What we learned on Day 8
August, 1, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Observations from the press box:
1. Preparing to hurry up: The Jets practiced the two-minute drill for the first time in camp. The results were mixed, as third-stringer Greg McElroy was the only quarterback to lead the offense to a touchdown, but this was a valuable teaching tool for both sides of the ball. The Jets need to be prepared to face hurry-up offenses because of the competition in the AFC East. As everybody knows, the Patriots run it. The Bills, with new coach Doug Marrone, are expected to play at a breakneck pace. Marrone introduced his version of the hurry-up last season at Syracuse, and his plan is to bring it to the NFL. The Jets should be ready for it.
2. Serious scrimmage: Rex Ryan said he's planning to play first-team offense versus first-team defense in Saturday night's Green & White scrimmage, a departure from previous years. With so many roster spots up for grabs, Ryan wants best on best as he evaluates players. For the most part, the starters faced the backups in past scrimmages, except for maybe a handful of plays. Clearly, Ryan wants to underscore the competition theme that has permeated the organization since John Idzik arrived. Ryan said he has never been around a team with this many spots still undecided. It should make it fun for spectators.
3. Shortage in the backfield: I sensed some frustration in Ryan's voice as he discussed Chris Ivory, who still hasn't participated in team drills because of a hamstring injury that occurred before camp. Ryan admitted, "I thought it would be progressing a little bit better than he has." Ivory's injury, coupled with Mike Goodson's absence, makes them perilously thin at running back. It's early, but I wouldn't be surprised if they start looking around the league for help. Keep an eye on the Packers; they have a crowded backfield.