OTA's 2008: Practice Heats Up
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Staff Writer
May 28th, 2008
With just one OTA left open to the media, superstart rookie Vernon Gholston is still absent. (Jets Photo)
With just one OTA left open to the media, superstart rookie Vernon Gholston is still absent. (Jets Photo)
Coming off a 4-12 season the Jets had a countless number of things to improve on. For third-year quarterback Kellen Clemens the one thing he wanted to improve for the 2008 season was his accuracy.

Judging by his performance in the third OTA opened to the media on Wednesday afternoon his accuracy has improved greatly. Clemens looked sharp again as he showed off his strong arm as he got his chance to work with the first unit.

“Accuracy was one of the areas I wanted to work on [this] off-season. It’s nice to see the things that I was working on in February, March, [and] April showing up out here on the field,” said the young QB.

Clemens, who is in a battle for the starting quarterback position with veteran QB Chad Pennington, believes he has a very productive off-season and he credits that success to rigorous off-season program that included a lot of throwing and watching of videotape.

“Throwing for a quarterback starts from the ground up,” said Clemens. “You evaluate your feet, and you evaluate the foundation of your throwing platform. I did a lot of film-work, not only on myself, but on some of the other top QB’s in the league; kind of comparing and contrasting and trying to take some notes on things that they do. “

Besides watching a lot of videotape, Clemens said he did a lot of throwing into an “accuracy net”. The net he said is five feet tall and six feet wide with targets for him to throw at.

He also used a book that was written by quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Brian Scottenheimer. Mangini said all the quarterbacks got a book after last season. Each book had things in them that each quarterback needed to improve on.

“Brian Daboll and Brian Schottenheimer, both being detail guys, gave the quarterbacks a book of information, books dedicated to them. There's a Kellen Clemens book, a Brett Ratliff book, a Chad Pennington book,” said Mangini. “I don't know if it's as much of a report card as a tip sheet. They're getting a lot of information, a lot of feedback. There's a lot of very good information they're getting every day to help them be successful.”

Apparently that has helped him as today he had an impressive showing and displayed his strong and accurate arm. The highlight of his session was when he hit Laveranues Coles for about 30 yards when it looked like CB Hank Poteat had Coles covered.

“They [Daboll and Schottenheimer] did a lot of work and it’s paying off. There’s a destination in mind and there’s definitely a clear road map on how to get there,” said Clemens about the books.


Jets Add Another Running Back

As reported on Jets Insider yesterday, Head coach Eric Mangini announced the signing of former Ravens RB Musa Smith. Smith will join a crowded backfield that already has Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Jesse Chatman and rookie free agent Danny Woodhead. While it is a long shot for Smith to make the team, Mangini said Smith can really help the Jets in the special teams area. The former third-round pick out of Georgia set career highs with 264 yards rushing and 27 catches for 192 yards last season.

-Mangini was questioned about possibly working out and signing former Patriots DE/LB Rosevelt Colvin. He is very familiar with Colvin as he coached him New England. Mangini said the team has not brought Colvin for workout yet, but the possibility always exists. It is not a foreign idea for Mangini to go after former Patriots. Last season alone the Jets signed DE Kareem Brown and OL Clint Oldenburg after being released from the Patriots. Colvin mentioned on a radio show yesterday that the Jets were one of the teams that were interested in him however, the Jets have a lot of depth at the position and it’s very unlikely the team would have an interest in the 31 year old.

Gholston’s Still a Ghost

-Mangini also announced that first-round pick Vernon Gholston will not report the Jets facilities until June 6th. There is an NFL rule which states that an NFL player cannot participate in an NFL camp until the college of the player ends their academic term. Besides Gholston the only other Jets not in attendance was TE Chris Baker who is continuing his holdout due to a contract dispute.

Practice Highlights

-RB Leon Washington spent some time on defense as he played defensive back on the second team defense. After every defensive repetition Washington took secondary coach Jerome Henderson came over and gave Washington a hands-on teaching seminar…Rookie CB Kenny Patton was seen limping and talking to trainer after practice…CB Justin Miller was the starting CB opposite of Darrelle Revis today…...WR Brad Smith was still limited as he is being slowed by an undisclosed injury. Smith spent most of the practice on the bike…TE Bubba Franks is also impressing as he continued making some great catches all throughout the hour and half practice

Practice Player of the Day

-S Abram Elam – Elam made some strong plays during seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. During seven-on-seven, Elam made a great deflection (which he thought he should have intercepted) on a poorly thrown pass by QB Chad Pennington. And then in the closing minutes of practice Elam recorded a sack (although their was no contact) as he came in on a strong side blitz.

Honorable Mention – RB Danny Woodhead – Woodhead, who muffed a few kicks in the last week’s OTA’s did not drop any kicks in today’s session.

Nervous about competiton?

-K Mike Nugent hit only two of five attempted field goals. He missed on distances from 40, 47, and 54 yarder, but did close out by hitting a 57-yard field goals. His competition – Mark Myers from the CFL and Florida Atlantic University who was signed a few weeks ago, hit on all three field goals.

The Jets have one more open OTA practice tomorrow. Be sure to check back to JI for a complete recap!