FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Ryan Clady’s “a little rusty.”
The Jets’ new left tackle got some work in this week during the team periods of organized team activities. But he’s still a work in progress after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL and most of the 2013 season with a foot injury.
“Yeah, it’s good to see him,” coach Todd Bowles said of Clady, whom the Jets traded for after D’Brickashaw Ferguson announced his retirement in April. “He’s been working out with the team but to get him a couple reps, athletically, to get him used to what we’re trying to do at full speed again has been good to see.
“He’s a little rusty,” Bowles added, “but he hasn’t played in a while.”
Center Nick Mangold also returned to practice this week after his wife had their third child last week. Though healthy, he did not partake in team drills. Instead, backup Dakota Dozier practiced with the first-team offense.
“OTAs are an opportunity to get guys lots of reps,” Mangold said. “Coach made the decision to try to get Dakota some more reps. And that’s fine with me.”
Bowles later confirmed that Mangold’s healthy. “Well, we’re still bringing him along slow, too. Obviously he practices some days, some days he doesn’t. Between him and Ryan we’re just trying to be careful for training camp.”
QB watch: Geno the best of the bunch
Geno Smith looked very good in practice, save for an errant pass thrown into double coverage that was picked off near the sideline by cornerback Buster Skrine. Backup quarterback Bryce Petty, however, had a poor day. Aside from fumbling two snaps during team period, one of his passes deflected off Eric Decker’s fingers and into the hands of linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin. Less than 15 minutes later, Petty was picked off by undrafted free-agent corner Kevin Short.
Despite his erratic practice play, Bowles said he’s seen progress from Petty “mentally” this spring. “But with the few short practice we’ve had, we’ve still got to see more and to see it in training camp,” he said. “But again he’s been in the system for a year so he’s a little bit more comfortable this year than he was last year.”
Rookie Christian Hackenberg had a so-so day, but that’s to be expected, said Bowles. “Right now I expect him to look sloppy because again he’s seeing a whole boatload of defenses that’s coming at him daily and there’s going to be a growth period,” the coach said. “No different than Geno and Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] saw last year, as well as Bryce. So everything that Hack is seeing this year he’s seeing for the first time, so better him see it now in the spring and be more comfortable in the summer then vice versa.
“He’s in a progression stage right now. So to say that he’s going to be accurate every time is no. But he’s not as off as we’ve seen him off and he’s been grasping the system pretty good. And the new things that’s getting thrown at him, he learned from his mistakes. So he’s got time to grow there.”
Wide receiver Charone Peake and safety Dion Bailey left practice with injuries. but Bowles didn’t seem to think they were significant . . . Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins had the catch of the day, leaping high to haul in a Hackenberg pass in between two defenders . . . The team signed defensive end Shelby Harris and waived former discus Olympian Lawrence Okoye . . . Long Island native and Hofstra alum Stephen Bowen announced his retirement after 10 NFL seasons. The 32-year-old defensive lineman played in Washington from 2011-14 before signing a one-year deal with the Jets last year.