Cortland, NY – The Green and White game tonight gave Jets fans their first look at the team in a live scrimmage.
The question on everyone’s mind going in? Who was going to get the first team reps. It was Geno Smith who trotted out onto the field in front of the 6,000 in attendance. But that might not be indicative of how the competition is going.
“We’ve been going on and off, so today was my day [with the first team] and I did expect to get good reps,” said Smith. “Obviously, [Mark and I] were splitting it.”
Smith led the offense down the field on his first drive, but the team stalled in the red zone when offensive penalties negated two touchdown plays.
Overall, both quarterbacks left a lot to be desired, but let’s not forget the defense they’re going up against.
“Our defense, I believe, is one of the best in the league,” said Smith. “They do a great job disguising coverages and they make it tough on the quarterback. To have many practices up against those guys, I think it makes us better as an offense and me better as a player.”
The quarterback with the best day was Greg McElroy who had two touchdown passes.
At running back, Joe McKnight was a scratch after leaving practice early yesterday. It was Bilal Powell who shined in his place. He got the majority of the snaps with the first team, and had some very impressive runs. With all the turmoil above him on the depth chart, Powell took advantage of the opportunity he was given.
“I just want to come out and work hard every day,” said Powell. “We’ll see how everything rolls out from there. It’s out of my control. My thing is just to come in and put good things on film and allow the coaches to see what the roster or the depth chart is.”
As has been reported Clyde Gates has had a good camp so far. That didn’t change today. He saw plenty of time with the first team, and looked the part. He caught several passes today, showing good hands and route running.
Ryan Spadola also had a good game. He had perhaps the catch of the scrimmage hauling in a long touchdown pass from McElroy for the first score of the game.
Defensively Dee Milliner saw plenty of time. He lined up on the outside with the first team all day. No big plays from the rookie, but no big catches against him either. He continues to be solid for the Jets early in camp.
Antonio Cromartie continues to look like a shut down corner. He had the only pick of Sanchez, wrestling away a long pass in the end zone.
“I think it was just a play where I was in press coverage,” said Cromartie. “It is just something that you have to expect coming from a West Coast Offense. You know, to me, when I was playing against a West Coast Offense, once they get close to the fifty yard line it is “take a shot time” no matter what down it is. So my thing was try to get the receiver off balance then once the ball is in the air I just try to go get the ball.”
Rex Ryan gushed about Cromartie after the scrimmage.
“He’s looked at by his peers as an elite corner, but he wants to elevate his game,” said Ryan. “You can tell that by the way he works out…and his commitment on the practice field every day.”
The player who impressed Ryan the most yesterday, Ricky Sapp, had another good day. He was a monster on the second team, and saw some snaps with the first team as well.
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