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Clemens rockets to No. 2

Kellen's three touchdowns lock up backup spot



Saturday, August 11th 2007, 4:00 AM


Kellen Clemens (l.) completes 16 of 22 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns in the Jets 31-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons last night and is congratulated by Chad Pennington.


Thomas Jones, who tries to break through two would-be tacklers, broke through in his first game as a Jet with a touchdown that knotted the game at 7.

Chad Pennington threw as many passes as Michael Vick, and the Falcons' exiled quarterback wasn't even in the house for last night's preseason opener at Giants Stadium. Pennington handed off on all 10 of his snaps as the Jets featured Thomas Jones and their running game in a 31-16 victory over the Falcons.

Pennington couldn't recall his last no-pass game, saying, "It was kind of weird, holding back. I was just doing what I was told." Despite the urge to change some plays at the line, he played the role of statue without complaint. He knew it was going to be a silent night. Before the game, he told former teammate John Abraham, the Falcons' top pass rusher, there wouldn't be any sack opportunities. Eric Mangini sure must have a lot of confidence in Pennington's passing.

Mangini made it the Jones show. Jones, six months removed from a Super Bowl appearance with the Bears, rushed eight times for 27 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, in his first appearance as a Jet, a workmanlike performance that lived up to his career scouting report: He ran hard between the tackles, but didn't produce any wow moments.

Most of the excitement (if you could call it that) was generated by backup quarterback Kellen Clemens, who locked up the No.2 job with a sensational performance against Atlanta's backups. Clemens, considered Pennington's heir apparent, completed 16 of 22 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns. He threw a pair of scores to tight end Sean Ryan (two and 10 yards) and one to rookie wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (13).

"Definitely, this is the best feeling I've had, personally, since I've been here," said Clemens, who arrived last year as a second-round pick.

Clemens won't win the starting job this preseason, but he can allay the team's concerns about the lack of experience behind Pennington. Ex-Raider Marques Tuiasosopo, relegated to garbage time, may not make the team. Mangini is fascinated by quarterback-turned-receiver-turned-quarterback-again Brad Smith, who played one series in the second quarter. Smith didn't attempt any passes from scrimmage (he did hoist a desperation incompletion on a fake punt), but he scrambled twice for 17 yards. He also ran a reverse, made a tackle on punt coverage and returned a kickoff 46 yards. He did everything but hawk beer in the stands.

The biggest play came from Leon Washington, who broke an 86-yard kickoff return that set up Jones' touchdown run. Justin Miller, their Pro Bowl kick returner, sat out with a hamstring injury,

FIRST OFFENSE: Disgruntled LG Pete Kendall, clearly frustrated after the game, said he was "less than thrilled" when he was told that he'd see action with the first team. He alternated with starter Adrien Clarke, an indication that he may not be out of the team's plans, after all. Kendall wants out and still believes he will be released. "This is a difficult situation," said Kendall, who played into the third quarter. ... SS Kerry Rhodes got beat twice for 59 yards, resulting in an eight-play, 82-yard TD drive by Atlanta's Joey Harrington-led offense. ... DE Kenyon Coleman started at right end, ahead of incumbent Kimo von Oelhoffen. ... Still no progress in the Darrelle Revis negotiations. The sides haven't talked in a few days.

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August 11, 2007 -- Eric Mangini and the Jets needed to see something from Kellen Clemens last night in their preseason opener.

They saw something.

They saw plenty in a 31-16 preseason victory over the Falcons.

They saw a second-year quarterback who didn't look like a rookie anymore.

Chad Pennington praised Clemens' work ethic and Mangini hailed his presence and toughness and concluded, "I thought that you're seeing some of that growth tonight."

Clemens showed good command in the no-huddle offense on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive just before halftime. He got lucky when his underthrown wet-ball lollipop for Justin McCareins turned into a 42-yard gain that helped set up a 2-yard TD pass to diving Sean Ryan with 47 seconds left before intermission.

Clemens, who fumbled a center exchange and quickly scooped it up and ran for 1 yard, was 5-for-6 for 68 yards as the Jets took a 14-10 lead. On the opening drive of the second half, Clemens found rookie wideout Chansi Stuckey, who outfought cornerback Tony Franklin in the left corner of the end zone for a 13-yard TD pass that gave the Jets a 21-13 lead.

