By Tom Shane
Here’s a real quick recap of the Green and white Scrimmage in Cortland, NY:
Story of the Day: Sanchez shines, while Clemens looks very ordinary
Clemens started with the ones and couldn’t get anything going, relying on the short pass to try and move the ball downfield. The first team defense was very solid, turning the line of scrimmage into a mosh pit on every play.
Sanchez relieved Clemens after a virtual three and out and looked very poised, very solid behind center. After two handoffs to Danny Woodhead and a false start on the OL, Sanchez threw down the middle to TE Jack Simmons who (somewhat predictably) dropped the ball. Later on the drive, after a beautiful burst to the outside off left end by Shonn Greene for 12, Sanchez was victimized by another drop, this time by Britt Davis who was having a bad night. Though Sanchez didn’t score the ball, he looked very comfortable out there, directed the team well, made his adjustments and got the ball out quickly and confidently–a real change from the last few days of practice.
After another non-descript possession by Clemens, and one possession a piece by Pizzotti and Ainge (who threw deep to Marcus Henry for 35 yds, who made a leaping catch over Coleman), Sanchez took the field with the ones and sparkled in the two minute drill.
After a few short plays, Sanchez drilled a beautiful out-route to Wallace Wright on the right sideline for about 15 yards. It was really a classically perfect toss to the outside, both accurate and powerful. Wright has really shown some ability at receiver in this camp so far. Sanchez then hit Wright again for ten yards in the seam, with Wright holding on despite being drilled by Donald Strickland. After going to Wright yet again for a short gain and another to Jack Simmons, the drive stalled on an incompletion to Britt Davis who was defended nicely by Drew Coleman.
This drive by Sanchez was very smooth, despite not scoring (which may be a theme with the Jets this year), and was the story of the game.
Clemens took over the second unit against the back-up D, and was undone by another Britt Davis drop on a high sideline pass that he tried to catch with one hand. In fairness to Davis, it would have had to be a great catch. After a clean “sack” by Ihedigbo on the safety blitz, Clemens threw deep to Chansi Stuckey who was hand-fighting with Drew Coleman and never had a chance to catch the ball. May have been PI on COleman in the regular season. This ended Clemens’ night.
Sanchez came back in and completed two consecutive passes to Leon, the second a pretty 12 yard pass into the hook zone. After moving the ball down the field for about 30 yards, Sanchez’s last drive ended with a nice scramble in the pocket to avoid pressure, but ultimately threw it incomplete.
~~If it weren’t for the poise that Sanchez was showing, the story of the game would have been Shonn Greene, who looks ALOT like Adrian Murrell with the ball in his hands. He has a low center of gravity and is very quick to bounce it to the outside. Greene got drilled by Darrelle Revis after one play and got up limping though. Have to see if he’s injured.
~~While keeping the scrimmage in perspective (it’s JUST a scrimmage), this was Sanchez by TKO. Whether he was playing with the ones or the twos, or against the ones or twos on defense, the offense was alot more efficient and dynamic with him under center. I commented earlier that Sanchez does nothing physically that makes you think he was worthy of the #6 pick, but his intangible stuff is very impressive. He has an obvious understanding of the passing game, he gets the ball off quick and decisively at times, and when he can’t find a receiver he showed very good feel in the pocket, Also, when he scrambled it was with the intent to throw the ball and not just try and pick up rushing yards, though he seems capable of that, as well. He is going to be fun to watch, at the very least.
~~The DLine and linebackers are going to be very tough this year, very physical. The OLB’s took turns lining up at DE in some defensive formations, with Calvin Pace, in particular, looking very strong mixing it up inside. Vernon Gholston took some snaps with the second team, but didn’t seem to make many, if any, plays.
~~The Jets interior offensive line really struggles to move people out inside. These are NOT the hogs. When Sione Pouha and Howard Green are bottling you up inside, you have to consider yourself a finesse team, which is OK, especially if Shonn Greene is the goods. We know that Leon can exploit the corner, and he will get that chance this year it looks like. It looks like it will be another year of plugging away in the middle for Thomas Jones, however.
~~The offense opened up with Leon AND Thomas Jones in the game at the same time with Caulcrick. It looked like Leon was playing a wing-back position/slot guy. Getting the best players on the field, I suppose. The starting wideouts were Cotchery and Stuckey.
~~A quick whine, and a hypothetical: pretend that you were from New Jersey, and you have been reading in the paper all week about a Green and White Scrimmage taking place in lovely, bucolic Cortland, NY. Now, imagine that you decided to pack your kids in the car for the 5 1/2 hour trip up here only to find out that the coach decided to move the game to a grass practice field that currently has temporary bleachers capable of holding, say, 300 people–bleachers where the seat highest from the ground is about six feet up. Now, say that approximately 2000 people show up and get packed along the one sideline made available to those loyal Jets fans that made that drive, effectively blocking the bleachers from view of the field, along with the players lining up in front of those people who can now no longer see the field. In sum, of the 2000 who showed up, approximately 1/3 of those people were ever actually able to see anything resembling Jets football. I don’t mind moving the practice to the smaller field, but it was a gross miscarriage to not make accomodations for the crowds such as allowing access to to the fence guarding the opposite sideline to halve the congestion. Instead people were packed in like cattle along one edge of the field, each looking at the backs of the persons heads in front of them. If you were a kid, you may as well have stayed home. End of whine.
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