The New York Jets held their annual ‘green and white’ practice Saturday evening, this time at MetLife Stadium. Our very own Connor Rogers was on site in the press box to cover the event, where he breaks down the most notable sequences of the night below.
The Boo Birds Flock
Quarterback Geno Smith and the first team offense struggled in the beginning of the 11 on 11 period, leading off with a three and out. It did not take long for the crowd of over 10,000 to boo Smith loudly, especially after a Calvin Pace strip sack.While the frustrations with the quarterback position in the Jets fan base are understandable, this was a practice. Not to mention, Smith hit Marshall for a very long touchdown over Antonio Cromartie later on. The boos seemed to rain down on Smith all evening, until he hit Marshall (covered by Revis) for a 1 yard touchdown on a slant, ultimately concluding the practice.
The Stand Outs
IK Enkempali – running with the 2nd/3rd team defenses, IK seemed just a step faster than the opposition at all times. He had a would be sack on Bryce Petty and also contained what could have been a very long Darryl Richardson run to the outside.
Austin Hill – The former standout receiver from Arizona dazzled with the 3rd string offense. The 6’3, 215 pounder overmatched the reserve defensive backs and easily caught what came his way.Hill was a star his sophomore year (2012) of college hauling in 81 passes for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns. Unfortunately he missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL and had a mediocre 2014 as he recovered from the injury.
Two years removed from the ACL tear, it looks as if Hill is slowly regaining some explosiveness from the slot position he was dominant at in 2012. The big question will be if he can carry this success into live preseason games and ultimately against better competition.
Buster Skrine – The first year Jet was all over his assignments in 7 on 7’s and nearly had an interception at one point. Skrine is a feisty player that is perfect to match up with shifty slot targets and will contribute to the secondary right away.
The Rundown1) Saalim Hakim is the fastest player on the team. He flashed his speed not only in kick return drills alongside TJ Graham and Walt Powell, but also in punt coverage during 11 on 11’s as he reached the return man well before the ball did.
While Hakim is a long shot, hauling in a long post from Ryan Fitzpatrick was a good start to proving he’s more than just a special teams player.
2) Jace Amaro looks to be ready to take over as the top tight end by the conclusion of preseason, flashing quicker feet and more route prowess in individual drills. Amaro is used as a receiving threat with the one’s, but also gets a lot of work as an in-line blocker with the 3rd unit.
3) Darrin Walls saw work at the free safety position with the 3rd unit defense. He was rarely tested, but handled single high coverage as a deep roamer. The former Fighting Irish defensive back’s versatility only increases his chances of making the final 53 man roster.
4) Bryce Petty is exactly where most draft analysts expect him to be as a rookie: a decent passer with little grasp of a pro style offense. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey did wisely keep things vanilla for the rookie, working him primarily out of shotgun. He has a long way to go, but Petty did flash his arm on a beautiful throw to second year wide receiver Quiny Enunwa.
5) Leonard Williams flashed the light feet he was notorious for having at USC on a pressure against the 1’s. Williams got through the offensive line quickly and chased Geno to the sideline, forcing him to dump it off for a minimal gain. Baby steps for the 6th overall pick, but he might have an impact immediately.