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JETS news articles, Tuesday, 8/21

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Learning in N.Y.August 21, 2007 -- There's no doubt that one of the Jets' top offseason priorities was upgrading the defensive line. Enter David Bowens, Andre Wadsworth, Michael Haynes and Kenyon Coleman, who was signed away from the Cowboys for about $20 million over five years.

The Jets had an easy time targeting Coleman. He played the 3-4 under Bill Parcells in Dallas and the Jets got a good report from the Big Tuna about Coleman's ability and work ethic.

The tough part was getting Coleman, a devout Christian, sold on New York.

"One of the first things I did was talk to my pastor," Coleman told The Post yesterday. "It was important to me to go to a place where I could hear God's voice and have a platform to speak to that. New York is such a large media center. My wife loves it, and there's a great opportunity to ask questions about all religions.

"When I was at UCLA, a lot of my friends were Muslim. . . . Being around other people helps you ask if you're a Christian because that is how you were raised or is that how you lead your life?"

Players who have strong religious views occasionally face questions regarding their tenacity. Jets coach Eric Mangini has no such reservations.

"Kenyon's another stout guy," said Mangini. "He's got really good natural strength."

Coleman's strength definitely comes from his faith. After speaking to his pastor, Robert Morris, he spoke to Adam Ybarra, a pastor with the Raiders. The two agreed that New York was the ideal place.

"There are people from all over the world," said Coleman. "There are a lot of opportunities to learn."


With the last day of camp scheduled for Thursday, Mangini let his players know the importance of these final few practices.

"Each practice is . . . something that you have to use to get better, something that you have to use to make an opportunity or make a case for yourself that you can, A, make the team and, B, help the team win," he said.


The Pete Kendall Soap Opera continues. The guard was asked again if he deliberately botched two snaps in the preseason game against the Vikings to show his displeasure at being tried at center.

"No," Kendall said. "Why would I put Kellen [Clemens] in that situation? It's unbelievable to me that people would ask. I guess if you take a certain position in this situation, then anything you can use to justify your position, then that's what you're going to do about it."


First-round pick Darrelle Revis worked at returning kickoffs yesterday, something he never did in college at Pittsburgh.

"When they put me out there, I think it's mandatory for me to go hard since I haven't been here during the majority of the camp," he said.


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Thomas is Jets' hybrid

Tuesday, August 21, 2007



HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Bryan Thomas is one of those players who enjoys the mental aspect of football just as much as the physical part of it.

"It's almost like playing checkers or chess," Thomas said. "It's trying to out-think your opponents, and that's what's so great about the game."

That's an appropriate way for Thomas to look at things, considering that his career didn't take off until the Jets moved him into a different position on the board.

As a defensive end for the first four seasons of his career, Thomas seemed as out of place as a knight on a checkerboard. But once deployed properly as an outside linebacker when the Jets switched to the 3-4 last season, he became as valuable a piece as the Jets have on defense.

Figuratively and literally, that is, as Thomas signed a five-year contract extension for $25 million in November, in the midst of a season in which he recorded career highs in both sacks (8.5) and tackles (77).

The challenge in 2007 is for Thomas to build upon that season, now that he is a known quantity to the Jets' opponents. In his second year in the system, he also needs to refine his game even more, now that he can further explore the nuances of the Jets' complicated schemes.

Coach Eric Mangini believes Thomas is doing just that.

"There were a few plays in the [Minnesota] game," Mangini said Monday, "where I thought Bryan did a really excellent job of understanding where he fit and then coming off his fit to make the play."

In non-coachspeak, that means that Thomas was where he was supposed to be when those plays began, but then read where the play would be going and made the correct adjustments.

"That's something that's very important in the base scheme," Mangini added, "is that you have a certain assignment, but at some point when the ball carrier declares, then you can declare, and have to know when to make that decision. If you make it at the wrong time, you go inside too quickly and [the running back] just bounces out."

"This year, everything is moving a little more smoothly," said Thomas, who only had 6.5 sacks in his first four seasons of the NFL, "because I'm in the second year of the defense and I'm seeing things a bit better.

"My only job is to go out there and work hard," Thomas added, "and run to the ball every single play, hustle to the ball every single play. And just lead by example. If I'm hustling to the ball and running around the field each and every play, then things are going to happen that are positive things.