Clemens was just getting warmed up: 6-for-6 for 45 yards on his next possession that culminated in a 10-yard TD pass to wide-open Ryan in the right corner of the end zone just before the quarterback was blasted by safety Tony Taylor.

"I've always been a quarterback who's taken some hits," Clemens said, then cracked, "I'm not athletic enough to get out of there so I better stand in there till the last minute and hope something pops open."

Later there was an 18-yard completion to Frisman Jackson before being plastered. Very Pennington-esque, indeed.

"Definitely this is the best feeling that I've had personally since I've been here," Clemens said.

Clemens completed nine straight passes at one point on his way to a 16-for-22, 174-yard, 3-TD night that gives Jets fans their first legitimate hope that all is not necessarily lost should something happen to Pennington.

Clemens was asked what he liked best about his night.

"I think the big thing was there were no turnovers," Clemens said.

Now for the rest of the good, the bad, and the ugly:

THE GOOD: Pennington played two series, didn't throw a pass, and wisely didn't try to throw a block on a 9-yard reverse by Brad Smith. . . . RB Thomas Jones ran hard and tough; eight carries for 27 yards and a 1-yard TD. . . . RB Leon Washington darted left and returned a punt 86 yards before being caught from behind at the Falcons' 8 by David Irons. Washington showed why he will be a nice complement to Jones with sweet-feet jitterbugging. . . . CB Drew Coleman, who was around the ball all night, intercepted a D.J. Shockley pass that was deflected by DE Michael Haynes.

THE BAD: Safety Kerry Rhodes was victimized twice by Falcons QB Joey Harrington on plays of 25 yards and 37 yards before RB Jerious Norwood ran in untouched for a 10-yard TD that gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead. . . . Smith entered as quarterback for one series in the second quarter and used only his legs rather than his arm. He was sacked on third-and-2 before taking a direct snap and throwing incomplete to Stacy Tutt on a fake punt. . . . Brad Kassell was flagged for holding on a PAT. . . . Rutgers free-agent CB Manny Collins was victimized on a 19-yard Chris Redman completion to WR Roddy White that enabled K Billy Cundiff to boot a 41-yard field goal with 1 second left in the half.

THE UGLY: Adrien Clarke started the game at left guard and alternated series with Pete Kendall, who would like a new address. As early as the second quarter, Kendall was playing with the second-team offensive line. On the first drive of the third quarter, Kendall threw a block that sprung Washington around left end for 25 yards. "Still lucky after all these years, I guess," Kendall said sarcastically. He was asked whether his pride was wounded playing with the reserves after intermission. He spat out the words: "It's the first time in 12 years I've played that deep into the first exhibition game." . . . No. 1 draft pick CB Darrelle Revis is still a holdout.


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Jets get jump on passing attack

Saturday, August 11, 2007 BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

On a night when Chad Pennington didn't throw a pass, the Jets' passing game would have been hard-pressed to look much better.

Quarterback Kellen Clemens, who has come on during the past week at training camp, put a stranglehold on the backup job with his best day as a Jet, directing five scoring drives in a 31-16 victory over the Michael Vick-less Atlanta Falcons last night at Giants Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams.

It was a performance so stunning that it might even put pressure on Pennington, who was instructed to hand the ball off on all nine snaps he took in two series.

Clemens, a second-round pick out of Oregon in 2006 and heir apparent to Pennington, completed 16 of 22 passes 174 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in over two quarters of work. He threw two TD passes to tight end Sean Ryan and another to rookie wide receiver Chansi Stuckey. He completed nine consecutive passes at one point.

"Definitely, this is the best feeling I've had since I've been here," said Clemens, playing mainly against the Falcons' reserves. "Right now, things are going in a good direction confidence-wise. It's just another year in the system. Tonight, I was surrounded by a lot of talented guys. You feel a rhythm when you're out there playing.

"Having success helps all of our confidence but at the same time I don't want to get overconfident until I see the films. I think the thing for me is the more reps I get the more I progress. ... I think the big thing is there were no turnovers. We were fortunate enough to score points but we didn't turn the ball over."

