By Tom Shane
Question of the day: Why is Sanchez barely getting snaps with even the second team now?
The Jets were on the grass field today, which runs adjacent to the stadium field where they were practicing previously. The players are alot closer to the fans, and you can get a much closer look at what is going on and hear what the coaches are telling them. Good stuff.
There were two storylines today: The live goal-line drills and the fact that Mark Sanchez was not getting many reps with either the first or second team.
Starting with the goal line practices. The D was really fired up for these drills, coming across the field whooping and hollering to the O, talking trash, and getting pumped up. I positioned myself dead on the goal line so I could watch the line play and see which side was getting the push.
In the beginning (first three-four plays or so), the O-Line clearly had the advantage and Thomas Jones was able to get some daylight. WHen Jones scored on one push, Clemens threw his arms up and let out a yell, which is weird for the usually subdued Clemens.
Clemens and Sanchez rotated plays, but Clemens was clearly in charge, scoring on what seemed like more than half of his plays.
Sanchez ran a pair of play-action passes where he couldn’t find anyone open (he looked realy hesitant today) and decided to scramble to the right sideline. On his first scramble, Sanchez did a little half-dive, half hook slide that almost took out Bart Scott, who hopped to avoid the contact. I give Sanchez credit on the play for going all out, but if this was game action and Scott was allowed to hit him, Sanchez would be staring for his ribs and kidneys splattered across the end zone right now. On the second scramble, Sanchez was strung out by Jim Leonhard who gave him a little forearm shiver at the end to knock him out at the cone. I know I keep harping on this, but with the receivers’ struggles to get open in camp so far, you really have to wonder if Sanchez has any confidence in any of them.
The D started to firm up and was able to stalemate the OL towards the middle of the drill, stopping Caulcrick and Jones short a couple time each.
One reporter tweeted that the defense “dominated,” but it definitely didn’t seem that way from my angle. The OLine never got pushed back, the LB’s were easily fooled on play action, and Clemens was able to find open guys as a result. I suppose it was a “victory” for the DLine to hang in there without Jenkins, but to say they dominated is a huge overstatement.
btw, Jim Leonhard, Bart Scott and David Harris kicked some ass on the goal line drills, flying around and drilling people.
for Joe, KERRY RHODES MADE A NICE PLAY WHERE HE CAME AROUND THE CORNER AND WRAPPED UP THOMAS JONES WHO COULDN’T FIND A HOLE. IT WAS A VERY NICE PLAY. =D
The last play of the goal line scrimmage was a beauty play-fake by Clemens, who faked a dive (the back–think it was Jones–got absolutely lit up by Scott or Harris), and then ran around left end holding the ball out and high-stepping. The O started jumping up and down, all pumped up about sticking it to the mouthy D.
As for Sanchez v. Clemens, I just don’t get it. Clemens is getting the bulk of the snaps with the first team in 7 on 7 and 11 on 11, and when Sanchez gets his shot with the second team, he was in for one or two plays at a clip, and then Erik Ainge would come in. Schottenheimer, in an interview posted today, said that Sanchez has to “earn” his snaps, and will get more when he gets comfortable. You have to wonder if Sanchez will be allowed to get “comfortable” this year at all with the way it looks now.
There was definitely something different about the two QB’s today, even at the start of practice. Clemens was very verbal, encouraging guys, clapping hands and being very animated, while Sanchez was very subdued. Then, when the 7 on 7’s started and everything was going to Clemens, Sanchez seemed to be alot less sharp than he has been, struggling even with his accuracy. During one break, Clemens was hanging out talking to back-ups Ainge and Pizzotti, while Sanchez was off to the side with Brian Schottenheimer. I don’t want to read too much into that at all or make too much of it, but I thought it was interesting. Finally, Sanchez walked over to Pizzotti and Ainge when Clemens walked away. Curious.
It’s supposed to be a full practice in the afternoon, so we’ll see if Sanchez gets more of a shot with the first teamers later on. There was some interesting new wrinkles in the drills that I will write about later, as well, with Schottenheimer implementing new stuff to get his receivers open, and whatnot.
If you guys want me to focus on anything, including Kerry Rhodes’ latent greatness, leave me a comment here.