He might not be a household name but wide receiver Clyde Gates is quickly making a name for himself. Head coach Rex Ryan has applauded Gates' performance and nominated him MVP of training camp. "I mean, I think it's great," noted Gates. "It definitely helps me out a lot to know that I'm out here making a statement and making an impression on him. So to me personally, it helps me out a lot to come out every day and continue doing what I'm doing."
With no timetable set for Santonio Holmes' return and Braylon Edwards on a snap count during training camp, the door is wide open for Gates to make his case for more playing time capture the attention of the coaching staff. So far Gates has don't just that, and more.
"You've got to take pride in what you're doing," admitted Gates. "You've got to build (on your) craft. I'm a receiver so receivers catch the ball and run good routes so it's just something I always practice on and try to master."
Under the tutelage of newly hired offensive coordinator Marty Morhinweg, Gates has been hard at work studying the nuances of the West Coast system and refining his route running in a timing based offense. Mornhinweg has given his players the autonomy to develop and Gates isn't taking his opportunity for granted.
"Oh yeah, it's a lot of freedom but overall you've just got to win," said Gates. "You get the freedom to do whatever but if you don't win then eventually you can get it taken from you. But they give you as much freedom as you want as long as you win."
Last season Gates showed flashes of brilliance hauling in 16 receptions for 234 yards including 12 first downs in 11 games played. With the 2013 regular season around the corner, Gates is looking to become a reliable target for whichever player ends up winning the Jets quarterback job.
"The biggest thing is consistency," said Gates . "I mean, you can't come out one day, have a good day, then the next day just be mediocre. I mean, it's just not going to cut it on this level. So the biggest thing to me personally is consistency day-in and day-out every day."