Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rough Day for Sanchez

The media was on hand for OTA's for the first time, so today was Mark Sanchez's public unveiling as a Jet.

And needless to say, it's a work in progress.

Rod Boone, Ohm Youngmisuk, Jane McManus, and Dave Hutchinson are among the writers who chronicled practice, during which Sanchez struggled. Eric Smith had an interception, and after one errant throw in the middle of the field, Bart Scott yelled, "You're going to get somebody killed, Sanchez!" Eric Smith had an interception, and Brian Schottenheimer reamed him out after a poor read in the red zone.

Meanwhile, Kellen Clemens played better than his rookie counterpart, but he, too, was intercepted, and the defense clearly was the better side of the ball. Those links offer some quotes, with both sides praising the work of the defense. Bart Scott, according to McManus, gets very "chatty" when the defense "proves a point." I love Scott's attitude, and I hope it's contagious.

Bubba Franks has been missing OTA's due to a knee injury.

Vernon Gholston would have had one sack in practice if there was real contact. If only he could play real NFL football without contact.

*ESPN just had a nice highlight reel on Kerry Rhodes as he's being interviewed on NFL Live.

Here's a summary of what he said on ESPN.

On the defense this year: "We're going to have a young guy anyway. This season is defense first. We know that, and the franchise know that. Defense and running the ball."

On the GQ spread: "The advice...that I gave him...if you're gonna do that, that's fine, but be able to put that on the side and know when to play football."

On a Kerry Rhodes-Mark Sanchez Zoolander-like modeling "walk-off.": "Mark wins that in a landslide, I'll let him keep that one."

On Brett Favre: "Have him at your own risk. I can't speak for those guys, they just got Rosenfels, they have Jackson, but if you want them to develop and be players for you, you can't bring a guy who will come in and play maybe a year."

On the biggest change of the defense: "We're going to have the guy in the middle who is not gonna stop talking. He doesn't stop, he doesn't use expletives, but when he's done you feel like he's cussed you out all day."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get a Good Look at Your New QB: Baywatch Mark

Yes, that is Mark Sanchez posing for GQ. This isn't Alex Rodriguez kissing himself in the mirror bad, and these pictures were taken before the NFL Draft, but you can bet the veterans will be hazing him over this. At least Sanchez's pictures aren't completely self-aggrandizing. He did get to work with the gorgeous Hillary Rhoda, pictured below.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slauson Signs, Jones Will Show Up

The Jets announced today that they agreed to terms with 6th round pick OG Matt Slauson, the first of the three-man draft class to sign. They also waived CB Tyron Breckenridge.

But the bigger news could come from a tweet (what else?) from Drew Rosenhaus, announcing, "Thomas Jones will attend the Jets OTA next Wednesday." There is no word regarding any developments about his contract, but this is obviously a good sign. This has the potential to get ugly, and both sides would prefer it didn't reach that level.

Leon Washington's agent Alvin Keels also had a sit-down meeting yesterday with team officials regarding his clients contract situation. The Jets seem to be taking proactive measures towards appeasing their players. Now they just need to hammer out deals.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tour of Florham Park Training Facility

The NFL Network took a tour of the Jets' Florham Park training facility. Tony Richardson and Rex Ryan lead Brian Baldinger around the locker room and to the field itself.

Check it out here. It's a good watch for any Jets fan.

Mark Sanchez Has Arrived

The rookies report today, meaning Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, and Matt Slauson will all participate in camp. If you remember, Vernon Gholston could not compete in drills at this point because he had yet to graduate from Ohio State. All three rookies this year have no such issues.

The quarterback competition starts today. Of course, we'll know more in training camp, or even on Thursday when practice is next open to the media. That will be the first time Clemens and Sanchez are both seen at the same time by the media for head to head comparisons.

If you want to know how the early practice went, here's Chansi Stuckey's 140 characters or less review, courtesy of Twitter. "Practice was ok today. Defense was ahead of the offense but we will regroup and come back ready to compete tomorrow."

