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Jets News for Fri. 8/31/07


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Jets end preseason with win over Eagles

BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Friday, August 31st 2007, 4:00 AM

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Mike Nugent's 35-yard field goal with :03 second remaining lifts the Jets to a 13-11 win over the Eagles to end the preseason.

PHILADELPHIA - The Jets' summer was marked by Darrelle Revis' protracted contract dispute, Pete Kendall's daily rants against management and Chad Pennington's struggles. After all that stress, they needed something positive in the preseason, and they got it last night.

It ended.

The Jets took care of their last piece of business, facing the Eagles in their annual Backup Bowl. It wasn't pretty - the Jets won, 13-11 - but it was quickly forgotten. By the time they reached the locker room at Lincoln Financial Field, the Jets had shifted their focus to more important matters: the final roster cuts and the Patriots.

"I've been in (regular-season mode) for about a day or two," said Pennington, who, like the rest of the starters, got the night off.

If the Jets (3-1) beat the Patriots, no one will remember that the Pennington-led offense produced only one touchdown in 14 preseason possessions. Or that the left-guard position was thrown into turmoil by the Kendall trade. Or that Revis missed 20 days before signing.

"We've got veterans across the board who know what to do when the regular season starts," Pennington said.

Of course, they still have work to do before Tom Brady comes to town. GM Mike Tannenbaum, working the phones, could be busy over the next few days. He's monitoring the guard market, although he's prepared to start the season with rookie Jacob Bender, who made his second start last night and settled down after last week's debacle. There could be other moves, too, including possibly trading certain veterans.

Last night, the biggest winners were quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo and nose tackle C.J. Mosley, both of whom may have secured roster spots. Mosley pulled a remarkable hat trick, recording three sacks in one series. Tuiasosopo (9-for-16, 78 yards), who followed Kellen Clemens (2-for-2, 12 yards) and Brad Smith (2-for-8, 29 yards), scored on an 11-yard run and directed a two-minute drive that ended with Mike Nugent's game-winning field goal from 35 yards out as time expired. "Hopefully, I've made a case for myself," said Tuiasosopo, hoping to win the No. 3 job. "There's not much else I can do."

PAY CUT: WR Justin McCareins renegotiated his contract, sources said. His base salary was slashed from $2.9 million to $2.1 million. His '08 salary was lowered from $3.1 million to $1.1 million. It means McCareins is virtually assured a roster spot....RB Thomas Jones (calf), CB Andre Dyson (lower leg) and CB Justin Miller (hamstring) didn't play

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...from Rich Cimini's blog

An unhappy ending

Marques Tuiasosopo and Mike Nugent ruined my lead on tonight's game. The Jets got the ball with 2:43 remaining in the game, trailing, 11-10. How perfect was that?

Earlier in the day, right next door to the Linc, the Mets lost to the Phillies by the score of 11-10. It would

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MOSLEY HAS BIG SERIES

By MARK CANNIZZARO

August 31, 2007 -- PHILADELPHIA - If there was a highlight of last night's 13-11 victory over the Eagles for the Jets, it was the play of defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who is in a legitimate battle for a roster spot with the final cuts looming tomorrow.

He might have played his way onto the final 53 with his performance, which included three sacks and two forced fumbles - all of which came on one series.

"I've never had a series like that in my life," Mosley said.

Eric Mangini seemed impressed.

"He'd love to figure out [how he did that] and bottle it," Mangini said. "That was a pretty nice series for him."

Asked if he entered the game concerned about making the team, Mosley, who led the team with six tackles, said no.

"You can't be concerned about that," he said. "If you concern yourself about that you won't be able to perform."

Mosley, who didn't start in a game that began with all backups, made his presence felt when he was in the game.

On one Eagles' offensive series in the second quarter, Mosley sacked Eagles' QB A.J. Feeley on consecutive downs, forcing a fumble on the second takedown.

Later in that possession, Mosley ended the series with a third sack of Feeley; this time his forced fumble was recovered by teammate David Bowens.

