Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets). Also, you can now reach us via e-mail at JCaporoso@fanball.com…we are getting official over here.

Jets Week 2 Training Camp Wrap-Up

Two weeks are in the books in Cortland, New York for the Jets as they are now preparing for their pre-season opener against the suddenly chatty New York Giants tomorrow night. Here is a review of the highlights of the week, along with a recap of  how the rest of the AFC East did in their first pre-season game:

New York Jets

The Jets are going into tomorrow’s game nearly 100 percent healthy. Only reserve linebackers Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele wont’t play. Of course that Revis guy also won’t be on the field. We can only hope the Jets are doing an elaborate PR stunt and he will come running out of the tunnel with the defensive starters. Peter King will be writing about the Revis situation extensively in his MMQB column tomorrow so keep an eye out for that. I think Revis will end up signing before the third pre-season game. He won’t be able to take too many more episodes of Hard Knocks and the Jets won’t be able to stomach watching anybody catch a pass on their starting corners, without thinking “well if Revis was here…” Remember the Jets open the season with Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall.

On offense, the Jets have released guard Marion Davis and replaced him with Chet Teofilo. Matt Slauson will begin the game as the starting left guard. Vladimir Ducasse should also get a shot with the first offense, which is expected to play the entire first quarter and maybe a series into the second quarter. It sounds like it is a foregone conclusion Slauson will end up being the starting guard, unless he craps the bed tomorrow night. Rex Ryan said Slauson has the potential to be the long term answer at LG, which could mean Ducasse could start being groomed to replace Damien Woody at right tackle.

The Jets have begun expanding their “Wildcat” package past Brad Smith to include LaDainian Tomlinson under center in the “Wild Horn Frog.” It sounds like Tomlinson will be the running back to open the game tomorrow night, which doesn’t really much. Shonn Greene is going to be the guy who is taking the majority of the carries when the regular season kicks off. I am interested to see how Tomlinson, who everyone has been raving about this August, looks tomorrow night. Also, if the Jets get into a goal-line situation, who will get the carries?

Judging from everything I read since camp started, Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry have put together a better two weeks than David Clowney and Laveranues Coles. Clowney and Coles will have the first shot tomorrow to work behind the Jets big three at receiver, but they could use a little production before Allison and Henry start really pushing for their roster spots. Finally, I have a feeling Brian Schottenheimer is going to be dialing up an early deep ball to either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards tomorrow.

PhotobucketOn defense, Kyle Wilson has continued to impress at cornerback while Dwight Lowery has been tumbling down the depth chart. Marquice Cole has been seeing extended action with the first and second team, on both the outside and in the slot. Ryan is also high on rookie UDFA, corner Brian Jackson. New acquisitions, Jason Taylor and Brodney Pool, have began to flash more in practice, while UDFA safety Donovan Warren has been struggling heavily. With the injuries to Mauga and Satele, inside linebackers Kenwin Cummings and Lance Laury should see a ton of reps behind David Harris and Bart Scott tomorrow. Rex Ryan has continued to effusively praise Vernon Gholston at defensive end, let’s see if he can make an impact in a game situation.

Buffalo Bills

Poor Buffalo. Their top two running backs, Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are going to miss the rest of the pre-season, and in Jackson’s case maybe a little more. Buffalo took a healthy 42-17 whipping from the Washington Redskins the other night. Trent Edwards played relatively well and has all but locked down the starting quarterback position.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins beat the Tampa Bay Bucs in their rainy, pre-season opener. However, their first defense did allow the Bucs to score on them. Considering Tampa’s talent level on offense, that can’t be an encouraging sign for the Dolphins defense. Chad Henne went 5/11 for 19 yards, while Brandon Marshall dropped two passes. Miami had a punt blocked.

New England Patriots

The Patriots have lost defensive lineman Ty Warren for the season with a hip injury. Julian Edelman looked good in the Patriots opener against the Saints, with 6 receptions for 90 yards. BenJarvus Green-Ellis started at running back for New England. Torry Holt has been placed on injured reserve with a leg injury. Rookie Devin McCourty started at corner opposite Leigh Bodden.

