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Jets News - Sunday 9/6/09


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The Jets trimmed their roster to 53 players yesterday, but Rex Ryan didn't sound like a coach who wanted the guys on the bubble who made the cut to get too comfortable.

"I don't really think this is a final roster, but it certainly is today," Ryan said on a conference call. "Maybe on Tuesday, there's a possibility our roster could look different. We've targeted a couple of guys who may or may not get released."

With all teams cutting down to the 53-man limit by 6 p.m. yesterday, about 90 minutes after Ryan spoke, at least one player in whom the Jets are interested was released.

Veteran cornerback Corey Ivy was cut by the Cleveland Browns, and a person familiar with the Jets' thinking told Newsday that the team is interested in the 32-year-old, who spent the last three seasons playing for Ryan with the Ravens.

The person also said the Jets could be targeting tight end Alex Smith, one of Bill Belichick's cuts yesterday. The Patriots traded a conditional 2011 draft pick for Giants backup tight end Michael Matthews and released Smith, who was the Buccaneers' third-round pick in 2005 and was dealt to New England this past offseason.

There were few surprises among the Jets' cuts, which left running back Danny Woodhead and special-teams veteran Larry Izzo on the roster. Among the 19 players waived were running back Jehuu Caulcrick, tight end Jack Simmons and linebacker Kenwin Cummings, each of whom had an outside shot to make the 53-man roster. Wide receiver Aundrae Allison was placed on injured reserve with a right anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered in Thursday's game.

Woodhead rushed for 158 yards against the Eagles in the final preseason game, and Ryan had plenty of praise for the 5-8 running back out of Chadron State (Neb.).

"I don't know what more he could have done in claiming a job," Ryan said. "I thought the guy did a tremendous job for us. Again, our final roster eventually down the road may change, but this is a guy that I thought clearly earned that spot."

Keeping Woodhead and waiving Caulcrick leaves the Jets with four running backs and only one fullback, veteran Tony Richardson. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington will get the bulk of the carries and rookie Shonn Greene isn't going anywhere, so Woodhead's presence may yet be temporary - or it might just be a stopgap move to keep Woodhead from the waiver wire for the time being until the Jets fill out their roster with one of the above-mentioned players.

The decision to keep Izzo, a 13-year veteran who spent the last eight seasons with the Patriots, came down to Ryan liking his ability as a backup linebacker as well as his special-teams prowess.

Plus this: "In his entire NFL career, he has never been on a losing team," Ryan said. "Let's hope that trend continues."


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Jets' roster down to 53, but not finalized for season opener against Texans

BY Rich Cimini


Sunday, September 6th 2009, 4:00 AM

There's still some tinkering to be done.

The Jets pared their roster Saturday to the mandatory 53, but Rex Ryan indicated there probably will be additional moves in the coming days. One potential move that would shake up everything is a trade for disgruntled Broncos WR Brandon Marshall. As of last night, the Jets still were interested, although it remained in the "doubtful" category, according to league sources.

After cutting Marcus Henry and Britt Davis, and placing Aundrae Allison (torn knee ligaments) on season-ending injured reserve, the Jets are down to five wideouts. They'd make room for the talented but troubled Marshall in a heartbeat if they could swing a deal without having to mortgage their future.

Other things to watch:

- Fan favorite Danny Woodhead, who rushed for 155yards in the final preseason game, survived the cutdown. But he's not a shoo-in to make the opening-day roster, with Ryan saying "there could be changes before the season."

They might prefer Woodhead, a fourth-string tailback, on the practice squad, but they may wait until Tuesday before exposing him to waivers. That way, it would be harder for another team - namely the Browns, headed by ex-Jets coach Eric Mangini - to claim him. By Tuesday, many teams will have settled on their rosters.

- P Reggie Hodges survived, but he shouldn't get comfortable. Ryan put him on notice after an inconsistent preseason.

- The Jets could add a veteran tight end, with former Jet Bubba Franks a possibility. They cut three - Jack Simmons, Kareem Brown and Kevin Brock. That leaves Dustin Keller and recently-signed veteran Ben Hartsock, who has yet to practice with the team and still is learning the Jets' offense.

GONE GREEN: The Jets' other cuts: CB Rashad Barksdale, FB Jehuu Caulcrick, FB Brock Christopher, S Emanuel Cook, LB Kenwin Cummings, OL Stanley Daniels, K Parker Douglas, RB Anthony Kimble, OL Matt Kroul, T Nevin McCaskill, OT Ryan McKee, C Michael Parenton, DE Zach Potter and DT Ty Steinkuhler.


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(this one was in Saturday's paper)

Jets' Calvin Pace plans to spend four-game suspension training with MMA star Randy Couture

BY Rich Cimini


Saturday, September 5th 2009, 4:00 AM

alg_calvin_pace.jpg NFL/Getty

Calvin Pace plans to train with MMA legend, Randy Couture, during his four-game suspension.

The Jets are going to Houston next weekend to start the Rex Ryan era. Calvin Pace is going to Las Vegas.

And he's hoping that whatever happens in Vegas doesn't stay there.

Starting Friday, the Jets outside linebacker began serving a four-game suspension, handed down before training camp for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing supplements. Instead of passing the time in New Jersey or at his home in Atlanta, Pace will spend the next two weeks working out with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) guru Randy Couture.

Pace hopes to accomplish enough in Vegas to ensure that he's football-ready when he returns Oct. 5, when the Jets begin preparations for a Monday night game in Miami.

"The reason why I'm doing MMA is it's probably the closest thing you can find to football as far as conditioning, cardiovascular and the physical aspect," Pace said after the Jets' 38-27 win over the Eagles Thursday night in their final preseason game. "I'm not going to be fighting and I'm not going to be getting hit. I'm just going to be training my behind off."