*

Rookie WR Chansi Stuckey was the offensive player of the game for the Jets, catching four passes for 47 yards, returning two punts for 38 and 12 yards and returning three kickoffs for a 27-yard average. The seventh-round draft pick is a lock as the team's No. 4 or 5 receiver and a special teams contributor.

*

It appears Andre Wadsworth's spirited comeback is about to end. Wadsworth, the third pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Cardinals, played his last NFL regular-season game in 2000. He has had 13 knee surgeries and changed position from defensive lineman to linebacker in an attempt to return to the league, but didn't touch the field until the second half in a game that was started with backups.

Final cuts are tomorrow and it's difficult to imagine Wadsworth making the cut.

*

Eagles backup QB A.J. Feeley broke the third metacarpal in his left (non-throwing) hand and will see a specialist today. . . . Jets CB Darrelle Revis, their top draft pick, started and also returned one punt for seven yards. . . . Jets K Mike Nugent had a 48-yard field goal in the first half and followed it by sending the ensuing kickoff to the Philadelphia goal line. Earlier, his opening kickoff went to the four. He also had one kickoff two yards deep in the fourth quarter. Kickoff depth was a big focus of Nugent's in the offseason as he tried to strengthen himself.

*

Former Rutgers CB Manny Collins, who called this preseason finale his "Super Bowl," was very active in the game, breaking up some passes and making tackles. He looks like a candidate for the Jets' practice squad if he doesn't survive tomorrow's cutdown.

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Jets' Clemens is a proven commodity

Friday, August 31, 2007

By J.P. PELZMAN

STAFF WRITER

PHILADELPHIA -- Kellen Clemens still had his helmet on midway through the second quarter, even though he was done for the night.

Obviously, Clemens still needs a lot more seasoning on how to handle the last preseason game.

Clemens went 2-for-2 for 12 yards and played only the first quarter in the Jets' 13-11 win over Philadelphia on Thursday night. He didn't have to demonstrate what he can do, because he already has given the Jets a pretty good idea of his capabilities this month.

He didn't have to demonstrate what he can do, because he already has given the Jets a pretty good idea of his capabilities this month.

Clemens completed 30 of 41 attempts for 364 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions in four preseason games. But more important than the raw numbers is the poise the second-year quarterback from Oregon has shown in running the Jets' complicated offense.

"It's definitely a lot easier being in my second year," Clemens said earlier this week. "We had a lot of time in the off-season to work and get more comfortable in the offense. And now things are fortunately coming together for us.

"The game is slowing down at this point [for me], as it should," he added. "In your second year, things should become more clear and things should slow down."

As opposed to Clemens' rookie season, when he wasn't nearly as decisive with his checks and his reads.

"All of last year, honestly, was a blur," Clemens said with a wan smile. "Last year I was just trying to keep up with everything."

"I've been pleased with Kellen," coach Eric Mangini said earlier this week. "I thought he had a good training camp last year and as you transition into the season, whether you're the second or the third, you just don't get the volume of reps that you would if you're the first.

"You go through quite a bit of time," Mangini added, "between that huge chunk of reps that you get from one training camp to the next camp; I think Kellen took advantage of that time. He really worked at the playbook, and when he did have the opportunities, he worked at those. He would take a group after practice and those guys would run through plays together. It could be the practice squad receivers or some of the [backup] guys."

Mangini said Clemens' extra preparation reminded him of what New England's Tom Brady did early in his career. And while Clemens isn't at that level yet, he seems to become a viable alternative for the Jets should Chad Pennington go into a slump this season.

BRIEFS: Marques Tuiasosopo directed a 16-play, 65-yard drive to set up Mike Nugent's 35-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. "I'm happy with the way we were able to complete the two-minute drill," Mangini said. ... Jets' defensive tackle C.J. Mosley made a strong bid to make the roster with three first-quarter sacks, including two on which he forced fumbles. ... Both of the Jets' left-guard contenders, third-year player Adrien Clarke and rookie Jacob Bender, started. Bender started at left guard and Clarke was at right guard. The Jets are believed to have inquired about former Baltimore guard Keydrick Vincent, who was cut by the Ravens on Tuesday.

