FLORHAM PARK, NJ - The Jets have finally wrapped up training camp which means the third, and most important, preseason game is just a couple of days away and we are just a couple of weeks away from watching football that counts in the standings.
For the players and coaches it means they get to go back to their New Jersey homes, spend time with their friends and family instead of the hotel and mentally prepare themselves for the battle for the Snoopy Bowl.
You may think the players don’t care about the Snoopy Bowl at all but they actually do care. The want to win every game but even a preseason game means a little bit more when the Jets play the Giants.
“Yeah we care,” Calvin Pace said. “Every game matters. We don’t want to go out there and just get blown out. It’s always been a good test for us to play against the Giants. This time will be no different. Defensively, we just have to start faster than we have the last two games and find a way to continue to build on things we did, creating turnovers and getting to the quarterback. Just build on that.”
The Jets ended camp on a high note, they avoided having to run gassers as they only had five penalties in practice. When Chris Owusu got flagged for offensive pass interference for the fifth penalty of the day defensive players on the sidelines started getting on Owusu about the mistake talking about how they didn’t want to be running and they didn’t have to as they managed to close out practice without committing a sixth penalty.
There wasn’t a lot to report on as far as on field action as it was another day of scout team stuff with everything at half-speed but the big news of the day was rookie receiver Devin Smith returning to participate in positional drills. Smith didn’t do any team drills but he looked healthy while running his way through receiver drills and he was going at full speed.
Smith won’t play against the Giants this week but the progress he has made so far is a good sign he won’t be out for too much longer. Muhammad Wilkerson continues to be a full go in practice and will play on Saturday night and the same goes for Owusu who is officially out of the concussion protocol and will see plenty of reps against the Giants.
Geno Smith, Lorenzo MauldinPace are still dealing with their injuries, Pace is the only one with a chance at playing this week but as a whole the team is getting healthier and the outlook of the roster is beginning to take shape.
The energy at practice today was the highest it’s been in a couple of weeks and you can tell that’s because guys were excited to break camp. Everyone is happy to get to go to their own homes and sleep in their own beds but the veterans, as well as the reporters, are also excited to get back into the regular season routine.
“Guys really look forward to it. For me, it means being able to go home and see my kids before they go to bed. I’m very excited about that,” Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “It also means the start of the in-season routine. The days are still messed up with when the games are, but in the season you really have a routine in terms of when you’re coming in and studying, then your hard practice days and then a lighter day on Friday.
“Getting into that routine, we’ll have to go over it here but different times to watch film with different guys and attacking red zone on third down and base down-and-distance stuff. The end of training camp means getting more in the in-season routine and also being able to spend time with your family.”
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief and lead writer of JetsInsider.com/Scout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).