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Michael Campbell's a Quick Language Study

Posted Aug 13, 2013

Updated, 5:47 p.m.

Michael Campbell has had to become familiar with a few different languages recently.

As a member of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, there was French. But that wasn't as big an obstacle as the brand of football played north of the border.

"Montreal's a nice city, but the CFL is just different, you know?" Campbell told me after this morning's Jets training camp practice at SUNY Cortland. "I wasn't comfortable. The game up there takes a lot of getting adjusted to."

Then came his pink slip from the Als, which sent him back to Edison, N.J., in late June as an unemployed football player.

"I was at home, a little depressed," he said. "I was still working out to keep myself in shape. Then I got a call."

The call was from the Jets, who had already started camp and, the same day they released Jordan White and a day before Vidal Hazelton went down with injury, they called Campbell back.

Jets training camp mavens will recall Campbell was with the club as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2011. He had a couple of preseason catches. After that season, OC Brian Schottenheimer left for St. Louis and Campbell also got an invite from the Rams. He had a couple more preseason receptions, then was cut again, which led him to the CFL.

Now he's back in green and white and learning yet another language, this one the language of new OC Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense.

"I love Marty's offense," Campbell said. "It's just the terminology I've got to get used to. Certain words in this offense might have meant something else in my previous offenses. It just takes getting used to, but at the end of the day it's still football."

Campbell demonstrated that age-old verity again today with a very nice practice with the second and third offenses. He caught a touchdown pass on a low bullet from Matt Simms between two defenders off a crisp slant during two-minute drills, had another nice reception and a sealing block in the last period of the slightly shortened practice.

"I felt like overall, I had a good practice today," he said. "I made a couple of good plays. That catch was just one of them. I take a lot of pride in my blocking."

And Michael Campbell has thrown his hat into the crowded ring for the last one or two wideout spots on the Jets' 53-man roster. If we list Santonio Holmes (a possible PUP-lister to start the season), Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Braylon Edwards and Clyde Gates as frontrunners in the roster-spot competition, that leaves a bunch of players fighting for maybe one roster or practice-squad spot.

Ryan Spadola has had a good start to camp. Ben Obomanu has flashed his Seattle experience recently. Zach Rogers came in with that Tennessee WR pedigree. Toss in Joseph Collins, Titus Ryan, K.J. Stroud and just-signed Rahsaan Vaughn. Where does that leave Campbell?

He's not worried about that.

"I don't focus on that," he said. "I just come out here every day and just better myself. I control what I can control and let the chips fall where they may."

Rex Cetera

Mark Sanchez zipped a touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley over the middle from the 8 on those late-practice drills. Then Geno Smith couldn't punch it in with the twos, with one pass nearly being swallowed up for the pick by LB Demario Davis.

Head coach Rex Ryan said at today's news conference about Smith's ankle: "He's getting better. He's got a little bit of a limp but I don't think it's as bad as it was."

Perhaps because of the limp, perhaps not, Ryan wasn't ready to name his starting QB for the Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night: "Let's see how the week plays out, and we'll make the right decision then."

Today's attendance: 934. The Jets wrap up the public portion of their Cortland training camp with one more Wednesday 10 a.m. practice, then finish with a closed practice Thursday morning before heading back to the Atlantic Health Training Center.

The Jets this afternoon waived T Dennis Landolt, the 21st NFL transaction of Landolt's career. Here's hoping Landolt gets a 22nd transaction and gets to play in his first NFL game at some point. The team also signed OL Patrick Ford out of Eastern Kentucky, who will wear uniform No. 61 in green. And RB John Griffin, who broke a bone in his lower leg at Detroit, has been placed on IR.

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