The annual Green and White scrimmage will be held tonight at the SUNY-Cortland stadium from 6-9 pm. Traditionally the scrimmage is held on the practice field, but much like everything else Jets related this year, the scrimmage has been moved to accomodate the legions of fans interested in seeing the team play.
You’ll have to be IN Cortland to see the scrimmage tonight, as it will NOT be broadcast on television or streamed online. (Amazing how we complain that ESPN is showing too much of the team and then when we actually want to see something, it is nowhere to be found).
Here’s a summary of some of the more significant storylines from the first week of camp:
1. Tebow Time on the Goal Line: The Jets worked goal-line drills and short yardage plays on Thursday, and as part of that work, they unveiled a snippet of their Wildcat offense featuring back-up QB/punt protector extraordinaire Tim Tebow.
Tebow, playing with the second team, scored on three of four plays, including a rushing TD out of the Wildcat.
Worth nothing it was also Tebow’s best day of practice passing the ball, though it’s quite obvious that starting QB Mark Sanchez is worlds ahead of Tebow in that respect.
Outside of accuracy on short to intermediate throws, Tebow’s issue has been reading the field and holding the ball too long. Rex Ryan told the media he plans to use buzzers to speed up this process for all the quarterbacks, particularly Tebow and third-stringer Greg McElroy
In terms of how much Tebow we can expect to see this year? Rex says “They don’t know” and it could be 20, 2, 50 snaps. So, much like everything else, wait and see.
2. The Offense is Behind the Defense: Unfortunately, the impressive show from the offense on Thursday was negated by another disappointing performance on Friday.
BUT, let’s be careful not to make too much of these daily QB stats from camp — and I don’t just mean the ones from Cortland either. With the increasing popularity of Twitter and the ESPN wall-to-wall coverage, it’s been very overblown.
Michael Tanier from Football Outsiders, a sight I love and frequent often, went on a lengthy twitter “rant” yesterday about this very subject; I suggest you check it out. Tanier’s main point is that the context of what the coaches are working on, both offensively and defensively, is rarely known to the observers and that taking the stats out of context is a fool’s errand.
As Tanier explains, “The result is a gross case of false precision in data. Better to be subjective than disseminate bad data.”
3. Aaron “Mayhem” Mayin Continues to Impress: I mentioned on Tuesday that Maybin been one of the stars of camp so far, working hard and impressing both the coaching staff, the media and fans. Several sources who attended camp told me they had Maybin working in the base defense as well, which may mean more regular playing time for him this season.
4. RB Bilal Powell Stepping Up: Powell has been taking some first-team reps and, from ALL accounts, is looking very good. I have personally spoken to at least a dozen people who attended training camp this week, and all have reported that Powell has shown a lot of burst, ability to run between the tackles, ability to block and is catching passes out of the backfield. Sounds like he could be the leading candidate for the third down back role, ahead of RB Joe McKnight, (though it sounds like McKnight is also playing very well).
ESPN’s Jane McManus wrote an excellent piece about Powell, describing what she has seen from the second-year running back. Also, Nick Spano and I spoke with Metro North writer Kristian Dyer about Powell last night on Flight 5 Live. Dyer confirmed everything I’ve heard about Powell.
Of course I cannot mention the running backs without also bringing up Greene, who, despite reports from Rex Ryan, doesn’t appear to be impressing anyone all that much. Dyer, in the interview from last night, explained that he looks sluggish and isn’t really proving himself to be the bell cow this team needs.
5. Soft Tissue Injuries Causing Concern: Injuries have kept Holmes, Kerley, and Schilens out of practice and created a little bit of panic amongst fans. Rookie WR Stephen Hill and WR Patrick Turner have taken the majority of the snaps at practice, but in an effort to avoid overworking them, the team added two wide receivers to the training camp roster yesterday.
Hamstrings are a very common injury for receivers and defensive backs, especially in the early part of camp. Still think it’s best not to overreact, but it is worth closely monotoring. Will Tannenbaum bring in another veteran receiver? He hasn’t ruled it out.
6. Dominant Defense: Really no surprise here. Few camp standouts/surprises include LB Ricky Sapp, CB Ellis Lankster and S Antonio Allen. Sounds like LB Bart Scott is “back,” which music to the ears of many.
DE Quinton Coples has had a quiet camp and, according those who attended, he wasn’t working in that much with the base defense. Third round pick rookie LB Demario Davis, now recovered from his hamstring tweak, played in some starting sub packages and will likely play in the scrimmage tonight.
Final Notes: In tonight’s scrimmage, B. Moore (In Canton for H.O.F), N. Mangold (in London to see his sister) will not play and W.Hunter may sit out. Caleb Schlauderaff and Matt Slauson will likely get snaps at center in the scrimmage with Mangold gone. QBS are not live, so no worries.
Wanted to be sure to include TE Josh Baker among the list of those who have impressed in camp so far.