In a little bit more than a month, the collisions will come in Motown. But on this sixth training camp practice, the intensity in a late afternoon goal-line drill felt a little like a regular season atmosphere. Bodies were flying, mouths were flapping and the competitive nature of camp went up a couple of notches.
"I think it's great for our guys. We just have to start out that way and play throughout," said head coach Todd Bowles.
Best Snapshots from the Sixth Practice of Training Camp
A workout that started outside was moved inside the team's fieldhouse following the lightning horn sent players and coaches headed for cover. Among the highlights of the goal-line period was QB Sam Darnold who had a pair of touchdown passes including one that highlighted why the Jets took him with the No. 3 overall selection in April's Draft.
The first Darnold TD had the USC product finding a window to get the rock to fullback Dimitri Flowers in the corner of the end zone. The latter showcased Darnold's athleticism. Running laterally to his right, Darnold squared himself up and hit crossing tight end Clive Walford in front of the back boundary. Truth be told, it's quite possible neither one of those passes would have happened if Darnold wasn't in a red No. 14 jersey because S Terrence Brooks had him lined up on the first rep and OLB Lorenzo Mauldin was in his grill on the second score. But you play through the whistle and Darnold did just that.
"He's progressing. I have to see the film," said head coach Todd Bowles. "Goal line we can't hit the quarterback so some of the throws may not have been throws but he's picking up everything. He just has to keep working. And as he see things every day, as well as the rest of the quarterbacks, they'll get better."
Darnold's best throw actually came outside in a light rain as he found veteran wideout Jermaine Kearse and delivered a back-shoulder toss to him. He hasn't been hesitant to get the ball downfield and he is an athletic mover who continues to make strides.
Battle in the Trenches
Prior to goal line, the Green & White also worked on third-and-short situations. Veteran back Bilal Powell did not have an inch to before getting swallowed up by safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. Defensive lineman Leonard Williams also corralled running back Trenton Cannon for a loss behind the line of scrimmage and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins didn't allow George Atkinson get any positive advancement. But the offense did have a few wins in goal line as veteran Josh McCown went play action for a score to Isaiah Crowell and Atkinson found some room along the left side for a short score.
Maye and Pryor Remain on Track
Second-year safety Marcus Maye (ankle) lost the red pinnie and got some work in team for a second consecutive day. And after missing the entire spring, wideout Terrelle Pryor (ankle) has also received team reps this week. The Jets will continue to err on the side of caution with both players.
"We are just bringing him along slow," Bowles said of Pryor. "We're not trying to rush him in there, but he is getting back to normal and doing some good things, so we will see how it goes."
Nickerson Leaves Action
Veteran NT Steve McLendon, who is the second-oldest player on the roster at 32, got a day of rest. But CB Parry Nickerson, a sixth-round pick from Tulane off to a fast start, went down with a hamstring injury and didn't finish practice. Wideout Quincy Enunwa (hand) and tight end Jordan Leggett (undisclosed) were held out for a second consecutive practice. Veteran back Thomas Rawls didn't participate due to soreness.