Archive for August, 2009

JETS 27 – GIANTS 25

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Less than week after looking like a deer caught in headlights in Baltimore, Mark Sanchez had his way with the New York Giants’ starting defense.

Sanchez, appearing noticeably more comfortable and confident in his second career start, completed 13 of 20 passes, throwing for 149 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, as the Jets defeated the Giants 27-25, Saturday night at Giants Stadium.

“I started to slow down and just relax,” said Sanchez.  “That’s the kind of explosive offense we want to have.  It was a blast.”

Jets head coach Rex Ryan seemed very impressed by the rookie’s bounce-back performance.  “He showed poise, he was able to move in the pocket, we saw all that today,” said Ryan.  “It’s big time to see that.  I think we all feel good about our quarterback.”

Leon Washington turned in another stellar performance against the Giants Saturday night

Leon Washington turned in another stellar performance against the Giants Saturday night (JI photo)

The rookie’s impressive performance was highlighted by an outstanding play midway through the second quarter.  On 2nd and 10 from the Giants 31 yard line, Sanchez gracefully alluded pressure from three Giants defenders and fired a ball on the run to Chansi Stuckey, inside the 10 yard line.

While it was a magnificent play by Sanchez, it was arguably an even more impressive play by the third year receiver out of Clemson.  Stuckey, performing his own personal ballet number, tight-roped the sideline, shimmied, and spun his way into the end zone for the touchdown, putting the Jets on top, 14-13.

A humble Stuckey, attributed all of his success to the play of Sanchez.  “Mark did great throwing the ball, he said.  “I just made the best of the opportunities that I had.”

Stuckey, who finished with 4 receptions for 69 yards, drew high praise from his quarterback and his coach.

“It was all Stuckey again, just thinking ahead of the play,” said Sanchez.  “He’s going to be someone for teams to game plan against and he had a great showing tonight.”

“I think he wanted me to know something,” joked Ryan.  “He was outstanding, he really was.”

After a slow start, Jets QB Mark Sanchez settled down and completed 13 of 20 passes for 149 yds and 1 TD. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

After a slow start, Jets QB Mark Sanchez settled down and completed 13 of 20 passes for 149 yds and 1 TD with no interceptions. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The Jet defense, which struggled early, turned in a solid performance, forcing two turnovers and keeping the Giants offense out of the end zone for the majority of the game.

Early on it looked as though Gang Green were in for a long night.

The Giants, starting their opening drive from the 40 yard line, following a botched  kickoff by K Jay Feely, made quick work of the Jets’ starting defense on the game’s first possession.  Manning and Jacobs orchestrated a ten play, 60-yard drive down the field, highlighted by three offside penalties by the Jets’ defense, and concluding with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Jacobs.

On the Giant’s second possession, the Jets’ secondary was nearly left in the dust again, as Manning aired a deep ball down the field for WR Steve Smith.  Smith, who had two defenders easily beat, dropped the pass.  Three plays later, Manning’s short pass attempt to WR Domenik Hixon was tipped by Jets’ LB Bart Scott and intercepted by LB David Harris.

“I just tried to make a play,” said Scott.  “I have route recognition and understanding of what they like to do in certain formations.  I just tried to get a hat up on the ball and shot up and Dave made a great play.”

Taking over at the Giants’ 27-yard line, Sanchez led the first-team offense down to the goal line.  On fourth and goal, RB Thomas Jones dove over the pile, into the end zone, to get the Jets on the scoreboard.

Giants QB Eli Manning looked impressive early, but regressed as the game went on.  Manning, who played the entire first half, completed 9 of 21 passes for 91 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

RB Leon Washington turned in another rock-solid performance, rushing for 62 yards on 9 attempts.

Notes from the Meadowlands

Injury Report: RB Shonn Greene (ribs) did not play for the Jets.  Greene is expected to miss the remainder of the preseason with cartilage damage in his ribs.

QB Watch: QB Kellen Clemens worked one series in the third quarter, completing 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards.  There was a “Harvard” sighting as promised by Head Coach Rex Ryan at Thursday’s news conference.  QB Chris Pizzotti worked one series in the fourth quarter, but did not attempt a pass.  QB Erik Ainge completed his only pass of the night, a 70 yard bomb, which WR Aundrae Allison took all the way for the score

Jets NT Chris Jenkins made his pre-season debut against the Giants after sitting out the first two games with a strained calf muscle. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Jets NT Kris Jenkins made his pre-season debut against the Giants after sitting out the first two games with a strained calf muscle. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Foul Play: The Jets committed 12 penalties for 107 yards.  CB Lito Sheppard was whistled for two pass interference penalties in the first half.

