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Minicamp Preview; Jets made a bid to sign Zach Thomas ~ Cimini/DailyNews


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Minicamp preview

April 15, 2009

by Rich Cimini, NYDailyNews.com

New coach Rex Ryan opens his first minicamp tomorrow morning in Florham Park, a three-day voluntary camp that may help the Jets finalize their "need" list before heading into the draft.

Some of the players and storylines that bear watching:

* The New Boss. This will be our first chance to see Ryan on the field, interacting with his coaches and players. After a few practices, we should be able to get a feel for what type of coach he'll be. A hands-on coach? A yeller? The silent type? A meticulous note taker, a la Eric Mangini? Something tells me he'll be in the middle of things, mixing it up with the players.

* The QB Competition. Finally, the paper battle comes to life on the field -- Kellen Clemens vs. Brett Ratliff vs. Erik Ainge -- if Ainge shows up, that is. For an unknown reason, Ainge has been skipping recent voluntary workouts, casting doubt on his future with the team. Unless there's a legit alibi -- a health reason, perhaps? -- Ainge is ruining his career by blowing off the workouts. The team is mum on the subject. In reality, this isn't that big a story, as Ainge is considered a longshot in the QB battle. A knockout performance by Clemens and/or Ratliff -- or, conversely, stinkers by both players -- could have an impact on the team's draft plans. Mark Sanchez anyone? Josh Freeman? No player is under more pressure than Clemens, who has arrived at his put-up or shut-up season.

* Thomas Jones. Will he show? Doubt it. The AFC's leading rusher, unhappy with his contract, has been skipping the voluntary workouts. I spoke to an opposing GM, who had this to say about Jones: "He's being very selfish. It's crap, what he's doing." Agreed.

* The Young Wideouts. The No. 1 need is wide receiver, but Chansi Stuckey and David Clowney might have something to say about that. Now that Laveranues Coles is gone, the Jets are looking for someone -- anyone -- to step up to play alongside Jerricho Cotchery. Chances are, they'll draft a wideout in the first two rounds.

* Chris-miss. Is there a tight end who can block in the house? So far, they haven't replaced Chris Baker.

* Lots of New Faces. Bart Scott. Lito Sheppard. Jim Leonhard. Donald Strickland. Marques Douglas. Larry Izzo. Hey, maybe Brett Favre will show up to watch -- you know, just for the fun of it. Yeah, right.

* David Harris' leg. Remember, he broke an ankle in the regular-season finale. He seemed to be walking fine when I saw him two weeks ago, but he could be limited in some fashion. Wasn't it interesting that the Jets made a bid to sign free-agent LB Zach Thomas? That's according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. You don't pursue a player of Thomas' stature unless you plan to play him. Obviously, he wouldn't put Scott on the bench, not with a $48 million contract, which makes me wonder about Harris. Is he recovering slower than expected? Was Thomas going to be Thomas insurance?

So many questions, so few minicamps.

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add ILB to the draft needs list


malalualuauluaga ?

wouldn't surprise me at all if they pick him. they didn't bring him in, nobody talks about him, perfect pre-draft tactics

We're moving up totake Sanchez didn't you hear ? :roll:

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