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Jets players see Rex Ryan as nice change from departed Eric Mangini

by Rich Cimini

CORTLAND - They miss the loud music at practice. That's about it.

After three years under Eric Mangini, who chafed players with an intense, dictatorial coaching style that created an environment of tension and paranoia, the Jets feel liberated under Rex Ryan. To the players, he's more of a big brother than Big Brother.

Training camp is only three days old, but the differences are obvious. That old Mangini staple, running an immediate punishment lap for fumbling the ball or committing a penalty, is history. If a player makes a bonehead mistake, he runs after practice, which saves him the embarrassment of being mocked by fans.

Players say criticism from Ryan and his staff is more constructive and less abrasive than it was under Mangini, who called out players during film-review sessions - aka "Penguin Vision," based on their nickname for the portly coach.

Players aren't scolded or fined for making bold statements to the media, supplying potential bulletin-board fodder for opponents. Ryan himself is the leader in that category. And unlike Mangini, he doesn't threaten players with imprisonment for discussing injuries - only a slight exaggeration.

Aside from the music thing - Mangini blasted popular tunes to simulate crowd noise - their former coach is not missed. Whether the change in style leads to more victories remains to be seen, but the early impressions of Ryan couldn't be more favorable.

"He doesn't treat you like a child; he treats you like a man and he expects you to do the things that are necessary to be great," tackle Damien Woody said between practices yesterday at SUNY-Cortland. "That's the biggest difference between this camp and last year."

Asked if some players believe they were treated like children under Mangini, Woody said, "Oh, yeah, no question. Everybody has their own style. Coach Ryan believes in putting the accountability on the players. As players, we police ourselves, with no coaches hovering."

Mangini was tough on his players, and his coaches, too. When one of his assistants decided to leave for another job, Mangini put the coach's personal effects in a box and wouldn't let him return to his office. That's something he picked up from Bill Belichick, who did the same thing to Mangini when he left the Patriots.

To a certain degree, Mangini molded the Jets into a disciplined team (Brett Favre's 22 interceptions notwithstanding), but they went 23-25 and made the playoffs only once, crumbling last season under pressure. Some players said they were mentally worn down by Mangini. They expect a different atmosphere under Ryan, who they say is more player-friendly than his predecessor.

Ryan made a strong impression on Thursday, with his eve-of-training-camp address to the team. Unlike many coaches, who turn the occasion into a filibuster by the time they cover their rules and expectations, Ryan kept it simple. Woody, an 11-year veteran, said it was the shortest opening-night speech he ever heard.

According to Woody, Ryan told the team, "We're here now. We only play for one reason and that's to win a championship. Be ready to go tomorrow."

Under Mangini, Woody probably would've received a stern lecture for commenting on a private meeting. The Jets don't have to worry about that anymore; Mangini is coaching the Browns.

"Hopefully, the guys in Cleveland have thick skin," linebacker Calvin Pace said, "because it can get to you after awhile."

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by Mark C

CORTLAND -- Rex Ryan is openly daring opposing quarterbacks to throw the ball to Darrelle Revis' side of the field.

"If you throw the ball at him chances are it's going to come back like a boomerang at you," Ryan said.

Indeed, Revis, the Jets' third-year cornerback, has been a human boomerang already through three days of training camp.

That Revis, who intercepted a Kellen Clemens pass to Brad Smith in yesterday's morning practice, has picked off at least one pass in every practice is a good thing for Ryan's defense. It's not so good for the ongoing quarterback competition between Clemens and Mark Sanchez, both of whom have been victimized by Revis' prowess.

If he's not already there, Revis is well on his way to becoming one of the top five CBs in the NFL -- something he quietly aspires to be.

"Right now he's elite," Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "He's got to be considered as one of the top guys, a guy that can truly line up on the edge and play man-to-man and take care of his half of the field.

"The guy is gifted. Everything comes naturally to him, but he works at it every day. And when you combine the work ethic with his natural abilities you're going to get something special."

Asked what separates Revis from the rest, Cotchery said: "He notices the little things receivers do tipping routes off. That's very rare for a guy in his third year."

Cotchery and the rest of the Jets' wide receivers are in constant competition with Revis and the rest of the cornerbacks in practices. Revis is clearly the most difficult matchup they face.

"You have to work to get the ball against him," Cotchery said.

"I know I take it personally every time I go up against him because I know how good he is," Smith said. "He's one of the most complete corners in the league. He can jam, he can play off you, he has the speed to make up if he loses a step, he has great anticipation to the quarterback.

"It's tough going against him, but our receiver unit loves going against him because we know we're getting better."