Jets Will Finally Have A Player With Double Digit Sacks…Maybe Two

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First your daily practice/Rex Ryan press conference update

1. Mark Sanchez – 8/15, No TDs, No INTs…not terrible considering it was raining all practice. There was also no reports about him fumbling…maybe he took Joe Namath’s advice.

2. Nick Folk – 6/7…good work by the kicker, who has been better than expected this August.

3. A Truce! – The Jets and Darrelle Revis’ agents issued a joint statement, saying they have cleared the air, will try to reach an agreement, and will keep all negotiations confidential. I suppose this is good news, better than the high school name calling. Maybe Revis watched HBO last night and started to miss everybody.

4. More of Rex Ryan talking up LaDainian Tomlinson and John Conner. He said Conner has a chance to unseat Tony Richardson at fullback but it will be very difficult. The Jets would be incredibly foolish to let Richardson walk. They should gradually work Conner into the offense but let T-Rich remain the de factor starter. The Jets need his veteran presence in the huddle.

5. Rex Ryan’s mom yelled at him for cursing too much on Hard Knocks. Hopefully she also yelled at him for sneaking snacks.

6. Nick Mangold sat out of practice to play it safe with his head injury. He doesn’t have a concussion but obviously there is no need to risk anything. Robert Turner worked as the first team center. Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse continued to rotate at guard.

7. Good day for Danny Woodhead, who was frustrating defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Jets Will Finally Have A Player With Double Digit Sacks…Maybe Two

Do you know the last time the Jets had a player on their roster who recorded double digit sacks in a single season? It was way back in 2005 when John Abraham finished with 10.5. Despite having winning records in 2006, 2008, and 2009 the Jets didn’t have a player who got after the quarterback consistently enough to reach double digits. Fortunately, that is going to change this year.

Calvin Pace racked up 8 sacks in only 12 games last season. I believe with a full season of participation, in this defense, with Jason Taylor taking attention away from him, Pace will finish with 11-13 sacks. He had 6.5 in 2007 for the Cardinals, 7 for the Jets in 2008, the previously mentioned 8 last season, and will now jump to the next level. Pace is too talented not to take advantage of the pass rushing opportunities he will be given in Rex’s scheme with Taylor opposite him.

Taylor? He racked up seven sacks last season on a Dolphins defense that was nowhere near as talented as this Jets unit. Ryan will give him every chance to get 10-12 sacks. He will be out there in every pass rushing situation, lining up in multiple positions to get him the cleanest rush possible.

Finally, Vernon Gholson? Nah…If he gets 4 sacks, I’d be thrilled.

Jets Tuesday Recap & AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

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Jets Tuesday Recap

1. Mark Brunell is going to be the number two quarterback this season, with Kellen Clemens and Kevin O’Connell battling it out for the number three spot. I wouldn’t bet on Clemens, considering the Jets just traded a draft pick for O’Connell last season and clearly have no faith in Clemens. I’m not a believer in Brunell as the backup yet, despite his relatively strong start in training camp. He should see plenty of action this Monday night against the Giants, hopefully he puts together a strong performance which demonstrates the Jets could handle a Mark Sanchez injury for a short period of time.

2. Matt Slauson will start at left guard against the Giants, which wasn’t a surprising announcement considering his strong start to camp and Vladimir Ducasse’s struggles. It will be interesting to see how early the Jets will officially hand the job to Slauson and then begin grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle at some point in the near future. I also wonder if Ducasse will be worked in with Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter on the Jets short yardage packages.

3. Rex Ryan’s daily love affair with Vernon Gholston continued in his press conference today. Apparently, Gholston beat D’Brickashaw Ferguson a few times in pass rushing situations. Either Gholston has magically remembered how to rush the passer or Ferguson was having a tough day at the office. Imagine what a pleasant surprise 5 – 7 sacks from Gholston would be in 2010?

Photobucket4. The biggest news of the day was Rex Ryan commenting the Jets “had everything they needed on defense” without Darrelle Revis and that people shouldn’t feel sorry for them. Of course classic Jets haters Mike Francesa and Mike Florio ran with these comments as being hypocritical due to Ryan’s previous effusive praise. I am not really sure what they expected Ryan to say. “You know what, our defense isn’t going to be good this season. We can’t survive without Revis. I have no faith in everybody else on our defense to step up. We will probably pack it in and concede the division to the Patriots or Dolphins and battle for 3rd place with the Buffalo Bills.” Give me a break, Ryan is confident in his system and oh by the way the Jets still have David Harris, Kris Jenkins, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Jim Leonhard, Kyle Wilson, Brodney Pool, Shaun Ellis, and on and on.

