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Triple Threat

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 3rd, 2004

Last year, the Jets relied upon WR Santana Moss as their main offensive weapon. While Moss had a nice year by leading the team in receiving and picking up the slack for an injured Wayne Chrebet and under-achieving Curtis Conway, he can’t continue to do it all himself. During the off-season, the Jets traded their second round pick for Titans WR Justin McCareins. If Moss, McCareins and Chrebet stay healthy, QB Chad Pennington has three weapons who can break open a game.

Last year, the Jets relied upon WR Santana Moss as their main offensive weapon. While Moss had a nice year by leading the team in receiving and picking up the slack for an injured Wayne Chrebet and under-achieving Curtis Conway, he can’t continue to do it all himself. During the off-season, the Jets traded their second round pick for Titans WR Justin McCareins. If Moss, McCareins and Chrebet stay healthy, QB Chad Pennington has three weapons who can break open a game.

Moss, who has had a spectacular first couple of days of camp, looked to be in mid-season form this afternoon as he caught a 60 yard touchdown pass from Pennington, flying by CB Donnie Abraham. Moss also beat CB David Barrett for a long gain during 7-on-7 drills.

Head Coach Herman Edwards talked about the difference between Moss as a rookie and this year. “Obviously he is a much more confident player,” said Edwards. “He knows how to play fast now too because he knows what to do. He was a fast guy coming out because he never really played fast early because he was just trying to figure out what to do. I think now he knows how to play fast. He knows when he has to run fast. He knows when he has to set a guy up with his feet. He knows where he is going and has a good feel for (Chad). Last year was a good year for him in the fact that he made a lot of plays for us. In his mind, he feels he can just get better and that is what he needs to do. He needs to get better for us because he is a guy who can obviously make big plays, there’s no doubt about it.”

With WR Wayne Chrebet coming back after missing eight games last year Moss is intrigued by the receiving corps prospects. “Now that I know they have another guy they have to pay attention to (McCareins) and Wayne (Chrebet) in the slot. It just might make it a lot easier for me to get open and get more one-on-ones. But if not, they are still going to come at me, double me and try and take me out of my game. But those guys are going to take their chances. I’ll free them up then when it’s my time, they will free me up,” said Moss.

Pennington was not able to lead the first team offense to a score during the two minute drill against the first team defense. The Jets used recently installed large scoreboard during the drill. The scoreboard showed the offense trailing 20-14 and the offense started at their own 30 yard line. On 1st and 10, Pennington threw a first-down reception to TE Anthony Becht for about 20 yards. On 1st and 10, Pennington and Becht again hooked up for a short gain as Becht got out of bounds to stop the clock. On 2nd and 8, Pennington handed off to RB Curtis Martin for no gain. On 3rd and 8, Pennington threw the ball over the middle, but 5th round draft pick FS Erik Coleman broke up the pass. On 4th and 8, the offense was calling for holding. On 4th and 13, Pennington threw a pass that sailed over Chrebet’s head, ending the drive.

While he didn’t fumble the ball or throw an interception, QB Brooks Bollinger still had problems. Bollinger continued to struggle, overthrowing receivers on numerous occasions and not being able to lead the 2nd team offense to a score against the 2nd team defense during a two-minute drill to end practice. However, RB Jonathan Reese continued his solid play, taking a handoff from Bollinger 45 yards for a touchdown.

Bollinger took snaps from C Jonathan Goodwin who returned to practice after missing the morning session to attend a funeral. Edwards feels Goodwin, who is second to Kevin Mawae at center on the depth chart, is a capable player. “He is a guy who can play center and guard and has gotten better. We will just see where it is. At this point, that is what we have going on. Curt McGill, when he comes back, is a guy who was a free agent that has gone a pretty good job at center for us and hopefully he can get well quick. He was doing a pretty good job. That is another guy in the mix,” Edwards said.

However, Edwards added, the Jets are always scouring the waivers wire. “We are always looking. That is the wise choice when you are in training camp. You are always looking for players that sometimes come loose for one reason or another and if they can upgrade you, then you look at them,” Edwards said.

RB Curtis Martin shows no signs of letting down, as he took handoff after handoff and turned it into gains. Chrebet, after sitting out the morning practice, returned in the afternoon and made a nice catch and then faked out FS Jon McGraw. However, that was McGraw’s only mistake of the afternoon. McGraw made the defensive play of the afternoon, intercepting Pennington’s pass intended for McCareins.

Other defensive standouts in the afternoon included DE John Abraham, who was not fooled on a Pennington play-action, and came in for a sack. At safety, Eric Coleman continues to impress, stopping McCareins after a catch. Coleman is getting a lot of action while SS Reggie Tongue continues to sit our practice with a strained left calf.

Punt returns were practiced earlier on with Moss and McCareins returning them. Edwards said both will be used as punt returners this season. Toby Gowin did a nice job with directional punting to the sidelines. Moss showed skills by making a nice catch on the sideline. UDFA RB Josh Davis and UDFA RB Ian Smart were also returning punts. The Coach gave encouragement to Smart after he made a catch.

The rotation of players being given practices off continued as WR Jonathan Carter was given a rest and sat out.

One new injury to report as DT Josh Evans sprained his knee and is day-to-day. Vilma was evaluated after practice this morning and has an injured calf. He is listed as day-to-day. All the following players are still listed as day-to-day:

INJURY REPORT:

One new injury to report as DT Josh Evans sprained his knee and is day-to-day. LB Jonathan Vilma who was originally reported earlier today as having a sprained ankle actually injured his calf. He sat out during the afternoon session and is listed as day-to-day. Here is the status on the other dinged Jets players.

-LB Eric Barton (Hamstring): Day to day.
-S Reggie Tongue (Calf): Day to day.
-WR Ken-Yon Rambo (Hamstring): Day to day.
-WR Lawrence Hamilton (Hamstring): Day today.
-C Curt McGill (Knee): Day to day.

The team again has two practices tomorrow both open to the fans at 8:30AM and 3:30PM. Jets Insider.com will be there so check back often of all of the latest training camp news and reports.

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