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JETS ARTICLES, MON. 8/27


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JETS NEED FIX AT LEFT GUARD, FAST WATCH YOUR BACK, CHAD! If the Jets don't find a short-term solution to their hole at left guard, quarterback Chad Pennington will be seeing a lot of opposing jerseys up close this season. August 27, 2007 -- ERIC Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum need to find a Pete Kendall, and fast. Someone who has been through the NFL wars, someone smart and tough who has been there and done that, someone who can learn a system quicker than you can say Belichick. Someone the Jets can plug in between center Nick Mangold and left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and not have to worry about the sanity of their quarterback or the functionality of their offense. The development of Mangold and Ferguson only can be slowed by the prospect of nursing a neighbor who is learning by trial and error.

With the Patriots lurking 13 days away, we have been reminded that this is no time to throw a rookie tackle from Nicholls State to the wolves and ask him to try to master left guard. Jacob Bender is one of those high-character types with all the core values Mangini and Tannenbaum talk about all the time. Unfortunately, the most impressive part of his unimpressive night against the Giants Saturday came after the game in the locker room, when he stood there and answered all the questions and wore anything but a deer-in-the-headlights look. He has a chance to be a player some day. Just not now, and the Jets are kidding themselves if they think he or Adrien Clarke can keep Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork and Adalius Thomas off Chad Pennington and Thomas Jones.

The 2008 fifth-round pick Tannenbaum stole for Kendall - possibly a 2009 fourth-rounder, even - won't help Pennington make it through a second straight full season, and it won't help Jones make people try to forget Curtis Martin. Wait 'Til Next Year might have been the rallying cry of fans of Dem Bums in Brooklyn, but it is downright cruel to subject Jets fans who have been waiting 'til next year since January 12, 1969 to Wait 'Til Next Year again.

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JETS NEED FIX AT LEFT GUARD, FAST WATCH YOUR BACK, CHAD! If the Jets don't find a short-term solution to their hole at left guard, quarterback Chad Pennington will be seeing a lot of opposing jerseys up close this season. August 27, 2007 -- ERIC Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum need to find a Pete Kendall, and fast. Someone who has been through the NFL wars, someone smart and tough who has been there and done that, someone who can learn a system quicker than you can say Belichick. Someone the Jets can plug in between center Nick Mangold and left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and not have to worry about the sanity of their quarterback or the functionality of their offense. The development of Mangold and Ferguson only can be slowed by the prospect of nursing a neighbor who is learning by trial and error.

With the Patriots lurking 13 days away, we have been reminded that this is no time to throw a rookie tackle from Nicholls State to the wolves and ask him to try to master left guard. Jacob Bender is one of those high-character types with all the core values Mangini and Tannenbaum talk about all the time. Unfortunately, the most impressive part of his unimpressive night against the Giants Saturday came after the game in the locker room, when he stood there and answered all the questions and wore anything but a deer-in-the-headlights look. He has a chance to be a player some day. Just not now, and the Jets are kidding themselves if they think he or Adrien Clarke can keep Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork and Adalius Thomas off Chad Pennington and Thomas Jones.

The 2008 fifth-round pick Tannenbaum stole for Kendall - possibly a 2009 fourth-rounder, even - won't help Pennington make it through a second straight full season, and it won't help Jones make people try to forget Curtis Martin. Wait 'Til Next Year might have been the rallying cry of fans of Dem Bums in Brooklyn, but it is downright cruel to subject Jets fans who have been waiting 'til next year since January 12, 1969 to Wait 'Til Next Year again.

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Thanks again KJ. Now the big question becomes who?

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With offensive line struggling, Jets seek stability at left guard

Monday, August 27, 2007

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

Even before the implosion of rookie left guard Jacob Bender against the Giants on Saturday night, the Jets' first-team offense was nearing a crisis, and the blame can't be laid at the locker of quarterback Chad Pennington.

With Pete Kendall traded late last week to the Washington Redskins, the offensive line, which strives on chemistry and continuity, has become a significant question mark after weeks of rotating left guards in and out of the lineup.

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General manager Mike Tannenbaum might have won the battle with Kendall in a bitter contract dispute over $1 million, which is pocket change in the NFL these days, but the Jets might end up paying for their decision to part with Kendall for a while, or at least until Bender gains his footing.