5. There was a high amount of Brad Smith at quarterback today. I am curious how big of a role the “Tiger'” formation will play on the Jets offense in 2010. It certainly doesn’t hurt to show it once or twice a game to keep defenses off balance and force them to prepare for it each week.

6. Kyle Wilson will be starting at corner opposite Antonio Cromartie from now on after Dwight Lowery volunteered his position to him. It was a weird move by Lowery, who admitted Wilson needs the experience and seemed to embrace the inevitable that he was the first round pick and would eventually be starting anyway. Wilson had flown under the radar somewhat for a first round pick because of all the other hoopla around team but he is now being thrust into the spotlight because of the Revis holdout. Cromartie will really be filling the spot of Revis but teams will certainly target Wilson, due to his lack of experience. Lowery will play some safety in the Jets sub package, along with work in the nickel role. Marquice Cole has also been seeing extended reps, including some work with the first team.

AFC East Training Camp Round-Up

New England Patriots – The Patriots just finished a scrimmage with the New Orleans Saints. The primary news coming out of it is how good Wes Welker is looking after his season ending injury last year. Did you hear that Kyle Wilson? Fred Taylor has been working as the Patriots first team running back. Randy Moss has had a particularly strong camp. Ty Warren and Nick Kaczur have all been banged up. Darius Butler has impressed so far at cornerback. The Saints play the Patriots on Thursday night.

Miami Dolphins – Not to put too much stock in pre-season depth charts but the Dolphins have Joe Berger and Richie Incognito listed as their starting center and guard, respectively. Brian Hartline, as expected, is working as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall at receiver. Rookie Koa Misi is listed as the starting strong-side linebacker, with second year player Cameron Wake at the starting weak side spot. Chad Henne has had some inconsistencies in camp, including a poor showing at a recent scrimmage. The Dolphins play the Bucs on Saturday.

Buffalo Bills – The Bills also recently released their depth chart and here is their top four receivers: Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, and Felton Huggins. At least the Jets won’t miss Darrelle Revis against that receiving group. Trent Edwards looks like he is going to win the starting job at quarterabck. C.J. Spiller’s holdout ended recently and he has been participating in practice. Buffalo plays Washington Friday night.

Your New Starting Corners

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

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First a few updates:

1. The Jets had a walk through this morning closed to the public in preparation of tonight’s scrimmage, which will kick off at 6 PM. They have off tomorrow and then will be back to two a days on Monday. Hard Knocks kicks off on Wednesday at 10 PM and the Jets open up pre-season on Monday Night Football on August 16th.

2. Take your talents to the Turn On The Jets Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnThJets) account.

3. Patriots guard Nick Kaczur could miss the entire 2010 season with a serious back injury.

Green And White Scrimmage Preview

A short preview of the Jets scrimmage tonight…

Left Guard Battle – Matt Slauson has jumped out to an early lead in the battle to replace Alan Faneca at left guard. Vladimir Dcuasse has been slightly hesitant and is struggling to pick up the offense, while Slauson has impressed with his physicality. If Ducasse wants to get back into serious consideration for the starting job, a strong performance tonight would be a good place to start.

Backup Quarterbacks – It doesn’t sound like Kellen Clemens has much of a shot to unseat Mark Brunell at the #2 spot. However, he will have a chance tonight to demonstrate his knowledge of the offense and maybe put himself back in the conversation of being Mark Sanchez’s backup. However, if he struggles and Kevin O’Connell puts together a good performance, it could accelerate his release.

Sanchize & Company – Mark Sanchez hasn’t had a great start to his second NFL training camp. His completion percentage has been low and he is still throwing an interception or two each practice. It would be nice to see him protect the football tonight and hit a few throws down the field. Let’s see how Sanchez takes advantage of the Jets collection of weapons. Braylon Edwards sounds like he has been the team’s off-season MVP so far. Santonio Holmes has been making plays all over the field the last two days. Jerricho Cotchery is Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller has been Sanchez’s favorite target so far this August.

