- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan called it a "feeding frenzy" for the defense -- five interceptions Wednesday. On the flip side, it was a horrible day for the New York Jets' offense. That's the thing with training camp; it's always a good news-bad news deal.
Let's start with the good stuff because, you know, we're always positive here. (Pause here for snickers.) Demario Davis set the tone on the fifth play of the first team drill, intercepting Geno Smith on a wide-receiver screen and returning it about 20 yards for a touchdown. By the end of the day, Antonio Allen, Ellis Lankster, rookie Brandon Dixon and rookie Steele Devitto had interceptions, with Allen and Devitto returning theirs for touchdowns. Davis had a huge day, with a quarterback pressure and at least two pass break-ups. Calvin Pace had two "sacks."
The defense is placing an emphasis on creating turnovers because, frankly, it was a weakness last season. So far, Rex Ryan is pleased with the results.
Now about the offense ... it was ugly. Smith, taking 17 of 24 first-team reps, suffered his worst day of training camp, completing only seven of 15 passes, throwing one interception and taking three sacks. He threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Greg Salas, who was wide open on a busted coverage. In a goal-line drill, Smith was sacked twice and threw an incompletion on three consecutive plays.
Michael Vick (6-for-10) was better than Smith. He threw an interception, but it wasn't his fault, as rookie tight end Jace Amaro slipped on his break. The Vick-led offense dominated at the goal line, with short touchdown passes to Stephen Hill, Chris Ivory and Salas, who continues to impress. Hill had another good day, which makes two in a row.
Matt Simms also threw an interception. Struggling rookie Tajh Boyd threw two. It has been a rough camp for the former Clemson star, who is experiencing a serious case of growing pains. Ryan said he is not surprised because Boyd is learning the base offense, which isn't ideally suited to his skill set. In an actual game, Ryan said, they would install special plays for Boyd, who isn't a pure pocket passer.
Chippy practice: There were several skirmishes, which typically happens after a week of camp. Fatigue sets in and players tend to get ornery. Brian Winters and Sheldon Richardson got into it during a pass-rushing drills, as did Will Campbell and T.J. Barnes. The offensive players probably are sick and tired of being dominated, raising their ire.
Hit the books: Rough day for Amaro, who returned from a minor knee injury. He dropped a pass, ran a couple of wrong routes and caught flak from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who got on Amaro about reading his playbook. Even Smith barked at Amaro for running a wrong route. Clearly, his head is spinning, but, remember, this is a major transition for Amaro, who played in a spread offense at Texas Tech.
Medical report: Rookie safety Calvin Pryor (concussion), wide receiver David Nelson (groin), running back Bilal Powell (hamstring), running back Alex Green (chest), rookie defensive end Zach Thompson (shoulder) and safety Brandon Hardin (foot) missed practice. ... Cornerback Ras-I Dowling (foot) returned. ... Rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (hip) returned on a limited basis. ... Cornerback Johnny Patrick injured a hamstring early in practice and didn't finish.
Odds and ends: The guard rotation continued. This time, Oday Aboushi started at left guard, with Willie Colon on the right side. Winters backed up Colon. Aboushi impressed on one play in a pass-rushing drill, using his hands nicely to fend off Muhammad Wilkerson. ... The day wasn't a complete bust for the offense. In the first team period, there were a few nice perimter runs by Chris Johnson and Ivory. Good blocking by the wide receivers on the cornerbacks. ... Running back Daryl Richardson also showed a nice outside burst. He is making a strong bid to make the team. The Jets are deep in the backfield.