Archive for May, 2010

Rumor Roundup: May 28

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Magic words

Rex Ryan is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to become the Jets’ first Super Bowl-winning coach since Weeb Ewbank in 1969.  He’s even reaching out to Hall of Famers outside of his sport.

The Jets head coach revealed Thursday that he recently had dinner with NBA Hall of Famer and former Laker great Magic Johnson at Il Postino in Manhattan.  Ryan was joined by Jets owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum, who had originally met Johnson earlier this month at the Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley fight in Vegas.

Call them the "Showtime Jets", head coach Rex Ryan is reaching out to Magic Johnson for advice (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“You try to surround yourself around great people,” said Ryan. “At least that’s what Magic told me anyway (laughing).”

The Jets brass conversed with the the three-time NBA MVP about winning and an establishing a championship-culture within the organization.  The 50-year-old is more than an expert in the field of winning, racking up five championships with the “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980s, four under Hall-of-Fame coach Pat Riley.

“We talked about, as he put it, doing things the Lakers way,” said Ryan.  “The Lakers had a way of doing things.  I just look at our standard as an organization, what we stand for, how we’re going to play, how we’re going to practice, how we’re going to prepare.”

“When new guys come in because you’re going to get new players each year that they have to live up to those standards and buy into those standards.  If they don’t, you have to move on.  That’s something I’ve always been a big believer in, but when you hear a guy like Magic Johnson talk about it and the success that he had, I feel confident that we’re on the right path.”

There is no word yet whether the team has plans to bring in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to work with the receivers…

Wilson takes notes from J-Co

While out-muscling receivers from the WAC is one thing, matching up against slot receivers at the NFL-level is quite another.  This is a lesson Jets rookie corner Kyle Wilson is beginning to learn the hard way.

According to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger, Wilson was “taken to school” by Jets veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery during Thursday’s OTA session in Florham.

“Kyle did a great job for the most part, but he (Cotchery) got him a couple (times),” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “The best one was in the red zone.  It looked like Kyle jumped it, the ball went right through his hands, and J-Co catches it for a touchdown.”

Wilson was then burnt a second time by Cotchery, this time during the team’s two-minute drill session.   However the rookie isn’t getting too down about his early mishaps.  To Wilson, it’s all part of the learning experience.

“Just a little bit better than last week,” said Wilson. “Trying to get better day by day.”

“(Cotchery) tells me what he’s looking for, how that’s affecting him. Little things like that, so I understand what the offense is trying to do and what I need to do defensively to counteract that stuff.”

Stitser kicked-out

Less than  two weeks into OTAs, the Clint Stitser experiment has already ended.

The 25-year-old kicker, who the team signed in early April, was released Thursday after missing three field goal attempts during Thursday’s practice.

With the erratic veteran Nick Folk as the only placekicker currently on the roster, Rex Ryan admitted Thursday that the team may look to bring in another kicker.

“Oh, yes… We’ll see,” said Ryan.  “For whatever reason, sometimes kicking and punting, it takes guys a little bit.  Very few guys come into the League as rookies and actually kick or punt in this league.  That young man (Clint Stitser), I don’t think he’s ready right now.  Will he be ready in the future?  Maybe so, but right now I don’t think he’s ready.  We’ll probably move on.”

No Sanchize yet

Quarterback Mark Sanchez, coming off offseason knee surgery, has yet to make a significant contribution in OTAs, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York.

The team continues to be extra cautious with Sanchez, holding the 23-year-old out of team drills, limiting him to individual drills and seven-on-seven drills.

Sanchez is ansy to get back into team action and even snuck into one play during the 11-on-11 sessions on Thursday. “He ran in there,” said Rex Ryan.  “I was like, ‘Whoa. It’s a run. It’s a run.  Ok.  Hand the ball off and get out of the way.’   That’s the first time he’s snuck into a team rep.  Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) quickly got him out of there.”

Ryan continues to hold that his quarterback is progressing ahead of schedule.  “He’s doing fantastic,” he said.  “He’s probably ahead of where we thought he’d be…I’m waiting.  When our trainers say he’s ready to roll, that’s when he’ll go in there.  He feels great.  He’s pushing us all the time to get in there and that’s where you want him to be.”

Rumor Roundup: May 13

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Jets close to locking up offensive lineman

According to Manish Mehta of The Star-Ledger, the Jets are close to agreeing to terms with free agent center, Robby Felix.  The 6-3, 300 pound Felix spent last season playing for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL.

Felix went undrafted in last year’s draft after an impressive collegiate career at UTEP.  A four-year starter, the Corona, California native earned All-Conference USA honors in all four seasons.  As a senior, Felix was named to the All-Conference USA First Team.

However, after his final home game in El-Paso, the then 22-year-old Felix, suffered a stroke.  Originally slated as a second to third round pick, Felix went undrafted with many teams concerned about his health and if he would ever make a full recovery.

Felix will definitely get a chance to compete for a roster spot during the Jets’ training camp in Cortland, New York.   Currently, the Jets only have one natural center on the roster, Pro Bowler Nick Mangold.

