CORTLAND -- For nearly four minutes, Rex Ryan spoke about the importance of finishing strong.
Despite the sluggish start and the many miscues of the Jets offense Friday, he opened his afternoon press conference by stressing how well Mark Sanchez and Co. ended practice.
The quarterback’s third-down TD completion to former USC teammate Patrick Turner had Ryan feeling pretty good.
“For the most part it was dominated by the defense,” Ryan said of practice. “…Forty-five seconds left, the game’s on the line and you need a touchdown to win … good protection, Mark makes the pass to win the game. The defense can play great, as we’ve seen before. You play great for 59 minutes, but if you don’t close it out, there’s a chance to lose that game.”
But the Jets defense spent the bulk of practice batting down passes, bodying receivers and chirping – particularly, Bart Scott.
With no spectators or ESPN trucks generating buzz in Cortland, the veteran linebacker’s voice echoed more than usual. He chastised
Cornerback Darrelle Revis got in a couple verbal jabs too – plus he hit Stephen Hill so hard on a Sanchez pass attempt that the rookie wideout fell to the ground during 7on-7s (The refs didn’t throw a flag though).
Several offensive players referenced mental mistakes as their biggest issue currently.
“There are going to be speed bumps,” left guard Matt Slauson said. “It’s just kind of how camp goes. You are going to have these days and it’s what you do about it now. We have to come out tomorrow and be sharp, crisp and dominate as best we can.”
Running back Shonn Greene – who was flattened by Bart Scott on an outside run during the team portion – agreed that mental errors were a huge hindrance in Friday’s practice.
“We can’t have that,” said the Jets featured running back, who threw down his helmet in disgust on the sidelines in the latter stages of team drills. “We’re going to mess up here and there, but the mental things we don’t want. We just got to execute better and be more focused.”
Greene and the rest of the players are anxious for Saturday’s Green & White scrimmage here at SUNY Cortland. Ryan said first-team offense will face the first-team defense to start, followed by second-team offense vs. second-team defense, and then it’ll switch.
(Note: Admission is free, but parking is $5.
Speaking of Saturday’s scrimmage…
…WR Santonio Holmes’ status is unclear. For the second straight day, Ryan said he’ll need to wait and hear from head trainer John Mellody before determining if Holmes can play.
…LaRon Landry (Achilles/heel) did not dress for the second straight day, but Ryan said the safety didn’t suffer a setback. His absence was scheduled, simply a part of Ryan’s “pitch count” plan. The coach said Landry’s itching to play in Saturday’s scrimmage so it was smart to rest him today. “If it’s up to him,” he’d be going every day. “He’s doing real well. I know the guy’s really like him. He’s fit in so much already with that group.”
…Ryan said LB Bryan Thomas has been dealing with a groin injury.
…For the second straight day, NT Sione Po’uha wasn’t able to practice due to the stitches in his forehead. Po’uha said he’s OK and is eager to get back on the field. So much so, in fact: Ryan joked Po’uha wanted to cut donut out of his helmet in order to practice Thursday. “Yesterday was his favorite day because of short-yard and goal-line.”
…WR Chaz Schilens (groin) started the day off on the sidelines with the ever-growing rehab group. But he was on the field for team drills. …LB Demario Davis (hamstring) and WR Jordan White (broken foot) practiced for the first time in pads, since being activated off the active PUP list.
Ryan caught wind of Jim Leonhard’s visit with Buffalo Thursday, but the Jets coach said he isn’t overly concerned about the Bills possibly gathering intel. “They have a ton of film,” he said. “They have, what? Twelve hundred plays from last year they can go back and watch. Jim does have a great grasp of what we do, defensively. No question about that. But I’m sure Jim’s there because he’s a great football player. And if they have a need at safety, then clearly he’s a guy that’s a football player first. And I’m sure that’s why they would bring him in there.”