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A Saturday drive to the Adirondacks

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 7th, 2004

It was promoted as a simple exhibition but as soon as you arrived and saw the huge crowds it felt like something much more. On a cool overcast morning there was standing room only as the Jets took the field to scrimmage their cross town rival Giants. The team woke up at 4 AM this morning and hopped on a chartered bus headed to the Giants’ training camp facility at SUNY Albany.

It was promoted as a simple exhibition but as soon as you arrived and saw the huge crowds it felt like something much more. On a cool overcast morning there was standing room only as the Jets took the field to scrimmage their cross town rival Giants. The team woke up at 4 AM this morning and hopped on a chartered bus headed to the Giants’ training camp facility at SUNY Albany.

Based on observation, even though this was at the Giants’ facility, the crowd seemed split down the middle as far as loyalty goes. There was as much green in the stands as blue, and although the capacity is listed at 10,000 there was much more as the crowed flowed outside the bleachers to standing room only.

Both team’s offense and defense were designated to different fields with the Jets offense getting the showcase on the main field against the Giants’ defense.

If today’s offense was an example of things to come for 2004 then Jets fans should be very excited and mostly due to the new addition of WR Justin McCareins. With both Santana Moss and Wayne Chrebet sitting out the session, McCareins was Chad’s target for most of the day and the Tennessee imports didn’t disappoint.

The two connected on several occasions including two long passes that would have been TD’s if it were a game. Pennington for the most part was consistent with the exception of one interception by Giants CB Will Allen. Pennington was almost intercepted a second time when he tried to force a ball to Jonathan Carter and threw the ball directly into Giants S Shaun Williams chest. However, Williams couldn’t hold on to the ball.

Coach Herman Edwards overall was pleased with Pennington’s performance.

“He (Pennington) tried to force a few,” said the Coach. “But overall we moved the chains which is the most important thing.”

Another player who continues to shine on offense is RB Jonathan Reese. Resse got several chances to carry the ball and took one Pennington handoff 40 yards for a would be score. The offensive line played solid, providing good protection for all the QB’s and opening nice running lanes for the backs. Newly acquired G Pete Kendall stepped right into the fray by taking some reps with the second team offensive line.

The Coach liked what he saw on the offensive line today.

“Those guys were up at 4AM and still showed me some very good signs today,” said Edwards.

In the battle for the #2 quarterback, Ricky Ray again outshined Brooks Bollinger. Bollinger was again erratic, being off target on several of his passes and getting intercepted by Giants rookie LB Reggie Torbor. Ray, moved the offense fairly well and highlighted his performance with a nicely executed flea flicker TD to TE Mikhael Ricks.

On special teams RB Ian Smart again looked impressive with some nice returns including a 40 yd. would be TD. K Doug Brien was a perfect was a 6 for 6 on FG attempts.

While the offense played on the main field the Jets defense went head to head against the Giant’s offense on the secondary field.

The player that made the most noise (literally) was rookie LB Jonathan Vilma. Vilma was quite vocal and combined with a lively defensive line, held the Giants’ running game at bay. Both Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne had little success against the Jets front. DT Tank Reed continued his great first week by being a part of several run stops. Backup LB Quincy Stewart also looked good by being involved in several nice stops.

Besides a nice interception of Eli Manning by Jet S Jon McGraw, the Jets secondary was shaky. Both Giants QB’s Kurt Warner and Manning moved the ball well against a lethargic Jets defensive backfield. The excellent intensity that DC Donnie Henderson has instilled the first week didn’t seem to be there today.

The team will return back to Long Island this evening and have tomorrow off. They resume two a days on Monday with practices at 9:15AM and 3:30PM. Jets Insider.com as usual will be there so be sure to check back often for all the latest training camp news and reports.

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