The only Jets' regular who started was fullback Darian Barnes, who made a cameo on the first series. Cornerback Darrelle Revis made his second consecutive start. ... Eagles QB A.J. Feeley broke his left hand but said he expects to be ready for the season opener.

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Mosley, Stuckey make cases for Jets' final roster

BY TOM ROCK

tom.rock@newsday.com

August 31, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - On a day when the Mets-Phillies game across the street apparently soaked up the entire quota of sports excitement for this city, the Jets and Eagles put a boring bow on their preseasons.

Eventually, Mike Nugent won the game for the Jets, 13-11, with a 35-yard field goal as time expired.

With nearly all of the starters resting for both teams, it was a time for the backups (and in many cases, their backups) to take the stage.

Most had the shine of a rusty nail, but there were a few Jets who took advantage of this 11th-hour opportunity to impress their way onto a roster ... either here or elsewhere.

One was defensive lineman C.J. Mosley, who had only seven tackles and one sack in 2006 with the Jets and nearly matched that production on one possession last night.

Mosley was a maniac and had the best game of any Jets defensive lineman this summer. In the second series alone, he had three sacks and two forced fumbles. He started the series with back-to-back drubbings of starting quarterback A.J. Feeley, including one in which he walloped Feeley from behind while Cody Spencer chased Feeley backward. That hit jarred the ball loose, but it trickled out of bounds and set the Eagles back with a third-and-25 from their 7-yard line.

They converted it on a 31-yard pass - Mosley was a half-step from a sack for a safety - but ultimately gave the ball to the Jets when Mosley came through the middle and had another sack and forced fumble. This time the loose ball was recovered by David Bowens.

"I don't think I've had anything like that in my life," Mosley said. "Any time that happens, you kind of say 'Wow,' but you have to come back down to Earth."

After the series, Mosley received a call from the coaches' box. It was not congratulatory in nature.

"He told me don't be satisfied and keep playing football," Mosley said of the in-game chat with assistant coach Bryan Cox.

Another player who might have earned his way onto the roster was Chansi Stuckey. The rookie wide receiver took coach Eric Mangini's speeches to heart and decided to prove his worth on special teams. The speedster returned two punts for 50 yards and three kickoffs for 81 yards, including a 33-yarder. He also had four receptions for 47 yards.

"I just made the best of the opportunities that I had," Stuckey said.

Which, more than the final result, is what these fourth preseason games are all about.

Notes&quotes: While most of the offensive starters did not play, projected LG Jacob Bender played the entire first half. His competition at the position, Adrien Clarke, started at RG. Neither was spectacular and each drew a false- start flag. Bender was not as much a liability as he was last week against the Giants in his first start. He looked OK in run blocking but was beaten several times (though for no sacks) in pass protection ... FB Darian Barnes was the only full-fledged starter to play with the offense ... Rookie CB Darrelle Revis was the only "starter" to play on defense, though it has yet to be announced if he indeed will be a starter when the season opens in nine days ... QB Kellen Clemens played the first quarter and Brad Smith played the second quarter. Marques Tuiasosopo, whose standing with the Jets is precarious, did not play until the third quarter but ran for a TD and engineered the game-winning drive ... Stacy Tutt, a college QB converted to FB, took reps at tailback and had 12 carries for 48 yards ... TE Sean Ryan was flagged 15 yards for taunting, though what someone would taunt about after his team took a 1-yard loss on the play was unclear ... Alvin Banks, who looked like a leading candidate for the third RB spot early in camp, spent his third game without a carry ... For the second year in a row, the Jets emerged from the preseason games relatively unscathed and without any major injuries to key players.