Still, the person who will likely benefit most from these practices is Greene. With Thomas Jones and Leon Washington still no-shows, Greene is the number one back and will get most reps. As a rookie who sometimes struggled with his grades in college, all the experience he can get will help.

Update (6:32 PM): Tweeeting the Jets. Since no media are allowed to talk about the practice, let's collect some of their perspectives, again from Twitter, in chronological order.

1. Dustin Keller: just at home studying my plays..always trying to perfect my craft
2. Jay Feely: Today was one of the most entertaining days of the year. First practice for the rookies, vets smell blood in the water and go for the kill
3. Jay Feely: Rookies come in wide eyed and don't know what to expect. The vets want to send a message, this isn't college and it's MY JOB
4. Jay Feely: Sanchez was a common target from the moment he introduced himself. Bart Scott did not let up all day and the D dominated
5. Jay Feely: Sanchez got some revenge when Scott was chirping the loudest he hit a 15yd out over Scott. Tomorrow should be fun

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Salary Cap Higher than Projected

The Jets will have a little more spending money than expected for this coming season.

The NFL announced that the cap for 2009 will be about $128 million
, and that teams will have an extra $947,000

Could this give the Jets extra room to resign Leon Washington? Could they throw a few bucks in Thomas Jones's direction to make him happy? Might this help the team pursue a big name receiver? It probably won't end up meaning that much, but I have to think it helps Gang Green more than most teams, simply because they are close to the cap and have a few salary cap questions to answer.

Plaxico Burress remains an option. Drew Rosenhaus has been tweeting that at least two teams are seriously interested in his services, and he recently received a phone call from an NFL head coach. Might it be the Jets? It makes as much if not more sense for this team as any other. The $947,000 doesn't add much room, but every little bit counts.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gholston Impressing Early in OTA's?

Dave Hutchinson reports that LB Vernon Gholston has been impressive in camp so far.

"I think Vernon is having a real good offseason,'' said [defensive coordinator Mike] Pettine Thursday following an organized team activity session at Florham Park. "You can tell this is important to him. He's passionate about it.

"The signs are there. He asks the right questions. If he makes a mistake, usually he knows it right away. I think progression-wise, he's right where he needs to be. ... I'm confident he'll be better once we have the pads on.''

Said Gholston: "The comfort comes from this being my second year. The biggest thing is that last year at this time I wasn't here. I was back at Ohio State. Now, you get the chance to go through the defensive installs. You can work on it and work on your technique and the different ins and outs of the defense. I didn't get the chance to do that last year. I think that's pretty big.''
Also in that report is a recap of some of the other OTA's.

Gholston's progression is vital to this year's defense. Rex Ryan can want his defense to be violent all he wants, and he's definitely going to be sending guys on a lot of blitzes. However, Bryan Thomas has been around long enough to show that he will never be an elite pass rusher. The same goes for Calvin Pace. Both are solid players, especially Pace, but Gholston has the potential to be much, much more, as he showed at Ohio State.

Remember, he was NOT a workout warrior, as some would like you to believe. Most pundits viewed him as a high pick before the combine, and his results there only confirmed his high status.

Don't believe me? Ask Jake Long.

Gholston was a beast at Ohio State, setting the single season Ohio State sack record with 14 his junior season in 2007. However, he struggled a lot to pick up the defense last season, and he made zero impact at the NFL level. This year, he has a full offseason with the team, and hopefully some better coaching.

Part of the problem with Gholston is that he tries to do what he did in that video: bowl over people. It may have worked in college, even against guys like #1 overall pick Jake Long, but in the NFL, he needs to develop more pass rushing moves. If Rex Ryan and Pettine can push him in the right direction, Gholston will provide a pass rushing element this defense sorely needs, and it can push the defense from top 10 in the league to top 5.

