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Jets news for 8/13/07


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August 13, 2007 -- The noise coming from Hempstead was a collective gasp by the Jets when running back Thomas Jones went down with an injury yesterday in practice. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Jones limped off the field after hurting his lower right leg in a non-contact drill.

The extent of th

e injury is unknown, because Jones was not made available to the media and Eric Mangini - who had already spoken to the press before practice - had no comment afterward. The Jets don't discuss injuries, and calls to Jones' Miami-based agent, Drew Rosenhaus, went unreturned.

If the injury is a lengthy or serious one, it will be a crushing blow to Gang Green, who traded for Jones and gave him a four-year, $20 million deal to spearhead their ground game as an every-down feature back.

The Jets had struggled mightily running the ball last season: Their 3.5 yards-per-carry was third worst in the entire NFL. Leon Washington's 650 yards were the lowest total to lead the club since 1990.

"I don't know anything about [the injury]. I'll let the doctors and the training staff handle that," said Washington, considered a change-of-pace back. "I'm going to go out and do what I need to do to give my team a great chance to win. If that's carrying the ball 100 times, then I'll carry the ball 100 times."

Jones was supposed to handle the heavier burden. In the preseason-opening win against an Atlanta team that finished third in the NFC against the run, he carried eight times for 27 yards and a touchdown.

Yesterday, in a seemingly-harmless running back/linebacker drill, Jones was about to block Brad Kassell when he tried to plant his right foot but crumpled to the turf instead. He calmly but quickly took off his helmet and shoe, was examined by a trainer and taped up. Then he limped to the sideline, where his leg was taped again from below the knee down to his ankle.

Jones limped to the locker room before re-emerging, spending the rest of practice stretching and working on a hand bike. He occasionally walked around, even moving his ankle and putting weight on the injured leg, albeit gingerly.


At one point, Eric Barton looked to be on the verge of being a salary-cap casualty, about to lose his job. Yesterday Mangini dubbed the linebacker the defensive MVP of the Jets' preseason-opening win over Atlanta, praising him as smart, strong and a hard worker that just keeps getting better and better.

Barton averaged 127 tackles playing outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense from 2002-04, and was limited by injuries in 2005. But he struggled with a move to 3-4 inside linebacker last year, with a modest - for him - 100 tackles. This camp, he has looked far more comfortable, including his active four-tackle performance against the Falcons.


Mangini surprisingly put disgruntled guard Pete Kendall at center in yesterday's practice.

"I thought the organization already decided how well I played center," said Kendall, who hadn't played there since the last 10 games in 2005. "I have no idea what their plans are. It's just as likely they want to look at somebody else someplace else. You'll probably know as soon as I do."


The club waived receiver Jesse Pellot-Rosa and offensive lineman Andrew Wicker, and re-signed Dante Ridgeway.


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Jets notebook

Monday, August 13, 2007

Jones injured

Running back Thomas Jones injured his lower right leg Sunday and had to leave practice. It appears to be perhaps a calf or ankle injury. Jones was hurt while trying to plant during a one-on-one drill. He was not hit, but seemed to turn his ankle awkwardly.

He had his lower leg wrapped and was seen later on the sidelines with the other injured Jets, working his upper body but not his lower body. He was able to put weight on the leg, so it doesn't seem to be all that serious.

When asked about it, backup running back Leon Washington said: "I don't worry about Thomas. He's a hard worker. He'll do what he needs to do to give us the best chance to win. I'll let the trainers and the doctors handle that."

Coach Eric Mangini spoke to reporters before practice, and wasn't available afterward. Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, couldn't be reached for comment.

Kendall at center

The Pete Kendall saga took another bizarre turn Sunday when the unhappy left guard was at center for numerous snaps with the second team. Kendall has been a guard for most of his NFL career, except when he played the last 10 games of the 2005 season at center after Kevin Mawae suffered an arm injury.

"I thought the organization had already decided how well I play center," Kendall said, probably referencing his quote earlier this year in which he said he was asked to take a pay cut after a bad game at center that season.

"I have no idea what their plans are," Kendall added. "It's just as likely they want to look at somebody else someplace else as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure they'll tell you [reporters] when they're good and ready what their plans are. You'll probably know as soon as I do."


