Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Three things we learned on Day 14
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Takeaways from the final practice before Friday night's preseason opener in Cincinnati:
1. Mark Sanchez is good when you give him time. In the first team period, the Jets practiced third-down situations. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine dialed up his blitzes, sending heat on four straight plays. The pass protection was superb, and Sanchez drilled completions to Royce Pollard, Patrick Turner and Eron Riley. He went 3-for-4 in the drill. It was no coincidence that the protection got good as soon as center Nick Mangold returned to practice. Rex Ryan said it may have been the best blitz-pickup drill in his three-plus seasons as the coach.
2. A name to remember. Rookie WR Jordan White, who missed OTAs and minicamp with a broken foot, returned early in camp and already has impressed. He isn't the fastest guy around, but he's a crafty route runner, especially in the slot. He received a shout-out from Ryan, who said, "That little No. 17, watch out for him. (I was saying), 'My God, look at this kid, he can run routes.'" He caught 140 passes last season for Western Michigan -- in one year. That doesn't happen by accident.
3. Aaron Maybin needs to chill out. OK, we knew this a while ago, but his all-out style has become an issue. Maybin incurred the wrath of Sanchez when he nearly ripped off Matt Simms' arm. Mind you, the quarterbacks are off-limits. That's why they wear the red jersey. Early in camp, Sanchez had the same thing happen to him. The coaches love Maybin's intensity (Ryan calls him the "Energizer Bunny"), but he needs to know when to dial it back -- or else he'll find himself in the middle of the next camp scuffle.