In the Jets' hollow 20-12 victory against the Giants on Saturday night, Pennington faced pressure all night, mostly from the left side. Bender and Adrien Clarke struggled at left guard and their problems were compounded by the fact that second-year left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson is still trying to find his way. Manning Pennington's all-important blind side, Bender and Ferguson allowed a sack apiece.

"It comes down to we all have to be on the same page," said second-year center Nick Mangold, who has assumed a leadership role. "I think our lack of communication is what hurt us the most. The Giants are a good team and they're going to game-plan and bring different looks and we have to talk those out and get it done on the field."

If the Jets think the Giants gave them funky looks, imagine what Patriots coach Bill Belichick has up his sleeve for the Sept. 9 season opener, knowing the Jets' troubles along the offensive line.

Not so coincidentally, Pennington has had a rough preseason. He has led the Jets to just one touchdown and two field goals on 14 series and will likely see little, if any, action in the preseason finale at Philadelphia on Thursday.

Pennington has completed 12 of 21 passes for 129 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the preseason. Backup Kellen Clemens (28-of-39 for 352 yards, four TDs, two INTs) is nipping at Pennington's heels. He has produced seven touchdowns and a field goal in 13 series this preseason, but has played mostly against reserves.

Pennington, searching for a silver lining, pointed out that he's never been exceptionally sharp in the preseason. He said the offense through three exhibition games has been vanilla, with coaches not wanting to show too much and experimenting with different players. He said the Jets have shown 40 to 60 percent of their playbook. And considering they have gone up against a 3-4 defense during training camp, Pennington said the Giants' 4-3 set gave them a different look.

Coach Eric Mangini blames a lack of consistency and breakdowns across the board.

The club spent yesterday studying its short list of left guards and pondering if it will try to bring in a veteran. The Jets might be waiting to claim a guard off waivers, but the Dolphins also need one and they're ahead of the Jets on the claim list.

By all accounts, however, Bender will be a good one -- in time.

"He'll only get better," Pennington said. "When you watch the guy, his get-off on the snap is unbelievable. He's the first lineman off the ball every time. He's a young guy who is learning. Unfortunately he has to learn in front of everybody. ... On a positive note, it's good that it's happening now ... and not look at it in the third or fourth game and go, 'What are we going to do now?'"

Notes: The Jets have brought back retired offensive lineman Lomas Brown to work with Ferguson. ... WR Justin McCareins continues to come on, making a nifty 45-yard catch against the Giants....

The Jets must cut down to 75 players by tomorrow. ... RB Thomas Jones (calf) and CBs Andre Dyson (leg) and Justin Miller (hamstring) didn't play against the Giants but are expected to be ready for opening day. S Eric Smith (hamstring) is also out.

Dave Hutchinson may be reached at dhutchinson@starledger.com

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FOOTBALL

Jets yet to get offense in sync

Monday, August 27, 2007

By J.P. PELZMAN

STAFF WRITER

Here are Chad Pennington's numbers from the Jets' 20-12 preseason victory over the Giants on Saturday night: 5-for-11, 89 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions. Not very impressive, other than a 79-yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington on the first play from scrimmage.

And here are Pennington's numbers in the Jets' 13-7 loss to the Giants a year ago: 11-for-20, 125 yards, one interception, no touchdowns. Pennington didn't direct the Jets to a score.

After sitting out the preseason finale against Philadelphia, all Pennington did two weeks later in the season opener was go 24-for-33 for 319 yards and two touchdowns with no picks in a 23-16 win at Tennessee.

So much for the importance of getting on the same page during preseason.

Still, it obviously isn't automatic that Pennington's shaky 2007 preseason will lead to a stellar opening day as did his struggling 2006 preseason. And he and the Jets realize that, even though they are not about to panic.

"Our problem on offense," Pennington said after the game, "[is] we're just inconsistent, and I'm confident that we'll get it fixed."

Of course, the Jets' offense is dealing with one issue they weren't facing at this time last year: They are replacing veteran offensive lineman Pete Kendall, who was traded to Washington last week. Yes, the Jets were breaking in rookies Nick Mangold at center and D'Brickashaw Ferguson at left tackle in 2006, but both were first-round picks playing the positions they played in college.

