Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Photos Tour
It's still early in the move. The Jets haven't discovered all the creaks and groans and drafts in their new house.
But a quartet of players spent their first day of work at the Atlantic Health Training Center today gave it four thumbs-up late this afternoon.
"The facility is second to none," said safety Kerry Rhodes. "Pretty much everything's done and it's looking great. It's a great tool for us to get better as a team."
"It's state-of-the-art," defensive end Shaun Ellis agreed. "I enjoy being in the building now. It was something you looked forward to and had to wait for. Now everything's been unveiled before our eyes. I'm looking forward to having a good time here and this season."
Indeed, "The building is about winning," senior vice president Bill Senn said earlier in the day. But that competitive-advantage idea means different things to different players.
Wideout Jerricho Cotchery said he and his mates have been impressed by their 68-stall locker room, a space in most NFL complexes that a team's players don't want to spend any more time in than necessary.
"The locker room is extraordinary," Cotchery said. "Usually, guys will be trying to get out of the facility and get home. A lot of guys now are just hanging out. I think everyone's just having fun with it."
For center Nick Mangold, quality and quantity is the key.
"What they put into this building for us is amazing," Mangold said. "The meeting rooms, the quality of the fields and the weightroom — everything was designed for the purpose of allowing us to have better preparation and be at the peak of our game."
The players haven't hit their various meeting rooms much yet. Today they instead gathered for a team meeting in the spacious new auditorium and did some walkthroughs on the new outside turf field to refresh themselves about the Dolphins.
But Mangold has heard about the big "O" and "D" rooms.
"I guess they have just better ways of getting the film to everybody," he said. "And the projectors we have are some of the best, so you can get a much clearer picture of when you take a wrong step and the coaches can yell at you more."
Cotchery was asked about other amenities, such as perhaps a big-screen TV in the players' lounge.
"We have big screens everywhere," J-Co said with a laugh. "You can find them in the weightroom, walking down the hall. Everywhere's like the players' lounge."
The distances between destinations in the facility actually translates into a plus as well.
"You want to get to meetings on time, you have to leave five minutes early," said Rhodes. "Walking from one hall to the next, it takes a little while."
"I think first of all, everything's more spaced out," Ellis said. "Guys are not crammed up in classrooms. You're able to spread out and have room to work. The weightroom is bigger so you can do more things there."
"I did find my office OK, but it took a little while," said head coach Eric Mangini, who held a separate conference call this evening. "I actually went past it the first time I got in. But the building is amazing. We don't official have our grand opening until tomorrow, but we had the players, the coaches, the support staff in today, and the reaction has been what I expected it to be. Everybody was excited and the energy was great in the facility."
So for everyone (including the writers at newyorkjets.com) who has likened the Jets' off-season and preseason preparations for the rapidly approaching season to restructuring or reframing a house, the new training center is a fitting manifestation of that metaphor.
"It's like moving to a new home — it's bigger than a new home," Ellis said. "It's a good vibe, it's a good feeling."