With the 2021 NFL season quickly approaching, New York Jets training camp continues to move along. It is a time where coaches can identify the talent on the team. For players, it gives them the opportunity to prove themselves as they look to make their NFL dreams come true. And one cannot forget how it is a chance for fans to see a sneak preview of their beloved team.
2021 New York Jets Training Camp Amongst the Fans: Day 5
So, for the second time this off-season, I decided to cover Jets training camp amongst the fans in the stands at 1 Jets Drive. In doing so, getting a true sense of how fans view the team entering 2021. That being said, here are the biggest takeaways from the team’s second public practice…
Hello Passing Offense
It has been a few days now since the Jets saw a good practice at quarterback. On Wednesday, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur wanted to fix that. Right out of the gate, he went pass-heavy and never stopped. This coming as a change of pace because of how often LaFleur has turned to the run game in camp.
Zach Wilson, who has been entering a rookie rut in training camp, had his best practice in a week for the Jets. Except for two risky throws (near pick and deflection), he was on point. The same can be said about second-year quarterback James Morgan. The Florida International product has had a solid camp and continued today despite losing reps to the newly added Josh Johnson.
The same cannot be said about Mike White, who came down to earth after a solid string of practices. He made some flashy throws too, but the interceptions came back to haunt him. This including what would have been a tip drill pick-6 that was thrown right to and deflected by Elijah Campbell. Throughout training camp, White has run with the second-team offense. Moving forward, he needs to do better to earn the QB2 status this season.
Big Days from Corey Davis and Denzel Mims
With a big passing day came a ton of passes to catch. Zach Wilson looked at Corey Davis early and often. The duo has begun to build a strong connection of late, as Davis was Wilson’s go-to target in the red zone, catching multiple touchdowns. He also has become a security blanket underneath, which seeing a rookie use when necessary is fantastic.
Similarly, Denzel Mims had his best practice of the off-season. Even during 1-on-1 routes in the end zone, Mims was aggressive and played hard every snap. Clearly, he is finally settling into the offense, and getting better since his early summer food poisoning.
Even Bigger Days for the Cornerbacks
Also, with a pass-heavy morning came plenty of opportunities for those in coverage to take advantage of. Starting cornerback Bryce Hall showed why he may be their best corner, as he was locked in on every snap. He forced a couple of incompletions during team drills and looks ready to go for Saturday night’s preseason opener.
Nobody had as great of a day as rookie sixth-round pick Brandin Echols though. The Kentucky product had four pass break up and the could have been pick-6 off of Campbell’s deflection on White. The cornerback has impressed this camp and has already stolen some reps with the first-team defense.
Surprise Rising Defensive Lineman
Another interesting note from Wednesday was Nathan Shepherd once again playing with the first-team defense. Lining up at defensive tackle, Shepherd was able to move the pocket and held his own in the run game. Coming into camp, because he was a Mike Maccagnan third-round pick, Shepherd was on the roster bubble. Especially considering all the additions along the defensive line. Nevertheless, in a contract year, Shepherd is re-emerging and could be a heavily relied on rotation piece in 2021.
2021 New York Jets Training Camp Amongst the Fans: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Green & White Scrimmage, Day 4
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images