CB Justin Miller (hamstring) and FS Eric Smith (hamstring) again didn't practice. ... The Jets signed WR Dante Ridgeway, who was released by New Orleans last week. Ridgeway had two receptions for the Jets in 2005.

-- J.P. Pelzman

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Barton earns Mangini's praise

Monday, August 13, 2007



HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- When the Jets made a trade and moved up 16 spots in the second round of the draft to select inside linebacker David Harris, it seemed like a clear message to Eric Barton, one of the incumbents at that position.

Only he didn't see it that way.

"You've got to pick who you need to make your team better," said Barton, who noted that on two other occasions his teams have taken linebackers in the first round. "I didn't think it was anything personal against me."

Maybe not. Anyway, now it's Barton who is sending a message of his own on the field. He has been impressive throughout training camp and made four tackles in limited playing time during the Jets' 31-16 victory over Atlanta in the preseason opener Friday.

For that performance, coach Eric Mangini said Sunday that Barton was named the team's defensive MVP. Not just for what he did between the lines, but also what he did on the sidelines.

"I thought his communication overall was good, and I really liked him on the sideline," Mangini said. "He was very good when he wasn't in [the game], helping those guys out, and he was very good when he was in, talking through the different problem plays that came up with the other players. That's key."

Barton explained that he and fellow inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma "can see some things that maybe the defensive linemen can't see, or a safety can't see or a corner can't see, because we're right there and we see it all."

As for helping the younger players, Barton said: "I'm happy to do that. We're only going to be as good as our weakest link and the younger guys have to know what they're doing just as we do. And in any way I can, I'll try to help them and catch them up to speed."

Mangini added that "Eric has really improved on his run fits and his ability to strike the blocker. That was something that he focused on and we talked about in the off-season as one of his goals. He did a good job of working prior to [training] camp."

Barton's productivity suffered somewhat in 2006 as he moved to inside linebacker in Mangini's 3-4 scheme. As an outside linebacker in the 4-3 used by Herm Edwards, Barton had 125 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries while playing 16 games in 2004, before missing 12 games in 2005 because of ankle and arm injuries.

Last season, Barton had 4.5 sacks but only 100 tackles. He had one forced fumble and no fumble recoveries as he adjusted to the 3-4. That adjustment, the drafting of Harris, and Barton's $3 million salary for 2007 led to speculation that Barton might be a salary-cap casualty.

"If that conversation came up," Barton said, "I'm sure [my agent, Kendall Kremer] would have told me. But I haven't heard anything like that. ... I never even thought about that. It's a business."

He added: "All I can do is play. They didn't talk to me about anything like that."

Barton has been able to work with assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox, who was a successful inside linebacker for the Jets in the 3-4 from 1998-2000.

"Bryan Cox has helped me out a lot," Barton said. "He played the same defense. He's told me a couple of things -- what to look for, some things to expect [with] certain fronts [and] certain offenses, things like that."

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

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Jones' injury could jolt Jets

Team mum on extent of injury



Monday, August 13th 2007, 4:00 AM


Thomas Jones, in a one-on-one blocking drill against linebacker Brad Kassell, took a jump-step and tried to plant on the artificial turf, but collapsed before making contact with the defender.

Thomas Jones, the Jets' new $5 million-a-year running back, crumpled to the ground yesterday at practice with an apparent ankle injury, putting a chill in the air on a 90-degree day at Hofstra.

In a one-on-one blocking drill against linebacker Brad Kassell, Jones took a jump-step and tried to plant on the artificial turf, but he collapsed before making contact with the defender.

Jones immediately removed his right shoe and limped to the sideline, where the upper ankle area was taped by a trainer. His lower leg was placed in an air cast and retaped, forming a bulky wrap - a sight that probably caused the fans in attendance to choke on their sports drinks.

The club provided no information on the injury. Eric Mangini had addressed the media before practice, and wasn't made available afterward.

That Jones didn't repair immediately to the locker room was an encouraging sign. He remained on the sideline, working on the arm bike and doing light stretching. The Jets can ill afford to lose Jones, whom they are counting on to improve their mediocre rushing attack.

Jones, only six months removed from his Super Bowl appearance with the Bears, is the centerpiece in a revamped backfield. But that backfield is getting thinner by the day. Curtis Martin made his long-anticipated retirement announcement three weeks ago, backup Cedric Houston quit the team on the eve of camp and versatile fullback Stacy Tutt suffered an undisclosed injury in Friday night's preseason opener. He didn't practice yesterday.

