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Jets news and other football articles- 7/2/08

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July 02, 2008- PELZMAN

Jets begin practice July 24

The Jets have released practice times for the first few days of training camp, their last one at Hofstra University [sigh]. The first day of practice is July 24, with a pair of sessions at 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

The first week times are as follows:

7/25 1:30 p.m.

7/26 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

7/27 1:30 p.m.

7/28 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. (afternoon session closed to public)

7/29 8:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

7/30 1:30 p.m.

On our northjersey.com website, we've begun fan forums for all the local pro teams, including the Jets. Please feel free to weigh in there, under your own name or a screen name, on various Jets topics. I've posted a topic asking how people think the Jets should handle disgruntled TE Chris Baker. You can comment there or comment here on this blog as well.

I'd also be interested in hearing from season-ticket holders about the recent 'survey' the Jets sent out. The Giants already have announced they will be charging for PSLs for the new stadium, so there's no doubt the Jets will be, too.

On another front, I'd like to correct a mistake I made in a column in Sunday's Record criticizing the changing of the guard on Rutgers men's basketball broadcasts from veteran Bruce Johnson to screamer Chris Carlin. I wrote that Carlin already had replaced Johnson on football, and was incorrect. Carlin took over football in 2004, three years after Johnson had been replaced by Tom McCarthy. Sorry about the mistake.

I stand by the main thrust of the column, that Carlin needs to improve as a play-by-player and use a different skill set than the one that has rocketed him to sports-talk stardom on SNY and WFAN.

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Camp Question Marks

Posted by Bob Bullock July 01, 2008 9:57PM

Categories: News

The Jets have announced that the 2008 training camp will begin on July 24th. It should be a very interesting camp as the team will get an infusion of "new blood".

Having bolstered its defensive tackle position, the pass-rush and the offensive line, the team looks to be in pretty good shape heading into the new season. However, some questions remain, the biggest of which is at the quarterback position.

The uncertainty at that spot is the main reason most "experts" are picking the Jets to finish somewhere around the .500 mark. One ridiculous publication even has them finishing in last place behind the Dolphins. Seriously though, all the foolishness aside, the Jets do need to answer some key questions if this season is going to be a success. A success marked by making the playoffs and being a threat once there.

Kellen Clemens has the tools to make it in this league, as he displayed in spurts last season. If he can step up and be a consistent player week in and week out, there is no reason this team can't have a very successful campaign in 2008.

Another key element will be how fast the offensive line jells. Adding Alan Faneca and Damien Woody certainly increases the talent level of the line right away. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get on the same page as a unit though.

I believe with the veteran presence of Faneca and the further development of D'Brick and Nick Mangold, the line could become dominant as the season moves along. This will not only help Clemens, but it will also allow Thomas Jones to be more of a force on the ground.

On defense, it will be interesting to see how the addition of Kris Jenkins at defensive tackle helps the run defense. If Jenkins does his part and plugs the hole in the middle, the rest of the talent on defense will be able to take over. Calvin Pace and Vernon Gholston should be able to cause havoc rushing from the outside, while David Harris will be free to roam and crush any opposing ball carriers that sneak through. Add to that the fact that the secondary has two legitimate play-makers now in Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes.

The defense certainly has the potential to make some big plays. A lot will depend on just how aggressive of a scheme Mangini allows this unit to play. Hopefully he'll start attacking EARLY and OFTEN, which is the way we ALL know this defense plays best.

There are definitely some "ifs" heading into camp, but this team has the potential to do some very good things in 2008. It will just depend on when and "IF" certain pieces fall into place.

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Erik Ainge: The Education of a Rookie QB

Published: 07-01-08

If you pick up Athlon Sports' annual college football preview and turn to the Tennessee team page, you’ll get an idea how much Southeastern Conference opponents respected Vols QB Erik Ainge.

“I don’t know enough about Jonathan Crompton, but he will have a hard time playing as well as [Erik] Ainge did,” said an unnamed opposing SEC assistant coach. “Ainge was remarkable last year.”

The numbers tell part of the story for Ainge, the Jets’ fifth-round selection in the 2008 draft. He completed 62.6 percent of his passes, throwing for 3,522 yards and 31 TDs against only 10 INTs. Ainge, who showcased his mental prowess and cool temperament while running the two-minute offensive, credits David Cutcliffe, his former Tennessee offensive coordinator and now Duke's head coach, for his guidance.

