FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- What we learned on Sunday, Day 4 of New York Jets' training camp:
1. Darrelle Revis vs. Brandon Marshall is good theater: After three days of build-up, the Jets' top defensive player and their most accomplished offensive player finally got a chance to face each other in a head-to-head situation. It was a one-on-one drill inside the 15-yard line, with a quarterback throwing passes (mostly fade routes). They went at it five times.
Revis made an interception at the goal line and would have returned it for a pick-six (shades of his 100-yard return against Marshall in 2011), but he was flagged for defensive holding.
On a fade into the corner of the end zone, Revis made a one-handed pass break-up.
Revis dropped a would-be interception on an underthrown fade.
Marshall used an inside move to beat Revis for a touchdown.
Marshall and Revis locked up at the goal line (probably should have been a penalty on Revis) and the pass sailed over their heads for an incompletion.
What's better on a Sunday afternoon at training camp than watching best-on-best? The crowd, estimated at 2,000, loved it. Todd Bowles, ever the stoic, tried not to get caught up in the moment.
"We're not playing PS4," the coach said afterward. Finally, he allowed, "When I look back when I retire, I might say, 'Wow, I had those two guys.' Right now, I can't do that."
There also was a Revis-Marshall moment in team drills, with Marshall winning (barely). Marshall ran a comeback route on the sideline and hauled in a beautifully thrown bullet by Geno Smith, who made the throw on the move to his right. It was Smith's best throw of camp. The ball arrived a nanosecond before Revis, who closed quickly.
2. Don't dismiss Muhammad Wilkerson's hamstring injury: Bowles downplayed the injury, saying "I don't think it was serious. ... He shouldn't be out long." But know this: Wilkerson is a tough dude. He played the first 59 games of his career before a debilitating turf-toe injury forced him to the bench. For him to leave the field in the middle of practice, you know there had to be a significant level of discomfort. I'm not saying it's a serious injury, but it bears watching.
3. Bowles doesn't get excited: Oh, wait, we already knew that. Nevertheless, his low-key personality showed itself when he was asked about his quarterbacks, Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, neither of whom has thrown an interception. Repeat: No interceptions in four practices (two in pads, two in shells). Anybody who has watched the Jets in recent years can appreciate that. Bowles shrugged it off.
"It's only two days [of padded practices], so I don't know how impressed you can be," he said. "It's nice, but you're not going to sit there and fly the flag."
Told by a reporter that he never seems excited about anything, Bowles showed a self-deprecating sense of humor at the end of his daily news conference. As he stepped down from the podium, he feigned excitement by shrieking.
4. The defense is a work in progress: Bowles estimated that only 35 to 40 percent of the defense has been installed. He expects most of it to be installed by the first preseason game. He still was a bit concerned about the overall conditioning of the unit, saying players wore down. He also said, "We've got to develop more mental toughness."
5. Quiet start for the tight ends: We've been focusing so much on the quarterbacks and wide receivers that we've forgotten about the tight-end position. There could be a reason for that; there hasn't been much to write about. On Sunday, they drew attention for the wrong reason -- dropped passes, one apiece for Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis. Cumberland and Jace Amaro are locks to make the team. Davis, known as a blocker, is on the bubble.
6. Injury update: Running back Stevan Ridley (knee) and defensive end Kevin Vickerson (hamstring) remain on the physically unable to perform list. Wide receiver DeVier Posey (hamstring) and tackle Charles Brown (undisclosed) sat out practice.
7. Calvin Pace still hates training camp: The Jets' resident curmudgeon couldn't resist an opportunity to rail about the drudgery of camp; it's an annual tradition. Said Pace, 34: "I love the game. I love my teammates. I just don't need to see them all day every day. I don't. I don't need somebody checking my room [at night]. Where else am I going to be? I'm tired. I've been up all day. ... That's just me. Some guys like it. That's like the only part of the game I could do without. It's like living the same day for a month -- the same day, over and over again. But it's part of it. I wish I played basketball, where I could go overseas and have camp."
8. The Jets have a strong alumni base: A total of 48 ex-Jets, ranging from the New York Titans' era to recent retirees, showed up for practice as part of alumni weekend. Those in attendance included Mark Gastineau, Al Toon, Wesley Walker and Laveranues Coles. A former wide receiver, Coles was asked about the Jets' rebuilt secondary. "That's cheating," he said. "Anytime you put that many good guys in the secondary, it's not fair."