Offensive POD:WR* *Eric Decker had another productive practice, highlighted by a catch in traffic along the sideline in the latter half of team drills. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick delivered a touch pass to the veteran receiver, splitting the outstretched hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Marcus Gilchrist. The Fitz to Decker connection started in individuals with two touchdowns. On the first rep of the afternoon, Decker beat cornerback Marcus Williams on a slant, which was followed by a Fitz laser to Decker's back shoulder with safety Marcus Gilchrist in coverage.
Defensive POD:CB* *Dee Milliner had a pair of interceptions this afternoon to go along with good coverage. The more skillful of the two picks took place close to the sideline as Milliner undercut rookie receiver Charone Peake, tipped the ball in the air and secured possession while keeping both feet in bounds. Later, he closed practice by picking off Christian Hackenberg on a deep ball intended for Chandler Worthy.
Carpe Diem: Rookie linebacker Darron Lee took first-team reps again in Monday's practice with Erin Henderson still recovering from a stinger (the veteran did participate in individual drills). Lee was all over the field, finishing the day with two interceptions and playing air-tight coverage throughout, guarding both tight ends and running backs. On his first pick, the Ohio State product came off tight end Brandon Bostick and corralled a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass, who was knocked into by one of his linemen. Bryce Petty was the second victim, looking for tight end Zach Sudfeld in the back of the end zone, but Lee baited him and jumped the route.
Mo & Co:The defensive line may have put together its best performance of camp, consistently generating pressure and swarming the backfield. Pro Bowler Muhammad Wilkerson led the charge, almost intercepting a screen pass intended for Matt Forte and registering a would-be sack on Ryan Fitzpatrick a couple plays later.
"He's getting his legs underneath him, he's getting used to the pads," head coach Todd Bowles said of Wilkerson after practice. "He's also getting used to the hitting, which he wasn't used to before because he was just working out. As he gets used to that and his legs stay fresh, we're moving him up little by little."
Picking Up Where They Left Off: Todd Bowles continues to stress the importance of situational football and the defense rose to the occasion in the red zone period. Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams set the tone for the unit that finished atop the NFL in red zone defense last season, plugging up the middle on a Matt Forté run. In roughly 15 plays, the group compiled the two Lee interceptions, two sacks and five PDs while only allowing two touchdowns.
Notables: OLB Jordan Jenkins had a nice practice, recording a pair of sacks and a nice run stuff. Unfortunately Jenkins was carted off the field and Bowles said the rookie had sustained a calf injury...RB Khiry Robinson saw his first action in team drills…OLB Mike Catapano spent some time with the first team for a second consecutive day…WR Jalin Marshall made a one-handed touchdown catch on a fade over rookie counterpart Juston Burris in individual drills…Matt Forté had a touchdown run on a 3rd and goal inside the red zone...Geno Smith delivered a sideline strike on the run to Jeremy Ross on play action.
DNP:WRs Quincy Enunwa (concussion protocol) & Kenbrell Thompkins (groin), TE Jace Amaro (groin), RBs Romar Morris (shoulder) and Dominique Williams (head), LB Erin Henderson (stinger), CB Dexter McDougle (hamstring), and S Dion Bailey.
PUP: RT Breno Giacomini (back) & WR Devin Smith (leg).
Practice Heats Up as Temp Cools Down