Camp update: Ups and downs

August, 5, 2012
8/05/12
9:29
PM ET
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Taking stock of the Jets after seven practices and one intrasquad scrimmage:

UP

QB Mark Sanchez -- Tim who? Sanchez is having a very good camp, considering it's a new offense and his receiving corps is depleted. It's important to note that, even on his bad days, he's not committing turnovers.

TE Dustin Keller -- He played well in the scrimmage (five targets, four catches, 34 yards), continuing a solid camp. With all the uncertainty at wide receiver, Keller is a critical piece on offense. He needs to be a guy they can count on every week.

RB Bilal Powell -- Who knew? After a non-descript rookie year, Powell didn't figure to be a factor in the backfield, but he's on his way to taking the third-down job and he's challenging Joe McKnight for the No. 2 RB spot. Some in the organization feel he's their best combination back.

OLB Aaron Maybin -- The Bills' former No. 1 pick still has detractors, but give him this: He practices like a mad man, going non-stop. There's been some talk of expanding his role, making him part of the base defense. To that, I say remember what Bill Parcells used to tell role players: Know who you are. In other words, don't bite off more than you can chew.

PK Nick Folk -- Say this for him: He responds to competition. Josh Brown is applying pressure, but Folk has responded.

DOWN

WR Jeremy Kerley -- It's hard to get into Rex Ryan's doghouse, but Kerley has done just that. He needs to get healthy, get back on the field and start regaining Ryan's trust.

WR Santonio Holmes -- He missed a couple of practices with general body soreness, and now he has banged-up ribs. From the physical ailments to the "scapegoat" quote to his commentary on the two-quarterback system, this hasn't been a vintage camp for Holmes.

DE Quinton Coples -- He showed up on the first play of the scrimmage, knifing into the backfield to disrupt a running play. After that, he got real quiet -- the story of his camp. With his size and athleticism, he should be flashing more than he has in practice. The coaches say Coples is where they expected him to be. Sorry, I'm not buying that.

C/G Caleb Schlauderaff -- He was moved to center in minicamp, and there have been struggles. Mike Tannenbaum's favorite sleeper had two bad center exchanges and one high shotgun snap in the scrimmage. They're trying to make Schlauderaff, a natural guard, the backup center. It's not going to be easy.

QB Greg McElroy -- This is a bit of a surprise, considering his smarts, but McElroy is off to a slow start with the Tony Sparano system. Before we declare a quarterback controversy between him and Matt Simms for the third-string job -- oh, wait, Ryan already did -- let's give McElroy a look in the preseason games. He's a gamer.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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