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OTA observations: A work in progress

June, 7, 2012

Jun 7



By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

Some quick takes on the ninth and final OTA practice:

1. This practice served as a sobering reminder that learning a new offense isn't an overnight process. To be kind, it was ugly. In team drills, the offense ran seven pass plays before it completed a ball. The Jets have a basic grasp of Tony Sparano's system, but it takes more than that to handle a Rex Ryan-coached defense. This practice was devoted to third down, traditionally when Ryan's defense is at its best. That's when it confuses opponents with exotic blitzes, funky fronts and disguised coverages. They threw the kitchen sink at the Mark Sanchez- and Tim Tebow-led offenses, and they simply weren't able to adjust on the fly. If this were late August, there would be reason to be concerned, but there's plenty of time to get things ironed out.

2. I tell you what, Tebow is going to be a tough dude to tackle when he gets outside the pocket -- but I guess we knew that already, right? Well, this was our first up-close look at his scrambling ability. Because his protection was so porous, he had to do a lot of scrambling, and he definitely cuts an imposing figure in the open field -- 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. Santonio Holmes referred to Tebow as "the run quarterback."

3. The defense used a '46' package during one period -- basically, an eight-man front, with linemen over the center and two guards. Ryan believes he has the personnel to play the '46,' and he expects to use it more than previous seasons. Rookie DE Quinton Coples stood up as a linebacker in certain packages.

4. Nice practice by WR Patrick Turner, who got extra reps because of the injury to rookie Stephen Hill (hamstring). Slot WR Jeremy Kerley also made a nice play (there weren't many), beating CB Darrelle Revis on a skinny post for a long gainer. Kerley had been quiet in the OTAs, as Ryan noted. This was a positive step.

5. S Yeremiah Bell always seems to be making plays. He might turn out to be a better acquisition than many predicted.

6. Ryan raved about his defense, calling it the deepest unit he's had in four seasons. They definitely have more depth than ever on the line and at inside linebacker, but I'd say the depth is suspect at outside linebacker, cornerback and safety (depending on LaRon Landry's health).

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Report: Santonio Holmes had “mini-meltdown” at Jets’ practice

Posted by Michael David Smith on June 7, 2012, 7:22 PM EDT

santoniotowel.jpg?w=167 AP

Last season Jets receiver Santonio Holmes was widely regarded as a divisive figure in the team’s locker room. A report out of today’s Organized Team Activity suggests that Holmes still needs an attitude adjustment.

Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Holmes was “disgusted” and “bothered” today when he felt that the Jets’ coaches were working him too hard, that Holmes “staged a mini-meltdown” and that he “exchanged words with receivers coach Sanjay Lal.”

After the practice session, Holmes confirmed that he thought the coaches were asking too much of him and that he wanted to ease back into things after missing much of the Jets’ voluntary offseason work while visiting an Air Force base in Germany.

“I was talking to the coach, letting him understand it was too many reps today,” Holmes said. “I’ve been gone for a while, so I can’t be at full tempo like the rest of the guys and where they want us to be at.”

Of course, there was nothing stopping Holmes from working out on his own while he was in Germany so that he could be in good enough shape to keep up with his teammates when he returned. But Jets coach Rex Ryan apparently wasn’t too bothered by Holmes wanting to do less work today.

“He’s a veteran guy, he knows his body,” Ryan said.

And Holmes knows his body isn’t ready to go all-out for a full practice right now, and he’s making sure his position coach knows that, to

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Mark Sanchez is not fearing for his starting job as he personally invites Tim Tebow to his Jets West offseason camp

QB shows rare display of maturity and leadership for Gang Green



Thursday, June 7, 2012, 10:14 PM










Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (6) talks to Tim Tebow during the Jets OTA at their training facility.

Mark Sanchez will not make Tim Tebow go through any initiation, hazing or practical jokes as a first-time camper at Jets West in July. He will not be short-sheeting Tebow’s bed, dumping his clothes in the Pacific Ocean or ordering him room service at four in the morning.