Sixth-round pick Jacob Bender, who started at left guard against the Giants, was a left tackle in college. He had trouble handling Justin Tuck, who beat him for a first-quarter sack. Yet Ferguson also had his problems with Osi Umenyiora, who got past him for a first-quarter sack.

The Jets are saying the right things, but it would be surprising if general manager Mike Tannenbaum doesn't bring in a veteran via trade or waivers before the Jets play host to New England on Sept. 9.

"He'll only get better," Pennington said of Bender. "He's a young guy who's learning, and unfortunately [he] sometimes has to learn in front of everybody."

"I've definitely got a lot of things to work on," Bender said. "I've got some good training film to watch."

Missing from that game tape is Thomas Jones, who has been out since suffering a strained right calf Aug. 12. He is expected to be ready by opening day, and his presence would allow Pennington to use play-action, something he is adept at and something that has been missing from the offense.

Coach Eric Mangini called the Jets' preseason offensive approach "vanilla" by design and Pennington admitted only 40 to 60 percent of the playbook has been in use in August.

After Washington's touchdown, the Jets' first-team offense didn't have a first down on its next six possessions before Kellen Clemens came in and directed the backups on two third-quarter touchdown drives.

"As an offense, we still have a lot of work to do," wideout Laveranues Coles said. "It's not that we haven't worked hard. It's about us sitting down and looking at film and getting the mistakes corrected and moving forward."

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

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With Kendall gone, Mangold leads Jets' O-line

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 27, 2007

The questions were strikingly similar to the ones veteran guard Pete Kendall had to answer about Nick Mangold last year. How's the kid next to you doing? What's he got to work on?

But on Saturday night, the questions were coming to Mangold about rookie left guard Jacob Bender. The trade of Kendall to the Redskins last week thrust Bender into the starting lineup and Mangold into the role of unofficial spokesman for the offensive line.

"It happened quicker than I imagined, but those are the cards that are dealt and you have to work through it," he said of his new place on the totem pole. "Being the center, you enjoy having the leadership qualities pushed on you right from the get-go."

Because the memories of his rookie season are so fresh, Mangold said he can easily relate to Bender's experience. He also noted that having to explain things to someone else forces him to have a greater understanding of the material.

As seen on TV

Eric Mangini was pleased with the play of rookie Darrelle Revis in his first game action, but he couldn't help but throw a soft jab at the first-round draft pick who missed the first three weeks of training camp without a contract.

"I'm sure it's a little dramatic change from being home watching TV to transitioning into the game," the coach said of Revis, who had five tackles and a pass deflection in his debut.

Jet streams

That Bender looked overmatched by the Giants' defenders shouldn't have come as a huge surprise. That second-year left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson also was routinely beaten should be a concern. Justin Tuck blew past Bender to sack Chad Pennington in the second series, but Osi Umenyiora was just a step behind Tuck after swinging around Ferguson ... LB Andre Wadsworth, trying to make the team after a six-year layoff, forced a fourth-quarter fumble when he stripped QB Tim Hasselbeck ... Wantagh's Joe Villani saw significant reps as the second-string center and led Kellen Clemens into the end zone on a 1-yard keeper.

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Jets' 1st offensive unit struggles in preseason

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 27, 2007

Eric Mangini described the Jets' preseason play-calling as "pretty vanilla," which for the unflamboyant and notoriously tight-lipped coach is like the growing grass calling the drying paint dull.

Whether the team can turn the regular season into Rocky Road - or just a rocky road - remains to be seen.

"We're looking at more of the basic stuff," Mangini said. "It's important to have some things that you may have liked and studied during the week but you're really not going to show until you play them in the regular season."

So when the starting offense suffered five straight three-and-outs in the first half against the Giants Saturday night and gained a net total of 66 yards despite a first-play touchdown that went for 79, there was little to be concerned about. Right?

Well, not all of the Jets were blithely content to blame their preseason offensive dysfunction on a slimmed-down playbook or the absence of running back Thomas Jones.

"I'm not going to try to come up with different answers to why things aren't as consistent as they should be right now," said receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who has caught two passes for 10 yards in three preseason games. "Your stuff is your stuff, and if you're good at it, then it'll work eventually."

