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Jets Insider.com Friday Morning Training Camp Report

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 5th, 2005
Aussie Ben Graham is making the most of his shot in the NFL. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Aussie Ben Graham is making the most of his shot in the NFL. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
THE HEAT IS ON The time was 11AM and the mercury was pushing 94 degrees. Under hot, humid conditions, the Jets special teams unit took the field this morning for a 45 minute practice. THE HEAT IS ON The time was 11AM and the mercury was pushing 94 degrees. Under hot, humid conditions, the Jets special teams unit took the field this morning for a 45 minute practice.

The battle for the starting punter spot continues to heat up between 31-year-old rookie Ben Graham and six-year NFL veteran Micah Knorr.

Graham was the more impressive of the two this morning, routinely punting the ball 70-75 yards before practice, 20 yards more than Knorr.

During the actual practice, Graham and Knorr punted from the 15 yard line with Graham’s kicks traveling about 5-10 yards more than Knorr’s. Graham also showed good hang time of about five seconds per punt while Knorr’s punts hung up in the air for four seconds.

The Jets have high hopes for Graham who was signed by the Jets as a free agent in January after playing for 12 years in the Australian Football League.

Graham has been the more consistent of the two despite Knorr being the veteran.

RB Delvin Joyce, WR Jonathan Carter, WR Justin McCareins, and rookie CB Justin Miller all rotated handling the punts. During one of his catches, McCareins bobbled the ball but was able to hold on. One of Knorr’s punts went through Carter’s fingers hitting the turf.

Miller showed he still has a long way to go as he tried to jump and catch one of the punts but it went off the top of his fingertips and landed behind him. Another time, Miller dropped one of the punts.

“Each day if I get better, I’ll learn something new,” Miller said.

While he struggled today, the former Clemson star, who left after his junior season, has shown flashes at times, as head coach Herman Edwards likes to say. Miller had a 30.7 career average on kickoff returns which was best in ACC history and fourth-best in ACC history.

Kickoffs were practiced with Mike Nugent kicking from the 35 and 40 yard lines. Despite kicking at half speed, Nugent showed off his strong leg kicking the ball about 50 yards.

INSIDER TIDBITS

-The Jets are hosting the Gatorade Coaches Clinic today for about 150 high school coaches from the tri-state area. The coaches got to watch this morning’s practice from the sidelines and this afternoon will be given a clinic by the Jets coaches in the practice bubble. Edwards said after the Jets did it last year, about 20 NFL teams are conducting a clinic this year. “It’s good for the high school coaches to gather info to see how we do it,” Edwards said.

-Edwards said QB Chad Pennington will be given the afternoon practice off. This will the second afternoon during camp Pennington has rested as he did not practice on Wednesday. Edwards also said DT Dewayne Robertson is a little sore and will not participate in the afternoon session. WR Jonathan Carter and LB Victor Hobson (tight hamstring) also will sit out this afternoon.

-In the 90 degree plus heat of the morning session, Coach Edwards was seen before practice sporting only shorts and a Jets tee shirt and not his trademark sweatshirt that he wears everyday no matter what the temperature is. Everyone thought that he finally succumbed to the sweltering elements. However, it wasn’t to be. Edwards put his sweatshirt on as soon as practice started and braved the heat.

Due to threatening weather, the Coach moved practice to 5:45 PM.

ESPN LIVE COVERAGE AT THE JETS/GIANTS SCRIMMAGE SATURDAY

1050 ESPN Radio's football apostles Peter Schwartz (Jets) and Paul Dottino (Giants) will be hosting a four hour show live from the Jets/Giants practice in Albany this Saturday from 1pm to 5pm. If you can't make it up to Albany, tune to 1050 as Peter and Paul preview the upcoming NFL season with plenty of interviews and your phone calls at 1-800-919-ESPN. Expected guests are Jets GM Terry Bradway, Giants GM Ernie Acorsi, along with several players including Shaun Ellis and Michael Strahan. That's 1-5pm this Saturday on 1050 ESPN Radio's NY.

INJURY REPORT

CB Pete Hunter (knee) and S Jon McGraw (abdominal strain) both are still nursing injuries but are expected to practice later today. LB Eric Barton (knee) has been practicing with a brace on his leg. LB Victor Hobson (hamstring) will be held out of this afternoon’s practice with a tight hamstring.

The team returns to the field this afternoon for a full squad 3:30 p.m. practice. As always, Jets Insider.com will be there for all the latest news.

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