Cortland, NY: It didn’t take very long for people to notice Jets ex-wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson walk the sidelines of the practice field. The overall No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft had plenty to say about the 2012 New York Jets, including the addition of offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, wide receiver Santonio Holmes and the Mark Sanchez Tim Tebow dynamic.
The new faces on the field will not have the largest impact on this season according to Johnson. “I thought the biggest offseason acquisition for me was Tony [Sparano],” said Johnson, “I don’t care about Tim Tebow and all these other kids [Stephen] Hill, I think that was the biggest acquisition.”
Johnson stressed head coach Rex Ryan will be able to leave the offense up to Sparano, and will be able to focus all his efforts into Ryan’s specialty, the defense.
“I think Rex is more in-tune with the defense as opposed to trying to manage the offense and defense,” said Johnson. “When you have two minds like Tony and Rex—one guy running the offense, one guy running the defense—but overall controlling the team, you’re going to be real good.”
Jokingly, Johnson had to throw in that, “I would never play for a defensive coordinator, it’s a nightmare.” Good ol’ Keyshawn.
Johnson wasn’t shy when reminiscing on his playing days, sharing insight he would give Holmes on how to deal with media pressure. It is no secret Holmes’ behavior is under the microscope this season after his actions at the conclusion of the 2011 season. Holmes seems to have moved on with his positive quotes today, saying, “I think [trust issues] were all over the place with all the receivers and quarterbacks. That was last year. We’re moving on from that.”
Johnson wants Holmes to handle the media differently this season, including channeling the negative comments into positive play. “I read every freaking clip that there was and laughed about it because some of the stuff is right and some of the stuff is completely wrong. I went about my business and practiced everyday, played everyday,” said Johnson. “My advice to him is don’t pay any attention. Go out there and play, let the play speak for you and at the end of the day you can tell them you know what. You just got to let it roll off your shoulder.”
Lastly, Johnson shared his views on having a two quarterback system involving Sanchez and Tebow. “If you’re telling me that you’re going to split the reps 50/50, you’re not going to be very successful.” But when asked about Sanchez being the main signal caller and Tebow running the wildcat, he expressed it could work. “That’s fine, Brad Smith ran the wildcat and so did [Jeremy] Kerley a year ago.”
“But to think that a guy is going to play a whole quarter, you’re going to play a whole quarter, another guy is going to come in a whole quarter and whoever has the hot hand in the third quarter finishes the fourth, you’ll never win.”
I don’t think anyone can argue that, now gimme the damn ball.
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