Jets Return to Begin 'Chemistry Classes'

Posted Apr 17, 2015

Players Talk of Building Bonds, Pryor of His New Role on First Day of Voluntary Offseason Program

It was day one of Phase I of the Jets' offseason strength and conditioning program today at the Atlantic Health Training Center.

"The first day of school," DT Sheldon Richardson said with a smile. "Syllabus week, really."

And the most important class in the syllabus at this time of year? Not even close.


"It's good we have all the guys back so we can build that chemistry," second-year S Calvin Pryor told Eric Allen on Jets Talk Live. "I just love the energy in this building. It's a fresh start. We're trying not to think about the past. We're just trying to move forward."

"It's about working out, developing the chemistry with the guys and getting to know your new teammates," said QB Geno Smith. "We've got a bunch of great additions and also some new coaches and really some new faces in this building."

Todd Bowles Them Over

Many of those new faces have arrived during the free agency signing period, and as for the new coaches, head coach Todd Bowles and his staff have been around since January and have introduced themselves to Jets new and old since then. But today was the first day Bowles stood in front of the auditorium and said more than hello to the assembled Green & White.

"I'm excited," C Nick Mangold told reporters on an afternoon conference call. "You get to see him up in front of the team this morning, he's got great passion. I'm really excited about him being the head coach, about his vision for the team. And I'm excited as we get going to continue to see how he goes about doing things, how he runs his meetings and runs practices. It's going to be a fun offseason."

"He's a quiet guy but most definitely strong-minded," said Richardson. "To the team, he speaks his mind. He's a little different with the media. But he's most definitely a guy that I can get to like."

Pryor's New Engagement

Pryor had some interesting positional news for EA and Jets fans in today's interview.

"They already told me what my role will be. I'm going to be strong safety. I'm not going to be playing free anymore," he said. "So I'm going to be back to my old self, doing what I do, being down in the box."

Pryor, a.k.a. "the Louisville Slugger" for his hard-hitting box play in college that earned him a first-round call from the Jets, said he played more free than he anticipated last season. Even though he acknowledged playing more in space helped him with his pro development, it also led to what he said was a "more bad than good" first NFL season.

"I was placed in some positions that in college I wouldn't normally do," he said, adding that today's news from the staff "was music to my ears. That made my day go better. I'm definitely enjoying it."

State of 'The Competition'

Smith and others were asked about the quarterback competition, which won't pick up until Ryan Fitzpatrick returns from rehab for the left tibia he broke during a scramble at Indianapolis on Dec. 14.

"Ryan is a very smart guy," Geno said. "Obviously he's played in this system before, he's played a number of years in the league. He's a guy I feel I'll be able to have conversations with about some of the things he's done in the past with this offense. I appreciate having a guy like that on our side, a smart guy like that, who can come in and compete with me."

Mangold said he didn't know how the completion will play out, which is only natural with Matt Simms on hand but Fitzpatrick still sidelined and a fourth QB that Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan discussed on the recent call with Season Ticket Holders still not identified yet.

"But there's definitely a ton of potential there," Mangold said of Smith. "He's going to put the work in there this spring, as I expect him to. And we'll let it all play out."


VIEW: Players Eager to Start Voluntary Workouts

READ: Bowles & Maccagnan: Pre-Draft Thoughts

READ: ICYMI: Jets' 2015 Opponents Set

WATCH: Top 10 DBs: Jets in Strong Position

WATCH: How Many 1st Round Grades in '15 Draft Class?

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