Garrett McIntyre knows his pelt in the twos-vs.-twos red zone period at this morning Jets training camp practice is not one to hang on his wall. But he still took a little satisfaction out of “sacking” Tim Tebow in the drill.
“I actually had a chance to sack Tim in the game last year — a real chance — and he made me look bad,” the second-year linebacker said, referring to last year’s 17-13 loss in Denver. “So I know his ability to make people miss. He’s strong. Anytime you can get your hands on him, you feel good, but it’s got to be a collective defensive thing, it’s not one guy, because he’ll make one guy miss.”
McIntyre didn’t miss this time. The second defensive front got good pressure and forced No. 15 to improvise, right into the arms of No. 50, who was coming off the defense’s right edge and pushing back LT Austin Howard.
“It’s just understanding the rush lanes,” Mac said, “knowing that Tebow’s going to scramble a lot and you can’t just run up the field on him. Our goal as a front, especially if we’re rushing four, is to contain him, which is not easy. I just came under. I don’t know who was on the other side but they did a good job of flushing back to me.”
Later in that same drive, McIntyre put a lick on Terrance Ganaway that knocked the rookie RB to the grass. The hit looked and no doubt felt good but drew a mild rebuke from head coach Rex Ryan, since this was not a full-tackling drill.
“You’ve got to treat each other well,” he said. “I was kind of off balance a little bit so I happened to fall on him. We like to be physical on this side of the ball, but we also like to take care of the other guys. We’re teammates, so that’s why I’m looking forward to Cincinnati.”
Some might think McIntyre’s a bubble ‘backer but he rightly feels a lot more comfortable this summer than he did last year, when he was a first-year NFL player who had been to three NFL camps and played for two years with the Arena League’s SabreCats and two years with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats.
“That probably would’ve been my last shot with the NFL. I would’ve gone back to Canada. I had a job waiting for me up there,” he said. “Now, I do, I believe I belong in this league. I just had to get in first. That’s the hardest part, especially the second time. The best chance you have is coming right out of college, then very rarely you get opportunities after that. So I’m blessed to just have gotten an opportunity and now I’m going to make the best out of it.”
Tempo and Soft Tissue
Santonio Holmes was the latest Jet — in fact their latest WR — who has had to sit out some reps. A little gimpy in previous days. Holmes was on the sideline for the first offense’s two-minute drill at the end of practice.
“Santonio was just one of those soft-tissue type of things,” said head coach Rex Ryan at today’s midday news conference. “That’s why it’s fortunate. They’re not major injuries. But those things keep adding up and we’re trying to figure out why.”
There have been more hamstring/calf-type pulls this year than in previous summers, so this morning’s return after Tuesday’s off-day began with a 20-minute stretching period before practice. Ryan and OC Tony Sparano have talked about the wideouts, who’ve been the hardest-tweaked, and one possible reason for the minor injuries is Sparano’s up-tempo approach, which often this camp has resulted in the Jets getting in twice as many plays in a particular period as they had originally scripted it for.
“I’m not saying anything against what we did in the past, but we were not even close to this kind of tempo,” Ryan said. “But this is who we are offensively, and that’s not going to change. We’re not slowing up. This isn’t just great for our offense but it’s great for our defense. A lot of no-huddle teams gain an advantage because the other teams aren’t working at that level. And I think we are.”
Vlad Ducasse was another injury concern, but the third-year man said he feels fine after playing LG, hitting the turf, then limping off. Ducasse also played a few reps at RG for the first time this camp, part of the Ryan/Tony Sparano/Dave DeGuglielmo push to get their O-linemen familiar with multiple positions.
In general Vlad says camp is going well, including GM Mike Tannenbaum’s description of him as “a young, ascending player.” “It always gives you confidence every time they talk positively about you. It makes you want to push yourself to get better every day,” he said. “This year I put a lot of pressure on myself to show something, so we’ll see.”
Could this be one of the key days in the kicking competition? For the in-practice FG period, Nick Folk hit from 35, 37, 44 and 46, Josh Brown from 39, 41, 47 and 49. Then Folk nailed a 51-yarder but Brown banged his 51-yarder high off the right upright. Then in the two-minute period, Mark Sanchez rescued his drive with a third-and-long completion to Dustin Keller to set up a Folk 51-yard “game-winner,” which he drove through. … Antonio Allen had his third INT in two practices on an off-line fade into the end zone from Tim Tebow for Dexter Jackson.
