AFC East Links: Smith, Decker, Garoppolo

Let’s round up the latest batch of notes from the AFC East, specifically New York and New England:

  • The Jets’ quarterback situation hasn’t become a controversy as of yet, but as Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press writes, head coach Rex Ryan is certainly still coy about the competition between projected starter Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick. “We’ll just let this thing play out,” said Ryan. “It’s our first preseason game. Obviously, we know we have two excellent quarterbacks.”
  • Eric Decker and Chris Johnson made their respective debuts with the Jets last night, and both were pleased with their performances, per Kimberely A. Martin of Newsday. “It was good,” Decker said of working with Smith. “It didn’t feel any different than practices. It’s just fun to go against a different opponent and work on the timing aspect, just getting into a rhythm.”
  • New Jets corner Dimitri Patterson‘s rough debut should give the team some pause, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes.
  • Perhaps in order to showcase him for a trade, the Patriots started Ryan Mallett in yesterday’s preseason game, but it was second-round rookie Jimmy Garoppolo who shined, according to Garoppolo played college ball at Eastern Illinois, so it was encouraging to see him succeed against NFL-caliber players (even if they were second- and third-stringers).
  • The Patriots used tablets to go over plays on the sidelines for the first time last night, and head coach Bill Belichick was mostly pleased with the results. “The tablets, you have the ability to hold all the [schematic] pictures in the one tablet so you can kind of scroll through them,” he told Phil Perry of “Certainly much more concise and I’d say the quality of the tablets is good, the clarity of the pictures is good.” Belichick did note that he worries about connectivity issues, saying that a backup plan would need to be in place.
  • In a separate piece, Perry passes along some interesting comments from Belichick as he argues that the preseason is the time to work on deciding when to challenge disputed plays.
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