With so much news coming out of Queens and the Bronx, the opening of football training camps this year is almost an afterthought.
But here they are. The New York Jets, opening up camp in Florham Park this past week and coach Todd Bowles isn’t joking around when it comes to getting Gang Green ready for the season.
He had full-padded practices yesterday and today with another one on Tuesday within the first week and he made the team run at the end of practice. With a brutal schedule the first half of the season, who could blame him?
“Three days into camp, you got to get in shape,” the coach said.
Even with his tougher camp, the Jets seemed to be in good spirits. Eric Decker spoke to the media after practice with his young son in his arms and Eric, Jr. almost stole the show when he took a bite out of a reporters mike.
But all kidding aside, the Jets have some work ahead of them. Even though this is a team that almost made the playoffs last season, the club will have an uphill battle. With games against the Bengals, Bills, Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers, and Cardinals, the Jets will need to be at the top of their game to be at .500 by the middle of October when the schedule starts to .
Bowles knows this and training camp is all out from Day 1.
“You only get so many OTAs, you have to play some football,” Bowles said. “You only practice once a day. It’s not like the old days where you had 2-a-days and wear pads every day. It’s not a curse. It’s what they are supposed to be doing. They are wearing pads.”
Now no one is complaining and the Jets understand they have to get ready for a season.
Some gets like Matt Forte didn’t practice, since he is nursing a hamstring and Calvin Pryor has a banged up hand. But there is nothing too earth shattering coming from the complex.
Forte is a nine year veteran and can use the time off, even though he is getting used to the Jets after being with the Bears for years.
“Yeah fortunately, since this is my ninth training camp,” Forte said. “Preseason is to get ready for the season. I was afforded the luxury with this injury where I can heal this injury.”
And the Jets have their quarterback back. With Ryan Fitzpatrick in camp and signed for the season, Bowles has his band back together.
Actually, the only disappointment has been the weather. The Jets hold open practices on the weekends and fans can come to see the team, but because of the rain the last few days, they had to move camp indoors.
Which meant some unhappy Jet fans, however if his camp works out, Bowles will put the smile back on their faces.
And all of Gang Green hopes that happens.