That leaves scatback Leon Washington and fullback Darian Barnes as the only healthy backs on the upper rungs of the depth chart.

"I don't worry," Washington said after practice. "Thomas is a hard worker. He'll do what he needs to do to give us the best chance to win. The rest is up to the doctors and trainers."

One thing the Jets like about Jones is his durability; he has missed only three games in the last four seasons, a Martin-like quality. The Jets, looking for an every-down back to fill the Martin void, acquired Jones from the Bears in March and gave him a four-year, $20 million contract that includes $10.9 million in the first year.

In the preseason opener, Jones did a workmanlike job, rushing for 27 yards on eight carries, including a 1-yard touchdown. The Jets need to run the ball better this season to take some pressure of Chad Pennington, and Mangini seemed to be making a statement in the opener, as they ran on their first 16 plays.

"I thought he did some good things," Mangini said of Jones in his debut. "I thought he did a good job, not just at pressing the hole, but being able to bounce out when it wasn't there."

If Jones' injury is long term, the Jets would turn to Washington as their No. 1 back, but they would almost certainly try to acquire another veteran. At 5-8, 202 pounds, Johnson probably isn't big enough to be an every-week, every-down back. He led the team in rushing last season as a rookie, with 650 exciting yards, but he exceeded the 15-carry mark only twice.

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Jets resume Revis talks, but can't draft a deal with rookie



Monday, August 13th 2007, 4:00 AM

Well, at least they're talking again.

Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum and the agents for unsigned first-round pick Darrelle Revis have resumed negotiations. One of Revis' agents, Jonathan Feinsod, was seen in the Jets' locker room Friday night after the preseason opener against the Falcons. He met briefly with Tannenbaum in Eric Mangini's office.

The two sides were scheduled to talk again yesterday.

Revis, one of only two unsigned picks in the NFL, is seeking a five-year contract. The Jets want a six-year deal, the maximum allowed by league rules.

OFF CENTER: The Pete Kendall saga took another turn. The disgruntled left guard was moved to center for yesterday's practice, a switch that left him annoyed and bewildered. He played there in 2005 when Kevin Mawae was injured, but he isn't a fan of the position and both sides agreed he didn't play particularly well that season.

"I thought the organization had already decided how well I played center," Kendall said sarcastically.

Kendall was surprised to hear yesterday morning that he was going to be the center for the second-team line. He also shared first-team reps at left guard with Adrien Clarke. Kendall, unhappy with his contract, wants out, but the team apparently believes he still has value.

Kendall helped the Jets score a touchdown Friday. Recognizing that the play called in the huddle wasn't going to work, he told backup QB Kellen Clemens to call an audible. Clemens did, and threw a 2-yard TD pass.

FINE-TUNING: Mangini has a little Tom Coughlin in him. He fined TE Chris Baker $1,500 for showing up four minutes late to the team hotel Thursday in New Jersey. This wasn't a meeting, mind you, it was just a 7 p.m. check-in. Baker apparently got delayed in the parking lot, appeasing some autograph-seeking fans. ... CB Drew Coleman limped off the practice field with an apparent leg injury and didn't return. ... CB/KR Justin Miller (hamstring) and S Eric Smith (leg) remained on the sideline. ... Former Virginia Commonwealth basketball-player-turned-wide-receiver Jesse Pella-Rosa was released. WR Dante Ridgeway was re-signed.

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Leg injury to Jones might hurt Jets running game



August 13, 2007

The optimism after the first preseason victory was shattered early in yesterday's practice when running back Thomas Jones suffered what appeared to be a lower leg injury, quite possibly to his right calf or Achilles tendon.

Though the injury was not severe enough to keep him from walking off the field under his own power or participating in cardio and strength exercises with other injured players for the remainder of the practice, it undoubtedly is a subject of concern for the Jets, who acquired Jones from the Bears in an offseason trade.

Jones was expected to become a mainstay in the Jets' backfield. In Friday's preseason game, he ran the ball eight times in the first 12 offensive snaps.

The injury occurred while Jones was participating in an otherwise innocuous blocking drill. He planted his right leg to brace for a meeting with linebacker Brad Kassel and fell to the ground. Almost immediately, Jones removed the shoe from his right foot and was helped off the field.