"Whatever coach asks me to do," Thomas added, "I'm out there willing to do it."

After Mangini became the Jets' head coach, he quickly decided the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Thomas would make a better fit as a standup linebacker most of the time than a down lineman.

"I wasn't really asking," Mangini said about Thomas' switch. "I mean, that's what was going to happen."

"I love it," Thomas said of his position. "I look at it as a hybrid position. It requires you to do a whole bunch of things. The defense we're doing now, it's always changing and disguising and I love it."

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

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Vilma has zero tolerance

Isn't fretting lack of tackles



Tuesday, August 21st 2007, 4:00 AM


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Jonathan Vilma says he is poised for a breakout season in his second year in Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense.


Read Rich Cimini's The Jets Stream

The cynic would look at Jonathan Vilma's stat line from the Jets' last preseason game and make a smart-aleck comment like, "He had as many tackles as Darrelle Revis." The punch line, of course, is that Revis, the freshly minted rookie millionaire, was a sideline spectator.

When Vilma looks at his no-tackle game - really, the entire preseason - he sees progress. After a season in which he struggled to get comfortable in Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense, the talented inside linebacker is confident he's going to master the scheme in Year 2. One of the reasons is because the coaches have installed a few new wrinkles that, in his mind, should allow him to do what he does best: run and hit.

"We're doing a couple of different things that are beneficial to me," Vilma said yesterday, shrugging off last week's game as a preseason anomaly. "I don't know if it's tailored to me or my needs. Obviously, it's our second year, so we can add on a little more to the defense. As long as I can make a play in it, I'm fine. But that's the key: I've got to make a play. I can't go out there and mess up."

Naturally, Vilma wasn't about to reveal the specifics, but it doesn't take a "Man-genius" to figure out the general premise. The Jets could tweak their fronts to protect the undersized, but speedy Vilma, using a lineman - or maybe even a linebacker - to shield him from the mammoth guards that swallowed him up last season. They also could move Vilma before the snap, making it harder for the offense to get a read on him.

A moving Vilma is a better Vilma.

"It's funny because the fans want to see me running around again," he said, smiling. "For me, I'm going to keep playing within the system."

After thriving in 2004 and 2005 as a middle linebacker in Herm Edwards' 4-3 defense, Vilma suffered a dropoff last season in the 3-4 front, which is designed for bigger linebackers. He finished with 68 solo tackles, down from 143 in '05, and his big-play production almost disappeared: One interception, no sacks and no forced fumbles.

Publicly, Mangini has stood behind Vilma, the defensive signal-caller, but the Jets used a second-round pick on David Harris, an inside linebacker. It was widely assumed they wanted Harris, a cerebral player in the Vilma mold, to replace the other inside starter, Eric Barton. That may happen, but Harris also provides long-term insurance for the "quarterback" role if they decide to trade Vilma next offseason. His contract runs through 2008.

If it comes to that, the Jets would be admitting Vilma is a bad fit in their scheme. But Vilma is on a personal mission to prove he can thrive in the 3-4.

"I view it as a challenge," he said. "It would say a lot if I can be very successful in this defense as well as the 4-3. It would really mean there's no limit for me. If I can get this down and master this, and do all the things I should be doing in this defense, it'll make me that much better a player."

In breaking down his performance from last season, Vilma determined that he took too many false first steps. In the 3-4, the first step is vital. It could mean the difference between making a tackle at the point of attack or getting blown up by a guard. The ever-creative Mangini apparently has cooked up a couple of ways to help free Vilma.

"I've seen a lot of different linebacker types playing the system over the years, and they've all played at a good level," Mangini said. "It's not that there's only one way to play it. Tedy Bruschi played it very differently than Ted Johnson did, than Roman Phifer did, than Junior Seau does. It's the same system, same responsibilities, but each guy caters it to the things they do well."

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Jones pedals way back into workouts


Tuesday, August 21st 2007, 4:00 AM


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RB Thomas Jones, sidelined nine days with a strained calf, started working yesterday on the stationary bike - his first real leg work since the injury. Jones is expected to be ready for the Sept. 9 opener, although medical experts say there's no guarantee it will be healed. A Grade I strain has a recovery time of two to three weeks; it takes one to two months for a Grade II strain to heal. The extent of Jones' injury is unclear.

