New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes began minicamp in the same place he stopped practice last week — on the sideline.
The Jets’ top WR, which created a mini-firestorm, last Thursday when he took himself out because he was tired, sat out the 1st day of minicamp with an tight hamstring, according to Rex Ryan. Las Vegas odds
Ryan admitted he overworked Holmes — and the whole receiving corps, in fact — in the voluntary exercise programs, which concluded last week. The Jets have suffered a rash of hamstring injuries at the position.
“Certainly, I pushed the wide out group, particularly, a bit too hard,” Ryan related before Tuesday’s practice session. “… That sure is an error I made.”
The Jets opened the imperative minicamp with each player attendance, including safety LaRon Landry, who skipped the optional workouts as he rehabbed a non surgical Achilles tendon injury from last season. Landry failed to practice, but the team is optimistic he will be ready to go for training camp.
The highly scrutinized quarterback position stayed unvaried, with Mark Sanchez working exclusively with the starting unit and Tim Tebow with the 2nd team. Neither player impressed in an overall messy day for the offense.
Holmes made the front page last Thursday, when he walked off the field close to the end of practice and tossed his helmet. Afterward, he told reporters the coaches gave him “too many reps.” He insisted that he wasn’t hurt. However according to Ryan, they knew instantly that Holmes had complained of “tightness” in his hamstring.
That was his 3rd OTA exercise after returning from a USO-sponsored trip to Germany, where he visited injured troops at a U.S. Air Force base. Holmes missed four practices during the trip.
“When he went to Germany, I thought that was a genuine positive thing,” Ryan claimed. “Anytime our players and coaches have an opportunity to do something great for our country, and then go for it.”
New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano downplayed last week’s situation, saying that Holmes and the coaches were on the same page. “I don’t think there was any kind of misunderstanding or any of those things,” he revealed after practice Tuesday. “I don’t get involved in ‘he said, she said.’ The sole thing you will know and my players know: I know precisely how many reps each player has taken, period.”
Holmes declined comment when approached in the locker room by correspondents. During practice, he probably did agility drills off to one side, even running sprints at one point. But he did not participate in any positional or team drills.
Except for Holmes, player receivers Jeremy Kerley, Patrick Turner, Chaz Schilens and rookie Stephen Hill are struggling hamstring issues. Actually Hill, the inspiring 2nd-round pick, didn’t practice at all. Kerley and Turner were limited, creating a patchwork receiving corps that manifestly affected the effectiveness of the offense.
At the start of the offseason program, Ryan instructed the strength and conditioning coach to make a strenuous bodybuilding and conditioning program for the team. After last season’s disappointing finish, Ryan’s objective was to step up the power and the sense of pressure.