By Peter Schwartz
» More Columns
After two days of Jets mandatory minicamp, there are still several main storylines that surround the team.
First, it’s the fabricated quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. As I’ve stated before, this is not a quarterback controversy. Sanchez is the starter and will be the starter unless he falters dramatically during the regular season or gets hurt. Aside from getting injured, he will not be supplanted by Tebow in training camp. Beat writers who are planning on tracking each pass that the quarterbacks with throw in Cortland starting on July 27th are wasting their time.
Tebow is not winning the job. There is no job to win. Yet people still criticize the Jets for making this trade to acquire a player that can help them win games.
“I think we were the only people who never had a problem with it, it seemed like,” said head coach Rex Ryan. We look at it as we’re adding a good football player, which we did. Is he behind (Mark) Sanchez on the depth chart? Yes. Just like every team has a guy behind their starting quarterback. But he brings so much more to the table. Obviously, we talked about the Wildcat deal, we talked about the personal protector.”
Ryan maintains that Tebow is not even taking any reps with the ones unless they are working on the wildcat. Sanchez is taking all of the reps with the starters.
Health on the offensive side of the ball is another storyline.
New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been very pleased with Sanchez during the off-season. The Jets starting quarterback has improved his mechanics by putting on some extra lower body weight.
The results of his hard work?
He’s healthy and strong.
“Absolutely, I just feel good,” said Sanchez. “I feel like I’m in good shape. I feel the ball is just jumping out of my hand. Now, it’s a matter of learning this offense to the best of my ability and really putting the team in a good spot. Physically, it’s the best I’ve felt.”
The same can’t be said for the MASH unit that is the Jets group of wide receivers. The hamstring bug has plagued the Jets wideouts during OTA’s and minicamp, especially Santonio Holmes and 2nd round pick Stephen Hill.
Perhaps the Jets are guilty of pushing Holmes and company a little too hard in the weight room.
“I’ve been telling our guys, I want to look the part, I want to be the strongest team we can be, I want them to be getting it in the weight room,” said Ryan. “Make us back down on them in training camp, but I want to push these guys and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Obviously, I think I’ve probably pushed the wide out group in particular a little too hard. The hamstrings, obviously we’ll have to make some adjustments to that.”
Hamstring injuries come with the territory in the NFL, especially when a player misses training camp like cornerback Darrelle Revis did two years ago when he staged a summer long holdout because of a contract dispute. He had to leave the second game of the season against the Patriots after suffering a hamstring injury when he was beat for a touchdown by Randy Moss.
Two years later, Revis is unhappy about his contract again creating yet another headache for the Jets.
The deal that he agreed to on the eve of the 2010 season was considered a “Band-Aid” contract by both sides and now Revis wants a new long terms deal. He has not missed any off-season workouts and is in attendance at minicamp.
But will he be at Cortland when the Jets reporter for training camp on July 26th?
“I can’t answer that question right now,’’ Revis said Tuesday. “I really can’t.’’
Revis has two years left on the $46 million deal that he signed two years ago but his salary dips this season to $7.5 million after earning $32 million over the first two years.
It’s believe that the Jets told Revis that they would re-visit the contract after two years but whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. Revis’ representatives should have had that in writing before they let their client sign that contract.
Here’s the bottom line. Revis has two years left on his contract. He says he’s not worried about public perception if he holds out for a third time. He wants a new deal and he wants financial security.
My guess … unless there’s a new deal or another Band-Aid for 2012, Revis will not be enjoying the delicacy of Doug’s Fish Fry in Cortland this summer.
He’ll be holding out again meaning Ryan will be walking around the dorms in Cortland once again saying, “Revis where are you?”
A STEAL IN THE 6TH ROUND?
“I’ll get my shot at the NFL. I just have to work hard. Just work hard”
Josh Bush to “The Dispatch” 11/30/11
He was right.
Former Wake Forest safety Josh Bush is getting a shot in the NFL after he was selected by the Jets in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Looking to address a need in their secondary, the Jets selected Bush, a player that has overcome a mysterious illness to make it to the highest level possible.
