Schwartz: Postcard From Cortland
By Peter Schwartz
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CORTLAND, N.Y. (WFAN) – Saturday marked the first practice of training camp that was open to the public. There’s been rain in town since the Jets reported on Thursday so perhaps that’s the reason that the crowd was smaller than I expected.
There was a hard rain throughout practice on Saturday and that forced a lot of fans to take cover under some tents but there were still plenty who braved the elements. Rex Ryan likes practicing in this kind of weather every now and then. You never know when they might have to do deal with this in regular season.
I’m sure the crowds will pick up when the sun decided to rise over Cortland.
Speaking of smaller crowds, the “three-ring circus” that many predicted here as far as the media contingent hasn’t materialized. There was a good amount of media here for report day and the first day of practice, but nothing crazy. The Jets seemed to be well prepared for “Tebowmania” and all of the other storylines and requests but camp has just opened for business.
You just never know what can happen.
Take Friday for example. Rex Ryan promised that he was going to be a changed man. He insisted he was going to tone things down. Then this…
“It’s easy for me to say I’m the best defensive coach in football,” said Ryan. “Now that’s saying something, because Dick LeBeau’s pretty (darn) good, Bill Belichick is pretty good. But that’s the way I’ve always believed. And you know what, I believe it because of the guys I coach with, there’s no doubt about that, and the guys that I’ve coached. That’s the truth, and that’s how I feel.”
Memo to Rex:
Settle down! I think that you are a terrific coach, but you have to think before you open your mouth. You changed the culture with the Jets from the moment that you walked into the Atlantic Health Training Center. With back to back trips to the AFC Title game, you did something that no other coach in Jets history has done.
You are all about winning and that’s the right way to conduct business.
Jets fans like you but they want to love you. That won’t happen until you stop acting like the boy who cried wolf. I think you’ve inspired a lot of people with your charisma, attitude, and, aside from last year, a winning atmosphere. Your weight loss is also something that should be admired by all.
But your detractors will never take you seriously until you knock off the brash statements. It’s okay to be confident in your ability and the teams, but you have to learn how to tone it down.
Speaking of Tone, Rex fired back at Santonio Holmes for questioning the two quarterback system. Rex said he brought Holmes in to play wide receiver and not to be the offensive coordinator.
Holmes didn’t seem to be insulted by Rex’s retort.
“Never…not one time,” said Holmes who went on to elaborate on his comments.
“It’s something that I’ve never been a part of, except when I was in college and we had a few complications and we figured it out later in the season and whatever Coach (Tony) Sparano brings to the table and Coach Ryan wants our offense to work on is going to be what we are going to work on. We brought in a group of guys that are going to be football players and are going to compete and continue to help our team win ball games by all means, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
The Jets will have their first off-day of training camp on Tuesday. If you’re planning a trip up to Cortland, next Saturday will be the Green-White scrimmage. That will begin at 6pm.
REX IS AN ISLANDER
Don’t let his appearances at Devils playoff games fool you. Rex Ryan is clearly a fan of the New York Islanders and I appreciate that being an Islanders fan.
You want proof?
Rex dropped the ceremonial first puck at the Islanders home opening in 2010 and donned a Billy Smith jersey for the evening.
We’ve chatted about the Islanders a few times and he expressed his disappointment to me last summer when the vote for a new arena on Long Island was shot down.
But the icing on the cake came on Friday when I asked Rex a question about the offensive line gelling with the up-tempo pace in practice. Rex, noticing that I was wearing an Islanders hat, said this….
“You better know what you’re doing,” said Ryan. “And it is quick and that is what we talk about all the time. We’re not waiting for the defense, we’re going. And if we snap it before they’re ready, that’s great. It’s kind of like the New York Islanders on the power play, you have to get it out there quick.”
Well Rex…I only have one thing left to say…
Let’s go Islanders! Maybe you can drop the puck at a playoff game next season. I hope.
AN AMAZIN BREAK FROM TRAINING CAMP
Since Binghamton is only about 35 minutes away from Cortland, I decided to take in a Binghamton Mets game on Friday night.
It’s a nice ballpark and if you’re coming up here for Jets training camp, take a look at the schedule and see if the “B-Mets” are home. Friday night presented a special treat as Mets closer Frank Francisco was with Binghamton on a rehab assignment and notched a save in game one of a doubleheader.
I didn’t get to see Zack Wheller, but it was an enjoyable evening of baseball. I strongly recommend Mets fans checking it out.
That’s all for now, check back soon for more!