Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles announced on Thursday they he will not officially name any captains for his team as it ends training camp.
While no players will be formally called ‘captain,’ it is not meant to imply that Bowles does not see leadership on this team. He is a just taking a more pragmatic approach.
“We are going to go game-by-game. I’ve been around captains that got hurt during the year. They wear a big C on their chest and get hurt during training camp and you don’t have any, so whoever plays well the week before and gets a chance to be in their hometown, you give them a little bone that way. We will go game-by-game,” said Bowles.
The end of training camp means it is near the time for Bowles to trim the Jets roster.
“I mean it’s tough, it’s a tough business to try to tell someone they can’t play anymore. We’ve got a lot of good competition so the cuts aren’t going to be easy. You just have to be honest with yourself. We have guidelines at certain positions and what we are looking for. You either make those plays or you don’t make those plays, (make those) blocks or you don’t make those blocks. It comes down to that. It’s never anything personal. You hate to tell someone they can’t play anymore, but that’s the reality of the business, “Bowles said of reducing the roster.
Bowles said of whether he has a good sense of how good this team is and what he has in terms of talent, “I have a pretty good idea of what we have with the exception of about three or four guys. I have a good idea about everybody else. I understand what we can be and I know what kind of work we have ahead of us, but I have a good idea of what we have.”
On whether he is happy with what he has, Bowles said, “Yes, I’m very happy.”
Bowles said of the meaning of the end of training camp, “I don’t think it means much. The guys get to go home and have a normal routine. They don’t have to stay for late night meetings. Practicing once a day with the new rule changes, it’s almost like practicing during the season, so it doesn’t mean too much.”
The Jets added depth to their roster with the signing of quarterback Josh Johnson on Thursday night. Johnson was released by the Cincinnati Bengals when he lost the backup QB job to AJ McCarron.
Bowles said of giving Johnson a try out on Thursday afternoon before the signing, “He was just kicking some tires around in case somebody else gets hurt.”
One thing that has been as issue in the preseason has been penalties. On Thursday, the team made progress in that regard.
Bowles said of whether the team reached the penalty limit today, “We were right at five. Over five is the mark.”
The Jets face the Giants on Saturday night in what basically is the final tune-up before Opening Day, as the starters will likely restr the preseason finale against Philadelphia next Thursday.
One tip of this is that backup quarterback Matt Flynn will likely not play Saturday and Bowles said he’d “probably expect him next week.”
On Ryan Fitzpatrick’s comfort level now after being the starting quarterback for a couple weeks, Bowles said, “He has gotten more comfort as far as throwing to the receivers, getting on the same page, so from that stand point yes.”
Bowles said of facing the crosstown rival Giants, “It’s not so much the Giants as it is us trying to get better. We know they are a tough team. We know they play very physical football. We are trying to get better from last week and cut down on our penalties. We are working on ourselves getting ready for the opener. We want to make a good showing for ourselves.”
Bowles said of how much he knows Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, “Just from playing against him over the years. He’s real polite when I see him off the field, at the combines and everything else. So, I know he’s a good man and he’s a damn good coach.”
One focus of the Jets’ game plan for the Giants this week has been how they will defend Big Blue’s star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Jets players acted the part of Beckham in drills on Wednesday to prepare the secondary.
On whether he is going to defend Odell Beckham Jr. in this game like he would in a regular season game. Bowles said, “No, it’s preseason. We’re just working on ourselves right now. The regular season is different than the preseason. We just have to work on ourselves getting better.”
Bowles said of how he would defend Beckham Jr. in the regular season, “It all depends on the other matchups. You don’t match up a guy just because you have a guy. You have to look at the other four or five match ups and see if those are conducive, so if they’re not then you won’t do it.”
Linebacker Calvin Pace has been dealing with a strained groin. On whether he will play this week, Bowles said, “He was a little sore today. We are going to go day-by-day and see how he feels up to the game.”