Updated, 3:04 p.m. ET
The “Spur” position at South Carolina is a lot different than what Antonio Allen is now doing on the pro level with the Jets. Nevertheless, the rookie safety showed a lot of giddyup during today’s first full-pads practice of training camp at SUNY Cortland
“Confidence is big, but you can’t get big-headed,” Allen told newyorkjets.com after he came up with a pair of interceptions in this morning’s drills. “I’ve always had a ton of confidence. I just come out here every day to get better and improve on things I need to work on.”
Allen’s first theft was against undrafted free agent QB Matt Simms in 7-on-7’s, when he played his technique nicely against the TE and read Simms’ eyes all the way. His second was in team drills on Greg McElroy, when he “sliced” the wideout’s route in man coverage.
Interestingly, AA said he’s learning from all members of the Jets secondary, not just the safeties, as he continues his higher education.
“I watch Smitty and YB [Yeremiah Bell], and I watch Revis a lot. He’s a corner, but I watch him and how he breaks on the ball and keeps his eyes on his man. He and Cro, they’re very good at what they do and I just try to adjust my technique to some of the things they do.”
Even before the picks, Allen produced a few big hits.
“I always enjoy the first day of pads,” he said of his first full contact as a pro. “I wasn’t really scared because I love to hit all the time. On special teams drills, I think that set me off. As soon as I got in, I got a big hit, and from there it just proceeded to progress.”
Afterwards, Allen conferred with secondary coach Dennis Thurman, who famously led a Cowboys band known as “Thurman’s Thieves.”
“He was just telling me he’ll be more impressed when I get in there with the ones and do what I did today, Allen said. He’s on his way to earning a few reps with the first unit.
No. 24 wasn’t on the field for this practice but the team announced that the cause of Darrelle Revis’ absence was anatomical, not contractual.
“Darrelle had tightness in his hamstring last night,” media relations director Bruce Speight told reporters during the session. “The trainers cleared him to do individual drills but not 7-on-7 or team drills.”
“He’s had some hamstring issues in previous training camps,” Rex Ryan said at his midday news conference. “This is a minor thing. He thinks he’ll be out there tomorrow. But anytime you get that situation with any player, you hit the brakes and say, ‘Whoa, let’s not do something foolish.’ “
Ryan said that including the 9-on-7’s that led into team drills, the offense ran the ball 22 straight times. “We talk about we need to establish the running game and have our opponents understand we’re a running team,” the coach said. “We will run the football, but 22 straight? I don’t think even I envisioned that much.”
Rex touted a pair of three-hundred-forty-somethings that stood out today: NT Damon Harrison (6’4″, 350) and T Austin Howard (6’7″, 333). On Harrison: “It was his kind of day, a running day. He looked pretty good.” And on Howard: “He was really moving some people off the line.”
RB Bilal Powell had several crowd-pleasing plays on a few runs and at least one short swing pass. … Joe McKnight also slashed off the right side for a 20-yarder that drew applause. … Recently signed WR Raymond Webber, the second-year man who wears No. 1, tipped a McElroy pass in the air, then caught it to walk into the end zone on a long scoring play.
Antonio Cromartie had a nice leaping breakup of a ball headed for WR Chaz Schilens down the right sideline. … CB Kyle Wilson followed that up on the next play with a breakup of a Mark Sanchez pass on a shorter out on the opposite sideline. …T.J. Conley continues to nail some impressive punts with decent hang and great direction.
FB/TE Josh Baker broke his nose and so wore the red hands-off jersey usually reserved for QBs for the second half of practice. As a result, rookie RB Terrance Ganaway got some reps in Baker’s FB role. … Attendance for today’s practice: 2,835.
Tags: Antonio Allen, Antonio Cromartie, Darrelle Revis, Dennis Thurman, Greg McElroy, Matt Simms, Rex Ryan
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