In his sophomore season of 2009, Bush missed the final two games with a shoulder injury. He had to be taken to the hospital where it was determined that Bush had an infection in his collarbone. It’s been reported that Bush was hospitalized for a week and was on an IV drip for six weeks.
There was a thought that Bush might need a collarbone replacement and that left doctors unsure if he could ever play football again.
But the shoulder improved to the point where he was able to take the field again. Bush would finish out a stellar career at Wake Forest. In 46 career games with the Demon Deacons, Bush notched 134 tackles and 7 interceptions, with 6 of them coming during an outstanding senior season. Bush was an Associated Press Third team All-America selection and a First team All-ACC pick.
His play and his skill set caught the attention of the Jets and he has not let them down during OTA’s and minicamp.
“He has really looked good,” said Ryan. “He’s taken off running some of the second and third groups. He’s been impressive. Nobody ever questioned his mental ability, his range as a top safety and all that. What we have got to see from Josh is when he comes back into training camp is how physical he can be. Those were the questions about him because certainly he’s been everything we thought he would be and he has been impressive.”
At 5’11” and 205 pounds, the former star at West Davidson High School in Lexington, North Carolina could very well help out the Jets during his rookie season. He gives the Jets some depth at safety but could also be a valuable asset on special teams. At Wake Forest, Bush played in a defensive system that has him prepared for the NFL. They ran zone coverage that morphed into man coverage.
Bush is an outstanding athlete but his play on the field didn’t earn him an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine. Instead, he went to the Casino Del Sol all-star game in Arizona and displayed his talents for NFL teams at his Pro Day.
The Jets clocked him at 4.49 in the 40-yard dash.
Time will tell if the Jets feel blessed to have been able to take him in the sixth round. Josh Bush brings a lot of raw ability, passion, and perseverance to Gang Green.
If things work out, the Jets will have found themselves something special on day three of the Draft.
PACK FOR SUMMER CAMP
Looking for a pretty cool summer getaway?
How about Central New York?
The Jets have announced some important dates for 2012 training camp. The players will report to SUNY Cortland on July 26th and their first practice will be on July 27th. The first practice open to the public will be on Saturday July 28th so if you want to escape for a summer football weekend, gas up the car, book a hotel, and head up to Cortland to see Gang Green.
Gang Green nation will get to see the Jets in action during training camp at three different sites. In addition to Cortland, the Jets will return to their former long-time training camp at Hofstra University on Long Island for a Family Night practice on Tuesday August 21st. The Jets will also hold a portion of their training camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Thursday August 23rd and Friday August 24th.
At each training camp location, fans can enjoy Jets Fest, a football theme park with skill challenges and inflatable rides. They can also pick up Jets Gear at the Jets Shop Merchandise Tent. Visit www.newyorkjets.com for more information in the coming weeks.
PLAYING LIKE A JET PAYS OFF
On Wednesday, the Jets and the PSAL announced the third annual “Play Like A Jet” college scholarship winners. Each year a $5,000 scholarship is awarded to one male and one female PSAL athlete who excel both on the field and in the classroom. This year’s winners are C’Ara McCrea from Mount Vernon, New York and Brutus Gorum from the Bronx.
McCrea graduates from Fredrick Douglas Academy this June and was a member of the Track & Field team. McCrea will begin her studies at Syracuse University this fall. Gorum graduates from Harry S. Truman High School this June and was a member of the Football team. Gorum will begin his studies at Penn State University this fall.
Jets head coach Rex Ryan presented the winners with their checks before his Wednesday news conference. Ryan couldn’t resist the chance to see if C’Ara and Brutus might change their minds on where they were going to attend college.
“Syracuse and Penn State, huh?,” said Ryan. “How about Southwestern Oklahoma? Syracuse and Penn State were my fall back schools. I went to Southwestern instead, Hall of Famer of course.”
Congratulations to C’Ara and Brutus!
That’s all for now everyone. Check back soon for more and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @pschwartzwfan.