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STARTING POINT: Brett Favre, who went 9-of-12 for 96 yards, runs the ball out of bounds during the first half of the Jets' 10-7 victory over Eli Manning (inset) and Big Blue last night at Giants Stadium.

Last updated: 7:35 am

August 24, 2008

Posted: 4:00 am

August 24, 2008

If this was the last we'll see of Brett Favre in the preseason, it looks as if he's quite ready for the real thing - the JetsNew York Jets t.gif' Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Dolphins in Miami.

Photo Gallery: Last Night's Game

Favre, playing the entire first half in the Jets' 10-7 win over the GiantsNew York Giants t.gif last night at Giants Stadium, didn't lead the Jets to a single point.

But he made his point: He looks ready for the regular season.

"I felt more at ease in the huddle, I felt more at ease on the field and I felt more like myself," Favre said.

Sure, there's still much cramming to go before the real stuff starts, but Favre's 9-of-12 performance for 96 yards was a good indication of how ready he is.

Not included in those numbers was a majestic 49-yard scoring strike to WR Jerricho CotcheryJerricho Cotchery t.gif in the second quarter, because it became a non-play when TE Bubba Franks was called for an illegal shift penalty.

That was one of 12 penalties called on the Jets, 10 of which were on offensive players, which left coach Eric Mangini seething afterward.

"We had some big plays; unfortunately they were called back," Favre said. "All we have to do is watch the film to see that we have a lot of potential. But you can't win making those types of mistakes.

"There's potential there, but bottom line is we came away with no points, the first unit. As a team, though, I really believe that we made a lot of strides tonight."

By the time the Jets scored any points, Favre's night was finished.

The Jets scored the first points of the game when K Mike Nugent connected on a 24-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter.

The best news of the drive was the performance of backup QB Kellen Clemens, who's been feeling the heat of third-stringer Brett Ratliff's strong preseason performances.

Clemens went 8-for-11 for 80 yards on the drive and was replaced by Ratliff on the next series.

Ratliff, who'd been a star in the first two preseason games, was picked off by Giants DE Renaldo Wynn with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter. The Giants turned the turnover into a three-yard Ahmad Bradshaw scoring run with 13:32 remaining in the game to take a 7-3 lead.

But Ratliff made up for his gaffe a short time later, throwing the game-winning TD when he connected with WR Paul Raymond with 6:08 remaining in the game.

Raymond, it should be noted, dropped a potential game-winning TD pass from Ratliff with five seconds remaining in the Jets' 13-10 loss to the Redskins last Saturday night. So call Ratliff and Raymond the Jets' version of the "Redeem Team."

After the penalty-marred night, there may be a lot of redemption laps being run when practice resumes tomorrow. Aside from Franks' gaffe, LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, C Nick Mangold and LG Alan Faneca were called for penalties.

Earlier, the Jets were called for an illegal shift, nullifying a long Favre completion to WR Brad Smith, who made a spectacular one-handed catch deep in Giants' territory.

So the two best-looking offensive plays of the half by the Jets were erased by dumb penalties.

Favre's numbers suggested success by the Jets' offense. But the five killer penalties prevented them from capitalizing on Favre's sharpness.

"Any time you have 12 penalties and 10 of them are on offensive plays, that's an issue," Mangini said.

As bumbling as the Jets were with penalties, the Giants weren't exactly in Super Bowl form, either.

First, they lost stellar DE Osi Umenyiora to a left knee injury in the second quarter. Then their kicker, Josh Huston, who was playing for the injured Lawrence Tynes, missed a 42-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in the first half.


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Last updated: 4:26 am

August 24, 2008

Posted: 4:00 am

August 24, 2008

BRETT Favre dropped back to pass on third-and-1 near midfield. Fullback Tony Richardson sneaked out into the left flat wide open.

And Favre never saw him.

Favre instead threw short left for Thomas JonesThomas Jones t.gif, and got nothing.

Now it was fourth-and-1, and Favre went for it. And he found Brad SmithBrad Smith t.gif deep right for 29 yards.

Except an illegal shift penalty brought it back, and the JetsNew York Jets t.gif punted.