After several minutes with trainers, it appeared he might return to practice - he put his sock and shoe back on - but after walking several paces with a limp, he sat again and removed the footware.

The injury initially appeared to be to the ankle, but Jones and the trainers were paying particular attention to the low area on the back of his leg. He was wrapped tightly from above the shoeline to just below the knee. Though he did not ride the stationary bicycles set out for the injured players, he was able to sit on the ground and stand up with what appeared to be relative ease for upper-body exercises with a medicine ball.

The Jets do not comment on injuries and did not make Jones available to the media after practice.

With Jones on the sideline, Leon Washington handled most of the first-team reps at running back, with rookies Danny Ware and Alvin Banks working with the second and third units.

With Cedric Houston's surprising decision to leave the team on the eve of training camp, the Jets already are thinner than they figured to be at running back.

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Barton tailors Jets' defense to fit his skills



August 13, 2007

When the Jets drafted linebacker David Harris in the second round in April, it seemed more than ever that Eric Barton's time with the team would be coming to an end. But Barton didn't see it that way.

"It's just something a team does: They need good players, they pick good players," he said, noting that he's been on teams that have drafted at his position before, from Oakland's selection of Napoleon Harris to the Jets' picks of Jonathan Vilma and even Anthony Schlegel. "It doesn't affect me," he said.

At least not negatively, judging by Barton's early-season performance. The nine-year veteran appears to have been sparked by something and is enjoying a strong training camp. In Friday's preseason opener, Barton shifted along the line of scrimmage to attack from various angles and was credited with four tackles in his limited playing time. Jets coach Eric Mangini named him the defensive player of the game.

"In this system, everybody has to find their way of playing in it," Mangini said of Barton's adjustments from last season, his first in a 3-4 scheme. "That's part of the evolution, understanding not just how to play it but how you play it."

Barton agreed and said he is tailoring the position's responsibilities to his skills. "There's always more than one way to do things," he said, and he has worked with assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox, who played the position during his NFL career.

"He's told me and Jon [Vilma] some things that make the game a lot easier, what to look for and also some things to expect when you are in certain fronts and they're in certain offenses," Barton said. "It keeps you a step ahead."

Barton also worked on lower-body strength in the offseason to help him handle the rigors of playing inside linebacker. He made 63 of his tackles in the first half of last season, a sign that he might have worn down from the steady diet of offensive linemen. He had fewer than six tackles only once in the first eight games of 2006, then didn't have more than six in any of the final eight regular-season games.

So far, Mangini has been pleased with Barton's run fits and his ability to strike blockers. He's also touted Barton's communication on the field, his instruction of younger players and his intelligence as a fast learner.

Nice accolades. But for Barton, success will come in the form of David Harris out of the starting unit.

Notes & quotes: Safety Kerry Rhodes was beaten twice on third-and-longs during Atlanta's scoring drive in the preseason opener. The first time, Mangini said, Rhodes just missed breaking up the play by six inches. He was less forgiving of the second one. "Some of those route combinations are things you've got to experience," Mangini said. "You don't want to have that experience in a game, but I'm sure he's learned from it." ... Backup QB Marques Tuiasosopo played only the final two series of the game and did not attempt a pass, and his spot on the roster could be in peril. "I go in when they tell me," Tuiasosopo said. "I was ready to go in whenever they wanted me to." The former Raider appeared to take a few more second-team reps yesterday, a sign he might be in line for more playing time Friday against the Vikings ... CB Drew Coleman injured his left knee late in practice and joined a crowded infirmary area that also included RB Thomas Jones, S Eric Smith, CB Justin Miller and FB Stacy Tutt. At one point, all seven stationary bicycles were in use ... Kellen Clemens was named the team's offensive player of the game and Leon Washington received the honor on special teams ... The Jets waived WR Jesse Pellot-Rosa and OL Andrew Wicker and re-signed WR Dante Ridgeway.

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The Red Zone: Quick hits from around training camp


August 13, 2007

Backup for two

Pete Kendall now is a backup at two positions. The veteran left guard, who has asked to be traded or released, lined up at center with the second unit yesterday. The move either is the latest tweak from the Jets at the disgruntled player or a sign that they are intent on keeping Kendall for the season despite his voicing his almost daily dissatisfaction. "I'm not quite sure how to look at it right now," said Kendall, who was told he would play both positions yesterday morning. "I'm undecided at this point."