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Jets' success lures free agents to New York

BY TOM ROCK

tom.rock@newsday.com

August 31, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - Last year's Jets seemed to catch the NFL by surprise, rising from a miserable 4-12 season to emerge at 10-6 and secure a playoff game. For a few players, the Jets left such an impression that when their free agency opportunities rolled around, they decided to join the party.

"At this point in my career, only going to the playoffs once and never being to a Super Bowl, it was like, what team do I think would give me the best possibility for going there," said linebacker David Bowens, who played the last five and a half seasons with the Dolphins. "The direction I felt these guys were going was similar to what I wanted, and I wanted to be on a team that had a chance to win in the Super Bowl."

Super Bowl? Bowens may have liked what he saw from the Jets, but he wasn't listening very closely. On a team that was forbidden to use the word "playoffs" until after the 2006 regular season, Super Bowl aspirations may come off as a bit askew. Especially with the preseason only coming to an end last night with a game against the Eagles.

But Bowens believes that the Jets have a legitimate chance to make it to the final game of the year based not only on what he has seen this summer, but what he saw in head-to-head competition twice a year.

Bowens compared the Jets to the Patriots, calling each a team that may have very good players, but does not rely on them. "If their top three receivers got hurt, the guys who filled in would do their job," he said of the Patriots' success based more on system than stars. "They had a cast of guys who knew their roles. And that's what I viewed with New York."

Bowens wasn't alone in his admiration. His former Dolphins and current Jets teammate, fullback Darian Barnes, said the Jets left an impression on him, especially when they played each other on Christmas Day last year.

"Everybody here was tough, and I like to think that I'm tough," Barnes said, admitting that such intensity lured him in this direction. "A lot of guys won't hit you, but these guys, they came downhill and it was a real battle. Offensively you could see that they had the same mentality, and I liked that."

Bowens also noted the toughness of the Jets, and not only in a physical sense. "I lined up, I was on special teams, and all the linebackers seemed small to me," Bowens said. "But they were tough. It was hard to get rid of those guys. They hit, they were very competitive, but they never lost composure. There are times in the game that change momentum, and it seemed like they just stayed poised, almost like they expected things to happen."

He added that the brains behind the operation clearly come from second-year coach Eric Mangini, who doesn't preach the rock-'em, sock-'em football vernacular so common in the coaching ranks. Bowens was stunned by Jets practices in training camp, which almost always include a final stanza in which a scenario is put on the scoreboard - say, 17-13 with 59 seconds remaining - and the offense and defense play accordingly. Even after eight full seasons in the NFL, that seemingly common-sense approach was foreign to Bowens.

"Eric really approaches this game mentally," he said. "It's not all about physicalness and beating each other up all the time. It's about preparing yourself mentally as well. If you can anticipate something, you'll be more prepared to handle it."

That goes for success - and maybe even a Super Bowl - as well.

Jet streams: The Jets rested the majority of their starters. Rookie LG Jacob Bender, currently projected as a starter, played while his competition for the job, Adrien Clarke, started at RG. On defense, only rookie CB Darrelle Revis, who has been taking reps with the first team for over a week, was on the field to start the game ... DT C.J. Mosley had three sacks and two forced fumbles for the Jets on the second series alone ... QB Kellen Clemens played the first quarter and completed both his pass attempts for 12 yards ... Former college QB-turned-FB Stacy Tutt was used as a traditional tailback in the second quarter.

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Rookie Bender helps lift Jets over Eagles

Friday, August 31, 2007

Star-Ledger Staff

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

PHILADELPHIA -- Jets rookie left guard Jacob Bender was dominant last night. He pancaked his man on one running play and repeatedly opened gaping holes. On pass protection, he displayed excellent technique, getting his hands on his opponent and keeping him off-balance and away from the quarterback. Bender looked the part of a starting NFL guard.

