FLORHAM PARK, NJ- For the first time in this year the Jets players put on their pads and as usual when the pads come on the excitement really begins
The pads were popping from the start of practice. In one-on-one drills I.K. Enemkpali absolutely lit up everyone he faced off against. Lowering his shoulder and delivering huge blows that knocked the blocker completely off balance. Running back Daryl Richardson was on the receiving end of the worst of those blows as Enemkpali rushed right at him and dug his shoulder pad directly into Richardson’s chest knocking him back a few yards.
Lorenzo Mauldin also had a nice showing during the one-on-one drills, delivering several solid hits and working his way around the blocker. On the offensive side Chris Ivory held his own, standing tall as a blocker multiple times and Jace Amaro seems to have improved on his blocking ability. Amaro still needs to be more consistent as he got beat a few times but more often than not he managed to lock up the rushing defender.
During team drills receivers Shaq Evans and Chris Owusu continued their strong camp performance. With the injury to Devin Smith the door is open for one of these young receivers to grab the attention of the coaching staff and show that they can be an asset to this receiving core. Owusu has been getting more first-team reps but both have made numerous impressive plays over the first three days of camp.
On one play Owusu badly beat Antonio Cromartie and raced down the sideline catching a beautiful deep pass from Geno Smith. Evans showed strong hands, high-pointing several catches in traffic and showed good footwork working his way through traffic.
Jace Amaro had a great day yesterday but the sneaky surprise of camp at the tight end position has been the veteran Kellen Davis. Davis has delivered as a blocker but has been making plays in the passing game all over the field. He made a leaping catch on Rontez Miles in the corner of the end zone on a gorgeous fade route thrown by Smith for the standout play of the day.
At quarterback Smith turned in his most impressive practice of camp. That’s not to say he was terrible the other day but he looked extremely sharp today. Smith had a few overthrows but for the most part he was incredibly accurate, made all the right reads and found receivers at every part of the field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick muffed two snaps, the second causing the crowd to start chanting, “Geno! Geno! Geno!” Aside from the fumbles Fitzpatrick had a solid day but Smith was clearly the best quarterback on the field today. Bryce Petty continued to struggle, throwing a couple of ugly ducks, but he did through his best pass in Florham Park hitting Quincy Enunwa on a deep pass over the middle for a touchdown.
Jaiquawn Jarrett won the defensive player of the day award, in this reporters eyes, as he managed to swat away a couple of passes and absolutely crushed Walter Powell causing a fumble.
Powell made a nice catch, beating Darrin Walls, on a short out route then turned upfield running towards the end zone but Jarrett drilled Powell right in the numbers popping the ball loose.
The practice ended with red zone drills where again Smith continued to impress. He made a play at the end where he showed great patience as nothing was open right away, bought some extra time with his legs as he slid towards the outside and found an open Owusu in the back of the end zone to give the offense the win and force the defense to take the helping of push-ups.