FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Football season is right around the corner, Jets fans! As the team gets ready for the regular season, all eyes will be on the competition to see which signal caller will start the season behind center.
Will it be the veteran journeyman Josh McCown? Will it be the comeback kid Teddy Bridgewater? Could Gang Green throw the number three overall pick Sam Darnold into the mix right away? Only time will tell, but the battle will be fought once the team kicks off training camp on July 26.
WHEN AND WHERE: AHJTC IN FLORHAM PARK
Club/PSL season ticket holders will have the chance to see the team practice for the first time at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
AHJTC is located at 1 Jets Drive in Florham Park, New Jersey. For each of the four days, parking opens at 1:00 p.m., gates to the facility open at 1:30 p.m., and practice begins at 2:15 p.m.
Members who are interested in attending should call (800) 469-JETS (5387).
Unfortunately for non-season ticket holding fans, each of the public practice dates are sold out to the general public due to high demand. The following practices at the AHJTC are currently open only to season ticket holders:
- Sunday, July 29, at 2:15 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 18, at 2:15 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 19, at 2:15 p.m.
At each of these dates at AHJTC, up to 1,000 fans will be able to take all the action in on the bleachers for prime views of the action. A shuttle service will be provided to and from the parking lot, water stations will be set up approaching the field, and a cooling zone and food tent are available leading up to a fan zone stocked with family-friendly activities.
The normal training camp staples will also be ready, including Jets Fest featuring a skills challenges, inflatable rides, virtual reality experiences, and a Jets shop for fans to buy the hottest gear.
WHEN AND WHERE: RUTGERS UNIVERSITY STADIUM
Tickets for the general public are still available for the Green and White practice scrimmage, which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium at 1 Scarlet Knight Way, Piscataway Township, New Jersey.
A fan fest will be held starting at 3:00 p.m. and gates to the stadium will open at 6:00 p.m. before the inter-squad practice scrimmage starts at 7:30 p.m. The event is free, but requires a ticket for admission which can be obtained from Ticketmaster by clicking here.
For each of the open practices and the team’s Green and White practice scrimmage, members of the Gen Jets Kids Club will have a kids-only player autograph area limited to the first 125 kids each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents are encouraged to check in their children at the Gen Jets tent upon arrival.
WHEN AND WHERE: ON THE ROAD
For fans who don’t mind travelling, the Jets will hold a series of joint practices with the Washington Redskins ahead of their Aug. 16 preseason game at FedEx Field.
The practices will be held at Washington’s Bon Secours Training Center from Aug. 12 to 14, 2018. The center is located at 2401 W Leigh St, Richmond, Virginia.
It will be the first time the Jets have participated in joint practices with another club since holding court with the Giants at SUNY Albany in 2005. The sessions are free and open to the public, but require online registration for entry. For more information on parking and how you can attend, see the official ticketing site.
All dates and times are subject to change.
AP ANALYSIS: WHAT DO THE JETS NEED?
LAST YEAR: Rebuilding Jets finished 5-11 for second straight season under coach Todd Bowles, but exceeded expectations by many who predicted New York to have trouble winning more than couple games. New York was competitive in nearly every game, and team credited Bowles’ culture change for improved attitude around facility. Both Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan received two-year contract extensions after season. QB Josh McCown had career year at 38, setting personal bests with 2,926 yards passing, 19 TD passes and five TD runs before missing final three games with broken left hand. His exceptional leadership was also praised by teammates. WR Robby Anderson emerged as legitimate deep threat with 63 catches, 941 yards and seven TD receptions. Defense struggled to get to QBs, but solid play by rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye was big positive.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Rookie QB Sam Darnold, CB Trumaine Johnson, RB Isaiah Crowell, QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Terrelle Pryor, LB Avery Williamson, C Spencer Long, C Travis Swanson, DE Henry Anderson, S J.J. Wilcox, K Cairo Santos.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, LB Demario Davis, RB Matt Forte, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DE Kony Ealy, C Wesley Johnson, K Chandler Catanzaro.
CAMP NEEDS: Familiar theme for Jets and their fans: all eyes on QBs. But this summer will be particularly intriguing with Darnold — No. 3 overall pick out of USC — being given every opportunity to win starting job in competition with McCown and Bridgewater. Darnold will have to show he can operate system of new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, promoted from QBs coach after John Morton was fired. WR Quincy Enunwa (neck) and Pryor (ankle) coming back from injuries that ended seasons early. Long, coming off knee injury, will be looked at to anchor O-line after not practicing in offseason. Finding consistent pass rusher at OLB will also be key, with recent draft picks Lorenzo Mauldin, Dylan Donahue in mix of players needing to prove themselves.
EXPECTATIONS: Acting owner Christopher Johnson has made it clear playoffs are not mandatory this season, although Jets have failed to reach postseason for last seven years. Team made lots of key moves in offseason, with selection of Darnold re-energizing fan base waiting for legitimate franchise QB for decades. Still, progress will be expected from team with sights set on making even more noise next season — especially with New York expected to have NFL’s most salary cap room heading into 2019 offseason.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)