Ryan offered kudos to third-year wideout Clyde Gates, calling him the standout player of the first weekend of camp, lofty praise for the 27-year-old wide receiver.
Gates was a fourth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2011, but had just two catches as a rookie. After a regime change, he was cut towards the end of camp.
He latched on with the Jets in September, and he was called upon at times throughout the season, as the Jets receiving corps was ravaged by injuries.
A raw route-runner who was getting by on pure speed and athleticism previously, the 5’11, 200-lb Gates has come into camp this season with a renewed focus.
The Jets have been adamant that this summer’s training camp will be one of internal competition across the board, with the best players playing based on merit.
Gates has opened eyes with his improved route-running so far, and it’s clear he’s put in the work this offseason to improve his game and fight to earn a roster spot.
Nevertheless, he understands that it’s going to take a lot more than a few strong performances in the first few days of camp to earn a roster spot when camp breaks.
“The biggest thing is consistency,” he said. “You can’t come out one day, have a good day, then the next day just be mediocre. Consistency day-in and day-out [is key].”
Clyde Gates has been the early talk of camp so far, and that’s a promising sign for a receiver on a team in need of skill position players stepping up this season.
No longer just a “track star,” Gates is looking to prove to the Jets that he’s for real, and that he’s ready to step up and earn significant playing time in 2013.
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