Things are beginning to heat up at training camp for the New York Jets as the summer preseason rolls along. Days ago a minor scuffle broke out after tensions rose between running back Joe McKnight and defensive back D'Anton Lynn. The fight was quickly resolved and coaches are playing it up to be just a byproduct of the competitive nature of players trying to win their spots.
Fast forward to yesterday and Rex Ryan had to deal with more of the same, actually stopping practice to punish his team with sprints after another fight broke out amongst the team.
Amidst all the negative press the Jets have been getting as a result of the fights, they have also been paid a visit by Jets owner, Woody Johnson. He had his own comments in regards to the fights, saying that it's something all teams go through and is an inevitable part of camp.
"They've been hitting each other for a couple weeks now, so things are going to blow over," Johnson said. "They've boiled over every year at every camp. It's not just the New York Jets."
Despite the quarrels, Johnson admits to being very impressed with the team's progress. He admits to calling GM Mike Tannenbaum multiple times a day for up-to-the-hour reports on the team and was excited to see them play as a unit firsthand.
"I think they're going well. I think defense is a little ahead of the offense right now, because they've been around [longer]. But the tone, they're happy. The guys seem to be getting it with Tony [Sparano], and his whole crew."
The Jets hired Sparano in January to be their new offensive coordinator following the offensive implosion at the end of the 2011 season. Johnson says ‘the team has gotten past the issues from last season and are looking to learn from their mistakes.' He expects the team to do well, stating that his expectations are the same this year as they have always been, namely to play February football at the Superdome.
Johnson also addressed the press surrounding Tim Tebow. Earlier this week, former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason claimed that the Jets should cut Tebow, as he does not help with Sanchez's progression or confidence. Johnson disagrees with Esiason, stating that the Jets acquired Tebow because they believe in him.
"He's a great person, well-spoken, man of convictions, strong, hard-worker, in early, out late - all those things you've heard about him," Johnson commented. "I think Tebow's going to be a very valuable part of this team going forward. We're optimistic that Tebow can become and be a valuable part of the team."