Quarterback Chad Pennington - whose touchdown pass to Leon Washington on the first play of Saturday's 20-12 win over the Giants was the high point of his preseason - estimated that the Jets are performing with about 50 percent of their playbook right now. They're unlikely to add pages to their disposal in the final tuneup Thursday when they play the Eagles, another team they will face during the regular season.

"Our problem on offense right now is we're just inconsistent," Pennington said, "and I'm confident we'll get that fixed."

Cotchery echoed lack of steadiness as a factor in the first unit's struggles. "It's just not translating. The consistency is not translating from the practice to the game," he said. "We can't panic. We just have to continue to keep working. We've got a while before the first game to get things moving in the right direction."

While the first team has not impressed, the second string, headed by Kellen Clemens, has looked sharp. Mangini said he was especially pleased with how the team came out for the second half of the Giants game. They scored 14 points on consecutive drives in the third quarter once Clemens entered the game.

"With each game that I have a chance to play in, and with each rep I get in practice, I'm growing in confidence and I think the offense is as well," Clemens said. "Any time you get some experience it is a good thing."

Clemens' experience Saturday came after the Giants had taken their defensive starters off the field, but it was clear that the offense had the "consistency" everyone seems to be searching for with the second-year backup quarterback under center.

"We just got caught in a bad funk and we couldn't get out of it," Cotchery said. "In the second half, our second group, they worked through it and they got things accomplished."

It wasn't a clear Vote for Kellen by Cotchery, but it was a rare concession from inside the Jets that Clemens is getting things done.

Things that Pennington and the starters, to this point, are not.

Thursday

Jets at Eagles

7:30 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050)

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Jets' 3-4 defense doesn't add up

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BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Monday, August 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

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When asked if the Jets have settled into the 3-4 defense, Shaun Ellis said: 'Nah, not even close. We still have to figure out what the problem is.'

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AFC EastWho will win the AFC East?

Bills

Dolphins

Jets

Patriots

Read Rich Cimini's The Jets Stream

Statistically, the Jets' defense hasn't been awful in the preseason. In fact, the starting unit has allowed 27 points in five-plus quarters, which is average. But to Shaun Ellis, the longest-tenured member of the group, something doesn't feel right.

This is the second year in Eric Mangini's vaunted 3-4 system, and the holdovers on defense don't want to settle for mediocrity. But, with only one game remaining before the Patriots come to town - and the final preseason contest is nothing more than a glorified walk-through - Ellis believes they're still not ready for Tom Brady & Co.

"Nah, not even close," the veteran defensive end said after Saturday night's 20-12 win over the Giants. "We still have to figure out what the problem is. We have to watch the film and take the coaching and the criticism. Everybody has to step up against the run. We just make it hard on ourselves."

The run defense wasn't that bad against the Giants, but it was spotty on first down (28 yards on five attempts). That was the bugaboo last season, when the Jets finished 24th against the run. To Ellis, it seems like a broken record. "To be truthful, that's exactly what it feels like," he said. "We have to get that fixed and stop teams from doing it. We keep putting ourselves in bad situations."

The Jets still are relying on players who don't fit the 3-4 scheme, namely inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma and nose tackle Dewayne Robertson. For the second straight week, Vilma failed to record a tackle. Preseason stats can be deceiving, but it's worth noting that the other starting linebackers - Eric Barton, Victor Hobson and Bryan Thomas - combined for 15 tackles.

The best player in the front seven may have been rookie linebacker David Harris (five tackles), a second-round pick from Michigan. Subbing for Barton, and playing alongside Vilma, Harris made tackles on back-to-back plays in his first series. On the next series, he replaced Vilma and made a huge play on Rueben Droughns, dropping him for a five-yard loss on a third-down screen.

Because of his size, Harris (6-2, 243) is a better fit than Vilma in Mangini's system. He's a big-time hitter with better-than-advertised closing speed, which could allow him to be more than a two-down linebacker. If he keeps progressing, it wouldn't be a surprise if Harris, Vilma and Barton are used in a three-man rotation. That would be weird for Vilma, who considers the sideline a foreign land. He participated in every defensive snap last season.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the game was the lack of a pass rush. Eli Manning (17-for-25, 146 yards, one touchdown) felt more pressure from Tiki Barber last week than he received from the Jets, who seemed a step slow in pass defense.

