FLORHAM PARK: Jace Amaro finally looked at home in the new Jets offense.
As New York took the practice field Friday for their second training camp outing, the second-year tight end flashed time and time again, making catch after catch. It was a welcomed sight with Amaro having been sidelined for the majority of New York’s offseason conditioning program with a back injury.
Working primarily with the second unit, the Jets used Amaro as a traditional tight end, lining him up outside the tackle on most formations. As a rookie, Amaro was used much more as an ‘H-Back.’
Amaro made two catches that stood out against the Jets starting defense during a two-minute drill to close out practice. The first came on a play-action boot in which Ryan Fitzpatrick found him on the right sideline. One play later, Fitzpatrick again hit Amaro down the seam to set up a game-winning field goal as time expired.
The walking wounded…
Running back Stevan Ridley (knee), guard Willie Colon (knee) and defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson (hamstring) all missed practice as the three remain on New York’s PUP list. Speaking after practice, Jets coach Todd Bowles said he expects Colon to be the first of the three off the list, and he could be activated in the coming days.
Cornerback Dee Milliner again participated in the individual portion of practice, but was held out of team drills. Bowles reiterated that he expects Milliner to see additional action in the next two days.
After making an impressive sideline catch (more on that later), Devin Smith slowly walked off the field and laid on all fours with his head placed on the ground. He was then escorted back to the locker room by a trainer. Bowles did not have an update on Smith after practice.
The return game…
Jeremy Kerley, Walter Powell, T.J. Graham, Chris Owusu, Eric Decker and DeVier Posey all got reps at punt returner on Friday. While the group was catching punts, coaches would throw gloves in the air to create a distraction. Just Powell muffed a punt.
He did what?
There was rather vocal fan in attendance for practice that offered quite a bit of encouragement to quarterback Geno Smith – both good and bad. At one point, Smith had enough. After connecting on a touchdown in a quarterbacks/receivers drill, he turned to the fan and put his fingers to his lips.
Sticking with the same script he had yesterday, Richardson continued to work with the second team, despite the news breaking yesterday of his arrest.
The Guard Positional Battle...
It looks like it’s Brian Winters’ job to lose at right guard. The offensive lineman took every one of the first-team reps. Granted, these first two practices have both been conducted pad-less, so it’ll be interesting to see if he keeps his job once the players in the trenches are allowed to hit each other.
Geno Smith had a solid outing on the field and continues to show improvements with his decision making. On one particular play, the quarterback geared up to throw to T.J. Graham on a curl. As Smith went to release the ball, he noticed Darrelle Revis break for what would have been an easy interception. Instead of throwing, Smith tucked the ball back in and threw it underneath to Chris Ivory.
The new Jets offense under Chan Gailey seems to emphasize the underneath passing game more than that of stretching the field. Most of Smith’s throws were within 5-15 yards, and the quarterback only went down the field a handful of times. None of Smith’s deep shots were particularly nice, and one was almost intercepted by cornerback Curtis Brown.
Smith’s one “uh oh” of practice came in the red zone on fourth down of the team’s two-minute drill. Looking for Cumberland in the flat, Smith threw a horrid pass that sailed behind the big tight end. Linebacker Jamari Lattimore jumped the pass and nearly intercepted it to end the series.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a decent outing and made a few more ‘splashes’ with throws. He connected with Amaro several times, including a nice one past Lattimore’s outstretched fingers. The quarterback has shown accuracy, and decent-enough arm strength. Although, towards the end of a two-minute drill, Fitzpatrick’s pass for the end zone fell well short of his intended target and was nearly intercepted by Antonio Cromartie.
Other practice highlights…
Brandon Marshall came one foot away from making the ‘Play of Practice,’ and one that may have ended up being the ‘Play of Camp.’ Double-covered in the end one, Smith threw up a pass for the wideout anyway and Marshall pulled it in with one hand. The problem? He only got one foot in bounds.
Devin Smith made an incredible catch on the play he eventually got hurt on. Smith took a shot down the field for the speedy rookie in an 11-on-11 drill. The pass was underthrown, and Marcus Williams was in perfect position to pick the ball off. In order to prevent the interception, Smith came back to the ball and met Williams in the air. The ball bounced out of Williams’ hands, and Smith plucked it out of the air before both players came crashing to the ground. The play got quite the reaction out of the crowd.
Dexter McDougle nearly had his second interception of practice on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick threw into coverage, and McDougle had it bounce off his chest. After missing the play, McDougle remainded on his knees with his hands on his head for several seconds.
Chris Owusu had a nice practice and even beat Darrelle Revis on a comeback. Owusu has been working as an outside receiver, and with a good camp, he could push for playing time.
Something minor of note
The Jets have been giving a few reps to Jeremy Kerley as the team’s place kick holder. While it’s been primarily with the second unit, it’s an interesting observation.
The Jets will return to the practice field on Saturday with their first practice in pads.