A trend began late in Revis' rookie year -- teams started avoiding throwing to his side of the field. That trend was very apparent last year (though he had five interceptions) and it's sure to continue this year.

"I noticed it toward the end of his rookie season; by end of the season teams stopped picking on him," Cotchery said. "And when we came back in the spring in the next offseason, I noticed a big jump. He was more comfortable with everything and he's just been getting better."

As much as he knows being a shut-down CB who teams avoid throwing toward is good for the team, there's a part of Revis that's begging for QBs to throw his way.

"That's the worst thing, because I'm a competitor and I want the ball to come my way all the time," he said. "My rookie year I got balls (thrown toward me), but after I got a couple of INTs (he had three interceptions his rookie year) people stopped throwing to my side.

"Then, my second year, I guess I got a little reputation to not throw to my side. It kind of hurts you inside, because you want to compete against the best receivers in the league."

Revis, who's not boastful, conceded that he wants to be one of the elite cornerbacks in the league, saying that desire "comes from inside you."

"I want to be the best," he said

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People take the player ratings in Madden pretty seriously, but nobody takes them more seriously than the players themselves. And today the good folks over at EA Sports released the AFC East rosters and ratings for Madden NFL 10, predicting the Jets to have the second-best team in the division.

Gang Green garnered a 78 overall rating, good but certainly not great. That would get trampled in the NFC East _ the Giants barely topped that tough division with an 89 _ but it was good enough for a distant second behind New England (93) and just ahead of the Dolphins (77) and Bills (76).

Click the link to get the Jets' full roster, or go to the jump to see what the folks over at EA had to say about the Jets:

"M - A - R - K, Mark, Mark Mark! There is little doubt that rookie Mark Sanchez (78 OVR) will lead the Jets this year in what could be the most interesting division race in the NFL. Surrounding the first round pick is a pretty average receiving core led by Jerricho Cotchery (81 OVR / 87 AGL / 86 CAT) and TE Dustin Keller (86 SPD / 90 ACC). The Jets offense will be largely driven by the run game, one of the top in the league. Thomas Jones (90 OVR) leads the group with speedy backup Leon Washington (93 SPD / 95 AGL) and rookie Shone Greene. The Offensive Line is extremely strong with Center Nick Mangold (94 OVR) and LG Alan Faneca (97 OVR). The Jets vastly improved their Defense with the signing of LB Bart Scott (90 OVR / 85 Toughness) and was already led by CB Darrelle Revis (91 OVR). Opposing Running Backs with have trouble running through the Defensive Line with Kris Jenkins (95 OVR), one of the highest rated DL in the game.''


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By Dennis Waszak Jr. • The Associated Press • August 3, 2009

CORTLAND - Vernon Gholston stormed through on a blitz and shoved center Nick Mangold back on his heels during a recent Jets training-camp practice.

It was the type of fierce and powerful move the Jets and their fans have expected from the muscle-bound linebacker since he was taken with the sixth overall draft pick last year.

"I think Nick was surprised by it, and he gave him a little extra shot at the end of the play," coach Rex Ryan said yesterday between practices. "If he can move Nick Mangold like that, he could move anybody."

The problem for Gholston is that those moments have been rare.

He was expected to immediately boost the Jets' pass rush last season, but finished with no sacks and saw limited time on the field.

"Did I do all I wanted to do? Probably not," said Gholston, who found himself mainly a special-teams player. "But the biggest thing for me, I never look back on the past. I always look forward."

And he certainly has something to look forward to. With starting outside linebacker Calvin Pace suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy, Ryan has already installed Gholston as the fill-in starter.

"We'll see," Ryan said. "It's all going to come out in the end. He's going to be our starter for the first four games, for sure, and let's evaluate him after those games."

Gholston had a decent minicamp and has had a couple of moments in training camp, but much more is expected.

After setting an Ohio State record with 14 sacks in 2007, none as an NFL rookie had some fans and members of the media already labeling him a bust.

"A bust? Well, I think people relate it to where you're picked in the draft, but I don't know if you can say that for players who haven't been out there much," he said. "Look at quarterbacks. Some of them take a few years to develop."

Another knock on the hulking linebacker is that he perhaps lacks the competitive fire to be a dominant force in the NFL.

"What is fire?" Gholston said, bristling slightly. "Is fire jumping up and down when you make a tackle? I'm not going to do that. You're supposed to make tackles. That's my job. Now, if we win the Super Bowl, then you'll see me jumping all over the place. To me, it's about working hard and being prepared."

Ryan also insists the desire is there.

"One thing I'll say about Vernon is I've been challenging him everyday with little things here and there," Ryan said. "One of the things I was talking about was just running through things because he is a big, strong guy. He is a rock. Just get that feeling for running through somebody."

