Jets Insider Friday Morning Camp Report
By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
July 29th, 2005
One of the big stories throughout training camp will be QB Chad Pennington and how he performs throughout training camp after off-season rotator cuff surgery. Pennington and Jets head coach Herman Edwards have said that he will be ready for opening day September 11. Under partly sunny skies, the New York Jets began 2005 training camp this morning at Hofstra before a large crowd of about 1,200 fans.
One of the big stories throughout training camp will be QB Chad Pennington and how he performs throughout training camp after off-season rotator cuff surgery. Pennington and Jets head coach Herman Edwards have said that he will be ready for opening day September 11.
Pennington only participated in individual drills this morning. The QB looked good lobbing balls to his receivers and running backs. In 11-on-11 drills, Pennington practiced handoffs and worked on getting a feel with new RB Derrick Blaylock who the team signed from Kansas City this spring. Pennington, who said he is at 85%, was asked about being on schedule with his rehab.
“Absolutely,” Pennington answered.
Jets head coach Herman Edwards has faith in Pennington. “I’ll bet on Chad every time,” Edwards said.
For the most part, the offense got the better of the defense during the first practice of camp.
Backup QB Jay Fiedler, who hails from Oceanside Long Island, took the majority of the snaps during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Fiedler made some nice plays, finding WR Jerricho Cotchery in traffic as well as completing a pass to new TE Doug Jolley, who beat S Oliver Celestin on the play.
Fiedler is glad to be back on Long Island. “It feels great,” Fiedler said. “I grew up 15 minutes from here. This is home for me…I feel really comfortable and getting to know these guys really well.”
Both Cotchery and Jolley impressed during team drills. Cotchery hauled in a 45-yard TD pass from Fiedler during 11-on-11 drills beating CB David Barett on the play. Jolley showed sure hands, holding onto every ball thrown his way. Jolley will compete with Chris Baker for the starting TE job.
Third-string QB Brooks Bollinger connected with WR Jonathan Carter twice for long scores. On the first one, Carter beat CB Derrick Strait while Pete Hunter and Jon McGraw were beat on the second TD.
“Our receiving corps are exciting,” Pennington said. “The best thing about them is they are team players.”
Hunter redeemed himself later knocking a ball away from WR Harry Williams, Jr. during 7-on-7 drills. Williams is a long shot to make the team and did not help his cause by dropping a pass during 1-on-1 drills against Justin Miller.
Miller also had an interception on a pass from QB Kevin Eakin. Miller though showed he still has much to learn as he was beat by WR Chas Gessner on a long ball.
The team practiced punt and kick returns for about 15 minutes. Rookie Justin Miller and Justin McCareins will compete for the punt returner job and both were able to break through the coverage team. Also getting a tryout were WR Jerricho Cotchery and 7th round draft pick Harry Williams, Jr. Williams was able to streak down the left sideline on his return.
The Jets first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Mike Nugent (selected in the 2nd round) showed off his leg to Jets fans as he was 3-6 on field goals between 38-40 yards.
Early on in practice, a man dressed as “Captain Jet” wearing a green cape, football pants, a custom helmet with Jet wings and a shirt labeled “Captain Jet” screamed from the stands “Hey Herm, you need an extra tackle dummy?.” Edwards, who enjoys interacting with the fans during camp, yelled back “Come on down.” The man, Ray Hoffman, was brought onto the field where he cheered on the Jets and at the end of the special teams drills, was given a blocking pad. When he had four players run at him he looked like he had the fear of God in his eyes. Although it appeared the players did not run at full speed, Hoffman was able to hold his own. The escapade definitely cut the tension of the first practice and was fun for the fans.….Edwards announced RB Vick King has retired.
The only injury Edwards announced was to LB Kenyatta Wright (foot). Edwards said he is not capable of practicing right now.
The Jets return to the field at 3:30 this afternoon and Pennington will participate in team drills. After practice, he will address the media. Stay tuned to Jets Insider.com for a full report.