 11-for-15 in 7-on-7 drills, with a receiver drop, and he went 6-for-10 in team drills. He threw a few fast balls into tight spaces. The players didn’t wear pads, but Smith was a little slow to get the ball out on a few occasions. Still, nothing unusual or alarming for a rookie trying to take in a new system.

The Jets' first overall draft pick, cornerback Dee Milliner, participated in an early defensive walk-through led by Ryan, but moved to the exercise bike soon after and was closely monitored by team trainers. After shoulder surgery in March, his fifth, Milliner said he expected to be ready to play on the first day of the season.

First-round defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson also practiced.

Most notably, everybody appeared to be in game shape for the most part. After the year running back Joe McKnight lost his lunch on the field during rookie camp, that’s really all that matters.

Geno makes debut, won't answer critics

May, 10, 2013
Geno SmithAP Photo/Bill KostrounSecond-round pick Geno Smith made his much-anticipated Jets debut on Friday.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After two weeks of intense scrutiny, QB Geno Smith made his Jets debut Friday in rookie minicamp, surviving his first practice without any major mistakes and claiming afterward that none of the criticism has affected him.

"Obviously, there's been a lot of talk in the media," the second-round pick told reporters after a two-hour session on the field. "But for me, it's just been being my normal, old self, handling my business the way I always have. ... I don't resent any of it. I don't pay attention to any of it."

Smith has come under fire from unnamed scouts and personnel types, many of them questioning his character and leadership skills. Smith brushed it off, claiming his only focus is to learn the playbook and compete for the starting job.

He has been told that embattled incumbent Mark Sanchez will receive "the majority of the reps" in training camp. But make no mistake, the Jets are trying to get Smith up to speed as quickly as possible, hoping he can mount a challenge.

"I know Mark is a competitor. I understand Mark wants to win the job," Smith said. "We all do. But at the same time, I'm going to learn from him and David [Garrard] and Greg [McElroy]."

On Day 1 of minicamp, Smith took most of the quarterback reps. The only other quarterback participating in the rookie camp is Matt Simms. Smith didn't commit any turnovers and didn't seem overwhelmed by the moment. He completed six of 10 passes in team drills, going 11-for-15 in 7-on-7 drills. He showed his arm strength and velocity, especially on short passes. A few long throws were off target, and he seemed hesitant when going from his first to second read, holding the ball too long on occasion.

Smith called it "a pretty decent" performance for his first practice.

G Will Campbell inks four-year contract

May, 10, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets' rookie signings keep rolling in.

Will Campbell, a sixth-round guard from Michigan, signed a four-year contract on Friday, according to his agent, Buddy Baker. The deal is worth about $2.3 million.

Campbell, who played defensive tackle in college, is attempting to transition to the offensive side.

The Jets' three top picks remain unsigned -- CB Dee Milliner, DT Sheldon Richardson and QB Geno Smith, who still has yet to hire new representation after firing his agents after the draft.

Speaking of numbers, Smith will wear No. 7.