There’s an excitement and a mundaneness to the Jets coming to your backyard for a few days of training camp.
One moment you are busting out burpees at oh-dark-thirty with your buddy and fellow Jets fan Fireman Ed (no, not THAT one), then speeding home to make eggs for three tiny savages before realizing you are late to a business development meeting with an accounting firm all before 9AM. The next thing you know you are frantically changing out of your dress shoes in your trusty Subaru and falling into training camp mode only to rush back to work before the lunch hour finishes up.
It has been a fun few days and I’m sad its over, but only so sad.
The VIP section where (shoutout to Christian Matthews of the Washington club for the hook up!) my friend, renowned Appalachian chef — and most important fellow Jets fan — Travis Milton and I were stationed allowed us to see a lot of the Jets quarterbacks and receivers work and much less of the Jets defense.
The practice got a little chippy again. There was lots of posturing and one scuffle of note today during counter-positional drills. I didn’t have a good view of how it started, but it was resolved rather quickly and practice resumed with only a minor disruption.
Terrelle Pryor had a rough go in Richmond. At a separate point than what transpired above, DJ Swearinger was all up in his face after an end zone drop which was all over the internet Tuesday. In truth it was kind of funny since Swearinger is about half the size of Pryor and Pryor’s flinching seemed to be more about him taking the high road. There’s some bad blood between Pryor and the Washington secondary and it might stem from some of Pryor’s showboating ways.
As a unit, the Washington defensive backs were singling Pryor out all three days; crowing at him as a unit at anything less than a catch and today things came to a head in seven on seven red zone drills. Whenever Pryor’s number was up, the quarterbacks were trying to give TP the opportunity to shine. He had a few nice catches, but more drops and near misses. There was at least one perfect back shoulder throw to the pylon that by all accounts Pryor should have caught, but in going to the ground out of bounds … he didn’t. It is fair to say that there was a little extra physicality being applied by Washington defensive backs which increased the degree of difficulty for Pryor. When Pryor did catch a touchdown pass, Pryor’s teammates urged him to let the defense hear it from him, but Pryor quietly went back to his receiver line. Terrelle Pryor has $3 million in guaranteed money this year from the Jets, without a strong finish to the preseason the front office might reconsider their commitment to Pryor over the course of the season. It seems like Todd Bowles already has.
As for another receiver, when the Jets got Jermaine Kearse in part of the Sheldon Richardson trade, I was extremely dubious of the contributions he could make to this offense over the long-term. While Kearse might not have the same mouthwatering measurables as others on the team, he certainly has given the Jets a great fallback option as a starter. I’ve been impressed with the numbers Kearse put up last year, and that was only buoyed when I watched him run routes in seven on seven drills. After getting traded days before the start of the season, Jermaine Kearse is quickly becoming a veteran leader of this team and a mentor to Sam Darnold, which one expects can only help to the offense.
What’s up with the quarterbacks? Some media outlets are pumping the news that the Jets will be shipping off Bridgewater if another team comes calling. I certainly won’t rule it out if the price is right, but if so, then why don’t we have a more visible succession plan for the imminent departure of Bridgewater? The simplest answer to me is that the Jets are fine with holding what they have for 2018 and they aren’t worried about a needing a future third stringer to replace Bridgewater because they don’t plan to move him. On the other hand, from a pure game theory perspective having a fourth string quarterback might tip off potential trade partners to their plan and make it harder to get optimal value for Bridgewater in a trade.
I know that I said that I thought the depth on this team was great … and I think I need to revise that statement sliiightly. The depth of the defensive backs is troubling. Colt McCoy was tearing that group to ribbons whenever I watched them. I’m not very concerned with how the starters will do, but fans should worry about the impact any injuries the cornerbacks group might cause for this defense. Not as notable, but the offensive line seems to be trying to find a rhythm on the interior and was moving a number of players around to try snaps at center. I can only assume that it is a way for the Jets coaches to break ties during the upcoming cut downs.
The Jets won’t be able to make profound additions to those groups until next year, but I would expect them to be active on the waiver wire for those positions during the cutdown process. #minidraft
Thanks for letting me share some of my thoughts with you over the last few days. Hopefully my time and schedule will allow for some more writing and work on JetsFix in the near future!
It's no understatement to say that Brian Bassett is one of the forefathers of the NFL fansite blogging revolution over the last decade. Best known as the founder of TheJetsBlog.com and one of the presenters of The Jetsblog Podcast, his words have graced the pages or wordpress engines of multiple high-profile sites since 2004. These days, Bassett has a lot of other stuff going on, but we're always grateful to welcome him as an occasional JetsFix guest columnist and, who knows, as the Jets rise again, perhaps his online presence will too over the next few years...