The Jets opened training camp with a non-pads practice Saturday, but veteran cornerback Morris Claibrone delivered a few blows for the defense. A free agent signee in March, Claiborne recorrded a pair of interceptions as the Green & White started their summer season.
"We're in t-shirt and shorts. We're playing two hand touch right now," said head coach Todd Bowles. "You have to put it all together and put the physical part with the mental part, but he's quick. Obviously he had two picks today. He just has to continue to work and keep getting better."
In 1-on-1s, Claiborne stuck with speedster Robby Anderson as the two cut across the middle of the field. Then when Josh McCown released the ball, Claiborne deftly stepped in front for a pick. Later in team drills, Claiborne victimized McCown a second time when he jumped in front of a pass intend for WR Quincy Enunwa.
The 5'11", 192-pound Claiborne, who was selected No. 6 overall in the 2012 Draft, had four interceptions in 47 regular-season games with the Cowboys. He was playing the best football of his career before missing the Boys' final eight regular-season contests with a groin injury. If healthy for 16 games, Claiborne could provide the new-look Jets pass defense with a huge shot in the arm.
Hackenberg DeliversDonning a left glove on his left hand, Christian Hackenberg appeared poised throughout the afternoon and experienced a long stretch of accurate football during 7-on-7 work and team drills.
"I definitely feel more comfortable, I think that's just a natural progression," he told reporters. "I try not to compare years to years. I think it's just part of growing up man and being in a situation where you just continue to go. My focus is just coming in and trying to get better, be as comfortable as I can, talk to people and talk to my coaches, just taking it one day at a time."
Through the Lens Look at the First Practice of Training Camp
McCown took reps with the first-team offense and was followed by Hackenberg and then Bryce Petty.
"There are a lot of unknowns, and I think that's what's interesting about it," Hackenberg said. "(I try to) just stay in the present, live in the right now, here now, and just continue to – like I've been saying – just get better and learn as much as I can. Learn from the good and from the bad and keep plugging along."
As for the glove?
"I thought it was a little breezy out today," he said. "I figured I'd throw a glove on my left hand just to make sure the ball stays in there a little more."
Injury UpdatesVeteran T Ben Ijalana (knee) and rookie wideouts ArDarius Stewart (thumb/groin) and Chad Hansen (knee) were all limited to individual drills. Bowles said each of them could have practiced, but the Jets will take it slow and increase their workloads over time.
Et CeteraWithout pads, the defense has a very clear advantage because there is less of a threat of rush attack. With that being said, both of the Jets veteran backs flashed. Bilal Powell had the first offensive touch in team and picked up a sizeable gain on a run while later showcasing his hands and moves on a pass reception. Crafty Matt Forte had a huge gain on a screen, patiently waiting for the big uglies to get out of front and the person leading the way was LG James Carpenter... While ILB Demario Davis narrowly missed a pick-six, Marcus Williams took advantage of a deflected Bryce Petty pass and took it home to pay dirt… Darron Lee, who recently changed his number to 58, looks like he put on some weight in the upper body.*
*On DeckThe Jets will practice in t-shirts and shorts again on Sunday before their first pads practice of the year on Monday.