INSIDER SATURDAY EARLY CAMP REPORT
By Douglas Bonjour
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
July 26th, 2008
“We still keep that internal. Mike’s a nice combination guy,” Mangini said. “[Mike] likes to talk different combinations.”
With Favre’s name circulating around Weeb Ewbank Hall, Kellen Clemens endured another shaky performance on the practice field. During an 11-on-11 drill with the first-team offense at the opponent’s 15-yard line, Clemens dropped back and had wide receiver Chansi Stuckey running a slant pattern. However, Clemens’ pass sailed behind Stuckey and was batted down by safety Kerry Rhodes. Soon after the offense lined up for a two-point conversion attempt, but Clemens fumbled the snap and the defense recovered. The quarterback then dropped his head in frustration and ran a penalty lap.
“That’s the most basic play in football," Mangini said. “You do it in pee-wee leagues, you do it in high school, you do it in college, right on down the line. It’s really first things first.”
At the end of the practice Clemens got a chance to redeem himself as the first-team offense again lined up for a two-minute drill. This time the quarterback fired an accurate pass to wide receiver Laveranues Coles on a slant pattern, but perhaps his throw had too much zip on it. Coles was unable to handle the throw and deflected it in the air, resulting in an interception by cornerback David Barrett.
Following the practice, Mangini assessed Clemens’ performance.
“You’ve got to protect the football. That’s first and foremost,” Mangini said. “You’ve got to go through things crisp. You’ve got to go through snap counts, you’ve got to go through getting the ball in your hands, each step by step.”
Even though the second-year quarterback is entrenched in a competition for the starting job with Chad Pennington and has faced numerous questions about Favre, Mangini doesn’t believe Clemens’ inconsistency is a result of trying too hard but seemed to feel that the quarterback was forcing some passes. He referred to a play from yesterday’s practice in which Clemens threw a pass into tight coverage which was intercepted by cornerback Darrelle Revis.
“The mistake that he made yesterday, the interception to Revis, that’s a tough thing that you see with a lot of quarterbacks where they are trying to put the ball in a place where you really can’t put the ball and sometimes you’ve just got to cut your losses,” Mangini said.
There were multiple instances today in which both Clemens and Pennington chose to throw the ball into the ground rather than force play, which pleased the head coach.
While Clemens struggled, Pennington had a relatively quiet morning on the field. The nine-year veteran did make a few nice throws, one of them coming on a 7-on-7 drill. Despite tight coverage, Pennington split the seam on a slant pattern to wide receiver Wallace Wright. The pass drew a loud applause from the crowded fan section. However, Pennington’s finest throw was his last, as he floated a pass over the defense and into the arms of wide receiver Brad Smith for a 32-yard touchdown.
While Favre’s name was buzzing through the stands, support for Pennington was still present. As Pennington walked down the sidelines nearest the bleachers, multiple fans screamed, “We’re on your side Chad.”
The Jets will practice later this afternoon, starting at 5:45 p.m.
Gholston’s Second Practice
Today was newly-signed Vernon Gholston’s second training camp practice with his new team. The Ohio State product split time working with the first and second team defense, lining up at both defensive end and linebacker. Gholston did make an impressive play during a tackling drill, as he stripped the football away from tight end AJ Schable.
Gholston did have one rookie mistake on the day. During a 7-on-7 drill in which he was lined up as a defensive end, Gholston jumped offsides and was forced to run a penalty lap as a result.
Rough Day for Joe
Recently-signed punter Joe Smith did not get off to a good start today. While splitting punting duties with Ben Graham, Smith’s first punt went off the side of his foot, took one bounce out of bounds and sailed into the team parking lot. The punt traveled no more than 25 yards. If you’re wondering, Smith was wearing jersey number four.
Support for Favre
One fan seated in the bleachers displayed a sign reading, “Woody, cut the check. Make it happen. Get Favre.” The sign was obviously directed to Jets' Owner Woody Johnson in reference to the possibility of trading for Favre. However, the support didn’t last long however, as both the sign and fan weren’t seen for much longer.
Tight end Chris Baker remains on the PUP list and did not practice. Baker stayed on the exercise bike for much of the practice.
Undrafted rookie running back Danny Woodhead, who was carted off the field yesterday, has a knee injury and was put on the waived/injured list. The injury appears severe. “Nothing certain, but it’s not looking good for him to be back anytime soon,” Mangini said in his presser today.
The team returns to the field at 5:30PM for it's second session. Be sure to check back to JI later for a complete recap!
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