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Some Jets News 8/20


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NY Jets notebook: Would a new deal for Leon Washington start this year or next?

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Though the Jets have offered running back Leon Washington a $5 million per year contract that includes $10 million guaranteed, the exact amount of the deal depends on the perspective of each side, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to speak publicly for the team.

The major stumbling block in talks is whether the new money would start this year or next, which would change the average value of the deal. It's believed the Jets want the new money to start next season, while the Washington camp wants it to kick in this season.

Under terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, Washington would be only a restricted, not unrestricted, free agent in 2010 and the Jets would have to pay him $3.2 million next season.

Both sides are trying to reach a happy medium and protect themselves in light of the uncertainty surrounding the CBA.

The Jets are $11.8 million under the salary cap.

Both quarterbacks were sharp in Wednesday's full-pad morning session. Rookie Mark Sanchez hit six of nine passes with two "sacks" in 11-on-11 full-pad drills while working with the first team.

Kellen Clemens completed five of eight passes with a ''sack.'' He hit WR Marcus Henry in stride on a gorgeous post pattern.

''Both of them looked great at times,'' said Ryan. ''It's almost status quo.''

In the afternoon, both QBs had their first throw in full-team drills intercepted and returned for a touchdown. It was their 10th and fifth interceptions of camp, respectively. Sanchez completed one of three passes with a pick. Clemens hit two of three passes with a pick and a ''sack.''

Ryan, taking the fallout from his shot at Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Tuesday in stride, opened his daily press conference this morning mockingly reading from a script.

''Hello everybody," he began in a slow, deliberate tone, eyeing a piece of paper on a clipboard placed on the podium. "I like Tom Brady. I like (linebacker) Adalius Thomas. I really do."

CB Donald Strickland is out against the Ravens with a broken toe on his right foot. CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and DT Kris Jenkins (calf) were limited. FB Jehuu Caulcrick (knee) didn't practice. ... DE Mike DeVito is in negotiations for a new contract, said Ryan. ... The Jets signed undrafted free agent S Nate Ness. He was waived by Cleveland last month

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Jets notes: Mangold might play

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Record

Mangold might play

Center Nick Mangold did more in practice Wednesday than he did Tuesday, and it appears there's a good chance he will be able to start against Baltimore on Monday night. Mangold missed the St. Louis game Friday with a bruised right knee suffered in practice early last week.

"He is the best center in football," coach Rex Ryan said, "and when you're playing against the Ravens, you'd better have someone who knows what he is doing in there.

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Jets cornerback Dwight Lowery helps friend avoid deportation to Mexico

CORTLAND, N.Y. - In his first chance to make an impression on Rex Ryan during game action, Dwight Lowery got beat on a 50-yard pass play and fumbled two punt returns.

Still, last Friday's preseason opener may stand out as one of Lowery's finest moments. Clearly, Alfie Martinez will never forget what Lowery did for the rest of his life and he didn't even see a minute of the Jets' 23-20 loss to the Rams.

In the hours before the game, Lowery, 23, was desperately trying to help Martinez - a close friend since childhood - avoid deportation to Mexico.

According to the Jets cornerback, Martinez, an illegal alien, was arrested recently in California. Hours before the game, Lowery got a call from Martinez's sister saying that they needed $10,000 to post immigration bond and that it had to be wired by 6p.m. Eastern Standard Time - an hour before kickoff - or Martinez would be deported. Lowery quickly worked the phones and wired the cash to the family a half an hour before the deadline, but played against the Rams uncertain of the fate of a friend he has known since the fifth grade while growing up in Santa Cruz, Calif.

It wasn't until after his awful game that Lowery learned he had saved his friend from deportation that night.