Rookie WR Chansi Stuckey, a lock to make the team, hurt his right knee in the morning practice and didn't return. He also sat out the evening session, wearing a brace on his knee.

First-round pick Darrelle Revis didn't return any kickoffs at Pitt, but he was practicing doing so yesterday. It's not going to be a permanent gig, with Justin Miller (hamstring) likely to return next week.

Disgruntled G/C Pete Kendall seemed incredulous when asked if he purposely misfired on two shotgun snaps in last week's game as a form of protest. "No," he said. "Why would I put Kellen (Clemens) in that situation? It's unbelievable to me that people would ask ... I wouldn't do that to my teammates on purpose."

Rich Cimini

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Coles wonders how long he can survive Jets' grind

Bob Glauber

August 21, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: It is the first time that Laveranues Coles has come face to face with his football mortality, a moment far more jolting than any over-the-middle takedown by a defensive back or linebacker. The moment arrived much sooner than a man just 29 years of age had ever expected.

But with seven NFL seasons behind him, and with a coach whose demanding practice schedule has exhausted him like never before, Coles is beginning to wonder how much time he has left.

His head tells him there are still six or seven good years in him. His gut tells him he's not quite so sure.

"I never really thought about it until now," Coles told me in an unusually revealing discussion after a nearly 2 1/2-hour workout yesterday morning. "Being in this system, it's a little tougher than most systems I've been in. Other systems, I feel I would have more longevity and it wouldn't appear to be as tough on my body. Being in this system, there's a lot of wear and tear, the long practices, the long days. It is what it is. You have to put the grind in."

It is a measure of just how tough it is to play for Mangini that the toughest player on the team finds it so draining. Coles now wonders just how much more his body will be able to withstand in the years to come.

"In speaking to guys who have been in this system, they tell me that's going to be the deciding factor in how long I play, and whether it makes me end up walking away," Coles said. "I still have the desire to compete, but in the next breath, you don't ever want to put yourself at risk at the expense of the game. When I'm 50, I think, 'What am I going to be like?' Am I going to be in a wheelchair? Or on crutches? Or will I have head trauma?"

That Coles is openly wondering about his future isn't what you expect from a player still solidly in the prime of his career, especially considering his reputation as a game-day warrior. Coles is a guy who will not think twice about going over the middle to make a tough catch, even if it means getting laid out like he did on Christmas night last year, when Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas leveled him with a concussion-rendering hit.

Coles has played through toe and ankle injuries with Curtis Martinesque determination. But he understands that it will end one day, and only wants to go out on his own terms. He prays he can walk away in a Jets uniform; he simply doesn't know when that day will come.

"I'm at a point where I think about where I want to be long-term," he said. "I don't want to be one of those guys at the back of my career bouncing around on different teams. One of the main things I want to do is end my career here. I'm embedded in this system. If I show them I'm worth the risk and they make me a lifetime Jet, I would welcome that."

It may come down to whether Coles can survive Mangini's punishing regimen.

"You get a system like Jerry Rice had with the West Coast offense, where they hardly ever wore pads and practices were probably an hour or an hour and a half, you don't have the wear and tear on your body," he said. "You put less miles on your body. It's like a car. If you put a lot of miles on a car, it's not going to last as long."

Coles wants the run to last as long as possible, but agonizes about knowing when his productivity begins to diminish. "God takes it away," is how Bill Parcells used to describe the point in a player's career when he can no longer play at a high enough level. Sometimes, the player is the last one to know, something Coles doesn't want to see happen to himself.

"I watch guys who think they have it, and they really don't," he said. "When you hit that point, do you know you've lost it?"

He hasn't gotten to that point yet. He just wants to be the first to know before it starts to show.

more in /sports/football/jets


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Wadsworth still has something to prove

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 21, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: The feel-good story of Jets training camp is still feeling pretty good, even if his chances of making the team dwindle with each passing day.

Andre Wadsworth's return to the NFL after a six-year absence and more than a dozen surgeries to his battered legs seems unlikely to last far beyond the first round of roster cuts next week. The 32-year-old, once the third overall pick in the NFL draft, is near the bottom of the depth chart at outside linebacker for the Jets, squeezing minimal reps out of each practice, covering other roster long shots and never-heard-ofs such as Juan Wong and Evan Prall. In two preseason games, Wadsworth has played sparingly in the fourth quarters and made two tackles.