Still, temper your hopes for Gholston. He had one tackle last season. He's not going to be Terrell Suggs overnight, and he looked good in shorts at the combine last year, too.

State of the Jets: May 15, 2009: A Look at the Offense

It’s been a long offseason so far, longer than what it should have been considering where the team stood after week 12. But halfway into the offseason, it’s time to take a look at the state of the union for the NYJ. Today, I will take a look at the offense, what changes have been made, and what else needs to be done. In the coming days, I'll post about the defense as well.

Last year’s collapse cost former coach Eric Mangini his job and put a small blemish on Brett Favre’s storied career. Now, both are gone, and the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era is set to begin. Still, the offense will keep some continuity after offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer decided to return to the team.

Schottenheimer has had an up and down tenure at offensive coordinator for the Jets. In 2006 he was a genius, creating a respectable offense out of a rehabbing Chad Pennington, a mediocre Kevan Barlow, a rookie Leon Washington, Laveranues Coles, and an unproven Jerricho Cotchery. On paper, that offense was by far the worst in his three years as coordinator, but it was his most successful. Defenses were kept off-balance as the offense was creative, using shifts and various other ways to generate points.

But in 2007 the offensive line fell to shambles, and 2008 brought a new quarterback and a bastardized version of the offense, with less shifting, and more of what fit Favre’s game. This year Rex Ryan is giving Schottenheimer the freedom he had three years ago, and while the talent is not particularly strong again, there is a foundation in place for a power-running football team, much like the Baltimore Ravens had last season.

In fact on paper, Baltimore is a perfect comparison for this team on both sides of the ball, and just like the Ravens, the Jets will run a three-pronged running attack to protect an unproven quarterback. Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, and Shonn Greene will play the Willis McGahee, Ray Rice, and LeRon McClain roles respectively.

But the biggest key to the offense working the way Ryan and Schottenheimer want it to is the offensive line. We all saw between 2007 and 2008 what difference an offensive line makes because make no mistake about it, Alan Faneca and Damien Woody meant a ton more to the Jets last year than Favre did, and re-signing Brandon Moore in free agency means that all five linemen are back for another year.

That line helped turn Thomas Jones from a disappointment to the AFC’s leading rusher in 2008. This year, Jones will presumably have a lot more help carrying the load, though he probably would prefer not to. But there’s no way the coaching staff can ignore Leon Washington again. With a new staff, the playmaking Washington (5.9 YPC) will almost assuredly get more than 76 carries. And the Jets didn’t trade up to get Greene if they didn’t plan on getting him some touches, too.

Last year in Baltimore, McClain received 232 carries in 16 games, while McGahee and Rice had 170 and 107 in 13 games apiece. Expect a similar breakdown between Jones, Washington, and Greene, in that order.

However, as appealing as the running game is on paper, the passing attack needs to be respectable enough to keep defenses honest. It’s hard to expect either Kellen Clemens or Mark Sanchez to be a great quarterback this year. Clemens has been passed over by two separate regimes, a clear sign of a lack of confidence by both staffs. Still, Clemens has never really received a fair shot in the NFL, and he has some tools to work with plus a head start in Schottenheimer’s offense.

But it’s clear from listening to the Jets that they would prefer Sanchez to win the job. Rookie quarterbacks rarely have success in the NFL, but amazingly, two rookies led their teams to the playoffs last year: Joe Flacco in Baltimore and Matt Ryan in Atlanta. However, both had extensive college experience, even if it wasn’t at schools as prestigious as USC. Sanchez has just 16 starts and as talented and media-savvy as he is, there is no subsitute for experience.

That being said, it’s unlikely either Clemens or Sanchez throws 22 interceptions, the number that Favre threw last year. 22 touchdowns may be a stretch, too, but this team is going to win based on running the football and playing defense. The quarterback will simply need to manage the game and not screw it up. Part of that has to do with the inexperience of whoever wins the job.

