MINICAMP 2008: Meet The Rookies
By Doug Bonjour
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
May 2nd, 2008
Center of attention was Gholston, who arrives in New York as one who the Jets hope can cause nightmares for opposing quarterbacks for years to come. Before donning his number 56 practice jersey, Gholston discussed his expectations heading into the rookie minicamp.
“Just to make the team at this point,” he said. “I’m a rookie and some say I was the first pick, but I still have got to put my work in.”
Making the roster is something Gholston surely will not have to worry about as he expects to use this weekend as a learning experience.
“We’re all rookies and some guys are fighting to make the team, so the biggest thing is just to learn and grow and take everything you can from it," Gholston said.
Besides making a lasting impression on the coaching staff and learning the system, what is Gholston’s main goal as he proceeds into camp?: “Just to help the team,” he said. “I’m all about the team and I’m a team player. If we’re all doing good then I’ll consider myself doing well.”
Along with Gholston, the Jets’ other first-round pick (30th overall), former Purdue tight end Dustin Keller, discussed the camp ahead while surrounded by reporters. Keller, who will be wearing number 81 this season, believes that “There’s no doubt in my mind,” that he can succeed at the next level. Despite leaving the college ranks for the bright lights of the NFL, Keller insisted that he does not feel overwhelmed when stepping onto the field.
“The coaches get so prepared and we go over everything and it's just repetition over and over, so many meetings,” he said.
Keller, who was recruited to Purdue as a wide receiver and has been criticized for his inability to block, could be lined up as a slot receiver, similar to what the Colts do with tight end Dallas Clark. As far as playing multiple positions, Keller admitted that the coaching staff has spoken to him about such plans.
“I know they want me to play some tight end. It’s just something we’ll see when the season comes around,” he said.
Others who gained the media’s attention were the team’s fourth-round pick, former San Jose State cornerback Dwight Lowery, and the team’s fifth round pick, former Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge. For Lowery, he voiced some of the same goals of Gholston, mainly being “just to make the team.” As far as the season goes, Lowery said, “I’m not really seeing myself fitting in anywhere [on the roster]. I just want to come in and work hard,” he said.
Ainge expressed some of the same sentiments, saying that “Coming out here and just trying to learn and trying to get better,” are goals of his.
However, while any young player knows that making a rapid development is key while playing in the NFL, Ainge knows he must remain patient.
“There probably is 15 things I can do to get better, but they can’t give me 15 in one practice,” he said.
Jets sign 10 undrafted free agents and offer tryouts to 35 others.
Players signed are the following:
Brett Byford (C/Nebraska/Hartselle, AL/6-3, 300)
The following players have been invited by the Jets for tryouts this weekend:
Joshua Abrams-RB, Ohio University, 6-0 197 pounds
Rostered players that were asked to participate this weekend are the following:
WR David Ball
Practice is open to the media starting at 3PM with a press conference by Head Coach Eric Mangini to follow. Check back to JI for a complete recap and report.
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