Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Jets camp report: Day 13
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
- Rex Ryan specified his quarterback rotation for the preseason opener, saying Michael Vick will relieve starter Geno Smith in the second quarter. No surprise there, obviously, but it's interesting that Vick is scheduled to get at least a series with the starters. At least, that's the plan. As much as the Jets want Smith to be their opening-day starter, they're hedging their bet by giving Vick a run with the first unit. It's a smart move, especially since he's had very little time with the starters in practice. Smith can make this real easy on everyone by playing well. If he struggles ... then it gets interesting.
- Obviously, the Jets didn't want to see rookie Shaq Evans hurt his shoulder, which could land him on injured reserve, Ryan said. But let's be honest: If he misses the season, it's not a crushing blow for the wide receiving corps. Evans, a fourth-round pick, has been erratic in camp, showing nice deep speed but dropping too many passes. He has potential, but he's not one of the six or seven best receivers on the roster right now. The best thing he has going for him is his draft status; teams hate cutting early- and mid-round picks. If his injury is as serious as Ryan suspects, the Jets will be able to stash him on IR -- a virtual redshirt season.
- The Jets signed veteran tackle Bruce Campbell, addressing a growing concern -- depth at the tackle position. Beyond D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Breno Giacomini, the top backup is Ben Ijalana, who has no regular-season experience on the line. The other backups, Brent Qvale (concussion) and Markus Zusevics (knee) are banged up. The Jets got a look at Campbell in minicamp, inviting him as a non-roster player. He tore up the scouting combine in 2010, running the 40 in 4.75 seconds at 6-foot-7, 314 pounds. Some experts predicted he'd be a first-round pick, but he fell to the Oakland Raiders in the fourth. How fitting: The Raiders love size-speed guys with limited football skill. The Raiders gave up on him in 2012, trading him for -- are you ready for this? -- Mike Goodson.
- Smart move by Ryan, keeping first-round pick Calvin Pryor out of Thursday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts. From a risk-reward standpoint, it makes no sense to play their prized rookie in a meaningless game. Sure, he needs the experience, but he hasn't had enough practice time after his concussion to feel comfortable, mentally or physically. The Jets have nine days before they play again at Cincinnati, plenty of time for Pryor to get up to speed. Some risks aren't worth taking; this is one of them.
- Ryan all but handed right guard Willie Colon a starting job, saying, "If he stays healthy, I have a tough time not seeing him in the lineup." Colon has a long injury history (most recently, knee and biceps surgery in the offseason), so there are no guarantees. Ryan's comment suggests left guard Brian Winters might not be as entrenched as we thought. The Jets have been talking up Oday Aboushi, giving him reps with the starters at both spots. At the very least, Aboushi will be a "swing" backup, capable of filling in if Colon gets hurt or if Winters doesn't improve after a rough rookie season.