But the other reason for the likely conservative offense is the lack of experienced weapons on the outside. Jerricho Cotchery is the clear-cut number one receiver by default, with three 850+ yard seasons under his belt. He will produce no matter what, but for this offense to reach its full potential, he will need to get some help.

The number two option in the passing game should be second-year tight end Dustin Keller. He has all the talent to be a star receiver at the position after posting 535 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie. His presence will be key for Sanchez or Clemens as a safety valve that can also make some big plays on his own. His hands were a little shaky last year, but they weren’t a problem in college, so don’t worry too much about that. His biggest issue should be blocking, as he is not a good in-line blocker.

The Jets will need to bring in some help at tight end to pick up some of the blocking duties. Bubba Franks was re-signed, and while he will help provide depth, he’s not enough. The free agent market is pretty weak right now, so they will likely have to wait until June 1st or perhaps even later.

Outside of Cotchery and Keller, the next receiving option could be anyone. Chansi Stuckey is probably the best receiver of the group trying to replace Laveranues Coles, but his best fit is in the slot. David Clowney and Brad Smith should battle for the #2 receiver job. Give a slight edge to the speedy Clowney in this battle because he never really got a chance to produce while Smith has had numerous opportunities and has never taken advantage of them. Either way, the Jets will need at least two of them to step up and fill what appears to be a gaping hole on paper.

Going forward, there are a number of different issues the Jets will need to address, but I’m sure Mike Tannenbaum didn’t expect runningback to top the list. But Thomas Jones and Leon Washington have skipped OTA’s hoping for new contracts. Washington has a case, as he has clearly outperformed his rookie contract and he is a restricted free agent after the year. Jones signed a contract knowing full well that his 2009 salary would be much lower than the previous two seasons. It makes sense that he would want a new deal as he’ll be 31 years old opening day. He wants to get one final big payday.

Will the Jets give them new deals? I’d be shocked in Jones's case. Tannenbaum could get creative to appease him, but it’s more likely that nothing happens. On the other hand, Washington deserves a deal, and while $5-$6 million dollars a year may be a little high considering the bargain price the Jets have him at now, I can't see the Jets not appeasing him, whether it's in the next few months or during the season.

The bigger battle at runningback will be between Danny Woodhead, Jehuu Caulcrick, and Brannan Southerland for a 5th runningback spot if there is one. Jesse Chatman is gone, and the three backs all have promising skillsets. Woodhead, the former college rushing leader, has reportedly been impressive in OTA's, but is there room for a fourth halfback, especially one as undersized as he is? One of these guys will need to show some promise on special teams.

The receiver position might not be resolved for a while. The Jets seem content with Clowney, Smith, and Stuckey battling for the job, but they also said they were happy with Kellen Clemens at quarterback. Chances are the Jets will continue to evaluate the troika, and if none of the three steps up, specifically Clowney or Smith, then there’s a good chance a veteran will be brought in.

The most interesting name is Plaxico Burress, especially considering the Jets have already shown preliminary interest. He comes with a lot of baggage, and he is likely facing either a suspension, a jail sentence, or both, but if he is available to play this season, he would be a perfect fit next to Jerricho Cotchery. Would he be a long-term solution? Doubtful, but as a stop-gap, getting someone with that type of talent would be a great move. Other options include Amani Toomer and Marvin Harrison, but I only see a veteran being brought in if there is a major bargain or if the current receivers disappoint the coaching staff.

As for quarterback, while it would be ideal to have a veteran mentor Mark Sanchez, there really isn't much available at this point. Brian Schottenheimer and Matt Cavanaugh will have to teach the rookie the ropes, as it is unlikely anyone is brought in barring injury.

