Now it's official: The Jets have their first feel-good story of the summer. Meet former Columbia RB Johnathan Reese, who is making a strong bid to make the team in his third training camp with Gang Green.
Reese, cut three times by the Jets in the last two years, helped his chances with a 13-carry, 56-yard rushing performance in Friday night's 23-13 loss to the Saints. He improved his quickness in the offseason - he was a jump-roping maniac - and the difference has been apparent from the moment he took the practice field in training camp.
Curtis Martin likened Reese's improvement to the quantum leap once made by former Jets WR Laveranues Coles, who developed his skills between the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
"It's like night and day," Martin said of Reese, who rushed for 3,321 yards at Columbia. "He's running with so much more authority, more power. Before, he seemed a little more passive."
Reese replaced Martin on the Jets' opening series. Ordinarily, LaMont Jordan is the No. 2 tailback, but he was dropped to No. 3 for the game because of his three-day personal leave a week ago, according to coach Herman Edwards. That didn't come as a surprise to Jordan, who knew the ramifications before going home to Maryland. He apparently had no problem with Edwards' decision.
It couldn't have worked out better for Reese, who could stick as the fifth back.[/b][/quote]