Our Joe Malfa attended New York Jets practice yesterday. He included his observations to go along with today’s link dump. Enjoy!
– For the first time in a while, the Jets have tremendous depth, and this depth will make the decisions on the final cuts extremely difficult. (B/R)– Not much has been released about the health of Jalen Saunders, but he addressed the media yesterday for the first time since the accident. (ESPN)
– Back in 2012, the Jets spent a 2nd round pick on Stephen Hill. He hasn’t quite developed as the team hoped, and he may be running out of time to do so. I personally believe he will turn things around, but Manish Mehta seems to be on the other side of the fence. (NYDN)
– Between the Tim Tebow debacle and playing Mark Sanchez late in the game against the Giants in last year’s preseason matchup (a decision that cost Sanchez the season due to a shoulder injury), it’s safe to say Rex Ryan blew his chance at setting Sanchez up for long-term success as a Jet. Geno may be Rex’s second chance at developing a long-term solution at QB. (ESPN)
– Giants rookie RB has added some fuel to the Snoopy Bowl fire with the comments he made Wednesday. (NYP)– Here is your game day guide for the aforementioned Snoopy Bowl.
1) Geno Smith is without a doubt the starting QB — Rex may have not officially announced it yet, but there’s no doubt at this point. Every rep that Geno took was with the first team offensive line and the first team skill players, whereas Vick played with the second offensive line and a mix of first and second team skill players. Geno may be on a short leash throughout the season so the job may not remain his through week 17, but he will be the starter against Oakland on September 7th (barring injury).
2) Not much light has been shed on the possible return of Antwan Barnes, but I believe he may be getting close to coming off the PUP list. He was off to the side with a couple of coaches doing some intense agility work throughout the practice. Don’t hold me to this, it is pure speculation based on what I was watching, but he seemed to be moving pretty well. His return would add to an already scary front seven.3) The solution opposite Dee Milliner may not be Dmitri Patterson, Darrin Walls, Antonio Allen, or Kyle Wilson — the solution may be Ellis Lankster. His name was rarely called against the Bengals, which is usually a good thing for a corner, and he had tight, lockdown coverage on every WR he was matched up with yesterday. He stood out on one particular play, as he dove to knock the ball out of Stephen Hill’s hands on a quick slant. Keep a close eye on him in tomorrow’s game against the Giants.
4) Fans are ruthless when it comes to being face-to-face with a reporter they may not like. I won’t name names, but a particular reporter (who may or may not have had to hitchhike to practice due to a wrong prediction regarding the Jets using all of their draft picks) was heckled non-stop once the fans noticed him.
5) In reading camp related articles, you end up with a mental image of NFL players being robots who wake up, go to practice, hit the gym, go to sleep, and repeat without having any fun — that’s not the case. When the players needed to be serious, they were serious, but in between drills it was all fun — players were interacting with the fans, joking around, and dancing. HBO’s Hard Knocks shows the playful side of the players, but it’s another thing to actually see it in person.