All eyes were set on seeing how well the New York Jets look so far at their annual Green and White Scrimmage at SUNY Cortland. Probably the biggest storyline going into the scrimmage was how well quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick would perform. To put it simply, defense ruled the day.
The first three drives would be somewhat of an indicator of how the day would unfold. Drives one and two ended in three-and-outs, and and interception on third down. In general, it was a very long day for the offense who failed to score a touchdown. All that was scored were two field goals.
Smith spent the first half with the starting unit while Vick worked with the second stringers. There was not much to be thrilled about in the first half. The biggest play was a 41-yard laser from Smith to Stephen Hill that got the first team offense just outside of the redzone. The drive would end in a strong defensive performance and a Nick Folk field goal.
In the second half, Smith and Vick swapped spots and actually performed a little better. While Vick showed he can still make plays with his legs and throw the ball very well, it was Smith who constructed the best drive of the night. The offense reached the redzone and then the 1-yard line after a pass interference in the endzone. The only problem was that the drive ended with Alex Green falling short of the endzone on three running lays and Smith getting sacked by Garrett McIntyre.
Two of the biggest performers tonight were Quinton Coples and Greg Salas. Coples, who lost 15 pounds in the offseason and added some muscle, made plenty of big tackles and looked faster than ever. Salas led everyone in receptions and was the most target receiver. Another player who had some big plays was the newly-signed Jason Babin, who may be gunning for a starting spot if Coples does not produce well. Chris Johnson did not have any huge runs, but had some good five and six yard carries.
If there is anything to take away from the scrimmage it is that the defense is ready to go and will be strong with their depth, especially at the front seven. As for the offense, there is obviously still a long way to go and the quarterback competition could end up being a close battle. Some answers should come on Thursday when the Jets face the Indianapolis Colts in their first preseason game of 2014.
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