On Saturday, our own Joe Malfa was on the sideline for Day 3 of Jets training camp. Here are some takeaways from his day in Florham Park:
Quarterbacks:Ryan Fitzpatrick – If Fitz had any rust coming into camp after his lengthy contract dispute, it is all gone. He was decisive, accurate, and efficient with the ball. The chemistry he has with Decker and Marshall is remarkable, and it seems like that same chemistry has been formed with Enunwa. During the 7-on-7 and team drills, Fitz completed a number of timing patterns with those three targets for large chunks of yardage. He also used Bilal Powell frequently and effectively over the middle and out in the flat. I know it is only the 3rd practice, but hopefully it is an indication of things to come. If he can duplicate his 2015 performance, this team will make the playoffs.
Geno Smith – Saturday’s team sessions served a microcosm of Geno Smith’s career. He threw two gorgeous fades for TDs (one to Marshall and the other to Enunwa), but in both cases, he came right back to throw pitiful red zone interceptions — two steps forward, two steps back. His arm strength was impressive and his accuracy seemed to improve, but I saw more of the “Bad Geno” than I had hoped.
Bryce Petty – Simply put, this experiment was a failure. Petty has accuracy issues and looks just as uncomfortable as he did last year when I saw him at camp. He struggled to make decisions in the 7-on-7s and team drills, and he would have taken multiple sacks if not for the fact that QBs are untouchable in practice. I do not foresee Petty making the team.
Christian Hackenberg – The 2nd-round pick had some of the same issues as Petty in regards to accuracy, but he looked more comfortable. He showcased his arm strength when he hit Kenbrell Thompkins on a 10-yard curl near the sideline. It was a very tight window, but his arm strength turned what could have been an interception into a first down. He needs to marinate a bit under the tutelage of Chan Gailey and Kevin Patullo, but there is starting QB potential here.Running Backs:
The only thing worth noting about the RBs is how often Fitz utilized Powell as his checkdown in team drills. Powell was always open, and I do not believe he dropped a single pass that was thrown his way. Other than that, Forte was limited and Robinson is still on the PUP.
Amaro saw mostly 2nd team reps, but he looked slimmer, faster, and caught everything that was thrown his way. Having him healthy this year to pair with Quincy Enunwa will be a huge boost for this offense. Enunwa was on the field whenever the offense went four-wide. He linked up with Fitz on a couple of timing routes down the field and made a beautiful catch while falling out of the back of the endzone for a TD (one of the nicer passes on the day from Geno).Wide Receivers:
Kenbrell Thompkins had an impressive practice. He seems like he has that 3rd WR job locked up, as he was on the field for all three-wide sets with the 1st-team.
My focus was mainly on the QBs, LBs, and DEs yesterday, but in keeping an eye on the pass rushers, two offensive linemen had noteworthy struggles. Ben Ijalana was beaten around the edge a few times by Freddie Bishop, the sack artist making the transition from the CFL. Ryan Clady had a decent practice, but he showed some signs of rust. He had a lot of trouble dealing with the speed rush of Darron Lee, who beat him around the edge three times (once for a strip of Fitz).
- Fitzpatrick’s beard is 10x more amazing in person. As an 18-year old who still struggles to grow a decent beard, I have a tremendous appreciation for Fitz’s facial sweater.
- The Todd Bowles diet has worked wonders for not only Brandon Marshall, but also Enunwa and Amaro. All three pass catchers looked slimmer and quicker than they have in the past.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com