Much has been made over the friendship of QB Mark Sanchez and Jets' seventh-round draft pick, Scotty McKnight. But the 5' 11", 185-pound wide receiver out of Colorado has worked hard in his first training camp to improve his game and show he belongs.
McKnight left the Buffaloes as their all-time leader in receptions (215) and receiving touchdowns (22) and is third in receiving yards (2,521). The jump to the NFL is difficult for even talented players like McKnight, but he has found a number of voices offering advice.
"Santonio [Holmes] and Jerricho [Cotchery] have been huge for me," said McKnight today. "They've helped me soak in the game plan. Whether I'm taking a mental rep or an actual rep on the field, they give me immediate coaching right after the play. Those guys have been great."
McKnight will now have to rely even more on Holmes, as Cotchery's release was announced this evening. Under the tutelage of Holmes and wide receivers coach Henry Ellard, he's in good hands.
"Coach Ellard has been great for us young receivers," said McKnight. "We're learning a new system, and he's staying late whenever we need him."
Joining the Jets during camp to help Ellard in coaching the wide receivers is Isaac Bruce. During his 16-year career, Bruce caught 1,024 passes for 15,208 yards and 91 touchdowns. He is in the top 10 in NFL history in each of these categories and is an invaluable resource for the Jets' receiving corps.
"Just listening to him and having a guy who played 16 seasons — a future Hall of Famer — to even be in the same room and listen to the tiny details that he says has been a great experience," he said.
Overall, McKnight has been impressed by the organization and realizes there is only one goal for the Jets.
"They've invested so much into this team," he said, "and it really shows how dedicated this organization is in giving its players everything they need to be successful and work toward the goal of winning a Super Bowl."
Wilson Continues to Improve
Kyle Wilson looks confident on defense. Wilson figures to be the third corner along with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, a notion that excites Rex Ryan.
"Kyle Wilson looks pretty darn good," said Ryan. "And we have those three corners for the next three years."
Wilson is also among a triumvirate of Jets fielding punts. Second-year RB Joe McKnight and rookie WR Jeremy Kerley joined Wilson returning kicks. Noticeably missing has been safety Jim Leonhard, whom Ryan refuses to allow to return this season.
"You can go back and fair catch one," Ryan joked about Leonhard.
Joe McKnight, the speedy Southern Cal product, has turned some heads early in camp. He has arrived in New Jersey in top condition, and it shows.
"Joe McKnight came a million miles and he's ready to go," said Ryan. "So we're going to have some explosiveness out of him."
His cuts are crisp and he has been drawing audible reactions from the crowd each time he touches the ball. He finished last season on a high note, carrying the ball 32 times for 158 yards in a Week 17 victory over the Buffalo Bills. If the dynamic, young back continues to develop, the Jets may have another weapon on offense.
Scotty McKnight and Kerley both made beautiful leaping catches on fly routes down the right sideline from Sanchez. ... Today's closed practice was the first full-pads practice of camp. Many of the Jets' free agents, either newly arrived, signed or restructured, came out for the start of practice, then went back to the locker room due to some questions regarding the CBA being voted on this afternoon. When the players voted to ratify, the Jets vets came back out and most joined in the practice.
Ryan estimated that first-round rookie Mo Wilkerson and third-rounder Kenrick Ellis had "two or three sacks apiece" and added a large degree of size to the Jets' front D-line. ... Ryan also said he could count on the fact that OL Rob Turner "was going to be in the first fight of camp. I thought it would be day 2 but it was day 1." A handful of plays into the practice, Turner and Ellis skirmished.