Coach Eric Mangini was impressed.

"He's accessing the defense, being able to check us in and out of plays," Mangini said. "He hung in the pocket. You're seeing some of that growth. He works hard. He did some good things last year. It just wasn't apparent because he wasn't in the game."

Running back Thomas Jones, who ran the ball on six of the nine plays that Pennington was in the game, rushed for 27 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Leon Washington added 30 yards on nine attempts. The Jets finished with 146 yards rushing on 40 carries.

"It was kind of weird," Pennington said. "I was kind of nervous. My job was to get the snap and not mess up the quarterback-center exchange. We wanted to come out and really work on our run game and work on our run fit, the quarterbacks work on run footwork, making sure we're giving the running backs vision in the hole and getting our timing down with Leon (Washington) and Thomas Jones. I almost wanted to switch out and call a pass."

It was Jones' first action as a Jet.

"I feel very comfortable with the team and the offense," Jones said. "It allows me to get in the open field. I thought I played well. We had some good chemistry."

Defensively, the Jets' first team was a disappointment. The unit gave up an eight-play, 82-yard drive that was capped by a 10-yard run up the middle by running back Jerious Norwood. Nose tackle Dewayne Robertson was blocked on the play and safety Erik Coleman missed a tackle. Safety Kerry Rhodes had a rough night as he was beaten twice on seam routes during the drive.

Second-year cornerback Drew Coleman, who is competing for a roster spot with rookie holdout Darrelle Revis, had an interception and two breakups to spark the second team.

The Jets play the Minnesota Vikings on Friday at Giants Stadium.

With the Jets trailing 7-0, Washington sparked the entire team with an 86-yard kickoff return and the Jets never looked back. They led 14-13 at the half and built a 28-13 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter on Ryan's second touchdown catch, a 10-yarder from Clemens.

"I'm really pleased with the operation," Mangini said. "We focused on running the ball. We wanted to see Thomas Jones and Leon and the combinations along the offensive line."

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at


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Versatile Washington gives Jets some fire

Saturday, August 11, 2007 BY JENNY VRENTAS

Star-Ledger Staff

To start, the Jets' offense kept it very, very plain.

First series: five plays, five runs, no points. Second series: five plays, five runs, no points.

Then, after the Atlanta Falcons scored a first-quarter touchdown in last night's preseason game at Giants Stadium, Leon Washington gave the Jets a spark.

Washington fielded the kickoff and weaved up the left side of the field for 86 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the 8. His sprint was a quick answer to Atlanta's drive and set up the Jets' first touchdown in their 31-16 victory.

"The easy part is just running through," Washington said. "The way it opened up, all 10 guys made their blocks."

Quick to defer credit, Washington was the all-over-the-place threat he started to become in his surprising rookie season in 2006, when he started eight games at running back and led the Jets with 650 rushing yards. Last night against the Falcons, he had 30 yards rushing and 13 receiving while proving to be an effective substitute for injured Pro Bowl kick returner Justin Miller.

In the off-season, the Jets acquired front-line running back Thomas Jones from Chicago, and coach Eric Mangini said he wanted to see the combination of Jones and Washington. Early in the game, the pair split carries, then Washington took over when Jones (eight carries, 27 yards, one touchdown) finished in the second quarter.

Washington was slippery -- on one carry, he spun off an Atlanta defender, requiring three other tacklers -- and essential for sustaining drives.

On second-and-3 early in the second quarter, utility player Brad Smith slipped on his handoff, but Washington still managed the first down. Just after the first half's two-minute warning, on third-and-9 from the Atlanta 15-yard line, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens made a short toss to Washington, and he ran up the right sideline before tumbling out of bounds 2 yards from the end zone. The 13-yard gain set up the Jets' second touchdown.

Washington's duties as kickoff returner were in lieu of Miller, who did not play after tweaking his right hamstring last Sunday. After his first dash, Washington also took advantage of his second return, following a Falcons field goal. He sprinted forward then veered toward the sideline, this time taking the ball 28 yards.

"Of course, that's all Leon, he just read blocks," said linebacker David Bowens, a member of the kickoff team. "Leon is good at making guys miss and getting up field and getting yards. And that is exactly what he did."