For sure, the Messiah quarterback of the Jets (9-for-12, 96 yards) titillated Giants Stadium with some wondrous Namathian throws last night against the Giants. But with Chad Pennington and the Dolphins alarmingly two weeks away, this is the only way to sum up the current state of the Jets' offense: Favre from perfect.

"You can't win making those type of mistakes and that's all of us," he said.

The icon quarterback of the Jets played the first half before giving way to Kellen Clemens. The score when he left, 0-0, is damning commentary on both offenses, but at least coach Tom Coughlin and Giants fans no longer have to fret so much about Eli Manning (10-for-17, 113 yards), the Super Bowl XLII MVP. He knows the playbook and he knows the name of everyone in his huddle.

Favre is Favre from perfect on both counts.

Jets coach Eric Mangini should absolutely let him play another half in the preseason finale against the Eagles. He's Brett Favre, he never gets hurt, right? He needs to play, and he needs to play with Laveranues Coles before the real bullets start flying.

Both Mangini and Favre said they were open to the quarterback playing in the preseason finale.

"I would love to play, but I would have said it every year," Favre said. "In this case, it would be easily justifiable to say 'play a series.' "

Of course, a running game and fewer mental errors around him would help.

Favre reached back into his past for one of his vintage Hall of Fame throws late in the second quarter when he uncorked a whistling Joba Chamberlain-like fastball that will defy any swirling wind East Rutherford can offer, and hit Jerricho Cotchery in stride past Kevin Dockery for a 49-yard touchdown.

Except that TE Bubba Franks had stepped off the line of scrimmage for an illegal formation penalty.

Please note that of Favre's nine completions, five went for six yards or less. Favre's rusty 38-year-old body stood up to Big Blue's physicality. Favre rolled right on the first series - a three-and-out - and was sacked by Justin Tuck. His 38-year-old legs scrambled right for eight yards and a first down early in the second quarter before Chase Blackburn tackled him as he headed out of bounds.

Favre-to-Cotchery combined for a 30-yard completion before 4, out of the shotgun on third-and-7, threw high for Cotchery. Favre was encouraged by the offense's potential. "I felt more at ease in the huddle; I felt more at ease on the field; I felt more like myself," Favre said.

At least he survived, because it was on this very play that Osi Umenyiora stumbled as he was pushed wide by LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and had to be helped to the sidelines. A few minutes later, with 10:37 left in the first half, Umenyiora hobbled onto a cart for the ride to the X-ray room. The Giants exhaled when X-rays were negative on his knee.

Other observations:

Manning misses Plaxico Burress (and Jeremy Shockey) as much as Favre misses Coles.

Brandon Jacobs (6-26) looks better than Thomas Jones (6-11). Jacobs did his raging bull thing by bouncing outside for a 20-yard gain in the first quarter. The screen pass to Leon Washington, however, has a chance to be a Lethal Weapon. Jones didn't show much explosiveness.


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GOTCHA! Jets linebacker Calvin Pace caught up with Eli Manning on two occasions last night at Giants Stadium.

Posted: 4:00 am

August 24, 2008

It appears former JetsNew York Jets t.gif special teams coach Mike Westhoff will be returning to the team, according to two NFL sources.

The Jets somewhat confirmed a report that Westhoff, who stepped away from the job after last season to tend to his health, is going to rejoin the team.

One high-ranking Jets official said last night that Eric Mangini "loves" Westhoff, but the source indicated that Westhoff hasn't yet officially been cleared medically to coach again.

Another Jets official emphasized that Kevin O'Dea, who was hired to replace Westhoff, will not be fired. If Westhoff returns, O'Dea surely will be reassigned and work with Westhoff.

Westhoff, 60, is considered to be one of the best special teams coaches in the game. But, as a result of cancer, he's had a titanium femur inserted into his leg and has been rehabbing it.

Westhoff had to step away after he suffered a crack in a bone graft in his leg.


Of all the offensive deficiencies inherent in the GiantsNew York Giants t.gif 10-7 preseason loss to the Jets, the one that bothered Tom Coughlin most of all was an uncharacteristic lack of pass protection.

The Jets amassed eight sacks, three on Eli ManningEli Manning t.gif with the starting line out in front of him.

