Jets rookie Stephen Hill impresses as deep threat

New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill catches

New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill catches a pass during training camp. (July 28, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Though slowed by a hamstring injury in minicamp, Stephen Hill has managed to turn heads at the Jets' training camp. Rex Ryan repeatedly has praised the rookie receiver for his deep-threat potential and ability to make plays over the middle.

Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal has been impressed by the wideout's skill and thirst for knowledge. "He's like a sponge," Lal said.

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Despite some nice moves by the receiver, Lal stressed the importance of taking it slow after the injury. "We have 43 days until [Week 1 vs.] Buffalo," he said. "That's when it really counts."

Sanchez spirals in rain

Even in a rainstorm, Mark Sanchez can deliver a tight spiral. Unlike some quarterbacks who struggle in inclement weather, "He can spin it, it doesn't matter," Ryan said. " . . . You see the way Sanchez really zipped the ball today . . . Wet football, wind. When you can spin the football like he can, it really makes no difference."

Jet streams

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LB Aaron Maybin's intensity and uptempo practice style caught Ryan's attention. So did the play of G Caleb Schlauderaff, whom the Jets obtained in a trade last year because of his versatility. "That's two days in a row," Ryan said of Schlauderaff, who has impressed at both guard and center. "He's not a handsome kid . . . but as a football player, he looked good." . . . A day after declaring himself the best defensive coach in the NFL, Ryan amended his list after receiving a call from his twin, Rob, and former Ravens assistant coach Vic Fangio. "It's Dick LeBeau, Bill Belichick, Rob Ryan and now Vic Fangio that are some great ones out there . . . Since I've been a coordinator and a head coach, I don't know where I'd rank."

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