What should we expect from this offense? Ball control. Cotchery and Keller should give the quarterback a comfort level in the passing game, but the meat of the offense, like Baltimore's last year, will come from the running game. Jones, Washington, and Greene have diverse running styles, and the offensive line was quite productive last year. If the line stays healthy, the offense will be fine. There isn't a ton of upside unless Sanchez or Clemens dramatically exceeds expectations. But down the line, Sanchez, Washington, Greene, Cotchery, and Keller provide a nice nucleus. All that's left is one more receiver.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Apparently I'm not the only one using Twitter...and a Leon Washington update

The newest addition to JetsDaily is a Twitter widget in the left column. You can follow me at Now, you can read my 140 characters or less thoughts on whatever I feel like writing about on the side of the page.

Do you care about what I have to say in these little tweets? Maybe, maybe not. I might tailor one down the line specifically for JetsDaily, but then what's the point of this blog?

I've decided that Twitter is best used for stalking celebrities' thoughts, and sometimes you can find out some information. For example, follow Drew Rosenhaus if you want to find out how awesome every one of his clients is
I worked out today with Jon Beason, Frank Gore, Thomas Jones and Donte' Stallworth. They are in great shape and ready to have top seasons.

Lito Sheppard is starting for the Jets and anticipates having a big season. He likes Coach Ryan's scheme and style. He's healthy now too.
That's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of lavish praise to his players.

But he's not the only agent who uses Twitter. Leon Washington's agent Alvin Keels is an avid tweeter (twitterer?), and he has a calming message for fans concerned about his client's no-show in OTA's.
Positive talk with the Jets today. Jets fans everything will be fine. Myself and Mike T will put our heads together and continue to work
This is after Keels tweets questions such as, "How many players in the NFL can 'legitimately' score from 'anywhere' on the field 3 or more different ways? rushing, receiving, PR/KR?"

He lists Darren Sproles, Maurice Jones-Drew, Devin Hester, Reggie Bush, Washington, and DeSean Jackson, with Percy Harvin also being a possibility.

Is it a fair question? Not really because most big-time players are taken off special teams duty, eliminating stars like Adrian Peterson and Brian Westbrook. Receivers are also largely off limits, as most don't receive rushing carries except on an occasional reverse. You bet a guy like Steve Smith has an argument otherwise.

But Washington obviously has a ton of value to the Jets and in the NFL as a whole. He is instant offense, a guy who can score from anywhere on the field as Keels says. He's a playmaker the likes of which the Jets haven't seen in years, and Thomas Jones's contract situation only adds to Washington's leverage.

The one thing in the Jets' favor is that Washington is not an unrestricted free agent after the season if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't agreed upon. He'd only be a restricted free agent, so the Jets would control his rights for another year. Still, it's a slippery slope to deal with, and the Jets have had some issues keeping players happy in the past. Washington is only scheduled to make $535,000 this year, chump change compared to his value to the team.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Uh oh: Jones Not the Only Back Angry about Contract

On paper, runningback might be the least of the Jets' probems. They return the leading AFC rusher as well as one of the most dynamic backs in the game, and they drafted a runningback in the third round.

But as you probably know, Thomas Jones is not happy about his contract. What is new is that Leon Washington skipped the first day of OTA's. Even though he said his contract situation would not be a problem, a person close to Washington called the Jets' initial offer "insulting,"prompting Washington to skip OTA's.

The key date for these disputes will be June 9. The Jets will hold a mandatory mini-camp between June 9-11, and if either back doesn't show up, there may be a problem. Mike Tannenbaum has said since day one he expects Jones to be there when he has to be. I imagine he would say the same about Washington.

Either way, the easy plan of the three-back system this year giving way to a Washington-Shonn Greene combination in 2010 now has a huge monkey wrench.

With Jones, the answer is easy. Giving a 31 year old runningback a big long-term deal is stupid.
Even with his comparatively light workload, Jones is at a very dangerous age for runningbacks, and even before the acquisition of Greene, he was probably gone after this year barring a restructure.

Washington provides a much different problem. He's entering the final year of his rookie contract where he makes a $535,000 base salary. He's looking for a contract in the vicinity of $6 million dollars per year.