"We work as much and as hard as anybody, our own defense blitzes, has a tremendous pressure package and we work against that all the time, so for me to see us have trouble with holding up protection-wise doesn't make a whole lot of sense," Coughlin said. "Back to work."

The Giants had a chance to break a scoreless tie at the end of the first half when a two-minute drill drive guided by Manning fell short when he was sacked by linebacker Calvin Pace (who beat left tackle David Diehl) for a 16-yard sack.

"I put David Diehl in a bad position by dropping way back on that last pass," Manning said.

"He was a wide rusher, it got to the point where I went to run him by, Eli said he was trying to make a play and drifted, it's part of it, you learn from it," Diehl said. "At least this happened in the preseason and we'll learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again."

David Carr dropped back six times. He completed two passes and was sacked the other four times.


Jets rookie CB Dwight Lowery continues to excel around the ball, batting down an Manning pass. . . .Jets CB Justin Miller left the game in the first half with a foot injury.


As expected, Jets WR Laveranues Coles (leg) and DE Shaun Ellis (hand) didn't play last night, meaning neither will play a preseason game this summer since the Jets rarely play their starters in the preseason finale

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Brett Favre, Jets' offense take step back in sluggish performance



Sunday, August 24th 2008, 4:00 AM

alg_favre-sacked.jpg Kostroun/AP Brett Favre and the Jet offense is a little off against the Giants after a good performance last weekend.

Brett Favre made it look easy last week, delivering a mistake-free performance in his Jets debut. Amid the happy talk that followed, Favre raised a yellow caution flag, claiming his transition still was a work in progress.

He was right.

Facing the Giants Saturday night in his second start, Favre & Co. delivered a Larry David performance, curbing the enthusiasm of the Jets' breathless fan base. The starting offense was mistake-prone and badly out of sync in a 10-7 victory at the Meadowlands, resulting in a couple of hold-your-breath knockdowns of the 38-year-old quarterback.

Favre threw the ball well, completing nine of 12 attempts for 96 yards, but he crossed midfield only once (barely) and came up empty in four possessions. Afterward, he admitted he was concerned by the expanded game plan.


"It wasn't clean tonight, so I guess my worries came true," said Favre, who played only the scoreless first half. "As disappointing as those plays were, we can see what the end result can be."

Favre tried to paint the dreary outing with bright colors. Even though two big pass plays were nullified by penalties - 29 yards to Brad Smith and a 49-yard touchdown to Jerricho Cotchery - he said those moments showed the explosiveness of the offense.

"I really believe we made a lot of strides," said Favre, adding that he felt "more at ease ... more like myself" in the huddle and in the pocket.

Surprisingly, Favre was pulled at halftime, a decision that will be second-guessed. He has taken only 38 snaps in two games, hardly enough to feel comfortable for the season opener in Miami. Whether he plays the preseason finale, Thursday night in Philadelphia, will be an ongoing debate.

Eric Mangini usually doesn't play his veteran starters in the final preseason game, but the coach said, "I'm open to it. I just want to see how practice goes." Favre said it "would be easily justifiable to play a series." In Green Bay, Favre played in the final tune-up game the last four years.

In 24 plays, the Favre-led offense managed only 116 net yards, with nearly half the yardage coming on a 20-yard screen to Smith and a 30-yard bullet to Cotchery. The starters allowed one sack and committed five penalties, including three by the line (D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Alan Faneca). All told, the Jets had 12 penalties for 77 yards.

If this were a practice session, it would've resembled an Olympic track-and-field event, with players running penalty laps.

"You can run laps all you want, but when the live bullets start flying, you have to be able to think," Favre said.

There were two particularly bad moments. Going for it on a fourth-and-1 from their own 48, the Jets were thwarted by an illegal-shift penalty that nullified a brilliant, one-handed catch by Smith. Favre was slammed to the turf by defensive end Osi Umenyiora on that play.

In one stretch, Favre had five straight completions, but they were undermined by lousy field position and mental mistakes. His best throw was the 49-yard laser to Cotchery, but it was nullified by another illegal shift, this one by Bubba Franks.

The Jets didn't reach the end zone until the fourth quarter, when Brett Ratliff tossed a 24-yard touchdown to Paul Raymond to give them a 10-7 lead.

