Keller: Sanchez’s passing camp just what Jets needed
By BART HUBBUCH
July 12, 2012
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — The first rule of Jets West this year apparently is don’t talk about Jets West.
Despite Mark Sanchez’s strong desire to keep his annual voluntary West Coast passing camp for Jets skill players firmly under wraps, tight end Dustin Keller couldn’t resist giving a detailed rundown after yesterday morning’s workout at sunny, breezy Mission Viejo High School.
Keller’s review: So far, so good.
“It’s been a great way to avoid wasting the time off we have between minicamp and the start of training camp [later this month],” Keller told The Post after emerging from what Sanchez has practically turned into an armed encampment. “The guys that are here are really making the most of it.”
Dustin Keller said the receivers and quarterbacks at Mark Sanchez’s Jets West camp are “really making the most of it.’’
Among those attendees yesterday were Tim Tebow and the other two quarterbacks behind Sanchez (Greg McElroy and Matt Simms), as well as wideouts Santonio Holmes and rookie Stephen Hill and running back Shonn Greene.
Sanchez doesn’t want any media seeing or getting reports on the workouts because he said he wants to avoid distractions, but Keller proved that a total news blackout remains impossible for a Rex Ryan-coached team.
The camp, put on at Sanchez’s expense and by rule not including any Jets coaches or front-office personnel, has taken on added significance this year because they are coming off a controversial, playoff-less season and installing new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s system.
The other 250-pound elephant in the room is Tebow, his to-be-revealed role in the offense and what just about everyone else in the NFL expects to be his eventual run at Sanchez’s starting job.(Hubbub just can't help himself, he has to get at least one Wendy type line in each article)
But if Sanchez has any worries about Tebow, he still isn’t showing them after welcoming his new teammate publicly with welcome arms during the Jets’ recent offseason program and minicamp.
Keller said Sanchez gladly invited Tebow to Jets West, and Tebow — as is his custom — was one of the first players to arrive at yesterday’s workout.
“Tim’s been great, he’s a fantastic teammate, and he’s been a lot of fun to be around,” Keller said. “Mark feels the same way. It’s great having him out here. All he wants to do is help us get better.”
Sanchez’s relationship with the mercurial Holmes, which appeared to be in tatters at the end of last season, also appears to be mending at this year’s Jets West. Holmes attended the first two days, and the two even tweeted a picture of themselves having dinner together at a nearby restaurant.
“All that stuff is old news,” Keller said of the Sanchez-Holmes bickering. “The camaraderie among all the guys on offense right now is really good.”
The biggest concern, Keller admitted, is getting Sparano’s offense installed. The Jets won’t have time to put all of it in place by their late-July report to Cortland, which means that training camp will be a learning process, too.
“There’s just been too much to do,” Keller said of the converting from Brian Schottenheimer’s scheme. “The defense is definitely ahead of us at this stage, but that’s to be expected. We’ll get there.”
The strong turnout for Jets West makes Keller even more convinced of that.
“All these people taking time out to come out here because our team leader [Sanchez] wanted them to is very encouraging,” Keller said. “It speaks volumes.”