Josh Bush insisted his goal is not to compete with Antonio Allen.
But after the first day of mandatory minicamp, it seems Bush has edged out his good friend for a starting safety position. Allen told reporters that he had been demoted Tuesday – but while Bush confirmed the news, he downplayed its significance.
“I’m sure tomorrow it’s going to be a totally different thing,” said Bush, who – for the time being – will start alongside veteran safety Dawan Landry. “Right now, I think they’re just trying to mix up guys in that other safety spot. So it’s going to be back and forth until somebody just continues to outplay the other guy. It’s that simple.”
But the Wake Forest product wouldn’t say whether he plans to be “that” guy.
“We’re all boys, you know what I’m saying? So my job isn’t to outplay him,” said Bush, who was selected in the sixth round (187th overall) by the Jets in last year’s draft – one round ahead of Allen (242nd overall).
“That’s not my job. My job is to know the defense like the back of my hand. If “AB” (Aaron Berry) asks a question, I’ve got to be able to tell him. I’m not focused on trying to outplay someone because that’s when you put too much stress on yourself and it ends up not happening.”
Bush, who underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, said he’s “feeling great.” It seems he’s also picked up his game on the practice field, according to defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.
“DT just told me today I need to be at an A-minus at all times,” said Bush. “He said, I started off low because I was injured. So I’ve got to get the average up. Stay at an A-minus at all times.”
Before the players hit the practice field, Rex Ryan highlighted the play of former Temple safety -- and Brooklyn native -- Jaiquawn Jarrett and fellow safety Brett Lockett.
"That's an excellent competition going on right now with Antonio Allen, with Jaiquawn Jarrett, with Bush and guys competing. There is this young man, Lockett from UCLA, who's doing some nice things. And Donnie Fletcher. There's some good competition at that safety position, certainly. The thing that I like doing is firing a bunch of new stuff at them. We'll see how they adjust because that's what happens in a game. Over the course of a game, (when) something's not working, you have to make a change in a firestorm, as we put it.
"So far, (Jarrett's) been doing a tremendous job coming and, learning a brand-new system. The thing that we knew is that he was a hitter. When you put the pads on, I would anticipate this guy going like this," the coach said, shooting his arm out, "because certainly that's what he did at Temple. He put some shots on that were impressive to say the least. When you're looking at Mo (Wilkerson) and him, 'it's like, 'Wow, these two guys can really play.' So we'll see what happens. But I've been pleased with him."