Sandwiched between two days of padded practices and with temperatures in the high 80s coupled with high humidity on Wednesday, the Jets scaled back a bit during their 12th practice of training camp.
Head coach Robert Saleh said: "Yesterday was a bruiser. The O-line, D-line took over 45 snaps in practice and it was hot and I just wanted to give those guys a little bit of a break because tomorrow we're going to stack up another padded practice that we'll get to about 50 snaps to get those guys a chance to recover. We're already down on the O-line a little bit, so those extra six plays of third down weren't going to help anybody."
The Jets created a new athletic care and performance department this offseason under Dr. Brad DeWeese. Saleh, who takes sports science into account when making practice schedules, knows he won't get optimal returns if he repeatedly asks the players go "100 miles per hour" day after day.
"We go high and then low to give these guys a chance when the pads do come on they give us everything and these padded practices are very hard," he said. "Players are doing a great job getting themselves calloused for the season, so we still think we're able to accomplish exactly what we want. We've been — knock on wood — pretty darn healthy and because of that we feel the quality of work we're getting is pretty darn good."
See the Best Images from the Jets' Practice at 1 Jets Drive on Wednesday
With temperatures expected to reach the high 90s on Thursday, the Jets will again ramp up in their final practice before the preseason opener vs. the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night. To get in a good workout, the players will load up on both water and electrolytes throughout this afternoon.
"Hydration is key," Saleh said. "Your body doesn't respond to the water you're taking in now, it's 24 hours from now. So they have to be very conscientious especially for today because tomorrow we have pads on. The precaution is being aware of self and making sure you are taking care of yourself, so you can put that little bit of body armor on for when these days do come."
Running back La'Mical Perine, a Mobile, AL, native who played collegiately at Florida, had no problems with the sweltering conditions.
"I feel like we came out here and had a great day.," he said. "The humidity didn't get to us. We focused in and locked in on the goal and that's to execute and get better every day out here."
Linebackers Have to Be 'Supermen'
Minus the pads, the Jets linebackers delivered early impacts during the workout. Jarrad Davis shot through a gap and corralled RB Tevin Coleman for no gain and C.J. Mosley nearly intercepted Zach Wilson's first pass in a team drill. Then Jamien Sherwood, a fifth-round pick from Auburn, snared a Mike White play-action pass and turned up field for a nice gain.
"When you look at the pass game in our system, we ask more out of linebackers I think than any system in football," Saleh said. "They are stressed heavily in the pass game, they almost have to be Supermen to a degree."
Although expectations are high, Saleh said the good ones do it and then rattled off a bunch of 'backers who have thrived in the system including Fred Warner, Bobby Wagner, Paul Posluszny, K.J. Wright and Deion Jones. The Jets have an interesting mix at the position with Mosley and Davis bringing the veteran presence while Sherwood; Hamsah Nasirildeen, a sixth-round pick from Florida State who was listed as a starter on the team's unofficial depth char;, Blake Cashman and others competing for time.
"We have a lot of faith in the linebacking crew we have," Saleh said. "We feel like they have done a very good job taking the system, attacking it and absorbing all the stress that is put on them and they're getting comfortable . But they're about to see different schemes and it's going to create a whole new set of challenges for them. So it's going to be a great learning experience over the next three weeks."
Echols' Impressive Day
Rookie CB Brandin Echols had his best practice on Wednesday, registering an interception and he was a PD machine throughout. His INT in a red-zone team period would have resulted in a Pick 6 that would have covered 99 yards. CB Elijah Campbell knocked a Mike White pass intended for WR Lawrence Cager into the air and Echols was there to pick off the pass, and show off the 4.35 speed. Echols, a sixth-round pick out of Kentucky, broke up a number of passes including two in 7-on-7 work. Both were deep shots — preventing completions from Mike White to Jeff Smith and Josh Johnson to Denzel Mims.
"For everybody on this roster, can you find a way to make that even better?" Saleh said. "Just like everybody else on this roster, he's going to get an opportunity. He has Green Bay coming up, he has the Giants and their plethora of wide receivers, so he's got plenty of opportunity to show why he belongs on this roster and when the ones take the field in Carolina. For him, I'm really excited that he had this day. I think he's catching everybody's eye and that's a good thing. Now he has to stack up days, not get complacent and do something with it."
Morgan Moses and George Fant are receiving reps with the first-team offense at right tackle.One outcome that is not part of the equation would be an in-game rotation. Saleh said: "I don't believe in rotations because I think you have to get into a rhythm, you have to play the game within the game. I think the trenches, the O-line, and corners, I think that's where most of that comes into play. As far making a decision, I feel like we have all the time in the world because there's a lot of continuity with the four [linemen]. Moses and George are getting run with the ones and twos, and it's just a matter of the constant communication of all of them. I think we have plenty of time to make that decision." … La'Mical Perine showcased his hands in a team period, extending for an excellent grab of aJames Morganpass. … In a red-zone team competition, Zach Wilson got the ball out quick for a score to the corner toCorey Davis in front of Bryce Hall. Davis also had a TD in red zone 7-on-7. On the next play, Mike White found a wide open Ryan Griffin for a TD. … Rookie Elijah Mooreran a great route inside the 10 during a 7-on-7 drill, taking Lamar Jackson to the inside and then giving White an easy target going the other direction. His COD skills continue to stand out. … Hall had a red zone PD and Bless Austin added one in red zone 7-on-7. ... Javelin Guidry deftly broke up a Zach Wilson pass intended for Corey Davis over the middle of the end zone. ... White connected with Lawrence Cager on the last play of the red-zone period.