Sanchez would have looked petty and paranoid if he had not personally invited Tebow to join the Jets’ skill position players for workouts in Mission Viejo, Calif., next month, for the third installment of Sanchez’s camp. Inviting Tebow, who will be battling to take Sanchez’s job in training camp, displayed a sense of security, maturity and leadership.

Tebow needs all the work he can get with Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and the other Jets receivers in addition to the OTAs, which ended Thursday, and the three days of minicamp next week. The risk for Sanchez is that the extra time Tebow will spend working with the receivers before training camp will put him in better position to become the Jets starter, whether it’s in October, if Sanchez gets off to a bad start, or in 2013, if Sanchez has another bad season.

It also gives Tebow a relaxed atmosphere to bond with his teammates off the field and develop chemistry on the field. Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy was invited by Sanchez as well, so Sanchez could have decided they had enough arms and excluded Tebow.

He did not. He scores some points for being inclusive. I asked Sanchez if inviting Tebow was a difficult decision. “Not at all,” he said. “I just assumed he was coming.”

Did he personally extend the invitation?

“Absolutely,” he said.

Is he concerned Tebow can parlay the extra work into helping him compete for Sanchez’s job?

“Hey, look, not at all,” Sanchez said. “He’s one of our quarterbacks. All the skill players and quarterbacks are coming.”

Sanchez has handled the Jets bringing in the most popular player in the league to back him up as well as you can expect from a 25-year-old who still has a lot of growing up to do. Maturity has not been one of his strengths. But maybe the threat of Tebow will force him to become a better leader and better player. He has walked around with a sense of entitlement since the day the Jets drafted him in 2009. Kellen Clemens was the only competition he faced for the starting job.

Jets fans will turn on Sanchez quickly if he doesn’t get off to a good start. Sanchez must approach this season like it’s his team, his receivers, his offense. The better he plays, the less Tebow gets on the field with Tony Sparano’s gimmick Wildcat offense.

Tebow said Jets West is “pretty much open to everybody on the team,” and that Sanchez invited him just as he did with the other offensive players.

“I think we just have a great relationship. We both want to get better as football players, as quarterbacks, and help this team win football games,” he said. “That is what this is about. Our friendship outside of this locker room, outside of this facility, has been great. That’s important as well.”

Sparano made a name for himself with the Wildcat in his first year as the Dolphins coach in 2008. Miami went 11-5 and won the AFC East. But the league quickly caught up to the Wildcat and Sparano eventually lost his job.

What the NFL has not caught up to is Tebow running the ball. He is a tremendous athlete and very strong. He might be the Jets’ best running back.

After Tebow led the Broncos to the playoffs last season and then beating the Steelers with an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime in the wild-card game, it’s hard to imagine him being satisfied as the backup for long. He is saying the right things now, but let’s see how he’s handling his role if the Jets are struggling in October and Rex Ryan sticks with Sanchez.

“When Tim is in the game, don’t expect everything that Mark is doing to be done the same way as Tim,” Santonio Holmes said.

“He’s a run quarterback. He knows how to get in and out of the pocket when things are breaking down for him. He makes things happen with his feet. Mark does a really good job of making things happen by throwing the football.”

Rex Ryan said earlier in the offseason that Tebow could be on the field for as many as 20 plays a game, which seems unlikely.

Last year, the Jets averaged only 64 plays per game. Even if Tebow is on the field for 10 snaps per game, that’s nearly 16% of the plays. So, either the Jets must increase the number of plays per game or Ryan must lower his projection or Sanchez is going to be pouting on the sidelines.

“Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback,” center Nick Mangold said Thursday. “That is who I snap it to and that’s who it is.”

Sanchez and Tebow can discuss it around the c

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/mark-sanchez-fearing-job-personally-invites-tim-tebow-jets-west-offseason-camp-article-1.1091867#ixzz1xDCYAxUi

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The Jets Have California on Their Minds


Published: June 7, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Coach Rex Ryan opened his final news conference of the Jets’ voluntary workout period with an equation. Of the 2,211 possible workouts this off-season — multiplying the number of players on the team by the number of workout opportunities — the Jets players completed 2,178 of them.


