The first day of training camp is always a deluge for me. We'll be rolling out lots more content on the site through the weekend as we spend time in Cortland, but here's a first pass at what stuck out at us from the first practice. Lastly, emptying my junk drawer of a brain.
Strike a pose
I've been coming off and on to training camp since 2007 and I've never seen players do what the Sons of Anarchy did today. As players walk out to the practice field, they pass through a gauntlet of media types, team ambassadors and photographers. Camera shutters whirr and click away and many players stoically walk or jog by to hurry the process along. Most players did just that today, but not the bad boys. The defensive line and their coach Karl Dunbar took the time to stop, gather and and smile for the camera. The moment took less than 30 seconds but it was a clear indication of how this group feels about themselves and each other.
Punt returner up in the air
Jalen Saunders worked with the "ones" on the punt return unit today and looked unshakable. He fielded punts cleanly, advanced the ball quickly and didn't shy away from contact despite his diminutive frame. At 5'9" and 165 pounds, it doesn't seem like it will work, but his low center of gravity, smooth and sudden speed and ability to absorb contact he could be a fun chess piece for the Jets return game which was lacking in 2013. Shaq Evans dropped one punt today with the second unit, so we'll see what tomorrow brings the young receiver.
Push a push-up
Last year, after the Jets struggled with false starts and other offensive penalties, the team reinstated their push-up policy from a few years ago. It would seem that the Jets staff is not about to get off on a bad foot this year, and is following the push-up policy again this time from the outset of camp. Today there were three penalties that caused practice to stop and all the players, coaches and support staff (even public relations included) to drop to the deck.
The Life of (Trevor) Reilly
Reilly might have been the Jets seventh rounder this past May, but he's already popping off the field. Literally. He had a defensive play where he swatted a Matt Simms pass to the ground at the line of scrimmage. What was most impressive about it? He was already so high (30.5 inch vertical) in the air that when the ball got to him, I believe he knocked it down with his forearm on the downswing at about where his waist level was. The point being that he was so high over the ball the ball he had to essentially reach down to swat it. I get that Reilly was working with the threes/fours at the time, but the play was impressive and demonstrated why many considered him a third- or fourth-round pick before he slid to the seventh. I don't fully know yet where he will fit, but we have to imagine that the team will find a way to keep him on the roster if at all possible.