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Todd Bowles Speaks on OTA's

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets head coach Todd Bowles had the following to say today at OTA's.

Opening Statement…

Obviously, the second day of OTAs, the first day for you guys. Obviously, Muhammad (Wilkerson) wasn’t here, Sheldon (Richardson) was absent and Brandon Marshall had something to take care of. Other than that, I think everybody was present. It is voluntary, but we got a lot of work done. We have a lot of things that we’re putting in, testing a lot of things, putting guys in certain situations, game-day situations. That’s why you saw the offense run after practice. It was pretty much a competition period from the beginning of practice and the loser had to run three gassers. Although it was a game-time situation, you still have some fun with it, so that’s what you saw afterwards.

On whether he expected Sheldon (Richardson) to be here or if his absence had been conveyed to him earlier…

He was not here yesterday and it was not conveyed to me. It is voluntary and Sheldon will probably be here and he can tell you better than I can.

On if he knows when to expect Richardson…

No, I don’t.

On whether he knows why Richardson was not here…

No. I have no idea. I mean it is voluntary so there’s not much you can do.

His thoughts on the new PAT rule…

Start kicking it from the 15 (yard line). Kickers have to practice in cold weather. That’s probably the only time it becomes a real issue, so you just have to get good at that.

On whether he thinks that will affect strategy for when teams go for two or attempt extra point…

I think it will depend on whether you’re playing in Green Bay or Miami. If it’s 20 below and the wind is swirling, you may be more inclined to go for two. If the weather is nice, you probably kick the extra point. I think once it gets cold, it may factor in more than it factors in early in the season.

On whether he looks at the analytics or tends to stick with kicking extra points…

You look at the analytics of it. Depending on what the score is in the game, whether you’re down by eight or nine, or what stage you are in in the game, from that standpoint, but if it’s just a normal touchdown and the weather is nice and everything else, you just go for one. 

On whether this may impact the way teams defend the extra point kick…

I don’t know if you defend it any differently, but trajectory wise and weather wise, you may be able to get an extra play in that you may not be able to get if you’re lined up where you’re normally lined up. But, you’re going to go after it the same way.

On what Geno (Smith) has done on the practice field so far…

He has done what everyone else has done. He’s played two-hand touch and he’s (been) pretty good at it. Again, we have a two-hand touch football team right now and you can’t evaluate. You’re not able to hit receivers, you’re not able to hit the quarterback, you can’t disrupt timing, you really can’t get hands on guys, but from a learning standpoint, a studying standpoint, and understanding where he’s going with the football he has done a good job. Again, in two days of OTAs practices and three voluntary minicamps, that’s not a knock against him and it’s not a feather in his cap. It’s just five days of practice out of pads.

On Leonard Williams taking reps with the second team…

Well, Leonard has been on the first field. It’s just a matter of numbers right now. After the rookie minicamp, he did miss a couple days where he had to be away, so he has to learn what the other guys already know, so you can’t really throw him in there right away initially. He has to learn what he’s doing.

On why the team is carrying five quarterbacks…

With (Ryan Fitzpatrick) still rehabbing, we need the extra arm, and he put up a good try out performance when he was here so to have the extra arm knowing that we’re going to practice on two fields, not knowing how much Fitzpatrick can do, it was good to have two quarterbacks on each field.

On whether Fitzpatrick is coming along faster than expected…

I don’t know how fast he’s coming along, but he’s throwing the ball a little better. 

On Fitzpatrick’s rehab…

Medically, that’s a trainer question. He’s coming along, I don’t know how fast, but he’s coming along.

On how many quarterbacks they will carry into training camp…

We will probably be at four.

On how much the offense will evolve as the coaches get to know players better…

Well, it won’t just be the offense evolving. It will be the defense too. As we get to know personnel on both sides of the ball, we’ll try to tailor it for some guys and let them do things that they can do. As a team, we’re going to evolve, but definitely offensively and defensively as well as special teams. It’s not just going to be Chan (Gailey) seeing what he has, it’s going to be Kacy (Rodgers) seeing what he has and Bobby (April) seeing what he has to overall evolve as a team and see what we can do best.

On whether he had a reaction to Tom Brady’s suspension…

I said, “Brady was suspended four games” and I went on about my business. (Laughter). I don’t know what else you want me to say. You don’t have reactions to things in May. It doesn’t affect you in September and October You just coach your team and being a new coach, I’m focused on what I have to do. I’ve been in the league long enough to see surprises, big surprises and small surprises, so nothing can really surprise you in this league. You just have to roll with the punches. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Like I said, it’s May. It’s the NBA playoffs. It’s Brady, it’s Peterson, it’s Rice, I mean it seems like it’s somebody all the time. So, you just have to take care of your team and make sure your house is in order.

