Today was the second day of Jets mandatory mini-camp. Here is a recap and some observations:
Quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow lead the offense, while neither were outstanding, Sanchez was more in control. Tebow looked a bit indecisive on his throws during drills having one intercepted. Sanchez, more comfortable, threw the ball with zip either to a receiver or away to avoid a sack. Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano even praised Sanchez for not taking a sack even though the ball was incomplete, a turnover is much worse.
While Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill were limited in practice they did run routes and catch passes. Seeing Hill live, his size is impressive and seems to catch the ball with soft hands. He had a reputation for dropping passes during his college career but the technique looks sound and the drops should decrease with more practice at the pro level.
With Holmes and Hill out of certain drills Jeremy Kerley “picked up the slack” as he was the best receiver on the field. Kerley had several receptions looked fast and stood out from the other receivers. Another receiver leaving an impression was Chad Schilens (6’4”, 225). He made nice catches ran good routes and showed speed. Unfortunately Schilens is injury prone but if he can stay healthy there is no reason why he couldn’t contribute in the “red-zone” or moving the chains.
Tight end Dustin Keller has expressed his desire to get a contract extension and looked like he deserves one given the practice performance. Keller is used all over the field, on the line, in the slot and out of the backfield. He made some nice catches and should continue to be an important target for the offense.
There is a question mark about the number two tight end but Jeff Cumberland, whose season was cut short last year due to injury, practiced fully and left an impression. Cumberland ran crisp routes, caught some balls and was on the field along with Keller and the first team offense.
Running back Joe McKnight looks bigger than last year, hard to tell if this will allow him to be more effective between the tackles but he looked fast in drills and returning kickoffs. Terrance Ganaway, who is not known for his receiving skills, looks like a viable option in the passing game out of the backfield. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ganaway catching passes out of the fullback or halfback position and could be used on third down.
First team safeties were Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith but rookie Josh Bush stood out and worked in with the first team and nickel defense. Bush showed good range and change of direction. LaRon Landry attended the workout and ran some warm up drills. While still nursing an Achilles injury it was good to see he could at least jog at this point in his rehabilitation.
Linebackers Aaron Maybin and Demario Davis showed some very encouraging signs during the practice. Maybin is bigger than last season but you’d wonder if the extra weight would slow him down. A nice swim move on the on the center than chased down Tebow forcing him to throw the ball away showed Maybin can still run. He was working inside and outside hopefully the new physic will allow him to utilize rushes other than the outside speed rush he often used last season. Davis was sent on “A” gap blitzes on a regular basis. Other times he dropped in coverage looked comfortable back pedaling with good lateral movement. The Maybin and Davis combination should offer up some versatility especially in passing situations.
Rookie Quinton Coples is physically built for this defense no matter where they line him up. He is tall, big and has long arms just seeing Coples up close is very impressive. He had a solid practice looked fast and strong but his potential impact is tremendous as he grows in the defense.
Will be tweeting, @Jetnation, tomorrow live from the last day of mini-camp and have a recap article later after the practice. Just want to give a special thanks to twitter username @Milvian for helping with updating today’s action, give her a follow.