Coach Seeks Faster Start
Last Friday night in front of the Green & White faithful, the Jets won their preseason home opener against the Falcons 30-22. Although head coach Todd Bowles was pleased that his team played fast, he wasn't happy about 17 penalties and he wants to see improvement moving forward.
"The penalties, number one, for both sides and special teams," said Bowles after today's practice about where he wants to see the most progress out of the first offense. "Consistency, getting off to a fast start, making sure we jell and everybody is together. We'll have a good play here and there and it will take us a while to get started. I would like to start fast this game."
After making a one-handed grab on a Ryan Fitzpatrick play-action pass, WR Brandon Marshall received cheers from the crowd in attendance at training camp. Still able to make plays and produce on a high level, Marshall feels like he's getting stronger in his 10th season.
"I feel like I'm breaking through my potential," he said. "I'm 31. I honestly feel great. It's a challenge every single day. Those guys, Darrelle, Cromartie and Buster, they force you to look at the game differently. From my releases to the top of my routes, it's a chess match. ... Now I have to go outside of my comfort zone and figure out different ways to win and I really believe I'm better than I ever been because of the competition I see every single day."
Connecting with TE Jeff Cumberland down the field on a 20-yard pass and WR Eric Decker in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick looked good throwing the ball around during team drills as the he prepares for his biggest workload of the preseason.
"I think eliminating penalties and eliminating the three-and-outs," said Fitzpatrick about what he wants to see from the offense Saturday night against the Giants. "Getting out there and getting some productive drives. Having more of our drives end in points. I think that will be the main goal. That will be a nice little challenge for us once we start looking at them, another new defense, new challenge, new things that we can work on in terms of timing versus different coverages."
The Jets' first offense got on the board against the Falcons when RB Chris Ivory darted through a wide-open hole up the middle for a 33-yard touchdown. As Ivory turned on the burners before hitting the end zone, his quickness caught the eye of Coach Bowles.
"I knew he was a good player," said Bowles. "I didn't know he was as fast as he was and he has very good feet. Chris has very good quickness. You don't have to be that fast to have foot quickness and he has foot quickness."
Back in the Building
As the team was getting ready for warmups, it was a pleasant surprise to see a red No. 7 jersey walking out to practice. QB Geno Smith made an appearance on the field with his teammates for the first time in two weeks and had a catch with WR Shaq Evans, who is recovering from a lower back injury he sustained in Friday's game.
"He's been in meetings," said Fitzpatrick of Smith after practice. "He's been vocal and helping out and all that. So I think he's kind of getting back into it. He's allowed to be around a little bit more now and so I think that's helpful for him."
After being away from the Jets last week dealing with an off-the-field issue, S Calvin Pryor returned to practice on Sunday.
"It's a great feeling to be back around the guys," said Pryor this afternoon. "I'm happy to be back doing something I love to do and that's playing football. Football helps me take my mind off a lot of things. To be able to ease my way back into things and be out here with my teammates and coaches is a blessing."
After Family Night at Hofstra on Sunday, the Jets Returned to AHJTC to Start the New Week of Work