More baby-steps for Sanchez

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has taken yet another small step in his recovery from left knee surgery.  Less than a week after he began running on a treadmill, Sanchez told ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini Wednesday that he is now jogging on turf.   The next step for the second-year quarterback will be to begin cutting and moving the rehabbed knee laterally.

Sanchez maintains that his goal is to be back in time for the team’s minicamp in mid-June.  “”I didn’t want to say anything in February because who knows what could’ve happened?” said Sanchez, speaking at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Wednesday.   “But that was absolutely my goal and I’ve been working hard every day to do that.”

Center Nick Mangold is optimistic that his quarterback will be out there for the start of minicamp on June 14.  “When you’re trying to get stuff done, it’s always helpful to have him out there,” he said. “I know he’s going to be out there moving around (at minicamp).  I don’t know in what capacity.   I know the competitive spirit in him won’t keep him sitting in the training room all day.”

More from Mangold

Entering the final year of his five-year contract, Nick Mangold is getting a bit ansy for an extension, according to Manish Mehta.

“I’d love to get something done before the season,” said Mangold on Wednesday. “It’s a security thing.”

Jets center Nick Mangold would like to get his contract extension done, preferably sooner than later. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“I’m not a bad guy,” said Mangold. “I don’t believe that I am. I like to believe that I do keep a good guy persona. That’s how I was raised and how I do things. But in the end, it’s still a business. You see that when people get released or brought in. … So I can’t be foolish when the time comes for whatever needs to be done business-wise. … It’s something that I think gets a lot of times overlooked when people are made out to be bad guys for whatever reason. For as much as we hear it’s a business on other side, it’s still a business on our side.”

Mangold is one of four Jets (Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and D’Brickashaw Ferguson) looking to sign extensions within the next year.  A number of the moves the team made this off-season (cutting running back Thomas Jones, trading safety Kerry Rhodes and running back Leon Washington) have predicated on locking up these core players, long-term.

The 26-year-old Mangold, whom the Jets selected with their 29th overall pick in the 2006 Draft, has more than lived-up to the lofty expectations placed upon him.  Since his rookie season in ‘06, Mangold has started all 64 games of his NFL career.   The five-year veteran has been a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons and an All-Pro selection in ‘09.

Jets owner Woody Johnson has made it clear that the team will do everything in its power to keep Mangold in the green and white uniform.  “He’s one of our guys,” said Johnson. “The timing of all those (potential contract extensions) is difficult. We’re living with very tenuous rules in terms of who we can pay and how much we can do at this point. Within those rules, we’re trying to do the best job we can.”

Mangold wouldn’t mind sticking around either.

“It’s one of those things — love the team, love the area,” Mangold said. “You see how many people they got to get done. It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out.”

Rumor Roundup: May 6

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Rookie linebackers impress at mini-camp, earn roster spots

The Jets announced Monday that they had signed undrafted free agent linebackers Cory Reamer (Alabama) and Brashton Satele (Hawaii) after both players stood out from the pack at last weekend’s rookie mini-camp in Florham.

Reamer, who played his high school ball at the famed Hoover High School in Alabama, impressed the Jets’ coaching staff with his communication skills and high football I.Q. throughout camp.  At 6-3, 230, Reamer has the size and athleticism to seriously compete  for a roster spot in training camp.  Converted from defensive back to linebacker in college, he appears to have great defensive instincts and awareness on the field.

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was particularly impressed by Reamer, according to The Star-Ledger’s Manish Mehta.  “You run into guys like that every now and again,” said Pettine. “His timed speed isn’t great. But there’s guys that make up for it by being instinctive and understanding football. They might not be as fast as the guy they’re competing with, but they get to the spot at the same time, because they recognized it quicker….(When) you watched him on tape, he didn’t really fit in athletically with the rest of that Alabama group. But here’s a guy that’s out there and all he’s doing is his job. He’s a guy that I wouldn’t be shocked ends up being a great coach one day.  He’s really understands it.”

Rex Ryan even joked that Reamer could take over as the Jets new defensive coordinator:  “We are going to replace [Mike] Pettine, and there’s no question we can do that I believe with this young man.”

Meanwhile, the 6-foot, 240 pound Satele has fought through his share of adversity.   Satele missed the entire 2009 season due to a shoulder injury and was denied a medical exemption by the NCAA to receive another season of eligibility.  During his standout junior season in ‘08, Satele recorded 53 tackles with one sack, one interception and five pass break-ups.

In order to make room for Reamer and Satele, the team cut ties with rookie defensive end Broderick Stewart from Vanderbilt.

Wilson good as advertised

Almost sliding under the radar at last weekend’s mini-camp was the Jets’ first round selection, cornerback Kyle Wilson from Boise State.  Wilson impressed the coaching staff with his superior coverage ability, enough for Rex Ryan to already pencil him in at the starting nickelback spot.

Jets first-round pick Kyle Wilson is already turning heads in Florham

According to J.P. Pelzman of The Bergen Record, Wilson also caught the attention of Jets’ secondary coach, Dennis Thurmond.   Thurmond reportedly told the offensive coaches that they “better leave (Wilson) alone” and not go after him.   This is considerably high praise since the only other Jet defensive back Thurmond has said that about is number 24, Darrelle Revis.

