August 6, 2012
‘D’ has upper hand before large throng
QBs Sanchez, Simms toss second half TDs
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Santonio Holmes (right) is tackled by Antonio Cromartie (31) during the Green and White Scrimmage Saturday at SUNY Cortland. Holmes injured his ribs on the play.
The defense was better overall, but the offense got the last laugh with a pair of second half touchdown passes as the New York Jets held their annual Green and White Scrimmage in front of 9,420 excited fans Saturday on the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex.
Quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Matt Simms tossed scoring strikes as a revamped offensive line looked better the second time around in the 60-play session.
The offense line was short-handed heading into the scrimmage. All-Pro center Nick Mangold was heading to London to watch his sister Holley competed in the Olympics, right guard Brandon Moore was in Canton, Ohio, as a guest of Curtis Martin at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies and right tackle Wayne Hunter was held out to rest his sore back.
Those absences provided Head Coach Rex Ryan the opportunity to get second-year lineman Caleb Schlauderaff and fourth-year veteran Matt Slauson some time at center, while players like Dennis Landolt (one year of experience), Austin Howard (three years) and rookie Fred Koloto saw extended playing time.
One down side to the evening was an injury to Santonio Holmes, who had three catches for 26 yards. Holmes made a nice 7-yard grab for a first down and was drilled by cornerback Antonio Cromartie after the catch in the second half and left the game.
“It’s just one of those things where literally, he got hit in the ribs, made a real nice catch, converted that third down,” Ryan said. “But there’s some concern that he may have broken that rib. He’s a tough guy, but I don’t think he’ll be running out there tomorrow or the next day. But we’ll have to see.”
On Sunday the report came out that X-rays on Holmes were negative, so there are no broken ribs. He will be listed as day-to-day for practice.
Starting quarterback Sanchez had limited success as he completed 4-for-7 passing attempts for 30 yards while getting sacked twice. Marcus Dixon was the first defensive player to get to Sanchez, while Calvin Pace and rookie Demario Davis combined for the other sack.
Quarterback Tim Tebow entered his first Green and White Scrimmage to rousing cheers and ended up running three times for 14 yards, while going 0-for-1 passing and fumbling two snaps in his debut.
Running backs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell combined for five rushing attempts and seven total yards. Joe McKnight had a nice 11-yard run, but fumbled and the defense recovered the ball.
In the second half, Sanchez dropped back nine times and completed seven passes for 57 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown pass to Powell after great pass protection gave Sanchez eight to 10 seconds to find the open receiver. For the night, Sanchez was 11-for-16 for 87 yards.
“From an offensive perspective, I thought the tempo was great,” Sanchez said. “We were in and out of the huddle. There were a couple penalties and a fumble, but no interceptions from the quarterbacks, so that’s a positive.
“I thought we ran the ball well at times,” he continued. “We had one long drive with a touchdown to Bilal to cap it off. Simms had a great touchdown pass. Overall, it was not a bad day. We had a good look at a lot of younger guys and new faces with Mangold, Brandon Moore and Wayne Hunter out. It was a good run.”
What did he think of his performance?
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Sanchez responded. “We have to watch the film first. I was proud of our effort, tempo, the leadership qualities the quarterback group showed and our communication up front. With the coach to the quarterback, I thought Coach Sparano’s calls were great. I also thought the pace at which we played was great. We’ll watch the film and worry about it tomorrow.”
Tebow was 0-for-2 overall throwing the football, with Eron Riley dropping a pass and cornerback Ellis Lankster breaking up the other pass attempt. He was also sacked once.
“I feel like they went pretty good,” Tebow said of his plays. “We’re dealing with a lot of unique situations (with) some guys out and stuff. For the most part, I felt like we did pretty good. Early on, I felt we had some good drives going and we weren’t really able to capitalize. We had a fumble going in there. We had a pretty good drive going.
“I didn’t get too many passes off today,” he added. “I felt like when I threw them, I threw them pretty accurately. It felt like we made some pretty good plays overall as an offense. We’re going against a really good defense. Overall, I think it was a good day, we had fun out there.”
In two overall sessions, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy went 0-for-4 with one sack.
Simms got one offensive series to end the second half and the rookie from the University of Tennessee made the most of it. After being sacked by Aaron Maybin, Simms completed a 13-yard pass to Riley, scrambled for 5 yards and lofted a 31-yard scoring strike into the left corner of the end zone to second-year wide out Raymond Webber.
“Ray did a great job winning his one-on-one match-up on the outside and the offensive line did a great job of protecting me,” Simms said. “I just threw it up there and gave him a chance to make a play on the ball.”
On special teams, Nick Folk went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts. Josh Brown was 3-for-4. Folk connected on kicks from 43, 45, 38 and 43 yards. Brown hit from 44, 46 and 45 yards, while missing his shortest attempt from 40 yards.
In the punting category, incumbent T.J. Conley banged out a pair of 70-yarders for touchbacks, Travis Baltz delivered three punts going for distances of 55, 52 and 61 yards. Both had one shorter punt in the 47-yard range as part of higher boots to get the coverage team in position to try to down the ball or force the return man into a fair catch.
Tight end Dustin Keller was the leading receiver with four catches for 35 yards. Patrick Turner had two receptions for 22 yards. On catch each were by Powell, Webber, Riley and Greene.
There were two other sacks (six total) by the defense on the night. Garrett McIntyre and Ricky Sapp each added to the sack party. Deflecting passes were safety Antonio Allen, cornerback Ryan Steed and Lankster. McIntyre also tackled receiver Dexter Jackson for a 1-yard loss on an end around play.
“I thought we got a lot of progress out of the offense, defense and special teams,” All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “Defensively we did add some pieces. LaRon Landry is going to do great for us, as is Yeremiah (Bell). You can’t forget guys like Quinton Coples, our first round draft pick. We have a lot of guys on defense you can play. We can move guys around, play aggressive and play Rex Ryan football.”
“We still have a long way to go,” veteran linebacker Bart Scott said. “Tonight was just one part of the process. We will get a lot better and that’s what we are going to work on. We are not worried about competing with the offense, we are competing with each other. When you start doing that, that’s when you can really take it to the next level.”
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