A TGG poster named Br4dw4y5ux sums up the situation perfectly.

Leon is in the same situation Kellen Clemens is in: the CBA is out for next year and so he'll be an RFA instead of a UFA barring a miracle. The question is whether he's Brian Westbrook or Bruce Harper plus.

If he's Brian Westbrook you lock him up to whatever deal you have to do, and figure he'll tandem with Shonn Greene for the next 5 years or so. If he's Bruce Harper plus it's a tougher question, because that's still a great player but not one you can break the bank over.
Washington has never been given a chance at a feature back role, primarily because of his size, but his yards-per-carry as well as his kick return ability both show his value to the Jets. He's been productive when he's got his chances, and he could turn into a Westbrook or a Tiki Barber or even a Warrick Dunn in a feature role.

But if he's just a glorified change-of-pace back, someone like Harper, he's still worth keeping, but that type of deal would clearly be overpaying him.

It's a tough question because he's never really gotten hurt, but at 5'8", 202 pounds, the fear is there that he will, and putting a lot of faith and cash into a back who has never fully carried the load and doesn't have prototypical size is a risk. Still, at 202 pounds, he is built.

In the end I expect the Jets to lock him up during the season.

Jets Re-Sign TE Bubba Franks

Finally, the Jets have an established tight end to go next to Dustin Keller, after re-signing Bubba Franks to a one year deal.

Not a bad move for the Jets, though I hope it's for the minimum. Franks was a non-factor last season, but he knows the system and there aren't a lot of options out there.

Still, I hope the Jets aren't counting on him being the sole answer, and I don't think they are. He was the third tight end last year and didn't do much to distinguish himself. Plus, he has missed 16 of the last 32 games.

He will likely be competing with the UDFAs for a roster spot. Another veteran will likely be brought in to tandem with Dustin Keller, but there aren't a whole lot of options available as you can see here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Favre: Staying Retired

Brett Favre is not going anywhere, as he has apparently told the Vikings he will not return this year.

You know we'll hear about this again in two months, right?

EDIT (30 hours later): Now it seems like Favre will come back if he doesn't have to get major surgery on his shoulder. Apparently two months was actually about a day.

Jets workout TE Michael Gaines

According to the Star Ledger, the Jets are taking steps towards addressing the tight end position.

Former Lion, Bill, and Panther Michael Gaines visited Jets facilities for a work out. Gaines is primarily a blocker at 6-4, 277 pounds, though he did have 23 receptions for 260 yards and a touchdown last year in Detroit.

Other than Dustin Keller, rookies Jack Simmons, J'Nathan Bullock, Andrew Davie and former DL Kareem Brown are the only tight ends currently on the roster.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Could Favre come out of retirement...again?

Ed Werder of ESPN is reporting that Brett Favre is meeting with Brad Childress about potentially ending his retirement.

My first reaction is to laugh. I have no problem if he wants to play again, even if the Jets get no compensation, but why would Minnesota want him? Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are not great quarterbacks, but at this stage, I would rather give one of them a chance than give a washed up Favre another go.

I guess they think a year in the system would provide a better result than showing up halfway through training camp. Are they right? Probably, but how much better is he really going to get?

At some point, he has to walk away. Right?

Jets sign 2 tryout players, not Toal, plus the return of the Titans Unis!

Mini-camps is over (and sorry for not posting another Sanchez update, and he played pretty well, though not as well as day one). Most of the guys I wrote about, you'll barely hear from again. Still, with the Jets having just three draft picks and some depth problems, some of these guys will end up making the roster.

As for the tryout players, they just want a chance at a chance. These guys were out on the field for two days, hoping to show enough talent that the coaches would give them another chance in training camp (plus a couple thousand dollars never hurt anyone). Rookie TE Jack Simmons and first year DT Anthony Harris were both impressive enough to be signed to the roster.

Simmons started three years for Minnesota and was lauded by Rex Ryan after practice both days.