Kendall has received some reps at left guard with the first team, but Adrien Clarke has taken most of them. As for his new position, one that Kendall played in 2005 when Kevin Mawae was lost to injury - the same season the Jets asked him to take a pay cut - Kendall said: "I thought the organization had already decided how well I played center."

The bottom line

The last time the Jets won their preseason opener was in 2005. It may have been the high point of that 4-12 campaign.

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Ex-Suffern coach inspires Jets' long shot



(Original publication: August 13, 2007)

HEMPSTEAD - The last time Ralph Consiglio saw his grandson play football, Mike DeVito was making his college debut as a redshirt freshman at Maine. That was in 2003, and the former Suffern coach would die of leukemia during the season.

But DeVito continued pursuing his football dream even without the man he called "Pop" present. As he faces long odds of making the Jets as an undrafted free agent, the 23-year-old defensive end can still feel his grandfather's presence.

"Sometimes it hurts because I wish he was here and I wish he could see it," DeVito said yesterday after practice at Hofstra. "But I know he's watching. I can feel it when I'm out there. I can still tell he's giving me guidance and teaching me and coaching me through now."

Consiglio, a member of the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame, was an all-county football player in 1948-49 and compiled a 98-69-6 record as the Mounties' coach from 1965-84. His teams won county titles in 1975 and '79, with the latter team going 9-0 and allowing just four touchdowns to be scored against it all season.

After retiring he moved to Cape Cod, where he sparked his grandson's interest in the sport. DeVito was born in Brooklyn but was raised in Wellfleet, Mass.

"Without him, I probably wouldn't have started playing football, especially coming from Cape Cod where football wasn't a big thing," DeVito said. "He really got me rolling. We were throwing balls and stuff as soon as I could run. We were always playing pass and catch. He retired when I was born, so I didn't actually get to see him coach, but he coached me right from the beginning up."

That included going to all of DeVito's practices, games and camps.

"Even at the end, when he had leukemia and he couldn't really walk, he was coming to my games and practices," DeVito said. "I had football camp all the way up in Maine, six hours from home, and he was really into it. He was a great influence.

"It makes you want to do it that much more. It's been my drive this whole time, even now, after he's gone. He's still my force, my energy - everything I need."

The 6-foot-3, 298-pound DeVito had 112 tackles and 16 sacks at Maine, including seven sacks as a senior, when he received all-Atlantic 10 honors as a nose tackle.

"He made it to my first game, against Montana," DeVito said. "He was so proud. It was great to be able to come off the field and see him there with that smile even when he was sick."

Consiglio, technically, wasn't DeVito's grandfather. DeVito's mother, Arlynn, is his stepdaughter.

Still, whenever Consiglio returned to Suffern, which he usually did about twice a year, be it for the school's faculty golf tournament, to see a game or for team reunions, he would give his former cronies countless updates on DeVito.

"He was completely enthralled about the fact that (DeVito) was playing football," said Bob Veltidi, Consiglio's longtime assistant and successor as Suffern coach. "That's all he would talk about when he came down. He'd tell me about how big and strong he was. He was just really pleased."

The Jets signed him May 12, and he had one tackle playing end with the third team in Friday's 31-16 preseason win over the Falcons. He's also being used as a nose tackle in practice.

DeVito said about eight teams showed interest in signing him, and he's planning on returning to school to finish his accounting degree if he can't land a spot playing professional football.

"He's just consistent - that's what he was in college," said Jets coach Eric Mangini, who played nose tackle at Wesleyan. "You really respect and appreciate that from all players, that high motor. He showed a good level of instinct in college. Sometimes that doesn't appear as quickly in a new system because you're so worried about, 'OK, am I hitting this gap or this gap?' I think that overall, yes, he has good instincts."

Which is what Consiglio coached him to have.

Reach Andrew Gross at apgross@lohud.com and read his Jets blog at www.jets.lohudblogs.com.

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Jets running back Jones suffers leg injury



(Original publication: August 13, 2007)

HEMPSTEAD - Thomas Jones tried to plant his feet during a one-on-one drill yesterday, but instead the Jets' No. 1 running back crumbled to the ground and immediately took off his right shoe as he grimaced.