That’s 98.5 percent and, notwithstanding Ryan’s curious formulation, he viewed it as a positive sign that so many players took the organized team activities so seriously.

“I’m proud of this,” Ryan said. “This is going to be a close football team. These are all things that will bring this team together.”

Minicamp — the first mandatory workouts — begins here next week. But some in the locker room were already looking past that, toward the west, when another weeklong voluntary session takes place in California, one that carries a surprisingly large amount of significance for a unit trying to repair its fragile chemistry.

Starting sometime in July — the precise dates have not been made final — quarterback Mark Sanchez will hold his third annual Jets West camp for the team’s skill-position players.

That would not be particularly newsworthy, if not for the scrutiny over whether a certain backup quarterback received an invitation, or whether a certain wide receiver would accept his.

The backup, Tim Tebow, was e-mailed his invitation to Sanchez’s five-day retreat in Mission Viejo, Calif., just like the other teammates. And, yes, the receiver, Santonio Holmes, confirmed that he planned to attend.

“They expect each other to be there, they expect that to be a good learning process, just like I do,” Sanchez said. “I’m glad they put the effort out and really understand how important that is to me.”

The camp began after Sanchez’s rookie season in 2010 as a way to informally gather the running backs, receivers and quarterbacks to work out together and bond off the field during the off-season. Sanchez arranges their travel, rents villas at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach and organizes activities for all five days.

Last year, the group met in early May because of the lockout. They attended a Lakers playoffs game one night. In 2010, they went to baseball’s Home Run Derby and the Espys.

“You wake up, you work out and then after that it’s all fun,” tight end Jeff Cumberland said. “Then it’s like a vacation.”

The workouts normally take place in the mornings and usually began with Sanchez serving as the de facto offensive coordinator, going over formations and protections, reviewing film and planning out routines.

The players then practice on the field at Sanchez’s alma mater, Mission Viejo High School, with his former coach, Bob Johnson, renowned for his work with quarterbacks, providing some insight. Light-spirited competitions, like target throwing and water-balloon tossing, are often included, with prizes awarded. But players insist they attend so they can improve.

“We’re just getting the timing down, going through the routes and making sure the timing’s right,” running back Joe McKnight said. “That’s the only thing Jets West is for. We’re trying to get ahead.”

This off-season, every move by both Tebow and Sanchez has been combed and dissected. The news that Tebow accepted the invitation, first reported by The Daily News on Monday, bounced around Twitter like prom gossip in a high school hallway.

Tebow said his relationship with Sanchez “has been great” and said he hoped the camp would provide an opportunity for his teammates to “get to know each other a little better.”

Tebow said: “When you have better chemistry off the field, it’s going to correlate to how you play on the field. That’s something that I think will be good for this team.”

Asked if he had any reservations about inviting Tebow, Sanchez scoffed. “Not at all,” he said.

“That’s ridiculous. He’s one of our quarterbacks; all our quarterbacks and skill players are coming.”

Sanchez instituted one new rule, though. No members of news media will be allowed.

“It’s all fun out there,” Sanchez said. “We have a real good time. We’ll all benefit from it, I think.”


Wide receiver Stephen Hill sat out team drills with tightness in his right hamstring Thursday but said he would not need a magnetic resonance imaging test. ...Safety LaRon Landry was absent for the final voluntary workout, but Rex Ryan said he expected Landry to attend minicamp.

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Santonio takes seat at Jets practice, says OTA workload too much

Jets Blog


Last Updated: 9:56 AM, June 8, 2012

Posted: 1:40 AM, June 8, 2012

Santonio Holmes famously spent the final two minutes of the Jets 2011 season watching from the bench. Yesterday, he finished on the sideline again.

Holmes pulled himself out of the Jets’ final organized team activity (OTA) after feeling overworked. The star wide receiver missed four of the team’s OTAs while on a goodwill mission to visit a U.S. Air Force base in Germany. He returned this week, but said he is not in the same condition as other players.

Toward the end of the two-hour practice, Holmes walked off the field, tossed his helmet and appeared upset. He spoke with wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal and trainer John Mellody and spent the final portion of practice watching alongside Mellody.



