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INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com, Staff Writer
October 24th, 2007
CHAD'S STILL THE MAN: Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini announced today that Chad Pennington is still his starting QB. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
CHAD'S STILL THE MAN: Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini announced today that Chad Pennington is still his starting QB. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
A day after Buffalo head coach Dick Jauron named rookie quarterback Trent Edwards his starter for Sunday’s meeting at the Meadowlands. Jets head coach Eric Mangini made a decision on who his starting signal caller will be for Sunday’s game and it will be Chad Pennington.

Mangini was very reluctant to name Pennington the starter on Monday. But after evaluating his options and looking at more tape of the Jets loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Mangini felt like Pennington gives the Jets the best chance to win, so #10 will be under center on Sunday.

“I went back through the tape and felt very good about the decision-making process,” said Mangini. “There were quite a few plays that I really liked, especially the third down scramble that he had.”

“I was confident in how I played and I felt good about how I played. But coach’s decision is totally out of my control,” added Pennington.

Despite the calling to see second year quarterback Kellen Clemens, Mangini made the right move. Sunday was one of Pennington’s best games of the season. Pennington threw 20-for-31, 272 yards and three touchdowns. If Mangini decided to pull the plug on Pennington after a performance like that, it sends a message to the players that the Jets season is over despite not even being halfway through the season.

“I looked at it in terms of not just this week, but throughout the course of the season,” Mangini said. “Really that’s what I do position by position; it’s who gives you the best chance to win that game.”

Another reason why Pennington deserves the starting nod is in week three Pennington has a lot of success throwing the ball. In the 17-14 loss, Pennington threw the ball 39 times. He completed 32 passes for nearly 300 yards. Even though he did throw two interceptions, they were not the reason behind the loss.

The news of Mangini naming Pennington starting Sunday’s game it didn’t surprise many players. So far all week and for that matter the all month, Pennington’s teammates have defended him day and night. Many of the Jets offensive players are glad that Pennington will be in the huddle on Sunday.

“It’s cool to know early in the week, who is going to be the starter,” said WR Jerricho Cotchery. “When one guy gets singled out it overshadows the other positions that are not holding up there end of the bargain. We have to hold up our end of the bargain. It’s not just that one position.”

INSIDER TIDBITS

Vilma Misses Practice

LB Jonathan Vilma missed practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury. On Monday, Mangini was asked to evaluate the performance of Vilma, which was when Mangini revealed that Vilma had been affected by an injury. On Vilma’s weekly spot on the midday show with Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN 660, Vilma refuted reports that he was taken out of the game for medical purposes. He said he was taken out because of a coach’s decision. During Mangini’s 20-min press conference restated that it was it was injury related why Vilma was taken out.

Mangini said that Vilma suffered the injury during the game and he would spend Wednesday getting more tests on his knee.

“Jon [Vilma] has a lot of Laveranues in him, and you respect that about him. Like Curtis Martin, it doesn’t matter what my status is in terms of physically, I am going to play. That’s toughness. I appreciate that,” said Mangini of Vilma wanting to play injured. “Sometimes you have to look at it and say it is counterproductive, is it not helping even though you love the fact that they’re trying.”

Clemens on Pennington

QB Kellen Clemens will have to wait at least one more week before he gets named the starter. With the Jets being a sinking ship it is only time before Clemens gets his shot to be the Jets regular starter. With the playoffs right now out of the question, sooner or later the Jets will have to find out what they have in Clemens.

But right now Clemens isn’t thinking about when his chance to start will come, he just wants to help Pennington as much as possible, so this team can get their second win.

“I absolutely support Chad 100 percent. I know that this team does. He is a great player, a great competitor and a great teammate. We are all behind him. It is important for us to get a win this week,” said Clemens. “Being 1-6, our focus is getting our second win.”

Baker, Coleman Update

Also during his press conference, Mangini gave updates on TE Chris Baker and S Erik Coleman. Mangini said Baker is making progress and he will continue to be evaluated through out the week. Baker missed the Cincinnati with a back injury. While Baker does have a legitimate injury, there is still speculation Baker didn’t travel with the team due to comments he made about the play calling of some of the Jets coaches in the loss against the Eagles.

And the same goes for Coleman. Mangini said he was making progress as well. Coleman did not start against Cincinnati because of “coach’s decision”. Coleman suffered a concussion earlier in the season which caused him to miss a game.

Both players did practice today and will probably appear on the teams weekly injury report. Mangini did not whether both players would play and Sunday. He says that will be determined from how Baker and Coleman practice this week

Jets will face Rookie QB Edwards again

QB Trent Edwards has been named the Bills permanent starting quarterback. Edwards took over the starting role after QB J.P. Losman went down with a sprained left knee has not been putting up the big numbers so far this season, but he has lead Buffalo to two wins in three games and the only loss was a last second loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

In the Bills week 4 win over Gang Green, Edwards was making his first career start in that game but in that game he looked like a seasoned vet. Edwards completed 22 of 28 pass attempts for 234 yards. He threw one touchdown pass as well as an interception.

And in the win Edwards looked as comfortable as possible when dropped back to pass. With the Jets defensive struggles, Buffalo has be to looking to attack the Jets defensive secondary again.

Practice Notes

The biggest news the 30 minutes of practice opened to the media was that CB Darrelle Revis went back to returning punts. Revis had spent the previous weeks of practice blocking during punt coverage. Revis hasn’t made any plays on the defensive side of the ball yet this season. With the punt return unit struggling, Gang Green might want to look at Revis, who was very electrifying as punt returner in college…Mangini was more verbal in practice today. During one-on-one tackling drills, the usually-silent Mangini did a lot talking. Mangini would point out proper tackling techniques to players who not using techniques liked by the head coach.

Doors Opened for Chatham

Last week LB Matt Chatham spoke to media about how he is ready to return to the field. Well after yesterday’s release of WR David Clowney, adding Chatham to the active roster seems like a great possibility. Chatham, who spent the first six weeks of the season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list, is a favorite of Mangini’s. Mangini persuaded Chatham to sign with the Jets last off-season.

If the Jets do not choose to activate Chatham, there are other options that are open are on the defensively. LB Jerry Mackey and CB E.J. Underwood could be activated to the active roster. With the Jets defense performance on Sunday, Mangini could look to get spark from anywhere.

There was also chatter in the press room today that the Jets could sign veteran NT Grady Jackson who was surprisingly released yesterday by Atlanta. However, there was no confirmation to this at press time. The Jets could definitley use his 350 LB+ run-stopping body on their defensive line.

Injury Report

New York Jets

Did Not Participate in Practice

LB Jonathan Vilma (knee)

Limited Participation in Practice

TE Chris Baker (back), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), QB Chad Pennington (ankle), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee)

Full Participation in Practice

WR Justin McCareins (calf), TE Jason Pociask (back), CB Hank Poteat (chest) TE Sean Ryan (knee), S Eric Smith (thigh)

Buffalo Bills

Did Not Participate in Practice

DE Ryan Denney (Foot), LB Leon Joe (knee), DE Chris Kelsay (ankle), S Jim Leonhard (calf), LB Josh Stamer (calf)

Limited Participation in Practice

TE Ryan Neufeld (quad), CB Ashton Youboty (ankle)

Full Participation in Practice

WR Sam Aiken (hamstring)