INSIDER WEDNESDAY LATE CAMP REPORT
By Douglas Bonjour
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 13th, 2008
After quarterback Brett Favre suggested to reporters his arm was "fatigued," he lightened up on his legendary cannon during the afternoon session. This time, the "other Brett" was the quarterback leading his team down the field. As four seconds stood on the clock, quarterback Brett Ratliff nodded his head toward Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and jogged over to the huddle. His offense trailed 31-23 and faced a crucial third-and-four on the 18-yard line. As Ratliff shouted his cadences, music blared through the speakers and the thousands of fans watched intently from the bleachers.
The Jets were concluding their longest practice of training camp (two hours and 18 minutes) and Ratliff was running the two-minute drill to near perfection. After starting on their own 12-yard line with just 1:45 left, Ratliff had completed six of eight passes on the drive.
On the final snap, the second-year quarterback faced heavy pressure and rolled out ten yards to his right, but with no open targets, Ratliff rolled back left and fired a pass across his body and into wide receiver Wallace Wright’s hands for a touchdown. But not was all successful on the drive, as wide receiver David Clowney dropped Ratliff’s two-point conversion attempt on the next play, thus ending the practice.
Despite the offense’s miscue, the drive was a fitting end to another promising practice for Ratliff.
Ratliff did get intercepted by cornerback Ahmad Carroll during an 11-on-11 drill, but the second-year quarterback again threw several crisp passes to his targets.
For the “other Brett” on the Jets roster, practice was relatively quiet. While Favre highlighted the morning practice with his 53–yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brad Smith, the deep passes were absent from the afternoon session. Instead, Favre threw several underneath passes to his targets, including a 15-yard out pattern that wide receiver Chansi Stuckey broke for a touchdown.
Even though the 18-year veteran can still throw the ball with the best, Favre showed his age following the morning practice and suggested to reporters this afternoon that he would speak to Head Coach Eric Mangini about easing up on his “fatigued” arm.
“I don’t want to say I feel good, but I’ve been able to make it through every practice so far. I think maybe this afternoon I’m going to talk to Eric [Mangini] about it. Limit my throws a little bit,” Favre said.
Favre’s throws surely were limited during the afternoon session, as he deferred to running back handoffs on several plays during 11-on-11 drills. In Favre’s first three sets of 11-on-11, he went 5-for-6 passing. After an 11-on-11 drill run by quarterback Kellen Clemens and a brief kick return drill, Favre returned to throw a total of six passes during a two-minute drill, three of which he completed.
For Clemens, practice was again littered with inconsistent throws. During the quarterback’s first 11-on-11 drill, Clemens had wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery open on a ten-yard out-pattern, but Clemens' throw hit cornerback Justin Miller in the back of the helmet. Later in the session, Clemens fired a quick slant to Clowney, but the wide receiver dropped the pass, deflecting it in the air for safety Cameron Worrell to intercept.
No Changes at Quarterback
Even with a strong debut from Ratliff (14-for-20, 252 yards, 2 TD) in the Jets’ 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns last Thursday and an impressive showing in practice with the second-team offense, Clemens remains Favre’s backup. Mangini said Clemens will be the No.2 quarterback against the Redskins Saturday.
Ratliff insisted this morning that the thought of moving up the depth chart has not crept into his mind.
“I just try to go out there and do my job. Any opportunity that they give me, I just try to take advantage of it,” Ratliff said. “I can’t ask for anymore than the opportunity to prove myself. That’s what I try to do each day.”
Favre’s Home Crowd
It’s no secret that the crowds at Jets camp have grown with Favre’s arrival. After spending the following eight seasons with the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, tight end Bubba Franks has witnessed the electricity that Favre can bring to a home crowd. When Favre makes his Jets debut against the Redskins Saturday, Franks knows the Giants Stadium crowd will be anything but quiet.
“It’s going to be a huge ovation,” Franks said. “We have been having great crowd participation here. Everybody seems to say it’s the ‘Brett Favre show’ for now.”
As for Favre, he said the experience of running out of the tunnel prior to kickoff will be “different.”
“I’d be lying if I said anything else. Of course this game will be fun. As this thing gets rolling, the newness wears off and it gets down to playing,” Favre said.
A Welcomed Visit
A group from the Wounded Warrior Project visited Jets camp today. As Mangini noted during his presser, the group’s mission statement is to “aid and empower our severely injured servicemen.”
“It’s just nice to have them visit and for us to take that chance to go over and say thank you for all that they’re doing for us. It’s nice to have them here, we enjoy having them here,” Mangini said
A Taste Favre Likes
While rap music has been blaring through the speakers at Jets training camp quite often, the Jets provided their new quarterback with a music genre of his own liking. As Favre got under center for the team’s first 11-on-11 drill, the country music song “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” blasted through the speakers.
Lap Runners of the Day
Tight end Chris Baker (false start), wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (false start), offensive tackle Thaddeus Coleman (false start), linebacker Eric Barton (offsides) and wide receiver Paul Raymond (fumble) all ran laps for their miscues.
Following a botched snap with rookie Erik Ainge at quarterback, Mangini forced Ainge and the entire third-string offense to run a lap. Among the guilty party were Ainge, wide receiver David Ball, running back Jesse Chatman, offensive tackle Thaddeus Coleman, offensive tackle Nate Garner and wide receiver Marcus Henry.
Wide receiver Laveranues Coles missed practice with an undisclosed ailment and spent most of the session on the hand-bike.
Clowney returned to practice after missing a portion of the morning session due to unspecified reasons.
Defensive end Shaun Ellis (hand) missed his seventh consecutive practice and has yet to shed the protective glove from his right hand. No exact date was given for Ellis’ return.
“I’m not sure of the exact timetable, but I don’t think it’s going to be leading into the season or anything like that," Mangini said. “Some of that is precautionary, just to make sure everything is right before we bring him back out.
Ellis was replaced by Mike DeVito on the starting defense.
Linebacker Jason Trusnik (undisclosed injury) remains on the PUP List and did not practice.
BRAND NEW: JETS INSIDERVISON VIDEO PAGE! Brand new for 2008, get even more inside the team by checking out JI's Jets Insidervision page with new exclusive videos coming throughout the season! CLICK HERE
TRAINING CAMP PHOTO GALLERY: To view the largest collection of NY Jets training camp photos including brand new Brett Favre shots: CLICK HERE