Rookie linebackers impress at mini-camp, earn roster spots

The Jets announced Monday that they had signed undrafted free agent linebackers Cory Reamer (Alabama) and Brashton Satele (Hawaii) after both players stood out from the pack at last weekend’s rookie mini-camp in Florham.

Reamer, who played his high school ball at the famed Hoover High School in Alabama, impressed the Jets’ coaching staff with his communication skills and high football I.Q. throughout camp.  At 6-3, 230, Reamer has the size and athleticism to seriously compete  for a roster spot in training camp.  Converted from defensive back to linebacker in college, he appears to have great defensive instincts and awareness on the field.

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was particularly impressed by Reamer, according to The Star-Ledger’s Manish Mehta.  “You run into guys like that every now and again,” said Pettine. “His timed speed isn’t great. But there’s guys that make up for it by being instinctive and understanding football. They might not be as fast as the guy they’re competing with, but they get to the spot at the same time, because they recognized it quicker….(When) you watched him on tape, he didn’t really fit in athletically with the rest of that Alabama group. But here’s a guy that’s out there and all he’s doing is his job. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t be shocked ends up being a great coach one day.  He’s really understands it.”

Rex Ryan even joked that Reamer could take over as the Jets new defensive coordinator:  “We are going to replace [Mike] Pettine, and there’s no question we can do that I believe with this young man.”

Meanwhile, the 6-foot, 240 pound Satele has fought through his share of adversity.   Satele missed the entire 2009 season due to a shoulder injury and was denied a medical exemption by the NCAA to receive another season of eligibility.  During his standout junior season in ’08, Satele recorded 53 tackles with one sack, one interception and five pass break-ups.

In order to make room for Reamer and Satele, the team cut ties with rookie defensive end Broderick Stewart from Vanderbilt.

Wilson good as advertised

Almost sliding under the radar at last weekend’s mini-camp was the Jets’ first round selection, cornerback Kyle Wilson from Boise State.  Wilson impressed the coaching staff with his superior coverage ability, enough for Rex Ryan to already pencil him in at the starting nickelback spot.

Jets first-round pick Kyle Wilson is already turning heads in Florham

According to J.P. Pelzman of The Bergen Record, Wilson also caught the attention of Jets’ secondary coach, Dennis Thurmond.   Thurmond reportedly told the offensive coaches that they “better leave (Wilson) alone” and not go after him.   This is considerably high praise since the only other Jet defensive back Thurmond has said that about is number 24, Darrelle Revis.

“We’re not going to compare Kyle to Revis,” said Ryan. “But he’s a tremendous player….I think he’s going to be great.”

At the nickel position, Wilson’s main assignment will be to cover slot receivers on the inside, something he was not accustomed to doing in college.  Theoretically, this is a position where Wilson is set up to succeed.   He will not be matched up against the likes of Brandon Marshall or Randy Moss, and can use his size and strength to out-muscle slot receivers.   Despite his inexperience at the position, the rookie is primed to tackle the challenge–both literally and figuratively.

“It’s a lot harder,” said Wilson. “You do a lot more. It’ll definitely be a challenge, but I’ll try my best.”

“I’m getting a feel for what they like and just getting a feel for everything here. You expect the worst and you just kind of roll with it. … I’m just trying to seize the opportunity and be the best I can be.”

Sanchez off to the races

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has began running on a treadmill for the first time since his February knee surgery, according to a report by ESPN New York.

Sanchez was originally scheduled to begin running in mid-May, so this latest development puts his rehabilitation slightly ahead of schedule.  Previously, the quarteback’s only running came from an underwater treadmill at the Jets’ facility, where he has been rehabbing since March.

The team remains hopeful that Sanchez will be able to participate in June’s mini-camp.

‘Super’ news?

Later this month, the New Meadowlands Stadium will find out whether it will indeed play host to the first cold-weather Super Bowl in NFL history.

According to Manish Mehta, the winning bid for Super Bowl XLVIII, will be announced on May 25 at the league meetings in Irving, Texas.   The event will be televised nationally on the NFL Network.

The Meadowlands is in competition with Miami and Tampa Bay for the event, which will take place in February of 2014.
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