One bright spot was rookie Darrelle Revis, who started for the injured Andre Dyson at left cornerback. The Jets' first-round pick from Pitt did a nice job in coverage, breaking up a pass to Sinorice Moss and blanketing Amani Toomer in the slot.

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Jets on guard in trade market

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BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Monday, August 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

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Kendall TradeDo you think the Jets got fair value for Pete Kendall?

Yes

No

In the wake of the Pete Kendall trade and the Jacob Bender debacle against the Giants, the Jets are exploring the guard market. Keep an eye on the Ravens, who have a surplus of guards. Jason Brown and Chris Chester are the starters, with first-round pick Ben Grubbs and veterans Keydrick Vincent and Brian Rimpf on the bench. George Kokinis, the Ravens' director of pro personnel, scouted the Jets-Giants game. Bender allowed a sack and at least two pressures, but teammates have stuck with him. "You watch in practice, his get-off is unbelievable," Chad Pennington said. ... For those concerned about Pennington, he said: "My history in the preseason hasn't been real good," he said. He's right. In 2006 and 2007, he's led the starters to only 13 points on 24 possessions. This summer, he's 12-for-21, 129 yards with one TD and two interceptions. There were similar concerns last year, but he opened in Tennessee with one of his best games.

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Coles won't give excuses for Jets' offensive performance

By ANDREW GROSS

THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: August 27, 2007)

Surprisingly, Laveranues Coles disagreed with the suggestion that it wouldn't be fair to judge the Jets' offense until running back Thomas Jones returns from his calf injury.

"Yeah, I think from y'all's perspective, y'all have the right to judge us and say things are not clicking as well as we would like it to be," the wide receiver said after the Jets' 20-12 preseason win over the Giants Saturday night at Giants Stadium.

The first-half numbers weren't encouraging for the Jets' first teamers. Chad Pennington connected with running back Leon Washington on a 79-yard touchdown pass on the Jets' first snap, but that marked the team's only first down before halftime.

And despite the yardage gained on that play, the Jets had just 59 total passing yards in the first half. Worse, the Jets rushed for 7 yards in the first 30 minutes.

And until a starting left guard can be established, the offensive line is an issue.

"We got into a funk and it was pretty bad from that point on," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "(The Giants) turned it up another notch, and at that point in time, we just got caught in a bad funk and couldn't get out of it."

Jones, acquired from the Bears after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, is not expected back until the Jets' regular-season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 9 at the Meadowlands after missing his second preseason game.

The Jets' preseason finale is at Philadelphia Thursday night.

Obviously, he'll take the burden off Washington in the running game. But Jones' presence should also again allow Pennington to be one of the top play-action quarterbacks in the NFL.

Plus, coach Eric Mangini admits the team's offense has been "vanilla" in the preseason as the coaching staff tries to hide its true intentions from the game films.

Again, Coles dismisses that excuse.

"Any time you draw it up, you're supposed to execute it," Coles said. "We didn't execute it to perfection, and I think that's just something we have to look at, regardless of whether it's vanilla or not. They call plays up to make it work. Hopefully, when the time is right, things will go right for us."

Given that the starters will likely barely play against the Eagles, those answers won't come until Week 1. But it will give backup quarterback Kellen Clemens one more chance to add to the still-nascent notion that he should be considered a challenger for Pennington's job.

Clemens completed 6 of 8 for 122 yards, including back-to-back receptions of 45 yards to Justin McCareins and 34 yards to Brad Smith.

But his last pass of the game, a deep route to Frisman Jackson, was intercepted by J.R. Reed at the Giants' 2-yard line.

"What a bad way to end a good day," Clemens said.

Of course, the opposite could be said about the first-team offense: they had a good start to a bad game.

Even if it's not fair to fully judge the unit until Jones returns.

"Any time you don't execute well, it's not one person, it's not one phase," Mangini said. "It's the group and collectively we all need to execute better on offense."

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

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Thanks for posting, KY

JETS NEED FIX AT LEFT GUARD,

FAST WATCH YOUR BACK, CHAD! If the Jets don't find a short-term solution to their hole at left guard, quarterback Chad Pennington will be seeing a lot of opposing jerseys up close this season.

