New Jet veteran WR Tim Dwight has put on a show during his first days of training camp. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
On an extemely hot Sunday morning the Jets returned to the field for another 2 1/2 hour practice session. The practice was highlighted by great play by off-season aquisition WR/KR Tim Dwight who could end up being a big part of the Jets offense as well as special teams.
Head coach Eric Mangini wants to have a competitive team to put on the field every week, not a team that will fight for the number pick in the draft. Again, practice today was held half-an-hour longer than scheduled as Mangini tries to build a team that can win and play “fast.” Curtis Martin still did not join the team in the morning practice as he remains on the physically unable to perform list. Mangini continued his quarterback rotation with Kellen Clemens practicing today with the first team.
Clemens looked sloppy at the beginning of practice throwing an interception and having two balls batted down, which forced Mangini to talk to his rookie quarterback and try to get his head back into the practice. Towards the end of practice, the talk appeared to work, as Clemens looked much better throwing the ball. He completed long, over the shoulder passes to WRs Jerricho Cotchery and Dante Ridgeway and a touchdown pass to WR/KR Tim Dwight.
Dwight again had a great practice today proving himself and his worth to his new teammates, coaches, and Jet fans. Dwight, a talented kick returner who was signed from the rival Patriots by Mangini this off-season, was brought in to bring a spark to the Jets special teams. However, with the retirement of Wayne Chrebet, Dwight could fill the role of third down specialist as the 3rd or 4th receiver in the slot. So far he’s been all over the field and shown great hands in 11 on 11 drills.
“I like the discipline that coach brings to practice and I like that its’ just black and white with no gray areas,” said Dwight when asked about Mangini. He continued to add, that Mangini has “a passion for the game and is very smart.” Dwight continues to work just as hard as any other player on the field because, “you can’t get satisfied at this level and you try to be successful every play.” He does what is asked of him every day and goes about his job the same way every day.
Chad Pennington is hoping that soon he will be asked to do the same thing every day as the number one quarterback on the team. Pennington again looked unsure of himself at times, especially when he almost got pancaked by his teammates when he bobbled the ball on a routine hand-off play. Also, during warm-ups Pennington worked on his right hamstring a lot, as it appeared to look tight. This though, did not affect his practice in any way.
Mangini still did not give any hint as to who his number one quarterback will be as he still referred to it as an “open competition.” Now that each quarterback has had a chance to work with the first team, the Coach was quick to note that he will keep the quarterback rotation going for a while until he finds a starter. “All the position players are rotating during practices, so each player is getting a feel for another,” said Mangini in response to the players not being in sync with the quarterbacks.
Mangini also noted that today’s practice emphasized on third down plays, as it is an important aspect of game play. Mangini told reporters that he felt today’s practice was “much better today than yesterday and that we have to continue to string good practices together.” The heat was said by Mangini to be a factor in the bad practice yesterday, as it was reported to be the hottest day of practice for the Jets in four years. “The heat is a good thing,” said Mangini who was also quick to point out that, “you have to learn to play in all different elements to be a good football team.”
Mangini continued to stress the importance of the fundamentals by stating that the rookies need to continue to learn and improve every day. “I expect the same things from everyone,” said Mangini in reference to his players on learning the plays and what is asked of them every day in practice. The rookies need to know that, “were not going to run around in shorts for four days” said Mangini about the new situation they are in now practicing for a professional team.
Rookie quarterback turned wide receiver Brad Smith knows what Mangini wants from him and even gave the same answers as Mangini when asked about his first professional training camp. “I’m learning the fundamentals and learning from the guys who have been around.” He remarked that he believed he was progressing well each day and he knows that he has to continue to “learn what the coaches want from me.”
-Rookie TE Jason Pociask missed today’s practice with a shoulder injury. He’s day to day.
-WR Jerricho Cotchery was said by coach Mangini to have been the most outstanding player in the off-season program.
-Mangini was happy about the leadership role taken by veteran DE Shaun Ellis and newly acquired DL Kimo von Oelhoffen.
-TE Jason Pociask (shoulder): Day To Day
-RB Curtis Martin (knee) on PUP list
-C Trey Teague (ankle) on PUP list
The Jets return to the field for a PM practice starting at 5:30 PM. Be sure to check back to JI for all the latest training camp news!
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