OVER 100 EXCLUSIVE JETS-GIANTS PHOTOS! For the largest gallery of exclusive Jets vs. Giants photos on the internet: CLICK HERE

RAVENS 24 – JETS 23

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens defense made sure Mark Sanchez remembered his first NFL start.

Sanchez’s first passing attempt of the night was intercepted by Baltimore NT Haloti Ngata and returned 25 yards for the score.  Sanchez was blitzed and dropped to the turf by Baltimore LB Ray Lewis on the play.

Mr. August? WR David Clowney catches a Kellen Clemens TD as the Jets made a comeback that fell just short against Baltimore on Monday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Mr. August? WR David Clowney catches a Kellen Clemens TD as the Jets made a comeback that fell just short against Baltimore on Monday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The rookie’s next attempt nearly yielded the same result.  The rookie’s second pass of the night was dropped by Ray Lewis, who had a clear, unobstructed route to the end zone.

Behind a beat-up offensive line, Sanchez took his licks early against the aggressive Raven defense, making several bad throws while struggling to read the Baltimore linebackers.

It was a rather bittersweet performance for Sanchez, who finished the night completing 3 of 8 passes for 43 yards, with a touchdown and an interception in five offensive series, as the Ravens defeated the Jets 24-23 at M&T Bank Stadium Monday night.

The rookie was also sacked once and fumbled a handoff attempt to RB Leon Washington, which Sanchez recovered.

“You put a young guy like Sanchez in there and you see our defense, it can be difficult,” said Ray Lewis. “You saw his eyes get big, and he was jumping around in the pocket. Bottom line, we gave a lot of looks and disguises and we confused him a little bit.”

While the former Trojan did not totally implode against the feared Baltimore defense, Sanchez’s performance in his second preseason game should certainly stave off the Namath comparisons for now.

“Not the best start on Monday night, but I learned quite a bit,” said Sanchez.  “I just want to get better.”

The Jets finally got on the scoreboard late in the first half, as Sanchez engineered an eleven-play, 64-yard drive.

Sanchez, escaping pressure and setting his feet, fired a 19-yard missile downfield, hitting Leon Washington on the goal line for his first NFL touchdown pass with 5:57 to go in the second quarter.

“That’s the way you want to respond,” said Sanchez.  Washington added that Sanchez  “made a great throw.”

Washington had an impressive evening, rushing for 48 yards on 8 attempts, with two receptions.  The Pro-Bowler, also had an electrifying 52-yard kickoff return.

RB Leon Washington catches a Mark Sanchez TD in the second quarter of the Jets 23-24 loss to Baltimore. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

RB Leon Washington catches a Mark Sanchez TD in the second quarter of the Jets 23-24 loss to Baltimore. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

The Ravens jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, behind the strong play of QB Joe Flacco.  On 3rd and 7 from the Jets 46 yard line, Flacco connected with WR Derrick Mason down the right sideline for 43 yards, setting up a Ray Rice touchdown with six minutes to go in the first quarter.

Flacco, coming off the heels of an impressive rookie season, displayed great confidence against the Jets defense.  The second year quarterback out of Delaware completed 8 of 18 passes for 120 yards.

QB Kellen Clemens also started poorly but bounced back.  In his second series, Clemens was picked off by Baltimore LB Jameel McClain, who returned the pass 16 yards for a touchdown, extending the Baltimore lead to 21-7, before the end of the half.

Like Sanchez, Clemens redeemed himself for his pick-six.  Clemens opened up the second half by connecting with WR David Clowney on a fade route for a 28-yard touchdown, Clowney’s second of the preseason.

Clemens finished 5 for 10, passing for 60 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who had hoped to name Sanchez the team’s starting quarterback following a strong performance, was noncommittal after the game.

“Right now, as of this moment, I’m not ready to make that decision yet,” said Ryan.  “Did I expect Mark Sanchez or Kellen Clemens to go out and light it up against this defense? No.”