-- ERIC Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum need to find a Pete Kendall, and fast.

The development of Mangold and Ferguson only can be slowed by the prospect of nursing a neighbor who is learning by trial and error.

With the Patriots lurking 13 days away, we have been reminded that this is no time to throw a rookie tackle from Nicholls State to the wolves and ask him to try to master left guard.

The 2008 fifth-round pick Tannenbaum stole for Kendall - possibly a 2009 fourth-rounder, even - won't help Pennington make it through a second straight full season,

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So, the talk went from the kendal saga, and what will happen with Pete, to WATCH YOUR BACl CHAD- LG needed. Great plan Tangini. :shutit:

"We got into a funk and it was pretty bad from that point on," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "(The Giants) turned it up another notch, and at that point in time, we just got caught in a bad funk and couldn't get out of it."

Explains the lack of intensity, and at least they are not in denial about it.

In the Jets' hollow 20-12 victory against the Giants on Saturday night...

I cant remember a more hollow (preseason) win.

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JETS FIVE QUESTIONS

Monday, August 27, 2007

How will rookie LG Jacob Bender fare in his first start?

Not so good. Bender, a sixth-round pick, was thrown into the deep end of the pool after the Jets traded unhappy veteran Pete Kendall and nearly drowned. He has a lot of work to do.

How will QB Chad Pennington bounce back from a subpar showing?

Sort of. He connected with RB Leon Washington on a 79-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage but it was all downhill after that and it wasn't his fault.

When is the defense going to show up?

Not yet. The Giants rang up 311 yards total offense and stopped themselves most of the night with penalties and missed field goals. We still say a 3-4 scheme without a 350-pound nose tackle won't work.

How will CB Darrelle Revis fare in his first game action?

Splendidly. Revis is physical and can cover, a rare double in the NFL. Mangini was absolutely giddy about the first-round pick after the game, flashing a huge smile when asked about him.

Which unheralded rookie or free agent will claim a roster spot?

RB Danny Ware has all but locked up the third running back spot, ripping off a 16-yard TD run. CB Manny Collins saw action early in the second quarter but was beaten for a 5-yard TD by WR Anthony Mix.

-- DAVE HUTCHINSON

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Joe K picks up where he left off

By Gregg Hayim

Posted Aug 26, 2007

The battle for the backup tight end jobs took an interesting turn Saturday night when Joe Kowalewski re-entered the mix.

Despite an uneventful preseason, Chris Baker's role as the starter remains intact. But there is a battle being waged behind him.

In a race few anticipated, the backup tight end position has been one of the most hotly contested in camp. On Saturday night, Joe Kowalewski threw his name into the hat.

Kowalewski, who spent last season on the Jets practice squad, was off to an impressive start to training camp. However, a leg injury sidelined him for the majority of the preseason.

"I was out the first two weeks" Kowalewski said after Saturday night's game. "Two of the hardest weeks of my life. It was so hard, I was happy for my teammates, but it's so hard, so painful to watch. I watched the Atlanta game, but I couldn't even watch the whole game."

While Kowalewski rehabbed his injury, both Sean Ryan and Jason Pociask seized the opportunity during his absence and performed well.

First came Ryan's two touchdown outing against the Falcons. That was followed by a solid three catch, one touchdown, performance from Pociask a week ago.

Finally healthy, Kowalewski got his opportunity Saturday night, and made the most of it. Contributing three catches for twenty-seven yards and some excellent blocking.

"You have to fight" Kowalewski said. "You have to play your best each time because every time you're on that field it is a chance to do bad and lose it. It's a chance, but it's also an opportunity. You just have to take advantage and do your best, otherwise you could lose big time."

Kowalewski's play early in preseason drew praise from the coaching staff, but the injury hampered his ability to build on the early momentum, and has left him amongst a handful of players sitting on the fence for a roster spot.

A solid performance was needed to keep his chances for a roster spot alive, and that is precisely what he did.

However, if he doesn

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Time to Start Worrying

Posted by Bob Bullock August 26, 2007 12:27PM

Categories: Games

It started with a beautiful 79-yard scoring pass from Chad Pennington to Leon Washington. It ended when Mike Nugent and Ben Graham botched the extra point. That would be the only highlight for the Jets first team offense. The rest of the first half and into the second was pretty darn pathetic.

