FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- What we learned on Friday, Day 2 of New York Jets training camp:
1. Todd Bowles understands crisis management: The rookie head coach, dealing with his first dose of adversity, was impressive in the way he handled the Sheldon Richardson situation. The first 22 questions of his post-practice news conference dealt with Richardson and his recent transgressions. Bowles was patient, displaying the proper amount of disappointment and compassion, yet revealing a hint of displeasure. It's a delicate balance. It's easy to be angry at Richardson, whose irresponsible behavior is hurting the team. But at the same time, it's important to recognize he's a person who needs help. Bowles conveyed that sentiment very well. He also addressed it behind closed doors with the team. Showing that life at Camp Bowles isn't all warm and fuzzy, the coach offered this pragmatic comment: "We can win without him."
2. Richardson needs a filter: For most of his Q & A with reporters, the embattled defensive end -- arrested July 14 for resisting arrest -- expressed contrition, admitting he screwed up -- again. Then came a regrettable comment. Looking back on the night in question, when police say he was driving at 143 mph, Richardson said, "I thought it would be fun to show my family members something. They never rode in a car like that before" -- a 2014 Bentley. Fun? Is he serious? Driving that fast with a 12-year-old in the car is just plain reckless, especially when you consider police smelled marijuana in the car. He also failed to give a plausible explanation for keeping the team in the dark about his arrest, making a bad situation worse. Clearly, he has some growing up to do.
3. The first Geno moment: Geno Smith was on his way to a terrific practice until ... you guessed it, he suffered a hiccup that reminded everyone of the old Geno. With a blitzing safety bearing down on him, he rushed a throw off his back foot -- in the red zone, no less. It should've been an easy pick, but linebacker Jamari Lattimore dropped a would-be interception. On the positive side, Smith finished with no interceptions for the second straight day, completing 12 of 17 passes. Once again, he handled the first-team reps. Ryan Fitzpatrick (10-for-17) had a similar practice in that he, too, should've been picked off at least once. Cornerback Dex McDougle dropped a gimme. Bryce Petty is off to a slow start, but relax, he's a rookie. There will be growing pains.
4. Marshall is a beast: Brandon Marshall should be a great target over the middle for Smith. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, he's a tough cover. You can already see him working the inside lanes, providing a huge target in traffic. He and Smith almost hooked up for a red zone touchdown. On a fade route, Marshall went up high and made a one-handed catch, but it was ruled out of bounds. That's where Marshall should make the greatest impact -- inside the 20. Statistically, the Jets had the worst red zone offense last season.
5. Pressure on Special K: Before going out with a head/neck injury, rookie wide receiver Devin Smith got plenty of work with the starters in certain personnel packages. He worked ahead of Jeremy Kerley, the longtime slot receiver. Interesting. Smith, a second-round pick, has a trait that intrigues the Jets -- deep speed. He made a terrific catch on a long sideline route, snatching a deflection as he got whacked in the back of the head. He appeared woozy as he walked off the field. It'll be a setback if it's a concussion because he needs as many reps as possible.
6. Look, up in the sky, ballhawks: The safeties were terrible last season when it came to making plays on the ball. In fact, they finished with only two interceptions, both by Jaiquawn Jarrett. On Friday, Calvin Pryor and Antonio Allen made nice pass breakups, with Allen jarring the ball loose from Saalim Hakim.