Thursday, July 31, 2014
Practice report: Real tackle football
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A few takeaways from Thursday's practice at New York Jets training camp:
Snap, crackle, pop: Finally, live tackling. The Jets raised the intensity level by conducting their first goal-line drill of camp, always a spirited exercise that produced plenty of trash talking between the offense and defense. Running plays from the 2-yard line or closer, the offense scored on only two of 10 attempts. The starting offense scored on two of four, with Chris Ivory plowing up the middle for a touchdown and Geno Smith scoring on an outside run. On the failed attempts, Ivory and Tommy Bohanon were stuffed. The second- and third-teamers had no success, getting stuffed mainly on up-the-middle runs. Michael Vick tried a pass, but no one was open and he threw it out of the end zone. It's always risky -- real hitting -- but no one got hurt, according to Rex Ryan.
One-sided competition: For the first time, Smith took all the first-team reps -- 16. Vick worked exclusviely with the second team. The offense rebounded from Wednesday's brutal practice, hitting a couple of big plays. Smith (2-for-3) hit David Nelson up the right sideline. Nelson beat cornerback Dimitri Patterson, and the pass got there a split-second before safety Antonio Allen arrived with deep help. Later, Vick beat an all-out blitz, flicking a short pass to a wide-open Zach Sudfeld, who galloped 80 yards for a touchdown. It was a great play by Vick, finding his hot read and delivering the ball with a sidearm-type throw. He finished 3-for-4, with a touchdown and a sack.
Bounce back (sort of): Rookie tight end Jace Amaro settled down somewhat after a rough Wednesday, catching Smith's first pass in team drills. Later, in a 7-on-7, he failed to haul in a catchable pass. It was thrown slightly behind him by Smith, but Amaro got both hands on it and should've made the difficult catch.
Ivory's tower: Running back Chris Johnson took a day off from team drills. With Bilal Powell still out with a hamstring injury, the bulk of the work went to Ivory, who is light years ahead of where he was last year at this time. Remember the hamstring soap opera? This summer, he looks strong and fast, but especially strong. He and Allen had quite a collision o one particular running play, with Ivory delivering as much punishment as the tackler on the play. He's a big man, but he showed plenty of giddy-up on an outside run, beating the pursuit to the corner.
Medical report: Rookie safety Calvin Pryor (concussion) was cleared for physical activity, but not contact. As a result, he wore the red practice jersey and was restricted to team drills. ... Rookie cornerback Dexter McDougle, who has been getting a smattering of first-team reps, injured his groin and left practice. Tough camp for the top three picks, Pryor, Amaro and McDougle, all of whom have dealt with minor injuries. ... Cornerback Johnny Patrick (hamstring), safety Brandon Hardin (foot), rookie receiver Quincy Enunwa (hip), running back Alex Green (chest) and rookie defensive end Zach Thompson (shoulder) remained on the sideline. ... Linebacker Garrett McIntyre (knee) took a rest day. ... David Nelson (groin) returned on a limited basis.
Odds and ends: Your daily guard update: Willie Colon was at right guard with the starters, with Brian Winters back at left guard. Oday Aboushi worked with the backups. ... Another good day for wide receiver Greg Salas. ... Eric Decker made a juggling reception on a deep pass in 7-on-7, beating Dee Milliner. ... Defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, has "popped out of nowhere," according to Ryan.