INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 7th, 2007
Despite the hell hole that the Jets' season is in there were a lot of smiling faces in the locker room this afternoon. The main source of the smiles? A four day hiatus that starts tomorrow.
Although some may argue that the team doesn't deserve the time off because of the way they have been performing on the field, it is something that is needed. With so much happening on and off the field so far this season, it's probably good for Gang Green to spend some time away from the gridiron.
From Spygate to making a change at quarterback. From having the coaches play-calling criticized and to being unable to stop the opponents running attack, the first half of the Jets season has been one everyone wants to forget.
Even though this team has not had many positives to look at this season, the head coach has been very pleased with the work ethic of his team, especially in the last two days of practice. Since the Jets are in there bye-week, it could be very easy for players on this team to go through these practice lackadaisically.
But Mangini would never let that happen.
“I thought yesterday was very good in terms of focus and attention. And today is going to be very good as well,” Mangini said. “We won't leave the field until [practice] is very good. We have practice to schedule to end when it ends, and it will end when it’s very good.”
Mangini said that if his players lowered their intensity level and had terrible practices this week, the players would return to the facility for practice on Thursday.
“It’s similar to training camp where if you have two-a-days and some are scheduled, you can cut back early,” said Mangini. “If [practice] is not what you hoped, you just go back to the original schedule. The schedule is fluid.”
Prall’s emergence back to the NFL
As reported yesterday the Jets signed Evan Prall to practice squad. Prall spent training camp with the Jets, but he did not make the 53-man roster or practice squad. So after being released from the Jets, Prall still had to pay some bills. So he returned home and got a job as a teacher and football coach.
Prall was coaching football at Pocono Mountain East High School (30 minutes south of Scranton). His season at the school was going pretty much like the Jets season. Prall tallied a 2-8 record but his team lost six games by a touchdown or less.
In talking with Prall he noted how much respect his players gave him while coaching at the school. His players realized how much work he put into his football career. Prall gave his players and advice they needed and he noticed his players took to him really strong.
After finishing practice on Monday, Prall got the phone call from the Jets. Prall drove from Pennsylvania to New York that same night and the rest is history.
“I was so excited,” said Prall. “Being here, I love it. And just getting the chance to come back is a great feeling. I am going to do what ever I can to help out.”
Prall’s locker is right next to the locker of WR Chris Davis. Davis was in the same position as Prall. Davis was cut from the team coming out of training camp and since them he has bounced in and out of the practice squad. But Davis never gave up on the goal playing in an NFL game. And last week Davis’ hard work paid off. Davis made his NFL debut on Sunday against the Redskins. And after seeing what Davis has done it is giving Prall a realistic goal to go after. But Prall just wants to help this get back on the winning track and have fun.
“I am just taking it one day at a time. I just going to go out there give it 100% and try my best,” said Prall. “If it happens, it happens. If not, I have no regrets. I’m out here having fun and doing what enjoy.”
Davis missed practice for the second straight day. The WR, who made his NFL debut last Sunday against Redskins suffered a shoulder injury. Mangini said he has an idea when Davis will get back into action, but declined to tell the media. Davis was unavailable to reporters today.
WR Laveranues Coles practiced but wore the red jersey meaning no one could hit him.
Ben Graham missed practice also, likely to be with his wife and newborn son Jack Benjamin Graham. Filling in for Graham was K Mike Nugent. And Nugent did a pretty good job. Nugent got nice distance on his punts along with some friendly rolls. Nugent was doing such a good job at point LB Eric Barton yelled out “Ben Who?”
Also during punt drills a helicopter was flying over the Jets facility. Barton turned around told his teammates that LB Jonathan Vilma would be coming out of that helicopter to surprise his teammates. Much to his chagrin there was no Vilma siting.
One reporter joked around with Barton saying that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was in the helicopter filming the Jets practice. After a sarcastic laugh the LB went back to watch practice.
Mangini did not announce whether Vilma’s surgery was successful or not. He also announced that LB David Harris had only tallied 20 tackles. The press box statistics gave Harris credit for 24 tackles.
Jets get a new Murrell
The Jets signed a Murrell today. No, it wasn’t former 90's Jets RB Adrian making a comeback, but his younger brother Marques. The move, announced by Mangini at his press conference today, fills the roster spot left by the cutting of S Rashad Washington yesterday. Murrell, an undrafted rookie free agent from Appalachian State was signed off the Eagles practice squad. Although he was a DE in college, he's since been switched to outside LB. The former Jet Adrian played RB for the Jets between 1993-1997 where he gained 3477 yards. He was traded to the Cardinals before the 1998 season after the Jets signed RB Curtis Martin as a free agent from the Patriots.
When the Jets return to the facility on Monday they will begin preparation for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers will visit the Meadowlands on Sunday. During halftime of the game the Jets will honor former RB Curtis Martin