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The Jets Miss Going Away to Camp

Staying home and hitting less are the buzzwords of Training Camp 2011

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's a different kind of summer for the Jets.

    If the city of Cortland is thinking about a new program to market itself to tourists, they should call the Jets.

    They are pining for the days they spent in Cortland at the last two training camps with a wistfulness normally reserved for childhood homes or Parisian tours with the love of a lifetime. Forced to stay at team headquarters in Florham Park because of the lockout, the Jets have found that the grass is greener at the other practice field.

    There are plenty of differences between the two locations, but the biggest one is probably that veteran players get to go home every night while rookies and assorted others stay at a hotel near the facility. That limits the amount of time players spend getting to know one another and other things that lead to strong team chemistry.

    "All you have there is football and each other," Rex Ryan said at Tuesday's news conference. "It's more of a bonding thing and you don't have that as much here."

    The Jets aren't the only team that has changed its plans because of the lockout. The Giants, Ravens and others also stayed home because of the truncated schedule.

    It will be tempting to draw conclusions based on how those teams match up to those that went to camp during the regular season, but it would probably be unwise. About half the teams in the league don't normally go away for training camp, and there have been as many successes as failures among that group as there are among teams that go camping.

    The bigger change this year is in the way camp is being conducted. The new CBA severely limits the amount of hitting and eliminates two-a-days, leaving much more time for meetings and classroom work than there's been in other years.

    It's a different routine, but it is one that could be beneficial. Some complain that there's a slower readiness curve, but if players are fresher come gameday it should result in better football.

    Since every team is operating under those rules, it will still be difficult to attribute much about results to the changes. We'll know whether the game is changed for the better or worse pretty quickly though.

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