Florida State rookie RB Leon Washington has been impressive so far this camp. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The Jets returned to practice as temperatures soared into the 90’s again today. The Jets spent most of the morning working on situations and while one quarterback shined another suffered through a tough practice.
Practice started with a bang as the team practiced offense vs. defense. The situation was 40 seconds left, ball at the offense’s own 40 and needing a field goal. Kick Mike Nugent delivered in a big way as after a 21-yard pass, Nugent drilled a 49-yard field goal through the small uprights on the east side of the team’s practice field.
The Jets then moved their practice from the hot artificial turf, to the somewhat cooler grass field to practice game situations with loud music blaring. The music is a new touch that head coach Eric Mangini has added in the last couple days.
“I like working with sounds and music,” Mangini said. “It forces the defense to communicate. You add that element to it, the communication is not as fluid, you can’t yell across to the corner or make an adjustment. We have to effectively communicate and sometimes that can’t be verbal communication. It has to be through hand signals.”
During the situational drills, quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey and Brooks Bollinger took a good majority of the snaps while rookie Kellen Clemens and veteran Chad Pennington saw very limited repetitions this morning. It was a tale of two quarterbacks as Ramsey looked great while Bollinger struggled all through out.
After a poor practice last night, Ramsey was sharp this morning. He hit completion after completion, as the offensive squad racked up first downs and had a sustained attack while Ramsey was on the field. Ramsey threw balls to a plethora of receivers as he led the team downfield for several touchdowns. The quarterback did not look the least bit bothered by Wednesday’s rumors that veteran Chad Pennington had already won the starting quarterback job.
“I’ve been told that we’re still competing and nothing has changed,” Ramsey said. “I’m just trying to get this thing and run it well.”
Bollinger, on the other hand, had a tough go at it. The offense looked disorganized with him at the helm and Brooks seemed virtually incapable of completing a pass at times. The lowlight came when Bollinger burnt a timeout due to confusion in the offense. This led to Mangini sending the entire offense on a lap.
“Those time outs are two valuable,” Mangini said. “Whatever the issue was, there’s got to be another answer.”
Another player that looked good today was rookie running back Leon Washington. He exhibited a strong burst through the hole and also displayed some great agility. Mangini spoke glowingly of the rookie in his press conference.
“I really like some of the things he did,” Mangini said of the running back. “He’s done a great job in the pick-up drills with the linebackers and shown great awareness in some punt return drills.”
WR/KR Tim Dwight also had another strong practice. It looks like he could be the replacement for Wayne Chrebet as the team’s third down wide receiver. Aside from his quickness and good hands, Dwight has displayed the fearlessness to be willing to catch passes over the middle of the field.
-G Pete Kendall who appeared to injure his arm in yesterday’s session and sat out a portion of the session was back in action today and showed no signs of any pain.
-The Coach would not give details about WR Dante Ridgeway’s knee injury but he sat out practice this morning.
-Rookie wide receiver Brad Smith made a couple acrobatic catches yet again in practice. Mangini has liked what he has seen out of the rookie. “That’s what I’m looking for,” Mangini said. “Each day you get an opportunity and each day you capitalize on that opportunity.”
-The Jets will hold practice again tonight at 5:30 but there will be no public access to the practice. There will still be media access.
-Jets Insider.com has learned through team sources that the Coach will likely cancel tomorrow’s practice and give the team a well deserved day off before they do weekend sessions at the Meadowlands. Although it hasn’t been officially announced it’s expected an announcement will come later today.
-Long time Newsday Jets beat writer Ken Berger is leaving the Jets beat to cover the NBA for his paper. Berger is being replaced by Tom Rock who previously covered local High School and College sports as well as having an outdoors column. Jets Insider wishes Ken the best in his new endeavor and Tom good luck in his new gig.
-CB David Barrett (leg): day-to-day
-CB Erik Coleman (illness): day-to-day
-TE Jason Pociask (shoulder): day to day
-WR Dante Ridgeway (leg): day to day
-DT Tui Alailefaleula (leg): day to day
-DT Sione Pouha (leg): day to day
-RB Curtis Martin (knee): on PUP list
-C Trey Teague (ankle): on PUP list
As mentioned above, the team will practice again later today at 5:30 but the session is closed to the public. Jets Insider.com will be there and have a full report, later tonight.