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More Fighting Today; Rex’s Rx: Warnings, Gassers

Posted by Randy Lange on August 7, 2012 – 11:41 am

Updated, 1:39 p.m. ET

Monday’s practice fight between Joe McKnight and D’Anton Lynn, surrounded by a bunch of Wrestlemania bouts, was just a summer squall, something that goes on all around the NFL at this time of year, blown out of proportion by the assembled reporters, no big deal.

Or was it?

The chippiness between the green and the white continued at this morning’s closed camp practice at SUNY Cortland. Head coach Rex Ryan warned his players after one outbreak, and on the next play both units seemed intent on reenacting the fight scene from West Side Story for just a few seconds.

Ryan broke it up with profane “Hard Knocks” style warnings and advice to his players to knock it off. Shortly after, all the Jets lined up for maybe 10 gassers from one sideline to the other, and then got some more words from the head coach before continuing practice.

Most of the coach’s midday news conference was taken up by questions about the fights and his response to them.

“You’ve already had your scrimmage and when you come back, it’s not uncommon,” Ryan said in his opening remarks. “Guys are chippy, they still want to hit, and you see that. My big thing is protecting your teammate, don’t do anything selfish. I think sometimes you’re trying to be physical. But being physical is one thing and going past that is something else. That’s why we stopped and had to remind guys, the enemy is not in green and white. So that’s what we did.”

Was that the first time safety Eric Smith recalled receiving penalty gassers in mid-practice in his four years under Rex? “I think so, yeah,” Smith said. “I didn’t even count the number. I was just listening for that double whistle so we could stop.”

Ryan’s ire was raised because players on both sides of the line were taking today’s “thud” drills a little too far, not only resulting in pitting offense vs. defense but also slowing down the process of improving the team.

“Rex is right. We’ve got to be smarter than that,” said LB Bryan Thomas. “Somebody could go down with a knee injury or anything. That hurts the team. That’s not making anyone else better.

“He made a good point — and he warned us, he told us, ‘Guys, you’d better cut this fighting out because it’s wasting practice time.’ “

Smith also agreed with his coach’s approach to today’s eruption.

“He knows we’re a physical team but we’re not being good teammates right now,” the safety said. “We need to take care of each other. We’re thudding up a little too hard, kind of taking plays farther than they should. … I don’t know if he’s disappointed in us, but we aren’t practicing the way we should be. Go be physical, but stop on the whistle.”

Ryan acknowledged the “balancing act” players have in practicing vs. teammates, citing a skirmish between CB Antonio Cromartie and TE Dustin Keller leading up to the larger get-together.

“When Cro plays to his physical abilities, he’s about as good as it gets. Then there’s that fine line of protecting your teammate,” he said. “I thought Cro should’ve backed off and not hit Dustin and all that. He was trying to be physical and pick his play up. We’re always talking about developing habits. I thought Cro was wrong in that situation. And we had some other cases with chippiness and things. It was time to do it and that will remind them.”

National TV, radio, Web, and newspaper reporting was devoted to Monday’s dust-up, but while the video was neat and this is the Jets, and even including today’s scrum in the equation, we’re still talking about summer fights.

“It’s just a part of training camp. You’re banging around, it gets hot, people get frustrated, tempers escalate,” Smith said, adding with a smile, “I don’t know why it’s such a big deal right now. I guess you guys got tired of talking about Tebow, so now you want to talk about fights.”

The antidote to intrasquad fighting is a game, so Friday night’s preseason opener with the Bengals in Cincinnati should be just the ticket.

“We’re definitely ready to hit on somebody else,” Smith said. “We’re getting tired of hitting each other. It’s been a week and a half now. We’re looing forward to hitting on another side.”

Rex Cetera

Sanchez also spoke to the team after Ryan, who said he sees that as a sign of his QB’s growing leadership, “and I see it not just there. I see the burning desire. He wants to win. And players are more accepting of it. Sometimes you’re a young player, you haven’t earned your stripes and all that. But the reason they’re accepting is they see how hard he’s competing, how hard he’s trying. In the classroom if no one has the answer, he has the answer. They’re understanding there’s only way to get there and that’s to do the work, and that’s what Mark has done.”

Sanchez threw the ball well during practice, with the exception of perhaps one pass over the middle during red zone period, when LB David Harris broke on the ball for the pick. … Later in the RZ drill, Greg McElroy went deep over the middle to FB/TE Josh Baker, who grunted to get as high as he could and snagged the high ball for the score. … FB John Conner was throwing his weight around. He made a nice sealing block on LB Aaron Maybin that sprang Terrance Ganaway down the left side. … RB Bilal Powell, said Ryan, “had some great jump cuts and some other things. He’s really been impressive to me.”

Owner Woody Johnson and president Neil Glat, in Canton, Ohio, for Curtis Martin’s Hall of Fame enshrinement on Saturday, were on the sidelines in Cortland for this morning’s closed practice. … Wednesday’s morning practice is open to the public.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “More Fighting Today; Rex’s Rx: Warnings, Gassers”

  1. By Chicago Bob on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Anyone who has played the game knows this is a part of it – especially with the train wreck that ended the season, I am sure the players just want to get going. With Sparano’s physical type of offense plus Rex getting more involved in the defense, this should not be much of a shock at all however the issue here is taking it too far – this team does not have the depth to lose a starter(s) due to an injury from a training camp fight. Nice to see Cromartie involved in getting physical with receivers – hopefully he can take that aggressiveness and become a better tackler.

