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Green & White Goes Mostly Defense's Way

Posted Aug 2, 2014

Offense Held to Pair of FGs in Annual Practice at Cortland Stadium

Head coach Rex Ryan's defense was again ahead of the offense, with a few exceptions, as the "White" team, the offense, was held to two field goal drives by the "Greens" during tonight's Green & White practice at Cortland Stadium.

The first, second and third defenses in the 87-minute event combined for impressive numbers: no touchdowns allowed on 12 series, seven sacks (six in the second half) by seven different defenders, and an unofficial yardage total of 186 yards gained on 72 plays for 2.6 yards per play.

Quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick each directed one of the field goal possessions. Unofficially for the practice, Smith completed seven of 14 passes for 84 yards, while Vick went 7-for-13 for 47 yards but also scrambled twice for 35 yards and two first downs.

"We’re very disappointed that we didn’t score enough points," Smith said. "We understand that we have to take full advantage of our opportunities in the red zone and we’re going to get better from it. We’re going to look at tape and see exactly what went wrong and then correct it and get better at it."

"There's some disappointment," RB Chris Johnson said of the ones' offensive showing after he gained 14 yards on five first-half carries in his first public showing as a Jet. "We're trying to get better and better every day. In this situation I feel we are facing one of the top defenses there is going to be in the NFL. If we continue to practice and execute against those guys, I feel the game will be easier than the practice."

The coach wasn't as down as the thin offensive output might have indicated.

"If we’re looking at it from the numbers standpoint ... all right, no touchdowns," Ryan said. "But it was much more competitive than that. I I tip my hat. I think our offensive line did a nice job protecting the quarterback against traditional rushes, four-man rushes, five-man rushes. It got a little dicey when we had some exotics out there. Dennis [coordinator Dennis Thurman] put in a couple things. That was a little tough, but other than that I thought our protection was decent.

"I was really impressed with our tackling. Most of the time when you start your first real live tackling, minus goal line situations, you have a lot of missed tackles but I don’t think that was the case today."

The first field goal in the first half came after one of the offense's biggest successes of the night, Smith's laser to Stephen Hill, beating CB Dimitri Patterson with S Dawan Landry over the top for a 41-yard gain to the 21. Shortly after, Nick Folk booted a 33-yarder.

But that was the only success against the defense in eight first-half series. The night started with LB Demario Davis' tackle of Chris Ivory for a 3-yard loss on a reception. Recently signed LB Jason Babin flashed all practice with pressures and tackles. First-year CB Jeremy Reeves had the practice's only interception off an Alex Green deflection.

In that first half, Smith's first offense was stopped twice, Vick's second offense on three series, and Matt Simms and Tajh Boyd with the threes once each.

The second half featured four long drives. Vick moved to the first offense and generated the second field goal, by rookie Andrew Furney from 47 yards, after a nine-play drive.

Smith came back, this time with the twos, and engineered the longest march of the night, 15 plays from his 35 to the defense's 1 as he hit four straight first-down completions, two to WR Greg Salas.

Salas led the offense overall with five catches for 54 yards and three first downs.

"I’m pretty happy with the opportunities I’ve gotten," said Salas, who not long ago was finishing up his offseason training in Hawai‘i. "I feel like I’ve made the most of them. This is what I do in practice. I make catches, I make plays in practice, and I was glad I could come out here and do the same in this little scrimmage we had."

But after Salas drew a 24-yard pass interference call on the defense to set up first-and-goal at the 1, the offense couldn't shatter the plane as LB Garrett McIntyre rose up with his second defense mates. G-Mac was active on the run defense as Green was held to no yards on three carries. Then the fourth-down Geno rollout resulted in no open receivers and a McIntyre sack.

"It was awesome. Love it as a defensive coach. You want to punch it in there," Ryan said of the goal line stand. "I was happy to see it. The collisions down there are pretty fierce."

Simms took over for the final two drives in the threes vs. the threes. And this defense kept driving the offense backward, primarily with sacks by Troy Davis, Trevor Reilly and Kerry Hyder, plus three offensive penalties.

The crowd of 7,129 was treated to pre- and in-game performances by the New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders and the Aviators drum line, and then to a fireworks show after the practice.







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