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
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.
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.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, Brodney Pool, Derrick Mason, Mark Sanchez, Muhammad Wilkerson
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