By Ernie Palladino
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The Jets arrived en masse in Cortland Thursday, complete with media contingent ready to genuflect reverently to Tim Tebow, scrutinize unceasingly on Mark Sanchez, and sop-up endlessly whatever falls from Santonio Holmes’ mouth.
Yes, the circus that is New York Jets, 2012, came to town.
And Rex Ryan got busy right away leading the three-ring production.
First order of business: stifle the eminent Mr. Holmes.
When the media asked the slimmed-down coach about his mouthy wide receiver’s comment of last week, in which he claimed in an NFL Network spot that teams can’t win with a two-quarterback system, Ryan had a ready answer.
“Well, I understand what Holmes is saying, you know, Tone’s talking about a guy has to get a feel and all that kind of stuff,” Ryan told ESPN. “But I brought Santonio in here to be a receiver, not an offensive coordinator. And that’s the way it is.
“I love Santonio, but if I wanted to hire him as our offensive coordinator, we would’ve.”
Ryan has, of course, Tony Sparano to handle little details like offensive game plan and quarterback usage. Pays him pretty well, too.
So Holmes can now feel free to go back to concentrating on what he does best once the Jets hit the practice field Friday morning — catch footballs.
The second order of business was to make sure their top pass defender, Darrelle Revis, was in the house. That issue became crystal clear when he rolled onto the SUNY-Cortland campus about 4:15 p.m., having first taken his physical and passed his conditioning test at the team’s Florham Park headquarters.
The Pro Bowl cornerback had originally threatened a training camp holdout if GM Mike Tannenbaum held fast on his refusal to renegotiate his contract.
Tannenbaum hasn’t budged yet. But Revis apparently has, and there will be no distractions coming from him this training camp.
Hmmm. Could be a quiet camp, right? Holmes has been appropriately slapped down, Revis is in. Nothing to do now but watch for injuries, right?
Ah, if only it was so. With practice beginning this morning, the massive corp of reporters will be scrambling for every bit of information on the battle of the quarterbacks — Sanchez and Tebow. They’ll be charting every throw, every drop-back, not to mention the gathering of every scrap of information they can about the team’s new charismatic backup.
There will be a competition at right tackle, initially between Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse, with the just-acquired Jeff Otah joining when and if the left knee that kept him out of 31 of his last 35 games with the Panthers allows him to pass a physical in the next week. If not, the trade’s off and Ducasse will be doing all he can to unseat Hunter, whose impersonation of a swinging gate last year impressed grateful opponents no end.
But the attention that battle draws will pale in comparison to the ink and keystrokes Sanchez-Tebow promises to generate.
At least Ryan has dealt with Holmes — for now. Who knows when the flighty wide receiver will offer his next dictum.
A lot of stuff can happen under the Big Top, especially one that covers an 8-8 team.
Your thoughts on the Jets as they begin training camp? Be heard in the comments below!