New York Jets: Observations from the Green and White practice

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

What is there to observe and take away from the New York Jets Green and White practice?

Saturday night continued a tradition with the New York Jets that has gone on for more than a decade. It is the annual “Green and White” practice. In the past, it has been a full scrimmage with the Green squad against the White squad, but over the last couple of years they have turned it into an open practice session.

Still, it’s a chance for the fans to get out to MetLife Stadium and see the team in the early stages of season preparations. I had the chance to attend the session and wanted to share some observations.

The biggest news was that Quincy Enunwa left the practice with an injury. He dropped an end zone pass and was on the field for several minutes before he went to the locker room under his own power. Per Rich Cimini of ESPN, the injury was to Enunwa’s neck, and was similar to the injury that kept him out during the spring. Coach Todd Bowles was not aware of the severity as the practice came to a close.

Leonard Williams is an absolute beast. He looks absolutely ready to break out in year three. Granted, it’s early, and the defense is always ahead of the offense early. But Williams looks fast and was in the quarterback’s face all night. He accounted for at least two quarterback sacks and was making plays against the run as well.

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The Jets are be going to play the field position game a lot in 2017, which means Lachlan Edwards (punter) will be a big factor. Saturday night, he showed off good leg, but poor hang time. His punts each were just a little over four seconds, all very returnable. He needs to get that hang time up to pin teams back in their own territory.

Rookie Marcus Maye showed instincts as a ball-hawk, picking off a Josh McCown pass by jumping the route and taking it to the house during 11-on-11 drills. We didn’t see Jamal Adams but if he is as good as advertised, this tandem is going to be quite special in New York for a long time.

Lucky Whitehead may just be a case of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Whitehead looked like a very able punt returner. He flashed good hands and, though they weren’t returning the kicks officially, his first step looked quite good.

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Chris Harper stood out in a young group of wide receivers. The third-year player caught a bomb from Christian Hackenberg along with several other passes. The group as a whole dropped passes, or “double caught” passes all night long. But Harper could be the sleeper guy to watch that may just emerge from this group, if play like that continues. Charone Peake also played well, particularly on one touchdown pass caught off of the shoulder of the defender.

The tight end position is on its way to rejuvenation. Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Jordan Leggett both performed well, including catching one touchdown reception each.

Finally, we have to address the quarterback position. Jets fans may not like this, but the most consistent performer was McCown. Hackenberg flashed with some brilliant throws, but the ball placement was the most consistent with McCown. Too often, Hackenberg’s passes may have been completed, but they weren’t quite on target, they were behind, or high. Same thing with Bryce Petty but only he was worse. McCown is definitely the leader at this point.

Finally, we end with a human interest story from the evening. The team featured a young boy that was a two-time survivor of Leukemia. He was receiving help from the Marty Lyons Foundation, the charity of the great Jets alum that helps kids from 3-17 with terminal or life threatening illnesses. They gave him the chance to have a play called, take the handoff and run it in for the score. Here is the video:

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No matter how the Jets looked in terms of the roster, that was a championship moment for the organization.