Jets QB Chad Pennington hops on one leg through the agility dummies at today's pracitce while his injured ankle was heavily taped. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
On Wednesday the big story around still surrounding Gang Green was about the alleged videotaping of Jets defensive coaches during Sunday’s 38-14 loss to the Patriots. But Jets wanted to make their number one concern the Baltimore Ravens.
Wednesday, the Jets returned to the practice field for the first time since their devastating and ugly opening weekend lost to the Patriots. An encouraging note for the Jets was that QB Chad Pennington joined his team on the practice field.
Pennington spoke to media Wednesday afternoon, it was the first time Pennington spoke to media since injuring his right ankle. Pennington was taken to the podium in the Jets media room through a back entrance so reporters could not see him walk from the locker room to media room. Pennington, who was seen wearing sneakers, did look good leaving the media room, but not on the practice field.
“I am not frustrated, but disappointed would be a better word,” Pennington said. “It’s a day-to-day process. I am working hard to be able to play on Sunday.”
When asked if Pennington took an MRI and what the results of it were, Pennington declined to comment.
Pennington did not fully participate in bag drills during a 30-min viewing of practice for the media. While his teammates worked with the bags, Pennington ran on the side of bags, favoring that right ankle.
As practice continued, the quarterbacks shifted to another field while the rest of the team were working on punt coverage. While walking downhill to the other field, Pennington walked very gingerly on the ankle. During quarterback drills Pennington didn't even throw a pass.
When the punt coverage drill ended, the quarterbacks joined the offense on the main field. QB’s Kellen Clemens and Marques Tuiasosopo each split time with the first team, while Pennington did not take a snap. Even though Pennington wants to be on the field Sunday when the Jets take on the Ravens, the prospect of that is looking slim.
Like all injuries, coach Mangini has been very silent about Chad’s situation. Mangini said even if Pennington does not practice at all this week it is conceivable that Pennington would still be eligible to play on Sunday.
“It’s the same thing whether you’re the backup quarterback and you have to go in early in the game and you preparation had been primarily mental reps,” said Mangini.
Having Pennington not take repetitions during Wednesday’s practice was probably more of just a show for the media. Mangini probably will not announce his starter till Sunday.
If Pennington cannot play on Sunday, the starting duties will be handed over to the second-year player Clemens. Clemens would be making his first career start against the Ravens.
“You approach each week like you are going to be the starter,” said Clemens. “As a backup or a starter, you approach it the same way you try to get as ready as possible.”
Clemens was brought to Baltimore by head coach Brian Billick after the 2006 combine. Billick was very impressed with Clemens when he was at Oregon and if Clemens did not suffer a leg injury during his senior season, Clemens might have been selected much earlier in the draft.
If Clemens were to start, the offense would probably expand. WR Justin McCareins (1 catch) and WR Brad Smith (0 catches) would probably touch the ball more. McCareins was one of Clemens favorite targets during the preseason. They hooked up for two touchdowns in their intersquad scrimmage at Fordham and they hooked up for a touchdown in their only preseason loss against Minnesota.
Players Speak on Videogate
Coach Mangini spoke for the first time since all these allegations came out about the Patriots videotaping their defensive coaches. And just like Monday, Mangini said he would let the league take care of it because it is a league issue. Wednesday would be the first day the media would hear what the players thought about “Videogate”. The players would echo the sentiments of their coach.
“Basically it’s a league matter. And I said what I said not knowing all of this,” said Jets safety Kerry Rhodes. After the loss Rhodes said it felt like Brady knew exactly what were going to do. “Everybody in this league tries to get a competitive advantage on your opponent, so I am not surprised this happened.”
“This is new to me as it is to everyone else and I think the league will handle it properly,” said Jets linebacker Eric Barton. “The whole situation is behind me, it doesn’t affect me, either way we still lost the game. We have another game this week and we have to get back on track.
Like the Jets the injury bug has also hit the Ravens as well. WR/KR B.J. Sams will miss Sunday’s game due to a knee injury. OT Jonathan Ogden will also be unavailable as he recovers from a hyperextended toe. The Ravens also have a quarterback controversy. Starter Steve McNair has sore a shoulder and if he can’t go QB Kyle Boller will get the start for the Ravens.
Harris Really Needs a Win
Rookie linebacker David Harris is in dying need of a win. Not only are the Jets winless on this young season, but so is his alma mater. Michigan (0-2) will kickoff against Notre Dame (0-2) this Saturday. And asked who needs a win the most he replied.
“Right now we both do!” said Harris.
Stuckey Done for the year
Promising rookie WR Chansi Stuckey who showed many flashes during camp was placed on injured reserve today and is finished for 2007. Stuckey injured his right foot his senior year at Clemson. This injury is to the same foot but according to Mangini is a different injury. The Jets also released S Ray Ventrone and signed S Abram Elam.
Elam (6-0, 207, Kent State), signed as a free agent with Dallas on February 2, 2006 and played in 15 games for the Cowboys finishing fourth on the team with 15 special teams tackles. He was waived on September 2, 2007. He originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent on June 16, 2005 and was waived on July 28, 2005.
The Jets made another roster move as they signed OL Jason Capizzi to the practice squad. Capizzi (6-9, 315, Indiana University, PA), was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers on April 30, 2007 and was later waived on September 1. He was a three-year starter at IUP and was a first team selection by the American Football Coaches Association and Daktronics Division II All-America first team.
Limited Participation in Practice
CB Andre Dyson (foot), RB Thomas Jones (calf), CB Justin Miller (thigh), OL Brandon Moore (shoulder), QB Chad Pennington (ankle), S Eric Smith (thigh)
Full Participation in Practice
TE Joe Kowalewski (shoulder), DL Dewayne Robertson (knee), FB Stacy Tutt (foot)
Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Ray Lewis (Arm), QB Steve McNair (Groin), OL Jonathan Ogden (toe), CB Samari Rolle (foot), LB Gary Stills (chest), TE Daniel Wilcox (ankle)
Limited Participation in Practice
WR Mark Clayton (toe), WR Demetrius Williams (chest)
Full Participation in Practice
TE Todd Heap (elbow), S Ed Reed (ankle), DT Haloti Ngata (knee)
The team returns to practice tomorrow and has a walk through on Friday. Be sure to check back to JI for complete reports.