Early in training camp, Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine have been mixing Gholston in with Pace and Bryan Thomas, along with Marques Murrell, at outside linebacker.

"It's not really about proving anything," Gholston said. "I know I can play. The coaches know I can play. It's just all about getting in the defense, knowing what I'm in, knowing what I play, what I've got going on and stepping up and doing it."

Murrell is also hoping to play a bigger role in the defense, and has shown some signs of being a solid pass rusher.

"I'm looking to be able to step on the field and let the coaches feel comfortable when I step on the field and be able to make plays," he said. "I don't want to be just out there, to just hold a spot. I don't want to be just a dummy out there."

Ryan said Murrell, at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, might lack the physical size to be an every-down linebacker, but likes him as someone who could get to the quarterback in Pace's absence.

Murrell, undrafted out of Appalachian State, signed with Philadelphia in 2007 before being signed by the Jets off the Eagles' practice squad that season. A solid special teams performer, he has mostly been known as former Jets running back Adrian Murrell's younger brother.

"I must say, sometimes it was frustrating growing up because it was like, 'Yo, that's Adrian's little brother,' but it's not too bad, either," Murrell said. "I've felt like the underdog a lot, but I want to fight and claw to become the top dog."

Notes: QB Mark Sanchez took snaps with the first-team offense for the first time in the morning session, and Ryan said the rookie quarterback will get more work there as camp progresses. ... NT Kris Jenkins was in shorts and a T-shirt after straining his left calf Saturday. After initially saying it wasn't a big deal, Ryan said: "It could be a little longer than I thought. Sometimes those calves are a little slower to heal."

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By Ronnie Shumake

There is much that needs to be sorted out this year in camp. These are what I feel are the five most important things the team needs to focus on in order for a successful campaign this year.

1.The defense must become more ball hungry. This is a solid team defense. They must now make that transition into a championship caliber defense. They may need to take an approach like the 2002 Bucs and aim to score nine touchdowns on defense this season in order to make a deep playoff run. At the very least, they will need to get turnovers to create short field position for the offense, stop opposing teams run and shut down perhaps the most dangerous wideout tandems in the entire league in our division.

2.The WR situation. The team lacks a proven, deep threat number one receiver. While many fans are calling for a guy like Burress, Jones or Edwards, I am not so sure that is a move that needs to be made. I love the guts and grit that Jerricho Cotchery displays and am hopeful that the other wideouts in camp will step up this year. So far, my money is on Chanci Stuckey winning the number two spot over David Clowney and Brad Smith.

3.The RB depth situation. I am not so sure if this is really a problem situation, but rather a blessing of depth. TJ is the clear number one and LJ is the change of pace back. I really like the two young backs Shonn Greene and Danny Woodhead as well and would love to see them make the team as well for added depth this year. With a ground and pound offense, four tailbacks is a good idea in case of any injuries.

4.The TE depth situation. The team did add Richard Owens and also has two rookies on the roster. While Dustin Keller may be the most dangerous recieving TE in the league, his lack of proficiency with blocking is well documented. We need to make sure that we have at least one, if not two other TE's who can block effectively for the offense to have success this year with unproven QB's running the show.

5.The QB battle. Clemens has been named the number one at the start of camp. We all know that Sanchez is favored. This will be a unique battle in that the veteran is actually the underdog in most of the public's eye. I feel that this will be a close battle all the way with each passing the other at times. This situation is likely to be resolved fairly late in camp, with the performance of each in the pre-season finale being the determining factor.

These are the most pressing issues that the team will need to focus on in camp. They have a strong offensive line (veteran depth is a bit lacking), strong defensive team at every level and a superior ground game. If they can iron out these five wrinkles, they may catch fire and surprise many this year.

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by Matt Sohn for PFW

With all the excitement surrounding the Jets, from Rex Ryan directing his first training camp to the arrival of celebrated rookie QB Mark Sanchez, it should be noted that one of the more intriguing story lines that

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August 2, 2009 11:16 AM

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Lead the NFL tackles?

That's one defensive stat New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott wants no part of.

"What you want to do is limit your reps," Scott explained after a recent training camp session at SUNY Cortland. "You want to lead the league in three-and-outs.

"You want to play the least amount of plays than anybody in the NFL. That should be your goal, to be No. 1. To have a lot of tackles? That means nothing. I could stand on the field all day and make tackles, but our team isn't going to be very good."

Tackles aren't an official NFL stat. Each team's coaching staff keeps track of them when they review game films, but the league does compile an unofficial list based on the stat packets issued to media right after the game.

