A day after Jets OC Mike LaFleur said the offense would "lean" on the run game, the Jets pounded away on the ground Thursday in their longest practice of training camp.
Jets HC Robert Saleh said: "There was a lot of great competition happening today both offensively and defensively. Offensively moving the ball, but defensively being able to get their hands on the ball a couple of times. I thought today was one of better practices with the back-and-forth competition. I thought it was our most demanding practice especially when you count plays and the fact our offense was running the ball the way it wanted to. I thought it was good, it was good
For the second consecutive practice, Dan Feeney lined up with first team in place of Vera-Tucker. The rookie's condition is improving, but he remains day to day and it's uncertain if he'll participate during Saturday night's Green & White practice.
"The O-line has taken a little bit of a hit in terms of nagging injuries," Saleh said. "There's nothing long-term. You never want to have it all at one position, but it's getting thin pretty quick."
See the Best Photos from Thursday's Practice at Jets Training Camp
Corey Davis Moving the Chains
For a big man, the 6-3, 209-pound Corey Davis possesses a lot of smooth in his game. Davis had a tremendous practice, continually winning at the top of his route in team periods and providing nice windows for rookie QB Zach Wilson. He has a knack for finding the chains and using his body to box out defensive backs.
"He is the model of efficiency in terms of knowing everything he's supposed to do, getting off the line of scrimmage, being perfect with his break points, putting his body between the receiver and the [cornerback] so the ball can only get to his hands," Saleh said. "He does such a nice job executing in every facet of football whether it's run game or pass game that it doesn't pop, but it's very, very efficient and very successful. Cannot be thankful enough to have him on this roster. He's an unbelievable person to have here."
Not only did the defense get its hands on multiple balls, it totaled three interceptions. Wilson attempted to hit Vyncint Smith over the middle, but he never saw Jarrad Davis. Davis easily corralled the ball and had a short return. Later in another team period, Zane Lewis picked off James Morgan on a deep pass intended for Denzel Mims. Lewis, who has registered multiple INTs this summer, was lined up over the middle of the field and made a nice adjustment to bring the ball in. Later, Walter couldn't bring in a pass that was popped up and fell into the hands of LB Blake Cashman for a score.
Corner Rotation Continues
A day after rookie Brandin Echols lined up with the first-team defense, Bryce Hall returned with the ones and it was rookie Isaiah Dunn, an undrafted free agent from Oregon State, getting run across the way.
"Just like Echols, he's learned the right to get a little peak at getting some run with the ones," Saleh said. "Not an indictment on Bless [Austin] by any means but more of a testament to Isaiah earning an opportunity. There are D-linemen that we are giving run with the ones to see how they stack up just to make sure our eyes aren't fooling us with regards to everything that's happening, to give them a different body to go against. Isaiah stepped in and did a really nice job and we'll go back to the tape and see how he did."
Hall and Austin remain atop the depth chart on the outside, but there will be competition at all corner spots. In addition to Javelin Guidry and Michael Carter II at nickel, Saleh pointed to first-year pro Elijah Campbell as well.
Three players were injured at practice: DE John Franklin-Myers (shoulder), TE Dan Brown (hamstring) and OL Alex Lewis (head). They all were scheduled to be evaluated. With Franklin-Myers down, former 49ers DL Ronnie Blair saw action with first team. … WR Elijah Moore came up with another long ball from QB Zach Wilson, but it wasn't clear if the pass was actually intended for him because a tight end was in the vicinity. Moore was called for an OPI during the session as an official ruled he pushed off CB Corey Ballentine. …. Bryce Huff had a pair of sacks and he's picking up steam by the day. … Our final word goes to Robert Saleh, who will take his team to MetLife Stadium on Saturday for the Green & White practice. Saleh said: "We're not going to do any live tackling. There is going to be a lot more move the ball and organic transitions with regards to punt, kickoff, field goal, just going through those gymnastics. We'll have coaches in the box, so we'll try to simulate a game-like experience without actually picking teams. We'll just let the guys roll and we'll try to hit our mark with regard to the amount of snaps we want all of them to get. We're trying to simulate each player simulating a half of football throughout the entire practice. It will be good, it's going to be fun. We're looking forward to getting out there and getting the fans engaged and getting used to MetLife a little bit."