Practice notes: The Wildcat lives

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
4:24
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Thoughts and observations from the third and final day of mandatory minicamp:

1. Ah, memories: One year after Tim Tebow, the Jets devoted an entire team period to the Wildcat. It probably was the heaviest dose of Wildcat in, like, forever. They used a variety of formations with a variety of Wildcat quarterbacks. David Lee's fingerprints were all over this practice. Lee, the quarterbacks coach, is generally regarded as one of the Wildcat pioneers. He orchestrated the Wildcat as a Dolphins assistant coach in 2008, when he worked under Tony Sparano. If the Jets had Lee last year ... oh, never mind. They also used some read-option plays with Geno Smith. No surprise, considering Rex Ryan spoke Wednesday about Smith's potential in that type of scheme.

2. Geno rocks ... except for one throw: Smith enjoyed one of his best days. Working with the first team for the second straight day, per their quarterback rotation, Smith threw the ball exceptionally well in the field house. (They went indoors because of the rain.) His best throw was a 50-yard strike to Stephen Hill, who managed to hold on (really) and raced another 20 yards to the end zone. He beat S Josh Bush on the play. It was a frozen rope, the kind of throw that Mark Sanchez probably couldn't complete. Smith also starred in a 7-on-7 drill. Now here comes the "but." Later, in a two-minute drill, he telegraphed a second-down sideline pass to Vidal Hazelton. CB Aaron Berry saw it coming and jumped the route for an interception. Smith knew it was a mistake, evidenced by his body language.

3. Attendance check: CB Antonio Cromartie was excused for personal reasons. RB Mike Goodson returned to practice after missing Wednesday due to his legal situation.

4. Safety competition: Bush has moved ahead of Antonio Allen, starting opposite Dawan Landry, but who knows if that will last? Bush was a hair late on the big pass play to Hill, the kind of hesitation that could mean the difference between a win and a loss. Allen dropped a would-be interception of a telegraphed seam pass by Sanchez in the 7-on-7. The safety battle may not be decided until well into training camp.

5. Backfield by committee: It's an equal-opportunity situation at running back. John Griffin, Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell got a lot of reps, with Chris Ivory and Goodson also getting some work. Curiously, Ivory didn't get a lot of reps in minicamp. Granted, it was a pass-heavy camp, not an ideal setting for a physical runner like Ivory, but you still expected him to get more action than he did.

6. Hail, Marty: OC Marty Mornhinweg, covering all the basis, had them practicing Hail Mary passes at the end of the two-minute drill. I'll say this: Smith throws a pretty Hail Mary from about 50 yards.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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