The comeback is clearly coming up short.

But the effervescent elder still uses words such as "fun" and "exciting" to describe his experiences, terms seldom used in connection with an Eric Mangini training camp. For a player whose career has been both defined and derailed by injuries, he has not missed a single workout this summer. And Wadsworth said he has learned a lot about himself since deciding to mount the comeback about a year ago, and especially since camp started last month.

It would have been easy for Wadsworth to walk away in the middle of any of the scorching days at Hofstra these past few weeks, or slip out the door during any one of those dreary late-night meetings. No one would have blamed him. Except him.

"I just don't quit," he said of what he learned during this process. "I knew about that, but I didn't know to what extent. Now I really know I just don't quit."

Tucked beneath Wadsworth's eternal optimism, however, is the realist who knows the end is near. He said if he is cut - it's an "if" most anticipate - he'll try to pursue opportunities with other teams, several of which were intrigued if not fully interested when he began his quest to return to the NFL. And if he doesn't catch on somewhere during the season, well, that's when he'll probably walk away.

"I like fighting and I'm going to go down swinging," he said. "I have absolutely no regrets."

He likened his current situation to the faith of biblical Abraham and Sarah, who conceived a child despite all rational impediments. "Even though I may know the circumstances, I still believe," he said.

Wadsworth has a rich life outside football. Since his first NFL career - which ended in 2000 after just 36 games - he has become a successful entrepreneur, owning six high-end car dealerships in Florida. He joked that if he made the team, his salary still wouldn't approach his income from those businesses. But football gives him a camaraderie that selling Porsches cannot.

"With guys in the locker room like Eric Barton, Laveranues Coles, Kenyon Coleman," he said, "you can't get that on a car showroom floor."

Though Wadsworth is not contributing on the field, his presence has been helpful. Linebacker Victor Hobson said having Wadsworth around, a guy who lost his career and has fought for the chance to reclaim it, makes players "appreciate it that much more."

And Mangini said Wadsworth is an example of someone to whom football is very important.

"You hear a lot from players that have either retired or have been pressed into retirement, how much they miss being part of a team, how much they would pay to sit in one of those meetings that I'm sure a lot of guys would pay to get out of," Mangini said. "He's just a really good example of what it means to be a pro."

Even if that status lasts only a little bit longer.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The top five picks of the 1998 draft produced some disappointing busts and some soon-to-be busts for Canton:

Peyton Manning, QB, Colts: Has 275 TDs, 37,586 yards, 1,249 commercials and 1 Super Bowl title.

Ryan Leaf, QB, Chargers: Played three unsuccessful NFL seasons before an early retirement.

Andre Wadsworth, DE, Cardinals: Had eight sacks in 36 games before knee injuries forced him out.

Charles Woodson, CB, Raiders: 1998 Defensive Rookie of the Year and three-time Pro Bowler.

Curtis Enis, RB, Bears: Scored only four rushing TDs in three years with the Bears.

The Jets did not have a first-round pick in 1998; it was given to the Patriots after the Jets signed Curtis Martin as a restricted free agent.


Jets at Giants

8 p.m.

TV: Ch. 4

Radio: WEPN (1050)

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Moore on the right track for Jets

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 21, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: While Eric Mangini tinkers with the left guard position - rookie Jacob Bender spent time there with the first unit once again with cameos by Pete Kendall and Brandon Moore yesterday - he had nothing but raves for his right guard, Moore.

"His consistency is what I really like," Mangini said of the converted defensive lineman who was cut from the Jets after his first training camp with the team in 2002 but has started the last 41 consecutive regular-season games. "You're able to plan based on relative certainty as opposed to if a guy were up one game and down the next game."

Moore is looking to redo his contract. Whether the Jets can negotiate with Moore while ignoring a similar restructuring plea from Kendall is unclear. It does appear that Moore has a fan in Mangini, who pointed out Moore's carnivorous nickname on the team.

"You really don't want to power a guy named Meat," Mangini said. "You're looking to power a guy named Slim or something like that."

Moving Revis around

While Darrelle Revis is trying to catch up from a three-week deficit at cornerback, the Jets are also asking him to play some positions he is not used to. Yesterday, the first-round draft pick was playing nickel back and also returning kickoffs. "The coaches put me back there to explore my talent," he said of returning the kickoffs, something he never did in college.