TIME OUT: Santonio Holmes pulled himself out of a Jets practice yesterday, saying he was not in shape having missed earlier OTA workouts.

“I was talking to the coach, letting him understand it was too many reps today,” Holmes said. “I’ve been gone for a while, so I can’t be at full tempo like the rest of the guys and where they want us to be at.”

At first it appeared like Holmes might have tweaked something, but he said he did not injure himself. He looked disgusted as he walked off the field, and when he spoke to reporters later he said the workload was simply too much. Holmes said he was scheduled to participate in 35 snaps, but he stopped after 20-25.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said he did not have a problem with Holmes coming out. Ryan seemed to indicate that Holmes might have felt some tightness in one of his legs.

“Any time a player has tightness or whatever, then we are not here to push you over, ‘Oh, you can do that,’ ’’ Ryan said. “These are professional athletes. They know their bodies. Santonio knows his body better than anybody, obviously. So, if he thinks he would be stretching it to give another five, 10 snaps, then you have to be smart about that, and that’s really with any of those veteran players.”

Holmes’ exit from practice would not have been as newsworthy if not for how his 2011 season ended. He was benched in Miami during the Jets season-ending loss to the Dolphins after fighting on the field with teammates. Holmes watched from the bench as the final two minutes of the Jets’ season ticked away.

The Jets held nine voluntary OTAs and Holmes missed four of them while visiting Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany with the USO.

“Right now I’m at OTA five and the team is at OTA nine or 10 or somewhere around there,” Holmes said. “I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

Holmes will get a chance to do some catching up at Mark Sanchez’s “Jets West” camp next month in California. Holmes said this week that he will attend after skipping last year’s camp because he was

an unrestricted free agent.

“Being out there I think is going to give the younger guys a sense of security knowing that we have our veteran, we have our leader here with us who’s going to be here helping us, getting on the same page, doing the same thing,” Holmes said. “At the same time, it’s going to be a great chemistry builder.”


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/santonio_takes_seat_at_practice_F2gTAQ8QtC8d5zWld7PtwJ#ixzz1xDF8EAOu

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New York Jets Defense

by Phil Sullivan on June 8, 2012

in Jet News


There were several reports today stating that the Jets defense was ahead of the offense in the OTA on Thursday. This is to be expected, the defense is already in place and the offense is brand new. Public Service Reminder: Brian Schottenheimer can’t hurt you anymore Jets fans.

On the topic of defense, the best person to give an update on that is Rex Ryan. Here is what he had to say today:

On if LaRon Landry was the only player to miss all voluntary workouts…

He was actually in attendance for a few of them. Yes, he was. There were players, where there were a couple of things that came up that caused them to miss a workout. There were some, they actually even came back and tried to make up things. I know one player missed one workout.

These are all of the things we still had 99% attendance. Again, I am confident that Landry is going to be ready to roll. I think he is doing what he thinks is in his best interest for him, I am confident of that. Again, these are voluntary. The fact that 99% of these workouts were attended by our team here, I would challenge any other team to have these numbers. I don’t believe that happened anywhere else in the league. I think that is a real positive that the Jets are heading back in a good direction. Again, how many games this is going to affect us on the field? We will find out. I like to quote a guy that I really think a lot of is Channing Crowder (laughter), he crowned us, and I do like Channing, but he crowned us the OTA champs. Going into this, I wanted to be the OTA champs.

Clearly, our goal I want to be Super Bowl Champs like the Giants were, no doubt. But this is a step in the right direction, all we can affect in the off-season is to win this. The facts are whatever. You guys can dig them up on any other team in the league, I have a funny feeling that no team will approach this. Again, these are voluntary type things and I am proud of this, there is no doubt.

When we say this is going to be a close football team, I think these are strides that you make that way, guys working out in the off-season together, all that. When you get up to Cortland, these are all things that I think will bring this team closer. Now will it give us more wins on the field? We will find out when the season kicks off. I feel good about this right now.