This Island Is Gone – In the absence of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie has been stealing the show on defense. Dwight Lowery has struggled opposite him (shocking, I know). It will be interesting to see if Kyle Wilson gets some work on the outside and not just in the slot with the first team.

Vernon Gholston – The perpetual disappointment has turned heads the past week. How about a sack or two in the scrimmage, VG? Then we can worry about the pre-season and the regular season.

In Need Of A Good Performance – David Clowney (fighting for a roster spot and reps at wide receiver). Joe McKnight (he has continued to struggle holding on to the ball). Vladimir Ducasse (falling behind Matt Slauson in the LG battle). Kellen Clemens (falling behind Mark Brunell in the #2 QB battle). Donovan Warren (battling for a roster spot in a crowded secondary). Kris Jenkins (let’s see him keep progressing back from surgery). Nick Folk (let’s keep the strong camp up).

Weekend Video Clips

Jets Friday Afternoon Recap & The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

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A few highlights from this afternoon’s practice:

  • Sounds like Mark Brunell had a quality day at the office and could be well on his way to burying Kellen Clemens on the depth chart or knocking him off the roster. I have been anti-Brunell as the #2 all off-season but maybe the old veteran will prove me wrong. I am interested to see how he plays in extended action during the pre-season. He hit Santonio Holmes on a couple of long completions today and also had a nice connection with Dustin Keller.
  • Joe McKnight and Aundrae Allison were working alongside Kyle Wilson on returning punts. The Jets haven’t had an explosive punt returner in a long time, which makes the addition of Wilson a little extra exciting. It is always risky to have a rookie back there, though.
  • Throughout camp Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller have been on the same page and have connected for a high amount of completions. Keller was a slight disappointment during the regular season in 2009 but much of that had to do with Sanchez’s struggles. We saw what this combination could do in the playoffs last year.
  • Marty Schottenheimer was in attendance today.
  • More Matt Slauson with the starters at LG.

A reminder the Jets will have their annual Green and White scrimmage tomorrow night at 6 PM. I will have a preview of the scrimmage either tomorrow morning or afternoon, followed by a recap on Sunday.

The High Comedy Of Jealous Giants Fans

I don’t know if fellow Jets fans have experienced the same increased bitterness towards their team from Giants fans this off-season as I have, but personally it has been overwhelming. Look at this recent post I had left on my Facebook wall:

I’m writing this to you as a wake up call to not only you but to all JETS fans that are acting like they already won the Superbowl when they haven’t won jack in our lifetimes. (You know the game that makes you the best team in the NFL for a single season like the NY Giants when they defeated the Patriots) I thought you should watch this video as a reminder that even after all the big name signings and TV contracts I want you to remember at the end of the day its the JETS and they’ll find a way to f— it up. (Note the video was the infamous ‘Jets Draft Blunders’)

I have seen plenty of this, along with hearing Giants players like Brandon “tip-toe” Jacobs and Justin Tuck take shots at the Jets this off-season. I have to say I find it very entertaining, not quite as entertaining as a Rex Ryan press conference, but close enough. We get it Giants fans, the Jets haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1969 and you guys won just two years ago. So, why do you care so much about the Jets dominating the headlines and receiving more national coverage than the Giants? Just worry about your team, their subpar defense, declining offensive line, and laundry list of injuries. There is no reason to be angry that Giants Stadium is now a pile of dust and the Jets are primed to make the New Meadowlands their own because they built a team on running the football and defense, the same things that won the G-Men three Super Bowls, and the same things they can no longer do.

By the way, the Giants also showed a ton of heart last season in those final two games.

Jets Friday Morning Recap & What About The Gholston Hype?

