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Blog

A.Lynn Recalls When the Bell Tolled at Camp

Posted by Randy Lange on July 21, 2013 – 8:41 am

This week we’re assembling, with the help of our partners at the Daily News, this year’s Training Camp Pullout Section, which will appear in the News this week and will be available to fans arriving at SUNY Cortland for the first practices open to the public beginning this Friday, July 26.

In pulling together the content for this section, I spoke with several Jets assistant coaches, who gave of their time away from the Atlantic Health Training Center to discuss some of the things Jets fans can expect to see when they arrive at our upstate New York summer headquarters to watch practices.

I also asked them to go back into their personal vaults for one or two poignant memories of training camps when they were the players and not the coaches. These reminiscences will not appear in the pullout, but we’ll pop several of them up here on the Radar over the next four days to whet everyone’s appetite for the footballs that are about to fly.

Batting leadoff is Anthony Lynn, the Jets’ running backs coach who has added the title of assistant head coach this year. Lynn opened his trip down memory lane by explaining why he feels the Cortland experience is important to the current crop of Jets.

“Really, anytime you go off somewhere and get into this daily routine of dawn to dusk, it’s mentally challenging and physically challenging,” Lynn said. “You try to prepare your mind for it. You know it’s going to be hard.”

How difficult is the experience? Lynn went back to his playing days, when he and TE Shannon Sharpe and the rest of the Broncos in the late Nineties encamped at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

“I looked forward to those training camps, but I also prepared my mind mentally for them, too,” he said. “A lot of times you’d go to sleep in the dorm at night and the next morning you’d wake up and the guy next to you was not there. A lot of teams had ways to signal things like that. For us, Shannon Sharpe rang a bell that would wake everyone up. We heard the bell, we knew someone had tapped out.”

Some have argued that with the new rules in place, camp is not as tough as it was in those days. Lynn doesn’t see it that way.

“In a way the rules have made it more intense,” he said. “When I played, we were in camp for five or six weeks. You could be a little more laid back because you had time.

“Now camp is 3½, four weeks. It’s very intense. That’s why I like going away to Cortland. To me, that’s when the team is built, when the chemistry is set. You see who the leaders and who the followers are going to be. There’s nothing wrong with being a follower, but at training camp you see the leaders emerge. I always looked forward to that and I still do today.”

Grantland Celebrates Wilkerson

Grantland.com is the website started by ESPN personality Bill Simmons in 2011 that covers sports and pop culture. And recently Grantland trained its eye on Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson in Robert Mays’ story headlined The All-22 All-Star Team: Muhammad Wilkerson and the New Versatility. It’s a thoughtful study on Mo’s game complete with Xs-and-Os type analysis and a few embedded videos.

The All-22 Team, Mays explains, is an attempt to provide insight on the NFL’s 22 most underappreciated players, and Mo classifies as such, although the way he finished the second half of 2012, I don’t think he’ll continue to qualify in 2013. In a key paragraph in the piece, Mays explains why new Jets DC Dennis Thurman loves Wilkerson:

Plenty of players can shift between these two spots, but few have the strength to hold up in the 3-4 and the quickness to be truly effective in the 4-3. Fewer still can make that sack and then hold up as a nose guard just a few plays later. Outside of Justin Smith, it’s hard to think of a player who’s as useful in as many different roles. “There’s a saying that we have, ‘The more you can do,’ ” Thurman says. “The more you can do, the more you increase your value. And he has tremendous value.”


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Posted in Randy Lange | 12 Comments »


12 Responses to “A.Lynn Recalls When the Bell Tolled at Camp”

  1. By scjoe on Jul 21, 2013 | Reply

    Well, camp is just one week away and none of the top 3 draft picks have been signed yet. It is not that critical for Milliner and Richardson, but it is for Smith. There haven’t been rave reviews for what Idzik has done so far, not having his top 3 picks in camp, especially with the new rookie salary structure, will not help.

