FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — “Don’t be that guy.”
Essentially, that was Todd Bowles’ message on Thursday, the final day of the Jets’ three-day mandatory minicamp. Up next is a month-long break for players until training camp starts in late July. And Bowles knows that down time can be dangerous.
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“Just stay in shape. Come back healthy. Don’t be the guy getting into any trouble. Just come back ready to work,” the coach said, recalling his parting message to the team.
“Throughout our meetings, over OTAs and Phase 1 [of the offseason program] you see things and you reference ‘don’t be that guy’ that you make examples of.”
New punt retuners?
Practice ended early, thanks to the unlikely punt-return skills of right tackle Breno Giacomini and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. The two big guys cleanly fielded a pair of punts after team drills ended — much to the delight of their teammates.
“They said Breno was a former tight end. Sheldon claimed he used to return punts. I don’t know what leagues this was in,” Bowles joked, “but, you know, they caught the balls. So they ended practice a little earlier because they caught the balls. Although I think Breno’s punt was a given. They gave him a soft punt.
“They had to catch them,” he added. “They had some plays left. If they caught the punts, practice was over.”