Jets Training Camp Notebook: Day One Injuries and Holdout

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-Cortland N.Y.

July 25, 2013

This camp could not have gotten off to a worse start. I really don’t think it is possible. The New York Jets officially announced that cornerback Aaron Berry has suffered a season-ending knee injury. Dee Milliner is a no-show again and is looking more and more like a hold-out. Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is not sure if he’ll be able to play at all this season.

Clyde Gates:
Gates had a tremendous fingertip catch on a deep ball from Sanchez. He’s flashing early, and if the hammy is healthy, he’s a threat. It was a great diving catch on 7-on-7 drills. Coach Rex Ryan awarded him the best player for day one of camp.
Stephan Hill:
Hill has become a project receiver following an injured rookie season. Hill needs a mentor, a veteran who got player understanding. Braylon Edwards, who is about the same frame, could potentially serve as great guide to him. Edwards also takes the pressure off Hill in game situations, making it a perfect fit.
Braylon Edwards:
Edwards got his No.17 jersey back and may be the Jets number one wide receiver. The value the Jets got in signing Edwards is a win-win situation, to say the least. According to NFLPA records, Jets Braylon Edwards’ “Veterans Minimum” salary is $840K, which counts $555K against the cap, with no guaranteed money. He is already displaying leadership to players like Hill and Kerley.
It’s nice to see a player express his continued love for the Jets organization. Edwards showed his pride today before practice tweeting this out today:
@OfficialBraylon

J-E-T-S Jets JETS #jets!! #Jets #We On It #Get Excited #No Ceilings #Team First #LetsWork #EyeOnThePrize #MLB #Lasagna #TUH #313 #Blessed #CountOn#17

Santonio Holmes:

When will Santonio Holmes return to the field? The Jets wide receiver has no idea. According to Kimberley A Martin of Newday, Santonio said the following as an answer.

“I want to [play], but I have to do what the foot says to do. If it’s not ready to roll, it’s not ready to roll. I can’t answer that right now. Doctors aren’t even sure yet.

He is still recovering from a foot injury from last season that led to two surgeries.

Holmes rode the stationary bike during practice and worked with the trainers. He did say he has done some running outside, which is certainly a positive step. There is growing “concern” that Holmes may miss the entire 2013 season. He headed for the PUP list to open the year, making him ineligible for the first 6 weeks of the regular season. If Holmes misses the entire 2013 season, the Jets could also try to come to an injury settlement.

Could we have seen the last of Holmes as a Jet?

Quarterback Battle:

The battle began with Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith trading throws in camp. It started out with Smith throwing darts, as Sanchez threw passes that were deflected. In position drills, Sanchez hit a pass down the left sideline, while Smith did the same down the right sideline on the next play.

During 7-on-7′s drill, it was Sanchez that found Clyde Gates deep for a leaping fingertip grab, with Gates bouncing up quickly and darting into the end zone. Smith countered with an over-the-shoulder drop-down for Stephen Hill.

Sanchez distributed nicely in 11-on-11′s, but had one deep overthrow. Smith threw accurate darts in traffic to Kellen Winslow and Gates again, but missed some other shorter targets.

Mark Sanchez:

The bottom line is that Sanchez looked so relaxed that he was overthrowing a couple of receivers on deep routes. He overthrew wide receivers 40 and 50 yards down the field. He also struggled a bit in the pocket on back-to-back plays. He held onto the ball for too long and took a sack. He also went back to getting the ball batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Despite all that, he did make some nice throws.

Geno Smith:

Smith showed his strong arm and an ability to make all the throws. He displayed excellent ball location, giving his receivers a chance for yards after the catch with his ball placement. Smith had a good first day and didn’t look like a rookie. The coaching staff was impressed with his arm strength.

Practice Final Quarterback stats: Sanchez 8-for-11, 2 sacks.

Smith 4-for-7, 1 sack, 1 fumble

Running Backs:

Chris Ivory:

Chris Ivory has been injury-plagued throughout college and his first two years in the NFL. The Jets’ new running back sat out the first day of practice with a tight hamstring. He rode a stationary bike.

Joe McKnight:

Whatever the hold-up was (failed conditioning test?) for Joe McKnight, he is apparently past it today. McKnight is now on the Jets active roster, and was practicing with the rest of the running backs. He certainly looks physically able to perform.

Mike Goodson:

The Goodson thing is becoming serious, as he was a no-show again. This will be a pretty large blow for the team if he can’t return. It’s starting to feel like Goodson isn’t going to be around too much longer. Coach Rex Ryan could not tell reporters whether or not the running back would appear at training camp at all.

According to ESPN NEW York, Goodson’s attorney, Anthony Fusco, said Goodson wasn’t out because of his legal issues. Fusco said the next court date is in September. “There is nothing to do with the case.”

Defense:

Sheldon Richardson:

Richardson got his first sack in 7-on-7 drills. Richardson is going to be a beast up the middle and a guy that can rush the quarterback up the gut. He’s very hard to escape on the run.

Antonio Cromartie:

Cromartie loves to talk smack, and he was raving about the defense. He said “we never had guys who can get to the quarterback like we do now.” Cromartie himself was impressive today, constantly attached at the hip with wide receivers. He showed he’s ready to step in and be Darrelle Revis’s replacement.

Quinton Coples:

Let’s go back to a play for a moment.

Coples’ assignment on the play is to contain Smith, but Smith tries to use his speed to avoid him. Smith begins to hustle toward the left sideline, now sprinting toward the outside, keeping his eyes down field and looking to make a pass on the move. Coples keeps Smith from getting past the line of scrimmage, cuts him off and forces him out-of-bounds.

This is a type of play Jets fans can expect from last year’s first round pick.

The Jets are trying to transition him from a defensive end to a defensive-linemen/linebacker hybrid. As he transfers into the second level of the defense, containing quarterbacks and showing off his speed, Coples will look to improve his impressive rookie campaign in which he led the team with 5.5 sacks.

Holdout:

Dee Milliner:

The Jets’ training camp is officially underway, but first round draft pick Dee Milliner is not in camp. He hasn’t agreed to a contract yet. Milliner hasn’t had a physical or, really, anything yet. The reports say there’s a problem with the language in the contract. As it is, if the rookie wants to start, he needs to get in to camp.

Injury:

Aaron Berry:

Cornerback Berry won’t be able to carve himself a piece of turf in the Jets secondary this season. He went down with what has been diagnosed as a season-ending knee injury during practice. A torn ACL is the culprit.

He always had a hard time staying healthy.

The cornerback laid motionless on the grass for about a minute, but appeared to be somewhat alright after he was attended to by trainers. Berry limped off the practice field and did not return.

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