As for nickel back, Revis said it is different from the straight corner which he primarily played in college. There is more information to digest and more reads to make, he said.

Jet streams

The roster, currently at 85, must be trimmed to 75 by a week from today ... Receiver Chansi Stuckey injured his right knee early in the morning practice and spent the rest of the workout on the exercise bicycle ... RB Thomas Jones (calf) was promoted from the hand bike to the regular stationary bike and took part in leg-stretching exercises that looked a little like John Cleese's Ministry of Silly Walks from Monty Python ... The Jets waived DB James Ihedigbo.

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The Red Zone: Quick hits from around training camp

August 21, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: Bragging rights

The annual preseason game against the Giants always carries the weight of bragging rights, but this year, neither team will probably be as willing to leave everything on the field. That's because they will face each other again Oct. 7.

"Since this is a team that we're going to play during the season, the approach is a little bit different," Mangini said.

The Jets will be in the same position next week when they cap their preseason against the Eagles, whom they are scheduled to face Oct. 14. Even though the team won't "put all the cards on the table" for those games, Mangini said just the scouting of an opponent and attending all of the meetings that lead up to a game can be simulation enough. "You can still go through the process," he said, "you just may not implement the same scheme."

The bottom line

The Jets close their training camp tomorrow with a 12:15 p.m. practice followed by an autograph session for the entire squad.

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Ventrone trying to make Jets as special-teams ace


(Original publication: August 21, 2007)

HEMPSTEAD - There were times during Raymond Ventrone's college career at Villanova when he wasn't allowed to practice. He hurt too many teammates.

"I gave a couple of guys concussions," Ventrone said with a grin yesterday. "My coach would put a red jersey on me, I guess just to protect some of the other players."

This time around, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound safety is in camp with the Jets, hoping to win a spot on the 53-man roster as a special-teams ace.

"I don't think I'm an underdog," Ventrone said. "I just think I'm one of those blue-collar guys that's going to come out here and just bust his butt every day and hope for the best."

So far, so good. He's had a good camp, had three tackles in the Jets' two preseason games, been in on a handful of other plays and even practiced with the second-team defense.

Trying to make an impression is nothing new for Ventrone.

Despite obvious speed and skills in high school, Ventrone didn't get much attention from Division I schools, and only a few scholarship offers from I-AA schools.

So, he ended up at Villanova, where he quickly developed a reputation for being a big-time playmaker and punishing tackler. He had 251 tackles, two sacks, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries for the Wildcats.

"I like hitting," said Ventrone, nicknamed "Bubba" as a baby because he had a large head when he was born. "I mean, that's a part of my game. I like contact. I feel like I'm a pretty aggressive player, so I'm not afraid to butt heads with anybody."

When the 2005 NFL draft came and went without him, Ventrone wondered if he'd get a shot to play at the next level.

Eventually, the Patriots signed him to a free-agent contract because Mangini, then New England's defensive coordinator, liked what he saw on tape.

After being cut by New England in February, the Jets signed him eight days later. Mangini compared him to former Jets, Patriots and Saints safety Victor Green, who took a similar path to become a standout safety in the NFL.


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Moore a mainstay on Jets' line

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Star-Ledger Staff

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Every day after practice, Jets right guard Brandon Moore silently drags his body off the field and trudges toward the players' exit, his face covered by a mask of sweat and his uniform soaked with perspiration.

Nearby, veteran left guard Pete Kendall, Moore's good friend, heads to what has become a daily post-practice news conference. Kendall seldom bites his tongue when asked about his contract stare-down with the Jets that has become very public.


With the exception of sitting out one day early in training camp because he's also unhappy with his contract, Moore has taken a different approach. A three-year starter, Moore is in the fourth year of a six-year, $8 million contract that will pay him an $800,000 base salary this season -- less than half the $1.7 million Kendall is scheduled to make.

"My agent (Hadley Engelhard) handles that, that's what he gets paid for," Moore said yesterday in between the final two-a-day session of training camp at Hofstra. "Pete handles his situation the way he wants, and I'll handle mine the way I feel it should be handled."