On practice today…

Obviously, I think the defense was pretty impressive, there is no doubt. Do we need to fix a few things? Probably. We missed a high throw, guys come in and it looks like a sack. There are some things like that. We have had some hamstring issues at wide out. That is really the only spot that we have had some. Tone (Santonio Holmes) just getting back, was a little limited when put in those situations in that team period. But again, I think this defense, I know Mr. Johnson talked about this defense, he thinks it is going to be special and so do I. I always think this defense is going to be special. We believe that. I think we have so much depth on defense right now. This might be the deepest that we have been. We can stack up a lot of good football players. The depth we have at linebacker is crazy. We have five or six inside backers that can play. We have got guys, our young D-Line looks impressive. Some of the young guys are really making strides, so I really like the depth of our defense in particular.

On the change in Bart Scott’s demeanor since last season…

You guys see it. Bart is back. Bart is back to being the guy that we brought in here. I had somebody say “Can we turn Bart down?” and I am like ‘No. This is exactly the guy we brought in.’

That is what we want as a football team. We want guys to be themselves, enjoy practice with better tempo and all that kind of stuff and Bart brings that to the table. It is hard to have a bad practice when Bart Scott is on the field because he is just energized like that and he stays that way. That is when you know he is really playing. I have said it before, I don’t know if this isn’t the best Bart Scott we have had since I have been here with the Jets. I think he is better now than the first year we brought him in here. He is running great, he is in super shape, he is smart, he is really leading. I think that was what we needed. Last year, for whatever reason, I think part of it was our plan for Bart wasn’t what it should have been, maybe like hit this number I am going to be a little bigger. Well no, let’s be faster and I think he has taken it upon himself to get in unbelievable shape and he looks great. He ran with a wheel route the other day by Joe McKnight and he was staying on top. It was a veteran move. He saw the thing and started heading deep. There are very few linebackers in the league that can run with Joe McKnight. I am not saying Bart can, but he did.

On whether Bryan Thomas and Matt Slauson’s will participate in mini-camp…

I expect them to be able to do some things. They’ll probably still be limited. Both of them are coming off of surgeries. They’re both itching to go. We probably won’t use them a whole lot. They will be limited.

On whether Landry will play at mini-camp…

We’ll see what John (Mellody) tells me. I know for a fact Bryan Thomas and Slauson will be limited. I haven’t seen the updated injury list and probably won’t until Monday.

On whether he plans on using more 46 defense…

We think we can use it. There’s no doubt we can use it. I think we’re built for it. That was a specific period of the offense going against a 46 look. That’s where there was some kind of version it every snap, whether it was 46 or something very similar to it. It’s obviously a defense I think we can play more of based on the personnel we have.

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Jets translating weight-room work to the field with refocused offseason regimen

Published: Friday, June 08, 2012, 4:45 AM

3492.png By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger


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11146759-large.jpgUS PRESSWIREThe Jets are making strides thanks to a refocused effort by the strength and conditioning staff.

Rex Ryan was running on the treadmill at the Jets facility one day last week, maintaining his dramatically thinner frame, when he took a second to watch his players at work in the weight room.

The Jets coach saw guys pushing through lifts, moving weights and cornerback Antonio Cromartie doing bicycle pumps with his legs while doing chin-ups. Ryan thought, “Wow, we’re a strong team.”

“I want guys to be looking in the mirror, looking at themselves,” Ryan said. “You want guys who say, ‘Yeah, I’m looking good,’ feeling good about themselves, feeling strong, being able to move people.

That’s what you want your team to be. We want to play the part, for sure. But it’s not bad looking the part, either.”

One key part of the Jets’ mission to improve on last season’s disappointing 8-8 finish has been fielding a faster and stronger team. They’ve been working toward that in their offseason strength and conditioning program with three words in mind: “Strength, power and explosiveness.”

Head strength and conditioning coach Bill Hughan presented that theme via power point on April 16, when the offseason program began. By the time players reported, Hughan had spent more than three months designing an offseason strength and conditioning program that would help the Jets individually and collectively function better on the field.

Ryan was proud that attendance for the voluntary offseason, including workouts and organized team activities, was 98.5 percent this year, which he said was the highest tally in his tenure with the Jets.

