Jets WR Justin McCareins is fighting to keep his starting job. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Wednesday was a day for making last impressions at NY Jets training camp as the team held its final training camp session of 2006. One veteran wide-out ended camp in a blaze of glory, while a veteran quarterback simply crashed and burned.
At his daily pre-practice press conference, head coach Eric Mangini talked about his NFL training camp as a head coach.
”I’ve had a very busy camp. It’s been a great process for me as well. Each day I learn something different and there’s been so many interesting things that have come up and so many interesting experiences that I’ve had personally.”
Mangini, who was in a particularly cheerful and funny mood on Wednesday, was then asked if he felt that he was going to make the team. “You’d have to talk to Mike [Tannenbaum] about that,” Mangini joked. Laughing out loud and unusually willing to poke fun at his tight-lipped regime, Mangini added, “I like my chances currently… I’m sure [Tannenbaum] meets with Woody [Johnson] every night and discusses the organization. My goal is to be better than the guys who are here.”
If Mangini was in this good a mood before practice even started, it’s a safe bet that veteran WR Justin McCareins’ performance on the field left him even happier. McCareins has faced an uphill battle to retain in spot as the teams number two receiver after failing his first physical of training camp, forcing him to miss two practices. Today McCareins completed that uphill climb, as he was nothing short of incredible throughout the afternoon session.
The majority of McCareins’ highlights for the day came on passes thrown by QBs Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens, who both shone today. Pennington, the favorite to win the Jets’ starting quarterback job, connected with McCareins on numerous occasions for touchdowns including a 70-yard bomb down the sideline for a touchdown 11-on-11 drills. Clemens and McCareins connected for their fair share of nice plays as well.
QB Patrick Ramsey saw limited action today, throwing mostly short routes and practicing handoffs with the team’s various backs.
The Jets’ fourth quarterback, Brooks Bollinger, had a disastrous day of epic proportions, potentially placing him on the verge of being cut from the team. Bollinger continued to struggle under pressure, throwing pass after pass out of bounds in red-zone offense drills with the music on. Later, in 11-on-11 drills, Bollinger threw a pass that was seemingly intended for DE Bryan Thomas since no white jerseys were even close to the ball. Thomas dropped the interception.
Newly acquired RB Kevan Barlow had an impressive day as well. Barlow showed off his pass-catching ability early in practice, and later wowed onlookers with his aggressive running. Barlow excelled at getting low to the ground, making if very difficult for defenders to tackle him.
The day’s session was a short one by Mangini’s standard, lasting just minutes over the allotted two hours. After the session, the team showed their appreciation to the fans that supported them throughout training camp by holding a ten-minute autograph session including all members of the team.
-For the second straight practice, veteran WR Tim Dwight was absent. The team has provided no information on why he has not been at practice.
-Veteran CB David Barrett, who returned to the team from the injured list less than a week ago, walked off the field after one hour of practice. He paced around by the workout area, and soon thereafter could be seen sporting a grey tee-shirt and working out on an exercise bike. Nothing is currently known about what caused him to leave practice.
-Rookie QB Kellen Clemens and C Norm Katnik were in full pads and uniforms for today’s practice. They were the only members of the team practicing in full pads. Though no official explanation was given for this, Clemens and Katnik have struggled lately with fumbling snaps, so this was probably a disciplinary measure. The duo has been disciplined the same way before.
-RB Kevan Barlow spoke to reporters after practice to address concerns over comments he recently made to his former head coach, Mike Nolan, of the San Francisco 49er’s. Barlow, who equated Nolan to Hitler in a conversation with the coach after learning that he had been traded to the Jets, was apologetic and said that he wished he could take back those words. He has spoken to Mangini about his comments and called Nolan to apologize earlier today.
-G Isaac Snell (leg): day to day
-CB David Barrett (unknown): day to day
-WR Dante Ridgeway (leg): day to day
-WR/KR Tim Dwight (unknown): day to day
-RB Curtis Martin (knee): on PUP list
-C Trey Teague (ankle): on PUP list
-DT Sione Pouha (knee): IR Out for Season
-TE Jason Pociask (shoulder): IR Out for Season
Tomorrow is walk through day as the team prepares for Friday’s preseason match-up against the rival New York Giants. Be sure to check back to JI for all the latest NY Jets news!