Updated, 6:25 p.m. ET
The gassers of two weeks ago, in response to some practice brawls up at SUNY Cortland, have almost been forgotten. But in a way, maybe they were the start of something else entirely that must be remembered.
“The one thing I’m concerned with, and I was pushing Darrelle about it, is just that we have to be in unbelievable shape,” head coach Rex Ryan said at this morning’s news conference. “We were talking how I think this can be a really good defense, and I mean a really good defense, but to make sure that we’re on top of everything, keep our communication going, make sure we’re in great shape. And I think that’s something we can do.”
Revis confirmed that for the defense especially, the conditioning they stressed in the offseason program through the extra wind sprints players are doing on their own are all being done with the purpose of combatting the hurryup offenses they’ve been facing and will see again.
“Last year we saw it a lot, especially with the Patriots,” the corner said. “During those games, you can see most of the time they were in empty, five wides. We’ve got to be prepared at all times. Whatever teams throw at us, we’ve got to be well-positioned.”
“It’s trending,” added LB Bart Scott. “You’ve always had to deal with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and now look at [Matt] Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger and a lot of people using that ‘muddle huddle.’ And you see some of the college guys, Cam [Newton], in the hurryup and spread offense and kind of looking over to the sideline. It’s something we have to prepare for just in case we get it. It can’t do anything but work for us.”
LB Calvin Pace added that “a good thing about having a good veteran group is that the guys take it upon themselves to try to get to the ball, overdo it, try to get your conditioning done as much in practice as you can. It’s tough to go out and practice and then run gassers and then still have the whole rest of the day in meetings. I think the ideal way is just to try to push yourself as much as you can in practice in preparation for your Buffalo, New England, continuously bring that high tempo.”
Add Miami to the no-huddle mix. And look who the first two division rivals are on the schedule: the Bills at home on opening day, Sept. 9, and the Dolphins in Miami in Week 3, which is likely to be a typically hot South Florida late-September day.
All of which spoke well to this week’s return to late August practices in North Jersey. This afternoon’s session on the Atlantic Health Training Center grass was arguably was the hottest of the year, with heat-index temperatures in the upper 80s, little wind, and the session coming in at a Mangini-esque 2 hours, 25 minutes.
Temps are expected to remain in the upper 80s Thursday and Friday, both practices open to the public, before the Jets run into and attempt to run with Cam Newton and his Panthers in Sunday night’s NBC game.
For Ellis, a Load Lifted
Kenrick Ellis said today that one last big distraction, whether he would miss games for his recent legal problems in Virginia, was lifted when the NFL said Tuesday it would not suspend the second-year DT.
“To be honest, I was so focused on trying to compete here in camp, that was in the back of my mind,” Ellis told me this afternoon. “But yes, it is a relief that that part of it is taken care of and I can really focus on football now, focus on getting better every day, and doing what I’m supposed to do so I can get reps here.”
Bellore: Back or ‘Backer?
The Nick Bellore saga continues this week. Today the second-year linebacker and special-teams leader donned white jersey No. 46 for the entire practice. That’s what as in offense, as in fullback, the position he lined up at during one period late in the Cortland phase of training camp.
“I was with the offense the whole time today, starting with meetings, and I’m staying with the offense the whole week,” Bellore said. “It’s fun. I can’t complain. It gets me on the field.”
It also, perhaps in a small way, will improve the odds of achieving something that’s probably on the Bellore Bucket List.
“An embarrassing fact about me is that I’ve never scored a touchdown — ever,” he said. “I never made it to the promised land.”
Bellore hasn’t given up his green No. 54 jersey or his defensive playbook. But the experiment continues.
WR Jeremy Kerley is back working in team drills, while WR Santonio Holmes is still wearing the red jersey but did some 7-on-7 work. Both are “maybes” for Carolina on Sunday night. Definitely out for the Panthers: NT Sione Pouha (back), S Eric Smith (shoulder/knee), WR Chaz Schilens (ankle) and LB Ricky Sapp (ankle). … Wayne Hunter returned to practice, and he and Austin Howard split time with the ones at RT. … Pace (wisdom tooth) was also back, working on the side, and said he’ll be back in team drills Thursday.
Tags: Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Darrelle Revis, Florham Park, Kenrick Ellis, Nick Bellore, Rex Ryan, SUNY Cortland, Wayne Hunter
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