INSIDER WEDNESDAY CAMP REPORT:FINAL OPEN PRACTICE AT HOFSTRA.
By Rich Forestano
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 20th, 2008
It was a sad day for Gang Green fans in Hempstead today and across Long Island with it being the last day of the New York Jets forty year stay at Hofstra University. From 1968-2008, NFL greats like Joe Namath, Mark Gastineau, Wayne Chrebet, Vinny Testaverde, Curtis Martin (this could go on forever) and now Brett Favre have graced Weeb Ewbank Hall with their presence over the years, but like the saying goes: “All good things must come to an end.”
“I am very upset that the Jets are leaving Hofstra,” native Long Islander John Abernathy said. “I’ve been coming here for 20 years and the last eight with my son. A lot of fans on Long Island are probably real disappointed just like me.”
The Jets will move to their new Atlantic Health Training Center on September 2nd in Florham Park, NJ and officially close the book on their tenure in Hempstead, NY. The new facility has five-full length fields and a 5,500 square-foot locker room as well as many other upgrades that suggest the move is logical.
“Over the time I’ve been here, it’s always great energy from the fans and it’s appreciated,” head coach Eric Mangini said. “We’ll spend a lot of time after practice signing autographs for fans. Just being able to spend time with them is pretty unique.”
However, one fan didn’t see it that way. “This is a disgrace,” the fan said. “First they hit us with the New Jersey move, then they hit us with PSL’s.”
The organization pulled a last minute change and announced via mass-email that this was the last open practice today at Hofstra….ever. Fans were outraged.
“If I new it was the last day I would’ve been here a lot earlier to enjoy myself,” a fan said. “I’m truly upset.”
Hofstra will still play host to the yearly “Green-White Game” according to Jets brass in an effort to stay connected to its Long Island fanbase.
“The fans have been great here and it’s been fun entertaining them,” WR Marcus Henry said. “The crowds energize us all the time.”
The defensive line started out the one-a-day doing snap drills while the offense did standalone drills with the QB’s throwing to receivers. Punt return drills commenced with RB Leon Washington back for most of the kicks, while the offensive line did blocking drills on the sideline. LG Alan Faneca manhandled C Nick Mangold, knocking him on his back.
QB’s did dropback drills on the east field, where WR Laveranues Coles reeled in a poorly thrown crossing pattern from QB Brett Favre.
Brett Ratliff and Kellen Clemens continued on the east field, practicing their deep out routes with WR’s in coverage. Ratliff was 4-for-4 while Clemens was 3-for-5.
Defensive backs then converged on the east field for interception drills. DB Darrelle Revis and S Eric Smith both burnt DB Hank Poteat and S Kerry Rhodes on a fly route and crossing route respectively.
7 on 7 saw Favre go 3-for-3. Favre hit WR Brad Smith on a crossing pattern for nine yards to end his session. Clemens hit TE Chris Baker and WR Paul Raymond on flag routes.
Recently signed WR Larry Brackens made his debut as a Jet, hauling in two nice stop routes during the first session of 11 on 11. QB Erik Ainge, who had an abysmal day yesterday, hit WR David Ball on a crossing pattern for 13 yards and Brackens on a nine yard out route.
“He throws a good ball,” Ball said. “He’s a big guy and can move around in the pocket and hit spots really well when there’s a lot of hands in his face.”
LB Bryan Thomas was seen limping after a run play but stayed on the field and finished practice.
Ratliff had the nicest throw of the day, faking a pitch to his left and rolled to his right and hit WR Jerricho Cotchery on a go route down the right sideline leaving DB Rudy Burgess in the dust. Marcus Henry followed up with a nice 15-yard grab.
“I think I can be physical and a possession receiver,” Henry said. “I’m just willing to do whatever they want me to do out on the field. I’ve learned a lot so far at this point.”
Ainge followed up with an interception to Poteat, his fourth pick in two days.
The two minute drill concluded the last open practice at Hofstra. Down 20-16, Favre hit WR Brad Smith on a fly route down the right sideline, followed by a go route to Cotchery to put Gang Green in the redzone, only to go four and out. Favre finished the day 10-14 during 11 on 11 drills.
Ratliff took over to only end his day on an interception by S Cameron Worrell on a pass intended for WR Wallace Wright
Lap runners of the Day: TE Bubba Franks, DB Dwight Lowery, NT Kris Jenkins, QB Brett Ratliff, OL Will Montgomery and RB Rodney Kinlaw.
LB Jason Trusnik was on the bike again today along with LB Brad Kassell. WR Laveranues Coles and DE Shaun Ellis practiced today but were limited. Coles did wind sprints most of the day and participated on one snap of 11 on 11.
Brett Favre got the team an hour off of meetings yesterday and no curfew because he passed a “Mangenius” test. “He got the guys out of curfew last night because he could answer a question on what our team’s core values were,” he said. “I thought I had him. I don’t know how he pulled that one out. Room exploded.” The core values are Trust, Communication, Focus and Finish.
Wallace Wright: Captain!
WR Wallace Wright said that he was named special teams co-captain with Brad Smith before the Redskins game last Saturday night.
Favre didn’t sign Autographs?
But for a good reason. He spent his time with a terminally ill child during the autograph session.
Tomorrow’s practice (and for the rest of training camp) is closed to the public. Check back here for the camp report.