Jets, Giants continue preparing during the pandemic
New Jersey’s two NFL franchises continue to get ready for the regular season at their training camps in New Jersey; the Jets in Florham Park and the Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The regular season is less than a month away and there are no preseason games this year, so training camp has extra significance. So, what’s the word out of camp? So far at Jets’ camp, a couple of players are generating buzz: first round pick Mehki Becton and (now) veteran quarterback Sam Darnold.
According to NFL.com, Becton made a good first impression on his teammates. "He made himself known out there and what he's capable of doing," LB Blake Cashman said. "It's all good competition. He's a great player. He's going to be somebody that's going to play a long time in this league and has more potential to grow. The first thing that stands out is just his size. Today in practice, I had to come down and take him on one-on-one. Let's just say that didn't go well for me.” Linebacker Neville Hewitt was also impressed by the 6’7”, 363 pound offensive lineman: “I was pretty impressed. He's a pretty big fella. ... If you see him coming, you better go at him because if you don't, he's going to get you. You better go at him."
About his third year quarterback, coach Adam Gase is quoted on NJ.com as saying, “He seems way more comfortable, he’s not thinking about alright what’s the play call, where’s this guy, what’s this guy have to do, what’s the adjustment. You can tell he’s not thinking about all the little things you do in the first year of a playbook. He’s just coming out, he knows it, and then you can see he focuses on protection, the coverage and where the ball is going to go.”
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For the Giants, reports say that what stands out in practice is the sheer physicality of new head coach Joe Judge’s practices now that the players are in pads. According to the team’s website, Judge is trying to get the team up to speed in this shortened training camp (with no preseason games), “We're trying to make sure everybody maximizes the time on the field, maximizes our reps, and gives us a chance to evaluate everybody, and for them to improve on their individual techniques," adding, “we're not doing anything out there to try to see who the toughest guy in the schoolyard is. We're trying to get every player ready to play safely for 60 minutes against a competitor for 16 weeks."
The Jets first game is September 13th and the Giants play on Monday Night Football on the 14th.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.