The Ravens credited Scott with 104 tackles last year (a distant second to Ray Lewis' 160). The NFL had Scott down for 82 tackles (Lewis for 117).

Only one defender listed among the top 10 tacklers on NFL.com was on a team that made the playoffs.

"In order to make this defense successful, we have to make it ours," Scott said. "It can't be one individual player. We have to take ownership of it and take pride in it. Collectively, there's a greater goal out there for us. We can get our individual goals, and we can achieve all of those things, but if we do them collectively then the better we will be as a unit."

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Nice job posting the daily articles.

The first one should be very familiar to us jet fans. It happene EVERY time a coaching change is made(except maybe for Groh in '00). The new coach always doesn things better than the old coach, blah, blah, blah. I just hope they back up rex's big talk.

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August 1, 2009 5:22 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Late in Saturday morning's session at New York Jets training camp, safety Jim Leonhard intercepted a Kellen Clemens pass and immediately pitched it to cornerback Lito Sheppard, who dashed for a touchdown.

As New York Daily News reporter Rich Cimini points out in his blog, such a trick never would have been allowed under the previous coach. Eric Mangini would have yanked Leonhard off the field.

But this is Rex Ryan's team now. It's no coincidence neither Leonhard nor Sheppard played for Mangini last year. They dare to think differently.

"I don't know if the Jets fans have seen that," Leonhard said. "We're going to try to put it in the end zone however we can. You might see that one on Sunday, too."

Leonhard learned Ryan's ways last year in Baltimore. Over Ryan's four seasons as the Ravens' defensive coordinator, they scored 16 defensive touchdowns, including six last year.

"He wants you to score," Leonhard said. "If you get it on defense, there's not too many offensive guys that are used to tackling. You want to keep it alive and get it in that end zone."

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome wasn't always keen on Ryan's go-for-broke style on turnover returns. Ryan said he'd be willing to discuss his philosophy with Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum if they were uncomfortable with it.

As with Mangini, there's a belief it's better to fall on a turnover to preserve it rather than give the ball back.

"It's more safe than you think," Ryan said. " You take it up your near the sideline, generally it's going out of bounds if it is an errant pass. If you get two hands on the ball, you can always pitch it backwards."

Ryan has guidelines for interception returns.

The primary rule is to eliminate the intended receiver.

"That's the first guy that can make the tackle," he said. "You block him. Then we will set an edge with our other guys. We'll block quick, give our returner plenty of room."

From there, it's time to have some fun and be unafraid to get creative.

Ryan has a 4-by-4 policy on laterals, meaning the player receiving the ball must be four yards to the side and four yards behind the carrier before a pitch can be considered. This helps avoid an accidental forward lateral.

"If I'm a trail guy, if we knock down the receiver and knock him out of the play, we will turn and head up the sideline," Ryan said. "A lot of times I can be in [the 4-by-4] pitch relation, or we will have a trailer coming up behind that will assume the pitch relation."

That type of intrepidness is what makes Ryan's lively defenses so unappealing to face each week.

"When it works, it's great," Ryan said. "When it doesn't work you kind of look like a fool because you're giving the ball back. We don't want to be reckless with it, but we do want to be aggressive."

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from John B at GGN

The most talked about position battle is at quarterback. It pits the guy of the future, Mark Sanchez, against the former guy of the future, Kellen Clemens. There isn't a whole lot of doubt that Sanchez will eventually become the starting quarterback of the Jets. It is more a matter of when. Considering how much money the team invested in Mark, Clemens can at best only audition for his next team. This kind of audition can be productive, though. Just ask Drew Brees.

Handicapping the race:

Mark Sanchez has $28 million in guaranteed money. He is the face of the franchise. The Jets have little confidence in Kellen Clemens. Otherwise they would not have moved up to grab Sanchez. All of this indicates the team really wants Mark starting under center against the Texans. If the competition is even close, the Jets will look to get the rookie experience as soon as possible.

Clemens has only one way of winning the job, outplaying Sanchez by a lot. There are two possibilities. The first is that Sanchez shows himself completely unprepared to take on the pro game. Instead of throwing him to the wolves, the team might decide to nurture its prized investment. The other is for Kellen to look like a star in the making, conjuring images of his brilliant 2007 preseason. If it's clear Clemens gives the Jets a better chance to win, the rookie coach will have to go with the veteran to keep his locker room happy.

