Saturday, August 9, 2014
Jets Camp Report: Day 17
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
- This was a deja vu day, as Rex Ryan was questioned about the possibility of using Michael Vick in a change-of-pace role, assuming he's the backup quarterback. It conjured up memories of 2012, when the Tim Tebow/Wildcat story resulted in a daily feeding frenzy. What prompted the new questions? The Jets devoted an entire practice period to the Wildcat. That, coupled with Vick's impressive scramble in the preseason opener, got people thinking. Ryan didn't dismiss the possibility of using Vick in a specialized role, but I'd be surprised if it's a staple in the offense. Yes, the Jets like the Wildcat (they ran a league-high 38 snaps last season), but the injury risk is too great with Vick. Methinks Ryan was engaging in a bit of gamesmanship by putting it out there.
- Tight end Jace Amaro needs to develop a little bit of nasty, and cornerback Dexter McDougle has to drop a few pounds. That's what we learned about the Jets' second- and third-round draft picks, respectively. In a classic Parcells-ian move by Ryan, the Jets coach sent a message to the rookies, letting the world (and them) know this is a big boy's game, predicated on toughness and professionalism. Basically, he said Amaro needs to play to his size (6-foot-5, 265 pounds), suggesting he dust off old Mike Ditka tapes. As for McDougle, Ryan noted that he reported to camp overweight. How does a cornerback show up overweight? You can bet McDougle will be doing extra conditioning in the coming days.
- There's no reason to be alarmed, but it's worth noting what wide receiver Eric Decker has a new hurt -- a quadriceps injury to go along with previous hamstring and foot injuries. The $36 million man participated in positional drills, but he sat out in team drills. Again, it's nothing major, but when the team's top free-agent addition is nicked up ... well, you know.
- Yes, it's true, Ryan and I switched places, with Ryan playing reporter and asking yours truly to field questions at his daily presser. All I can say is, I'll never be as entertaining as he is behind the podium.
- This was another strong day for cornerback Dee Milliner. On the first play of team drills, Geno Smith challenged him, throwing deep to Stephen Hill. Milliner stayed with Hill, stride for stide, batting away the pass. Perfect coverage. This came two days after his impressive performance in the preseason opener.
- Linebacker Calvin Pace spoke for older veterans across the league when he described the monotony of camp. "It's uncomfortable," he said. "I'm 33 years old, staying in a dorm room with a roommate. It's one of those things, you think when you get out of college you never have to come back to that, but every year we're forced to. But I know what it is. It's part of it, so one more week and back to normalcy." Hear, hear.