“I knew it would be tough, but I don’t think you’re going to get tougher than what you just saw.”

Jets LB Bart Scott pressures ex-teammate QB Joe Flacco during the Jets 23-24 loss to Baltimore on Monday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Jets LB Bart Scott pressures ex-teammate QB Joe Flacco during the Jets 23-24 loss to Baltimore on Monday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Notes: CB Marquice Cole intercepted Baltimore QB Troy Smith in the third quarter, his first of the preseason.

K Parker Douglass, kicking for the injured Jay Feely, turned in a solid performance.  Douglass was perfect on extra point attempts and converted his only field goal attempt of the night, a 26 yarder.

Injury Update: CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) CB Donald Strickland (toe), RT Damien Woody (head), FB Jehuu Caulcrick (knee), and NT Kris Jenkins (calf) sat out the game with injuries.  Also, K Jay Feely, still nursing an injured groin did not make the trip to Baltimore with the team.

LG Alan Faneca, who missed the team’s first preseason game with a finger injury, was in uniform against the Ravens, and got the start.

OVER 200 EXCLUSIVE JETS-RAVENS PHOTOS! For the largest gallery of exclusive Jets vs. Rams photos on the internet: CLICK HERE

TRAINING CAMP 2009: Sanchez impresses as Jets close camp

Thursday, August 20th, 2009
QB Mark Sanchez capped off his first NFL training camp with a solid performance (JI Photo).

QB Mark Sanchez capped off his first NFL training camp with a solid performance (JI Photo).

On the final day of his first NFL training camp, Mark Sanchez went out on a high note.

Sanchez, who had struggled mightily in practice all week, turned in his best performance since last Friday’s preseason game against St. Louis.

In 11-on-11 drills, Sanchez completed 7 of 14 passes, including a 36 yard strike down the left sideline to WR Jerricho Cotchery. The rookie also connected with WR Brad Smith for two touchdowns in end of game, red-zone situations, drawing the attention of Rex Ryan.

The rookie was also noticeably sharper in 7 on 7 drills and it is widely speculated that a strong performance by Sanchez in Monday night’s preseason game in Baltimore would officially earn him the starting spot.

While it was an impressive outing for Sanchez, Kellen Clemens turned in one of his less-inspiring performances of camp, taking snaps with the second team. Clemens completed 4 of 7 passes but was picked off twice, once by Rashard Barksdale and the other coming at the hands of Drew Coleman, raising his total to 12 interceptions throughout camp.

“We are down six, fourth-and-goal, last play of the game,” said Clemens. “The ball has got to go. It was fourth down, got to throw it, six seconds left. It was the last play of the game. You never want a pick but there are some situations where it is less hurtful than others.”

A hearty goodbye to Cortland-

As camp came to a close, the Jets player expressed gratitude for their time at Cortland.

OT D’Brickashaw Ferguson believes that rural atmosphere at Cortland was a positive, forcing the team to bond.

“I don’t think you have a choice but to bond,” said Ferguson. “Cortland, like I keep on reiterating, is not like the city, so you cant go out and go to the local spots (in New York/New Jersey) and hang out. You’re here. You look around, you see mountains and trees. But team bonding is definitely what has been accomplished here. Training camp is always hard, but I think when you’re put in a different atmosphere that you’re not normally used to, you focus and rely on each other even that much more.”

“We love it up here, we really do,” said Clemens. “Obviously, that is out of our hands but it’s been a great relationship with the university as well as the community. It’s been a positive experience.”
“I think that the bond that we formed here in August will help us win some of the close games in November and December.”

A banged-up Jets defense was welcomed by the return today of Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis (JI Photo).

A banged-up Jets defense was welcomed by the return today of Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis (JI Photo). (more…)

Training Camp 2009: Quote the Raven, Nevermore

Monday, August 17th, 2009
Who says preseason games are meaningless? Head coach Rex Ryan is eager to face his former team Monday night (JI Photo).

Who says preseason games are meaningless? Head coach Rex Ryan is eager to face his former team Monday night (JI Photo).

Jets head coach Rex Ryan offered some harsh words for his former employer Monday, providing an intriguing storyline to this week’s preseason match-up in Baltimore.

In this morning’s news conference, Ryan expressed that he is still upset about being passed over for the head coaching  job with the Ravens and would like nothing more than to stick it to Baltimore and show them what they missed out on.

