The New York Jets will conduct their ninth voluntary practice on Wednesday, the third open to the media. The final voluntary session is Thursday, followed by next week's mandatory minicamp. Things we'll be looking for:
1. Better play from the backup quarterbacks: Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg have experienced their share of hiccups during the practices open to the media. You expect growing pains from Hackenberg, a rookie. He's being exposed to defensive looks he's never seen before, so there's a learning curve. Petty is a year ahead of Hackenberg in his development, but his lack of familiarity with a pro-style offense could be a factor in his struggles. By the third week of practice, you'd expect to see some improvement.
2. A Ryan Fitzpatrick sighting: We can look, can't we?
3. Competition at wide receiver: With Devin Smith still recovering from an ACL injury, Quincy Enunwa and Kenbrell Thompkins are waging a battle for the No. 3 job. Technically, they play different positions, but you get the point. Thompkins is an outside receiver; he made 12 of his 17 receptions last season when lined up wide, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Enunwa is an inside receiver; 14 of his 22 catches came out of the slot, while the other eight occurred from the tight end position. Eric Decker can play the slot in three-receiver packages, which makes Thompkins a better fit from a scheme standpoint. Ultimately, the idea is to put the best 11 on the field.
4. Leading candidates at outside linebacker: It seems that anybody with a pulse is getting a run at outside linebacker -- Lorenzo Mauldin, rookie Jordan Jenkins, former CFL standout Freddie Bishop, Josh Martin, Deion Barnes, you name it. Mauldin probably will secure one starting job, but it's wide open on the other side. Where's graybeard Calvin Pace when you need him? He's home resting, probably waiting until the first or second week of training camp before signing somewhere.
5. Double the fun: Colleague Josh Weinfuss, who covers the Arizona Cardinals, does a nice job explaining why Bruce Arians uses two fields simultaneously during offseason practices. This pertains to the Jets because Todd Bowles, an Arians disciple, is one of the few coaches who uses the two-field method. It gives more reps to bottom-of-the-roster players, which helps player development.