In the Jets' second joint practice of the summer, QB Aaron Rodgers said there was one big difference between last week's session against the Panthers in Carolina and Wednesday's practice against the Buccaneers in Florham Park – WR Garrett Wilson.
"No. 17 out there changes the dynamics of the whole thing because he's so special," Rodgers said. "He had a real good day today. I thought we did some good things. We missed some real easy stuff in the protection, which is stuff we have to clean up, but I think we battled better.
"There were testy moments, but we didn't back down, our guys were protecting each other and sticking up for each other. That was good. I thought we made some plays down the field. … I felt like we competed better than we did against Carolina."
Like last week, the Jets offensive line remained in focus. After taking first-team reps at center Tuesday, rookie Joe Tippmann took first-team reps at left guard. Starting LG Laken Tomlinson is day-to-day with a leg injury. Wes Schweitzer continued to take first-team reps at RG for Alijah Vera-Tucker (ankle). Rodgers thought the line did a better job than last week in Spartanburg, S.C., but said the missing component missing for the group is continuity. He's not concerned…yet.
"At some point I might say, 'Hey, I need the five who are going to be in there to be in there with me for a solid week,' " he said. "But I don't think we're at that point yet because I don't think there are five guys that have earned those spots. Also, AVT hasn't practiced, Laken missed today, [Duane Brown] isn't back yet. I'm going to have some patience with that and also try and encourage and inspire those who are fighting for jobs to keep showing out every day because every day somebody notches up, somebody goes down, and that's the beauty of training camp and the position battles."
Rodgers' unit lined up against a talented Buccaneers defensive front that includes a pair of Pro Bowlers in DT Vita Vea and DE Shaquil Barrett. In the two-minute period to close practice, Rodgers led the first unit into scoring position after hitting WR Randall Cobb on a great throw down the middle of the field.
Quinnen Williams Leads Dominant Defensive Day
During the second episode of the Hard Knocks that premiered Tuesday night, HC Robert Saleh told the Jets defensive line the team will go as the group goes. On Wednesday, All-Pro DT Quinnen Williams went to work early and set the tone for a dominant day from the Green & White front. Williams recorded a would-be sack of Kyle Trask and crashed the backfield for a stop of RB Rachaad White on the first play of team.
In the first move-the-ball session, the Jets' defense forced consecutive 3-and-outs against the Bucs' first team. On the first series, DL Quinton Jefferson and Williams combined to tackle White for a loss before nickel CB Michael Carter II broke up a pass intended for Cade Otton. On the second third down, All-Pro CB Sauce Gardner punched the ball free from the hands of Pro Bowl WR Chris Godwin.
At the end of the same period, the defense committed its lone miscue of the day as rookie WR Trey Palmer got behind the Jets' secondary for a long touchdown. S Tony Adams and Gardner talked out the issue immediately after on the sideline.
"There's a lot of good, there's going to be some bad, some ugly," Saleh said of joint practices. "But at the same time, there's so many great teachable moments. If you're doing what you're supposed to do with controlling the things you got control over, you can get so much better off of the tape."
See the best photos of the Jets during Wednesday's joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
WR Corey Davis (personal) and DE Carl Lawson (back) did not practice. Lawson could return next week. … Mekhi Becton has been taking reps at right tackle in walk-throughs and could take live reps at RT as early as Thursday. … Multiple skirmishes broke out Wednesday including one where Bucs Pro Bowl WR Mike Evans had to be restrained by his teammates. Cornerbacks coach Tony Oden caught some friendly fire in one of the altercations and had to leave practice. He was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. "TO holds a big place in my heart, so I am thinking about him as we speak," Brandin Echols said. … Rookie Derek Langford, an undrafted free agent from Washington State had an INT of Kyle Trask in a team period. LB C.J. Mosley nearly had an INT of Baker Mayfield in the same period, but the ball popped through his hands and landed with Evans. … LB Quincy Williams continues to showcase excellent sideline-to-sideline range, stopping WR Deven Thompkins on an end around and holding RB White to no gain. … Nickel CB Michael Carter II came up with a PD of Mayfield and received praise from his teammates. Aaron Rodgers had chunk completions to C.J. Uzomah, Allen Lazard and Kenny Yeboah. … During a 7-on-7 drill to open practice, Rodgers delighted fans with a long hook-up to Garrett Wilson for a touchdown. Zach Wilson immediately followed it up with a similar bomb to Irvin Charles for another score that caused the crowd to erupt.