Hughan was hired in February 2011 to replace Sal Alosi, who resigned after the 2010 sideline tripping incident, but this was Hughan’s first offseason program with the Jets because of last year’s lockout.

The morning after players completed their exit physicals following the season-ending loss to Miami in January, Hughan began brainstorming and configuring his program.

He sought feedback from Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum, coordinators and position coaches. The simple motto — turning your weaknesses into our strengths — had been on the wall in the weight room since Hughan arrived, but it became a point of emphasis this offseason and was written on the back of the team-issued T-shirts.

“He brought in more functional exercises, rather than the usual base bench (press) and stuff like that, things that would challenge our balance and our change of directions,” nose tackle Sione Pouha said. “Instead of being more one-dimensional, I’m a multi-dimensional type of player.”

One tactic was contrast training, in which players would contrast a strength exercise, like a barbell lunge, with a plyometric exercise, like jumping on and off a box. They did the exercises back to back, to build power and explosiveness even when fatigued, as they might experience in a lengthy series of plays during a game.

Each player has his own workout folder. Included are corrective exercises for physical imbalances that could result in injuries, identified by the functional movement screens scheduled at the start of the offseason program, organized team activities and training camp. And each player’s regimen is tailored to his goals.

Starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, for instance, aimed this offseason to become thicker while also maintaining his agility and speed. His weight is above 230 pounds as he added strength to both his upper and lower body.

“Being able to have more lean mass on your frame, you can withstand a little bit more of the pounding,” said Hughan, previously the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Falcons and Raiders. “That’s how it helps him, being able to take shots, and get back up and do the next one.”

Competition also drove the offseason program. There were informal personal challenges, like when a lineman challenged Tim Tebow to hold a pair of sledgehammers out to the side for as long as possible — and Tebow beat him at the task by 14 seconds, Ryan said.

More formally, the defense and offense were each divided into two teams, competing against each other weekly in lifts, sprints and even “ultimate tag football.”

The reward was time off during camp, but players also felt their camaraderie building. Pouha’s team, which won the defensive competition, had several names, including “Team United.”

What will the dividends be this fall? Hughan said simply, “We’ll see.”

“There is weight room strong, and there is field strong,” Hughan said. “And you want your weight room strength to translate to the field.”

Jenny Vrentas: jvrentas@starledger.com; twitter.com/JennyVrentas

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Jets’ Ryan OK With Santonio Holmes’ Early Exit From Practice

June 8, 2012 7:04 AM

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – It was too much, too soon for Santonio Holmes.

And that was fine with Jets coach Rex Ryan.

The wide receiver pulled himself out of practice during organized team activities Thursday because he was in for “too many reps” after missing some of the voluntary sessions the past few weeks.

Holmes, who recently returned from a goodwill trip to Germany to visit U.S. troops, appeared a bit frustrated as he limped slightly to the sideline and spoke to wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal near the end of the team’s last OTA session before next week’s three-day minicamp.

“I was talking to the coach,” Holmes said, referring to Lal, “and letting him understand it was too many reps today.”

Holmes said the team had planned for him to participate in about 35 plays, but he left after cutting it down to about 20 or 25.

“I’ve been gone for a while,” Holmes said, “so I can’t be at full tempo like the rest of these guys and where they want us to be at. So, giving us a few reps off is much-needed for all of us.”

Despite the slight limp, Holmes didn’t say he was injured during the practice.

“We are not here to push you over, ‘Oh, you can do that.’ These are professional athletes. They know their bodies. Santonio knows his body better than anybody, obviously,” said Ryan. “If he thinks he’d be stretching it to give five or 10 extra reps, you have to be smart about it.”

Holmes missed about half of the voluntary workouts while on the USO-sponsored trip to Ramstein Air Base. He said instead of going home to Florida over the weekend before minicamp, he’ll stay close to the facility.

“I’ll stick around,” he said. “I don’t have anywhere to go. I don’t have anything else to do, but football. I’m happy that we started back, but I think catching up from the OTAs that I missed, right now, I’m at OTA five, and the team is at OTA nine or 10, somewhere around that, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do for myself, so as much as I can, stick in my playbook and start back from where I missed as opposed to where these guys are right now.”

