Earlier this week, I asked some questions before the start of minicamp. Nothing is going to be definitely decided by three days of offseason practice, but let's take a look at how the answers shook out.
1. What to make of Muhammad Wilkerson?
Wilkerson came out swinging. The Jets and he are not close to an extension, and Wilkerson is not happy about it.
Mo Wilkerson says he's "frustrated" and thought he would have a new deal from the #Jets by now.— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) June 9, 2015
Mo Wilkerson declines to say if he will or won't stage a training camp holdout if #Jets don't give him a new deal.— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) June 9, 2015
Mo Wilkerson said he was told by agent that contract talks will start to pick up. Seeking long-term deal from Jets. #nyj— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 9, 2015
Wilkerson said he views himself as that type of player, but said you have to ask the #Jets front office "if they feel the same way"— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) June 9, 2015
The part about talks picking up soon might be the most significant. This quiet period right before training camp always made the most sense if a deal was going to be reached. There isn't much else to divert the front office's attention. People have been making a big deal out of every development so far, but the next six weeks or so will give us an idea of where things are headed. Are the Jets inclined to extend Mo now or play this season out knowing they have the franchise tag in their back pocket? How much does Wilkerson want? Is he willing to go as far as holding out to force the issue? We'll know more in a few weeks than we do now.
2. How do the quarterbacks look?
Not that much was going to change over a three day minicamp, but it doesn't sound like anything changed. From the sound of things, Geno Smith was very bad on day one and very good in day two. Day three was a short practice, but there were some positive notes. Ryan Fitzpatrick was reportedly uneven the whole time, and Bryce Petty seemed to be making some fourth round rookie mistakes. Fitzpatrick is going to have to clearly outplay Smtih in training camp to take the job if the coaching staff is to be believed. If training camp follows the pattern we saw at minicamp, Geno Smith is probably going to be starting against the Browns.
3. How do the sophomores look?
There is always going to be focus on the rookies, but getting meaningful contributions from first year players is frequently a bonus. The second year is when a lot of players start to make an impact so I am interested to see how they are progressing.
A back injury Jace Amaro suffered at OTA's kept him from doing a whole lot at minicamp. Based on Brian Costello's comments, it didn't sound like Amaro had the strong offseason you might like from a player looking to make a big jump.
Second-year tight end Jace Amaro has become one of the more interesting Jets to keep an eye on in training camp. Amaro missed this week with a back injury, costing him some time to impress the coaches. Even before he was injured, though, Amaro was hard to find this spring. Bowles uses two fields for practice – a first field for starters and guys he wants to work in and a second field for everyone else. Amaro was often on the second field. I don’t think that’s a good sign for him. I’m not suggesting the Jets will give up on Amaro in his second year, but it seems like he is going to have to earn playing time with the new coaching staff.
As for Calvin Pryor, we did not hear much from him aside from laying a hit on Zach Sudfeld during a noncontact drill that left head coach Todd Bowles unhappy. On Calvin Pryor getting physical at the end of a play…
It was one play, but there were a couple of guys that got a little carried away. There were about three of four incidents that happened on the field that we can’t have happen and we’ll address that.
On the plus side, indications are Dexter McDougle had a very strong practice on the first day.
Jets defense having a good practice. Flying all over the field. McDougle, by the way, very vocal in team drills. Fun player to watch— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) June 9, 2015
Dexter McDougle with a nice pick of Geno Smith in front corner of end zone. Pass intended for Kerley. Good moment for McDougle. #Jets— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) June 9, 2015
McDougle is having himself a great day, picking up right where he left off before the injury last year #Jets— Chris Nimbley (@Cnimbley) June 9, 2015
McDougle is a real wild card. I'm not sure he's a guy who profiles as an outside cornerback, but he doesn't need to be with Revis and Cromartie in the mix. I'm intrigued to see what Bowles can come up with for him.
Bowles also had praise for second year cornerback Marcus Williams.
On whether anyone has stood out this spring…
I don’t know if there are surprise players, guys I didn’t know as well being in a different conference. Just consistency-wise, Marcus Williams and (Darrin) Walls have been very consistent with their approach and they have very good instincts. That just stood out from what I saw this spring.
4. What to make of the return game?
I was all pumped up to get some news on potential return men for the Jets, and we got nothing.
5. How are the injured recovering?
We touched on McDougle's good practice and Fitzpatrick's inconsistency.
Brian Winters saw first team reps at right guard.
Dee Milliner and Stevan Ridley were more limited.
Milliner did indicate he will be full speed ahead by the start of training camp in a few weeks, though.
Dee Milliner said he expects to be 100% by training camp.— Seth Walder (@SethWalderNYDN) June 9, 2015