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TRAINING CAMP 2009: Jets Move to Grass and Get Physical
By Daniel Troisi
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 4th, 2009
37 year old FB Tony Richardson is one of a few banged up Jets. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
37 year old FB Tony Richardson is one of a few banged up Jets. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
Providing the perfect follow-up to a Monday practice full of jawing and scuffles between the offense and defense, Jets head coach Rex Ryan devoted Tuesday’s practice to full contact, short yardage drills as the grass fields the team installed was finally ready for play.

As a coach, I always love this day,” said Ryan. “The first day of hitting and you really get to take people to the ground. It’s the only way you can do goal line. You can’t go walkthrough. You gotta go full speed.”

The Tuesday showdown, which S Kerry Rhodes predicted to be “Ali-Frazier”, turned out being more vanilla than “Manila”. The starting teams faced off in nine plays, with the defense gaining a slight advantage, recording five stops to the offensive unit’s four scores.

Practice was highlighted by an outstanding play by QB Kellen Clemens, in which he faked to RB Thomas Jones up the middle and scored on a naked bootleg to the left, which caught the defense by surprise. Clemens was greeted in the end zone by OC Brian Schottenheimer, who gave him a big congratulatory hug.

“Schotty is an emotional guy,” said Clemens. “He shows it on good plays and bad and you always know where he stands especially when Rex says it is live. That puts a little more pride on the line for both sides of the ball.

Another one of the morning’s more memorable plays involved rookie QB Mark Sanchez. Unable to find an open receiver on a play-action pass, Sanchez rolled right and decided to take it to the end zone himself. LB Bart Scott stopped himself from delivering a “Welcome to the league” hit on the rookie, as Sanchez tucked his head and dove into the end zone.

“I told the rook, that’s a bad career decision,” said Scott. “Once you roll out I might blank out. I don’t know what the red jersey means sometimes. You come out towards me, I’m going to come out towards you. But I blinked back into reality and I jumped out of the way but, bad career move, rook. Throw it away. Live to fight another day.”

Sanchez acknowledged that he was grateful for the veteran coaching from Scott but made it clear that he’s not backing down from anyone.

“I wanted to go back and look at it on film, but there will be a situation some time hopefully in my career where it’s me or the other guy and I’m betting on me obviously, whether it’s Bart Scott or anybody,” said Sanchez. “That’s just the way you have to play as a quarterback, whether you’re a rookie or not, and I think he liked that. It was one thing to talk a little smack to me and get after me a little, but at the same time I think he kind of admired the fact that this guy’s going for it, whether he’s young or not, he’s going to take it.”

From Scott to Sanchez, through five days of camp it seems nobody in the green and white is backing down and Coach Ryan loves what he is seeing.

“This is a hungry football team,” said Ryan. “This team wants to win and you just sense it. Last year, to be so close and still fall short of making the playoffs I’m sure is part of it. That’s where this team is. That’s what I sense. Maybe it’s me, but I feel it. I feel the passion, the energy every day out on the field.”

CAMP CORTLAND TIDBITS

BACKFIELD BANGED UP

FB Tony Richardson suffered a hip pointer after catching a three yard TD on a play-action pass from Mark Sanchez. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious but Ryan indicated that the 37 year-old veteran will probably miss a few days.

Meanwhile, Shonne Greene did not participate in the morning practice, as a result of a nagging ankle injury. The rookie rolled his ankle on Sunday, after being hit hard by LB Kenwin Cummings in blitz pickup drills.

REX DIET UPDATE

Ending Tuesday’s news conference on a lighter note, Coach Ryan updated everyone on his personal weight loss endeavor.

“I would say I feel hungry, but that’s understood,” said Ryan, who has reached the fifth and final day of his liquid diet. “I think I’m going to do the Cheerios and skim milk in the morning. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that.”

CAMP GETS VERY SIRIUS

A notable presence at camp today was the entire Sirius Satellite NFL Radio crew covering during their tour across America where they are visiting all 32 NFL training camps. The team of Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan spent the afternoon broadcasting live and interviewing a slew of Jets players as well as GM Mike Tannenbaum, Head Coach Rex Ryan and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine.

SOME WEATHER!

Today was the first day since camp started that there were two consecutive days of nice weather as Cortland was sun drenched with low humidity and a cooling breeze all day. Overall, perfect conditions for practice. The nice weather is predicted to last for the next several days as no precipitation is expected until Sunday.

Two-a-days continue tomorrow as the team prepares for the Green/White Scrimmage on Thursday at 7PM at Cortland. Be sure to check back to JI often for all of the latest breaking NY Jets training camp news!

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