Clyde Gates: Training Camp Superstar?

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Clyde Gates is getting a lot of buzz early in training camp.

Mike Vorkunov (Friday):

"Those are the kind of plays we expect from Clyde and that's kind of receiver he can be," Sanchez said. "When you put it on the practice film like that it's going to be encouraging for him. It'll boost his confidence."

It was a good enough day that Rex Ryan called Gates the "offensive MVP."

George Willis (Friday):

third-year receiver Clyde Gates sparkled by catching everything thrown his way.

Jane McManus (Friday):

“The speed that he has is impressive to say the least,” [said Rex Ryan].

Brian Costello (Saturday):

Mike Vorkunov (Saturday):

Clyde Gates was impressive again. He caught a long touchdown pass from Geno Smith, more than 50 yards downfield.

Rex Ryan called him the offensive MVP of the team's first practice and praised him again today.

Is this particularly meaningful? No, these are only a couple of practices. The list of training camp superstars who then did nothing in real games is much longer than the list of those who made a meaningful improvement. Remember how we kept hearing about how Jamaal Westerman was ready to break out a few years ago? Ropati Pitoitua anybody? Stephen Hill burning Darrelle Revis last year? Mark Sanchez is a perennial preseason superstar.

This still merits watching. There is an opportunity for the young wide receivers on this team to step up and make an impact. Will Gates become a quality target? It is far, far too early to come to that conclusion. Even if he steps up to become an adequate supporting contributor the way 2012 training camp superstar Bilal Powell did, it can go a long way to improving production from a wide receiver position that did little in 2012 and looks just as thin heading into this year.

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