This is the second week in a row the Jets' offense has been horrible. This week was even worse, at least against the Vikings they were able to move the ball. The Giants defense dominated the line of scrimmage against the Jets' starters. In fact, the Jets didn't get another first down the entire half after the Pennington to Washington strike. Calling the performance of the Jets offense "sluggish", as Tom Rock of Newsday did, is being a bit too kind. I'd actually prefer to agree with Rich Cimini of the Daily News, if you can believe that, who described them as "utterly inept". I don't believe for a second though that Pete Kendall would have made it any better.

Jacob Bender and Adrien Clarke did struggle, that is true, but so did the entire line last night. The only time they looked good was when Kellen Clemens came in and the Giants had put in the second-teamers.

"There were too many collective mistakes that were made," Mangini said. "It's not one person or one phase. It's the whole unit."

Clemens led the Jets on two impressive scoring drives against the Giants' backups. Hitting two long passes and using a quarterback sneak on one drive, while Danny Ware made a nifty 16-yard run on the other. Again, all of this was against the Giants' second team players so we can't really get too excited about it.

All I know is that I haven't seen a lot to be happy about when evaluating the Jets' offense that will start the season in two weeks against the Patriots. Did anyone happen to see them play on Friday night? That team looked very sharp and moved the ball at will with Tom Brady at the controls. The Jets are going to have to find a way to get a lot better very fast or that first game could turn into a nightmare!

On a semi-positive note, Darrelle Revis looked sharp in his first action of the preseason. He had tight coverage and made some nice tackles. David Harris played well again also. It looks as if these two guys will really help solidify this defense for the next few years. The defense overall played okay last night, nothing great though. The Giants were on the field for way too long, 21 minutes of the first half, but at least the unit didn't give up too many points. A few missed field goals didn't hurt either.

The first three games of the preseason are in the books. The Jets sit at 2-1, but everything I've seen makes them winless in my book. The regular season is very close and the Jets look very far from being ready.

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Joe K picks up where he left off

By Gregg Hayim

Posted Aug 26, 2007

The battle for the backup tight end jobs took an interesting turn Saturday night when Joe Kowalewski re-entered the mix.

Despite an uneventful preseason, Chris Baker's role as the starter remains intact. But there is a battle being waged behind him.

In a race few anticipated, the backup tight end position has been one of the most hotly contested in camp. On Saturday night, Joe Kowalewski threw his name into the hat.

Kowalewski, who spent last season on the Jets practice squad, was off to an impressive start to training camp. However, a leg injury sidelined him for the majority of the preseason.

"I was out the first two weeks" Kowalewski said after Saturday night's game. "Two of the hardest weeks of my life. It was so hard, I was happy for my teammates, but it's so hard, so painful to watch. I watched the Atlanta game, but I couldn't even watch the whole game."

While Kowalewski rehabbed his injury, both Sean Ryan and Jason Pociask seized the opportunity during his absence and performed well.

First came Ryan's two touchdown outing against the Falcons. That was followed by a solid three catch, one touchdown, performance from Pociask a week ago.

Finally healthy, Kowalewski got his opportunity Saturday night, and made the most of it. Contributing three catches for twenty-seven yards and some excellent blocking.

"You have to fight" Kowalewski said. "You have to play your best each time because every time you're on that field it is a chance to do bad and lose it. It's a chance, but it's also an opportunity. You just have to take advantage and do your best, otherwise you could lose big time."

Kowalewski's play early in preseason drew praise from the coaching staff, but the injury hampered his ability to build on the early momentum, and has left him amongst a handful of players sitting on the fence for a roster spot.

A solid performance was needed to keep his chances for a roster spot alive, and that is precisely what he did.

However, if he doesn

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JETS

Jets win despite struggles

Sunday, August 26, 2007

By J.P. PELZMAN

STAFF WRITER

AP

New York Jets fullback Stacy Tutt attempts to break through the Giants' defense during fourth-quarter NFL pre-season football on Aug. 25.

Predict the Giants' and the Jets' win totals for the upcoming season

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum can talk all they want about the good value they got from Washington in exchange for Pete Kendall. And that draft pick, whoever he is, may be a big-time player down the road.

