Updated, 3:38 p.m. ET
There’s something different about Kyle Wilson this offseason, and it’s a lot more than the absence of the trademark dreadlocks the cornerback wore his first three seasons in green and white.
“I’m excited about where Kyle is,” head coach Rex Ryan said this morning before the start of the final practice of the Jets’ full-squad minicamp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “This is the best [offseason] he’s had, and its not close. I’ve been proud of the way he’s come into these OTAs, the way he’s competing.”
Wilson said there are no big secrets to the offseason he’s had.
“I’m just using my experience to my advantage,” he said. “I know exactly what to look for, I know why we’re calling stuff in different scenarios. I try to use that to think like a coach out there so I’m not having rookie mistakes. But you can see things and understand what we’re trying to do defensively to put myself in a better position.”
Wilson has a couple of things going for him in the Jets’ post-Island world. When Darrelle Revis went down for the season at Miami in Game 3, Kyle moved into Revis’ left corner spot for the last 13 games and 14 overall opposite Antonio Cromartie, giving him his most playing time as a pro — he averaged almost 60 defensive snaps a game playing either outside or in the slot.
The other element is the drafting of Dee Milliner ninth overall. Many assumed Milliner, the Alabama corner, was taken to plug into the starting lineup after Revis was traded to Tampa Bay the week of the draft.
“That’s wrong,” GM John Idzik said at the time. “It may be perceived that way, but the reality is Dee was one of our highest-ranked players, regardless of position on the board, so we took him.”
And the offseason reality has been that Milliner has been sidelined by his shoulder rehab as expected while Wilson has been picking up where he left off.
Motivation? “Yeah, it’s going to do something,” Wilson said in the locker room today before he and his teammates split for their last extended downtime of the year before the start of training camp. “But me just staying focused is going to help me out and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
“Certainly there’s going to be competition for that spot,” Ryan said. “Dee will have every opportunity to compete for that as well. You take a guy with the ninth overall pick for good reason. We’ll see how it goes.”
“Right now my focus is it doesn’t matter to me who’s here and who’s not here,” Wilson said. “I don’t think anything is going to change the way I go out there and perform on the field. That’s really my focus of getting better, doing my best personally to help out the team.”
Geno Comments a Day Later
Rookie QB Geno Smith clarified his no-comment responses to several questions at the end of his Wednesday locker room news conference regarding his attending Jets West, the independent get-together of Jets skill players that Mark Sanchez holds back in his Southern California stomping grounds.
“When you guys asked me about Jets West yesterday, myself and Mark, we hadn’t met to discuss that,” Smith said. “It kind of caught me off guard because it’s not on my schedule. Basically I didn’t comment because I was always taught if you don’t know what you’re answering, not to comment on it. We hadn’t talked about it.
“But from my understanding, it’s something that’s done annually, all the guys go out there, and it’s been a great event. Mark hasn’t officially extended the hand to me, but I’m pretty sure there’s no problem there. I’m more than willing to go there, get some work, and work with the guys, because it helps team bonding. I fully support that.”
Ryan on the minicamp and offseason: “I’m happy where the team’s at. Clearly we have a long way to go in a lot of areas, but we threw so much at our guys. I’m really proud of the preparation our guys showed, and obviously I think we made a lot of strides in our strength and conditioning. We’ve got a ton of stuff to improve on, we know that. This is just the beginning of the process.”
Receivers’ hands showed up better today. Stephen Hill had a nice go-route, wrong-shoulder grab of a Geno pass over Josh Bush during the final practice inside the Jets’ fieldhouse. Veteran tryout WR Mike Sims-Walker also had a nice grab. … Demario Davis and Aaron Berry had nice aggressive interceptions. … Ryan on the possibility of signing tryout WR Kellen Winslow: “I’m not going to discuss that now but I see exactly what you see. … You can certainly feel his presence.” … RB-KR Joe McKnight tweaked his ankle Wednesday but finished that practice and worked today.
Tags: Dee Milliner, Geno Smith, John Idzik, Kyle Wilson, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan
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