The quarterbacks held court one last time at Cortland after this morning’s final practice of the Central New York phase of Jets training camp. And both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are feeling good about where they and the offense is and is heading.
“Some days obviously are better than others, but overall this was probably my most consistent camp,” said Sanchez. “The least amount of turnovers by far, I’m sure. I thought the running game looked good, I felt comfortable with my checks, I felt comfortable throwing the ball down the field, I thought my accuracy was there. I thought the receivers made great plays and I thought Dustin [Keller] really stands out to me as having a great camp.
“Now it’s a matter of getting guys healthy and moving on, but overall I think we did well.”
Sanchez got to weigh in publicly for the first time on LB Bart Scott’s assertion Wednesday that No. 6 is ready to “take the next step to being one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league.”
“Thanks, Bart,” he said with a laugh, but he didn’t shy away from the pressure such an expectation brings.
“That’s nothing new around here. Each year as a quarterback and an organization, you’ve got to get better and learn from your mistakes,” he said. “It’s my job to deliver it, to be the triggerman this team needs, and I’m ready to do that. I’m excited about our team and our potential.”
Tebow expressed similar feelings about the offense in general and his progress in all his many roles in particular.
“I feel good as an offense and individually I feel good,” he said. “We have a long ways to go, I have a long ways to go. … I feel it’s going pretty well.”
No. 15 was asked about his adaptation to the many hats the Jets are providing for him to wear this season.
“Besides the personal protector stuff, the rest has always been pretty natural and easy, and it’s stuff I’ve done the last, gosh, probably 10 or 12 years. That really wasn’t an adjustment,” he said. “Some of the personal protector stuff was. I never ran down on special teams in my life, so that was a first. But it really didn’t take too much of an adjustment.”
Head coach Rex Ryan said he didn’t have the exact percentage but said that Tebow’s completion percentage has risen as his passing mechanics have improved under the tutelage of coordinator Tony Sparano and QBs coach Matt Cavanaugh.
“It was in the 60s for sure. I don’t know if it was 65 [percent] but it was close, in team drills and 7-on-7s,” Ryan said. “I think Tim’s doing well.”
Another Cover QB
Four years after one new Jets quarterback got the nickname of GQ for his predraft photo shoot in 2009, Tebow responded for the first time to questions about his just released GQ cover turn
“Probably most of y’all knew I was on there before I knew. It was kind of a shocker for me,” he said, adding about the photo spread, “That was something I did maybe six years ago in college. Honestly, the first time I heard it was when we were in the cafeteria and it was on ESPN. That’s when I found out.”
Gator on the NFL Radar
The Jets had no comment on their interest in Jeff Demps, the Olympic silver-medalist and former Florida star who rushed for 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns in his college career, after reports said they were one of a number of teams showing interest in him after he announced that he wants to play in the NFL this season.
“You know what? I really don’t want to talk about him,” Ryan said at his late-morning newser. “Mike Tannenbaum’s on top of any available players.”
Tebow, who was Demps’ UF quarterback said he wasn’t starting a Demps-to-the-Jets lobby but still gave a glowing reference.
“Jeff is a great guy and a great player. He’s someone I was proud to play with in college,” Tebow said. “He did a great job for us, and I feel wherever he goes, he’ll work hard at it and do a good job for that team.”
Cort(land)’s in Recess
The QBs and the head coach were among the Jets who lauded their third training camp in four years in the Central New York countryside.
“Overall, I have a lot of positive feelings about camp,” Sanchez said. “We’re really excited to break camp and get home and get back to our facility, but we can’t thank SUNY Cortland enough. The people around town have been great and the fans coming out to practice, it’s exactly what we needed. Then on the field, the football side of it, I think it was the best camp I’ve been a part of.”
“It was a lot of fun being here,” Tebow said. “The fans were wonderful. I know they came from all over and from here. We really appreciate their support.”
“It’s terrific here. The university as always was amazing,” Ryan said. “Everything went off without a hitch. The weather, except for one day, was tremendous. The fields, the cafeteria, everything — Cortland blew me away. It’s a great place to have training camp. We’ll see if our string continues.”
That trend Ryan referred to, of course, is that in two years of Cortland camp, the Jets went deep into the playoffs. Last year, with camp in North Jersey, well, we know what happened. It’s not a large sample to draw any predictions off of, but it certainly hasn’t hurt the Jets taking their summer show on the road.
A new WR addition to the walking wounded is rookie WR Jordan White. “He had some knee swelling,” Ryan said. “It remains to be seen if he plays” against the Giants on Saturday night. Among the other injured players, the coach said today that S Eric Smith (shoulder/knee), WR Santonio Holmes (rib), WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring). Yesterday he said he didn’t believe WR Chaz Schilens (ankle) will play. NT Sione Po‘uha also is out and LB Ricky Sapp has also been sidelined. But Ryan feels RT Wayne Hunter (back) will play.
Expect most starters to play the first half vs. the Giants. Two exceptions, Ryan said, might be RG Brandon Moore and S LaRon Landry, who might come out early in the second quarter, not for any new injury situations. “Sometimes with some veteran players, you just want to back those guys down a little bit. Just being smart.”
Today’s practice was shorter, with the players in shoulder pads and shorts. Tonight is the team’s “rookie show.” Friday morning the Jets’ buses and cars roll down I-81 and back home.
Tags: Brandon Moore, Dustin Keller, GQ, Jeff Demps, Jordan White, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, SUNY Cortland, Tim Tebow, training camp
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