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) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

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.

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

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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