Follow on Twitter
on July 31, 2014 at 8:01 PM, updated August 01, 2014 at 12:42 AM
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The question that hung over the proceedings at Jets camp on Thursday was whether the offense would still be as woefully poor as it was a day earlier, which was somehow worse than the unit had performed the day before that.
Survey says: The offense bounced back. Here's what we noticed at SUNY Cortland on Thursday, the first full-contact, tackle-guys-to-the-ground practice of the summer. Somehow the rain stayed away for just about as long as the Jets were on the field, but it also poured both right before and right after practice. Go figure.
Off we go:
1. The offense showed some fight. Unlike Tuesday, which was marred by penalties, and Wednesday, which saw the offense do next to nothing right, the O managed to scrape itself off the canvas on Thursday to punch back at the defense. The highlights were Michael Vick reading a blitz to check down and find tight end Zach Sudfeld, who easily raced for a long touchdown; Geno Smith connecting deep down the sideline for wideout David Nelson before safety Antonio Allen could catch up; and a Smith lateral to running back Chris Ivory that went for a long gain.
2. Geno Smith gets all the QB reps. Darryl Slater has your full QB update overhere, but Smith got 16 with the first-team, and Vick got zero. Also, don't ask Vick about whether a starter's been named. He might smack your rear.
3. Goal-line drills were a draw. Well, they were a draw for the first-teamers, anyway. In four first-team snaps from the two-yard line or closer, the offense scored twice and the defense held twice. Safety Dawan Landry stopped fullback Tommy Bohanan, Ivory punched it in, Smith scored after rolling to his right, and Ivory got stood up at the line of scrimmage, after which defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and tight end Jeff Cumberland briefly got into a skirmish. The fifth snap for the first team resulted in a pass interference call against the defense. But after that the backup defense held the backup offense six straight times, with running back Daryl Richardson getting stuffed four times.
4. Offensive line fared well in drills with the D-line. The defensive line is the unit that often gets talked about, but in one-on-one drills, Willie Colon got pushed backwards a little but stood up Sheldon Richardson, and you could hear their collision as far away as Ithaca; Nick Mangold held Kenrick Ellis up; Muhammad Wilkerson got inside against Brian Winters but Winters got his hands up and didn't let him past; and Jason Babin tried going outside then inside against D'Brickashaw Ferguson, but Ferguson deftly moved his feet to keep Babin in front of him.
5. Antonio Allen digs in. Head coach Rex Ryan said after practice that he really likes the depth the Jets have at safety. And Calvin Pryor's continued absence meant more reps with the first team for Allen, who wasn't afraid to show off his tackling skills against the contact-welcoming Ivory. Allen stopped Ivory on one occasion and got run over by him another time, though he slowed him down enough that Ivory didn't advance the ball much further.
6. Your daily guard rotation update. Brian Winters and Oday Aboushi had been switching sides at guard depending on the day, but Willie Colon mostly played on the right side with the first unit on Thursday, while Winters was on the left. Now that Colon seems to be fully recovered and back in the lineup to stay, will Winters and Aboushi begin rotating on the left side come Friday?
7. Ryan praises Kerry Hyder. A 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive lineman, Hyder is an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech, where he teamed with fellow rookie Jace Amaro. "I think that Kerry Hyder has popped out of nowhere," Ryan said. "I think he’s been a pleasant surprise."
8. The Saunders block. On that Vick-to-Sudfeld long TD, rookie receiver Jalen Saunders stayed with cornerback Jeremy Reeves all the way downfield, blocking him so Sudfeld could switch directions as he neared the goal line before scoring. Saunders mayhave gotten away with a hold, but it wasn't called.
9. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on talking. "You can talk all you want to, but this game is not about talking, it’s about actions," Thurman said. "So if you’re going to talk you have to back it up."
10. Injury stuff. Linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee), safety Brandon Hardin (foot), inside linebacker Garrett McIntyre (standard occasional day off), cornerback Johnny Patrick (hamstring), running back Bilal Powell (hamstring), defensive end Zach Thompson (shoulder), receiver Quincy Enunwa (hip), and running back Alex Green (chest) all sat out. Cornerback Dexter McDougle tweaked his groin, but Ryan said he'd be OK. Safety Calvin Pryor (concussion) was limited, as was Nelson (groin). Chris Johnson did not partake in team drills, which is regularly scheduled maintenance for him.