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Friday Morning Recap:

Rex Ryan’s press conference was particularly interesting this morning –

  • He backed up his bravado of signing the ESPN Training Bus “Soon To Be Champs” on the Jets logo. Ryan claimed when he looks in the crystal ball for 2010 he sees the Jets winning the Super Bowl and doesn’t believe there is any reason to hide it.
  • Rookie UDFA tight end Jeff Cumberland has a head injury and could miss the green and white scrimmage tomorrow. Linebacker Brashton Satele and guard Marion Davis are also banged up and could miss tomorrow.
  • He discussed Joe McKnight’s role on the team and commented how he must find a spot on special teams, particularly in covering kicks. The Jets had Mike Westhoff call him before they drafted him and make sure he would willing to embrace that role. When discussing him at running back, he said there is no way he is beating out Shonn Greene or LaDainian Tomlinson on the depth chart but he could still have a large role on the offense. Sticking to the running backs, he continued to lavish praise on Tomlinson and rookie fullback John Conner.
  • Mike DeVito will be the starting defensive end opposite Shaun Ellis. Those two along with Kris Jenkins and Sione Pouha will get the bulk of the defensive line rotation reps, although he is expecting Vernon Gholston and Ropati Pitoitua to contribute on a weekly basis also. When pressed about Gholston deserving a roster spot, Ryan got defensive saying he was earning it with a great opening week of camp and his various roles on special teams. One of the reporters questioned whether newcomer Rodrique Wright should get a spot over him but Ryan claimed they play different positions and that Gholston is currently the best option to back up Shaun Ellis at defensive end.
  • Currently, Kenwin Cummings is the team’s number three inside linebacker behind Bart Scott and David Harris.
  • Ryan said  Nick Folk reminded him of Matt Stover, who struggled at times early in his career but eventually settled down.
  • He was frustrated with the defense allowing a 50 yard touchdown reception by Brad Smith because he saw it as a continuation of their late game struggles in 2009.
  • Matt Slauson is leading in the battle for LG right now because he is being more physical and not as hesitant. The coaches have got on Vladimir Ducasse about worrying less on making mistakes and concentrating on finishing his blocks each play.

Practice Highlights

  • Mark Sanchez – 5/11, TD, INT (Calvin Pace on a batted ball)
  • Nick Folk – 6/6, including a 51 yarder.
  • Smith with the previously mentioned 50 yard touchdown.
  • Another sack for Vernon Gholston.
  • Fight between Jamaal Westerman and Robert Turner.
  • Laveranues Coles banged up his leg but returned later in practice.
  • David Clowney is excused from practice today for personal reasons.

What About The Gholston Hype?

PhotobucketWe hear it every single year. Vernon Gholston is finally getting it. He looks great out there. The game is slowing down for him and on and on. This training camp has been no different. Every single day we are hearing about Gholston recording another sack or flushing the quarterback out of the pocket. Rex Ryan defended his roster spot today by saying he deserves a key spot in the defensive line rotation and that he looks substantially better with his hand in the dirt instead of playing outside linebacker. Honestly, I will believe it when I see it in a game. Yes, there is a chance Gholston will be much better off at defensive end. He certainly has the physical tools to play the position and the Jets aren’t exactly asking a ton out of him in 2010. Could be develop into a quality role player? What do you think, are you falling for the hype again?

Jets Thursday Training Camp Round-Up

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Some assorted thoughts on Jets training camp as we head towards the weekend –

First off, a friendly reminder to follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

The Jets early practice was cut short by rain this morning and they only had a special teams session in the afternoon. Hence, the normal avalanche of information about specific plays in practice wasn’t released today, however here is a run down of the biggest headlines:

  • Joe Namath graced the organization with his presence today and was quick to pronounce his belief the Jets were poised to win the Super Bowl. For some reason this was reported as a major story. I am not sure it is so shocking that a Jets legend who is involved in working with the organization is going to say he is confident the Jets will be really good in 2010. It is about as surprising as Rex Ryan saying he thinks the Jets will have the best defense in the NFL, which he says about 11 times a day.
  • Kris Jenkins had a scare today when he took a shot to his leg and admitted he had a similar feeling to when he tore his ligaments last year. However, everything held together and he said surviving that shot has boosted his confidence about the strength of his leg heading into this season. I would still expect Jenkins to have very limited reps in the pre-season. It will also be interesting to see the amount of playing time Jenkins gets in the beginning of the regular season as the Jets attempt to keep him fresh for the stretch run. Sione Pouha is a more than capable back-up, who can provide a high amount of quality reps off the bench.
  • Linebacker Brashton Satele’s injury isn’t that serious and he should be back at practice within in the next few days.
  • Steve Weatherford was rested for this afternoon’s special teams practice. Apparently punter TJ Conley has improved substantially from last season but it sounds like Weatherford still has a very strong hold on the job.
  • Mike Westhoff announced today that Kyle Wilson will be the Jets primary punt returner and Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner heading into the pre-season. I would still expect to see some Jim Leonhard on punt return for certain situations, along with Antonio Cromartie getting a few reps occasionally at both punt returner and kick returner. Aundrae Allison or Joe McKnight should also get some reps in the pre-season to be given a chance to make an impression.
  • Rex Ryan signed the Jets logo on Adam Schefter’s ESPN training camp tour bus “Soon To Be Champs.”…you have to love the big guy.

