Training camp is all about the back and forth tussle between the offense and the defense. As the Jets got back to work Monday with their fifth training camp practice, both sides had their moments in a workout that featured another productive day from rookie WR Elijah Moore and some solid coverage from the defense inside the red zone.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after practice: "The DBs are doing a good job, just trying to create tight windows and giving themselves a chance at the ball. The receivers are working like heck to create separation and they've had some. You saw Elijah in the end zone, created a lot of separation to free himself for a touchdown. And then you had a couple of situations where the DBs are giving them nothing. So it's a really cool battle that's happening, those guys are getting better as every day progresses."
While Moore hasn't played an NFL snap, it's become clear why the Jets were giddy when he was on the board at the start of Day 2 of the draft. He had long gainers on both Friday and Saturday and he made like Houdini on a short route today, using his great footwork to take Corey Ballentine inside and then dart back outside for an easy TD pass from Mike White.
"I was telling someone this morning he's an old soul," Saleh said of Moore. "He's already ahead of the game in regards to how he studies, takes care of his body, the way he approaches practice, the way he approaches each rep. He's impressive in the sense that we feel very confident that he's going to find ways to get better. This game is very important to him and he shows it with his actions every day."
Bless Austin got the upper hand on the offense on another red-zone snap in a 7-on-7 drill. Wilson was flushed to his left and lofted a pass in the back of the end zone that Austin met in mid-air. He came down with the ball and subsequently punted it to the sideline. Wilson did rifle a scoring pass to Vyncint Smith in the back of the end zone but it was a back-and-forth session all day as ILB C.J. Mosley came up with a PD on a Wilson ball that likely would have been picked off by second-year CB Bryce Hall. Hall came up with a third-down pass defense and Justin Hardee, who has had a number of pass defenses the last few practices, remained active with a PD in front of WR Manasseh Bailey.
"The competitive battle, back and forth between the receivers and the DBs," Saleh said. "it's pretty good especially when we get into some of those man-coverage situations."
Quinnen Williams Injury Update
While DT Quinnen Williams remains out of action, he is on schedule for his camp return in two weeks when the Jets depart for join practices with the Packers on Aug. 18-19 and then Preseason Game 2 on Aug. 21.
"I think he did positional drills today," Saleh said. "He's getting much closer, he's two weeks away. We have this week and Giants week, but he's getting closer. He's excited and we're all excited to get him out there. The D-line group is already pretty impressive, so getting him and Vinny Curry and Kyle Phillips, all those guys coming in, that's exciting for that group."
See the Best Photos from Monday's Open Practice at Jets Training Camp
First Scuffle of Camp
Following one rep, veteran DT Tanzell Smart and second-year OL Cameron Clark squared off and exchanged fisticuffs. While nothing landed of consequence (and that's a good thing because both players had helmets on) and Saleh expects tempers to flare, the first-year head coach wants his group to have a disciplined mindset.
"You want to be as physical as possible," he said. "I think we all understand there are going to be scuffles especially when it gets hotter. We've been lucky with the weather. They are going to get sick of going against one another, there are going to be scuffles. But the biggest thing is just don't throw punches at one another, we don't need guys coming off on the sideline and creating a bigger scuffle. It's more protect the team and understanding it's a mindset to draw the 15-yard penalty than give the 15-yard penalty."
The Jets' first-padded practice of camp is scheduled for Tuesday. The Saleh teaching points of effort, technique and violence will be in full effect as the men in the trenches will get more of a spotlight. The coaching staff will have an opportunity to evaluate pad level and fundamentals and we'll see 1-on-1 blocking drills for the first time this summer. … Carl Lawson, who got inside of LT Mekhi Becton and registered a run stuff of Michael Carter, continues to have a great camp. DT Sheldon Rankins said of Lawson: "First and foremost, we're going to speak about the elephant in the room: Carl Lawson. He ain't been stopped yet, but that's what I expect from him. I know Carl dating back to high school and he's been that guy since then. We have a lot of real dudes in the room. Carl, Quinnen isn't out there yet, but we know what he can do, Foley, JFM, Shep, young guys. We have a room full of guys. Everybody can hold their own and make plays and really take over a game. It's been fun to watch. I've watched from a afar, I'm a big film junkie. Being able to be here and watch them work and how they go through their thought process and how it unfolds and to actually play has been fun." … TE Chris Herndon had a scoring reception from both Zach Wilson and James Morgan. … On successive plays, rookie OLB Jamien Sherwood and veteran DT Nathan Shepherd applied quality pressures on Wilson and Morgan respectively. … We'll get a better feel for the ground game on both sides when pads come on but veteran RB Tevin Coleman had a nice cut-back run at the onset of the session. Today's final word goes to DL John Franklin-Myers, "It's great to practice in pads and great to feel the extra weight. How you move with pads is completely different, so that part of it is different. It takes some getting adjusted to, but as far as playing football, we're here to play football. Pads or no pads, line me up and we'll go."