Content available exclusively for subscribers
Arrived about 9:05 for a practice that was scheduled for 9:20.
But even when you arrive 15-20 minutes early, there are usually plenty of coaches and players on the field already.
When I went up the security gate, to show the guard my credential, and the results of the daily COVID-19 questionnaire we need to fill out every day, I saw nobody on the field. The questionnaire is just a few questions about having a temperature, and whether you had contact with somebody who has COVID-19. After the test is completed, you get a scan code to show the security upon your revival.
I asked the security agent (most of the Jets’ security staff are former police officers hired to protect the players and staff) if the practice had been moved inside. He didn’t know. The reason I asked was because as you drive up to the security gate, you can see the practice fields, and I saw nobody on them, so I assumed they went inside. It was a little overcast.
9:20 passed, and still no players. Around 9:30 they announced they cancelled the practice.
I’m not going to get into the politics here.
From a football standpoint, missing this practice really hurts the Jets. With no off-season program, and no preseason games, every practice is precious this summer. The Jets were coming off a sloppy Wednesday “scrimmage.” They needed so much work. Their starting QB didn’t look very good on Wednesday. One of the areas that needs the most work is their re-worked offensive line. In the opener, that line will face a talented Buffalo front seven, with a lot of experience together. That Bills front, which has great cohesion and chemistry, is probably licking their chops to face the Jets’ offensive line with four new starters.
Speaking of the Jets’ offensive line, from what I hear, the Jets’ new right tackle, George Fant, is one of the most active Jets on the political front, and with the Player’s Coalition. From what I hear, he’s been very involved with the behind-the-scenes talks regarding how to handle the National Anthem this year.
It probably would have been better for the Jets if they could have gone through with their practice today, like the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and, then, also, discuss the issues that are bothering them behind the scenes.
“We didn’t give any real consideration to not practicing today,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Thursday.
By the way, the Jets opening day opponent, Buffalo, practiced today.
Why the Jets couldn’t work this out where they could meet about the issues bothering the players, and also practice like New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and other teams, I can’t answer that.
“The Jets spent more than four hours today discussing the Jacob Blake shooting, social injustice and ways in which they can address the issue. Adam Gase, Joe Douglas and CEO Christopher Johnson,” wrote ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
Some fans wondered if they could afford to miss the practice time.
Jets players have every right to be concerned with societal issues, but they have a job to do, and once the season starts, they need to be ready to perform, do their jobs; no excuses.
And they missed a valuable practice today they could have used.
Just wondering why they couldn’t have done both.
August 27, 2020
Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Friday.