The New York Jets conducted a practice at MetLife Stadium for the first time this year in what has certainly been a unique training camp around the NFL. It was their first chance to simulate many NFL scenarios. One situation that they won’t deal with this season at home is crowd sound. No fans will be in attendance, and it’s quite an adjustment.
And yet Sunday’s practice in their home stadium amped things up for the Jets a bit, giving them a taste of what the regular season will be like.
“I guess like everything this year it’s a lot different,” Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios said in a virtual press conference following Sunday’s practice. “It’s weird. Nobody’s really played a football game in an empty stadium.”
Part of the practice the Jets simulated crowd noise but players after the workout said it doesn’t compare.
“I don't know how it's going to be at every stadium with the crowd noise, but I mean, it's not super quiet,” Jets head coach Adam Gase said. “I mean, we were just checking where the decibels were on some of that stuff. It's decently loud.”
Gase was pleased with the performance during this scrimmage and called it an improvement over last week’s scrimmage that took place at the Jets practice facility.
“They were pumping in crowd noise and music the whole time,” Jets quarterback Sam Darnold said after the practice. “It was cool. It was definitely more energy than when we didn't have any noise at practice and it was just a scrimmage. So that was nice to be able to have some type of noise and some music going there. It was good.”
In the extended practice, Darnold threw touchdown passes to newcomer Chris Hogan and running back Le’Veon Bell. Wideout Jamison Crowder had five catches.
First-round draft pick Mekhi Becton took in the atmosphere and when he stepped on the field for the first time went to social media.
Becton allowed a sack when he was beaten by linebacker Frankie Luvu.
“Obviously you miss the fans,” said Darnold. “The fan interaction, that's what most of us all love about this game is to be able to entertain people, and even after games, spending time with the fans and before games. So that's a part that we're all gonna miss, but we're definitely just going to have to adapt. But it was good with the fan noise and the music going today. It was good.”
The Jets are planning to play in front of no fans for the foreseeable future. If New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reverses course at some point during the season they could have some fans attend. On the road, Gase pointed out that every stadium has a different policy and that fans could be there when the Jets are on the road.