FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The calamities on offense continued for another day, complete with an entire 11-man unit running a lap together at practice.
Yet to hear the Jets tell it, everything is “amazing” on offense and the team is making progress.
“I’m excited, man,” right guard Brian Winters said. “We’re doing a great job with everything. We’re moving the ball great. Our running game, our passing game is amazing, I’m excited for everything that we’ve got going.”
After struggling through red-zone drills on Thursday, the group had even more issues with communication and cohesiveness near the goal line Friday.
Practice came to a surprising halt midway through, as the entire team huddled at midfield. The afternoon session ended with the offense running a drill against air — without the defense even on the field.
Coach Todd Bowles said it was the players, not him, who called the impromptu meeting. “I didn’t bring them in the huddle,” he said. “That was a team meeting by themselves. They called themselves, I wasn’t there. It’s camp. they get each other going. So it’s good to see some ownership and some accountability.”
Bowles also disclosed that it was him — and not fiery offensive coordinator John Morton — who made the entire third-team offense, including quarterback Bryce Petty, jog a lap toward the end of practice. Bowles declined to give a reason for the punishment, but it appeared to come after some pre-snap miscommunication.
Winters, however, said the “growing pains” are something “everyone” goes through, and with new pieces on the offensive line, it’ll take “a little time to mesh.”
“That’s one of the best defenses you’re going to see in the NFL, so going against them day in and day out is a challenge for us,” said the 2013 third-round pick. “ . . . Going into practice, we’re never going to see a defense do as many schemes as they do, so it’s great for us and it’ll make Sundays easier.”
After calling Thursday’s practice “sloppy,” Bowles said he saw some positives Friday. “We made progress today,” he said. “They’re working hard. It’s camp days. Obviously, they got better. Made some progress from yesterday to today. We’ve got to keep going tomorrow.”
He also said the offense’s red-zone struggles the past two days are a combination of several factors, namely a new system with several new players. “It’s a little bit of everything,” Bowles said. “I thought the offense started out having a good practice. Defense won the red-zone drill but the offense won quite a few other drills. It’s a lot of give-and-take . . . But it was good competition.”
Bowles didn’t seem concerned about the mounting miscues on offense. “We just got into the red zone for the first or second time. We’re running through things,” he said. “We’ll iron out some kinks. It’s early in camp. We’ll be fine.”