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Isaiah Trufant: The Man Who Picked Off Geno

Posted by Randy Lange on July 31, 2013 – 2:29 pm

It was the 1-on-1 passing drills early in today’s Jets training camp practice, and Isaiah Trufant was running stride for stride with Vidal Hazelton, a 5’8″ corner working to rise above a 6’2″ wideout.

What’s more, Trufant was trying to do the impossible so far this camp: pick off rookie QB Geno Smith.

On this play, 5’8″ stood tall.

“Was that Geno?” Trufant said, genuinely seeming not to know that Smith, who reportedly hadn’t been intercepted in the first four days of camp, had finally been picked. “He’s an exceptional athlete. He has great placement on the ball. As a DB, it’s always tough to try and go get those picks. Sometimes they can fall in there for you, sometimes you’ve got to go get them.”

It’s a great story that Trufant was able to go get this one and has looked good back in his role of nickel corner and back-end buzzsaw. He was having a decent season last year, topped by his showing vs. Wes Welker up at New England in Week 7, only to suffer a season-ending knee injury two weeks later at Seattle.

“I started to feel myself again a little bit in minicamp,” he said of his rehab process. “Then that break helped a lot. Really within that break it started to come around.”

Isaiah Trufant knows it’s never going to be easy. He’s only a third-year NFL player but you can make him a 10th-season player if you count in his seasons with the Spokane Shock, Kansas City Brigade and Arizona Rattlers in the Arena leagues and the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives. Now he’s in camp with Dee Milliner, the first-round pick who was in pads but limited at today’s practice and was conducting his own news update with reporters about 20 yards behind us.

“I don’t worry about those things,” Trufant said about such personnel issues as a first-round pick costing the former free agent a roster spot. “I just focus on me doing the best things I can do. Some things may be out of my hands, out of my control. I can’t dwell on those things.”

He’s therefore not dwelling much on the Jets’ Week 2 date with the Patriots in Foxboro, Mass., when he could, if things break well and the game plan calls for it, be covering Danny Amendola, not Welker, who’s now a Bronco.

“It could be,” Trufant said. “I’m just going to be ready for whatever position I’m put in. Whether it’s special teams or defense, I’ve got to be ready.”

Rex Cetera

Both Smith and Mark Sanchez had down days throwing the ball. Sanchez returned to run with the first offense. He threw a screen that was batted in the air and almost picked off by a roaring Muhammad Wilkerson, and suffered a pick by Antonio Cromartie. Sanchez also threw one TD pass but Stephen Hill couldn’t hold onto another. Yet Hill made a beautiful leaping snag of a Sanchez downfield throw.

Head coach Rex Ryan on Sanchez: “I think everybody gets enamored with anybody who can throw a 96-mile-per-hour fastball. Mark certainly has a good enough arm to play in this league, he’s done it.” … Ryan on Geno: “Holding the football concerns me a little bit. If I could point to a negative, we’re going to take some hits. But along those lines, he has confidence, he’s got poise, he’s hanging in there, and he’s very accurate with the football.”

Ryan said third-round rookie Brian Winters got some work at guard with the ones today because Stephen Peterman had “a little bit of a shoulder.” “But certainly we said there’s going to be competition at that guard spot.” … First-round DL Sheldon Richardson didn’t practice due to some dental issues. “One tooth needs to come out,” said Rex, “and he maybe needs a root canal in another.” … Today’s attendance: 1,333.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 26 Comments »


26 Responses to “Isaiah Trufant: The Man Who Picked Off Geno”

  1. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Trufant played well against Wes Welker and appears once again to be holding his own against bigger players. The interception he made of Geno’s pass boosted his confidence. LETS GO JETS…

  2. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    I like Trufant the kid has heart. He was playing well for us before he got hurt last year.

  3. By ronbo on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    RANDY, great job recognizing Trufant as he is one of those guys who usually flies under the “radar”! LOL-get it? under the radar? oh well,your right it wasn’t that funny anyway! Seriously, this guy has mad skill as he is perfectly suited to playing the slot receivers because he has quick feet which enable him to change direction to stay with the usually shiftier,smaller receivers like Welker & Amendola. He comes from good bloodlines as he now has two brothers also playing in the NFL one of who was drafted in this years draft in the 1st rd.In spite of the one knee injury at this position I still consider a position of strength as there are 5 or 6 guys that can play at that spot.Not so sure about the back end(safty) but there’s time to fix it

  4. By IRA on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Glad for Trufant he needs to step it up. After the loss of Berry this window has opened for him. They are loaded at CB and Walls, Fletcher and Lankster are all playing very well. This is going to be a very good group.
    GO JETS!!!!

