INSIDER MONDAY TEAM REPORT
By Richard Forestano
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 25th, 2008
With the breaking of training camp official and two-a-days over with, the Jets embarked on their last week of practice ever at Weeb Ewbank Hall. With moving trucks coming in and out of the complex, the main topic of the day, was where Brett Favre was at after his late start and will he get some more playing time on Thursday to tune up for the opener against Miami?
Coach Mangini as expected, didn't give much information regarding the subject.
"I'm going to see what it looks like over the next two days and then evaluate it," said the Coach. I can't say definitely no or definitely yes."
The answer is probably no and if the QB gets any playing time it will likely only be 3-6 plays despite Favre's desire to get more comfortable with the Jets' offense during gametime.
When asked if he's spoken to Mangini about the situation, Favre said he had not but wasn't optimistic.
"I don't know what's going to happen," said Favre. I would assume he'd (Mangini) will probably say no and if that's the case I'll get some practice in today and tomorrow and we'll be OK."
Another question looming the room today was the status of former Gang Green special teams head coach Mike Westhoff. Numerous reports have confirmed that he will indeed come back at the helm for the Jets after recovering from major surgery on his ailing left leg and current coach Kevin O’Dea would remain with the team in some capacity.
“I heard a little something about it,” WR Wallace Wright said. “If that’s what coach Mangini wants to do then it’s his decision. Mike knows the game well so I don’t think there’d be an adjustment period for him considering he was here for so long. But right now I’m just concentrating on what Coach O’Dea is teaching me.”
Westhoff signed with the Jets in 2001 and had his ups and downs, enduring a 2002 playoff appearance in his second year in East Rutherford. After doling out over $142 million dollars to free agents and winning the Brett Favre sweepstakes, it appears that Jets brass doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned to give the team the best chance to win.
“He was in a lot of pain last season, and he’s kind of a model of toughness, when you look at the things that he went through,” coach Eric Mangini said. “It wasn’t like he was off the Christmas card list or anything like that. He was still in the loop.”
Judging the reaction the players have had to the developments that surround the Westhoff situation, things could get pretty interesting in the coming days.
“He’s a great coach,” S Abram Elam said. “I learned a lot from him last year. But I haven’t heard anything about him coming back. If he does then it won’t be much different I think.”
Different? Shelving current special teams coach Kevin O’Dea two weeks before the season starts would create instant buzz in the locker room and on the field. Having a significant change like that merits attention being that the special teams group has been adjusting to a new face and philosophy.
The special teams unit, as a whole, has been solid for most of camp and during the first three preseason games, most noticeably Wallace Wright, who had two tackles against the Redskins and one against the Giants.
“I came in with Westhoff and he’s a fantastic coach,” Wright said. “Kevin O’Dea is doing a great job too. He’s here and as a team we’re focusing on what’s here and now.”
Here and now is O’Dea. O’Dea, after spending two years in Chicago as an assistant special teams coach took the head job with Gang Green in an effort to build upon what Westhoff left.
“I’m happy with Kevin, and I wouldn’t have hired Kevin if I wasn’t happy with Kevin,” Mangini said. “It’s never been a function of, hey, if Mike comes back, then Mike comes back. That’s never really been part of any decision, and it’s never been a part of my thought process.”
“I’d love to have him [Mike] back here as a coach and Kevin’s [O’Dea] a good coach, and it’s a part of football that coaches and players come and go in Mike’s case,” DB Justin Miller said.
Standard operating procedure in terms of the 40 minute session for the media with return drills dominating the first period. RB Leon Washington and DB Dwight Lowery returned kicks while QB’s did soft toss on the east field.
Kellen Clemens looked sharper against the Giants on Saturday, and it showed today in during practice. Even though with no opposing defense, he hit his marks during dropback drills. Oddly, Erik Ainge did not take part and participated in screen drills with the running backs in the south endzone.
QB Brett Favre took most of the snaps during WR drills followed by Brett Ratliff.
Ainge and Ratliff continued WR drills but in coverage this time. Ainge hit WR Marcus Henry down the left sideline on a go route, followed by the same by Ratliff.
The last ten minutes of practice saw…believe it or not….11 on 11. However, no pass plays occured.
Clemens jogged over and joined Ainge and Ratliff in the go route bonanza and hit Larry Brackins on a deep ball over the head of DB Ahmad Carroll.
WR Chansi Stuckey and DB Darrelle Revis were in a good scruff during passing drills, but Stuckey managed to break away and reel in an out route from Favre.
QB Brett Favre said that he’s only iced is throwing shoulder once since he became a Jet. “Call it stupidity, call it what you want,” Favre said. “I see younger guys icing all the time, and I know all that stuff is important. Call me old school, I don’t know. No signs of weakness, I always say, which I guess falls back on stupidity.”
Four to be gone tomorrow
No, not number 4. Four players have to be cut by tomorrow.
Favre to Giants: Get Strahan to come back!
Brett Favre said if he were a Giant, he’d do whatever he could to get him back on the team. “(He’s a) hell of a player,” Favre said. “I would have done whatever to try to get him back initially, but now, how could you not want him back. Wouldn’t that be something, he comes back and we start a trend.”
DB Justin Miller (foot), DE Shaun Ellis (hand) were available during the media’s open locker room session before practice. Ellis suited up but not Miller. LB Jason Trusnik rode the exercise bike today and is still on the PUP list. WR Laveranues Coles was in uniform and participated in drills.
RB Danny Woodhead was in the locker room this morning on crutches and seemed to be in good spirits. WR David Clowney was seen sleeping on the floor in front of his locker and did not practice.