There are signs of life at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center like we haven’t seen in four months.
Bill Hughan and his strength and conditioning staff are busy getting the weightroom ready for business. Blake Hoerr and his grounds crew are laying down yardline numbers and otherwise tending to the three beautifully manicured grass fields outside the building. The blocking bags, some green, some red, are being laid out and getting sprayed and dried.
And the biggest deal, as one coach captured it: “Players are here today.”
Indeed, signed Jets have begun arriving at the facility for the official 10 a.m. opening time under the terms and guidelines of the new CBA that owners and players agreed to Monday morning.
DE Ropati Pitoitua was the first to drive up to the security booth, followed by OL Vlad Ducasse. Then owner Woody Johnson came up to chat with the score of reporters and camera people gathered on 1 Jets Drive for the early arrivals.
In short order came TE Dustin Keller, DT Mike DeVito and QB Mark Sanchez, followed quickly by C Nick Mangold, in inverse order of how those two usually line up on the field of play. Then came CB Kyle Wilson, LB Jamaal Westerman, DB Dwight Lowery, QB Mark Brunell and guards Brandon Moore and Matt Slauson. Others are expected to arrive during the morning and afternoon for this voluntary return to team headquarters.
The Jets, along with players around the league, are starting to get the new lay of the land based on the CBA. The initial word was that signings of draft choices and undrafted free agents as well as negotiations with all unrestricted/restricted FAs can begin today, with the starts of camps being staggered throughout this week based on when teams play their first preseason games — the Jets and Texans, playing Monday night, Aug. 15, in Houston, will start practices 15 days earlier, on Sunday, July 31.
Wilson, last year’s first-round pick, said he’s glad to be back and and ready to roll.
“My goal is to just come in and get better, build my foundation and springboard into the season,” he said. “I lost some weight this offseason. I’m in the best shape of my life.”
As guard Brandon Moore, expected to check in today, told newyorkjets.com Monday night, “It’s good to be talking about football again.”
We’ll have player interviews with my partner, Eric Allen, and the Jets’ multimedia team, up on the site early this afternoon. And some players are expected to check in for more formal interviews with reporters from the media room podium. We are streaming some of them live now and we’ll bring you reports on those sessions later today.
Regarding the start of training camp and open practices, those schedules have not been circulated yet but as soon as we get information that we can pass on to you, we’ll do it here onnewyorkjets.com.
Tags: Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, CBA, Dwight Lowery, Mark Sanchez, Nick Mangold, Ropati Pitoitua, Woody Johson
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