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Baby Steps

By Sean M. Deegan
Publisher, Jets Insider.com
May 28th, 2009
After skipping all of the previous 2009 off season activites Thomas Jones is back but for how long? (JetsInsider.com Photo)
After skipping all of the previous 2009 off season activites Thomas Jones is back but for how long? (JetsInsider.com Photo)
As the intense focus was shifted off Mark Sanchez due to RB Thomas Jones returning and the alleged rape at S Kerry Rhodes' home, the rookie QB showed some noticeable progress today as the team completed it's second to last OTA week.

There was buzz among the media during the session as Thomas Jones who looked buff as ever with his trademark sleeves cut off, participated like he was never gone. Would he pull a Pete Kendall after practice and publicly lambaste the team about his displeasure with his current contract or would he take the high road? Either way everyone was eager to at least get his mindset after suddenly having a change of heart and showing up after missing weeks of team activities. What we got in the end was squat. Jones shifted his team boycott to a media boycott and skipped the entire post-practice locker room session to the disappointment of all.

After practice, Coach Rex Ryan had really nothing to add about Jones’ return except that he was pleased the RB was back and expects him remain back. Still no sign of lone holdout RB Leon Washington or any word on if any progress has been made on his status.

As the post practice media session was coming to a close, everyone thought a similar no show would be the case for the usual media-friendly Kerry Rhodes. However at the last minute, Rhodes came in and had nothing to say about the alleged rape that took place in his home this past weekend even though he was publicly cleared by the Morris County DA’s office. “This is a pending legal matter that I can’t speak about,” said Rhodes repeatedly after reporters asked him several questions about the incident.

The coach had similar things to say, mentioning that he had been cleared of the incident and any questions should be directed to law enforcement.

Regarding the practice, although no QB had a great session you could see progress in Sanchez’s game. He looked more comfortable behind center running the B team and even though he made several mis-throws and reads as well as INT’s to Drew Coleman and Marquice Cole he did make some good completions and a few very nice TD throws during the 7 on7 drill to RB Danny Woodhead, TE Dustin Keller and FB Brannan Southerland. During the 11 on 11 drills where they ran the offense from mid-field and in the red zone, Sanchez he was less effective but ended on a good note as he led a red zone drive that ended with a short TD pass to TE Jack Simmons. The final tale of the tape for Sanchez’s day is as follows:

7 on 7: Att: 7 / Comp: 3 / TD: 3 / INT: 1
11 on 11: Att: 14 / Comp: 6 / TD: 1 / INT: 1

Clemens was a little better as he ran the first team offense and threw TD’s during 7 on 7's to Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey but struggled during 11 on 11's as he ended the session with a pick to Rhodes that ended the drive. As we found out later, Clemens was a bit pre-occupied as he ran off the field early to meet his pregnant wife Nicole who had just gone into labor. The child will be their second. Here is Clemens' tale of the tape for today:

7 on 7: Att: 8 / Comp: 4 / TD: 2 / INT: 0
11 on 11: Att: 16 / Comp: 7 / TD: 0 / INT: 1

The other two QB’s, Eric Ainge and Chris Pizzotti got very few reps.

INSIDER TIDBITS

-LB David Harris had to leave practice early after a violent collision with S Jim Leonhard during punt drills. Harris, who wasn’t in the drill and wasn’t looking and had his helmet off, got nailed by Leonhard as he was running down the sideline. The collision resulted in Harris getting hit in the mouth by Leonhard’s helmet and although the LB lost no teeth, there was blood involved. According to Ryan, he was doing fine after practice.

-Team owner Woody Johnson who was absent from practice last week was in attendance today, hanging on the opposite side of the field with GM Mike Tannenbaum and a crowd of VIP fans invited to watch practice. No doubt prospective PSL buyers.

-Rookie RB Shonn Green was back in action after missing last week’s OTA’s with a strained hamstring. He looked very spry and showed no pain while running.

The team has one more OTA session open to the media next Wednesday and then kicks off a full team mandatory 3 day minicamp on June 9. Be sure to check back to JI often for full coverage!

EXCLUSIVE OTA PHOTOS! For the largest gallery of exclusive OTA photos on the internet: CLICK HERE

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