"He got kicked out of a San Francisco Giants game and bought tickets to come back in and got arrested for trespassing," Lowery said after Jets practice at SUNY Cortland. "I talked to (Martinez) and he said he was shackled (Friday), walking to go and leave when one of the officers came running around the corner and started yelling his name saying he is free, let him go. He dropped to his knees and cried. The money got wired in time and he was able to go home. I remember sitting in the ice tub and got teary-eyed because I am thinking about him and his family and everything we have went through and it was so close for him to just lose all of that."

Martinez is now free until a future court date, and once he appears for that, the bond money will eventually be returned to Lowery, who was worried that his act of kindness would be viewed as a selfish act by his team and new head coach.

"There were some things that were taking away from his focus a little bit, but he's working hard, probably as hard as anybody since that game," Ryan said. "I have been there. It is not just all about everybody is the same and this and that. Things happen. The kid has played well. To hold one pass against him, I am not going to do that."

Ryan's predecessor likely would not have felt the same way. Lowery and fellow Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis say Eric Mangini and the previous coaching staff were too negative with last year's fourth-round pick, destroying the then-rookie's self esteem. Lowery started the first 10games before being replaced by free-agent pickup Ty Law.

"You don't ever want to get talked down upon by anybody," said Lowery, who finished with 58 tackles and one interception last season. "But there is a certain way that you go about handling people. I don't feel like that was emphasized and it hurt us last year."

During the offseason, Lowery changed his number from 34 to 21 and got a tattoo on his left arm of a prisoner raising his shackled hands up to the air toward the word "Believe."

While he is no longer a starter and will play largely in nickel and dime situations, Lowery is enjoying his newfound football freedom. And he hopes his actions last Friday will help Martinez start the process of becoming a free and legalized citizen.

"He has to do the things he has to do in order to stay here," Lowery said. "From what I know all his family is here. I am so close to his family that I felt what they were feeling. I can't even explain the type of relationship him and I have. Hopefully we'll look back on this situation and say that this changed things not just for Alfie but his family

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CORTLAND -- Rex Ryan yesterday characterized the Jets' quarterback competition between Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens as "almost status quo."

Ryan then somewhat backed off his earlier words about making a decision on the starters before the Jets' Aug. 29 preseason game against the Giants.

"I'm not going to say the deadline is this," Ryan said. "I've said all along that I want to make the decision as fast as possible, but it's going to be a prudent decision. It's going to be a decision that, when the timing is right to make the decision, we'll make it.

"When we feel confident that we definitely have the right guy we feel good about to go against Houston, we'll make that decision."

Sanchez took snaps with the first team in the morning practice. Both he and Clemens completed 5-of-8 passes each in 11-on-11 drills.

In the afternoon, with Clemens working with the starters, he was 2-of-4 with an INT to LB Bart Scott and Sanchez was 1-of-3 with an INT to CB Rashad Barksdale.


Among the Jets' several injured players, C Nick Mangold has the best chance to play against the Ravens Monday night in Baltimore.

Mangold (knee) was in uniform again yesterday, though he worked only in individual drills, not team drills.

"Hopefully he'll be able to play Monday night," Ryan said. "The way he's progressing, that's a definite possibility."

Ryan said RT Damien Woody (concussion) "is getting better," and NT Kris Jenkins (calf) and CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) "are questionable to doubtful for the game."

FB Jehuu Caulcrick (knee) is also out for the Ravens game.

CB Donald Strickland sat out yesterday's practices with a boot on his right foot from a broken toe he suffered in Tuesday's practice. Ryan said the injury is "not that serious an injury," but said Strickland won't play Monday night in Baltimore. "If this were a regular season game he would probably play."

The Jets yesterday signed free agent S Nate Ness, whom the Browns waived last month.


Ryan said WR David Clowney, the fastest among the Jets' receiver corps, always says to him: "Who can cover the 'Clown?'

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NY Jets safety Kerry Rhodes refuses to criticize The Diva

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, who took heat following last season when he said if Brett Favre wanted to return to the Jets he needed to participate in their offseason program, refused to take a shot at the quarterback for signing with the Vikings.