Despite the sloppiness, Favre earned praise from the Giants.

"He can still play this game at a high level," said defensive end Justin Tuck, who sacked Favre. "He made some throws that only he can make."

At times, Favre received outstanding pass protection, but the rebuilt offensive line struggled in the running game. Mangini's goal was to establish Thomas Jones, an afterthought in the first two games, but Jones managed only 11 yards on six carries. The starting offense produced only 28 rushing yards on 11 attempts.

Their longest run of the night? Eight yards, by Leon Washington. And Favre.

"That's something we're going to have to improve on," Mangini said.

There's a lot to improve on

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Jet personal seat licenses on way this week for fans



Sunday, August 24th 2008, 1:39 AM

The bad but expected news is coming to Jets season-ticket holders this week: Jets owner Woody Johnson told the Daily News Saturday that the pricing plan for the team's personal seat licenses for the new stadium they are sharing with the Giants will be announced in the next few days.

"We're still working on the final presentation," Johnson said. "The fans will get the information."

Johnson would not reveal the Jets' PSL prices. The Giants earlier this summer announced their one-time PSL charge that ranges from $1,000 to $20,000 per seat.

The Jets can only hope the acquisition of Brett Favre softens the PSL sticker shock, although he is likely to be retired when the new stadium opens in 2010.

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Mike Westhoff may return to sideline



Sunday, August 24th 2008, 4:00 AM

Former Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, who quit at the end of last season because of a health issue, appears to be on his way back to the team, the Daily News has confirmed.

Although Eric Mangini hasn't made a final decision, he's giving it strong consideration, according to multiple sources. If Westhoff proves he's healthy enough to be on the sideline, he'll probably receive the okay from Mangini.

The popular Westhoff, 60, long regarded as one of the NFL's top special teams coaches, is said to be doing well after undergoing major surgery last February on his ailing left leg. He announced last Dec. 31 that he was leaving to have his ninth operation on the leg, where a malignant tumor was discovered in 1988.

A Jets spokesman said the team had no comment.

Westhoff's replacement, Kevin O'Dea, will remain with the team in an undisclosed position, according to a source. Chances are, he will work under Westhoff. It's unclear if O'Dea was aware of a possible Westhoff return when he accepted the Jets' job last February.

Reached by phone, Westhoff declined to comment on a possible return, but he did say he wants to coach again. He hinted that there always was an open invitation.

"I'm very appreciative of the situation that I worked out with the New York Jets, which enabled me to put my career on hold and do something I had to do," he told the Daily News. "I had no choice. I would've been in big trouble (without surgery).

"When I started this adventure in January, I was prepared to retire and never coach again," added Westhoff, who was in the New York area.

The Patriots were said to be interested in Westhoff, who was hired by the Jets in 2001.

The story was first reported by Nationalfootballpost.com.

MILLER OUT: CB/KR Justin Miller was carted off the field after injuring his left foot in the second quarter of Saturday night's game against the Giants. He didn't return to the game. Mangini provided no details. ... As expected, WR Laveranues Coles (leg) and DE Shaun Ellis (hand) didn't play. Neither player has appeared in a preseason game. ... The Jets recorded eight sacks, including two by OLB Calvin Pace, their $42 million free-agent signing.

OL' PALS: Brett Favre enjoyed a laugh at the expense of TE Bubba Franks, his old teammate from Green Bay. Franks was called for an illegal shift, nullifying a touchdown pass.

"He's one of the smarter players around; his name doesn't do him justice," Favre cracked. "His real name is Daniel. After the penalty, I was calling him Daniel."

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In a game that didn't count, plenty was going on

Bob Glauber August 24, 2008 Good thing this one didn't count. Which is about the only bright spot in the much-anticipated Brett Favre vs. Eli Manning rematch at the Meadowlands. In their first meeting since that epic Giants win at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game, Favre and Manning produced a big fat zero on the scoreboard, as their starting units were throttled by a combination of solid defense, untimely penalties and the usual sloppiness associated with preseason football.