  2. By IRA on Jul 21, 2013 | Reply

    Coach Lynn and Thurman won’t say it but they know for better or worse in their days camp was much more physical and harder on the players then camps are today.
    I have a tradition I still have last years Camp Preview that Randy and his staff puts out in my knapsack. I save them and keep it in my bag all year until the new season starts. Look forward to getting it and to all fans who get them it’s always worth the read. Still wish they had those Game Day Playbooks.
    Looks like Idzik as I expected is standing firm as of now with the offset language contract issue with our 3 unsigned players. We need them in camp from day one.
    Holmes’ injury seems to be a real iffy issue now. They must address this and add a WR and I am sure they will.

  3. By IRA on Jul 21, 2013 | Reply

    I think we will see a few new names on the roster before opening day for sure.
    GO JETS!!!!

  4. By Jet fan Frank 1864 on Jul 21, 2013 | Reply

    I feel the 3 players yet to be signed will be signed before the season starts… LETS GO JETS…

  5. By SCfromNY on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    I do not understand how with the new rookie wage scale everyone is not signed. I am hoping for great things from Smith but a 2nd round not signing? I am sure he thinks he should have been 1rst round. But to paraphrase Parcells, “You are what your record says you are.” and he is a 2nd round pick.

    I agree with many posters that the “easier” camp has led to more injuries and a league wide poor tackling.

  6. By wayne on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    Newsflash!: I actually like Rex Ryan…….From what I’ve learned about him, from press, when he’s not in spin mode. Not particulaly interested in seeing him fired, though I am one of his biggest critics here……It would be good to see him make the adjustments he needs to make to become a complete HC. What little I know bout his learning challenges, can’t help but be impressed with a man who is adapting and making changes to improve himself………….I still believe he’s got a chance to stick, but it will be difficult with a good defense and Zero, nil, nada,zip, zed on offense.Needs to be graded something other than Ws and Ls.

  7. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    Mo Wilkerson is a stud! I was saying it early last year & I was being told to cool my heels. When I am at the games I see other teams can not block him. He is a load to handle. It is not pretty & he doesnt put up big sack numbers cause he is not an end speed rusher he is a interior lineman 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT. But he is a stud player none the less!

  8. By SQUIRREL on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    alright. i’m just gonna come out and say it, or ask it at least. am I the only one who think Sanchez looks absolutely ridiculous with his long curlish hair and that stupid head band. he looks like a chick from one of these god awful realty shows. if I were a rookie I think I would have a problem taking him seriously.

  9. By Mike Jet Vet on Jul 22, 2013 | Reply

    Here is just another reason I believe Smith is immature, he already believes he’s worth more then he has yet to prove, Milner and Richardson are 1st round, not that I approve of holding out, but they have a slight edge in bargaining , over Smith, if he isn’t signed by Preseason sit him and give Mac and Simms his reps we don’t need another Revis situation nip it in the bud

  10. By ronbo on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    SPICER, I was one of those who suggested earlier last season you wait to nominate Mo-Wilk to Canton.Sorry bro but you tend to get a little carried away prematurely about some of these guys. That said you are absolutely right about Mo. He has clearly become the player you envisioned last year and perhaps even better. From what I’ve been reading he has dropped a few pounds in an effort to become a better pass rusher. If that happans he is likely headed to be a pro-bowl regular. Good call bro!

  11. By Mike Jet Vet on Jul 23, 2013 | Reply

    SQUIRREL, I said that exact thing about Sanchez about 3 weeks ago, he looks ridiculous,

  12. By Ronbo on Jul 24, 2013 | Reply

    Squirrel & MJV Amen brothers! I dont think he could look more goofey if he came into camp wearing a pair of diapers! SCfromNY, the signings are being held up not because of the actual salary but the length of the obligation. As NFL salaries are not always guaranteed these guys are looking for more guaranteed money of shorter obligations so they can move on to their second contracts.

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