Asked if he felt Favre used the Jets and simply wanted to play with the Vikings all along, Rhodes said, "I know that we weren't his first choice. But he came to play for us and he gave his all to the team. But to know his motives, I don't know. I can't say that.

"My reaction is he's moved on from us and we've moved on from him. Really, what he does now, it really doesn't affect us. So it's not a big issue right now."

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NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez has good morning

by Dave Hutchinson

Thursday August 20, 2009, 10:42 AM

Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez made a bit of a move in this morning's practice, connecting on 7 of 14 passes with two touchdowns in 11-on-11 full-pad drills, both to quarterback-turned-wide receiver Brad Smith.

Meanwhile, Kellen Clemens took a step back, hitting 4 of 7 passes but throwing two interceptions. He has now thrown 12 interceptions in camp compared to five interceptions for Sanchez.

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Sanchez has better day than Clemens


CORTLAND _ It wasn't exactly a rout, but Mark Sanchez clearly had a better practice today than Kellen Clemens in the Jets' starting quarterback derby.

Sanchez, who had some accuracy problems early on (missing 2 of his first 6 passes), finished strong. He finished 7-of-14 in 11-on-11 drills, but that was accentuated by two TD strikes to WR Brad Smith in the red zone, the second of which was zinged into a tight spot with some mustard.

Clemens finished 4-of-7, respectable numbers, but he threw two INTs, one of which came at the goal line in a red zone drill by CB Drew Coleman. It was, in fairness, an end-game, fourth-down situation so Clemens had to throw it.

His other INT came courtesy of CB Rashad Barksdale, who stepped in front of WR Wallace Wright. IT was Barksdale's second INT in as many days and Clemens' 12th of training camp in 11-on-11 drills.

Sanchez, who has only five INTs in 11-on-11 drills this camp, said he likes the progress he's made in his first camp en route to starting his first preseason game Monday night in Baltimore.

"(For) the first two weeks, my completion percentage was down,'' he said. "This week, it's up in the 60s (percent). That was a great improvement. After (some) tough plays, I went back and assessed where I went wrong, got on the same page as the wideouts, and then really began starting to peak heading into this game.

"That's the way I wanted to end camp _ finish strong _ and that's where things are going.''


CB Darrelle Revis, who's been not participating in team drills since last week because of a tweaked hamstring, turned up in uniform for this morning's first 11-on-11 drill.

As it turned out, he was not supposed to be in there.

Revis, anxious to return to action, inserted himself without the coaches' knowledge. He lasted one series before the coaches told him to take his pads off and take it easy.

"He put himself in a couple of team snaps and he wasn't supposed to be in there,'' Rex Ryan said. "That wasn't our plan to have him in there, so we were like, 'Get Revis out of there.' That was him pronouncing himself ready to go. That's good that these players want to come back, but we can't have a foolish setback.''

After practice, both Revis and Ryan declared that he definitely won't play in Monday night's preseason game against the Ravens in Baltimore.

Revis was joined by NT Kris Jenkins (calf), RT Damien Woody (concussion), LG Alan Faneca (broken finger), CB Donald Strickland (toe) and FB Jehuu Caulcrick (knee) in being held out of team drills.

None of those players is likely to play Monday.

Center Nick Mangold, however, returned to full practice for the first time since hurting his left knee last week.

No one is pronouncing him fit to play Monday, but bet on him playing. Sanchez needs him in there and Mangold appears ready to go.

The only casualty from practice was DT Sione Pouha, who twisted his right ankle in a 9-on-7 drill. Ryan said he didn't think it as serious.


Ryan praised some players in this camp who have risen their stock. One of them has been Rutgers' Jamaal Westerman, who Ryan said has shown such good pass rushing skills he's being considered for use in nickel packages, something that he said "will give him a better shot at making the team.

Ryan, too, praised recent LB acquisition, Josh Mauga, saying, "He looks like he's got a shot.''


