Year 5 of the Rex Ryan era begins in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
On Thursday, the Jets report to training camp at SUNY-Cortland, where they trained in 2009, 2010 and 2012. (In 2011, they stayed in Florham Park, N.J., because of the lockout.) They break camp Aug. 14.
While in Cortland, they will conduct 14 practices plus the annual Green & White scrimmage on Aug. 3. The first practice is Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon (open to the public). The first two practices are in shells; the players won't be in full pads until Sunday.
Thursday is check-in day, when players and coaches arrive and report for their dorm assignments. It's always an interesting sight, millionaire athletes checking into college dorms. Athletes from the other major team sports never have to rough it like this.
Rex Ryan and the players will be available to the media. The Day 1 hot-button topics:
1. The QB battle: Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith did a lot of chirping during the six-week hiatus; now it's time to walk the walk. Smith will be grilled about his no-show at "Jets West" and his recent "great shot" comment about winning the starting job. Was that a great shot at Sanchez?
2. Contract issues: Their top draft pick, CB Dee Milliner, remains unsigned. Fellow first-rounder, DT Sheldon Richardson, is on the verge of a four-year, $10.05 million deal and is expected in Cortland. Milliner's surgically repaired shoulder bears watching. He missed the offseason and will be eased in slowly, perhaps starting on the injured list.
3. Cleveland East: WR Braylon Edwards is expected to sign a one-year contract and will be in Cortland, marking his third stint with the team. He will be reunited with TE Kellen Winslow, a former teammate with the Browns. They formed a lethal tandem in 2007, combining for 162 catches, 2,395 yards and 21 touchdowns. But in the NFL, that was forever ago.
4. Rex on the hot seat: This could be Ryan's final season with the Jets. No doubt, he'll have something to say about that. He already talked plenty in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com.
5. Tone Time: WR Santonio Holmes (foot) opens camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. This was known for months; the question is, how long before he's cleared to practice?