“We’re not going to compare Kyle to Revis,” said Ryan. “But he’s a tremendous player….I think he’s going to be great.”

At the nickel position, Wilson’s main assignment will be to cover slot receivers on the inside, something he was not accustomed to doing in college.  Theoretically, this is a position where Wilson is set up to succeed.   He will not be matched up against the likes of Brandon Marshall or Randy Moss, and can use his size and strength to out-muscle slot receivers.   Despite his inexperience at the position, the rookie is primed to tackle the challenge–both literally and figuratively.

“It’s a lot harder,” said Wilson. “You do a lot more. It’ll definitely be a challenge, but I’ll try my best.”

“I’m getting a feel for what they like and just getting a feel for everything here. You expect the worst and you just kind of roll with it. … I’m just trying to seize the opportunity and be the best I can be.”

Sanchez off to the races

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has began running on a treadmill for the first time since his February knee surgery, according to a report by ESPN New York.

Sanchez was originally scheduled to begin running in mid-May, so this latest development puts his rehabilitation slightly ahead of schedule.  Previously, the quarteback’s only running came from an underwater treadmill at the Jets’ facility, where he has been rehabbing since March.

The team remains hopeful that Sanchez will be able to participate in June’s mini-camp.

‘Super’ news?

Later this month, the New Meadowlands Stadium will find out whether it will indeed play host to the first cold-weather Super Bowl in NFL history.

According to Manish Mehta, the winning bid for Super Bowl XLVIII, will be announced on May 25 at the league meetings in Irving, Texas.   The event will be televised nationally on the NFL Network.

The Meadowlands is in competition with Miami and Tampa Bay for the event, which will take place in February of 2014.

RookieCamp Day 2 Notes

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

OVER 250 EXCLUSIVE JI MINICAMP PHOTOS! For the largest gallery of exclusive Jets rookie minicamp photos on the internet: CLICK HERE

McStruggles

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – For the second straight day, the rookie running back struggled to hold on to passes and appeared to be out of shape, unable to physically keep up in drills.

According to ESPN New York’s Jane McManus, at one point McKnight was down on all fours and had trainers applying wet towels to his neck.  McManus also added that the former Trojan missed four-straight catchable passes in seven-on-seven drills.

Despite two-straight poor performances by the rookie running back, The Start Ledger’s Manish Mehta reports that Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn’t jumping to conclusions.

It was another rought day at rookiecamp for new Jets RB Joe McKnight. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“I don’t even need to overreact,” said Ryan. “He still does some great things out there. I don’t know if it’s much his physical conditioning. Maybe he’s got a bug or something. The thing that I appreciate about him is that he is trying to fight through it. … albeit on a knee most of the time.”

“Sometimes it takes a player a little longer to play like a Jet. Maybe the tempo’s different (from college). I don’t know….It’s funny. Every time I look around, he’s got a wet towel around his neck… then he’s making one mistake after another. Then you put the ball in his hands – and he’s pretty good.”

On the positive side, McKnight did appear to impress special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff in kickoff returns.

Defensive players impress

Meanwhile, it has been a group of undrafted free agents who have stolen the show through minicamp so far.  The coaching staff is believed to be high on Alabama LB Cory Reamer.  The 6-foot-3, 228 pound Reamer is coming off a stellar season in Tuscaloosa, in which he recorded 50 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception in 12 games.

So far, Reamer, a guy who wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, has stood out from the bunch.

“He wants to stay… that’s obvious,” said Ryan. “He’s here competing and he wants to stay.  Every year, there’s a few guys that are like that.”

The coaching staff is also high on undrafted cornerbacks Brian Jackson of Oklahoma and Donovan Warren of Michigan.  If they do end up making the team, they will both most likely be moved to the safety position.

Warren was projected to be a late-second to early-third round pick after an impressive three-year campaign at Ann Arbor.  Warren was selected to the 2009 All-Big East first team selected by the media, while picking off four passes during his junior season.

The former Wolverine’s draft stock plummeted after he ran an unimpressive 4.59 in the forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

The 6-f00t-1, 200 pound Jackson, ran a 4.6 forty time and was rated by most media outlets as the fortieth-best corner prospect in the 2010 draft pool.

The latest on iGate

Rex Ryan touched on the Santonio Holmes/iPod situation during his press conference this afternoon.   Ryan offered the following (courtesy of The Daily News):

“When the flight attendant came by she kind of woke him and said, ‘Please turn off your iPod.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, no problem,’” Ryan told reporters. “Well he was tired and never took out the ear pieces, so he went and laid back down. When lady came by and asked again, he said, ‘I did. I can hear every word you’re saying. I have it off.’ He literally handed the ear things to the lady sitting next to him and she goes, ‘Yeah, I can’t hear anything.’ So they were off.

“I don’t know, I guess when he landed he came off and there were some police officers and they asked him about it. He said exactly what happened. When Santonio told me, I totally believe him. It’s just one of those things I guess, but I believe Santonio.”

The Jets close out rookie camp today in two private sessions closed off to the media. The next minicamp is a mandatory full-team event starting on Monday June 15 through the 16th.