Sam Darnold has had an excellent training camp, so it’s a surprise when he makes any kind of mistake. And even when he has had a miscue this summer, the offense tends to turn things around quickly to find its mojo. But Monday, the defense dictated terms throughout and that included a Trumaine Johnson interception of Darnold early in the session.
“We thought they were going to come out in another defense, so I really just should have thrown the ball away,” Darnold said. “I tried the cardinal sin — I tried to throw it away in play. I tried to throw it at the receiver’s (Robby Anderson’s) feet and Trumaine made a great play. He dove and caught it.”
Playcaller Adam Gase said there were times when Darnold and the offense were put on ice skates. Gregg Williams reached into his bag and pulled out some different looks that made it difficult for the offense to execute.
“I thought the defense did a good job. We were a little out of sorts on offense,” Gase said. “They did a good job. They had some good stuff that they were calling. We weren’t executing and there were a few calls they had no chance on.”
The defense excelled despite missing two starting linemen in Steve McLendon, who was excused for a personal matter, and DL Leonard Williams, who was held out with hip soreness. Nathan Shepherd and rookie lineman Quinnen Williams received the bulk of work in the middle with the starters.
“We decided to not have him practice today,” Gase said of Leonard Williams. “He had some irritation in his hip, so we’re just doing some preventative things, rehab-type stuff.”
Australian Valentine Holmes, a former professional from Australia's National Rugby League who is listed as a running back/wide receiver/kick returner, did provide the offense with one of its finer moments. Holmes got a step on a defender and Luke Falk was on the money for a 30-yard scoring play.
“He’s picking up the offense. He had a couple of opportunities today, he made a nice catch,” Gase said. “We’ll take a look at it to see if it was in bounds or not. It was close. He’s picking it up. It’s just a different game for him.”
Progress from Polite
Third-round pick Jachai Polite, who led Florida with 17.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks last season and paced the entire nation with six forced fumbles, had a quiet start to camp. Flashing in individual drills, Polite had to make the most of the opportunities he had in limited team action. If Monday was any indication, Polite looks to have turned a corner. Lining up with the second-team defense, Polite lived in the offensive backfield and had at least two-to-three would-be sacks.
“Polite, he’s coming along. He’s starting to realize what he can do,” said OLB Jordan Jenkins. He’s got pretty good bend and can get around the corner pretty well. He’s just got to understand when in the defense he can do that and when in the defense he cannot. If he just puts in the work, he can be pretty good.”
See the Top Photos from Monday at Jets Camp
Kalil a Spectator
After signing his contract Saturday, veteran center Ryan Kalil got some studying in Sunday and then watched most of practice next to OL coach Frank Pollack.
“Yesterday was kind of his first day getting after it, but he’ll pick it up quick,” Gase said.
General manager Joe Douglas, who continued to strengthen his offensive line with today’s trade for Ravens’ guard Alex Lewis, raved about Kalil’s intangibles.
“That’s really the main key is getting great guys in the locker room and we’ve done a great job of that so far,” said Darnold. “I’m not one to grade Joe Douglas on how he’s been doing, but obviously he knows what he’s doing and he’s been doing a great job so far.”
Kalil, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All Pro, has started to learn some of the terminology and will have plenty to discuss with Darnold in the days and weeks ahead.
“We haven’t had like a sit-down or anything like that to go over plays. We’ve talked about it a little bit, but nothing crazy every day when we run in to each other,” said the second-year signal-caller. “He’s pretty busy right now just trying to get settled in, but hopefully over this next week and obviously throughout the season we’ll be talking a lot.”
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (ankle) returned to the practice field and was a full participant. “It seemed like he was alright. I’m sure he wasn’t feeling 100 percent, but I think he wanted to get back out there as soon as possible,” Gase said… Wideout Quincy Enunwa had a nifty catch by the boundary on a perfectly placed ball from Darnold. Ty Montgomery, who had a number of touches and again was sharp, got a step behind OLB Brandon Copeland and Darnold was on the mark to his back for a chunk gain… Nickel corner Brian Poole put in some quality work inside the red zone, forcing a Darnold incompletion on second down and then registering a pass defense on fourth down… Darnold will be in rebound mode Tuesday. “I’m not using that as an excuse, the day off. But this was definitely — and I think our whole offense would agree — not our best day. There is a lot to learn from it. We’ll watch the tape and get better. I know we’ll have a better day tomorrow.”