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Notes: Don’t Tell Them It’s Only Practice

Posted by Andrew LeRay on August 9, 2011 – 6:23 pm

It has been impressive to see how seriously the players have approached practice throughout training camp. Monday, LB Bart Scott was possessed during the two-minute drill, frustrating QB Mark Sanchez and the rest of the Jets’ offense.

This afternoon Scott was at it again. During blitzing drills, he moved at full speed, lowering his shoulder and driving running backs to their heels and sometimes to the ground.

Wide receivers and defensive backs also squared off during blocking drills, and the intensity was palpable. All DBs and WRs consider each other enemies on the turf, and today was evidence of that.

In particular, S Eric Smith initiated violent contact on Jets’ receivers. On the other side of the ball, Logan Payne absorbed a number of healthy strikes from the blitzing defenders. With the first preseason game fast approaching, the physicality should continue to increase through the remainder of this week.

Sanchez, Mason in Sync

Somehow, Sanchez and WR Derrick Mason are already on the same page. First, during passing drills, Sanchez threaded the needle between two defenders on a 35-yard pass to Mason over the middle. He hit the veteran receiver in stride as he crossed into the end zone.

Later, in 7-on-7 drills, Sanchez unloaded a 50-yard bomb to Mason for another touchdown. Cornerback Ellis Lankster made a diving attempt to deflect the pass, but it cleared his outstretched fingers and landed in Mason’s hands.

Sanchez connected with Mason on several other shorter routes throughout the day. Mason was lined up in the slot position for much of the practice

Defensive Dominance

For the second day in a row, the first defense dominated the offense during the two-minute drill. Even with time in the pocket, there were no open receivers for Sanchez to find. The swarming secondary acted like flypaper, jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and not relenting until the play was dead. Today, safety Brodney Pool intercepted Sanchez on the second play from scrimmage, ending the drill.

The second defense also bounced back after being thrashed by QB Mark Brunell yesterday. Rookie QB Greg McElroy led the offensive unit today and got off to a good start, completing a pass to TE Jeff Cumberland. The defense then adjusted, sacking McElroy and forcing an incompletion as the drill ended.

Other Observations

DE Ropati Pitoitua and DT Marcus Dixon found themselves working with the first defense to begin the team drills. … First-round DT Muhammad Wilkerson (hip) sat out team drills as a precaution measure and expects to return for Thursday’s practice. … Signifying nothing, Antonio Cromartie made an impressive throw underhand, 45 yards in the air to return the ball after fielding a punt… K Nick Novak hit a monster 61-yard field goal and both hit from 56 yards out of mechanical ball holders as the kicking competition is heating up.

The Jets moved today’s practice indoors after heavy rains and lightning moved through the Florham Park, N.J., area. This was the first indoor practice of the season. The players have tomorrow off, but will return to practice on Thursday. Weather permitting, that practice will be outdoors and open to the public.

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Posted in Andrew LeRay | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Notes: Don’t Tell Them It’s Only Practice”

  1. By IRA on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    I have a feeling Novak is going to beat out Folk. Saw Folk went 2-4 again today. He is not having a good camp so far. He also started slow last summer too.
    Listen we are 5 weeks away from the opener vs Dallas. Plax hasn’t even been in one full practice yet. Add that to being away from the game for 2 years so i go back to my earlier comments. Mason was a huge signing. I have a feel he starts at WR and then when they go into 3 or more WR sets he goes to the slot when Plax comes in. No way Plax will be ready to go 45 snaps or so the first month. Just like last year Keller is going to have a monster first month.
    GO JETS!!!!

  2. By scjoe on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a fan of Ropati since he was signed, to bad he had to miss all of last year with that injury, but it is good to hear he is back 100% and has been impressive in doing so. I think he is going to have a break out year. Barring serious injury I think that young D-line will begin to dominate around the mid point of the season. I don’t believe they will miss Ellis as an everyday player but I do think the younger guys will miss his leadership qualities. Enter Sione Pouha!

  3. By Pat on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    great updates-wanting to follow Ropati as well if Vlad. Ducasse steps up.

  4. By Tom Spicer on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    Tom 64 & to all the other posters bad mouthing Shaun Ellis. Ellis does not make big plays really the guy is 3rd all time on the Jets sack list. He was the MVP of the Pats playoff game he sacked Brady multiple times. Out of his 11 years 5 of the he played 3-4 end 3-4 d lineman do not put up big numbers the numbers are put up by the linebackers. The lineman are there to take up blockers to let the linebackers make plays also when we ran the 4-3 some of those years I dont remember how many he played DT also a spot that does not put up big numbers in that D the numbers are put up by the DES’ & the LB’S with all that being said. Pace in 8 years had 8 sacks 1 time Thomas 9 years 8 sacks 1 time. Ellis in 11 years had 8 or more sacks 4 times. Pace

  5. By Tom Spicer on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    & Thomas have never topped 8 sacks Ellis had 8 1/2, 12 1/2, 11 & 8 & the final 8 in 2009 he lead the league in sacks for a 3-4 end. The guy has been one of the best Jets over the last decade.

  6. By Tanner on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Randy what is Jetsfest on Thursday? What makes it different then a regular day of training camp? Players still sign autographs? Looking to come out from PA. What do you anticipate with the crowd? A lot?

  7. By Randy Lange on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    Tanner, Thursday is a regular day of training camp. Jets Fest is the team’s interactive theme park for kids that is open from 1-6 p.m. every open training camp practice. Autograph opportunities are possible but there are no guarantees for fans. The crowds so far have been in the 3,000 neighborhood. It’s standing room only. For more answers to some FAQs you might have, you can go to http://www.newyorkjets.com/footer/training-camp-faq.html.

