<
>

Three things we learned Monday

Day 1 of training camp in Florham Park, N.J.

1. Swiss-cheese lineup. Because of injuries and post-lockout rules on players with new contracts, the Jets conducted their first practice without nine projected starters. The players with new contracts -- i.e. Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes -- aren't allowed to practice until Thursday.

The opening session resembled something out of a minicamp, with first- and second-year players receiving significant reps. In other words, it's going to be hard to get a lot accomplished during the first three days of camp, another challenge for the coaching staff. On the positive side, they can get a longer look at some of the younger players.

2. Tanny tinkering. After listening to GM Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan, I came away with the distinct impression they're nowhere close to finalizing the roster. You get the feeling that Tannenbaum still has another significant move or two up his sleeve. They could use a pass rusher, for sure. (No Jason Taylor redux, as he returned to the Dolphins. I know Jets fans are pretty bummed about that. Not.)

Tannenbaum also didn't rule out the possibility of adding another veteran receiver. That, coupled with reports they dangled Jerricho Cotchery in trade talks, tells me the receiver depth chart still isn't etched in stone.

3. Mark his words. Ryan continued to talk up QB Mark Sanchez -- I mean, really talk up, as in putting a lot of the season on him. Even though they haven't made any significant additions, other than a receiver who hasn't played in two years, Ryan said this is his best team and the reason is because he expects big improvement from Sanchez. The comments came a few days after Ryan publicly named Sanchez a team captain.

My, how times change. Previously, the Jets tried to protect Sanchez, on and off the field, by not making him the focal point. Now, clearly, the training wheels are off. This is his team. They want it to be his team, and the coach isn't shy about making that known.