'Football Is an All-Weather Game'

The skies opened up over Cortland, N.Y., minutes into the Jets' morning training camp practice and washed away much of the periods on the schedule.

However, even with the threat of lightning approaching, the team looked to make the most out of the rough weather and use it to their advantage.

"Obviously, we never really counted on this," head coach Rex Ryan said at his daily news conference, whose time and location were moved due to the elements. "But it's a great opportunity because you have to be able to throw a wet football."

"I love it," said linebacker Bart Scott. "Football is an all-weather game. Whenever you can play on a muddy field in the rain, it takes you back to back in the day with your peewee teams."

The Jets opted to skip the individual drills and focus more on team drills to get some important practice in the rainy conditions.

"We had to adjust on the fly," said Ryan. "But instead of going inside and though we knew it was raining hard, we wanted to make sure that we got some work in."

One area of focus was the short-yardage goal-line offense and defense with full tackling. The ball was slippery, which led to some fumbling on both snaps and handoffs.

 "You've got to focus more down there [near the goal line] and hold on to that thing," said Ryan. "If you're going to have this kind of weather, who cares? let's put it down there because there's no hiding on the goal line. You're either a hitter or you're not."

Still, NT Kris Jenkins said of the drill: "It was beautiful. That's what we play for. That is the limelight for any guy when you have a fourth-and-inches and you have to make that goal line stand."

The Green & White had plenty more intensity throughout the shortened practice. One of those moments came when Jenkins threw his helmet down in frustration after the defense gave up a touchdown.

"I can't explain that. It happened," Jenkins said. "I don't know what I was thinking. You saw I got a penalty.  In my defense, I told the referee it was practice. He can't suspend me or fine me for what I do in practice. This is different. I get to do the stuff I can't do in the game out of my system during camp, so that way, when I go out to the field I'm a class act."

As far as the weather, Jenkins, who came off of the active PUP list Wednesday after his hamstring was cleared to practice, said the rain for him wasn't a bad thing.

"The water was actually good for me. It softens the grass up. For heavy guys, it makes it easier on our shins. Plus if the grass gives, it's harder for me to get hurt with the slipping."

With rainy weather, teams have to be more strategic on how to adapt to the weather and drive the ball down the field at the same time. The Jets understand that you have to be more aware of what to expect from your opponents.

"You learn about what offenses have to do to condense their playbook," said Scott. "They're limited to a certain amount of plays because they're going to be low-risk plays. It prepares you for situational football."

The weather in Cortland can be a gamble sometimes, but the Jets look to hold to their practice schedule, with special teams only working this afternoon beginning at 4:15 and both practices Friday at 8:20 and 4:20. Storms are in the forecast for tomorrow as well.

But as Ryan reminded: "It never rains on a football player."

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