  8. By Clarke W. Griswald on Aug 9, 2011 | Reply

    And now he’s old. Hopefully in ten season mo-hammy tops the lists.

  9. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not talking about the last decade with Ellis, Spicer, or about just sacks or even tackles, I’m talking about his whole game, including stuff for which there aren’t any black-and-white stats. And based on the last couple of yrs as opposed to his great earlier ones, I don’t think he’s worth that much more than what we offered him, especially since it’s high time we got younger at DL. Hey, Pettine calling Wilson’s failures “overblown” after reviewing tape? Thurman APOLOGIZING to him? That’s either the wildest spin I’ve ever heard or…the best example ever of how we fans sometimes don’t really know all that’s going on. I will say I knew that pulling Wilson almost entirely after Game 3 was a weak move and certainly a kinda gutless one.

  10. By Matt on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I think a lot of guys are going to step up this year everything has been so rapid with FA and cuts etc. we get lost with who we don’t have on the team instead of who we do have. The saying is people you win some you lose some we lost some players I was a Fan of Big Cat and J-co and Brad Smith but I’m optimistic about this team Ellis played out of position so long he’s a 4-3 DE and that where he shined. J-CO good character but he was on the JETS for 7yrs and only had 18tds not really his fault do to all the QBs but it is what it is. BS was a wildcat specialist but that was installed to take pressure off of Sanchez and hence that why REX wants 2 let it fly more this yr. Lets support and talk about what the team has not who they had

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, Cimini says it’s not yet a competition between Folk and Novak, but it’s getting there. You sound like it’s already clearly a competition. Please keep us up on this and same to anyone else who’s visiting practice. I was surprised we didn’t make a play for Akers until I saw that SF gave him a 3-yr-deal and we’re not even giving that to Plax and Mason. (Akers is 36.) But I think it would be a big story if a journeyman like Novak was able to beat out Folk, whom Westhoff and the rest of the coaches seem to like more than most of us fans do. Spicer, like with J-Co I wonder if S Ellis’ injury is more serious than we’ve heard, I don’t see why he should start off on the PUP with the Pats.

  12. By IRA on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Thank You Tom for the Ellis support. He was one of the best DL besides Klecko in the team’s history. I don’t know how any fan can knock him. Too bad he is with the Pats for now. Who knows maybe he gets cut and returns this year or next year if needed.
    Glad the Ducasse experiment at RG is over. Turner should’ve been taking reps so far since Moore has been out. Guess they wanted to give Ducasse a look at OG. Glad they have moved him back to RT. Still think if a veteran OL is available at the end of August the Jets will sign one for insurance. Unless one of the younger kids steps up which doesn’t look very good right now.

  13. By GaryC on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    let’s face it,jets haven’t had a quality sacker since douglas and abraham,too many excuses saying a guy doesn’t get sacks,like he plays in a three four,A team sets their defense according to the strength it has.and over the last few years it seems the jets have had more run stoppers then sack artists.I would hope if the jets ever had two defensive ends who can rush the passer they would switch to a four three. The Steel Curtain and the Fearsome Foursome didn’t need to play a three four.

  14. By IRA on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    We all know they need to get a more consistent pass rush. Not so much to get more sacks but to force the QB into making mistakes by getting rid of the ball before he wants to. I know this year they will with Westerman, Pace, and Harris while Wilkerson and K. Ellis push the pocket. Really 40 sacks last year and 8th in the NFL is not bad its still in the top 3rd of the league.

  15. By GaryC on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, it is getting a bit worrisome about Ducasse,If he is having trouble at guard, he will have a lot more problems at tackle,Even though I praised the pick of Ducasse I am believing we might have another Jacob Bender on our hands, a guy who went to a small college,who could not keep up with the better athletes.

  16. By GaryC on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, I guess even without Brad Smith the wildcat isn’t dead according to rex,that should have a grin on your face from ear to ear,seeing that you said after Smith we can lay the wildcat to rest.

  17. By carl on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Can”t Wait For The 1st Preseason Game!!!Go Jets!!!

  18. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I said a lot about this new Wildcat stuff on another story, GaryC, but just so you know I take no prisoners: Rex said LT, McKnight, and Kerley were possible for the Wildcat, he didn’t say they’re going to do it. Also Rex will have his hands full dealing with both Schotty and Moore, he’s not going to have as much time or energy to contribute bad ideas on O. Matt above is right about why we used the Wildcat and why we won’t much anymore. And we were inept with it anyway, everybody knew Smith wasn’t gonna throw. I got no problem with LT, who’s thrown 7 career TDs, throwing a Wildcat pass now and then. Especially if it’s when we’re 10 pts up in the 2nd half instead of when we’re struggling to put any pts on the board at the end of the 1st half.

  19. By IRA on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Tom, You know its real strange with Folk. He has a very strong leg and is able to string a good season together. Problem is he just sometimes gets into this groove that makes you feel uneasy. I guess a good comparison would be J. Hall. Great leg made some big time kicks but will blow a few that will cost you a game. The Jets got very lucky Holmes and the D pulled out that game in Cleveland last year when Folk went 2-5. When he missed that last one in OT i thought it was all over. Without doing any research i would think if your kicker goes 2-5 9 out of 10 games you are going to lose. I guess its Folk’s job to lose but Novak has been more consistent so far.

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    You pretty much summed it up about Folk, Ira, which is why I thought we’d make a big play for Akers until I found out how old he is.

  21. By GaryC on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, I mentioned akers also and who cares how old he is,I don’t worry about age with kickers, Blanda did okay.Akers might be better kicking from a wheelchair than folk, at least more accurate.

  22. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, GaryC, I’m a little disappointed the Jets didn’t go after Akers. I gotta think they failed to match the 49ers deal in terms of its 3-yr-length, because they don’t seem to be offering that to too many players at any position.

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