Tonight is the Jets' final evening in Cortland and there are many activities planned. The rookie talent contest was on tap, as was the "King Ugly'' contest (which Ryan mistakenly said the other day was to be conducted Wednesday night) as well as a game of jeopardy.

"We've got a packed schedule,'' Ryan joked.


Ryan was asked about the Cortland State football team, a Division III team, working out on the field between Jets' practices Wednesday and he joked about how much "slower'' the college players looked in one-on-one drills compared to his guys. Then he joked that he would be skewered in a headline: "Ryan rips Cortland for lack of speed.''


Speaking of Cortland ... as I prepare to rally back home after three weeks here, I cannot say enough good things about the people here whose friendliness made the time go by more quickly and made the time here pleasurable.

In full disclosure, I was not looking forward to the long time away from home despite that fact that this trip brought me on a bit of a nostalgia journey, having gone to college at nearby Ithaca. But it became a fun time here despite being away from my wife and friends for so long.

There are good people here, good golf courses and good restaurants. If the Jets return here next summer for camp, I'll know I have something to look forward to.

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Sanchez shines in red-zone drills

August 20, 2009

Interesting morning practice QB battle. Where yesterday was a standstill, today's fight was won by the rook.

Mark Sanchez started off slow and completed 7-of-14 passes overall, including a nice 35-yard pass to WR Jerricho Cotchery on the left sideline. But he finished with an exclamation point by throwing two touchdowns in the red zone during 11-on-11 drills.

Simulating fourth-and-goal situations with one play to win the game, Sanchez hit Brad Smith on a fourth-and-five and then again on a fourth-and-15. Sanchez did have probably more time than he would see during a real game moving around in the pocket on the first touchdown.

For Kellen Clemens, it was the exact opposite kind of day. He started out completing his first four passes but then came two straight picks. The first was intercepted by CB Rashad Barksdale, collecting his second pick in as many days.

Then during the fourth-and-goal red zone drill, Clemens was intercepted by CB Drew Coleman on a fourth-and-five. On the other fourth-and-long, Clemens' pass sailed out of the end zone. He finished 4-for-7 with two picks while running the second team.

"We are down six, fourth-and-goal, last play of the game," Clemens said. "The ball has got to go. It was fourth down, got to throw it, six seconds left. It was the last play of the game. You never want a pick but there are some situations where it is less hurtful than others."

* * *

Injury update: Defensive tackle Sione Pouha rolled his ankle during a 9-on-7 drill but Rex Ryan says he should be fine.

Ryan said OL Alan Faneca (hand) and OL Damien Woody (concussion) want to play on Monday night but don't anticipate them playing. CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) also snuck himself into a couple of snaps when he was supposed to rest. But he likely is out for Monday.

DL Kris Jenkins (calf) didn't practice. RB Jehuu Caulcrick (knee) says he will play Monday.

* * *

Rex quote of the day:

Ryan was asked what he thought about seeing the SUNY Cortland team out on a nearby practice field.

"See I was a Division I NAIA player," said Ryan, who played at SW Oklahoma State. "I think that's Division II now. You know, I was a big college athlete (laughter). This is a non-scholarship (team). I understand they do really well in all the sports so that's good. I still think that we can beat them (laughter). I did look out there and I was laughing (during) the one-on-one drills. Not quite as much speed over there as you see on our field (laughing). But there are some good players out there. (The headlines will say) 'Ryan rips SUNY Cortland for lack of speed' (laughter)."

* * *

Sanchez quote of the day:

He was asked if he will throw deep on his first snap.

"I can't tell you," Sanchez said. "Ed Reed's watching."

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Here today, gone five days later

The Jets waived rookie free agent G Dennis Conley, who had been signed only five days ago. What that probably means is that LG Alan Faneca is getting close to returning, so they Jets don't need quite as many people on the O-line. Obviously, there's a ripple effect when the starter is out and the second-stringer moves to first-, the third-stringer moves to second-, etc

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