The versatility of Washington -- who at Florida State became the only player under coach Bobby Bowden to score a touchdown five different ways -- was obvious. And, with the addition of Jones to the roster, it is expected that the Jets will be able to emphasize it even more. But that's not Washington's concern.

"It's simple: my job is to come in and help this team the best way I can do it," he said. "Whatever I can do, I'm down for it."

Jenny Vrentas may be reached at jvrentas@starledger.com

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Jets rewind


Star-Ledger Staff



A quick look at the key players in last night's game:


QB KELLEN CLEMENS locked up the backup job with a stellar performance. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 174 yards, three TDs and no INTs. Clemens showed command of the offense and he stood in the pocket in the face of the rush.

TE SEAN RYAN was having a so-so training camp, but he caught two touchdown passes, including a diving, 2-yard grab. He has been an excellent blocker throughout his career but his hands have always been suspect. Not last night.

CB DREW COLEMAN had an interception, two breakups and just missed another interception. He's battling veteran Hank Poteat, a longtime favorite of coach Eric Mangini, for the final cornerback slot.


WR CHANSI STUCKEY, a seventh-round pick out of Clemson, carried his impressive training camp to the field. He caught a 13-yard TD pass from Clemens early in the third quarter. Stuckey is shaping up as one of the steals of the draft.

CB DARRELLE REVIS wasn't exactly missed. Veterans Andre Dyson and David Barrett played well, as did Coleman. It didn't even matter that Justin Miller (hamstring) didn't play.

LB DAVID HARRIS was solid, helping hold the Falcons to 4-of-13 on third-down conversions.


K Mike Nugent continued to show a strong leg on kickoffs and kicked a 29-yard FG. He was short on a 52-yarder. ... G Adrien Clarke started and alternated with veteran Pete Kendall into the third quarter. Kendall didn't play late in the third quarter or the fourth. ... DE Kenyon Coleman made a stop for no gain in the first quarter. ... CB Hank Poteat missed a block on a punt return, and Leon Washington got drilled. ... FB Stacy Tutt dropped a pass.



Thomas Jones is quite familiar with the run-stopping capabilities of the Vikings, having played them twice a year the past three seasons. Jones was a 1,200-yard rusher in 2006, but had a combined 86 yards in two games against Minnesota. The Vikings allowed an NFL-low 61.6 rushing yards per game a year ago, and only nine touchdowns on the ground.

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Jets keep Chad grounded

Saturday, August 11, 2007



EAST RUTHERFORD -- Chad Pennington looked good Friday night in the Jets' preseason opener. He handled all the snaps from center flawlessly and did an excellent job handing off to Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

It was tough to tell how good his arm is, considering he didn't throw a pass in nine snaps over two series. But some of the other Jets certainly looked to be in midseason form in a 31-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Giants Stadium in the preseason opener for both teams.

Kellen Clemens threw three touchdown passes, two to backup tight end Sean Ryan. Washington had 155 all-purpose yards, including an 86-yard kickoff return to set up the Jets' first touchdown.

But the non-use of Pennington's now-healthy right arm was the most perplexing part of this game.

"I don't know if you guys noticed that," Mangini deadpanned about the Jets' refusal to even attempt a pass in the first quarter.

"It was kind of weird," Pennington admitted, although he indicated he was fine with it.

"We wanted to work on our running game," he said.

The Jets used nine consecutive running plays in their first two offensive series, both of which proved fruitless.

Pennington hasn't led a scoring drive in his last 12 preseason possessions. His last preseason scoring drive came on his first and only series against Philadelphia on Sept. 1, 2005. Of course, he didn't have much of a chance to show off in this game, as former teammate John Abraham noticed.

"We didn't really get to see what our pass rush looked like," the Atlanta defensive end said, "but we did get to see how we would do against the run. We didn't give up any big plays so we have to be happy with that."

The Falcons limited new Jet Thomas Jones to 27 yards on eight carries, although he did manage a 1-yard touchdown squirm two plays after Washington's long kickoff return.

"What we were focused on early was running the ball," Mangini said, indicating that he wanted to get an idea of the chemistry between the offensive line and both Jones and Washington.