  2. By ron alexander on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    What a surprise? The boys are fighting. This pretty much happans every year in every NFL camp and most colleges too! Its hot,guys are tired of hitting their own team mates and tempers flair. No big deal. Of course the N.Y. media will turn this into a offence- defence issue and Manish Mehta will say an un-named source on the D says the O stinks, or that Tebow is the root of the problem or some other idiotic thing.This guy “Meta’ was on Boomer & Carton this morning and I was not imptessed. Carton basically ate his lunch, and it appeared to me that neither of them had much respect for him. Its so easy to attribute a statement critising a player and hide behind the confidential source lame excuse rather than just man up!

  3. By steven on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    how is hayden smith doing? I have high hopes for him

  4. By IRA on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Baker has had an outstanding camp and i would expect him to have a role with this offense and be productive. I have been talking up Powell since camp has started. To me right now he is the best all around RB they have. really want to see what he can do in the preseason games.

  5. By walt on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I really do not know where Boomer has any right to critizise any jet player since he did little if anything positive during his tenor with the Jets.Granted he did have some success with the Bengals but a quick check of the talent surrounding him will tell you that he had very little to do with that.Ron Jaworski who was a much better quarterback than boomer has a very good opinion of both Tebow and Mark and how the jets intend to use them.Since Ron has much more knowledge of what it takes to win in the NFL I feel his opinion is much more valid.

  6. By Jimmer on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know about this guys. It wasn’t like this is past years. Sure there were fights. I think the offense is sick and tired of getting bullied by the defense. Sparano might have pointed this out to them and told them to man up. Getting beaten nonstop in practice leads to a lack of confidence. I think the O is simply saying those days are over.

  7. By Jimmer on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    The only thing worse than listening to Fransesca, is reading a Lupica article.

  8. By SCfromNY on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Boomer was a typical Jet pick. No longer playing at high level but a “NAME” player. You should worry if fights are NOT breaking out. Who wants a placid team?

  9. By Bennett on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Heard Tebow was frustated at his horrible lack of accuracy throwing Then saw him in the rain without the shirt, glad he thinks he looks so cool but one look at him you can see why he cannot throw. Just a few shoulder muscles alone in the shoulder needed to execute this movement, the anterior deltoid and middle deltoid are way, way to overdeveloped, who knows how much the small suprasinatus and infraspinatus muscles, crucial in rotation of the shoulder, are out of balance. Anyone that has a rudimentary knowledge of muscle physiology should see this. The more he bulks up the more he shortens the muscle, and totally destroy natures intricate balance so needed to throw to a point where the body can no longer compensate. So obvious.. a pity

  10. By Westcoast GangGreen on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Jimmer.. i agree w/you. Sparano is lighting a much needed FIRE under offensive units butt! The Cincinati game Friday is just what the Jets need. They’re tired of hitting on each other. Hopefully w/Sparano strong voice/leadership on offense and this new found aggressiveness on deffense and the “team first attitude” the Jets can get all three units to play together, build momentum starting Friday and begin the damm season strong for a change… Go JETS ..!!!

  11. By wayne on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    The HC said he had things under control. The HC said there’d be no more fighting. The HC said Jet players need to take care of each other……I know bout camp fights……Guys got issues with each other, put em in the circle and they go at it till they’re done……You don’t try to blow up your teammates in practice…..You lose players that way…..THAT IS SELFISH……ANOTHER SELFISH ACT BY CRO. And no Rex obviously don’t got it handled…….Y’all saying this is typical, will be the first to call for head of player to cause a key teammate a serious injury, amongst the other not so nice things you’ll call him……..Gassers should take care of things, but why is Cro trying to create this divisive type thing?

  12. By ron alexander on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    BENNETT, wow, holy smokes, your medical expertise is off the charts Dude! I’m think’n of fireing my doctor. Just kidd’n, IRA, I’m hopeing you are right about Powell and Baker.Baker is the kind of versatile player Belichick turns into a star(like Danny freak’n Woodhead)I think we as Jet fans were a little dissappointed last year with Powells lack of opportunity which of course resulted in his lack of production. Its nice to see him getting a chance to show what he can do this season.I dont think Shonne Greene has been the same player since he broke his rib against the Colts in the 2nd half of the playoff game. He was a brusing runner who now seems less inclined to take on tacklers. He is also not the recieving threat Powell is.

  13. By ron alexander on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    WAYNE, while you do make some great points (especially about Rex) I cant ever remember a player being seriously injured in one of these annual training camp tussels. Not say’n its impossiable but they do wear helmets and most of them are smart enough to know better than punching a helmet.(not sure about Cro though)I also doudt those so-called gassers they jogged through are gonna disuade anyone from a repeat performance.WALT, although i didn’t particularly like his comments Boomer is a member of the media who gets paid to voice his opinion.Like it or not “freedom of speach or freedom of the press’ are who we are as a country.Besides, we all know what they say about opinions! Gotta let it be bro! Go Jets!!!!

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