Following their Green & White practice Saturday night, the Green & White returned to One Jets Drive Monday for their 10th practice of training camp. With their first preseason game set for Saturday vs. the cross-town Giants, Jets head coach Robert Saleh sounded like a wise philosopher while describing where his offensive units and defensive units are at this point.
"We don't fear the man that has 10,000 kicks that he practices one time each, we fear the man who has one kick that he practices 10,000 times," he said. "So the more that they get the rep the things that we ask them to do, the faster they're going to get naturally. The offense just finished their install, so this is their chance to getting on repeat and doing the same things over again and try to catch up. The defense is moving at a pretty good clip right now and they look good, physical and fast. It'll be good to go up against another opponent here soon, so we can kind of see where we're at."
Rookie QB Zach Wilson started practice with an early overthrow of TE Chris Herndon over the middle in a team period, but he steadied himself with a sideline completion to Keelan Cole after a WR screen to rookie Elijah Moore. Wideout Corey Davis had a busy day, catching multiple balls from Wilson inside the red zone including two scores with one coming in team and one coming in 7-on-7. A master of the back-shoulder fade at BYU, Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, delivered a fade to Davis for a TD despite good position from CB Bless Austin. Wilson, who led a scoring drive Saturday but was intercepted twice, will continue to experience ebbs and flows.
"For most rookies, for especially on the offensive side of the ball, for everyone, it's going to get worse before it gets better," Saleh said. "It is what it is. There's just a lot of things that happen. I mean, there's a reason why being a rookie is hard in this league. There was a Hall of Famer yesterday (Peyton Manning) that was inducted (into the Pro Football Hall of Fame) that had a 71 quarterback rating his rookie year. It's not easy to play quarterback in this league as a rookie, especially quarterback. But it is going to get worse before it gets better. But he's at that point now where he's going to be able to stack up days and we have all the most utmost confidence in him and his ability, his ability to figure out the mistakes and correct him and get to a better place."
See the Best Images from the Jets' Public Practice at 1 Jets Drive on Monday
Despite the turnovers over the weekend, Saleh saw a lot of good from Wilson at MetLife Stadium.
"He made a lot of great decisions in the scrimmage, it doesn't show because of the stats," he said. "He's on track and he's getting better every day with what's being asked from him. This is the middle of training camp – when everything is just on your shoulders and the entire offense has everything on its shoulders. Now it's just a matter of taking these reps, taking these fundamentals and working your way through so you can catch up to where the defense is right now, which is being on repeat."
Late in Monday's practice, Wilson got some good fortune during a 7-on-7 drill. He rifled a ball that TE Tyler Kroft deflected into the waiting arms of Vyncint Smith for a score. On the next rep, he couldn't find anyone open in a timely fashion so he patiently rolled right and hit Elijah Moore for a touchdown.
High Standards Up Front
The Jets defensive line looks to be the strongest position group on the roster. The unit has consistently flashed throughout camp -- both starters and rotational players on the edge and the interior. And that's despite missing a few notable names up front including DT Quinnen Williams. DT Folorunso Fatukasi says the line, bolstered by addition of pass rusher Carl Lawson, has set high standards.
"We just want to be a really, really good D-line," Fatukasi said. "We have high expectations of ourselves and each other, and we understand what we need to do. We understand where need to go and we understand where we need to focus. In terms of the things we want to accomplish, there are a lot, but that only comes with the amount of work we put out here every day. We understand that as a collective group."
The Jets had seven players rehabbing on the field Monday -- DL Quinnen Williams (foot), OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (pec), DL Jabari Zuniga (ankle), DL Kyle Phillips (ankle), S Ashtyn Davis (foot), LB Del'Shawn Phillips (undisclosed) and S Bennet Jackson (undisclosed). OL Cameron Clark (spinal-cord contusion) and OL Teton Saltes (knee), who was injured late in Saturday's session, were not on the field.
"With Cam, the doctors are working with him to evaluate and see where he's at," Saleh said. "Obviously it's going to be a little bit. With AVT, he's day-to-day. We should get him back soon. We don't have an exact date. We're not trying to rush it, but hopefully we get him back for that Green Bay week."
Williams remains on track to make his training camp debut next week when the Jets travel to Green Bay for joint practices with the Packers.
"I think we're projecting getting him through a mock practice on Friday from a reps standpoint, but I had a great talk with him this morning," Saleh said. "He's in great spirits and ready to go."
RB Tevin Coleman is a high-stepper in the open field and onlookers appreciated the veteran's long run down the sideline following a short pass from James Morgan. … Veteran QB Josh Johnson got his first few reps in team and was greeted by a stingy defense that got pass defenses from rookie LB Jamien Sherwood and S J.T. Hassell, thwarting tosses to Kroft and Vyncint Smith. … Javelin Guidry had blanket coverage on Jamison Crowder, forcing a Wilson incompletion in front of the end-zone pylon. Rookie CB Brandin Echols also exhibited tight coverage on Josh Malone and Denzel Mims, leading to incompletions. … Our final word today goes to DT Folorunso Fatukasi, who despite being 26 is one of the longest-tenured Jets. "I'd be lying if I said [I didn't have goals], but the bottom line for me is that I know when this team does the things that we see ourselves doing, I think a lot can be said for that."