Jets Insider.com Monday Morning Training Camp Report
By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 1st, 2005
“I talked to the team last night and told them we needed to pick up the tempo going into the second week,” Edwards said. “It’s a key week because the following week you start playing games…I wanted them to understand we need to have violence, not a pillow fight.”
With starting QB Chad Pennington practicing only in the afternoon, backup QB’s Jay Fiedler, Brooks Bollinger and Kevin Eakin are getting extended reps. For the most part, the defense was able to shut down the quarterbacks and the rest of the offense throughout the morning.
Edwards let the young players set the tempo during 11-on-11 drills. Fourth-string QB Kevin Eakin handed off eight of the nine plays he ran during the first drill. Eakin did not help his cause by fumbling a snap. The third-string defense stuffed sixth-round draft pick RB Cedric Houston and FB Little John Flowers, who is in his fourth training camp with the Jets. Flowers fumbled one of the handoffs and DE Joey Evans returned it for a would-be score.
It appears CB Ray Mickens, now in his 10th year, is back to his old self after missing all of last year with a torn ACL. Mickens had a solid all-around practice with good coverage during one series, causing three passes to fall incomplete. Mickens also intercepted a Fiedler pass in the back of the end zone during red zone drills on a pass intended for WR Wayne Chrebet.
Fiedler has taken first-team snaps during the morning practices while Pennington has sat them out. Fiedler has shown good consistency with short passes but has struggled throwing the deep ball.
Fifth-round draft pick Andre Maddox impressed special teams coach Mike Westhoff yesterday and today certainly impressed defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson laying a huge hit on FB B.J. Askew after he caught a short pass from Bollinger.
Second-year LB Darrell McClover, who was a seventh-round draft pick last year and mainly made the team due to his play on special teams, is currently second on the depth chart at OLB behind Eric Barton. During 11-on-11 drills, McClover nailed rookie FA FB Austine Nwabuisi that cause Nwabuisi to miss a catch.
While the defense outshined the offense in the morning, expect the offense to come out fired up this afternoon.
-Pennington threw 10-yard slant passes for about 35 minutes after practices on one of the grass fields at Weeb Ewbank Hall. “I’m really looking forward to this afternoon,” Pennington said. “I have to be really focused only getting one shot a day.”
-During a red zone drill from inside the five-yard line, RB Curtis Martin was able to run in for a touchdown.
-WR Jerricho Cotchery had a couple nice kickoff returns. Also displaying solid speed was CB Justin Miller, who averaged 30.7 yards on kickoffs during his college career at Clemson.
-Rookie K Mike Nugent was 1-2 on two field goals attempt from 39 yards. Ben Graham was the holder on both. Xavier Bettia was 5-5 from 39 yards with Micah Knorr holding. Both were kicking on the regular goal posts.
-Edwards said the Jets will go in full pads again this afternoon.
-6th round draft pick TE Joel Dreessen dropped a pass from Eakin during 11-on-11 drills. Dreessen was wide open on the play.
-NT Tim McGill had a would-be sack on Eakin.
DB James Taylor, who has been struggling in camp so far, hurt his knee during practice. Earlier in practice, Taylor had a nice play, breaking up an Eakin pass intended for WR Jonathan Carter. Edwards said his status is unknown. S Rashad Washington had headaches after a hit yesterday and was held out of practice this morning. Edwards said Washington will probably play this afternoon. CB Pete Hunter, who was traded to the Jets in mid-July, had his knee swell up and did not play in this morning’s practice. Edwards said Hunter had surgery on the knee four or five months ago.
-DB James Taylor (knee): Day-to-Day
The Jets take the field again this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. where QB Chad Pennington is expected to throw. Check back to Jets Insider.com often for all the latest training camp news.