Could this man end up as the Jets #2 wideout? So far, all signs point to YES. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The biggest story out of Hofstra the last couple days has not been the various position battles on the Jets squad, but instead the entire team’s battle with the blistering heat wave that has struck the metro area.
Despite heat indexes of over 100 degrees, head coach Eric Mangini has continued to work the players for over two hours at every practice, and this afternoon was no exception. Mangini worked his players to the very end of a stifling hot day as the Jets wrapped up their third of seven two-a-days at training camp.
“It’s been pretty toasty, but it’s been a lot of fun,” rookie center Nick Mangold said. “Going through the summer without playing football gets real boring.”
The heat has been especially tough on the offensive and defensive linemen. These are usually some of the biggest players on the field and they are going at it in the trenches every single play.
“Those guy are the big uglies, they get after it,” veteran quarterback Chad Pennington said. “Anytime the pads are on they have to go get it. So we try to take care of them as much as possible.”
Even with the long days and sweltering conditions, the Jets have been able to avoid serious problems thus far.
“We have been pretty good there,” Mangini said when asked if there have been any heat related incidents. “The players are getting the message on the importance of hydrating.”
The heat was not the only thing that carried over from the morning session. The team again looked must more relaxed as music blared during team stretches. The team had a good laugh as linebackers Eric Barton and Jamar Enzor danced to the hip-hop songs.
It also appears that Pennington and offseason addition Patrick Ramsey may be emerging as the front-runners for the starting quarterback job. During one practice session the four quarterbacks were split with Pennington and Ramsey throwing to the wide receivers and Brooks Bollinger and rookie Kellen Clemens throwing to the running backs and tight ends. Mangini watched the Ramsey and Pennington group, although the coach spent much of the drill barking at safety Kerry Rhodes who was continually beat by the wide receivers.
Both Pennington and Ramsey looked sharp all practice. They made smart reads and good throws, with neither missing many targets. The same could not be said for Clemens who again looked like a rookie. The young quarterback missed many throws and failed to pick up on several reads. The lowlight for Clemens came when he threw an interception to cornerback Justin Miller.
Punter Ben Graham also had a strong afternoon practice. To open the late session Graham boomed punt after punt 50 plus yards then consistently placed the ball inside the 10-yard line on coffin corner kicks.
-The Jets announced that they have waived rookie linebacker Will Thompson and signed defensive back Jovon Johnson. Johnson is listed a 5’9” and 180 pounds. On top of playing in the secondary, Johnson also led the Big Ten with a 17.4 yard punt return average with the Iowa Hawkeyes. He will wear number four.
-The time of Wednesday’s practice, originally scheduled for 2 p.m., remains up in the air. Since it is supposed to feel like 108 degrees during the middle of the day tomorrow, Mangini and his staff have decided to wait and see how severe the heat is and may bump practice back.
-Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery continued his impressive camp with a highlight reel catch during last second drills. Cotchery made a terrific leaping touchdown catch over a defender’s head in the back of the end zone and managed to get both his feet down inbounds.
-A couple of former Jets have taken shots at DT/NT Dewayne Robertson recently. Former Jets defensive end John Abraham, now with the Falcon’s, said he has never lined up next to a defensive tackle with as much ability as Atlanta’s Rod Coleman. Former Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans also publicly doubted that Robertson could succeed as a nose tackle.
-TE Jason Pociask (shoulder): day to day
-CB Eric Coleman (illness): day to day
-DT Sione Pouha (leg): day to day
-CB David Barrett (leg): day to day
-RB Curtis Martin (knee) on PUP list
-C Trey Teague (ankle) on PUP list
The Jets are scheduled to return to the field tomorrow at 2PM but the time may be changed due to extreme heat. Check back to JI for all the latest camp reports.