Everyone feels good at OTA's. You're not in pads, you're not getting hit and your day consists of a lot of mental challenges but very few physical ones. However we still love to hear players comment on the coaches philosophy, mainly because we want to believe that the new coach will get more out of the players than the old coach. We want to believe that we'll play better and we'll win more games.
I've heard a lot about the competitive nature that Todd Bowles instills into his practices. Offense plays Defense and the loser runs the football equivalent of suicides. There is an edge to the competition, and although winning isn't everything, it's still pretty important:
The thing I like most about what we're doing is the competitive periods. A lot of coaches now-a-days are doing the ones-on-ones and that's all great so you can get great work, but the way Coach Bowles implemented our competition period is basically like, "Hey, if you lose, there are some consequences," so it really created a great environment for everyone to compete and get better and it feels like it's a game almost and that's hard to accomplish in OTAs and in the offseason.
Brandon Marshall finished his 2014 season after the Bears 13th game of the season against the Cowboys after suffering broken ribs and a lung injury that forced a trip to the hospital. He caught 61 passes the lowest total since his 2006 rookie season and gained just 721 yards, 574 yards fewer than his 2013 output. However Marshall is feeling as good as he ever has and he attributes that to the Jets medical staff, a team that must be constantly busy with Dee Milliner on the roster:
I really feel like I'm better now than I've ever been. There's the physical part, feeling healthy, and our medical staff here is probably the best in the league. I don't know if you guys know this, but they have all the gurus in the world here, they're flying guys in.
Last week there was some well publicized friendly competition between Marshall and the entire secondary. We know how good the Jets secondary can be, we've seen our starting corners before. However there is still a very big question mark over the offense, the identity and their ability to move the football. Marshall understands that, but he also understands that facing a tough defense every single day can only be a positive.
Obviously, we have some great guys on defense and they've had a lot of success as a unit, so it creates that extra edge for us when we approach practice because we're trying to meet them every day, meet them where they're at and they're on the verge of being really good and maintaining that level and right now, we're trying to figure out who we are as an offense and to go against Darrelle Revis and (Sheldon) Richardson, and (Calvin) Pace every single day is good for all of us.