Problem was, Bender, who played the first half, was going against Philadelphia Eagles rookie free agent Jeremy Clark, who probably won't even make the team. It'll be a whole different world next Sunday if Bender starts in the season opener against the Patriots, who boast Pro Bowler Richard Seymour, 340-plus-pound nose tackle Vince Wilford and defensive end Ty Warren.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick will surely have something special in store for Bender, who last week allowed a sack and at least two pressures against the Giants.

"Today, I just felt so much better," said Bender after the Jets' backups defeated the Eagles' reserves, 13-11, at Lincoln Financial Field. "Last week, I was not so much worried, but I was thinking about starting. Today, I just said I'm going to go out there and play football. I was more relaxed. The vets are helping me out."

Asked about his pass blocking, Bender said, "That's something I worked on hard this week. That's what I wanted to get better at."

As for possibly starting against the Patriots, he said, "I'm going to come out swinging. You have to fight against guys like that."

For one night at least, the Jets could feel good about their decision to trade unhappy veteran Pete Kendall to the Redskins last Thursday even though the Eagles started just two regulars on defense, linebackers Omar Gaither and Chris Gocong. Bender was the only Jets starter to play on offense.

The preseason mercifully came to an end on a 35-yard field goal by Mike Nugent as time expired. Backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo engineered a 16-play, 65-yard drive in the final 2:50 for the winning drive. Tuiasosopo (9-of-16 for 78 yards, no TDs, no INTs), who is fighting for a roster spot, also scored on an 11-yard run.

"Hopefully, I've made a case for myself," Tuiasosopo said.

The Jets finished 3-1. The Eagles (1-3) open the season at Green Bay next Sunday.

"That (the two-minute drive) is something you can't simulate," said Jets coach Eric Mangini.

The Jets conclude the preseason with a bevy of questions on offense and defense and none is biggest than who'll be their starting left guard. But they shored up their depth as nose tackle C.J. Mosley turned in a stunning three-sack, two-forced-fumble blitz on one series and rookie wide receiver Chansi Stuckey was outstanding with a 48-yard kickoff return and four catches for 47 yards.

"I don't think I've ever had something like that," said Mosley, who broke Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley's left hand on his final sack. "It just felt good to get out there and play like I know how."

As for left guard, the plan is to keep a keen eye out for a veteran guard on the waiver wire tomorrow and there's an outside possibility the Jets could make a trade. They have a surplus of cornerbacks and veteran Andre Dyson, a starter last season, could be dangled out as bait with first-round pick Darrelle Revis proving to be NFL-ready despite a 20-day holdout.

On Wednesday, the Jets spoke to a representative of ex-Ravens guard Keyrick Vincent and were expected to get back with them after watching film of last night's game. But the club has apparently had a change of heart and are no longer interested in Vincent, a two-year starter who was released on Tuesday.

Third-year guard Adrien Clarke, who is the alternative to Bender right now, was underwhelming again. Starting at right guard, he was whistled for a false start. After starting throughout the offseason, training camp and the first two preseason games, Clarke was demoted.

The uncertainty at left guard has magnified the problems of the Jets offense, which sputtered once again against the Eagles. Second-year quarterback Kellen Clemens started the game and played an uneventful first quarter and one play before being relieved by Brad Smith. He completed his only two passes for 12 yards in his only full drive. He finished the preseason having completed 30 of 41 passes for 364 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He led the Jets to seven touchdowns and a field goal in 15 series this preseason.

Nonetheless, Pennington, who sat out last night, will start against the Patriots. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 129 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the preseason. He led the first-team offense to just one touchdown and two field goals in 14 series.

Smith, who'll likely get a package of plays each week, completed just two of eight passes for 29 yards, including a 29-yard strike to wide receiver Frisman Jackson on a deep ball over the middle. He ran three times for 13 yards in his quarter of work.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

BY DAVE HUTCHINSON

Star-Ledger Staff

JETS 13, EAGLES 11

THREE VETERANS

Acquired from the Titans early last season, LB CODY SPENCER blew up a running play in the backfield, pressured the quarterback and had a special teams tackle. Replacing veteran Matt Chatham, who is on the Reserve/PUP list with a foot injury, Spencer has gained the confidence of the coaches.

