High Emotion
By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
August 17th, 2004

was the theme of today’s afternoon practice that included hard hitting and emphasized the running game and red zone offense and defense.

was the theme of today’s afternoon practice that included hard hitting and emphasized the running game and red zone offense and defense.

On a beautiful sun-soaked Tuesday, the Jets took the field in front of a large crowd that was fired up from the beginning. During full team drills, the defensive line had trouble stopping RB’s Curtis Martin, Lamont Jordan, and Jonathan Reese. All three used holes created by the offensive line to gain big yardage. The block of the day though did not come from an offensive lineman but from WR Ken-Yon Rambo. His blocking allowed Jordan to run down the left sideline for a score.

With WR Wayne Chrebet sitting out with a quad injury, WR Santana Moss still limited by a groin injury, and WR Jonathan Carter resting, WR Matt Dominguez took advantage of the opportunity and made a strong case for a roster spot after making a number of catches. During 7-on-7 drills, Dominguez caught a pass from QB Ricky Ray over the middle for a would-be touchdown, beating S Derek Pagel.

None of the backup QB’s have played in a NFL game and while offensive coordinator Paul Hackett admitted he is concerned about the lack of experience, he is looking forward to seeing what Ray can do.

“It is the perfect opportunity to find out how a guy does, because practice is one thing but now he gets a chance to perform against a very fine football team (Indianapolis),” the offensive coordinator said.

There have been numerous debates about QB Chad Pennington’s arm strength. This afternoon, Pennington threw a deep ball for Moss but sailed over Moss’ head. Moss had double coverage from S Erik Coleman and CB David Barrett.

Many have called Hackett’s playbook dull, but Hackett showed some imagination as the second-team offense ran a reverse to WR Jerricho Cotchery. “It definitely helped my confidence,” said Cotchery. “Going against the best – everyone is talented at this level.”

Head Coach Herman Edwards expects Cotchery to see a lot of playing time.

“He keeps catching balls and he keeps progressing and playing well,” said the Coach. “It’s all about production. It’s all about if you put the guy in the game, does he make plays. To me, he’s a guy who is showing up. If he shows up again this week, we’ll be saying, “Yeah, he caught another one, he made another play. Wow.” When you put him in there he’s going to make a play. I just think that he’s a player who obviously can help. If we want to go four wideouts, he could be one of those guys. I don’t have a problem with that. It doesn’t scare me.”

While the defense may have been beaten by the running backs, they were not about to let it happen during red zone drills. DT Josh Evans has shown intensity lately as he tries to win a starting job on the d-line. Evans flung RB Ian Smart to the ground in the backfield after Smart took a handoff from QB Chris Finlen. The player ahead of Evans on the depth chart, DT Dewayne Robertson also had a nice play, stopping Reese at the line of scrimmage. Also impressing defensively was S Rashad Washington. On 3rd down from the 11 yard line, Washington stopped TE Mikhael Ricks from going into the end zone. Washington also stopped Reese in his tracks earlier.

LB Ryan Myers has been quiet most of camp but he was not fooled on a play-action pass Pennington, intercepting the pass intended for TE Anthony Becht that got the defense fired up.

With the team in full pads, emotions overflowed late in the practice when a scuffle broke out between OT Marco Cavka and LB Eric Barton, drawing large cheers from the crowd gathered at practice. It was quickly broken up by the coaching staff.

Hackett has liked the intensity so far. “I just think that the enthusiasm and most important the tempo, the fierceness of the tempo between the offense and defense has been sensational,” Hackett said. Yesterday, C Kevin Mawae and DE Shaun Ellis had a small fight during practice.

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: The team announced they have placed rookie RB Josh Davis on the injured reserve list. Davis signed with the Jets on April 30, 2004 and played in the team’s first preseason game at New Orleans.

WR Santana Moss (hamstring) Day-to-day. Questionable for Saturday.
-LB Wayne Chrebet (quad) Day-to-day. Questionable for Saturday.
-S Reggie Tongue (calf) Limited activity. Questionable for Saturday.
-QB Brooks Bollinger (knee) Out for a week. Out for Saturday.
-DE Joey Evans (foot) Day-to-day. Questionable for Saturday.
CB Ray Mickens (knee) Out for a week. Out for Saturday.
-RB Derrick Ward (ankle) Out for another week. Out for Saturday.
-C Curt McGill (knee) sat out practice and is day-to-day.
-RB B.J. Askew (shoulder) Day-to-day. Questionable for Saturday.
RB Josh Davis (knee) Out for season. Injured reserve.

The Jets resume two-a-days tomorrow with a practice at 8;45 AM and a second full practice at 3:30 PM. Practices and Jets Fest are open to the public. As always, Jets will be there so be sure to check back often for the latest training camp reports.