Of course, I feel extra about this game, I’m not going to deny that,” said Ryan.  “I’ll tell you what, let’s play in the playoffs. That would be a great scenario. I care dearly for that organization, but not half as much as I do for this one. This is my team.”

I throw it our there because I’m just being real. Of course, I always think it’s BS. I always thought I was the right guy for the job. … Hey, I want (the Ravens) to know my guys are playing like Jets. We’re to be taken seriously. Our guys are going to play hard.”

A day after the Jets named quarterback Mark Sanchez the starter for next Monday’s preseason game in Baltimore, the rookie struggled through practice with the second-team offense.

Sanchez completed only four of 12 passes, and was intercepted once by S James Ihedigbo.  Sanchez’s rough performance included a string of eight straight incompletions and a pair of sacks.  Throughout practice, Sanchez appeared hesitant and his throws were uncharacteristically inaccurate.

Sanchez did however, complete a 40+ yard bomb downfield to WR David Clowney, similar to their highlight play from Friday night’s game.

Fourth-year pro Kellen Clemens, who has been mediocre throughout training camp, was equally unimpressive today. He completed just four of 12 attempts and was intercepted by S Kerry “Kobe” Rhodes.

The Jets defense received a huge lift Monday, both literally and figuratively, as DT Kris Jenkins returned to practice.  The Pro-Bowler had missed the past two weeks of practice and the preseason opener with a nagging ankle injury.

Jenkins did some individual work on the side during the morning practice then joined his teammates in light drills.

Ryan made it clear that team is taking the safe approach with Jenkins.  “He looked good,” said Ryan.  “But let’s not blow these two weeks here. We’re not going to rush him into a team drill or anything like that.”

CAMP CORTLAND TIDBITS

The NFL announced today that DE Shaun Ellis will be suspended for the Jets Sept. 13 season opner (JI Photo).

The NFL announced today that DE Shaun Ellis will be suspended for the Jets Sept. 13 season opner (JI Photo).

Ellis Officially Suspended

The NFL  announced today that DE Shaun Ellis has been suspended without pay for the Jets regular-season opener and fined an additional $100,000 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The long-anticipated suspension stems from a November incident in which Ellis was pulled over by New Jersey police, a few miles from the team’s practice facility.  He was arrested and charged with speeding, driving without insurance, and possession of marijuana.

A regretful Ellis expressed that he is ready to put the incident behind him and move on.

“In my opinion, the league made a call and there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Ellis.  “I just have to learn from this mistake and just move on. Just put it behind me and get ready for week two.”

I just wish I would have been able to have dealt with it last year. This year is just going into things fresh with that behind me. But, it didn’t happen that way. I just have to go through it and deal with it, be ready for week two. Yes, I’m going to miss being out there, but I have confidence in the New York Jets that they will get the job done.”

Along with Ellis, the Jets will also be without linebacker Calvin Pace. Pace was suspended back in July for the team’s first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Minor Roster Moves

The Jets signed P Ken Parrish, who had a tryout with the team Sunday morning, and rookie LB Joshua Mauga.  Parrish, a former police officer, was recently released by the Eagles.  Mauga, a four-year starter at Nevada, went undrafted in April’s draft.  To make room, the team said goodbye to TE J’Nathan Bullock and P T.J. Conley.  WR Huey Whittaker, who was waived last Wednesday, was re-signed.

Conley struggled mightily in Monday’s opener, as he averaged just 38.5 yards on two punts.

Injury Report-

LG Alan Faneca underwent surgery to repair the broken finger on his left hand and will definitely miss this Monday’s game in Baltimore.  Ryan hinted yesterday that Faneca could miss the remainder of the preseason, but is confident that the Pro-Bowler will be ready for the regular season opener.

C Nick Mangold (knee), RT Damien Woody (head), and CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) all sat out today’s practice.

TRAINING CAMP 2009: Jets Return To Long Island

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Who says you can’t come back home?

Last August, the Jets said goodbye to Hofstra University, the team’s home and site of training camp for the past 41 years, bolting for Florham Park, NJ and their new $75MM facility. This spring, new coach Rex Ryan decided he wanted to take the team out of town for training camp this summer and chose SUNY Cortland in upstate New York as the venue. 

