With Brandon Moore on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Jets had second-year pro Vladimir Ducasse fill in at RG early in camp. But Rex Ryan wants to get Ducasse more snaps on the outside at tackle, so the versatile Rob Turner will work in with the starters while Moore inches closer to a return.
"I'll play anywhere they put me and if that means I have to lose 200 pounds to play DB, then I'll lose 200 pounds and try to play DB," said Turner this week.
The 6'4", 308-pound Turner, in his fourth year from New Mexico, is a valuable reserve lineman and special teams contributor for the Green & White.
"It's a team sport," he said. "We have great guys up front. We have our starting five — Wayne, Brandon, Nick, Slau and Brick — and I feel like they can plug me in and I just want to be a contributor. It's not about 'Hey, I got these snaps' or anything like that. It's about being team players and we have a great coach with Bill Callahan. He's done a phenomenal job the last four years and I don't know if I would want to play for anyone else right now as far as an offensive line coach."
Inclement weather forced the Jets inside today, but they've already had four open training camp practices at the club's Atlantic Health Training Center. The local fans have enjoyed the action even though Rex Ryan's preference is to get his players away to SUNY Cortland for bonding purposes.
"It's nice being home," Turner said. "I know the fans in Florham Park and the surrounding areas of Morristown, that's what they wanted to see all along, us having training camp here. I guess they got their wish, but Rex is still taking care of us."
An emotional player, Turner has participated in a few skirmishes during camp. The Austin, Texas, native plays through the whistle and won't give an inch.
"I think it's just part of my nature. A lot of times guys misconstrue it as me looking for a fight, but it's not," he said. "The only way I've ever known to play football is play as hard as I can every play. Sometimes you're going to get beat and sometimes you're going to win."
Turner, who will turn 27 on Aug. 20, only knows how to play one way and that's with no speed limit. Confrontations are just part of the game and he embraces football's physicality.
"That's the way I've always played the game. That's the way my dad taught me how to play the game when I was a little kid, and I don't know any different and that's my personality," he said. "Not everyone plays it that way, but that doesn't mean any one person is less passionate than I am about the game. They just express it in a different manner."
If there is anyone who knows the rules to a training camp fight, it's Turner. It only took a few plays at his first camp practice to get acquainted with Jets rookie DL Kenrick Ellis last Thursday.
"Generally when a guy's helmet comes off, the fight's over because you really don't want to hurt guys," he said. "It's an emotional game. For anybody who doesn't understand it, it is. It's a very emotional game. You have a 1-on-1 battle whether it's a run block or a pass block."
Rob Turner competes, he fights, and then he carries on.
"You have 90 guys, so there is a lot of testosterone flying. It's their livelihood, so a lot of guys are trying to keep a job, trying to get a job. And I think where a lot of it stems from is frustration, intensity, the wanting to win," he said. "You put that all together with being around the same guys for 16 hours a day and then going back to the hotel or whatnot, there tends to be a little animosity from time to time."