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Offense, Defense Collide on the Goal Line

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Both Units Take Away Something Positive from the First Full-Go Drills of Camp

Players and coaches were visibly excited toward the end of the Jets' training camp practice today as the offense and the defense resumed team drills. The reason: Today was goal-line day.

The action was live, meaning the players could go full speed with full contact (except for hitting the quarterback). In what is one of the major drills for bragging rights, the first-team offense took back some of the momentum the defense had built this week at SUNY Cortland.

It didn’t appear that way from the start, however, as FB Tommy Bohanon was stuffed by a swarming defensive line and S Dawan Landry before he could cross the plane.

On the next play, RB Chris Ivory, using his physical style and 6’0”, 222-pound frame, punched the ball in through the left side for the first score of the day.

“I saw a little hole and I just hit it,” Ivory said after practice. “You don’t have much time to react so the little time you have, you have to react to it and get in to score.”

QB Geno Smith rolled out of the pocket to his right on the next snap, and was forced to tuck the ball after no receivers were open. The official flagged the defense for holding on the play, but the penalty would have been declined since Smith scored.

The defensive line stuffed Ivory on his next attempt and a throw from Smith to TE Jace Amaro in the back of the end zone was not converted.

Ivory, known for his effectiveness in short-yardage situations, said that in these drills, it’s not always about the running backs’ abilities. Much of it, he said, is out of their control.

“In this league, once you get down to the red zone and the goal line, it’s really tough to score,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not all about what the back can do, it’s about what those guys up front can do, what kind of surge they can get in terms of an opening.”

Unfortunately for the rest of the offense, they were unable to score after Smith’s touchdown. The defense, which has been dominant this week, regained control against the second and third offense.

RB Daryl Richardson was stuffed at the goal line on four occasions, including the offense’s last three attempts. On one of his rushes, he missed the end zone by about four inches. QB Michael Vick threw a ball away after being pressured by LB Jason Babin and Bohanon nearly crossed the plain after his attempt at jumping over the offensive line. Two of those plays were nullified by penalties.

Smith said that guys like DTs Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson and LB Quinton Coples make the offense’s job difficult.

“It was tough. We have a stout defense,” he said. “Going up against those ones, we got Mo, Snacks, Quinton and Sheldon. Those guys are tough. I like the way we competed. We battled hard and we got better.”

Ivory said that the offense vs. the defense today will only benefit the team, no matter the outcome during drills.

“That Rex Ryan D is a great defense, man,” he said. “So it’s tough but if you can run against this defense, you can run on other defenses.”

Ryan said that in his experience in the NFL, the nature of the drill can give a coach anxiety, but there’s no other way to do it.

“Today was short yardage emphasis and goal line,” he said. “And there’s only one way to do that and it’s full-go. You just have to keep your fingers crossed and hope people get through it healthy.”

Luckily for the team, there were no injuries sustained during the drill, but with all the physical play some Jets are sure to be sore, including Ivory.

“I’m feeling pretty good, not too sore like I thought I would be,” he said. "But it’s still short [after practice]. Give me some more time and I’ll probably be feeling it tomorrow.”





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