A hidden factor at play is that Clemens is playing for his career. If he has designs on being a starting quarterback in the NFL, this is probably his last chance to produce. There aren't going to be opportunities to even compete for a starting job if his resume only consists of those eight lousy starts in 2007. He'll become a career backup. If he looks like a player in 2009, he might entice some team out there with woes at the position. Drew Brees should be his role model. Brees thrived in a similar spot in San Diego. Even though the Chargers let him go, he more than landed on his feet with the Saints. It wouldn't be a bad thing for Clemens to play well enough to force the Jets into a decision. Having two talented young quarterbacks is the best "problem" any team has ever faced.

Despite the motivational factors, this job is Sanchez's to lose. The Jets want him to win it and will give him any benefit of the doubt. The other position battles we could not predict the outcome with any certainty, only handicap the race entering camp. Barring injury, Mark Sanchez is probably going to be your starting quarterback.

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and this from Rich last night...

CORTLAND - Say this for the Jets: They're not rushing Mark Sanchez.

After three days of training camp at SUNY-Cortland, the rookie quarterback has taken only a few practice reps with the starting offense - all in Sunday's morning session. But that will change soon, according to Rex Ryan.

"He'll get more reps with the ones as we go on," Ryan said. "I think you see the guy has a lot of talent, and he makes some throws that are hard to make ... That's one of the reasons we jumped up and tried to go get him in the draft."

After five practices, the quarterback competition between Sanchez and Kellen Clemens is a virtual dead heat. Because of his edge in experience, Clemens should look better than Sanchez at this stage, but that hasn't happened. He threw two more interceptions yesterday (both under pressure on blitzes), bringing his total to five. Sanchez has two.

Clemens' best moment came in the two-minute drill, when he fired a 36-yard TD strike to Chansi Stuckey - a rare touchdown for the offense.

CALF EMPTY: Don't expect NT Kris Jenkins (strained calf) to be back on the field this week. The injury "could be a little longer than I thought," said Ryan, still claiming it's not serious.

The initial thought was that Jenkins, who got hurt Saturday, would miss a few days. The Jets, recognizing his importance to the defense, aren't going to rush him back

WHAT A KNIGHT!: Undrafted rookie LB Jamaal Westerman, a minicamp standout, continues to impress. "I'll be shocked if he doesn't make a name for himself this year," Ryan said of the former Rutgers player.

Talk about putting pressure on a young player.

CAMP CLOWNEY: WR David Clowney, trying to prove last year's outstanding preseason wasn't a fluke, still is too inconsistent. He made some nice catches in practice, but fumbled on a crossing route. Stuckey continues to work with Jerricho Cotchery as the starting wideout. Contrary to reports, the Jets have no interest in former Jaguars WR Matt Jones. ... S Jim Leonhard, CB Lito Sheppard and S Emanuel Cook made interceptions. ... Second-year QB Erik Ainge impressed in the afternoon practice, throwing two touchdowns in a 7-on-7 drill in the red zone. ... Rookie RB Shonn Greene tweaked an ankle in the morning practice, but he returned almost immediately. ... TE Dustin Keller is having a terrific camp.

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Nice job posting the daily articles.

The first one should be very familiar to us jet fans. It happene EVERY time a coaching change is made(except maybe for Groh in '00). The new coach always doesn things better than the old coach, blah, blah, blah. I just hope they back up rex's big talk.

100% true. We've all heard this "He treats us like men" before. Lets see if they act like men on and off the field.

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Thanks, SFJ, great stuff!!!

Interesting article, Sperm. I'm wondering what the Jets got in return for giving up the 7th?

I'm guessing nothing seeing as it happened over Draft weekend. I think we just simply gave it back to them and got nothing in return. That is what it sounds like at least.

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A new season, a new quarterback. Jets fans must be experiencing deja-vu'. Only this time it's not the indecisive Brett Favre but the latest USC prodigy, Mark Sanchez. Not since "Broadway" Joe Namath has a quarterback arrived with so much excitement. Although Sanchez is the new face of the franchise, he wasn't the most important pick-up during the offseason. That distinction belongs to new head coach Rex Ryan.

Rex Ryan was the orchestrator behind the number two defense in the NFL with the Balitmore Ravens last season. He also had the Ravens ranked in the top ten in total defense the last five seasons. Jets fans should be fired up for Ryan to take over a defense that was medicore at best last season. Former coach Eric Mangini played a "bend but don't break" style of defense. Ryan likes to attack offenses from every angle possible and create mismatches in blocking offensive schemes. With all the pieces in place for Ryan to run his preferred 3-4 defense, all he needs to do is install his berzerker attitude in a the Jets defense.

