Rookie CB Drew Coleman lays some wood on RB Terry Butler as Coach Eric Mangini introduces full contact tackle drills to his team. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The Jets officially began the Magnini era this morning on a sultry hot practice field. The new coach let his team know he meant business by working them for an extra half hour and also introducing full contact tackle drills which was never done by Herman Edwards.
Like all the other teams in the NFL, the goal is to win a championship. Of course the one question on everyone’s mind was who will be the starting quarterback when the Jets open the regular season in Tennessee on Sept. 10.
New head coach Eric Mangini is keeping quiet on who he thinks might be the starter and also on when he thinks injured players might return to camp, if they even are able to return before the start of the regular season. That list of injured players or players physically unable to perform, (PUP), now include star running back Curtis Martin and newly acquired wide-receiver Justin McCareins. Martin is still recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and McCareins, according to Mangini, failed his conditioning drills and was therefore physically unable to take part in camp today. Martin and McCareins join center Trey Teague who hasn’t participated in any practice so far and is still recovering from a broken left ankle. Teague is out most likely until after the season starts, leaving the opportunity for rookie center Nick Mangold to earn a starting job.
Chad Pennington is back from rehab after his second surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. His first pass of the practice was to his favorite target Laveranues Coles. Pennington realizes there is a “competition for the quarterback position” and he “understands what the coaches want from him and knows that there is no favorite to nab the starting spot.” Chad mentioned that he was excited to be out there with the team and he “definitely felt a solid progression” occurring from rehab to now. “When I’m in there I feel like the starter and that’s what the other guys should feel when their in there,” referring to the other quarterbacks on the team. Pennington’s standout play of the practice was a deep ball to #89 Jerricho Cotchery near the end of practice.
The practice itself was different then those under Herm Edwards with the addition of a run and tackle drill. Mangini noted that the drill is a necessity of playing the game of football and has to be worked on in order to have a good tackling team. LB Jonathan Vilma missed his first chance at tackling, but fellow LB Victor Hobson made a great tackle that you could hear from across the field. The tackle not only got the fans cheering, but his teammates as well. RB Cedric Houston also made a great play by dragging defender Darrien Johnson five yards while staying on his feet. The practice was also longer then scheduled, running almost a half-an-hour over the set schedule. Mangini noted this is in his press conference by stating, at the end of practice players were slowing down and I want speed from my team so we continued until we got it right.
The defense was looking a lot better than the offense in the drills against one another. Pennington threw two interceptions within only a couple of plays, but Mangini shook it off by saying that, “Chad looked good out there” and that “one of the balls was deflected.” QB’s Patrick Ramsey and Kellen Clemens, two of the other men looking to become the starting quarterback each had an okay practice as well. Clemens, a rookie out of Oregon is learning to adjust to the quickness of the pro game as well as the new playbook, but Mangini says that, “he is coming along fine in the classroom and will continue to improve on the field.” Clemens showed that he was trying to improve as he goes along throwing a great pass to rookie receiver Phil Silva during practice.
WR/KR Tim Dwight also made some great plays during practice, receiving a good amount of passes during drills. Dwight is a nine-year veteran who is a kick-return specialist and was most recently playing for the New England Patriots last season.
The Jets first overall pick of the 2006 draft T D’Brickashaw Ferguson felt great after his first practice, “I’m a team player and I know that this is a new process and different than what I am use to from college. You listen and react and try to learn as you go along.” Ferguson as well as Mangold gave the same answer as Mangini in regards to who will be the starting quarterback. Their answer- “I don’t know.”
-WR Laveranues Coles came down awkwardly on his right leg and was limping for a while during practice. He was not listed on the injury report and should be ready to go this afternoon.
-The Jets signed offensive lineman Pete McMahon and waived fullback Luke Lawton.
-With the signings of C Nick Mangold and QB Kellen Clemens, general manager Mike Tannenbaum continues the streak of years without a player holding out of camp to nine years.
- As mentioned above, WR Justin McCareins was not said to be injured by coach Mangini, just “physically unable to perform.” For those unfamiliar with the PUP, the physically unable to perform list allows a player to come off the list and practice instantly without waiting for a set time.
-DB Rayhun Reed was also placed on the physically unable to perform list.
RB Curtis Martin (knee) on PUP list.
WR Justin McCareins (out of shape) on PUP list.
The Jets continue practice tonight at 5:30 at Hofstra University as part of the seven two a day practices scheduled for this training camp. Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest NY Jets news.
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