A heaping helping of TC Whispers

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Florham Park – It’s time for another heaping helping of Training Camp Whispers from One Jets Drive in Florham Park, New Jersey. Let’s get it started . . .

You don’t need to a QB coach to see how much Bryce Petty has improved from Year One to Year Two.

He’s so much more comfortable, is seeing the field better, has improved his accuracy, and his body-language exudes confidence. The arm strength is great, but that has always been there.

The arrow is pointing up on this player.

You just have to wonder if he continues to have a good summer if the Jets would consider trading Geno Smith.

Honestly, it’s not a great idea for the Jets to keep four quarterbacks on the active roster.

They will need the spot at another position.

For instance, at inside linebacker. They have six guys they like there – David Harris, Erin Henderson, Darron Lee, Bruce Carter, Julian Stanford and Taiwan Jones.

I’m not saying that they are going to keep all six, but I can assure you that the Jets’ new special teams coach, Brant Boyer, who is a pretty blunt guy, is going to pound the table for Carter and Stanford.

Reading the tea leaves, I don’t think Boyer is very happy with some of the guys he inherited. And if the Jets want to improve this unit, they need to try to give the guy who he wants.

The Jets also have a pretty deep cornerback room, and considering how often cornerbacks get hurt, it wouldn’t hurt to keep an extra guy.

So to me, keeping four quarterbacks is a mistake.

And honestly, what I’ve seen from Smith and Petty in camp, I don’t think there is a huge drop-off from Smith to Petty, that is how much Petty has improved.

Obviously performance in preseason game is even more important than practice, so let’s see what Petty does in the second and third preseason games.

I thought he looked decent in the first preseason game until the fourth quarter when he was running for his life in back of the third offensive line.

One other thing on this matter.

Did you notice that Charlie Casserly of the NFL Network, Mike Maccagnan’s mentor, said this week, “You know who the best backup quarterback in the league is? It’s Geno Smith. Write that down.”

That sounds a little hyperbolic to me.

Is it possible that Casserly is pumping up Smith’s value to help Mr. Coffee trade him?

Who knows, but personally, I think keeping four quarterbacks is bad business for the Jets considering that would force them to cut a player they want to keep at another position. I didn’t even mention how deep they are a wide receiver.

Keep an eye on the Smith-Petty situation . . .

Eric Decker is at the top of his game. At the age of 29, he knows all the whys and wherefores of playing wide receiver in the NFL – all the trick of the trade, if you will.

Today, he ran about a 30-yard route down the left seam. He pretended he was a decoy, acting in a nonchalant fashion. Fitzpatrick threw the ball deep left. Both defensive backs, safety Dion Bailey and cornerback Kevin Short, where trailing Decker with their back to the quarterback, and at the last second, Decker puts his hands up and snatches the ball. Neither DB had any idea that ball was coming.

Decker is a true’s pro’s pro at the receiver position and I think he’s going to have a monster year . . .

Darron Lee does some chippy stuff in practice, perhaps to show he belongs.

Today, Tommy Bohanon had a successful run off left tackle running behind Ryan Clady. At the end of the play, Lee knocked Bohanon to the ground kind of as he was letting up. Bohanon, a good-natured sort, tapped Lee on the helmet in a friendly fashion and ran back to the huddle. This might have caused a fight with somebody else.

Perhaps Lee did this as a payback of sorts for getting run over like a freight train by Lee in a practice last week.

Early in camp, Lee stopped RB Romar Morris in the backfield on a run to the right side. And while Morris was on the ground, he slapped his helmet. Why? I have no idea.

I think Lee resents people who question his ability to play the run. But honestly, when he has issues stacking and shedding offensive linemen, it’s not his fault.

The bottom line is it’s very hard to play 3-4 ILB full-time at 237 pounds. Anybody thinks that Lee should challenge Erin Henderson now is not thinking clearly. Henderson is much more stout run defender.

Lee should have a large role, almost like a nickel linebacker/safety with a ton of pass coverage responsibilities with some pass rushing mixed in.

But to start him at inside linebacker immediately is asking for trouble, and inviting teams to run up the middle on you.

August 16, 2016

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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