Holmes also will attend Sanchez’s “Jets West” camp in southern California next month, a gathering for the offensive skill players to bond on the field and off.

A healthy and content Holmes is key for the Jets to succeed, as is being on the same page with quarterback Mark Sanchez after tensions between the two helped derail the team last season. Both said several months ago that they had moved on from what troubled them – including Holmes getting pulled from the season finale at Miami after arguing with tackle Wayne Hunter in the huddle.

Although new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano is focused on bringing back a run-heavy, “Ground-and-Pound” style of offense, Holmes will be counted on to make big catches down the field. Sanchez was excited to have Holmes back on the field with the team during OTAs this week.

“It’s great,” Sanchez said. “Just to have his speed and ability is wonderful for us. He’s a heck of a player, so we’re happy with him.”

Holmes said the team has been keeping the offense separate from the defense so far throughout the offseason, something he thinks has built the chemistry between the players on each unit. So, the offense eats together, meets together and lifts together, as does the defense.

“Knowing that we have a new offensive system in place and are all starting from scratch, I think it builds us a lot better by being as one,” Holmes said.

The wide receiver was humbled by going to Germany and seeing wounded soldiers and hearing their stories about battles in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Some in our wide receiving corps are worried about hamstrings to knee injuries, but they have nothing on what these guys have been faced with,” Holmes said. “With the scrap metal from all the bombing and having their trucks blown up in front of their faces to guys just getting shot in the middle of nowhere, it just gives you a different perspective on life.”

NOTES: Ryan praised the team’s “99 percent” attendance rate at OTAs, saying it was the highest turnout for the voluntary practices in his four seasons as coach. … Second-round draft pick WR Stephen Hill had tightness in his right hamstring earlier in the week, and was being cautious by not participating in practice. He said it was “a minor thing” and didn’t require an MRI exam. Ryan said the team will play it safe when determining if he’ll participate in minicamp next week. .. Ryan said S LaRon Landry, who has not been at most of the team’s OTAs while recovering from an Achilles/foot injury that shortened his season last year, will be at minicamp but isn’t sure how limited he’ll be. Ryan added that LB Bryan Thomas (Achilles) and LG Matt Slauson (shoulder) will be limited participants. … Former Jets star cornerback Aaron Glenn is back with the team as a scout. … Ryan and several members of the team went to the theater to watch the coach’s big-screen debut in Adam Sandler’s “That’s My Boy,” in which he plays a Patriots fan: “All I wanted to be was not terrible,” Ryan said. “And, I think I wasn’t terrible. My wife and son said it was OK, so that was good.”

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Take 5: Bryan Thomas' favorite memories

June, 8, 2012

Jun 8



By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

This is our third "Take Five" list. From now until training camp, we'll have periodic lists -- some serious, some not-so-serious. In this one, we ask Bryan Thomas -- the longest-tenured Jet -- to provide his top five memories. Thomas, a first-round pick in 2002, celebrated his 33rd birthday Thursday. Naturally, he was razzed by teammates, one of whom taped a homemade card inside his locker congratulating him on his "38th" birthday.

Here's BT's top five:

1. Divisional playoff win over the Patriots, January, 2011: "No one gave us a chance. On that Monday night game, they kicked our a$$, they embarrassed us (45-3). Everybody picked us to lose again. To beat them in their place, wow, that was really emotional. Definitely my favorite memory."

2. Wild-card win at the Chargers, January, 2005: "It's funny, the only thing I remember about that game was Eric Barton roughing Drew Brees (on the final play of regulation). Eric said, 'I didn't do anything.' When we went back and looked at the tape, we all said, 'You did it.'"

3. Divisional win at the Chargers, January, 2010: "That had to be one of our best defensive games ever. Weren't the Chargers No. 1 in scoring or something like that? (They were fourth in scoring, with a 13-3 record.) We really handled them (17-14). A great win."

