Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Three things we learned: Day 20
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Observations from Tuesday at training camp:
1. Mark Sanchez's patience is being tested. He might have the toughest quarterback job in the NFL. Not only is he dealing with the Tebow factor and a new offense, but he's trying to break in a new receiving corps. Without Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens (all injured) his top targets are Patrick Turner, rookie Stephen Hill and rookie Jordan White. On one occasion in practice, Sanchez barked at White for running the wrong route. Believe me, it wasn't the only bad route in practice. The Jets' passing game is a mess, and you can't blame Sanchez for getting frustrated.
2. Cro can catch. We know he can run, but Antonio Cromartie actually caught a pass in a team drill -- a 15-yard TD catch from Greg McElroy. Afterward, Cromartie was almost giddy as he discussed his prospects at wide receiver. He's absolutely serious about wanting to become a contributor on offense. In time, he probably could become a pretty good wideout, but do they really want to put more on his plate? He already has one of the most taxing jobs on the field -- cornerback. If they use him at receiver, it should be done sparingly. Even with the paucity of receivers, it makes no sense to hurt the defense by over-working one of their better players.
3. Hanging with Chad. Chad Pennington has every reason to be ticked off at the Jets. After all, they kicked him to the curb in 2008 as soon as they got their "yes" from Brett Favre. But on Tuesday, the former Jets QB showed up to lend a hand to his former team, watching practice and attending QB meetings. "No hard feelings," he told reporters. No doubt, he came to help out Tony Sparano, who gave him a chance to re-start his career in Miami, but Pennington was able to put the past behind him. He always was a team guy. It's too bad they couldn't hire him as a coach, but Pennington made it clear he's not interested in coaching on the NFL level.