A former starter, LT ADRIAN JONES gave up two sacks to Eagles backup rookie free agent DE Marques Murrell. Both times Jones was beaten by an outside move. His poor play has to be cause for alarm because he's the backup at both tackle spots.

CB HANK POTEAT, who has played for seven teams in his seven-year career, might be looking for team No. 8 by tomorrow. He has been unsteady all training camp and was beaten several times by backup WR Michael Gasperson, including a 39-yarder.

THREE YOUNG GUYS

On the heels of a terrific training camp, WR CHANSI STUCKEY peeled off an electric 48-yard punt return and a 33-yard kickoff return. A seventh-round pick, he has displayed soft hands and toughness. He appears to be a steal having slipped in the draft after missing three games with a broken foot.

FB STACY TUTT, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, broke off several nifty runs and gained 31 yards on eight carries in the first half. A former college quarterback at Richmond, he's a versatile player who can be a deceiving weapon from the fullback position.

A rookie free agent out of Georgia, RB DANNY WARE continued to impress. He has eased the Jets' concerns about a third running back. As part of a three-back rotation, he rushed for 1,510 yards in three seasons at Georgia, coming out after his junior season.

QUICK HITS

P Ben Graham, who shanked two punts and bobbled a snap on a field-goal attempt last week vs. the Vikings, dropped a perfect snap on a punt. ... Veteran DE Eric Hicks, who spent his first nine seasons with the Chiefs, looks like he can help the Jets. ... Rookie CB Manny Collins had a tackle on special teams and a key block on a 48-yard punt return by Stuckey. ... K Mike Nugent booted a 48-yard FG. ... Backup center Wade Smith had another bad snap out of the shotgun. ... Veterans on the bubble include LBs Andre Wadsworth and Anthony Schlegel, DEs Kimo von Oelhoffen and Michael Haynes, CB Hank Poteat, WR Frisman Jackson and QB Marques Tuiasosopo.

NEXT GAME

VS. PATRIOTS, 1 P.M. SEPT. 9, CH. 2

The Jets ended last season against the Patriots -- losing in the wild-card round of the playoffs -- and start this one against Bill Belichick and friends.

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...from Andrew Gross' blog

Final: Jets 13, Eagles 11

Marques Tuiasosopo is forcing Jets coach Eric Mangini to make a very tough decision.

The easy call for the Jets is to have Smith as the third quarterback because of the roster flexibility it would give them. But if the Jets ever needed to use a third quarterback in the event of injuries to Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens, I have to think they

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...from Rich Cimini's blog

An unhappy ending

Marques Tuiasosopo and Mike Nugent ruined my lead on tonight's game. The Jets got the ball with 2:43 remaining in the game, trailing, 11-10. How perfect was that?

Earlier in the day, right next door to the Linc, the Mets lost to the Phillies by the score of 11-10. It would

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Problem was, Bender, who played the first half, was going against Philadelphia Eagles rookie free agent Jeremy Clark, who probably won't even make the team. It'll be a whole different world next Sunday if Bender starts in the season opener against the Patriots, who boast Pro Bowler Richard Seymour, 340-plus-pound nose tackle Vince Wilford and defensive end Ty Warren.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick will surely have something special in store for Bender, who last week allowed a sack and at least two pressures against the Giants.

I'm going to assume that there will be a lot of blitzing coming from Chad's blind side against the Pats. Beli is defintely going to challenge Brick and Bender. Hopefully the CS keeps Barnes/Ryan/Posiak (who had a few good blocks when lined up as the fullback) on that left side to help pick up blitzes.

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I'm going to assume that there will be a lot of blitzing coming from Chad's blind side against the Pats. Beli is defintely going to challenge Brick and Bender. Hopefully the CS keeps Barnes/Ryan/Posiak (who had a few good blocks when lined up as the fullback) on that left side to help pick up blitzes.

AND thanks for posting all the news!

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