Working on the chemistry between Pennington and his receivers will have to wait until Friday's home game against Minnesota, but certainly Clemens showed a rapport with the reserves. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 174 yards and the three touchdowns, with no interceptions. Clemens was relieved by Marques Tuiasosopo midway through the fourth quarter.

"We wanted to get [Clemens] a significant amount of work," Mangini said. "I thought he had good presence."

The Jets' first-team defense still had some problems against the run, at least on one play. Jerious Norwood, who was limited to 29 yards on eight carries while playing only the first quarter, had a 10-yard touchdown run in that period to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead. Norwood went off right guard and was untouched as the Atlanta offensive line completely walled off the Jets' defenders.

New Atlanta quarterback Joey Harrington also looked sharp, completing six of nine passes for 88 yards while playing only the first quarter, and leading the eight-play, 82-yard drive that culminated in Norwood's touchdown run. Harrington was relieved by Chris Redman and then D.J. Shockley, neither of whom could lead a touchdown drive against the Jets' reserves.

At least they attempted passes, something Pennington wasn't allowed to do.

When asked if he hopes to throw a pass next week, Pennington replied with a smile, "I'll do what I'm coached to do."

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

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Jets' Clemens feels comfortable



(Original publication: August 11, 2007)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Kellen Clemens is not competing to be the Jets' starting quarterback this preseason, as was supposedly the case his rookie year. But if last night's preseason opener is any indication, the second-year pro certainly looks capable of being Chad Pennington's backup.

Clemens directed five scoring drives and threw three touchdown passes as the Jets defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-16 last night in a lightly attended game at the chilly Meadowlands. Overall, Clemens, who relieved Pennington with 27 seconds left in the first quarter, completed 16 of 22 passes for 174 yards.

Last year's second-round pick out of Oregon is essentially battling ex-Raider Marques Tuiasosopo to be the Jets' No. 2 quarterback, with fellow second-year pro Brad Smith, mainly a wide receiver/returner, also in the mix. Ultimately, the Jets hope Clemens succeeds Pennington as their starter.

"It's different because I know what to expect from the first preseason game,'' said Clemens, who participated in a four-way competition last year for the starting job with Pennington, Patrick Ramsey and Brooks Bollinger. "This whole transition this second year has been more comfortable in general.''

Two of Clemens' touchdown throws went to tight end Sean Ryan, primarily a blocker who caught six passes last season.

"I know that he's a confident quarterback back there and obviously has a good grasp of the offense,'' Ryan said. "When you know the offense you can play fast, and that's what we like to do, play fast.''

Clemens guided the Jets on a 10-play, 80-yard drive culminating in a 2-yard pass to Ryan with 47 seconds left in the first half to give the Jets a 14-10 lead. Clemens was 5 of 6 for 68 yards on the drive, including a 42-yard completion to Justin McCareins on the first play and a dump-off to Leon Washington under pressure that went for 13 yards to the Falcons 2-yard line.

He also found Ryan for a 10-yard scoring pass to make it 28-13 with 5:00 left in the third quarter as he went 6 for 6 on the drive. At that point, Clemens had completed nine straight passes.

"I spent a lot of time working on my footwork,'' Clemens said of his offseason. "Playing quarterback in this system, there's a lot of specifics to your feet. I tried to work on my footwork and agility. There's some improvement showing up on tape. There's still plenty of room to improve.''

After Pennington clearly outshone his training-camp competition last year, Clemens was slotted as the Jets' third quarterback, a role he occupied for all but the one week he was elevated to the No. 2 spot.

Clemens saw action in two games in 2006, throwing incomplete on his only pass.

"Kellen has been working extremely hard,'' said Pennington, who played the first two series but did not attempt a pass. "You can tell he's watching every move I make. He's taken some things and put them in his game but he wants to be his own quarterback as well. I think he understands what it takes to be a good quarterback in the NFL.''

Last night was obviously different as, except for one series Smith guided in the second quarter, Clemens directed the Jets until Tuiasosopo took over with 6:18 left in the fourth quarter.

Clemens also threw a 13-yard touchdown to rookie Chansi Stuckey as the Jets took a 21-13 lead with 11:36 left in the third quarter.