After his practice boycott, the Jets promised Moore they would address his situation and the two sides have begun preliminary discussions. The team is not, however, negotiating with Kendall, who wants an additional $1 million and also has three years remaining on his contract.

Moore, a fifth-year pro and former defensive tackle at Illinois, was cut twice by the Jets after signing as a rookie free agent in 2002. He broke into the starting lineup in 2004 -- helping Curtis Martin win the NFL rushing title -- and has been a mainstay since, starting 41 straight regular-season games and three postseason games.

"It's funny. I kind of forget sometimes the hard work it took to get here," said Moore, who spent a year in NFL Europe. "But then to be able to let some of (the rookies) know. I try to tell them that this wasn't handed to me. I wasn't a draft pick. I tell them to keep their heads up.

"It's weird, those guys looking at me like I looked at (former Jets guard) Randy Thomas when I was younger. ... Forty-one consecutive starts, yeah, it's an accomplishment. I've been blessed."

The Jets have been fortunate as well. Moore, 6-3 and 295 pounds, plays much bigger than his size and is the type of player they can count on for at least the next five years.

"He's a physical presence," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "He's very consistent. His nickname is 'Meat.' We often joke that in these one-on-one drills (during camp), you'll have a little guy trying to use power (against him). You're looking to power a guy named 'Slim' or something like that. (Moore) lives up to his nickname."

CONTINUED Page 2 of 2

Moore, 27, also helped center Nick Mangold last season. While Kendall received much of the credit for Mangold's stunningly quick development as a rookie, Moore was instrumental as well.

"Brandon has been great," Mangold said. "He's a quiet guy but he has a lot of insight, so when he does says something, you listen. He's kind of like a silent partner. He taught me a lot. It's always great to hear different views. We've been working real hard on him during the off-season to communicate a little bit more so we're all on the same page."


Moore said he has spent training camp refining his game, experimenting with new techniques that may improve his play. He admits it has been a bit unsettling with the turmoil at left guard, with Adrien Clarke, Kendall and now rookie Jacob Bender in the mix.

"Everyday it's somebody different," Moore said. "But we're not in control of how the decisions are being made. Hopefully, we'll just get the best five guys out there."

As the Jets prepare for a new season, Moore has welcomed a new arrival. He and his wife, Regina, have a 1 1/2-month-old daughter, Mikayla.

"It's really tough being in camp," Moore said. "I try to get home every day I can. And every time I get home, the baby is getting bigger and bigger, changing every day. I miss that."

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at


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Vinny turns on the Jets

By Steve Buckley

Boston Herald General Sports Columnist

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 - Updated: 05:02 AM EST

FOXBORO - Vinny Testaverde [stats] minces no words on the subject. The day his playing career finally ends, he expects to spend the rest of his life rooting for the New York Jets [team stats].

For now, though, he is quite content doing what he can to help the Patriots [team stats] beat the Jets

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Jets notebook

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Something new

Darrelle Revis had something else added to his job description Monday.

The rookie cornerback, who also was a standout punt returner at the University of Pittsburgh, also was returning kickoffs.

"No, I never did that in college," he said. "It's something that's new to me. I have to adjust to it. The coaches put me back there to explore my talents and [for me] to try to make a play."

Revis fumbled a punt in the evening practice after being flawless in that department during Sunday's practice session.

Don't show too much

The annual Jets-Giants preseason game takes on a slightly different dynamic this season because the teams will play during the regular season on Oct. 7, and don't want to show too much to one another.

"Usually [in] the third preseason game you play the starters more," coach Eric Mangini said, "and you're able to go through the normal game-planning process, but this is a team that we're going to then play during the season. The approach is a little bit different because you wouldn't necessarily do all the things that you may do now because you do face them in the season. ... I'm sure the same thing is true for them. You're not going to put all the cards on the table."


Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery apparently injured his right knee during the morning practice and spent the evening workout pedaling the stationary bike. ... Rookie Jacob Bender again got most of the first-team reps at left guard as Mangini continued to talk him up. "He's done a lot of things leading up to this point to get that opportunity," the coach said, "just like anybody who gets reps with the first group." Bender played tackle in college. ... Pete Kendall scoffed at the notion that because of his ongoing contract dispute with the Jets, he purposely flubbed two shotgun snaps as the backup center in Friday's game. "I would not do that to my teammates on purpose," he said.

-- J.P. Pelzman

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