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New York Jets Introduce Black Jerseys in Practice as Motivational Ploy

June 20th, 2012 at 8:00 AM
By Donald Lappe

The New York Jets are taking a page from the University of Nebraska, introducing black jerseys for the unit that performs the best in practice. The offense or defense will wear black jerseys during each practice based on which had a better practice the day before. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are famous for their "Blackshirts Defense," a tradition started in the mid-1960s. This is a bit different, but the motivational aspect is still there.

'New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan' photo (c) 2011, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

This seems to be a great idea for the New York Jets to motivate players to compete in practice. While some might laugh at the idea or think of it as a bit juvenile, it gives the players incentive for competing hard every day at practice. Practicing day in and day out can become a mundane task, but with a reason to push it every day and a reward for doing so, the offense and defense will compete hard every day.

While the offense will compete, and is expected to be improved, don't be surprised if the defense is wearing the black practice jerseys most of the time. The offensive personnel hasn't quite caught up to all the talent on defense yet, but the offense will come out on top on occasion. In some ways, the Jets will have their own Blackshirts Defense if the defense does live up to its potential and rule the roost in practice. When the offense does earn the right to don the black practice jerseys, expect the defense to crank it up in an effort to win them back.

Another motivational ploy from Rex Ryan, the master motivator. Rex Ryan always seems to be finding unique ways to fire up his team and get them to compete, even in practice. He brings energy and some fun to the table and gets his players to compete, part of the reason why players love him. Fostering spirited competition in practice should lead to more focused effort day in and day out, and hopefully better results on Sundays. 

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Tags: black jerseys, black practice jerseys, Football, Jerseys, Nebraska, New York, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan

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