New Jets running back Le’Veon Bell has been in the NFL since 2013, but he has never seen anything quite like the show that is Adam Gase vs. Gregg Williams every day in training camp.
The Jets’ new head coach and defensive coordinator have been going at each other each day. The intensity in practice has been obvious, and Bell loves it.
“It’s like the best thing I’ve ever been a part of literally,” Bell said Monday. “I’ve literally never had anything like it. Coach Williams is a defensive genius versus an offensive genius. Both of those guys go at it each and every day. It’s like the offense won today, the defense will win tomorrow. Gase is like, ‘OK, they want to do this, then I’m going to put this in tomorrow.’ It’s the same way with the defense. We’re just continuing to get better each and every day. I’m excited for this year.”
The competition between the two coaches has led to spirited practices with the offense and defense competing with game-like intensity. On Monday, that intensity was clear in a practice that featured a lot of chippy play and a few fights.
The biggest fight came between guard Alex Lewis, who just got to the Jets last week in a trade from the Ravens, and second-year defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd. The two traded some haymakers before being separated. Guard Kelechi Osemele was steamed, screaming at the defense before veteran nose tackle Steve McLendon calmed everyone down.
“It’s football, it’s a violent sport,” Gase said. “That’s just what it is. I like the fact that they’re competing. The way that those guys are going at it today, it is what it is. I mean, I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I think you waste a lot of energy when you start scuffling up and everybody’s jawing at him. It’s a waste a time to me, but sometimes that happens.”
Bell and safety Jamal Adams have been trading trash talk every day, and Bell said it has gotten everyone going in addition to the gamesmanship between Gase and Williams.
“I love it because it’s competition,” Bell said. “You’ve got guys like Jamal on the other side. He’s literally like me, but plays defense. That’s just two guys clashing. He’s going to get the defense going. I’m going to get the offense going. Now, the offense and defense are just clashing all practice. The ones, twos, threes, everybody. That’s only going to make our team better. When you’ve got guys going out there and they are preparing like they are playing a game versus people just going through the motions, it helps your team get better.”