Even so, there's plenty to chat about as we await the regular-season openers that will be here before you know it:

Favre's numbers were pretty ordinary - 9-for-12 for 96 yards and no touchdowns. But he did have a terrific 49-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery on a deep route down the right side that was called back by an illegal-shift penalty. Favre completed a 29-yard pass to Brad Smith on fourth-and-1 from the Jets' 48, only there was another illegal shift.

Tell you what. There is still an incredible amount of zip on Favre's passes. Midway through the second quarter, he zinged one to Smith down the left sideline on a comeback route. Other than the pass to Cotchery that was called back, that was the one that stood out. It went for 17 yards.

370004.jpg Bob Glauber Bio | E-mail | Recent columns

Not sure what the problem with Manning was, but he didn't have the same juice as in Monday night's thumping of the Browns. Maybe it was no national television audience. More likely, playing on a Saturday after a Monday game had something to do with it. His best play was a 22-yard pass to Domenik Hixon on a crossing route on third-and-3 with 1:20 to play in the second quarter.

Yes, that's Hixon, the same guy who made three huge plays in Monday's win over the Browns - two receiving TDs and one return TD. As one Giants exec told me before the game, "Hixon has a big game, and all of a sudden the other receivers get back to practice." Amani Toomer and Steve Smith had missed the Cleveland game with minor injuries.

Plaxico Burress still hasn't played this preseason. Still no contract, still no fully healed ankle. Not much time left to get both straightened out.

Say what you will about Jets quarterback Brett Ratliff facing third-stringers, but this kid just makes plays. He made it look easy on a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Paul Raymond. Can it only be a matter of time before he overtakes Kellen Clemens as the No.2?

I'm curious to see just how the Giants will deploy their running backs in the regular season. I'm pretty sure it won't be the same way they've done it so far in the preseason, with Brandon Jacobs going first, Derrick Ward second and Ahmad Bradshaw third. They're almost sure to mix it up, giving offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride the kind of flexibility to throw opposing defenses off balance.

X-rays on Osi Umenyiora's knee were negative, but he'll go for follow-ups today. You'd better believe the Giants are holding their breath. Aside from Manning and Justin Tuck, this is the guy the Giants can least afford to lose. If Umenyiora does go down, Dave Tollefson would fill in. Or would he? Might defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo be tempted to put converted linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka back at defensive end?

Eric Mangini has his players run a lap when they commit a penalty in practice. Good thing it doesn't happen in the game, because the Jets were a complete mess, especially the starters. They were hit with five penalties for 25 yards. The backups had five penalties for 35 yards in the third quarter. The biggest upset of all might have been right tackle Damien Woody, who averaged about one false start (and thus one lap) per practice throughout training camp. Last night, he was penalty-free.

No Laveranues Coles. Again. Not good.

When I watch Tuck rush the passer and play the run, I feel like I'm watching one of the top 10 defensive players in the game. Maybe one of the top 5.

Upset of Giants camp so far: The starting safeties are James Butler and Michael Johnson. Most folks had penciled in rookie Kenny Phillips and veteran free agent Sammy Knight.

Saw Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes walking pretty comfortably before the game, although he had a sleeve on his left leg. There's cautious optimism he'll be ready for the season opener.

Of all the Jets' offseason acquisitions, I think linebacker Calvin Pace will turn out to be the best. He had two sacks and looks completely comfortable in the Jets' 3-4 defense.

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Jets' Favre survives Giants test

BY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com August 24, 2008

Brett Favre can now be packed away, not to be opened again until the season-opener Sept. 7 in Miami.

The Jets would be justified in doing so with their new quarterback and it is not uncommon for teams to hold out their starters for the final preseason game.

But after the Jets' 10-7 victory over the Giants last night at the Meadowlands, Jets coach Eric Mangini hinted that Favre might see a series or two in Philadelphia on Thursday night when the Jets wrap up the preseason.

"I'm open to it," Mangini said. "We'll see how practice goes. We have a short week."

Favre, though the victim of numerous penalties by his linemen and tight ends - infractions the 38-year-old blamed himself for because of his unfamiliarity with the offense - was still sharp. He finished, despite starting with mostly awful field position in the first half, 9-for-12 for 96 yards. Kellen Clemens replaced Favre to start the third quarter.