Veteran reporters and fans who followed the Jets more than a decade ago could be forgiven if they had a flashback this morning. On the sidelines and then walking off in close proximity to each other today were Aaron Glenn and Laveranues Coles. Glenn, the Jets’ Pro Bowl CB, is now a pro personnel assistant with the Jets. Coles, the 459-catch WR for the Green & White, is a pro personnel intern this summer. The two went up against each other during the ’00 and ’01 training camps back at Hofstra University.
S Tracy Wilson was waived this morning. The roster is now at 86 players. … Ryan said Saturday night’s Green & White scrimmage will be held for the first time in Cortland Stadium, on the school’s new turf field. “We’re going to put it in the stadium and the fans will get a better view,” Ryan said. “In the past we held these on the grass fields, but now the turf field’s so nice that we think we can do that. I think it’ll be a good experience for the fans and it’ll be a great experience for us.” … Today’s attendance: 2,361.
Tags: Aaron Glenn, Antonio Allen, Garrett McIntyre, Josh Brown, Laveranues Coles, Nick Folk, Rex Ryan, SUNY Cortland, Terrance Ganaway, Tim Tebow, training camp
Posted in Randy Lange | 44 Comments »
All kinds of people find their ways onto NFL rosters for the training camp season. They’re all physically and mentally tough enough, they all have their stories to tell. But some just seem to have an overflow of that necessary football mindset.
Guys from Texas, I’ve found, are often like that. They’ve been steeped in the traditions of the game from just after they learned to walk. They’ve played the game at a high level in high school and then college. But now some find themselves in the pros and realize it’s a brand new world, there are new jobs to be won and goals to be accomplished, and it’s just time to tighten the chinstrap, go to work and get ‘er done.
Terrance Ganaway strikes me as one of those guys.
Ganaway was a decorated player at DeKalb High, rushing for 6,587 career yards that at the time was the 26th-most in Texas prep history. Then he built his college career to a peak with last year’s 1,547-yard, 21-touchdown senior finale for Baylor. The Jets drafted him in the sixth round in April.
He’s in the middle of training camp now, and perhaps the biggest thing on his mind at the moment is … fullback.
When was the last time he played fullback?
“Never. Never,” Ganaway told me evenly. “I just know that fullback is a different breed of man. I’ve really got to get my mind mentally prepared for that. But at the end of the day it’s just football, man. We’ve been playing this game in pads since we first started. It’s just a part of the game.”
Ganaway is a bigger bopper of a running back similar to Shonn Greene’s build and style — an “A” back, in coordinator Tony Sparano’s parlance. He said he’s at 235 pounds now. He’s taking reps at tailback but with Josh Baker’s broken nose and Sparano’s search for versatility and depth behind John Conner, Ganaway lately has been getting reps at fullback as well.
Does he view the position addition as a minus? Absolutely not.
“I just think of it as me being that much more valuable to the team,” he told my partner, Eric Allen, as we double-teamed him for newyorkjets.com. “For me, special teams is a real big thing, then second fullback on the team, third or fourth running back on the team — I think that’s a travel guy. I don’t know, I’m not in the office calling all those shots, but I want to be the most marketable player that I can be on this team and fullback helps me do that.”
“Terrance did a nice job in there, so that was good,” head coach Rex Ryan said of Ganaway’s FB baptism. “He’s a funny guy and a great guy to be around. He’s always smiling. He’s about as positive of a person as you can think of and a tough guy. He’s going to win. He’s a competitor and those are the guys you want to hand the ball to. That just gives us two more options and it’s great for us.”
Tough guy? It exudes from Ganaway’s pores. EA asked him about putting the pads on for the first time on Sunday.
“It’s real nice to get on the pads,” he said. “You get to feel who’s really wanting to play football and who’s just wanting to be a T-shirt guy. I think I really want to play football.”
I asked Ganaway if he’s got enough time to learn the new position as well as he knows his primary position and add it to his repertoire so he becomes a member of the Jets’ travel team.
“I don’t have time. Time is not on my side,” he said. “I’ve just got to get in there and learn the plays. I’m not worried about doing something that I’m not able to do because I feel like I’m talented enough, smart enough and physical enough to play football. I’ve just got to learn the offense from the fullback and running back perspectives and I’ll be good to go.”