“‘He didn’t say, ‘When you throw the ball to the left, you need to open your hips a little bit,’ " Ainge said. "He just said, ‘Be a football player first and everything else will take care of itself. Be the toughest guy on the field, be the smartest guy on the field, know where to go with the football, know how to get yourself protected and just play ball. You have a God-given ability to throw the ball accurately and that’s what a quarterback has to do.'

"And he kind of taught me the other things and how they all run together.”

The Volunteers threw the ball 534 times last year and their offensive line yielded a nation-low four sacks. It was an impressive unit, but Ainge, a 6’5”, 221-pounder with average mobility, had tremendous pocket presence.

A month before the Jets open their 2008 training camp, Ainge hasn’t taken many reps yet for the Green & White. He threw a little in rookie camp, but then had a procedure completed on his hand and was limited during OTAs and minicamp.

“He’s not doing any of the physical elements. It’s more mental with him. He was impressive this morning in the meeting,” said head coach Eric Mangini in the spring. “He had to name every single person in the room. It was close to 100 people. He nailed them.”

For the second time in three seasons, Mangini will hold a QB competition at summer camp. But Ainge will bide his time because unless something slightly miraculous occurs, either Kellen Clemens or Chad Pennington will start on opening day. Ainge, a multisport start at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, Ore., has known Clemens, an Oregon University standout, and Pennington, a Knoxville, Tenn., native, for some time.

“It’s very competitive but it’s very respectful. We have fun.” Ainge says. “It’s not stiff, it’s not like we’re in there just watching film and then no one is talking at practice.”

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and QB coach Brian Daboll encourage competition everywhere. If they direct a question at one of the signalcallers and he doesn’t answer immediately, the next man will get a shot to earn some points.

“Sometimes we’ll do the two-minute drill on the board and we’ll get magnets out and keep track. It will be first-and-10 on the 45 and you’ve got one timeout. Now what’s the play?" Ainge said. "You have to call the play and run the clock and Daboll’s throwing a tennis ball at you. He’ll pretend that you got sacked — calling out ‘strip-sack’ — while hitting you on the head with a tennis ball. We have a lot of fun and they do a good job of making hard work fun.”

Ainge is taking the right approach, viewing his rookie campaign as an opportunity to learn without being "the guy.” But make no mistake — this kid isn’t looking at the sideline as something permanent. He’s an outdoorsman who exudes confidence and you can view his leadership traits when he’s around members of the Jets' ’08 rookie class. Ainge lives to sling the rock and he’s looking forward to doing as much as he can come July and August.

“There is no substitute for live reps. You can watch as much film as you want, you can get as many mental reps in practice as you want — and that’s obviously huge, it’s going to help you," he said. "But if you don’t do the physical reps, you’re always a step behind.”

Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason, a top analyst on CBS, says the game is more complicated than ever for young passers because of all the substitution packages.

“There isn’t just one pass protection for a quarterback to learn," Esiason said. "He probably has like 25 pass protections to learn and he has to learn how all those pass protections correspond with the personnel groups that he has in the huddle with him.

“Then he has to be able to digest whether or not everyone is blocked if the defense blitzes. If the defense does blitz and not everyone is blocked, then he has to know who the hot read is and he has to know where that hot read is — to the right or to the left. There is a lot of thinking that goes on here and that’s why it’s just not that easy.”

According to Esiason, Ainge is going to have to wait a couple of seasons to make NFL waves.

“A guy like Eric Ainge, in my estimation, no matter how physically gifted he is, is a good solid two years away from even remotely having a positive impact on this football team,” Esiason said.

But Ainge isn’t looking long-term. He’s thinking short-term, trying to achieve as much as possible each day.

“I’m not even thinking about the end of training camp or the season — I’m focused on our work out tomorrow," he says. "I’m going to make sure I do extra. I’m going to be the first one there and the last one to leave."

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20 Random Statements About the Jets

By Joe Caporoso | July 1st, 2008

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Wow, is NFL/Jets news slow right now. Here is a few brief updates of Jets news followed by 20 random statements about the Jets, feel free to agree or disagree below.


- Training camp starts on July 24th with a double session.

- The Giants just announced PSL

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Everything But the Kitchen Link

Posted on July 1st, 2008 by Bent

More links to pass along as we celebrate 68 days until the start of the season!

A Patriots fan includes Eric Mangini at number two on his list of NFL players he loves to hate. Good player, that Eric Mangini.

Former Jets WR Sloan Thomas says he walked away from a contract with the Jets (read: never had a shot at making the roster) and is now looking to become an athletics director.

Rumours (sic) of the Jets interest in Kevin Jones were greatly exaggerated, as they didn

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