Jets RB Thomas Jones is treated by team trainiers after he injured his ankle at practice. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Returning to practice on Sunday, the warm fuzzy feeling of Friday's 31-16 victory over Atlanta was short lived as star RB Thomas Jones injured his ankle during blocking drills.
It looked like he rolled over his right ankle and was immediately grimacing after it happened. With staff close by, Jones limped to the sidelines where he was treated by the trainers and returned later in the practice with ankle wrapped. Jones sat out for the rest of practice, working on the bike with the rest of the injured players. There was no comment by the team regarding the injury after the session ended and the severity is unknown.
Besides Jones scare, the camp went on. If anyone thought the 54 degree game temperature on Friday was a sign that more tolerable temperatures were in store, Mother Nature obviously didn’t get the memo. The heat and high humidity were back with a vengeance today for another long session.
At his press conference before practice, head coach Eric Mangini reiterated his praise of the team’s performance while stressing that there are some things that can be worked on.
“I was really pleased with the overall mechanics, especially with third down efficiency and performance on both sides of the ball,” he said. “But we still need to work on ball security on offense, and defensively, with the first group, there were a couple plays I would like to have back.”
Even with a win that was refreshing in many ways, it was just another day at the office as the Jets performed their usual drills and schemes in front of its loyal supporters, preparing for its preseason showdown with the Minnesota Vikings.
The beginning of practice saw Gang Green rejuvenated in their drills despite the hot weather. The drills ran according to plan with Mangini and staff looking on, with some highlights and one giant scare present today.
One highlight came during receiving drills for the running backs, when FB Alvin Banks made an over the shoulder catch that left the crowd in attendance in awe. This led to an appreciative pat on the shoulder by the man who was covering him, LB Blake Costanzo.
Other good plays on offense included a sliding catch by WR Chansi Stuckey and Jerricho Cotchery blazing through the defense after catching a screen pass. RB Leon Washington also had a long run after breaking free from the defense.
The defense produced some noise of their own, which came in the form of a broken off pass, from LB David Bowens and DB Hank Poteat, and a tackle for a loss, which was provided by Jonathan Vilma when he stopped Washington on a screen pass for a loss of yardage.
The session ended on a high note. During the final-minute drills, the first team went off the field after Rashad Washington intercepted a pass. However, the second team provided the biggest highlight of the day as Clemens threw a pass to Stuckey, who shook up the defense and took it in for a score to the delight of the crowd. Just before the end, Mike Nugent displayed his kicking talents for all to see, when he made nearly all of his attempts.
Bender’s Big Test
Rookie offensive lineman Jacob Bender, drafted in the sixth round from small Nicholls State in Louisiana, has been working hard to become a part of the offensive line squad for this season. Although blessed with raw power, strength, and his quickness off the line, one concern has been his technique. Coach Mangini, though, has been impressed with both his abilities and how he is finding ways to improve himself.
“He’s been doing a lot of core technique work with Mike [Devlin] and Tony [Wise] and spend as much time as possible with the older guys,” said Mangini. “It’s the case with all rookies, they learn as they go through it, and try to accelerate that as much as possible by spending all this time with the veterans.”
“I’m starting to pick it up really well,” Bender said. “What I’m training right now is becoming sort of a habit, so I’m thinking about what I got to do. I’ll keep working on it to make it a habit.”
Ryan Adding More
One of the big highlights of Friday night’s game was the performance of Sean Ryan, who caught two touchdown passes from Kellen Clemens. Ryan has been looking to add more to his repertoire and become more than just a blocking tight end.
“I really liked his concentration in the back of the end zone on that goal line play,” said coach Mangini. “He did some nice things on some crossing routes. He’s a guy that was recommended to us through Bill [Parcells] and kind of has been what was advertised. I like his work ethic and toughness.”
With that performance on his mind, Ryan came into training camp today looking for ways to build up on it, knowing well enough that Friday’s success is menial compared to what is ahead for the TE who was picked up from Dallas in a trade last year.
“On my two touchdowns, my routes weren’t as crisp as they could be,” said Ryan. “You always got to look at that because in the beginning of season, especially as a tight end, you got to find a way to get separation any way possible. Teams are gonna look at that tape and will think about it. You got to keep your routes clean and fast.”
Coach Mangini announced in his press conference that WR Jesse Pellot-Rosa and OL Andrew Wicker were put on waivers by the Jets.
Pellot-Rosa a converted basketball player who signed as a rookie free agent, is remembered for being part of the Virginia Commonwealth basketball team that upset national powerhouse Duke in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.
Wicker was also picked up as a rookie free agent by the Jets this past off-season. He played his college career at Mississippi.
The Jets have also re-signed WR Dante Ridgeway to the team. Ridgeway was picked up as a free agent after being waived by New Orleans. This is his second stint as a Jet, as he appeared for Gang Green for seven games in the 2005 season.
Close to the end of practice, assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox was seen and heard yelling at DL Michael Haynes, who was then ordered to leave the field by Cox. The reason for that outburst was unknown.
Other than Jones’ injury, the players who sat out today’s practice were CB Justin Miller, TE Joe Kowalewski, FB Stacy Tutt, and S Eric Smith. OL Robert Turner and CB Drew Coleman joined them on the bike later on in the practice.
Players of the Game
Mangini also announced his Players of the Game for Friday’s match-up. The Players of the Game were Kellen Clemens (offense), Eric Barton (defense), and Leon Washington (special teams).
The schedule for this week is as follows:
Monday: Practice 8:45AM and 5:30PM Both open to the public.
Tuesday: One practice at 2PM open to public.
Wednesday: One practice at 2PM open to public.
Thursday: Walk through, closed to both media and the public.
Friday: Game vs. Vikings at home, 7PM.
NEW EXCLUSIVE CAMP PHOTOS UPLOADED DAILY! Be sure to check out the JI training camp photo gallery every day for hundreds of exclusive shots. New photos added daily!