The Jets continued their organized team activities (OTA) today and was the first practice open to the media while both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow were on the field.
The team is working hard to implement Tony Sparano’s new offensive system and Coach Rex Ryan likes what he sees, “The tempo I think is the first thing that jumps out at me. Your putting in a brand new system on offense … we’re working at a fast pace.”
The team took part in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, which included newly signed first round draft pick Quinton Coples practicing with the first team.
The highlight of the day was a 75 yard touchdown catch by Stephen Hill from Sanchez.
Tebow throw two interceptions one to Bart Scott the other to Yeremiah Bell but Coach Ryan said despite the picks Tebow is learning, “(Tebow) had some ups and downs, he had a couple of picks today … I think he’s done well … for everybody it’s a new offense you’re trying to learn some basic things … he has a good grasp of it”
Both Jenny Vrentas/Star Ledger and Manish Mehta/NY Daily News felt Sanchez was the best quarterback today:
Sanchez looked pretty sharp (and in case you were wondering, was the best quarterback on the field), Vrentas reported.
Mark Sanchez was clearly the best quarterback on the field on Thursday, Mehta wrote.
“He’s (Sanchez) stronger I think than he’s ever been, he’s in great shape,” Ryan responded when asked about Sanchez. “That arm looks stronger to me … he’s really zipping it he’s also throwing with touch … I really like the way he is throwing the football.”
“I put a lot of pressure on myself and I think you guys know that everybody in the building knows that, that I want to make it right for me and for this team,” Sanchez said after practice. “Whether we have Matt Simms, Kinne, McElroy or it happens to be Tim Tebow behind me that’s fine, it doesn’t matter. I’m playing hard and trying to get this thing right for all of us in here.”
Tebow said of his experience thus far, “It’s been a lot of fun we’re out there every day working extremely hard trying to push each other, trying to have fun. Greg’s (McElroy) been doing a great job, Matt (Simms) and G.J. (Kinne) have been working hard, so we’ve been enjoying it,”
When asked about the process of learning the offense Tebow responded, “I think it is good because we are all on the same page, we’re all learning every day, installing new things every day. All trying to help each other grasp this new offense and trying to execute it out there, so it’s new for everyone we’re all trying to understand it … all of us are on the same page with things.”
Ryan had praise for Bart Scott feeling last year’s “disappointment” was behind him, “Bart’s ready to be Bart Scott … Bart would tell you that he had a disappointing year last year … (he) wants to have a great year this year and I think you see that.”
Muhammad Wilkerson was also mentioned as a player ready to make a “jump” by Coach Ryan, “They’re not content with just being a good football player, which obviously he (Wilkerson) was last year, but I think he sees himself doing more things than that.”
Ryan mentioned missing the playoffs as motivation for Sanchez not the presence of Tebow, “Not being in the playoffs I think stung everybody and motivated us, drives us, Sanchez I think that is the greatest motivator there is. Hungry for being in the postseason I think is the biggest driving force we have.” When pressed Ryan said only Sanchez could say if Tebow “motivates” him but added, “We’re excited that Tim Tebow is here … their (Sanchez and Tebow) good teammates … and they are good for our football team in general. They’re both very competitive guys.”
When asked if he was concerned using Tebow as the punt protector Ryan said, “I can tell you one guy who is not afraid of it, Tim Tebow, and I’m not afraid of it either. I think what he can help us with being that personal protector of the punt team, are you really sure, you really want to rush that punt? … Tim gives you that inside running presence outside running presence he can throw it … I have a feeling he’ll go down and tackle somebody.”
Ryan said that Tebow specific “Wildcat” plays will be installed in the future, “That won’t be until later, you’re talking about wildcat stuff … right now were installing base offenses.”
“I’ve been in more offensive meetings than I probably was all last year, just going around to different groups,” Ryan responded about his promised to become more involved with all aspects of the team. “I’m going to be in meetings more.”
Coach Ryan explained his offensive philosophy, “I think for us to be successful as a team we have be able to run the football … but that has to be who we are … that is going to be part of our identity.” He added the deep pass would be a factor in the offense, “We’re going to run vertical routes, a lot of vertical routes”
“We’re excited to get him (Landry) up to speed hopefully by training camp,” Ryan responded about his safety group. “I’m really happy with Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith out there … I like the looks of that first group with Eric and Yeremiah Bell looks tremendous to me … looking forward to getting LaRon Landry here, get him healthy, that would be outstanding.”
The following players were absent or limited during OTA’s:
Absent from today’s voluntary OTA were S LaRon Landry (his own decision), WR Santonio Holmes (in Germany supporting the troops) and CB Antonio Cromartie (spending Memorial Day weekend with family). Seventh-round pick Jordan White was also not here, but it’s unclear if he has school obligations.
LB David Harris (unknown), LB Bryan Thomas (Achilles) and LG Matt Slauson (shoulder) did not participate in team drills.
Source: Newark Star Ledger/Jenny Vrentas
Here’s the remaining Jets OTA schedule: May 29, May 31-June 1, June 4, June 6-7.
For more on the Jets OTA’s stop by our Jets-Nation forums.