This was the last thing the Jets wanted to see after going through an unsettled running-back situation in 2006 without Curtis Martin.

The 28-year-old Jones was the team's key offseason move after rushing for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Bears. But he limped off the field with a soft cast covering his lower right leg.

He appeared to turn his right ankle during the running back-linebacker drill, but might have also injured a calf muscle.

The Jets did not provide an injury update yesterday, nor did they make Jones available for comment. The injury happened after coach Eric Mangini's daily press conference, so he, too, was unavailable for comment.

"Thomas is a hard worker, and he'll do what he needs to do to give us the best chance to win, and I'll let the trainers handle that side of it," said second-year running back Leon Washington, who likely would assume the bulk of the rushing duties in Jones' absence.

But though Washington carried nine times for 30 yards in Friday's 31-16 win over the Falcons in the preseason opener - Jones had 27 yards on eight carries - the Jets envision Washington as a complementary back, not their lead back.

Jones has missed suiting up in just 12 games over his seven-season career.

Kendall confused: Veteran left guard Pete Kendall, who has requested a trade or release since the Jets will not renegotiate his contract, lined up as a second-team center during yesterday's practice. He had not played the position since serving as an emergency fill-in for 10 games in 2005 after injuries to Kevin Mawae and Jonathan Goodwin.

"I thought the organization had already decided how well I play center," said Kendall, who was livid after playing with the second team deep into the third quarter of Friday's game. "I'm not quite sure how to look at it right now. There's a lot of different ways to look at it. I'm undecided at this point."

Roster moves: The Jets re-signed wide receiver Dante Ridgeway, who played seven games for them in 2005 and was last with the Saints. They waived wide receiver Jesse Pellot-Rosa and offensive lineman Andrew Wicker. Pellot-Rosa played college basketball at Virginia Commonwealth and had not played football since high school.

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Jets player profile

Monday, August 13, 2007 BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff


Sean Ryan was recommended by none other than former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells. His report: terrific blocker, average receiver. That's what the Jets needed, and they acquired the tight end from Dallas last August for a low-round draft pick.

But a funny thing happened in Friday's 31-16 preseason victory over the Falcons. Ryan caught four passes for 29 yards, including two touchdowns (2 and 10 yards).

"It's a preseason game and obviously, it's nice to be out there and run a good amount of routes and have fun doing it and catch the ball," said Ryan, a fourth-year pro. "But I know what my role is here."

The Jets obtained Ryan, 6-5 and 265 pounds, to help power the running game. The Jets, though, had little success last season, ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per carry (3.5). The arrival of running back Thomas Jones is expected to change that this season.

"I feel more comfortable," said Ryan, who played in just nine games for Dallas in two seasons. "Obviously, it helps spending the off-season here and knowing the offense better and not running around like my head is cut off. When you know the offense, you can play fast."

On his first touchdown catch, Ryan making a diving, 2-yard grab in the back of the end zone.

"(QB Kellen Clemens) threw a great ball out there. He put it where only I could get it," Ryan said.

Clemens found a wide-open Ryan in the back of the end zone on his second touchdown.


TE Chris Baker make a nice catch over S Erik Coleman. ... S Rashad Washington had an interception vs. Chad Pennington. ... WR Chansi Stuckey had another strong practice. ... Veteran DE Eric Hicks is having a good camp. ...


LB Andre Wadsworth continues to have a poor camp. ... TE Jason Pociask dropped a pass.


Disgruntled G Pete Kendall took snaps at center for the first time in camp yesterday. In 2005 he started several games at center for an injured Kevin Mawae and had an especially difficult game against Atlanta on a Monday night. The next day the Jets asked him to take a pay cut.

"I thought the organization had already decided how well I play center," Kendall deadpanned. "I'm not quite sure how to look at it (taking snaps at center) right now."

It appears the Jets want to maximize Kendall's versatility and plan to keep him at his scheduled base salary of $1.7 million. He might have to walk out of camp to force his release.


Mangini said rookie LB David Harris played well vs. the Falcons. ... Mangini said QB Kellen Clemens took too many hits vs. the Falcons and must consider the risk-reward factor when standing in the pocket. ... No news on holdout CB Darrelle Revis (17 days, 18 practices) ... LB Eric Barton (defense), Clemens (offense) and KR Leon Washington (special teams) were the players of the game vs. Falcons. ... The Jets re-signed WR Dante Ridgeway and released WR Jesse Pellot-Rosa and C Andrew Wicker. ...