On keeping a 3-4 defense even after drafting Leonard Williams…

It is a 3-4 defense. We run a base 3-4 defense, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have four-man packages and four-man schematic things that we do, but if you ask me what our base defense is, it is a 3-4. There are so many variations and different ways we can do things that it just helps to have a four-man front and we play that nickel anyway. Sometimes we play it in base, it all depends on how much we use it and what kind of opponent we’re playing as to what we use.

On Jeff Cumberland getting the predominant first-team reps at tight end over Jace Amaro…

Well, he’s the first team tight end right now. Amaro is the H right now. He’s the first-team H. We play with two. When you have a down tight end on the ball, that’s more Cumberland’s thing, but when you have an H back or an F position, that’s more Amaro’s thing. It’s not the matter of fact that he’s the first team tight end, he’s the first Y, Amaro is the first H.

On how he would characterize Richardson’s participation in the offseason…

He’s been in and out, as have a lot of guys. He’s been in and out. Half the time he’s here, half the time he wasn’t.

On whether he hoped Richardson would have attended more since he is such a young player…

Well, you hope everybody comes all the time, but unfortunately that’s not the case and guys have things they do in the offseason that they probably have schedules for that they can’t afford to miss so I understand that part as well.

On whether he expects Brandon Marshall back…

He’ll be back tomorrow.

On whether he will only miss today…

As stated by him, yes.

On whether Marshall was at practice yesterday…

Yes.

On when he will decide certain roles for the running backs…

It’s more training camp when you’re not playing two-hand touch. We have a couple guys back there that have all had experience and are all tough guys that have played in the league. So that’s going to play itself out. You never know if injuries come up or who can do what and then the roles can be defined after that, but I think you have solid competition back there and good runners back there so I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops.

On where Lorenzo Mauldin will play…

First, we have to see how he handles the point of attack. If they run the ball at him, how strong he is at the point with the bigger tight ends in the league as opposed to college, how he plays in space when the tight end is not on him, how he reacts to certain things and you kind of get a feel that way to see what his strengths and his weaknesses are.

On whether Mauldin will play on both sides…

Yes, all our (outside) guys right now. Our outside guys are working both sides.

On whether Aboushi is the starter right now at right guard…

That’s another interesting camp competition. I know he played a lot of games last year, but we have a lot of guys coming back. With (Dakota) Dozier coming back and we still have Willie (Colon) sitting right there, and we drafted (Jarvis) Harrison. We have a bunch of guys there, so it’s going to be like the running backs. It’s going to be a tough competition and whoever comes out, comes out.

On whether Willie Colon is injured or if it was a planned rest day for him…

Just rest most of the time.

On the possibility of keeping four tailbacks…

We have to see how that comes out. If four of them are playing well and they are worth keeping, then we’ll keep the best players and you sacrifice a player at another position. No different than if the corners, the backers, or the offensive line are playing well and there’s one guy that’s significantly better than the guys in other positions, you may keep that position. That will play itself out in camp.

On how Stevan Ridley is coming along…

He’s getting better by the day. Again, he’s not ready to go right now, but he is getting better by the day. He’s in a helmet and he’s running around out there and will continue to rehab.

On nature of Jeremy Kerley’s injury…

I think he has an ankle and an Achilles that he’s been treating for a couple of days now.

On the challenges of not being able to practice in pads until training camp as a new head coach…

Well, it’s not tough in that sometimes you can look at film and see how guys are and then when you meet them in person and see how they act professionally, you can see what guys are. You want to see how they grasp the system. It’s a new system so everybody has to learn differently. That’s why you have to wait for the padded part, but you know who’s tough, you know who’s fast, you know who’s elusive, you kind of know those things, but mentally, grasping the new system, how fast can you grasp it. The physicality part will come later. We know you’re physical, but can you do this, this and this. Can you retain it? Can you work well? How fast can we come together as a team? The competition battles, as far as it’s being tough, certain positions are going to take care of themselves in pads. We’ve had a lot of new people, so those people have not been seen as opposed to watching the Jets film last year because they weren’t here. So in camp, everybody has a reputation, but for the new guys, it’s to prove that they can belong and the new veterans to prove that they can belong and stay, and for the old guys, it’s to prove that they can still play at a high level. There’s always going to be a ‘prove it’ period when you come into camp whether you’re new or old, so I guess that’s what I’m trying to say I’m waiting to see.