Jets Mini-Camp: What To Watch For

Mini-camp is almost here - are you ready for some football? Four questions that will be answered by the time camp concludes on Wednesday.

The Jets open mini-camp next week with hopes of building on last year, when New York made a run through the playoffs and was just a half of football away from their second ever Super Bowl visit.

Plenty of questions circle around Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility and few answers are in place as the new looks Jets take the field for some hits and some team-building.

1. Is Sanchez back and 100%? – The Jets will only go as far as the right arm of their second year quarterback takes them. Sanchez and his surgically repaired knee seems to be coming along nicely and his recent mobility and confidence in the team's OTA sessions the past few weeks shows a quarterback who is physically back. He said that the knee isn't hampering him, he expects to fully perform in mini-camp and if there was a game, he'd be suiting up. "I'm playing. I'm in. Let's go," Sanchez said. Mini-camp will allow him to get into the huddle with his offensive line and put a full off-season of study and effort into action.

"I feel good and ready to go mentally for this minicamp, where last year my head was spinning just trying to remember stuff," Sanchez said. "Then getting my leg down, it feels better than it ever has." Sanchez looked better than last week and his decision making was much improved.

2. Who Shows Up? – Two week ago, corner back Darrelle Revis was a notable no-show as part of a contract dispute. Rumors persist that All-Pro center Nick Mangold, in his contract year, might miss mini-camp as he seeks a new deal. The Jets say that Revis' missed OTA wasn't a distraction, several players didn't even notice he wasn't there last week, but all eyes on Monday will be looking to see if #24 is in pads for the Jets. "I'll be at mini-camp," Revis said.

3. The Lowdown on Ducasse – The Jets' second round pick in this past spring's NFL Draft, Vlad Ducasse is a physically impressive specimen who moves down field as well as any of the team's linemen. He's got good feet and hips and is powerful but he's raw and technically needs work. Ducasse is a project but after releasing Alan Faneca, the Jets don't have the luxury of letting him develop – he must start now. "He's doing well, it's a learning curve but he's getting there," Damien Woody told two weeks ago. "Things have gone well so far. I have areas to improve in technically but it is better with each day," Ducasse said last week.

Ducasse has worked almost exclusively with the starters the past two weeks of OTA sessions. This past Thursday, he did very well once again in the modified pass protection drills but he was flagged once for a false start during a drill. "Who's side are you on, ref?" Sanchez yelled out, earning a chuckle from his teammates.

4. Nametags Anyone? – While OTA's are nice, not a whole lot happens in the sessions other than some drills and conditioning. Mini-camp affords the team the chance to put the pads on and hit. With so many new additions via free agency, trades, the draft and undrafted free agents, the hits might serve as the best handshakes as the team looks for its own identity and to learn about each other. With all the new additions, some of whom have had their own murky pasts, are the Jets the Raiders of the East? "We have lots of good character guys in here already, and everyone who has come in has done the right things so far," linebacker Calvin pace told

Linebacker Lance Laury said that the locker room is really tight, and that the vibe is already there among the new players and the core from last year. Dustin Keller told two weeks ago that leaders are already emerging. "One of the guys who is stepping up is Mark Sanchez," Keller said. "He's showing us that he's a leader."

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at and followed at

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