The Jets held their first scrimmage of training camp on Wednesday as the first-team offense lined up against the second-team defense and vice versa. Head Coach Adam Gase called the session a learning experience.
"Obviously some things that showed up that we have to get fixed — we have to get fixed quickly," he said. "This was a good step for us and without having preseason games, you can't get lulled to sleep by practice thinking it's all good."
An officiating crew made its training camp debut, which made the scrimmage feel more like a game. The offense was flagged a handful of times, including on a screen pass from Sam Darnold to Frank Gore, who took it 15-20 yards. It was called back because of a holding penalty. The offense also turned over the ball three times. Rookie S Ashtyn Davis picked off Darnold, and receivers Jamison Crowder and Chris Hogan fumbled. The defense recovered each ball.
"The most important thing we're always looking at is turnover margin," Gase said. "We didn't do a good job protecting the football today."
He later added: "It's a good middle point where when we come back to practice, our guys realize time is running out. We have to get this stuff cleaned up as fast as possible. The next time we have a scrimmage, we have to be a lot smoother and execute a lot better. We have to make sure we protect the ball better, be better with our run fits. There are going to be a lot of great things we're going to get out of this film."
See the Top Photos from Wednesday's Practice in Full Pads at Training Camp
Rookie RB La'Mical Perine was impressive on Wednesday. Perine, who was drafted in the fourth round, received a heavy workload and eventually earned some first-team reps. He had three 20-plus-yard runs -- one that was called back because of a holding penalty -- including a 75-yard score. He burst through the hole up the middle, made a move on S Bradley McDougald and was off to the races.
"Somebody was out of their gap," McDougald said of the long-scoring run. "In a single-high defense, everybody has a gap. The running back did a great job of finding his open gap. I could have done a better job slow playing it and made him shuffle his feet and go left and right to give our DBs the ability to catch up with the play from the backside. But it starts up front and it starts with myself. We have to hold everybody accountable and we need a better cohesion between up front and myself and get the ball carrier to the ground."
The Jets are scheduled to open their season at Buffalo on Sept. 13. McDougald, who joined the Jets in late July in the trade that sent Jamal Adams to the Seahawks, isn't concerned about the window closing, but does feel a sense of urgency.
"We know what we need to improve on most importantly and I say that's the biggest thing," he said. "It's not just the scrimmage. Every day is considered a game, every time you step out on the field it's serious. You're being evaluated, it's an interview. This is your product, this is your business that you're putting on film, so guys who take that lightly don't last very long in this league."
WR Lawrence Cager (knee) will undergo an MRI after his knee swelled overnight. … G Greg Van Roten sustained an oblique injury in practice Wednesday. … OLB Tarell Basham will miss a couple weeks after hurting his ankle in one-one-ones Tuesday. … Players who did not practice Wednesday: RB Josh Adams (hamstring), ILB James Burgess (low back), CB Pierre Desir (hamstring), S Matthias Farley (hamstring), OL Conor McDermott (knee), WR Denzel Mims (hamstring), LB Patrick Onwuasor (knee), WR Breshad Perriman (knee), CB Brian Poole (dehydration) and DL Jabari Zuniga (quad). … Rookie QB James Morgan led his unit on a scoring drive, capped off by a Braxton Berrios score. Berrios had a number of catches Wednesday. … WR Jehu Chesson made a nice grab on a ball from Morgan. … OLB Frankie Luvu had a would-be sack. … Ashtyn Davis and Josh Malone took reps at kick returners. … Josh Andrews and Jonotthan Harrison took first-teams reps in Van Roten's place. … Head Coach Adam Gase said that RB Le'Veon Bell was pulled from the scrimmage as a precaution because of hamstring tightness.