Pace will have company. He will be training with Saints defensive linemen Will Smith and Charles Grant, both of whom are serving league suspensions for similar violations. MMA is a growing sport, if you can call it that, and professional athletes are starting to use the MMA training regimen for conditioning purposes.

"I want to come back the way I left - in shape and focused," said Pace, who concluded a terrific preseason with extra playing time against the Eagles.

Defensive end Shaun Ellis, too, is leaving the team, as he will serve a one-game league suspension, stemming from his marijuana bust last November. Ellis, who has missed only four games in nine seasons, will stay at his Long Island home, working out on his own.

Without Ellis and Pace, the Jets' top two sackers last season, the pass rush loses a lot of its bite. That could be trouble against a Houston offense that features emerging quarterback Matt Schaub and stud receiver Andre Johnson. Ellis' backup, Mike DeVito, is nursing a pulled hamstring, adding more concern.

"It's huge," linebacker Bart Scott said of the Pace and Ellis absences. "You can't replace them. Everybody just has to take a little more on their shoulders."

Pace will be replaced by the much-maligned Vernon Gholston, who ended a disappointing preseason Thursday with his first NFL sack.

QB SIGNALS: Do the Jets have a backup-quarterback controversy? Not only did Kellen Clemens (one TD, two interceptions) play poorly in the preseason, but his throwing elbow "has been a little banged up," Rex Ryan confirmed. Third-stringer Erik Ainge (four TDs, no interceptions), who took most of the pre-season snaps, is gaining on Clemens. Ryan sidestepped the issue, saying, "I think we have three quarterbacks who can play." Nevertheless, they still put in a waiver claim on former Patriots QB Kevin O'Connell, who was awarded to the Lions. ... The Jets must cut the roster from 75 to 53 by 6 p.m. today.

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Punter, wide receiver, tight end still areas of concern as NY Jets make final cuts

by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger Sunday September 06, 2009, 1:00 AM

large_reggie05.jpgWilliam Perlman/The Star-LedgerPunter Reggie Hodges, left, is on the outs with the Jets after struggling this preseason.

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The Jets' final cutdown was more or less about two players and one position. Both players are on the roster for now but coach Rex Ryan made it clear that nothing is etched in stone. The position is fluid as the Jets explore their options.

Running back Danny Woodhead, the feel-good story of the preseason, and punter Reggie Hodges both survived but each would be advised to rent, not buy, as they search for housing in the coming days.

Ryan is seething over his unsettled punting situation and is keeping Hodges until he can find someone else. Two names on the Jets short list are Steve Weatherford and rookie A. J. Trapasso, who were released Saturday by the Jaguars and Titans, respectively.

Woodhead's stay may also be short-lived because the Jets are eyeing veteran fullback Lorenzo Neal, who played for Ryan in Baltimore last season and was released by the Raiders last week. The Ravens are also interested in re-signing the bruising four-time Pro Bowler.

At wide receiver, the Jets are studying the waiver wire and exploring any trade opportunities, but they seemed poised to go into the season with what they have. That group, however, is minus the promising Aundrae Allison, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Eagles and will be placed on injured reserve.

Veteran Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey and the ultra-fast David Clowney are the Jets' top three wideouts.

Tight end is another area of concern. The Jets have only two -- Dustin Keller and Ben Hartsock -- not counting long-snapper James Dearth, and they're monitoring the cut lists for possible help.

The one big surprise was that the Jets kept veteran special teamer Larry Izzo, who was invisible this preseason, over hard-hitting first-year linebacker Kenwin Cummings.

As expected, ex-Rutgers star Jamaal Westerman made the team but so did former Scarlet Knights linebacker Brandon Renkart, who was on the practice squad last season.

''Is our roster complete or final? I'm not sure right now,'' Ryan said Saturday. ''We think we've targeted a couple of guys.''

Ryan really had little choice but to keep the Jets' version of ''Rudy'' after Woodhead rushed for a Jets' preseason record 158 yards and two touchdowns in their preseason finale against the Eagles.

''I think Woodhead earned the right to make this football team,'' Ryan said. ''I don't know what else he could do.''

Woodhead, a former two-time Division 2 Player of the Year at Chadron State (Nebraska) took the news in stride. With Woodhead, the Jets have four halfbacks (Thomas Jones, Leon Washington and rookie Shonn Greene) on the roster and only one fullback (Tony Richardson).

''It's very exciting but it's something I planned on doing,'' Woodhead said. ''I never expected not to make the team. You can't really not expect to make the team or doubt yourself.''

First-year fullback Jehuu Caulcrick got lost in the numbers game at running back and was released. But Ryan hinted he could get called back to the active roster or practice squad.

''Obviously, it's disappointing,'' Caulcrick said. ''You know something like this can happen. But I felt I left it all out on the field. I'm not sitting here thinking what if I done this or that.''

The coach is maddeningly unhappy with Hodges and all but said the Jets are frantically searching for a punter. They've already brought in Ken Parrish and Glenn Pakulak, but Hodges beat both out.

''Yeah, I'd say that's a fair statement,'' Ryan said when asked if he's at wits end with Hodges. ''He has had plenty of opportunities. It's only going to get tougher with the winter conditions.''

The Jets keeping Izzo over Cummings was a surprise. Ryan tried to justify the move by saying Izzo played well on defense but this call was made by special teams coach Mike Westhoff, who has a long history with Izzo.

First-year cornerback Marquice Cole made the team as the Jets kept 11 defensive backs.

Linebacker Calvin Pace and defensive end Shaun Ellis were placed on the reserve/suspended list and won't count against the roster until they return.

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