The ‘Cat will be let out of its cage to do some battle with the Bengals on Friday night. As head coach Rex Ryan said at today’s midday news conference, “The Wildcat is something Cincinnati needs to prepare for.”
That’s really no secret tipoff about the Jets’ game plan for their preseason opener. Ryan and coordinator Tony Sparano haven’t installed all of the offense yet, and most of the plays that have been installed with Tim Tebow awaiting the shotgun snap hasn’t been shown to fans and reporters. One exception was last Thursday, when a “live” Tebow spread the offense, then took the snap and ran over between the tackles for the score.
Tebow, starter Mark Sanchez and the rest of the Jets will be live and ready to thrive vs. the Bengals, the team that took advantage of the Green & White’s late-season meltdown to grab the AFC’s sixth playoff seed in January.
Ryan didn’t give any rotation plans, at QB or any other position, although he said the first teams would likely play the first quarter, about 15 plays, give or take, before leaving the field for the twos, threes and fours.
Asked later about his plans for Sanchez and Tebow, the coach expanded a little bit, saying, “With us it’s a new offense and everybody needs reps. Will we extend the first offense more than a quarter? We’ll see. I think Tim and everybody else needs the opportunity to go against live competition. I think that’s where he excels.”
Tebow got some extended playing time at this morning’s practice, but not because Sanchez was struggling. Rather, Mark was sharp as a tack in going 4-for-4 ahead of defenders in the first-team blitz-pickup period.
But TT also had some nice throws today. He hit Patrick Turner for a score against Antonio Cromartie (although he might have been sacked by Bart Scott before firing), Jeff Cumberland on a seam route, and a well-covered Josh Baker on a deep out-route. And when he took Sanchez’s reps with the ones in the two-minute period, he got the offense close enough for Josh Brown to bang home a 53-yard “gamewinner.”
Ryan may be getting amped to get a preview of how his and Sparano’s offense will look this season.
“I’m excited to be looking at all the guys,” he said. “Let’s see, this is a new offense for us. I’m excited to see where that is right now, where we’re at. Also the defense … I hate to be singling out this person, or that person. I’m really excited to see ‘em all play, I really am.”
Sidelined for Cincy
The offense will have to proceed without two of its top wideouts as Santonio Holmes (rib) and Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) won’t play. The O may also be without RT Wayne Hunter (back), in which case Ryan said Austin Howard would step into the starting lineup. But the O-line will get the return of Nick Mangold, who missed Saturday’s Green & White practice to watch his sister, Holley, compete in the London Olympics.
On the defensive line, NT Sione Po‘uha will also sit out with a stiff back and the stitches for the gash on his forehead.
Throttling Down Maybin
LB Aaron Maybin continues to have a high-speed, productive camp, but he committed a gaffe today when, in the non-tackling two-minute period, he hit and spun to the ground WR Eron Riley after a catch, drawing a personal-foul penalty.
“That’s something we’ve talked about,” Ryan said. “I love the way he plays, I love his passion, I love the way he practices, but you still have to protect [teammates]. You don’t have to throw the guy on the ground and things. He loves to get there, he loves to participate, practice and compete. But that’s still a work in progress.”
David Harris continued his nice pass defense with an artful PD of a pass for Dustin Keller in 7-on-7s. … CB Darrelle Revis made a deft tackle for loss on a pitch play. … Rookie LB Demario Davis had a sack of Greg McElroy up the gut. … Donnie Fletcher plucked a pick on a Matt Simms pass for Bilal Powell that may have been deflected by Maybin. … Today’s attendance: 2,496. … Thursday’s walkthrough is closed, then the team will fly out to Cincinnati.
Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Jeremy Kerley, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes, Sione Pouha, Tim Tebow, Tony Sparano, training camp, Wayne Hunter, Wildcat
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