It’s been done before, but to see LaRon Landry do it adds an extra small chapter to the book on the Jets’ safety as a tough, driven, physical defender. No. 30 missed an interception that he felt he should have had in Sunday’s practice. As a result, on the hottest morning so far at SUNY Cortland, Landry performed an on-field penance — pushups — before heading to the sideline. I didn’t count them but it seemed as if he might have done 30 of them.
There was no camp practice today, with the Jets players getting their first mandated day off under the new CBA rules. They’ll return for padded practices Wednesday and Thursday (open to the public) and Friday (closed) before turning up the juice just a bit for the Green & White practice on Saturday evening, followed by their next day off on Sunday.
Tags: John Conner, Josh Baker, Rex Ryan, SUNY Cortland, Terrance Ganaway, training camp
Posted in Randy Lange, Uncategorized | 64 Comments »
A number of the Jets rookies who are sticking around the North Jersey area had a chance Monday to do a little cross-training. They participated in some minor-league baseball.
Well, more accurately they made a field trip to Bridgewater, N.J., to take in the Somerset Patriots’ Atlantic League game against the Long Island Ducks.
Jets third-round linebacker Demario Davis even got to throw out the game’s first pitch. He was ready to do more.
“I always wondered why they didn’t draft me out of high school or wanted to draft me,” Davis kidded with Eric Allen of newyorkjets.com about organized baseball’s lack of interest in him before he fired that first pitch homeward. “I think tonight I can try to show a little bit of what I’ve got. I don’t know if I can get it up to 90 miles an hour but I’m going to try. We’ll have to figure out if the catcher gives me a curveball or a fastball, but whatever he gives me, I’m going to be ready.”
Davis is ready for a lot of different endeavors this summer. He talked about his wedding to “the love of my life,” Tamela Gill, on July 7 back home in Walnut Grove, Miss.
“We have a week once I get home from the NFL’s rookie symposium and we’re going to be joined together in front of the church and the family — I can’t wait for that,” Davis said. “Then we’ll be off to the Bahamas for the honeymoon.
“There’s a lot going on. I’m definitely excited. It’s going to be good to go home and get that rest and relaxation, and then come back fresh and get ready for training camp.”
Oh, yeah, Jets training camp in Cortland, N.Y., which begins in late July. Davis is prepared for that as well.
“It’s going to be fun just putting on the pads and being able to hit again,” he said. “I definitely can’t wait to get to Cortland, be back with all the team and get to work.”
Davis was with part of his team Monday afternoon and evening. Making the trip with him to the Patriots’ TD Bank Ballpark, were RB Terrance Ganaway, WR Jordan White, G Terrence Campbell, DT Matt Hardison, OL Fred Koloto and WR Royce Pollard, along with Montelle Sanders, the Jets’ manager of player development.
Laura Clemente was there as well representing the Jets’ social media wing. She took the fine photo of Davis loading up the high cheese. And she’ll have coverage of that first pitch and interviews with the Jets on their day at the ballpark available today on the Jets’ Facebook page.
For all of you who didn’t get enough of the Yanks’ Subway Series beatdown of the Mets in their two three-game weekend series, in Monday’s game Somerset manager Sparky Lyle, the former Yankee, and his Patriots put away the Ducks and co-owner and former Met Bud Harrelson, 3-2, on Freddy Bynum’s RBI double in the 13th inning.
But enough about the national pastime. As a sage friend of mine once said, “Every day of baseball … is a day closer to training camp.” And as of today for Davis, Pollard, Koloto and the rest of the Jets, the countdown clock reads 30 days until the Jets report to Cortland and 32 days until their first practice open to the public on Saturday, July 28.
Tags: Demario Davis, Montelle Sanders, Somerset Patriots, Sparky Lyle, Terrance Ganaway, training camp
Posted in Randy Lange | 46 Comments »
DaMarcus Ganaway is on a few of Robert Hunter’s long strange trips this offseason with the Jets.
For one thing, off the field the free agent wideout may soon be venturing into his past to answer one of the most frequently asked questions of him in the Jets locker room: Are you and Terrance related?
“Not that we know of,” DaMarcus said with a smile about his fellow NFL newbie, sixth-round running back Terrance Ganaway. “But we’ve been talking about it and we’re talking about going to ancestry.com or a Website like that. We get along really well and we want to look into it.”
On the surface, there’s no reason to assume the two are long-lost cousins. DaMarcus grew up in Indianapolis and excelled at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Terrance, meanwhile, is Texas born and bred, growing up in DeKalb near the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders and then plying his football trade in college at Houston and, more famously, Baylor.