Ask most Jets fans about former 6th overall draft pick Vernon Gholston and most likely the first response is bust. Ask Rex Ryan and he'll say untapped potential. One of the first things Ryan proclaimed that Gholston was going to be his reclamation project. Any production from Gholston would be better than last season where he failed to record even one sack. The most ideal scenario would be for him to have a Terrell Suggs type season because that's how Ryan plans on using him, rushing the passer from all over the field. With his unique blend of size and speed, Gholston is a match-up nightmare for offensive linemen. Free agent from Baltimore Bart Scott should help the transition from Mangini to Ryan go a lot smoother as he should be an extension of Ryan on the field. He'll team up with David Harris to give Gang Green a formidable tandem at inside linebacker. Rounding out the linebacker crew is Calvin Pace, who is suspended the first four games of the season due to violating the league's performance-enhancing policy, and Bryan Thomas. Though both have are capable of generating double-digit sacks, neither has the physical skills that frighten offensive coordinators like Gholston.

Lito Sheppard, who was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, gives the Jets a solid corner opposite rising superstar Darrelle Revis. Both are excellent at playing man coverage which is an essential skill in Ryan's defense. Teaming with Revis and Sheppard in the secondary is former Raven Jim Leonhard and Kerry Rhodes, who should have every opportunity to make plays in Ryan's blitz-happy schemes that cater to his skill set.

The most important part in any 3-4 defense are the big guys up front and Rex inherits one of the biggest in Pro Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins. Although he made it to Hawaii last season, Jenkins play tailed off during the second half of the season due to injuries. When his play dipped, so did the rest of the defense's Keeping him healthy and fresh for an entire season should be one of the coaching staffs main priorities. Joining him in the trenches is Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas, who are all hitting the red line in the age department. Depth along the defensive line is also a concern. As long as the injury bug doesn't hit to hard, the defense should be much improved. There is one certainity about the Jets this season, they sure will be fun to watch.

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Mia Harris


Cortland, NY (WFAN) -- After the first weekend up at Jets training camp, it seems that the team is meshing and making progress as well as it can considering the new coach as well as new additions on both sides of the ball. The sun returned on Saturday for day 2 of camp in Cortland. Phew, it is not me who is bringing all this rain! QB Kellen Clemens looked good in practice connecting on two long passes one to Leon Washington and the other a great grab by Jerricho Cotchery in double coverage. It was about a 45 yard pass play down to the goal line. Clemens looked very comfortable running the first team offense and coach Rex Ryan was pleased with his composure as the veteran signal caller so far.

Clemens did throw a couple of picks, one a great play by S Jim Leonhard who then lateraled to Lito Sheppard who took it into the end zone, for one of the more creative plays at practice. Ryan commending Leonhard on his great play. Remember, Ryan worked with Leonhard in Baltimore so he is very well aware of what he bring to the table. Ryan also adding that it is funny that Leonhard if you saw him on the street looks more like an accountant or a business man than a football player. But his tenacity on the field counters that perception no doubt. LB Bart Scott stuck around on the field after practice still working on things. He has actually been one of the last players to leave the field. His work ethic looks like it is unequaled so far on the defense and there is no doubt in my mind he will be the leader defensively on and off the field this season. LB Vernon Gholston talked about being a possible starter for Calvin Pace who is suspended for the first 4 games of the season for violating the league's performance enhancing substance abuse policy. Gholston will definitely be high on the list, if not the guy, to replace Pace as a starter for those 4 games. And he says he is looking forward to the opportunity and would love a shot at being the starter on opening day.

The rains did return on Sunday...unfortunately, and yes, I'll take the hit on that one too. Mark Sanchez looked good and he had a nice first couple of days and Rex was impressed with how he is learning and growing even this early on. Although you heard in the clip by Rex, he doesn't have the experience that Kellen has in this system and it might take him a little more time to develop and get comfortable with the playbook and, of course, the NFL caliber of play which as well all know is way above what he experienced in college.

The first injury occurred as NT Kris Jenkins somewhat hobbled off the field and was diagnosed with a strained calf. He would miss a couple of days but Ryan said it was not serious, although adding in his light fashion about the mild nature of Jenkins injury, "Don't tell Kris that." Rex is a joy to listen to in his pressers so far and seems like he will be a great coach for this team, adding a little "levity" to what is definitely a huge spotlight job...being a rookie head coach in the biggest market in the country. And as far as Jenkins goes, he was pretty light himself about the nature of his mild injury.

More on the offense. Jerricho Cotchery has looked like the number 1 option at receiver. Rex was also impressed with Wallace Wright who had a good mini camp. Although he has mainly been used on special teams the past few seasons he might get more of an opportunity if they goes with a 4 wideout set or even some reps as a number 3. Rex noting that it might be a " wideout by committee" after Cotchery this year. David Clowney is coming back from injury and hopefully will be healthy. He has the speed to be a very good deep threat. Chansi Stuckey has been good in the slot and Brad SmIth has been proven to be a good option at receiver. TE Dustin Keller is coming off a great rookie year has also looked good and will also be used often in the offensive mix just as Brett Favre went to him last year.

