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Loosening Up

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 23rd, 2004

The Jets do not officially break training camp until Saturday but Head Coach Herman Edwards has decided to stop two-a-day practices and cut back to just one practice a day. Edwards talked about the changes. “As of tonight, they don’t have bed checks,” the Head Coach said. “There will be a lot of them still staying in the dorms because we have a young team. A few will go home but most of them will be right back where they are. It’s not like they are going anywhere; they have nowhere to go.”

The Jets do not officially break training camp until Saturday but Head Coach Herman Edwards has decided to stop two-a-day practices and cut back to just one practice a day. Edwards talked about the changes. “As of tonight, they don’t have bed checks,” the Head Coach said. “There will be a lot of them still staying in the dorms because we have a young team. A few will go home but most of them will be right back where they are. It’s not like they are going anywhere; they have nowhere to go.”

Edwards is most interested in how the players handle their off-time. “That is probably the most important thing,” Edwards said. “We look at that and make sure that when they lave here they are going home and going to bed to get their rest. That is the thing you always get nervous about when you break camp.”

On the field this afternoon, WR Matt Dominguez stood out. The second year player who started his career with the Broncos and CFL last season, is hoping to earn a spot on the team. Dominguez caught numerous passes with his best reception, a 40 yard catch from QB Chad Pennington as he beat CB Donnie Abraham. Dominguez was also the recipient of a six-yard TD pass from QB Brooks Bollinger, beating CB Andrew Davison.

Pennington and WR Justin McCareins have slowly worked on their timing and for the most part, it has been solid. Pennington was 1-2 to McCareins this afternoon. One was a completed 15 yard pass while the other was over McCareins head as CB David Barrett played solid defense.

Pennington has been impressed with his WR.

“McCareins has such great range that he can catch balls that aren’t always on the money.,” Pennington said.

QB Brooks Bollinger returned to practice today after missing all of last week with a knee injury. Bollinger took reps with the third team and for the most part showed no signs of rust. Bollinger’s best pass was a 29 yard strike to WR Jerricho Cotchery for a TD, who beat S Rashad Washington. Bollinger and Cotchery could not hook up for a second TD though as on the next play, CB Art Thomas interecepted the pass. Cotchery also had a 16 yard reception from QB Ricky Ray earlier in practice that deflected off the hands of S Derek Pagel.

As RB Curtis Martin continued to run all over the defense, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson was not pleased, telling his players to “run to the ball.”

QB Chris Finlen got some action during full team drills. Finlen was 2-4, with passes to RB Ian Smart and TE James Dearth. He overthrew WR Terrence Stubbs and Smart.

The normal crew of RB Ian Smart, CB Roderick Bryant, WR Justin McCareins, WR Santana Moss, and WR Ken-Yon Rambo took punt returns from P Brian Simnjanovski. The only dropped punt was by Bryant. DE Shaun Ellis returned one, drawing laughs from the crowd.

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: While it was no shock the Jets released four players earlier in the day, one of the cuts were surprising. RB Keith Burnell signed with the team just last week and was impressive against the Colts, gaining 22 yards on three carries.

Edwards talked about the decision to cut Burnell.

“We just have to make room for guys and we are looking at running back situation where I think he had a pretty good game and hopefully that can spark him somewhere else,” Edwards said. “Someone will give him an opportunity to play somewhere else but it is tough. We are stacked up at running back.”

For those who missed report earlier today, the Jets also cut WR’s Chris Duncan, Lawrence Hamilton & Muneer Moore. The first mass cuts where teams must get down to 65 players is next Tuesday, August 31st.

INJURY REPORT: DE Joey Evans, LB Wes Bautovich, and QB Brooks Bollinger all returned to practice.

The following is the current status of the team’s injured players and their projected status for the preseason game against the Giants on Friday.

-RB Josh Davis (Torn ACL): Out for Season.
-P Toby Gowin (Groin): Day to day. Questionable for Friday.
-WR Wayne Chrebet (Quad): Day to day. Out for Friday.
--CB Ray Mickens (Knee): Out at least another week. Out for Friday.
-WR Santana Moss (Hamstring): Limited activity. Questionable for Friday.
-RB Derrick Ward (High Ankle Sprain): 1 week or more. Out for Friday.
--RB B.J. Askew (Shoulder): Day to day. Questionable for Friday.
-LT Jason Fabini (strained foot): Day to day. Questionable for Friday.
-G Brent Smith (strained triceps): Day to day. Questionable for Friday.
-DT Bryan Thomas (hamstring): 1-2 weeks. Out for Friday.

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