4. Wild-card win over the Colts, January, 2003: "That was a total annihilation (41-0). That was a really big game for us. I remember it being really cold and I remember Peyton Manning doing nothing. We were clicking on all cylinders."

5. Division-clinching win over the Packers, December, 2002: "The only thing I remember about that day was New England beating Miami. I remember the (Giants Stadium) JumboTron showing the final play of that game, and the entire stadium going crazy. I knew we weren't going to get beat that day."

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Grinding Away for an Even Better Maybin 2.0

Posted by Randy Lange on June 8, 2012 – 1:11 pm

Life’s a lot more rewarding these days for Aaron Maybin.

For one thing, the loquacious Jets linebacker is coming off his best season as a pro. For another, he, like most of the other players at his position and on the team, has been reshaping his body.

“It’s really just been a grind, man, and I’m definitely able to see the benefits,” Maybin told me in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room following Thursday’s final OTA practice. “A couple of people on the team, some coaches can tell, just by looking at me, the change from one year to the next.

“I just talked to Bill [Hughan, head strength coach] and he said I’m starting to get right around where they want me, right around 250 now. It’s great to be so close to my goal so early in the offseason.”

Compare this to his 229 pounds when he first arrived as a Jet last August, or the “220 soaking wet” when he was making headlines at Penn State and building toward his 11th-pick-of-the-draft status with Buffalo in 2009.

“I’m still 3 percent body fat. All my numbers are where they were,” he said. But has he lost any of his trademark speed? “If anything,” he replied, “I’m faster. I feel as explosive as I’ve ever felt.”

On another front, Maybin has become one of the most popular Jets. He’s made charity appearances with teammates this offseason and always draws a crowd. In the locker room, he’s a must-stop for reporters who want a smart, well-thought-out quote (for the print folks) offered up in his resonant baritone of a speaking voice (for the audio/video people).

He said he mentioned “two words” about having a few meals with Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps this offseason and that line of questioning became the lead of Brian Costello’s story in the New York Post. In part the draw was due to Phelps. In part it was the rising star that is Maybin.

Aaron is a shining example of why it’s always premature to slap the B-word on almost any player after two seasons in the NFL. It’s ancient history to remind everyone that Maybin had no sacks his first two seasons and was cut loose by the Bills to ultimately come to the Jets. Sure, that part sounds like “bust,” but his six sacks, four forced fumbles — tied for fifth in the NFL — and team-high 24 QB pressures in limited playing time for the Jets in ’11 sure doesn’t.

Not all NFL rookies are made the same. Maybin’s one of those guys who needed time to sort things out, to really come to grips with that time-worn football phrase, “Don’t try to control the things you can’t control.”

“If you lose the idea that this is a kids’ game, what are you really doing?” he said. “For a while I may have gotten away from that, putting too much pressure and expectations on myself.

“I was thinking too much, I wasn’t feeling like myself because I felt I wasn’t in the right position. Stop thinking so much, get back to having fun, bring your kind of energy to the game. It took a while for me to get this game that I love. Now I love coming to work every day with these guys.”

Maybin said where he is now feels kind of like where he wanted to be and should have been from the start of his career.

“Being in that situation where you didn’t have the coaching staff’s trust or you weren’t embraced by the fans, now it’s the complete inverse of that,” he said. “Now the fans embrace you, people here see your work ethic. It’s why you play the game. You hope people see the effort, the amount of hours you put into this thing.”

Let it be stated now that Maybin’s not in this for redemption or personal accolades or proving people wrong. He’ll talk about himself, but he won’t specify his goals and he’ll always remind that it’s about more than just No. 51 in green. He further knows that one eye-popping season out of three doesn’t assure that this coming season will make it 2-for-4.

“I do have personal goals, but none of those goals come before the team anyway,” he said. “I’m just working hard out on the practice field, in the weightroom, in the training room. It’s all just to make sure this upcoming season is as big a season as we can have as a team and myself also.”

But for all those who thought he was too light to throw his weight around in the NFL or didn’t have the right attitude or any of a myriad other criticisms, Maybin has friendly — always friendly — words of advice:

“Keep on doubting. Many a man has lost many a dollar betting against me.”

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