Jets practice report: Cover your eyes
July, 29, 2014
By Rich Cimini | ESPN.com
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Mistakes, penalties and injuries. It wasn't a good practice Tuesday for the New York Jets. It mirrored the weather -- chilly and dark.
Afterward, coach Rex Ryan expressed his disappointment, saying he expected a sharper performance the day after a day off. In a team drill late in practice, there were three penalties and a sack in a span of six snaps -- all with the starting units.
"The focus doesn't seem to be there," Ryan said. "We started pretty good and then, at the end, it kind of waned a little. ...They've got to push through it and understand this is an opportunity to get better, and these days don't come around all the time. You have to focus."
A handful of players didn't finish practice because of injuries: Wide receiver David Nelson (groin), running back Bilal Powell (hamstring), cornerback Ras-I Dowling (foot), tight end Colin Anderson (thumb).
In addition, rookie safety Calvin Pryor, who suffered a concussion Saturday, didn't practice. The good news is he made an appearance on the field. Pryor wasn't in pads, but he participated in lights warmups. Curiously, Pryor sent an Instagram message Sunday night, conflicting the team's diagnosis.
Rookie tight end Jace Amaro (knee) was expected to return, but he didn't practice. He was in pads, but remained in the rehab area. ... Running back Alex Green (chest) tried to return to practice, but he wasn't feeling well and was taken to the locker room after a thorough examination by doctors. He returned to watch from the sideline. ... Rookie wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (hip), out since Day 1, did positional drills and that was it.
Quarterback update: Once again, Geno Smith took a vast majority of the first-team reps -- 12 to four over Michael Vick. Both Smith (5-for-6) and Vick (4-for-6) completed a high percentage of passes, but they were mostly short completions. There were pass-protection issues. Ryan didn't hold back on defense, showing an array of blitzes. Each quarterback was "sacked" once.
Ryan said the defense was "pretty sharp," but not wanting to play favorites with offense vs. offense, he quickly added, "You have to throw both of them under the bus."
The Forgotten Man: Remember Dawan Landry? He's the "old man" of the secondary; the players call him "The Mentor." He enjoyed his best practice, producing a sack and an interception in a 7-on-7 drill. Landry doesn't have the speed and athleticism of the other safeties, but he's a crafty veteran whose experience is invaluable.
New look at right guard: Willie Colon, coming off athroscopic knee surgery, participated in team drills for the first time. He rotated with Oday Aboushi, and with Brian Winters at left guard. Get used to it. The Jets are looking for ways to get Aboushi in the mix. The rotation serves two purposes because it also allows Colon to ease in gradually after missing the offseason and the first few days of camp.
All hands on Dex: Rookie cornerback Dexter McDougle was one of the stars of minicamp, earning effusive praise from Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. So far, though, the third-round pick is off to a quiet start in camp. In a 7-on-7 drill, he got beat badly by Stephen Hill, who caught a long pass for a touchdown. It's called growing pains. The Jets remain high on McDougle, evidenced by the fact he got some first-team reps in the nickel package.
Boss in the house: Owner Woody Johnson made his training-camp debut, spending a good part of the practice chatting with general manager John Idzik.
Odds and ends: Safety Saalim Hakim made a diving catch on a long pass in a one-on-one drill. ... Jacoby Ford and rookie Shaq Evans had one drop apiece. After his drop, Ford rebounded on the next play. He made a nice a grab on a contested deep ball. ... Jeremy Reeves intercepted rookie quarterback Tajh Boyd in a team drill. It was an off-balance throw into coverage, and Boyd's rookie struggles continue.