But the present is looking quite shaky, especially on Chad Pennington's blind side.

Predict the Giants' and the Jets' win totals for the upcoming season

Pennington was sacked twice by the Giants in the first quarter Saturday when the left side of his line failed to protect him, and it's becoming apparent the Jets should look outside the organization for a left guard to replace Kendall.

The Jets got a pair of touchdowns from their second-string offense in the third quarter for a 20-12 victory over the Giants, but that didn't erase the struggles of the first-team offense.

"We've got to go back with a critical eye," Pennington said, "and look at the film and see where we need to get better, across the board. ... We have a lot of work to do."

However, the Jets' 2007 first-round pick already looks like a big-time player, and their second-round selection isn't far behind.

GREEN MACHINE

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Football writer J.P. Pelzman tackles all the behind-the-scenes stories about your New York Jets.

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Cornerback Darrelle Revis, the 14th overall pick who sat out the first 20 days of training camp because of a contract impasse, started because both Andre Dyson (leg) and Justin Miller (hamstring) were out. He looked very good in coverage and had a pass breakup late in the first half.

Their second-round pick, inside linebacker David Harris had four tackles in the first half, all solos, including a one-on-one tackle of Reuben Droughns on a screen pass for a 5-yard loss on third down, forcing the Giants to settle for a Lawrence Tynes field goal.

The Jets gained 79 yards on their first play from scrimmage, but the offense was minus-13 the rest of the first half.

With perfect protection, Pennington pump-faked and launched a pass down the right sideline to running back Leon Washington, who caught the ball near midfield and made a nice move around the Giants' 35-yard-line to free himself for the touchdown. Although it was only one play, it still was the first touchdown drive led by Pennington in his last 17 preseason possessions.

Pennington finished 5-for-11 for 89 yards and left the game after the Jets' first possession of the third quarter.

On the Jets' next possession, Pennington dropped back to pass on a third-and-7 from the Jets' 39. Justin Tuck blew past rookie left guard Jason Bender, who played left tackle in college, and Tuck sacked Pennington for a 12-yard loss. Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson also had a tough time on the play, as he was beaten by Osi Umenyiora.

The Jets again went three-and-out on their next offensive possession. This time, it was third-and-8 at the Jets' 32 when Pennington was sacked by Umenyiora, who beat Ferguson with a speed rush to the outside. Bender was also beaten on the play, as Tuck got past him and was very close to Pennington when the Jets' quarterback hit the ground.

Adrien Clarke, who replaced Bender on the Jets' first possession of the second quarter, was called for a false start on second-and-10 from the Jets' 1. The Jets eventually punted, but Rashad Washington was called for holding in the end zone, resulting in a safety.

Bender returned on the next possession.

BRIEFS: Defensive tackle Eric Hicks limped off the field with an apparent injury to his right leg in the second quarter. ... Rookie cornerback Manny Collins of Rutgers was beaten by Anthony Mix on a fade pattern for a 5-yard touchdown, but replays showed Mix appeared to push off.

E-mail: pelzman@northjersey.com

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Jets on guard in trade market

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BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Monday, August 27th 2007, 4:00 AM

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Kendall TradeDo you think the Jets got fair value for Pete Kendall?

Yes

No

In the wake of the Pete Kendall trade and the Jacob Bender debacle against the Giants, the Jets are exploring the guard market. Keep an eye on the Ravens, who have a surplus of guards. Jason Brown and Chris Chester are the starters, with first-round pick Ben Grubbs and veterans Keydrick Vincent and Brian Rimpf on the bench. George Kokinis, the Ravens' director of pro personnel, scouted the Jets-Giants game. Bender allowed a sack and at least two pressures, but teammates have stuck with him. "You watch in practice, his get-off is unbelievable," Chad Pennington said. ... For those concerned about Pennington, he said: "My history in the preseason hasn't been real good," he said. He's right. In 2006 and 2007, he's led the starters to only 13 points on 24 possessions. This summer, he's 12-for-21, 129 yards with one TD and two interceptions. There were similar concerns last year, but he opened in Tennessee with one of his best games.

Digg

thats the way to go,,perfect for Mangini,, captain in college,, persuing masters degree,, married with kids,,smart as hell,,academic all america in college,,good guy,,

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