Harris was signed by Carolina last year out of Western New Mexico before being waived in training camp. He is also a long snapper, so he could challenge James Dearth and fellow newcomer Andrew Davie for the long snapping job.

As for who else stood out in training camp, DE Jamaal Westerman has been getting a lot of publicity. The 6-3, 260 pound Westerman could be a find for a team whose biggest need on paper (at least to me), appears to be a lack of a pass rush. Say all you want about the lack of receivers, and there is a big question mark opposite Jerricho Cotchery, but if this defense is going to be as dominant as Rex Ryan hopes it will be, they will need some help rushing the passer.

Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace are solid players who showed flashes last year of being very good, but neither is ever going to be a Terrell Suggs-like pass rusher. Vernon Gholston still thinks he can be one of the best players in the league, and the coaching staff hopes he can be the team's version of Suggs. We'll see. Westerman is basically the same size as Gholston at 6-3, 260 pounds, and he's shown as much in one mini-camp as the Ghost has in a year.

*In other news, the Titans uniforms are back, as in honor of the 50th anniversary of the AFL, the NFL has instituted some "legacy games" this season featuring throwback uniforms. The most interesting of which will be an old school New York Titans - Houston Oilers matchup when the current Tennessee Titans come to Giants Stadium week three (9/27). The Jets will also take the New York Titans show on the road when they wear the throwbacks in Oakland week seven (10/25).

I know a lot of you don't like the jerseys, but this is the NFL honoring the AFL. No reason not to wear the Titans jerseys at least once. Hopefully, this is the end of it though. Bring it back every few years. Don't make it an annual event.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Minicamp News and Notes: Sanchez's Debut

Today, the Jets had their first look at the new players on the team, the most important of which being Mark Sanchez.

And to do that, we have to start before the draft. Sanchez gathered the offense together the night before to go over the plays, impressing coaches. His play in the morning session was widely considered a success, according to multiple outlets. He started off a little bit slow and ended a little slow, but for the most part, he looked and acted the part of a starting quarterback. The accuracy was there, and the highlight of the day was a 65-yard pass to an open Marcus Henry, who was the leading receiver of the day.

Henry did not shown many flashes last season after being drafted in the sixth round, and was waived in September, only to be resigned to the practice squad. He has size and was a similar one year wonder in college to the first two Jets' picks this year, but obviously he has less skill.

But probably the most interesting quote of the day is that Rex Ryan has an "opinion" on which way the Jets quarterback race will go.

“I assume it’s going to work a certain way, but you have to earn the job,” Ryan said. “It’s too important a position to say give it to this guy or give it to that guy.”

What does that mean? Some speculate he is expecting Sanchez to be the quarterback opening day at Houston, but it's more likely we're not used to Ryan's candidness. I'm sure he expects either Sanchez or Kellen Clemens to take control. I still think if Clemens has a good training camp, at least better than Sanchez, then he should get the job. Sanchez is inexperienced, and he could spend time watching a little bit and getting acclimated to the pro game. Plus, you have to find out what you have in Clemens at some point. If he plays well, maybe you can get some value for him. If he doesn't, at least you know not to resign him.

*Third round pick Shonn Greene showed some flashes of being the power back the Jets need, though a padless mini-camp is not the best venue for a back like him.

*T.J. Conley may have won day one of the punting race over Eric Wilbur. Someone else will presumably be brought into compete at some point, but don't be surprised if Conley is the guy.

*One interesting note to North Jersey football fans (or Boston College fans). Linebacker Brian Toal was brought in for a tryout, earning some praise from Rex Ryan afterward (along with Rutgers DE Jamaal Westerman and Minnesota TE John Simmons). Toal starred at Don Bosco Prep and was a five-star high school recruit, ranking higher than first rounder Brian Cushing. His college career was marred by injury, but he showed flashes of being a productive player.

A full list of the players invited to camp, including tryouts, signees, drafted players, and current roster players can be found here.