"I felt when I came out of the game pretty good about how I played," Favre said. "I feel my arm's in great shape."

But Favre, who the last couple of season's successfully convinced Packers coach Mike McCarthy to play him at least a couple series in the final exhibition game, plans on having a similar discussion with Mangini. "If I'm going to practice, let me play at least a series," Favre said of what he used to say to McCarthy.

None of Favre's series last night yielded any points but he did enough to impress the Giants, who toppled Favre in last year's epic NFC Championship game in Green Bay.

"Favre looked good tonight," said Justin Tuck, who sacked Favre in the first quarter. "He can still play this game at a high level. He made some throws that only he can make. We were fortunate on a couple plays that were called back. He's definitely going to help the Jets this year."

The teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, though Eli Manning was sharp, too. Manning, who outplayed Favre in last year's title game, finished 10-for-17 for 113 yards. He marched the Giants downfield, starting from the 13 yard-line, at the end of the first half, but after he was sacked by Calvin Pace for a 16-yard loss with 12 seconds left, Giants kicker Josh Huston missed wide right on a 42-yard field goal. Pace had two of the Jets eight sacks. "It was good to get a two-minute drive at the end of the half," Manning said.

Said Giants coach Tom Coughlin: "I don't think offensively we played very well."

The Jets had their own laments, primarily having a 49-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Jerricho Cotchery called back because of an illegal formation penalty against Bubba Franks. A 29-yard pass to Brad Smith, who made a one-handed grab with his left hand, that would have put the ball at the Giants 23 in the first quarter, was wiped out because of an illegal formation penalty.

The Jets took a 3-0 lead after their first drive of the third quarter as Clemens, trying to stave off Brett Ratliff's charge for the backup job, led the Jets on a 17-play, 72-yard drive that ended with Mike Nugent's 24-yard field goal with 5:42 left. The drive began ominously as the Jets committed three penalties - two illegal formations and a false start - to put Clemens in a first-and-25 start from the 7. But a 34-yard pass to rookie tight end Dustin Keller deep in the seam put the Jets at the Giants 39 and they would get as far as the 6 before settling for Nugent's field goal, which accounted for the only scoring through three quarters.

The Giants took a 7-3 lead with 13:32 left in the fourth quarter on Ahmad Bradshaw's 3-yard touchdown run. It ended a drive that started at the Jets' 30 because of Giants' defensive end Renaldo Wynn intercepting a Ratliff pass for Chansi Stuckey.


Jets at Philadelphia

6:30 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2

Radio: WEPN (1050)

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Jets' O-line A-OK

Refurbished with Faneca and Woody, it bends, doesn't break

BY KATIE STRANG | caitlin.strang@newsday.com August 24, 2008 If last night's game against the Super Bowl Champion Giants was to serve as a barometer for the progress of the Jets' revamped offensive line, the first drive looked inauspicious. Despite the early missteps and some costly penalties, however, the line seemed to develop a nice rhythm and showed some positives.

Before the game last night, the Jets' offensive line, a unit expected to improve with the addition of left guard Alan Faneca and right tackle Damien Woody, knew it would find a good test in a menacing Giants pass rush, but save for the 12 penalties, many of which were caused by offensive players, the unit fared pretty well.

"I think definitely there's room for improvement, but I think we went out there, took the plays we were in and did a good job with them," Faneca said.

On the Jets' first drive, however, the Giants' pass rush gave the Jets problems.

On the Jets' second play from scrimmage, Justin Tuck breezed past the line and sacked Brett Favre for an 8-yard loss.

Although it appeared as though fullback Tony Richardson missed his blocking assignment, the play actually was designed to lure the defense and open up a passing lane. The plan backfired, however, leaving Favre exposed and the Jets deep within their own territory on third down.

"He just did a good job of not buying it and came straight down the pipe," Richardson said, "so really there was nobody blocking him."

With the line initially looking a bit shaky, Favre went back in the shotgun formation for a couple of snaps and used play-action fakes and screen passes to work around the early struggles. The line gradually improved and the offense started making gains, including Favre's short pass to Brad Smith that he worked for 20 yards.

