The defense definitely seemed ahead of the offense at this morning's first practice of Jets training camp at SUNY Cortland. O-coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's shouts and some interceptions and too many yellow flags for false starts said as much.
But the offense did hit some plays here and there. One example was WR Chansi Stuckey's 40-yard touchdown catch from rookie QB Mark Sanchez over CB Lito Sheppard in passing drills on one half of the stadium's turf field.
"That's gone," Stuckey told newyorkjets.com about the lingering effects of such a good play early in the first practice. "It was a good pass, but it's gotta be second nature, you know? Once it happens, good, there's joy for 30 seconds, then it's gone. Next play."
But on the other half of the field at the same time, it was 9-on-9 time, and the run defense showed it was ahead of the run offense at this early juncture. Calvin Pace, still starting at OLB even though he'll miss the first four games of the regular season, put a thud hit on Thomas Jones. Then Shonn Greene got a welcome to the NFL from Kris Jenkins, who penetrated and jostled the third-round rookie to the turf. DT Howard Green, who lost 20 pounds over the off-season, also showed up big as well in the run drills.
And CB Darrelle Revis stepped up right off the bat. In the next-to-last period of the practice, Kellen Clemens dropped back and tried to hit David Clowney streaking downfield. But the rain-slicked ball seemed to slip a little and Revis had his second interception of the morning.
Some more morning highlights:
All the backs have a new drill, a Curtis Martin-esque bungee-cord drill, with the blue cord attached to the goalpost and each player attaching the cord and then running against the tension of the cord about 10 yards to touch two orange cones set up at the 1-yard line.
This drill led to a scary-looking but harmless incident. Clemens unhitched the cord and handed it to Erik Ainge, who quickly attached it and took off. But Clemens wasn't clear of the cord and tripped as Ainge stretched for the cone. No harm, no foul. K.C. bounced up and the drill continued.
On the first play of 11-on-11, Clemens drops back under pressure from the first defense, showing some shifts and getting some pressure, to hit TE Dustin Keller on a 10-yard out.
Clemens tries to find Danny Woodhead, split wide and covered by LB David Harris. Harris may have gotten away with a tug, but he still stayed with the small, fast RB and batted away the pass.
S James Ihedigbo comes free on the blitz and has a blindside sack all teed up of Mark Sanchez, looking the other way for a receiver. Of course "Dig" doesn't try to take the rookie's head off and separate him from the ball, in fact doesn't touch the red-shirted No. 6. But it would've been a big sack, no doubt.
Back to passing drills. Mark Sanchez hits Wallace Wright just past Donald Strickland's fingertips to the right, but then No. 6 looks for WW back to the left and Dwight Lowery makes a nice breakup.
Rookie TE J'Nathan Bullock makes a beautiful leaping catch of an Ainge seam ball between two defenders, to applause from the stands.
K Jay Feely finished the morning with a fine flurry of field goals. First he hit a pair of "game-winning" kicks in two-minute drills. Then he drilled five straight, from 39, 41, 43, 43 and 45.
Not many fans braved the steady rain for the first practice, but many of the hardy fans (538 by team count) in attendance started their first few J-E-T-S cheers early on.