Jets rookie CB Darrelle Revis picks off a pass during team OTA's. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The second day of open practice to the media for the Jets came to an end Friday with many good showings and some slight concerns. Overall, the players did what they do best to impress the coaches and to enjoy a hard workout in June heat that was more reminiscent of August training camp weather in Hempstead.
“It’s been working great,” said first-round pick Darrelle Revis. “The coaches have been teaching me. I’m starting to pick up on some stuff and I’m getting better as a player so that I can help the team out.”
Coach Eric Mangini and his staff have been impressed with the performance of certain players. Running back Thomas Jones, who was picked up from the Bears, had left many in awe with his speed and agility in many running plays. Jets second year rusher, Leon Washington, caught a screen pass and made some great moves on the defense before being tagged short of the end zone.
Rookie wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, a seventh-round pick from Clemson, had impressed many in two simulated scrimmages with his precision in running the routes and his ability to hang on to the ball. One of those catches resulted in being stopped short of the end zone. WR Laveranues Coles also performed solidly during the day, and second-year player Wallace Wright broke through on a play during the first simulated scrimmage.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kerry Rhodes caught one of a few interceptions that sophomore QB Kellen Clemens had thrown in the last simulated scrimmage of the day.
Clemens seemed to struggle today and had trouble getting the ball to his targets. It was noticeable that Clemens has his eyes solely on the target he was trying to throw to, which allowed the defense to easily read him and make him feel flustered. Mangini mentioned yesterday the offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer plans to add many new looks to the Jets offense this season so it’s possible the youngster is trying to catch on to the new plays.
Rookie tackle Jacob Bender, though impressive throughout the last scrimmage, had jumped offside during the final scrimmage, and thus ran two laps after practice. Although a concern for most rookie offensive linemen, Bender has shown little of it and knows that it will be a tough process.
“I was upset initially, but being a pro is about not letting one thing get you down,” he stated. “You got to snap back and go back to the basics.
“I got to go a long way. I got to solidify my pass blocking technique. It’s coming along and getting better but I got to work. I’m by no means a seasoned vet.”
Another question mark has been LB Anthony Schlegel. Last year’s third-round pick from Ohio State was a disappointment last year because of his unability to play well enough to enter the linebacking rotation on gameday. This has been cited as one of the reasons the Jets moved up in the second round and went after Michigan’s David Harris as a more solid player. The move has indicated that there will be competition between the two in the coming months. Although he’s a very hard worker, if Schlegel does not show significant improvement he may not make the final roster in September.
Something that was very noticeable at the beginning of the day was Revis taking part in every aspect of special teams. Revis was along side Justin Miller in returning punts and kickoffs. During his time in Pittsburgh, Revis was solid on the special teams, and it will be a possibility to see him very much on special teams in the NFL. Darrelle, however, isn’t ready to look at the big picture quite yet.
“Right now I’m going out there and get as many reps as I can and compete,” he stated. “I’m just doing what the coaches ask me to do.”
Revis has also mentioned that it has been a pleasure working along side fellow defensive backs Justin Miller and Kerry Rhodes, and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
“They know the game and are very experienced,” he said. “They’ve taken me under their wing, even [Jonathan] Vilma today. I thank them.
“Coach Sutton has a lot of knowledge and he knows what he is talking about. He has all the schemes and we follow them. His schemes are great.”
Mangini, Poteat remember Pats’ Hill
In the wake of the death of New England’s Marquise Hill, shock was the expression on the faces of two men in the Jets organization who have gotten to know Hill: Head Coach Eric Mangini and cornerback Hank Poteat.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the whole Patriots organization. He was so young and had such a promising future,” said Mangini, who had coached Hill when he was the defensive coordinator for the Patriots in 2005.
Poteat, who had spent two seasons with New England before coming to the Jets, said that he was shocked to hear about the news regarding his former teammate.
“To be honest, it really hurt me because he was a good dude,” he said. “When you spend so much time with a group of guys day in and day out working hard to reach a goal, you become like brothers, and for me to hear that or any other death, it’s tough.”
Poteat has said that he had contacted former teammate Chad Scott in regards of the news. Other former Patriots teammates of Hill’s included linebacker Matt Chatham and wide receiver Tim Dwight. Both were unavailable for comment.
INSIDER OTA TIDBITS
-In light of Justin Miller’s brush with the law, rookie wide receiver Chansi Stuckey has been fined by the Jets for his involvement with the incident in Manhattan on May 20. Stuckey was reportedly present with Miller when he allegedly struck a woman, who happened to be Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s campaign aide.
-When many college basketball fans tune in to Jets games this season, they will recognize a familiar face in rookie Jesse Pellot-Rosa. Rosa was a member of the Virginia Commonwealth team that had upset national powerhouse Duke in the first round in this year’s NCAA Tournament in March.
-When rookie linebacker David Harris will take his position against New England on opening day, he will encounter a familiar face. Harris, who was drafted from Michigan, will go up against Laurence Maroney, the Patriots’ first round pick from Minnesota last year. The last time these two met was in 2005, when Harris registered 18 tackles against the Golden Gophers. However, Maroney burned the Wolverines en route to a victory.
-Although Pete Kendall has been a no-show to OTA’s this off-season, the coach has dismissed suggestions about a possible replacement for the veteran guard. Kendall has been unhappy about his contract situation as of late.
-During Friday’s practice, the Jets special teams have experimented with using Brad Smith in trick plays in the punt formation.
-Coach Mangini, through his family’s foundation, will hold a football camp tomorrow in Hartford for about 800 kids, many of whom have lived without a lot of luxury and had present in more funerals than in classrooms.
-The Coach announced that he had attended his mother’s graduation last night. Mrs. Mangini graduated from Tunxis Community College in Farmington CT.
-After practice, Darrelle Revis went down to the lower field to catch punt returns while a coach used a machine to send the football high in the air. At the end of the session, Revis impressed the crowd in attendance by hanging on to five balls as he caught the balls that were sent high up in the air. Unfortunately, when the sixth ball was sent, Revis caught it, but dropped one ball in the process.
-Mangini kicks off his annual weekend football camp in Hartrord CT tomorrow sponsored by Mangini’s family’s foundation (Carmine and Frank Mangini Foundation) They are expecting approximately 850 kids with 200-250 volunteers. Most of the kids that attend the camp are kids who would never be able to come to a camp due to financial restrictions.
-The team continues OTA’s next week but only Thursday and Friday’s practice will be open to the media. JI will have complete coverage so be sure to check back often!