But so far so good, the team seems light unlike last season under Mangini and all the players seem to be enjoying the new Ryan regime and I think that's a great thing when you like the coach you are playing for..not only a respect factor but as a genuine person which Rex seems to be.

He was also asked about how the liquid diet was going..I actually asked the question trying to get the fun response...and more comedy out of the big guy.

The team will be back in the area on the 12th for a Family Night Practice at Hofstra followed by the first preseason game against the Rams at Giants Stadium on the 14th.

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JP again...

Another morning here in Cortland, as we again go rain, sun, rain, sun. Today it's sunny after yesterday morning's heavy showers. The QB competition continues, of course. Yesterday, Kellen Clemens was 7-for-14 in the morning with an INT and 4-for-9 in the afternoon with another pick, although coach Rex Ryan explained after the morning practice that Clemens' morning pick came in a simulated end-game situation in which taking a sack was unacceptable, so he had to try to make something happen.

As for Mark Sanchez, he was 6-for-9 in the morning, mostly dinking and dunking, and 6-for-17 with a pick in the afternoon. I don't see anyone having a big-time advantage yet. Clemens has made a few more big plays in 11-on-11s, but also has turned the ball over much more.

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I'm guessing nothing seeing as it happened over Draft weekend. I think we just simply gave it back to them and got nothing in return. That is what it sounds like at least.

That's what I'm guessing, too. Odd transaction.

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Jets Training Camp: Practice #7 Notes

Posted by A. Greenbaum On August - 3 - 2009

A nice morning for the players as practice was pushed back an hour due to morning drug testing, hopefully there are no issues with that. This afternoons practice is strictly special teams so must of the coverage will be here on this practice this morning. My focus is still on the Quarterback competition. Can Kellen Clemens rebound or will Sanhcez continue to outperform him? This will be updated live so keep checking back, we

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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Bodies, fists and legs were flying as Jets practice Monday morning quickly morphed into a MMA street fight.

Thomas Jones and James Ihedigbo were involved in the first major scuffle of camp. Jones took exception to Ihedigbo's hit after a carry to the right side. Jones immediately took a couple swings at Ihedigbo before a swarm of players turned it into a full blown donnybrook.

Minutes later, defensive tackle Howard Green threw fullback Brock Christopher to the ground to incite another skirmish. Even Vernon Gholston, criticized for his lack of fire, tried to kick someone.

The third fight occurred when Nevin McCaskill and defensive back Ahmad Carroll get into it. To break the tension at the end of the fight, Darrelle Revis clowned around by jumping on the pile.

Three fights in 15 minutes. Things are heating up at Camp Ryan.

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Let's get ready to rumble! Jets go at it in 9-on-7 drill

August 3, 2009

It got heated this morning in practice at SUNY-Cortland. In a 9-on-7 drill, usually the most physical drill in a training camp practice, there were three separate scuffles in a span of about 10 minutes.

The fight card:

1. Thomas Jones vs. James Ihedigbo.

2. Howard Green vs. Brock Christopher (and a whole lot of others that encircled them and stood around).

3. Ahmad Carroll vs. Nevin McCaskill (with Darrelle Revis sneaking up from behind and taking a shot at McCaskill). Showing his sense of humor, Revis, making like a pro wrestler, jumped on the pile, feigning a pile-driving move.

Yep, things are getting feisty in Cortland.

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CORTLAND, N.Y. - Kellen Clemens' maddening start to training camp added a familiar and frustrating chapter Monday morning. On a spirited practice sprinkled with three fights, Clemens was on fire for much of practice before the getting stung once again by the turnover bug.

The four-year pro orchestrated a brilliant drive down the field in a two-minute drill, making several tough throws before killing it with his sixth interception in six practices at the 5-yard line. Bart Scott deflected Clemens' pass to the right before Darrelle Revis stepped in front of Chansi Stuckey for his fourth interception of camp.

Clemens had completed six consecutive passes on the drive - including a nifty 25-yarder to Jerricho Cotchery, who made a nice leaping catch on the sideline, and a 20-yarder to Leon Washington down to the 10 -- before faltering at a critical moment.

"That is frustrating because those are things that get you beat," coach Rex Ryan said. "At the same time, you got to give credit to the other side as well."

Despite the miscue, Clemens out-played Mark Sanchez, who completed 1 of 4 passes with the second stringers.

