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Thursday, July 25, 2013
What we learned on Day 1

By Rich Cimini



CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A few thoughts from the press box on the opening of training camp:

1. Handwriting on the wall?: Not to be a Danny Downer or anything, but if you believe in reading tea leaves it's hard not to be concerned about the offense. Santonio Holmes isn't close to returning (I hear he could miss the entire preseason, maybe more), Mike Goodson didn't report to camp for an undisclosed reason and Joe McKnight flunked his conditioning test. Mind you, this is an offense that may struggle under ideal conditions. This could be a rough deal, no matter who the quarterback is.

2. Land of opportunity: It was a theme throughout the offseason, and it will be a theme in training camp -- competition. Every job, Rex Ryan said, is up for grabs. Well, not every job. He quickly noted that D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, David Harris and Antonio Cromartie don't have to sweat it. He forgot Muhammad Wilkerson, but Ryan made his point. And it will be a good thing, this competition thing. Nothing drives a team more than knowing that everything has to be earned. My sense is, the Jets became complacent the last two years. That shouldn't be a problem anymore.

3. Enough chatter: For three months, Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith have been asked the same questions: Do you expect to win the starting job? Are you confident? Yada, yada, yada. I got the feeling Thursday they're both weary of it. Can't say I blame them too much. Both quarterbacks have talked a good game, especially Sanchez, but now it's time to perform. The first practice is Friday. This is the fun part; we get to see everything with our own eyes -- unless, of course, Tony Sparano shows up out of nowhere and tries to block our view (see last summer's clandestine Wildcat practice).