On the other hand, DaMarcus said, “The name isn’t that common. And my mom said we have some family down South. It’d be crazy if we were related.”
The other trek has been for Ganaway to get to where he is now, vying for a spot on the crowded wideout depth chart.
“It’s been a journey,” he said, again in a light rather than heavy mood.
DaMarcus after all is a rare “tweener,” considered a first-year player with NFL “experience” while effectively still a rookie, on his first NFL roster, similar in a way to TE Hayden Smith, who first turned to rugby after his non-football career at a small Denver college.
Ganaway’s senior season at Wesleyan was 2010, and a decent one it was: a team-leading 68 catches for 1,035 yards and touchdowns, which led to his being named Great Lakes Conference Receiver of the Year.
But KWC is an NCAA Division II school that has never had an alumnus play in the NFL. And no doubt level of competition conspired with last year’s lockout to prevent him from latching on anywhere. Other than a bye week workout with the Jets last October, he didn’t get a pro sniff.
But Ganaway still got some NFL exposure, he told Kristian Dyer of Metro New York, by working out with a few big names, among them perennial Cardinals Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald. How’d that happen? Well, Ganaway’s rep is Indy-based superagent Eugene Parker, who has represented Curtis Martin over the years, not to mention Fitzgerald.
“Yeah, we have the same agent, and the camp Larry does up in Minnesota, I was a part of that, too,” Ganaway said. “This offseason I was training in New Orleans with guys like Larry and Torrance Small, who used to play for the Saints.”
Ganaway, Dyer detailed, slept on the floor of brother MarQueis Gray, who just happened to be the U. of Minnesota’s starting QB, during the summer, then once the season began and he had no team, he headed for Jacksonville to be with his girlfriend and two children and work out, often alone.
The Jets signed him in January to a reserve/future deal, then waived him in early April and re-signed him later last month, a procedural matter. Since then, the 6’2″, 185-pounder has been wearing the green and white, showing good hands and drawing occasional kudos from coordinator Tony Sparano.
“I’m excited to be here for my first time as a pro,” he said, “being in this facility with Coach Sparano and [WRs coach] Sanjay Lal. Especially after not playing last year, I feel I need to catch up. The game can lose you, and some things fall through the cracks.”
He’s got plenty of competition before he’s got a job. Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley and Patrick Turner return, Chaz Schilens arrived from Oakland in free agency, and Stephen Hill was drafted in Round 2. For maybe one more active roster spot, he’s got to fight off Round 7 rookie Jordan White, second-year man Dexter Jackson, first-year returnees Scotty McKnight and Eron Riley, and undrafted free agent signee Royce Pollard.
But Ganaway’s finally got a toehold. And he’s among family, maybe even more family than he first thought.
“Hard Knocks” Search Reaches a Fin-ale
NFL Films and HBO just announced this afternoon that they’ve finally settled on an NFL team for this summer’s next “Hard Knocks” miniseries. And the winner is the Miami Dolphins. We know many Jets fans are disappointed at this news … and many more are relieved that the Jets will not be reprising their roles, teamwise and individually, as the stars of the 2010 training camp series.
So it looks like just another boring month of August getting ready for the regular season up in Cortland, N.Y. …
Tags: DaMarcus Ganaway, Eugene Parker, Hard Knocks, Kentucky Wesleyan, Larry Fitzgerald, Santonio Holmes, Terrance Ganaway, Tony Sparano
Posted in Randy Lange | 20 Comments »
It is impossible to fairly or accurately grade an NFL team’s draft just days after its completion. When the Jets scouting contingent was down in Mobile, Ala., back in January, I asked Terry Bradway how long it should be before you get the pen out and put a letter in your book.
“The rule of thumb is really three years,” said Bradway, the team’s senior personnel executive. “You really want them playing by the second year — at least some significant time — and then possibly be a starter. Not everyone is going to be a starter that you draft and we know that. Some guys have a lot of value as sub players, nickel players, whether it be on offense or defense. It normally takes three.”
But many pundits are asked to deliver draft grades within three hours of the draft’s end. And as fans of football, it’s something we demand and peek at even though it means absolutely nothing. The Jets college scouts will take a little break themselves before getting to work on the 2013 draft.