"We have just continued to progress and get a little bit better each day," Clemens said of the offense. "The last drive for us offensively showed our potential and what we're able to do against a defense (that is) very good. So it's a good opportunity. We're improving. We'll definitely carry our weight this season."

Clemens completed his first pass of the day in 11-on-11 drills for a 50-yard TD to Dustin Keller, who was left wide open on a blown coverage.

Sanchez, who has worked primarily with the second team outside of a handful of first-team reps on Sunday, admitted that he's ready to shoulder a bigger load.

"I want to get that chemistry with them," Sanchez said of playing with the first unit.

"I need those reps. As soon as that happens, it's going to be a good chance to make a move. It helps when you have all those tools."

Clemens was relatively upbeat after practice despite his mistaken-prone first few days. He praised the defense.

"It's good for us," Clemens said. "Because we have to make adjustments offensively that to be honest we won't have to make during the season because we don't see anybody with the exception of the second preseason game that has that type of a scheme."

The four-year pro insisted that he isn't thinking too much about his closely scrutinized battle with Sanchez.

"I've put the entire competition in the coaches' hands," Clemens said. "Between Coach Schottenheimer, Coach Ryan, Mr. Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum, they're going to make the decision that they feel is best for this football team. I trust them to do what they think is best. I'm focused on improving myself and improving my teammates."

But has Clemens blocked out the distractions of the day-to-day scrutiny of the quarterback competition?

"I can try," he said with a laugh. "I'm having surprising success at it thus far."

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Contract talks between NY Jets and Leon Washington are still ongoing

by Hutch

Although Jets running back Leon Washington is an unhappy camper after reporting to training camp without a new contract following a one-day holdout, talks between his agent, Alvin Keels, and the Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum aren't dead. Someone with knowledge of the talks confirmed to the Star-Ledger that they are still ongoing, but spoke on a condition of anonymity because that person is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

In fact, negotiations between Keels and Tannenbaum have been amicable and ended on a positive note last week and the Jets very much want to reward Washington, who has been a selfless and key contributor to the team. Washington, who is seeking $6 million per season, is scheduled to make $535,000 this season in the final year of his contract.

It's not out of the question for both sides to strike a deal before or during the season. For his part, Washington has been nothing short of spectacular in drills.

The major stumbling block remains the current collective bargaining agreement in which Washington would be only a restricted free agent, not unrestricted, in 2010, meaning the Jets retain his rights.

Washington's asking price is considered a bit high and chances are he'll end up with a deal averaging between $4 and $5 million per season.

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In the first 6 practices, Sanchez hasn't gotten much time with the First Team offense at all and it's good to see that he is coming out and saying that he wants more time with the unit. Otherwise, this isn't really a fair competition. Clemens has more interceptions, but he's also going up against Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard, not Dwight Lowery and Donald Strickland.

I too would like to see Sanchez get more time with the First Team. Really, they should be rotating each practice 1st team and 2nd team. That is how a true competition goes.

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The first rule of Jets' training camp--never talk about Jets' training camp.

Tempers flared during the morning practice here at SUNY Cortland. And these weren't pushy-shovey baseball-type fights either, folks. This was pretty much a full-scale donnybrook [love that word] not once, but twice.

First, S James Ihedigbo squared off with RB Thomas Jones, who didn't like Ihedigbo's hit on a sweep. Players from both the offense and defense quickly joined in. Shortly after that, DT Howard Green flung down FB Brock Christopher, who landed hard on the ground. Again, bodies were flying everywhere, although nobody was hurt. Even LB Vernon Gholston, often maligned for his perceived lack of intensity, apparently tried to kick someone in the pile.

Then there was another skirmish as CB Ahmad Carroll and undrafted free agent OL Nevin McCaskill briefly got into it. But that one quickly morphed into slapstick as Carroll and McCaskill quickly took fake boxing stances. Carroll then jumped on G Robert Turner as a goof. After Carroll jumped off and landed on the ground, there soon was a playful pileup and CB Darrelle Revis jumped on it, kind of like the last car always would be launched into the 10-auto pileup on the show CHIPs back in the day.

Players and Rex Ryan didn't see it as a big problem, saying how each unit was taking care of its own, and that these things happen in training camp. They didn't happen too often in an Eric Mangini training camp, but maybe that wasn't a good thing. Remember, Mangini's teams sometimes were criticized for a lack of emotion, especially during their 1-4 slump down the stretch in 2008.

Ryan also liked the fact the practice was so spirited after the players had off Sunday night [no meetings]. There will be a special-teams practice at 4:15. It will be interesting to see if there's any bad blood.

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