Day three has come and gone. The players got into pads for the first time today and were able to get some hits in. Here's what we saw on the defensive side of the ball.
Concerns about Calvin
It wasn't that far into the team's first full-pads practice when right round draft pick Calvin Pryor came off the field due to an unfortunate collision. Pryor jogged off under his own power with John Mellody the team's head trainer. After a short jog, the two rode in a cart, presumably back to the training facility, before Pryor returned to the field in a wide brimmed hat with his pads off. Pryor watched the remainder of practice, chatting with coaches and players.
“The new [NFL] protocol is that if we know there is a concussion, you guys will know about it immediately,” Ryan told reporters at Saturday's press conference. “So don’t think we’re covering something up. As of right now, we don’t know if it’s a concussion or not. But it was a head injury, and obviously, when those things happen, you’re always going to side on being cautious. So that’s what we’re doing. Whether it’s a concussion or not, I’m not sure. We’ll see how that progresses.”
“He came in there and had a good collision, so it’s not like you can say he got dinged or whatever. But ‘dinged’ now means you be cautious and do what’s in the best interest of the young man. That’s where we’re at.”
Calvin has always been a hard hitter and at the very least this is a concerning turn for a player who with Dee Milliner is slated to become a leader for years to come.
If there is any silver lining to this cloud, it is that Jaiquawn Jarrett had another good day with the backups. After an interception earlier in camp, he had a strip-fumble on tight end Chris Pantale as Pantale was running after the catch. After being cast off by the Eagles he seems to be settling in with the Jets and is making the best of his time of his reps.
Turn on the turnovers
Rex said in his press conference on the first day of training camp that turnovers were going to be a point of emphasis for this team.
"Last year, I forget how many fumbles that they had, but we only recovered two or three of them all year," Rex told reporters on Thursday after the first day of practice. "That’s something we have to get better at and we talked about pursue the football like that ball is coming out. Let’s get more turnovers, we are certainly aware of that."
The Jets are aware and they spent some time yesterday making sure that players are too. The front seven and defensive backs all participated in turnover practice drills. One was a tip drill (which Rex and some of the staff demonstrated) in which players batted the ball back to the man behind them in as long a continuous run as possible. The other drill was one which players simulate coming off the edge to strip the ball out of a pass-thrower's (a coach) hand as a he wound up his throw. I can't remember seeing the Jets practice these drills in year's past but it was interesting
The statistical concept of regression toward the mean would indicate that the Jets are going to be better at recovering footballs this season, but Rex and his coaching staff aren't just waiting for that, they are working to make it happen.
Sons of Anarchy Season Two
There's nothing that I've seen that tells me the team's defensive line will be anything but the same, if not better this year. This is the best group on the team and the veteran leader of the group, Mo Wilkeron and his young guns still have their best football days ahead of them. I've not something I've seen before but the cohesiveness of the group gives off the impression that they are an offensive line. With Sheldon Richardson only getting better and Quinton Coples poised to make a leap this group should have a better season than they did a year ago. There's been more than one occasion in which defensive linemen have jailbroke through the offensive line and into the backfield. Yesterday it was Coples around the edge and Wilkerson right through the middle who would have shared a sack. The Jets face a tough schedule this year, but any team who doesn't have a top ten offensive line in terms of pass protection is going to be in trouble.
- Trevor Reilly had another standout play in which he came around the edge and reached Matt Simms as he set back up in the pocket. Reilly was draped all over Simms and would have either sacked the quaterback or knocked the ball loose.
- Ellis Lankster had a great pass break up going step for step with Eric Decker in sevens. Lankster muscled up with the physical Decker and came away with a clean break up.
- Dimitri Patterson had a great pass defense on Decker with Geno throwing the ball. Patterson saw the route and Geno's throw the whole way and capitalized. Jets QBs are going to have to do a better job of disguising their desire to throw to Decker.
- Groups were doing package installations yesterday and it was a treat to watch the defensive fronts stuffing the runners at or behind the line on more than one occasion. TJ Barnes, Sheldon Richardson and Snacks haven't lost a step in stuffing the run.