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Jets Insider.com Friday Afternoon Camp Report

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
July 30th, 2004

High expectations are the key words at Jets Camp after the first full day of practice.

High expectations are the key words at Jets Camp after the first full day of practice.

Coming off a 6-10 record, the Jets feel they have all the pieces in place for a breakout year in 2004.

The intensity seemed to pick up in the afternoon practice with a lot of players trying to earn spots, especially on defense. Tight End Anthony Becht definitely feels it. ďThere should be intensity. They should be mad; this is a big year for them. They speak for themselves. They know what they have to do; they have to go out there and improve. Theyíre doing that. I definitely see speed with guys running to the ball, guys with a little more intensity and aggression. Thatís great, itís only going to make us better,Ē Becht said.

One player who shouldnít have to worry about his job is punter Toby Gowin. Gowin enters his eighth year in the NFL but first with the Jets. Gowin spent the first three years of his career with Dallas, then the next three with New Orleans. He returned to Dallas last year but it was not a happy return, as Gowin only averaged 39 yards per punt. The Veteran then signed with the Jets as a unrestricted free agent on March 31, 2004. Gowin looked solid this afternoon, with a nice hang time on his punts.

Returning Gowinís punts were Santana Moss, Justin McCareins, Jonathan Carter, and Lamont Jordan. Moss showed off for the large crowd at practice, making one-hand grabs.

Only one injury to report and that is to Ken-Yon Rambo. Rambo, trying to make the team as a wide receiver, is listed as day-to-day with a strained hamstring. Rambo played in 29 games with Dallas in 2001 and 2002 and was signed by the Jets as a free agent last December.

While fans have been talking about Jonathan Vilma unseating the veteran Sam Cowart at linebacker, one of the battles to keep an eye on is at tight end. Anthony Becht is the incumbent but will be a free agent at the end of this year. Becht is a solid blocking TE and also a solid red zone target. Chris Baker is in his third year with the Jets and still believed to be Bechtís replacement. However, the Jets signed Mikhael Ricks earlier this month. While Becht and Baker have no receptions over 40 yards in their career, Ricks has four. However, he is not a very good blocker. Becht welcomes the competition. ďThe competition is great. I donít know if itís going to wake anybody up. Every year you come into camp, you come in prepared to win, regardless if there are guys out there pushing you. Personally, Iím going to go out there and work hard like I always do. We have a great supporting cast, Chris Baker has come in and heís ready to go. Mikhael Ricks is definitely a good addition to our team and we have some viable tight ends that could really help this team.ď Certainly fans may want to keep an eye on these three during camp.

A lot of fans were pleased when Ted Cottrell was fired as defensive coordinator after the 2003 season. After an exhaustive search, Donnie Henderson was hired from the Ravens. Henderson has impressed early on in training camp. A lot has been said about the youth on the Jets. Henderson has had success molding young defensive players into solid NFL stars. A couple names tthat come to mind are Ed Reed and Chris McAllister. Jets head coach Herman Edwards hopes Henderson can do the same with CBís David Barrett and Derrick Strait and young Safeies Jon McGraw, Eric Coleman and Rashad Washington. Henderson is not afraid to tell players what they are doing wrong and what they need to do to fix it.

It was evident that Hendersonís teaching is already paying off in the afternoon drills. During 7-on-7ís, McGraw had a nice deflection on a pass intended for WR Santana Moss from QB Chad Pennington. Coleman and Strait had good double coverage on a pass intended for WR Lawrence Hamilton from QB Brooks Bollinger.

The last hour was devoted mainly to 11 on 11 drills, and both the offense and defense showed promise. Running backs Lamont Jordan and Curtis Martin both had some nice burst of speed and power through the defensive line.

McCareins picked up his game in the afternoon, owning Barett. Jets fans are certainly expecting big things from McCareins this season.

CB Ray Mickens, entering his ninth season with the Jets, showed he is still on top of his game, breaking up a pass intended for McCareins and causing WR Wayne Chrebet to miss a place.

It seems Coach Edwards intensity has rubbed off on his coaches and players and hopefully it will carry throughout training camp and the season.

The Jets take the field again tomorrow at 8:30 am and then 3:30 pm. Jets Insider.com will be there so be sure to check back often for all the latest camp reports.

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