When people ask me to describe training camp, I always tell them that these are the longest days of your life and that camp literally flies by. So here we are already after the Green & White practice. What do we know about the Jets as we approach that first preseason game Thursday night vs. the Colts?
Swag is Back: The Jets are feeling their oats. Belief is permeating throughout the organization and you have witnessed that every day.
“We have a lot of swag, so we’re going to continue to talk and back it up at the same time,” said Quinton Coples. “So at the end of the day, that’s just what we do. That’s part of being in the Jets organization and on the Jets defense.”
Playoff Draught: Veteran OLB Calvin Pace doesn’t mind the chatter. The 33-year-old, who appeared in six postseason games during Rex Ryan’s first two seasons, says the club has the goods to play January football.
“It’s time for us to get back to the playoffs. Speak it to existence,” OLB Calvin Pace told me. “Why not? Sometimes people get tired of hearing us talk, but we believe and that’s what you have to do to be able to play in the postseason.”
Slow Start for the Rookie Class: The transition to the NFL can be a difficult one and it has been for a number of recent draftees. Safety Calvin Pryor suffered a concussion on the first day of pads, TE Jace Amaro has had some drops and hasn’t always been on the same page as the quarterbacks and CB Dexter McDougle experienced ups & downs before a groin strain. Wideout Shaq Evans, who is bothered by a shoulder injury, is playing catch-up and QB Tajh Boyd has been plagued by turnovers. But take a deep breath — it’s early. WR-KR Jalen Saunders, LB IK Enemkpali and OL Dakota Dozier have flashed.
Question Marks: The Jets do indeed have great depth, but questions reside on the outside at WR and CB. Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson all are consistent performers. Greg Salas has had a number of outstanding moments inlcuding Saturday night and Stephen Hill shows big-time talent on occasion like he did Friday. Jacoby Ford and Saaiim Hakim both have return ability and can scoot, Saunders hasn’t dropped off with the pads, Evans is struggling as one would expect and Clyde Gates has natural gifts. This is shaping up to be a fight to the end.
On the opposite side of the ball, veteran Dimitri Patterson has brought an edge to the corner spot. Nickel corner Kyle Wilson has quietly had a strong camp, but Dee Miilliner has a lot of pressure on him. He needs more consistency and it will be interesting to watch Milliner practice the next couple of weeks.
“He’s performing at a certain level. I expect him to work to continue to improve,” said defensvie coordinator Dennis Thurman. “Sometimes you want to be amongst the greats. I think he understands that —I think he knows that. Just be the best you can be each and every day and if you do that it will probably be good enough.”
READ: Green & White Goes Mostly Defense's Way
READ: QBs Seek Consistency After Green & White
WATCH: Film Session: Nelson
WATCH: Mic'd Up: Richardson
WATCH: Pace: 'Time for Us to Get Back to the Playoffs'