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  • From listening to every single interview on WFAN and ESPN Radio today at Jets camp (I was stuck working construction)…it sounds like there has been no tangible progress on the Revis deal and we should all be settling in for a long wait. In the meantime, Revis has been pairing up with old his buddy Chad Ochocino Johnson to work on the OCNN Network. All of his teammates said all the right things about supporting his decision and believing the team could be fine without him, while he sorts out his contract situation. Overall, I would say Rex Ryan has absolutely made his imprint across this roster. The confidence across the board from all the players is extremely encouraging.
  • It continues to sound like Matt Slauson has a very good shot of beating out rookie Vladimir Ducasse for the starting left guard position.

The Jets have a practice at 8:20 and 4:20 tomorrow and then have their annual Green and White scrimmage on Saturday at 6 PM.

A Few Shovel Fulls of TOJ TV

Jets Practice #4 Recap & Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

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Practice #4 Recap

The Good – LaDainian Tomlinson beating David Harris on a slant route and taking it all the way to the end-zone. Mark Sanchez drawing Kris Jenkins off-sides. Joe McKnight holding his own against Bart Scott in pass protection drills. John Conner getting another big hit in, this time on Calvin Pace. Braylon Edwards beating Dwight Lowery for a 20 yard touchdown in 7 on 7 drills. Sanchez squeezing one down the seam to Jerricho Cotchery for a touchdown. Kyle Wilson getting his first interception of camp, when he picked off a Mark Brunell pass headed towards David Clowney. Aundrae Allison catching a long touchdown from Kevin O’Connell. Antonio Cromartie pulling in two more interceptions from Sanchez.

The Bad – Dwight Lowery getting beat for a touchdown, where is our Island? Joe McKnight had yet another drop today. Mark Sanchez was picked off  twice by Antonio Cromartie in 11 on 11s. Kellen Clemens was picked off by Drew Coleman. Mark Brunell was picked off by Kyle Wilson. Sanchez botched a pitch to LaDainian Tomlinson. Nick Folk missing a 35 yard and 40 yard field goal.

Play of the Day – Braylon Edwards out jumped Antonio Cromartie for a one-handed reception that set up the game winning field goal in the two minute drill.

PhotobucketPlayer Who Helped Himself – John Conner is catching everybody’s attention at least once every practice. He might end up with a bigger role on the offense than Joe McKnight and his pan hands.  Antonio Cromartie has interceptions two consecutive days and from all accounts has put together a very good few days to start camp.

Player Who Hurt Himself – Mark Sanchez hasn’t gotten off to the best start this summer. His completion numbers have been a little disappointing and he has thrown a few interceptions over the past couple of practices.

Sanchez Stats – 8/17, 2 INTs in 11 on 11s (both INTs by Cromartie)…thanks to Manish Mehta for the numbers.

Folk Stats – 6/8 (1 miss from 35 yards and 1 miss from 40 yards)

Roster Moves – Kris Jenkins was taken off the Active/PUP list and was back to practice. Don’t expect to see Erik Ainge anytime soon, since it was reported that he has been checked into a drug treatment/rehab facility. Ainge was suspended four games in 2008 for substance abuse. Kellen Clemens is back to practicing 100 percent. Santonio Holmes has to pass his conditioning test this morning and then is expected on the field this afternoon.

Injury – Shaun Ellis sat out of practice today because the coaches advised him to take a day off.

Depth Chart – John Conner saw some reps with the first team offense at fullback. Matt Slauson was back to working as the starting left guard. Ropati Pitoitua and Vernon Gholston both received first team reps at defensive end, as did Jason Taylor.