"I think the big thing, and it's not even specific to me, that most coaches are looking for in a quarterback is command of the offense and a presence out there on the field and the ability to move the football and make good decisions,'' Clemens said. "I'm getting more comfortable with each rep. For a young quarterback, reps, there's no substitute for them.''

Notes: Disgruntled left guard Pete Kendall alternated series with Adrien Clarke with the first team but also played deep into the third quarter with the second team. "Less than thrilled,'' Kendall said of how he was used.

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Backup Clemens leads Jets past Falcons

NFL.com wire reports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Aug. 10, 2007) -- Joey Harrington looked comfortable running the Atlanta Falcons' offense. He's not Michael Vick, but he showed he can scramble a little bit, too.

Thrust into the starting quarterback job while Vick is away from the team and facing federal dogfighting charges, Harrington led one scoring drive in his three series Friday night in a 31-16 loss to the New York Jets in the preseason opener for both teams.

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Joey Harrington fared well in his Falcons debut but the Jets came away with the win.

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"Joey was on point," receiver Joe Horn said. "He was on top of his game and that impressed me. He knew the defenses and he had great timing with the receivers."

The former Detroit and Miami quarterback was 6-of-9 for 88 yards, including a 37-yard completion to Dwayne Blakley on a play that was kept alive when the traditional pocket passer avoided a pass rush with a nice scramble. While Harrington is nowhere near the mobile playmaker Vick is, he showed he can certainly play in new coach Bobby Petrino's offense.

"Offensively, this was great work for us," Harrington said. "I think we showed where we are with this offense."

Jets backup Kellen Clemens was also impressive, going 16-of-22 -- including nine straight completions during one stretch -- for 174 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Sean Ryan. Quarterback-wide receiver Brad Smith was incomplete on the Jets' only other pass attempt on a surprisingly chilly summer night at the Meadowlands.

New York ran the ball early and often, giving new No. 1 running back Thomas Jones plenty of work while Chad Pennington didn't attempt a pass in his two series. In fact, the Jets failed to complete a pass until late in the second quarter.

"That was kind of weird," Pennington said. "I was actually kind of nervous before the game, knowing that my main job was just to get the snap and not mess the quarterback-to-center exchange up."

The Jets finished with 40 running plays against 23 passing. Their first pass attempt came with 6:56 left in the first half, Smith incompletion toward Stacy Tutt.

"What we were focusing on early was running the ball, and that's really what we wanted to do," coach Eric Mangini said. "There's no better time than in the preseason to do that."

Jones, acquired from Chicago in the offseason, ran eight times for 27 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown that was set up by Leon Washington's 86-yard kickoff return. Jones received a loud reception after his first carry as a member of the Jets: a 5-yard run.

"It felt good to come up here and for the fans to show you a lot of love and show you a lot of respect, it means a lot to any player out there because it lets you know that they appreciate what you're doing," he said.

With Atlanta leading 10-7 in the second quarter, Clemens led the Jets on a 10-play, 88-yard scoring drive that was capped by Ryan's first touchdown.

The Jets got an extensive look at rookie running back Danny Ware.

Clemens' 42-yard pass to Justin McCareins with 4:58 left in the first half was the Jets' first completion, and he kept going from there. With New York facing a third-and-9 from the Atlanta 15, Clemens avoided a rush and dumped it off to Washington, who sprinted for a 13-yard gain. Clemens found Ryan in the back of the end zone on the next play as the tight end dived for the ball, caught it, briefly lost control and brought it back in while on his back with 47 seconds left.

"That was phenomenal," Clemens said. "That ball probably should have been incomplete. It's just a great catch on his part."

Petrino, coaching in the NFL after four seasons at Louisville, had the play reviewed, but the call was upheld.

The Falcons got within 14-13 with 1 second left before halftime on Billy Cundiff's 41-yard field goal, but the Jets opened the second half with another good drive.

After Smith returned the kickoff 46 yards to the Jets 49, Washington gained 25 yards three plays later. Clemens found rookie Chansi Stuckey in the left corner of the end zone four plays later to make it 21-13. Stuckey wrestled the ball from rookie cornerback Tony Franklin as they were in the end zone.

Clemens made it 28-13 when he found Ryan all alone in the back of the end zone with 5:00 left in the third quarter.

