Some Jets got more of a kick out of it than others.
Punter Steve Weatherford and kicker Nick Folk spent much of their time in practice adapting to the new surface, seeing how the ball handles the bounce and watching how their efforts responded in the light breeze of Wednesday morning. Weatherford said that Folk will be more impacted by the turf than he will be, such is the nature of a kicker who must deal with hitting the ball off the ground. The turf got a thumbs up from Folk.
"It was good, really nice and short," Folk told GreenAndWhiteReport.com about the field. "It's just the way I like it."
Some of the players commented that the field will take some getting used to. Linebacker Bart Scott felt that it was a good field but said that he is looking forward to seeing the lay of the turf come September. Scott told reporters that with a soccer game scheduled – the United States takes on Brazil in an exhibition in August – and a few high school football games plus pre-season, he expects the field to mat down more.
Even with the matting down process, Scott said that he and some of the other players might wear shorter spikes to start the season. The matting down process, according to several of the players, will help cut down on the bouncing rubber pellets that are ingrained into the turf.
Folk told GreenAndWhiteReport.com that the field is in many ways identical to that over at the old stadium. He noted that it is nowhere near as long as the turf in Dallas or New Orleans.
"It is perfect, just the way I like it," Folk said. "It won't take much getting used to."
As for punting, Weatherford went on the record as a fan of how the turf responded to bounces. He said that he has a personal goal of improving his kicks inside the 20-yard line and he spent a considerable portion of practice working on punts from the middle of the field.
"The crown is nice, really ideal," Weatherford said about the gentle slope down from the hash marks to the sideline. "The ball rolls well there. Can't ask for much better."
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012