Rex Ryan Press Conference Highlights –

  • Called today the “Cromartie and Braylon Edwards” show.
  • Santonio Holmes will have to pass his conditioning test after his suspension and will be a full go in this afternoon’s practice.
  • Praised punter Steve Weatherford’s work this off-season, including his holding.
  • Said he hasn’t noticed the Hard Knocks cameras in meetings and that they have been discreet.
  • He praised Antonio Cromartie’s desire to learn how to do things “the Jets way.”
  • Jim Leonhard is the top “hands” option as a punt returner, meaning if there is any poor weather conditions he would be placed back there. However, he said the coaching staff wants Kyle Wilson to win the full time job.

Revis Update – In an interview yesterday, Peter King of SI said he believed Revis had more leverage than the Jets and that a deal wouldn’t be finalized until around Labor Day.

Thoughts On Offensive Depth Chart

It sounds like Matt Slauson has a much better chance at winning the starting left guard job  than most people (including myself) originally gave him. He has been rotating every practice with Vladimir Ducasse and got the nod in the Jets first practice. Rich Cimini of ESPN New York gave him a slight edge when asked about the battle. If Slauson does happen to win the job, it will be interesting to see if the Jets spend the season grooming Ducasse to replace Damien Woody at right tackle in 2011. Ducasse could also be given a role in some of the Jets short yardage packages, similar to Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter.

Photobucket Tomlinson is off to a strong start in camp and has been receiving a good amount of reps with the first team offense. I still don’t buy him competing with Shonn Greene for the starting job but he will get plenty of work in the pre-season to show the Jets he still has the necessary burst. Tomlinson is probably looking at 9-13 touches a game until Joe McKnight gets his act together and can become a bigger part of the offense. Also in the backfield, it sounds like John Conner is having one of the most impressive overall camps so far. He may actually carve out a little role for himself in the offense this year in certain situations or if he keeps playing so well, is it possible the Jets could release Tony Richardson at some point this summer? Going back to McKnight, if he keeps struggling it only increases the chances of Danny Woodhead sticking on the roster.

Santonio Holmes returns to the practice field this afternoon. I am anxious to hear about where Brian Schottenheimer is lining him up and if the Jets are trotting out any four and five receiver sets. There hasn’t been much talk about the Jets using their “Tiger” formation yet, however they could just be waiting until the more basic offensive installation is done.

Jets are back on the practice field at 4:20.

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Position Battles

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First a few updates:

1. Nick Mangold has already announced he won’t hold out of training camp because of his contract. You can only hope the Jets will do the right and make sure he is properly compensated at some point in the near future. It doesn’t sound like a deal with Darrelle Revis is imminent and there remains a reasonable chance he holds out of training camp for a period of time, regardless of the guaranteed money he would be giving up by choosing that route. Every move Revis makes will face insane amount of scrutiny if he does show up. It is going to take a little bend from both sides to make this deal happen but unfortunately it sounds like everybody is firmly dug in at the moment.

2. There still has been no movement on the Mark Brunell signing. Hopefully, the Jets are considering keeping Kellen Clemens alongside Brunell. I’d much rather see Erik Ainge or Kevin O’Connell released.

3. A reminder there will be a 12 minute preview of Hard Knocks this Wednesday on HBO at 11 PM.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Position Battles

In the first part of our training camp preview, we look at the position battles across the Jets roster –

There isn’t a high amount of intriguing battles for starting jobs on the Jets heading into this August. However, many players will be fighting it out for reps off the bench and to create a bigger role for themselves.

Left Guard – Vladimir Ducasse vs. Matt Slauson: The battle to replace Alan Faneca doesn’t sound like it is going to be much of a fight. Every indication from OTAs and mini-camp is that unless Ducasse is a complete disaster, he will end up being the starter. The Jets didn’t spend a second round pick on somebody to stash away on the bench for a 2009 sixth round pick with no experience.

PhotobucketSafety – Brodney Pool vs. Eric Smith: Another battle that isn’t really a battle. Rex Ryan has already stated he wants Pool in the starting lineup, so he can use Smith off the bench in a variety of roles and so that he can remain a core special teams player. Pool has impressed the coaching staff and it would be a huge surprise to not see him opposite Jim Leonhard in week one, with Smith coming off the bench in the nickel and sub packages.