Cundiff kicked a 37-yard field goal 58 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Mike Nugent's 29-yarder with 7:56 left made it 31-16.

Jerious Norwood, starting for the injured Warrick Dunn, had eight carries for 29 yards, including a 10-yard run that gave Atlanta a 7-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the first quarter. Rookie Jason Snelling led the Falcons with 48 yards on 10 carries.

Jets rookie Danny Ware, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia, led the Jets with 48 yards on 12 carries.

"We didn't know they would run it that much, but it was good for us," Petrino said. "That's what we have to work on: our run defense. Unfortunately, they had too much success doing it."

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yesterday in the articles thread I wrote how Kendall would bitch if he had to play into the 2nd half-hey A-hole-you're getting friggin PAID-earn it

THE UGLY: Adrien Clarke started the game at left guard and alternated series with Pete Kendall, who would like a new address. As early as the second quarter, Kendall was playing with the second-team offensive line. On the first drive of the third quarter, Kendall threw a block that sprung Washington around left end for 25 yards. "Still lucky after all these years, I guess," Kendall said sarcastically. He was asked whether his pride was wounded playing with the reserves after intermission. He spat out the words: "It's the first time in 12 years I've played that deep into the first exhibition game." . . .

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As always, if there is any articles I may have missed, please feel free to add them on!


as always, you did a great job! Thanks.

August 11, 2007

Game Notes: A Night Off for Chad's Arm

Thoughts and observations from the Jets’ 31-16 win over the Falcons:

• Chad Pennington sure had a lot of zip on his handoffs. Wonder if he iced his arm today.

• Thomas Jones is getting all the hype, but don’t forget about Leon Washington. He’s still the most exciting player on offense. And his kickoff returning may help Justin Miller’s hamstring to heal quicker. Wink, wink.

• Kellen Clemens did a nice job, but I have to laugh at some of these Jets fans, saying he should start over Pennington. Puh-leeze. Let’s wait at least another week before we ignite a quarterback controversy.

• LB Eric Barton was pretty frisky on defense. Wonder if that had anything to do with the arrival of second-round pick David Harris, who showed some closing speed in pass coverage.

• Talked to John Abraham after the game. He shared a funny story. When he bumped into Pennington before the game, he told his old teammate, “Hopefully, I won’t see you tonight,” meaning he didn’t want to be in the position to hit/sack him in a meaningless game. Abraham said Pennington replied, “You won’t.” Pennington knew the game plan: Hand off, don’t try any throws.

• Next game, the Daily News is going to ask Brad Smith if he wants to write a sidebar. Why not? He does pretty much everything else at the game.

• From the first day of minicamp, rookie WR Chansi Stuckey has never made it seem like the game is too big for him. Maybe the Jets found something in the seventh round.

• Speaking of receivers, that was some circus catch by Frisman Jackson. He deserves a longer look. Maybe he can get some work with the starters next week, assuming the Jets decide to throw the ball.

• The immortal Juan Wong was a DNP. Not a good sign, kid.

• DE Eric Hicks made an early appearance, replacing Shaun Ellis on the second series. Hmmm.

• The starting defense looked real shaky on the Falcons’ eight-play, 82-yard TD drive, engineered by QB Joey Harrington, who has a new leash on life. (Okay, so sue me for the gratuitous dog reference.) SS Kerry Rhodes got beat on two passes for 59 yards, although Eric Mangini said Rhodes wasn’t entirely to blame on those plays. On a second-and-3 from the 10, the defense parted like the Red Sea, as Jerious Norwood blew through a hole for a touchdown. NT Dewayne Robertson couldn’t get off his block and a linebacker (it looked like Jonathan Vilma) was late in filling the gap.

• The annual beat-writer roster pool, a longtime tradition, is officially underway. Every writer must submit his/her projected 53-man roster for opening day, and it had to be in the commissioner’s hands (that’s me) by kickoff. Cannizzaro e-mailed his entry from Tulsa, where he’s covering the PGA Championship. He was a little late, but I let him slide. I’ll post the results at the end of the preseason. I can tell you this: Some people already are regretting the decision to “cut” Sean Ryan.

Posted by Rich Cimini at 3:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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