Jets CBs Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard take the Hofstra Field for Long Island Family night on Wednesday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

Jets CB's Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard take the Hofstra Field for Long Island Family night on Wednesday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

On Wednesday, the green and white came back to Long Island for the first time since departing last year for an open practice, in front of 6,500 enthusiastic fans at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

“The first thing that hits you when you walk back out onto this field, on this campus, is the atmosphere of the fans, said Kellen Clemens.  “Automatically I think the intensity stepped up for practice, the fans are awesome over here.  It’s nice to be back, even if it’s only for a short time.”

“This is outstanding for us, to come back and be where the fan base of New York Jets really is,” said head coach Rex Ryan.  “It’s great to come out today and see all the fans.”

The players, dressed in shoulder pads and shorts, went through a series of 7-on-7, third down, and 11-on-11 drills.

Both Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez took snaps with the first team, with Sanchez turning in the more impressive performance of the two.

Sanchez was involved in arguably the most impressive play of the day, during the 7 on 7 drills.  The rookie sold a beautiful play-action fake and then fired a 30-yard spiral strike downfield to TE Kareem Brown, drawing a roar from the Hofstra crowd.

The rookie also showed off his accuracy, completing a tight pass in traffic to TE Jack Simmons.

Clemens, slated to start Friday in the team’s preseason opener against St. Louis, did not turn in, by any means, an encouraging performance.

In third down drills, Clemens threw a bad ball downfield that was nearly picked off by CB Lito Sheppard.  Two plays later, Clemens’ threw a pass behind TE Dustin Keller and was jeered by fans.

Rookie defensive end Jamal Westerman continued his standout play in camp, registering a sack in 11 on 11 drills.

Kris Jenkins (calf), Darelle Revis (hamstring) Alan Feneca (finger) and Nick Mangold (knee), Damien Woody (head) all did not dress for the practice.  FB Tony Richardson (hip) dressed but did not participate in drills.

Afterwards, Sanchez expressed that despite minor injuries, he feels the team is prepared for game action. “Oh we’re ready, guys are ready,” he said.  “We’ve just got a couple of guys up front that are dinged up right now, but those are minor things.  Nick will be back and Faneca will be back, so we’ll be ready to go.”

TIDBITS FROM HOFSTRA:

JONES ON THE TRADING BLOCK?:  

Last night, nationalfootballpost.com reported that the Jets were “gauging trade interest” in RB Thomas Jones, following the strong training camp showing by rookie RB Shonn Greene.   The site also reported that the Jets had placed call to an NFC West team, according to a league source. 

Jones, who skipped voluntary conditioning workouts and practices during the spring, is entering the third year of his four-year deal.  He is believed to be unhappy with his current contract and it has been highly speculated that he could force his way out of New York, as he did while playing for the Chicago Bears.  Jones has refused to comment on his contract, throughout training camp. 

When asked to comment on the trade rumors, Rex Ryan called the reports “100% not true” and “ridiculous”.  “This guy is huge in our plans,” said Ryan.  “I’m not going to trade a running back that led that AFC in rushing.  No way.”

JETS WAIVE WHITTAKER, SIGN KICKER:

 The Jets announced Wednesday that they have waived WR Huey Whittaker and signed kicker Parker Douglass.  Douglass went undrafted in 2008, out of South Dakota State, and last kicked for the Sioux Falls Storm of the IFL.  Douglass was brought in as insurance for starter Jay Feely, who suffered a mild groin pull.

LEON LOVES NY:

Before Thursday night’s practice, RB Leon Washington expressed his excitement to return to Hofstra.  “I miss Long Island, man,” said Washington.  “I’ve got some friends over there, so they’ll be out at practice, spending time with us. I miss all the Italian food.  All the hot spots over there on Long Island. I miss it. It’s going to be fun to be over there.” 

Up Next: RAMS

The Jets will now return home to NJ for a day where they will have a pre-game walk through tomorrow at the Florham facility and then play the Rams at the Meadowlands on Friday. Saturday is an off-day where they will migrate back to Cortland for their final week upstate starting with two practices on Sunday.

OVER 100 EXCLUSIVE HOFSTRA PRACTICE PHOTOS!

For the largest gallery of exclusive Hofstra University Long Island Practice photos on the internet: CLICK HERE