Running Back – Shonn Greene vs. LaDainian Tomlinson: Only Tomlinson seems to think this an open competition. Unless he gets hurt, Shonn Greene will be the opening day starter at running back.

Defensive Line Rotation – Ropati Pitoitua vs.  Matt Kroul vs. Vernon Gholston: Shaun Ellis, Kris Jenkins, and Mike DeVito will be the starters with Sione Pouha getting plenty of work off the bench to spell Jenkins. However, the reps behind those four will be battled out between Pitoitua, Kroul, and Gholston. Pitoitua is mammoth at 6 foot 8 and 310 pounds. He played a little bit in 2009 but the coaching staff likes his potential. Kroul was stashed away on the practice squad last season after being signed as an undrafted free agent, yet defensive coordinator Mike Pettine raved about him this off-season and basically guaranteed he’d have a spot in the rotation. Gholston was only the six overall pick in the NFL Draft ,who looked clueless at outside linebacker. The Jets are hoping he can at least use his strength to give them something off the bench.

Wide Receiver – Brad Smith vs. David Clowney vs. Aundrae Allison: Somebody has to play the majority of the number three receiver reps while Santonio Holmes is suspended. Smith isn’t really a traditional receiver. Clowney made a few big plays last season and has the inside track to the majority of the reps. Similar to Clowney, Allison has great speed and could provide a deep threat. Britt Davis and Danny Woodhead could also push for a roster spot and these reps.

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Jets Area Of Concern – Left Guard

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First a few updates:

1. Sorry for the day off yesterday, we had some administrative problems with the site. You can expect 1-2 posts every single for the entire month of July. There is no shortage of things to talk about with this Jets team or with the NFL for that matter. Also keep an eye out for a new TOJ TV by the weekend and a new Podcast by the end of next week. Tomorrow check back for a little two a day action to compensate for no article on Wednesday.

2. I haven’t heard anything positive about the Knicks in free agency yet. If it becomes clear to the organization that they aren’t getting a top tier guy, they should focus on building their team with a few mid-level guys and role players this season, followed by a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul next year. It sounds to me like the Nets have a much better chance than the Knicks of getting LeBron as of right now. It makes sense, wouldn’t you be more excited to play for Prokhorov and Jigga Man instead of Jim Dolan?

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Jets Area Of Concern – Left Guard

Contrary to the belief of some fans, the Jets roster isn’t perfect. Like any team in the NFL, they have multiple areas of concern throughout their roster heading into the 2010 season. Today is our final look at one of these areas, left guard:

On the Jets starting offense, there are three question marks: running back, quarterback, and left guard. Out of these three, left guard concerns me the least. You can buy into the “competition” between second year player Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse all you want, but the reality is that unless something drastic happens, Ducasse will be the opening day starter. The Jets didn’t spend a second round pick on the guy to put him on the bench for a player of Slauson’s caliber.

Ducasse is making a major jump from Division I-AA at UMass to the NFL, so why aren’t I that concerned? The people surrounding Ducasse will make him better and help compensate for his rookie shortcomings. He will be lining up directly between All-Pro center Nick Mangold and Pro-Bowl left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The Jets other guard is one of the better ones in the NFL, Brandon Moore. Ducasse is also benefited by having one of the NFL’s best assistant coaches, Bill Callahan, leading his unit. Beyond that, look how pumped up Ducasse and his people were to be joining the Jets:

The Jets will design plays to help protect Ducasse and not put too much pressure on him during his rookie season. He will make mistakes but Mangold and Ferguson are good enough to help cover some of them up. Beyond that, he will be getting a hell of a hands on education from watching the Jets entire offensive line working on a day to day basis. You couldn’t ask for a better situation for a rookie to come into. Unless of course you were Kyle Wilson, learning from the best player in the NFL at your position everyday. Good thing he is on the Jets too.

There will be growing pains for Ducasse and as long as they don’t result in too many free runs at Mark Sanchez (especially considering our backup quarterback situation), the Jets are good enough to overcome them. In 2010, Alan Faneca would have been a better player but for the long term, but Ducasse has the physical skills, size and people around him to develop into a very good lineman, which will fit him in right in with the rest of the Jets offensive line.

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