  5. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    SCJoe, To keep the coversation current I am posting hear. You said Smith should start IF he wins the job. If Geno starts it is because he won the job. Sanchez is guarenteed $8,000,000 so the Jets have alot of reasons to start him.

  6. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Like you RONBO and SCJOE pre-season for us starts next week on August 9, against the Lions lets see how we do on August 9th and thereafter. I was glad to see Mac get in a lot of reps and from what I gathered he looked sharp. No way he will start just glad to see him being worked in. Trufant if he stays healthy will be an asset to the team and that holds true for Hill and Dee Milliner.

  7. By IRA on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Tom,
    The best man will start at QB the money will not play into making a decision who gets the job.
    Like the story on Edwards. I am so happy they resigned him. Not only is he going to produce on the field he will help Hill and some of the other young WR’s with their games. Plus Edwards has always been a good blocker in the running game and that is going to be very important for this team. They must be able to run the ball to have any type of success offensively.

  8. By MrJetGreen on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    I think its time to declare Geno the winner and have him take the rest of the snaps with the 1′s. Get the clipboard Mark.

  9. By wayne on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Mark Sanchez needs to take one more for the team like a good soldier….If it were me I would not like it one bit, but you tow the companyline. Especially when you’re being well compensated for doing so…….Throwing Geno Smith into the fire, with the same supporting cast that has lead to losing one fairly viable QB, will lead to losing another. Put him in halfway thru season. Get a look at the mess and know it’s not him. Get him young WRs who will follow, no divas and have them grow together……………………..If they’re even it’s another indictment of MS, but still I start him

  10. By scjoe on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    Spicer, I said “If Smith wins the job legitimately” meaning no politics or no injuries involved. That said, here is how I feel about the current QB “dilemma” How bad can Sanchez be (a 5th year pro) if he can’t distance himself from a rookie QB who spent his entire college career in the shotgun? On the flip side, (at this point in time anyway) how bad can Smith be if he can’t distance himself from Sanchez who is still, today, making the exact same mistakes he has made for the better part of his pro career? See where I am coming from? Someone simply has to step up, and soon.

  11. By scjoe on Jul 31, 2013 | Reply

    I have to agree for the most part with Spicer, Ron and Frank, Trufant plays with heart, he played well against Welker etc. But at the end of the day he is a 5’8” cb who will struggle in the long run against some of the bigger, faster and better WRs in this league. When it is all said and done (barring injuries) he will be competing for the 4th or 5th. CB spot.

  12. By ronbo on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    S.C.Joe, your QB analysis is as usual spot on.Like you I’m not ready to declare a winner yet as the bullets really don’t start flying till the games start. Lets at least see if one if these guys can at least lead a touchdown scoring drive during the preseason.I still cant get the memory of last season’s debacle after debacle during the preseason out of my head.( which of course continued on to the reg. season with the exception of the Buffalo game which proved to be nothing but more than an aberration.WAYNE, Spicer makes a good point about the QB situation. As the WR position is apparently a little better than we originally anticipated I don’t think playing Geno would hinder his development.

  13. By GaryC on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Scjoe,you are right,the jet quarterback of the future might not even be on the roster now.Next years draft class of quarterbacks is much stronger then this year’s,McCarron,Braxton Miller,Bridgewater to name a few,reason why I thought the jets could live with a Sanchez/McElroy duo for this year,and if Sanchez stunk out the joint again we would be in great position for a higher rated quarterback next year.

  14. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    SCJoe, I think Geno is distancing himself the local papers have a thing everyday were they go over there performance. It had Sanchez in a slight lead before camp opened. Than a a few days after camp started it had them head to head. A few days after that they gave Geno a slight lead. In todays paper it says Geno has a strong lead.

