Camp ends with a Twist
The New York Jets 2004 mini-camp ended Sunday with an interesting twist during the team’s fifth and final practice. New defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson implemented a change after watching his unit take their lumps on Saturday.
“Yesterday, I walked off the field a little down,” Henderson said outside the Club’s practice bubble. “I had put so many defenses in and the offense beat us up yesterday.”
Henderson has been with this team since January. On the opposite side of the ball, offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is now in his fourth year at the controls.
“The offense is ahead of the defense,” said New York head coach Herman Edwards at Sunday’s press briefing. “The offense has been in for almost four years now and the defense has been in for five practices.”
At some point between the Jets fourth and fifth practices, Henderson determined he would give his players a shot to call the defenses. The former Ravens secondary coach wanted to see what his new group was comfortable with.
“I turned it over to our guys,” Henderson said. “It was the last practice. I was impressed. I really was. They called the game like we were playing it. The one thing I learned today was that these guys know what they are doing.”
One of Henderson’s keys is accountability and he laid responsibility in his players’ hands as camp came to a conclusion.
“That was their game,” Henderson said. “They couldn’t say that I made the call and they didn’t know what I was making. Once the huddle was broken, you had to know today. And they did a good job.”
The aggressive Henderson would consistently walk to the sideline and bark, “It’s your call. What do you got?”
And his guys really flourished for the most part. They were beat on some plays, but surely– this was a good day for the Jets defense.
“I thought it was a good idea and they practiced a lot faster and better today,” Edwards said.
Barrett to attend Tillman Service: Cornerback David Barrett traveled with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue Sunday and other league officials to attend the funeral of Pat Tillman. A public memorial service will be held for Tillman on Monday in his hometown of San Jose, California. “Pat was one of the wild guys on the field,” Barrett said of his former Arizona Cardinal teammate. “He would do pretty much anything on the field. And off the field, he was the type of guy who would give you everything he had. You would get motivated if you watched him.”
City Practice: Edwards said the Jets will begin training camp on Friday July 29th and the Green & White will practice against the cross-town Giants in Albany on Saturday August 7th. New York’s AFC representative will board a train headed for the State Capital in the wee hours Saturday morning.
Early Carries for C. Mart: The Jets would like to get more carries for veteran running back Curtis Martin earlier in the season. Edwards hopes that means a stronger start for Martin and increased work for backup LaMont Jordan. “We have to let Curtis get in there and get him some runs, so he can get his juices flowing early in the season for us. If that is the situation, then hopefully we can get off to a better start offensively and have more plays.” The Jets’ brass is scheduled to meet with Jordan’s representation Tuesday.
Brooks at #2: If Vinny Testaverde doesn’t return, don’t expect the Jets to shop for a veteran passer. The Club likes the play-making ability of second-year veteran Brooks Bollinger. Edwards wants to give Bollinger time with the first unit in the preseason.
McCareins high on Pennington: “We’ve been working, for the most part, since I’ve been here,” McCareins said. “He’s a receiver’s quarterback and he makes it easy for us to catch the ball. He really elevates the play of everyone he plays with. I can tell you that I am really excited to get the chance to play with him on Sundays.”