New York Jets ReSet by Joseph Haas: NOISE REDUCTION
Training camp! Two words that bring memories of two-a-day practices, laps around the field until the nerves in your legs quit sending messages of pain to your brain, and sleepless nights of tossing and turning from the agony of a day gone perfect… a shoe-string tackle made, that last catch, seeing the adjustment before the coach yelled it out… Training camp!
Thanks to the new CBA, camp may not be the life-changing experience it used to be, but it’s still a place where a group can come together under one flag and give every ounce of themselves for a common goal.
The owner wants to win. The general manager wants to win. The coaches want to win, the players, down to the head chef in the mess hall… all want to win.
Training camp in the NFL is more than a place for men to fashion their bodies into weapons for battle on the field, but also a place to focus the mind and sharpen the senses. Training camp can be a great place to reduce the noise created by critics, mass media, skeptics, and sometimes your own fan base. Actions speak louder than words I’ve been told, so the best way to reduce this noise is to win. Until they can prove it on the field however, the volume will keep going up, up, UP!
QB CONTROVERSY: A prolonged public dispute, debate or contention. That’s what I get when I look up the word controversy. I’m guessing the reason this term is being thrown around is because the Jets have a very capable starting QB in Mark Sanchez, and decided to bring in another QB fresh off a 1-1 postseason (the very postseason the Jets watched from lounge chairs, as they failed to qualify). I understand, the Jets didn’t bring in any QB, they brought in Tim Tebow… but I’m still scratching my head as to how the term controversy applies? From day one, every member of the Jets front-office has quoted the company line as though it were scripture “Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback.” To this point, I’ve heard not one word from management that would lead me to believe Tim Tebow is in a competition for the starting job. “Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback,” is exactly what I’ve heard from every coach who’s spoken on the topic. Head coach Rex Ryan and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano have talked about how many plays a game Tebow will see, as they plan to put him in there at different points in the game. Tebow’s been described as “an incredible athlete… a football player,” and why wouldn’t you want to get him involved in moving the football. I’ve heard Mark Sanchez refer to himself as the “starting quarterback for this team,” and getting the overwhelming majority of snaps in camp with the first-team, why would anyone think any different? On his new role with the Jets as not only backup QB but fullback on the punt team (commonly referred to as the personal protector), Tebow says “…I look at myself as the quarterback on fourth down!” So, QB controversy, where’s the dispute… the debate… the point of contention I can wave like a flag or shine a light on? While I’m waiting, let’s discuss Tebow’s ability to perform successfully at his new role. I’d like to discuss how imaginative the punt fakes the Jets have been practicing really are, as opposed to whether or not Tebow has his shirt off at the end of practice. Or, how about whether or not any of the off-season work with throwing guru Tom House is paying actual dividends, and not the handful, out of over two-thousand or so, spectators that chose to jeer him after some incompletes during drills. I’m all for debate where there is one, but everywhere I turn “Mark Sanchez is our starting quarterback!”
RUNNING GAME: It’s year four for the Jets Shonn Greene, and just as with fourth-year starter Mark Sanchez, big things are expected from the starting tailback. Greene tallied a career high 253 carries last season and managed barely over a thousand yards. Barring injury, both those numbers should be eclipsed this season. In order to instill the “ground and pound” we’ve heard a lot about all summer from the Jets, Greene is going to need to make a prophet out of running backs coach Anthony Lynn who calls him “… one of the best power backs in the game.” I’ve seen flashes, but nothing that makes me think Greene’s going to be Emmitt Smith back there. Thankfully, he’s going to have a lot of help from Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell and Terrance Ganaway! Joe McKnight should see the most time spelling Greene, giving the Jets that change of pace from the hard-running starter. McKnight has shown he has good hands coming out of the backfield, and has looked good early in training camp. Another player turning heads and raising eyebrows in this year’s training camp is Bilal Powell. He’s showing some of the tough downhill, north-south running which could have him giving Greene extended time on the sideline. John Conner will be the primary fullback, but we can see some Greene/Powell backfield action as well. Terrance Ganaway needs to bring that burst he had while shredding defenses for Baylor, and the Jets might have the stable of running backs they need to make “ground and pound” more than a talking point.
Photo: Hill #84 & Holmes #10 taking it all in during training camp!
Photo credit to Jake Steinberg of SNY’s TheJetsBlog.com; Follow him on twitter @Steiny31
Contact Joseph Haas and follow the conversation on twitter @jerseyhaas
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