  15. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    From Rotoworld “Stephen Hill believes he’s talented enough to be the Jets’ No. 1 receiver.
    “Honestly I feel like I can be that guy even if (Santonio Holmes) is out there on the field,” Hill said Wednesday. “That’s just my competitiveness, that’s what I feel like I can do.” Hill received poor marks for his play in OTAs, but has rebounded in a big way in training camp, even drawing public praise from coach Rex Ryan”

  16. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    From ESPN ” Jets coach Rex Ryan remains committed to the idea of using Geno Smith on read-option plays.
    But Smith was a pure drop-back passer at West Virginia. Nevertheless, there are mounting indications that Smith is out-playing Mark Sanchez in camp. “He can do more (than Sanchez),” were the words of an anonymous veteran when asked about Smith”

  17. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Ivory tried to practice yesterday & he could not that is not a good sign.

  18. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini stated on NFL Live that Geno Smith may have grabbed a “slight edge” in the Jets’ quarterback battle.”If Mark (Sanchez) has more days like this,” Cimini said after Wednesday’s practice, “we could see a changing of the guard at QB.” Ex-Seahawks exec Idzik wants Chris Ivory to be his Marshawn Lynch, and Smith to be his Russell Wilson.

  19. By TIM on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    1. GENO SMITH should (NOT) START the season as JETS Starting QB!

    2. JETS needs to make sure the (OFFENSE LINE and RECEIVERS) are RIGHT before they put GENO SMITH in there!

    3. GENO SMITH should NOT START the season as QB, because it is EASIER to go from SANCHEZ to GENO, than go from GENO to SANCHEZ!

    4. The just should wait until AFTER the BYE WEEK to start GENO SMITH as QB.

  20. By Eli Rodriguez......LOOKING FOR RB on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Is it just me or is Rex plotting something by subjecting he’s thinking of the wildcat with Geno Smith. Is he saying that Geno Smith WILL COME IN (ONLY) and run the wildcat. If Geno is running the wildcat–Does that mean that Mark Sanchez will be running the offense. REX WANT MARK AS HIS QB NO MATTER WHAT EVEN IF GENO BEAT HIM STRAIGHT-UP.

  21. By JET FAN FRANK SINCE 64 on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    I am hoping that IDZIK puts a halt to the wild cat. As I said on a previous post the JETS are not geared up for the wild cat. I do not know if we will see Goodson on the field soon, but Ivory and a couple of other backs are performing well, if Goodson should come back, we could have an excellent running game and with an excellent running game their is “no place” for the wild cat. ELI I do not believe they will use Geno or Sanchez in a wild cat situation especially if we get a running game going that would compliment the passing game. Holmes will be back and the prediction is by the 5th or 6th regular season game, will he be the same time will tell, if he is the old Holmes we could have a good passing/running game. I am hoping for this.

  22. By Mike Jet Vet on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Spicer, Yes Sanchez is due many Millions, my question to you, Sanchez will be paid no matter if injured sitting or playing correct?, now for argument sake Lets say any one of our 3 other QB’s on the roster plays Plays and winning games, while Sanchez is sitting still getting paid. Now lets say Sanchez is playing but he’s losing yet still getting paid, you know what he does best,fumbling stumbling bumbling INT the ball away, My question to you is would you Rather us win with another QB while we pay him or lose while we play him , either way he still gets paid OOPS .

  23. By scjoe on Aug 1, 2013 | Reply

    Spicer, true, Smith may be a step ahead of Sanchez right now, but that is not exactly what I had in mind by “distancing himself” by that I meant one or the other being put in the situation where they get ALL of the first team reps because they are looked upon as THEE starting QB. That would be best case for everyone involved. In my mind, the sooner that happens the better. Don’t get me wrong, if it has to go down to the 2nd or 3rd pre season game, fine! But the more 1st team reps, for either, going into the season is still best case.

  24. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Jet Vet, I think you are misunderstanding what I wrote. I want the QB to play who will help the Jets win I dont care what his name is or how much he makes I root for the Jets & no matter who the starting QB is for the Jets I will root for him. I am a Jet fan period!

  25. By Tom "Section 124 Row 20" Spicer on Aug 2, 2013 | Reply

    SCJoe, We have a REAL game in 37 days. The Jets have to name the starter by the day after the 3rd pre season game at the latest. This way this guy has at least 2 weeks with all the first team reps with the starting O.

  26. By Mike on Aug 4, 2013 | Reply

    Hill has no hands he will lose more games for the jets then he can win i say trade him…

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