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Jets Insider.com Monday Afternoon Training Camp Report

By John Melillo
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 2nd, 2004

Full Tilt Chad. The theme of Monday afternoon’s full-pad practice can be summarized in two words: CHAD PENNINGTON. The fifth-year veteran from Marshall showed why he is the leader of this team by schooling the other Jets QB’s during this session.

Full Tilt Chad. The theme of Monday afternoon’s full-pad practice can be summarized in two words: CHAD PENNINGTON. The fifth-year veteran from Marshall showed why he is the leader of this team by schooling the other Jets QB’s during this session.

Pennington while running the offense guided his unit to five touchdown drives. The QB began his scoring frenzy with a strike to WR Jonathan Carter who is showing no ill effects of his off-season knee surgery and beat veteran CB David Barrett. Barrett (flu), returned to practice after missing two days with flu-like symptoms. Pennington continued his uncanny accuracy, hitting WR Justin McCareins in stride on an intermediate route. McCareins participated in the afternoon session after resting during the morning practice. The largest cheer from the crowd came when Pennington hooked up with WR Santana Moss for a 90+ yard touchdown pass. Moss was also the recipient of an earlier TD catch from Pennington across the middle. TE Chris Baker made some noise during the afternoon practice, hauling in two touchdowns from Pennington, one being an excellent loft pass over the linebackers in coverage.

The aforementioned Baker has instilled enough confidence in the coaching staff this year that the team plans to utilize a double TE formation more often in 2004.

“We have two very good tight ends who help our offense,” Coach Edwards said in reference to Baker and TE Anthony Becht. “They are both good players. Chris is coming on and Anthony had his best year for us last year. It’s a strong position, and there are times where we will use two tight ends.”

Other players on offense who impressed during the afternoon session were RB Johnathan Reese and Rookie RB Derrick Ward. Reese broke off two long inside runs in full-team drills and showed soft hands as receiver in the flat. Ward showed good power and agility on inside run plays.

Edwards hinted that Reese might find a home on the team’s practice squad this season, a place where he spent some time in 2003.

”Reese has done a good job,” Edwards said. “Just watching him compared to his first two years, he is a very powerful runner. He’s a slashing type runner. He is trying to find a way onto this football team. I think this year; they are going to allow us eight (on the practice squad).”

Players who shined on the defensive side of the ball included DT Josh Evans, who tallied two tackles-for-loss during the practice session. Fellow lineman DL James (Tank) Reed showed good explosion, beating the block of OG Lance Nimmo and recording a tackle for loss. Worthy of mention was the performances of FS Jon McGraw, after a shaky practice yesterday, made an excellent open-field tackle for loss on RB Lamont Jordan. CB Omare Lowe, who came on a corner blitz also recorded a tackle for loss.

Overall, the defensive unit was far more vocal and aggressive than the offense, which struggled with Pennington out of the lineup. The second-string offense had a rough outing as the defense was stout for the majority of the practice. The defensive line showed good penetration, pressuring QB Brooks Bollinger into several incompletions on the day. Bollinger further hurt his cause by fumbling five snaps from center and was erratic on several throws during the two-hour practice. Based Bollinger’s performance so far this camp, don’t be surprised to see new QB Ricky Ray move up the depth chart to the #2 man sooner than expected.

Looking to bounce back from a disastrous 2003 season, Coach Edwards has stressed an emphasis on details and after the defense, namely UDFA CB Roderick Bryant of Idaho, lined up out of place on one drill, the Coach blew his whistle and let the rookie know of his miscue. “There’s no room for error!” shouted Edwards. “When we have an error, or there is something wrong, we are going to fix it on the spot and call someone out so that we know exactly what we are doing,” the coach said later.

Special teams drills were practiced earlier in the session as WR Justin McCareins, WR Santana Moss, RB/KR Ian Smart, RB Josh Davis and WR/KR Jonathan Carter fielded punt returns. Both Smart and Moss showed natural hands and elusiveness in the open field.

On the punt block teams, RB Derrick Ward, RB Johnathan Reese and RB Little John Flowers stood out by showing a good up field rush.

INJURY FRONT

-LB Eric Barton (hamstring) strained a hamstring and his status has not been determined.
-WR Lawrence Hamilton (hamstring) also strained a hamstring and his status has not been determined.
-S Reggie Tongue (calf) remained sidelined with a strained left calf and is day-to-day.
-WR Ken-Yon Rambo (hamstring) remained sidelined with a hamstring injury and is listed as day-to-day.

The Jets will resume two a days tomorrow with two practices at 8:30AM and 3:30PM. Jets Insider.com will be there so be sure to check back for the latest training camp reports.

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