“Once the draft’s over, we’ll accumulate the names for the following year,” Bradway said. “We’ll do some initial work on last year’s tape. In August our scouts will hit the road and probably go until the first week of December.”
By December, the members of the Jets 2012 Draft Class (who made the team) will almost have a full season under their belts. Jets Nation can hope the class will be dubbed the “Elite Eight,” but we’ll only know in due time. The Green & White were happy with their weekend effort and they think it will lead to more W’s in the future.
Let’s take a look at what some analysts thought of the Jets draft and how some graded it.
DE Quinton Coples is a colossal roll of the dice at 16 overall, and the Jets decided to address their issues at offensive tackle by completely ignoring that position. WR Stephen Hill (43) will help that underwhelming unit, as might sleeper Jordan White (244). But there was more bad than good here. Grade: D+
John Czarnecki, Senior NFL Writer, Fox Sports
This franchise rolled the dice on all their first three picks, which has been their approach lately. It doesn’t mean the draftees aren’t talented, it’s just whether or not they are the right fit. There were questions about North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, the first-round pick. Some scouts thought he had a bad habit of taking plays off. … They traded up for Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill because he’s a great blocker for their power running game. Now, that makes some sense because Hill only caught 49 passes in his college career. And he should be able to block because Tech used a triple-option running game. But Hill is 6-foot-4 and runs a 4.3 40-yard dash. … Demario Davis of Arkansas State is another edge rushing linebacker. … Baylor’s Terrance Ganaway, a 240-pound running back, could be a great find and should help on short-yardage. … Staying at Baylor, the Jets took right guard Brandon [sic] T. Griffin, a 335-pounder with no relation to his former quarterback teammate. Grade: C
Vinnie Iyer, NFL Writer, Sporting News
Key picks: DE Quinton Coples, WR Stephen Hill, OLB Demario Davis.
Rex Ryan got some 3-4 pieces, but we just don’t know if they’re the right ones. Hill has explosive potential with the right QB. Grade: C
Mel Kiper Jr., Draft Expert & College Football Analyst, ESPN
The Jets surprised me when they went with Quinton Coples over Melvin Ingram in Round 1. To be blunt, I just think Ingram is the superior player — and I have outside linebacker as New York’s top need. Coples is a more natural fit as a 4-3 defensive end, and the obvious conclusion is Rex Ryan intends to move him inside. Still, I don’t see him as a significant help in a need area — the pass rush. Stephen Hill is a major physical talent, but he’s a project in terms of route running. He can certainly keep safeties honest, however. You have to account for his deep speed, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to help a lot in 2012. I like the value of Demario Davis. He was my fifth-ranked OLB in this draft. Size is a question, but Rex may set him loose situationally. Grade: C
Pete Prisco, Senior NFL Columnist, CBSSportsline.com
Best pick: Second-round receiver Stephen Hill has the tools to be an explosive player, but he is raw. Can this regime get the best out of him? If they can, he will be a steal. Boom or bust pick.
Questionable move: Taking Quinton Coples in the first round is a strange move for this team. He doesn’t seem to fit what they do. Oh, and he also took last season off at North Carolina.
Third-day gem: Running back Terrance Ganaway put up big numbers in Baylor’s offense. He is a big back at 239 pounds.
Analysis: The Jets took two players in the first two rounds who are risks. Is that really something this front office and staff can afford to do? Add in the stupid Tim Tebow trade, and the Jets haven’t had a great start to 2012. It’s a feast-or-famine draft. Grade: C–
Mike Lombardi, NFL.com, NFL Network
Obviously Rex Ryan knows defensive players. He took Quinton Coples. He’s going to look at the junior tape and think, “Hey I can get that out of him.” … Stephen Hill has a chance to be a starting receiver for them — big and fast. And then the [Demario] Davis kid they took in the third round, I think he’s going to be a really good player in their scheme. I think he’ll be perfect for what they do.
Tony Pauline, Draft Analyst, CNNSI, Publisher, DraftInsider.Net
Stephen Hill/WR/NY Jets/Pick No. 43 — Hill was the vertical pass-catching threat in the Yellow Jackets’ option running attack. He turned in an immense combine workout and has been receiving first-round consideration since February. Hill is rough around the edges, yet the type of receiver the Jets offense desperately needs.
Tags: Demario Davis, John Czarnecki, Mel Kiper, NFL Draft, Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Terrance Ganaway, Tony Pauline
Posted in Eric Allen | 116 Comments »