On fourth-and-1 during that same drive, Favre was able to sit back in the pocket and air one out to Brad Smith, who made a fantastic grab on the right sideline for what would've been a 29-yard gain. On the next drive in the beginning of the second quarter, Favre enjoyed similar pass protection, allowing him to go deep on a slant to Jerricho Cotchery for 30 yards.

During the second drive of the second quarter, however, the offensive line really hit its stride. On the first play, Favre hit Smith for a 17-yard completion. On the next play, Faneca made a nice block to open up a lane for running back Leon Washington for 8 yards. On second down, Favre hit Washington on a screen, and as lead blocker, Faneca paved the way for a 10-yard pickup.

The drive would've culminated in a deep bomb to Cotchery for a touchdown had it not been for an illegal-formation penalty on tight end Bubba Franks.

"I think we had some good stuff going but with the penalties, we were kind of shooting ourselves in the foot," center Nick Mangold said.

Both Mangold and Faneca had false starts in the second quarter, and tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson incurred an illegal-shift penalty in the first. Apparently, a point of emphasis with the league this week was bringing tackles closer to the line of scrimmage, although Ferguson received no warning during the game.

"I just think it was something we should've probably been more aware of," Ferguson said, "but it's an easy adjustment."

The Jets and Giants entered halftime of last night's game scoreless, but the starting offensive line at least provided Favre with ample opportunities to strike. And perhaps more importantly, the line kept the 38-year-old healthy in a game in which two players, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and Jets cornerback Justin Miller, left the game with injuries.

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Jones rushes for more game reps with Jets

BY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com August 24, 2008 Jets coach Eric Mangini said last week he wasn't concerned with the perceived lack of work for running back Thomas Jones in the first two preseason games.

"[He] got a ton of reps in camp, he missed a lot of time last year," Mangini said of Jones, who missed a significant amount of last year's training camp with a calf injury. "We've seen with running backs in preseason not get carries and come out opening day and look pretty good. It doesn't have to be pure game reps, it's reps however you get it."

Jones, in games against the Browns and Redskins, ran a combined six times for 18 yards. He duplicated that output in last night's first half, though not with much success, picking up just 11 yards. But the Jets again struggled to run the ball as a team, picking up 28 yards on 11 carries in the first half and 58 overall.

Picking up the Pace

The Jets had one of the worst pass rushes in the league in 2007 and spent lavishly in the offseason to improve that area of the defense. So far in the preseason, so good. The Jets had a combined four sacks in the first two preseason games and added three in the first half last night and finished with eight. Linebacker Calvin Pace, whom the Jets made one of the league's highest paid linebackers when they signed him as a free agent from Arizona, recorded two sacks in the first half last night. That included a takedown of Eli Manning for a 16-yard loss with 12 seconds left in the first half.

Jet Streams

WR Laveranues Coles (leg) and DE Shaun Ellis (broken right hand) did not play . . . QB Kellen Clemens, trying to hold off Brett Ratliff for the backup job, started the second half . . . CB Justin Miller, battling David Barrett and Dwight Lowery for starter's job opposite CB Darrelle Revis, left the game with two minutes left in the first half, limping off the field after coming up to make a stop on Derrick Ward on a 10-yard run. He was then carted off with what was called a foot injury and did not return.

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New offensive coach has made Jets believers

BY ERIK BOLAND | erik.boland@newsday.com August 24, 2008 The players he now coaches use words such as detailed, technician and precise.

He laughed when told that D'Brickashaw Ferguson compared him to a supremely prepared attorney captivating a jury in closing argument.

New Jets offensive line coach Bill Callahan is appreciative of all that, but he noticeably recoiled at the phrase most associated with him: offensive line guru.

"I have to cringe at that," Callahan said with an almost embarrassed smile during a recent training camp interview.

The Jets spent significantly this offseason to fix their most glaring problem of 2007 - a flimsy offensive line. They signed Alan Faneca (five years, $40 million) and Damien Woody (five years, $25 million) to shore up the position. But their most significant acquisition might turn out to be Callahan, who led the Raiders to the Super Bowl in the 2002 season and spent the last four years at Nebraska, where he was fired after last season.