RB Thomas Jones (leg), CB Drew Coleman (left knee), FB Stacy Tutt (left ankle), CB Justin Miller (right hamstring), TE Joe Kowalewski (right leg), S Eric Smith (right hamstring) and G Robert Turner (undisclosed) are out.


The Jets are loaded at wide receiver: Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Justin McCareins, Brad Smith, Stuckey, Wallace Wright and Frisman Jackson. They'll have to release a couple of good players.

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Jets' Jones suffers leg injury during practice

Monday, August 13, 2007 BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Jets running back Thomas Jones appears as though he could run through a brick wall with his well-sculptured 5-10, 215-pound frame. But he went down in a heap yesterday with an undisclosed injury to the calf/ankle area of his right leg -- and nobody touched him.

While the injury doesn't appear serious, the Jets might keep Jones sidelined for several days as a precaution.

Jones, whom the Jets acquired from the Bears in March to resurrect their running game, was hurt about an hour into practice when he came to a jump stop while planting to take on linebacker Brad Kassell in a one-on-one blitz pickup drill during the Jets' lone afternoon workout at Hofstra. He immediately fell to the turf, clutching his leg and wincing in pain.

Trainers quickly wrapped Jones' lower leg. Jones walked under his own power to the sideline and didn't go for X-rays. He spent the final hour and a half of practice working on the hand bike and doing exercises with a medicine ball. Occasionally, he stood and put weight on the leg, but he didn't attempt to run.

Jones, who missed just one game the past two seasons, was unavailable for comment after practice. Coach Eric Mangini had addressed the media earlier and the club didn't release a statement on Jones' condition.

The Jets, who were practically injury-free last season, suffered a second injury yesterday, the third to their secondary in a week, when cornerback Drew Coleman left practice with a left knee injury. He joins cornerback Justin Miller (hamstring) and safety Eric Smith (hamstring), both of whom didn't practice yesterday.

In fact, the area on the sideline for injured players was full to capacity. Fullback Stacy Tutt (left ankle), tight end Joe Kowalewski (right leg) and guard Robert Turner (undisclosed) also didn't practice. Plus, linebacker Matt Chatham (foot) and wide receiver Tim Dwight (foot) are on the physically unable to perform list.

The injury to Jones, though, sent shock waves through the organization and highlights the lack of depth at running back, especially with the unexpected departure of Cedric Houston on the eve of training camp because he didn't want to play football anymore. Behind Jones is Leon Washington, who many believe isn't an every down back.

Washington, 5-8 and 202 pounds, is considered a third-down, change-of-pace type running back, although he led the Jets in rushing last season with 650 yards and four touchdowns on 151 carries. He also caught 25 passes for 270 yards.

"I'm going to do what I need to do to give my team the best chance to win," Washington said repeatedly as he was peppered with questions about Jones and was almost comical in following Mangini's orders to tell the media as little as possible and not discuss injuries.

After Washington, the Jets have rookie free agents Danny Ware and Alvin Banks. Ware, a 6-0, 234-pounder out of Georgia, was impressive against the Falcons on Friday, rushing for 48 yards on 12 carries, including a 26-yarder. He has passed Banks on the depth chart and is the third running back. After Jones' departure, Ware worked with the second team.

Don't look for Houston to return. Raised in Arkansas, he wasn't completely comfortable in the metropolitan area and he lost his desire to play football. A hard-charging runner, he played two season with the Jets and rushed for 676 and seven touchdowns on 184 carries. He walked away from a base salary of $435,000.

"Cedric wants to decide what he wants to do with his life," said Houston's agent Brian Levy. "Football isn't a priority for him right now."

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at dhutchinson@starledger.com

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CB Drew Coleman limped off the practice field with an apparent leg injury and didn't return.

That did not appear to be a serious injury from where I was sitting. i think the play he injured it on happened on the far side of the field. He was guarding Wright I believe, and the ball was thrown out there and they both jumped for it and tipped the ball a couple of times before it fell incomplete. he got up slowly from that play.

Tj's ankle looked to be causing a lot more pain. I think they'll have a better idea later today or tomorrow after whatever swelling there is starts to go down.

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