INSIDER SUNDAY CAMP REPORT
By Dan Powell
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 6th, 2006
The New York Jets wrapped up their weekend at the Meadowlands on Sunday with a simulated half of a game. The team was split in to two squads, Green and White, and aside from the empty seats and unpainted end zones, the staff missed nary a detail.
The practice started with team introductions and the Star Spangled Banner. During the game, music blared while the Green offense was on the field since they were the away team and it was quiet while the white offense took the field. The Green team, led by veteran quarterback Chad Pennington, seemed unflappable as they were able to overcome the White’s home field advantage to win the day. Still head coach Eric Mangini saw both positives and negatives from both squads.
“I think it was good to come out here and work on these simulated game in the stadium,” Mangini said. “I saw some positives but there’s also a lot we need to work on. We can learn a lot from this experience.”
Mangini was also impressed by the rookies’ performance during the practice, despite the fact that first round draft pick LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson had a few false start penalties.
“I thought the new guys handled it pretty well,” the coach said. “I think it was great for them to get out here and they can definitely build from this.”
The most impressive performance by far, however, came from Pennington. Although Mangini said there is still an open competition for the starting job, and was unwilling to acknowledge the fact that Pennington distinguished himself from the other quarterbacks on Sunday, Pennington certainly made a loud statement for himself.
The veteran completed 12 of 14 passes for 117 yards during the simulated game, and was better able to establish and sustain a rhythm than the Patrick Ramsey, Brooks Bollinger, and rookie Kellen Clemens. The next best performer was Ramsey, who went hit on 4 of 9 passes for 33 yards, no where close to Pennington’s eye-opening performance. Still, the veteran realizes he hasn’t officially won the starting job yet.
“We have to go back and look at the film, I know we’re all working hard and trying to do the things necessary to show the coaches we’re capable of leading this team,” Pennington said. “All of us are competitive and take pride in what we do and we’ll be studying the film real closely to see what we can do to correct our mistakes.”
First round draft pick Nick Mangold also performed strongly during the simulated game. He did not jump offsides at all and also seemed to make all the right calls for the offensive line, as none of the Green team quarterbacks felt any pressure all day.
“It was great to have the game situation going and have the refs out there and the crowd noise going,” the rookie center said. “I’m just trying to learn everything and get the speed and get the feel.”
The stars of the defense were safety Kerry Rhodes and linebacker Ryan Myers. Myers was huge in the beginning of the game. He seemed to be all over the place as he made tackle after tackle, displaying terrific run-stopping ability.
Rhodes also had a strong game, making a couple tackles and also deflecting a few passes. After the practice, Mangini said he has been pleased with Rhodes progress thus far.
“I think Kerry has done a great job of stepping up as a leader in the secondary and improving his communication skills,” Mangini said. “However, he must continue to work and continue to improve everyday, just like everyone else.”
-Both punter Ben Graham and kicker Mike Nugent struggled a bit in today’s game. Graham shanked a couple punts, costing the team valuable field position. Nugent hit just three of his five field goal attempts, missing from 56 and 50 yards.
-The team was unable to get anything going in the running game. The longest run of the day was a seven yard draw by Derrick Blaylock. However, don’t think to much as this as it is tough to gauge the running game because the team was not playing full contact.
-CB/KR Drew Coleman was helped off the field after apparently injuring his right knee during the practice. His status is unknown.
C-B/KR Drew Coleman (knee): Unknown
The Jets were scheduled to return to Hofstra tomorrow for a 2PM pracitce but late Sunday Coach Mangini decided to give the team the day off. The Jets now return to the practice field for two sessions on Tuesday at 8:45AM and 5:30PM. Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest training camp news.