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Jets practice report: Geno to Decker

8/18/2014

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A few takeaways from Monday's New York Jets practice:

Home, sweet home: The Jets returned to Florham Park for the first of three open practices. Technically, it's still training camp, but it resembled a regular-season practice in that there were no competitive 11-on-11 periods, with the first-team offense facing the first-team defense. Instead, the first and second teams ran plays against the scout teams. There was an emphasis on correcting mistakes from Saturday night and installing new plays.

Good day for Geno: Geno Smith took the majority of the first-team reps -- so what else is new? -- and was particularly sharp in the 7-on-7 drill. The highlight was a 50-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker, who returned to practice after missing several days with a quadriceps injury. Decker had enough speed to get behind cornerback Ellis Lankster on a deep post. Decker was limited in terms of overall participation, but it certainly was encouraging to see him at full speed. The play of the day came from wide receiver Greg Salas, who made a diving catch on a sideline pass from Michael Vick. Salas was fully outstretched, horizontal to the ground. He received an ovation from the estimated 1,500 fans in attendance.

Coples vs. Babin: It raised a few eyebrows to see Jason Babin play twice as many snaps as Quinton Coples against the Cincinnati Bengals. The rotation continued in practice, so there's obviously something brewing. Rex Ryan cautioned reporters not to read too much into it, saying he's not planning to replace Coples in the starting lineup. Ryan explained it by saying Babin is a good football player and that he needs to learn the Jets' scheme, but he acknowledged there could be times when he replaces Coples in the base.

Changing of the left guard? Not exactly, but Oday Aboushi was the first man in, ahead of Brian Winters. Interesting, especially since Aboushi got the starting nod in Cincinnati. Once again, don't read too much into this. Winters remains the front-runner; this is another case where the coaches want to get Aboushi as many reps as possible in the preseason -- just in case.

Speaking of guards ...: One of the best guards in team history, Brandon Moore, attended practice. Moore, who retired last summer, looks good and said he's enjoying life after football. It was a busy day for Moore, who was scheduled to visit a youth football practice at nearby Irvington High School later in the afternoon. Moore was representing USA Football's heads-up program.

Jalen update: Rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders was released from a local hospital Sunday morning and made an appearance on the sideline. He did some light pedaling on a stationary bike, but that's about it. Saunders was involved in a one-car accident last Friday and spent two nights in the hospital. Ryan wouldn't give any details on what police say was a "medical event" that occurred in the car. Ryan declined to speculate on when Saunders could return to football.

Medical report: This is new: Center Nick Mangold didn't practice because of a toe injury. Mangold said it's not serious. Dalton Freeman took his place with the starters. ... Tight end Jeff Cumberland (Achilles) and cornerback Ras-I Dowling (groin) also sat out. ... Running back Chris Ivory (ribs) and cornerback Dimitri Patterson (calf, ankle, quadriceps) practiced on a limited basis, as did cornerback Jeremy Reeves (knee) and tackle Markus Zusevics (knee). Ryan said he expected Patterson to be back for the season opener, but he didn't sound confident about Friday night versus the New York Giants. ... Cornerback Dee Milliner did, in fact, suffer a high-ankle sprain, Ryan finally confirmed. No word on his availability for the opener.

Game review: Ryan provided a quick review of the win over the Bengals, saying he was most pleased with the perimeter running game and the pass protection. The negatives: Smith's overthrow on the first play of the game and Smith's interception. In correction mode, they opened practice with the "overthrow" play, Smith throwing long to David Nelson. This time, they hit it on the second try.