Callahan, whose new Jets unit received its stiffest test yet last night against the Giants' relentless pass rush, said he hoped to get back into the NFL this season and, at the recommendation of general manager Mike Tannenbaum, coach Eric Mangini interviewed Callahan, then decided to hire him.

Good line play has followed Callahan, a college quarterback at Illinois Benedictine, his entire coaching career - from Illinois, where he first got hooked on coaching linemen as a tight ends coach in 1982, to Oakland.

"Good players," Callahan said. "I've had really good players. I've been very, very fortunate."

His offensive linemen, impressed with their new coach since May's organized team activities (OTAs), said there was more to it.

"The first thing that comes to mind is smart and detailed," Ferguson said after June's minicamp. "He has information for us every day. It's kind of impressive, stuff that makes you go 'Wow.' He knows exactly what he wants to convey to you and he does a good job of conveying that message."

Faneca, part of some of the best offensive lines in the NFL in Pittsburgh, said Callahan has even brought new information to him. "He does a great job of not only coaching the big picture, but the little things," Faneca said. "Sometimes, even a guy like myself, an 11-year vet, may not have thought about in a while and may not have been doing - a hand placement or a foot placement. He's very wise in the game."

With the Jets, there is no overall scheme, a concept Callahan believes is overstated.

"Everyone essentially has the same blocking schemes," Callahan said. "Everybody has a draw scheme, everybody has a trap, everybody has a power, everybody has a zone scheme. How coaches put their spin on it and the techniques they use with it can be different."

Applying those schemes, Callahan said, doesn't change with the new quarterback in town. "If you ask any of these linemen, 'Does Brett [Favre] work the pocket any differently?', they're more focused on who they have to block," Callahan said. "The guys up front that they're blocking aren't changing. You still have to apply the technique. That's not going to change."

Neither has Callahan's affinity for coaching in the trenches, out of the spotlight he's recently been in as a head coach. "To be back in the meeting room again, I enjoy it, I love it," Callahan said. "That's why I came back. Because I absolutely love what I've done, what I'm doing. My true passion lies coaching those guys up front. It always has."

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Group of 50 turns out to protest PSLs

BY BOB GLAUBER | bob.glauber@newsday.com August 24, 2008 Like many Jets and Giants fans faced with the prospect of shelling out thousands of dollars for personal seat licenses, Steve Kern is infuriated.

"It's not fair to the average fan," said Kern, who yesterday organized a rally to protest the plan by both New York teams to charge fans for seat licenses to help finance the construction of a new stadium. "It's unreasonable for people to pay that kind of money."

Kern drew a smaller than expected crowd of supporters outside the Meadowlands three hours before last night's annual Jets-Giants preseason game. He was hoping for a bigger turnout than the roughly 50 people who showed up. But he promises to continue the fight.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed with the turnout, but the intention remains the same," said Kern, 44, a construction manager from Boonton Township, N.J. "I want to be a voice so the Jets and Giants fans can speak as one."

Giants president and co-owner John Mara and Jets owner Woody Johnson declined to comment on the rally. Johnson said the team would release several details of their personal seat license policy this week.

Kern did get support from New Jersey Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone from District 31 in Bayonne. Chiappone indicated he planned to introduce legislation next month that would prohibit both teams from charging for personal seat licenses.

Fans who did speak out yesterday supported that idea.

"I've been a [Jets] season ticket-holder for over 40 years," Richard Khorigan of Queens said, "but if the prices the Giants are charging are the same for me, I'm going to have to come up with $60,000, plus the price of tickets just to keep what I have now. They're basically going to price me out of the seats.

"You could spend that money on repairs for your house, or build a fancy entertainment room and put a television in it and watch the games at home. Over the last 10 years, the fans that come to games have become second-class citizens."

Longtime Giants fan Maryann Zambrzycki of the Bronx said she doubts she'll ever go to another game once the new stadium opens in 2010.

"My father was a season-ticket holder, and he passed away in 1997," she said. "But if he knew this was going on, it would crush him that the season-ticket holders are forced to spend that kind of money ... I'm not going to spend that kind of money to go to the stadium."

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How can a congressman put in legislation to stop a building owner from charging what he wants? Don't these congressman have something better to do? Oh wait, no... they don't.. they're more interested in getting on TV.

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