Hello there, Jets fans. Neil Best here in Cortland, keeping an eye on Tim Tebow so that our new beat writer, Kimberley Martin, and our old columnist, Bob Glauber, can focus more on actual starters during training camp.
But seriously, folks, I'm happy to be here. This is my most extensive stay at an NFL camp since the end of my Giants term in 2004.
Boy, have things changed! Why, back in my day, NFL teams practiced twice a day most days, usually with full pads at least one of those times.
Now, thanks to the new CBA that kicked in post-lockout, teams can practice only once each day, and get a day entirely off after four days of practice, and are limited in how often they can be forced to don full pads.
I still haven't seen a Jet in pads at this year's camp.
It's all very strange, and presumably is very welcome by writers. Well, let me speak for myself: I love it! Thank you, NFLPA.
In Albany I often hit the field at 9 a.m. for the morning practice and left it after the second practice at around 5:30 p.m. That did not leave as much time as one would hope for beer or basketball.
The Jets ended practice before 10:30 this morning, followed by a brief interview session under a crowded tent in a monsoon.
Then Rex Ryan spoke at 12:15 p.m. and . . . well, that was that. Other than eating lunch and writing some stuff for the newspaper.
And it wasn't even hot, another traditional training camp reality. Tebow took his shirt off anyway after practice, which is another story entirely.
Some things have changed for the worse since my days as a beat writer. Twitter, for one. And then Friday I discovered a bizarre new practice among some writers: Keeping passing stats during training camp practices?! That's where I draw the line, readers. Sorry.
But it does beat two-a-days.