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Changing Roles … for Ribbon-Cutting

Posted by Randy Lange on September 2, 2008 – 4:08 pm

Today’s actual ribbon-cutting to officially open the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center was somewhat like an Eric Mangini practice exercise in position versatility.

There was Mike Nugent — as the holder. Specifically, the Jets placekicker was gripping the ribbon across the business side entrance to the bulding, holding it taut for the ribbon-cutter and so the assembled photographers could get a clear shot of the names and logos on the ribbon.

As for the cutter, Kerry Rhodes wielded the scissors, but that, too, was a change in position.

"I wasn’t supposed to do anything," Rhodes said, "but at the last second, Mr. Johnson told me to do it."

So, flanked by Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and some of New Jerseys most prominent politicians, and in front of cameras from multiple New York and New Jersey TV stations, Rhodes sheared most of the way through the ribbon, then finished the last half-inch with a strong second effort.

"It looked like there was a little bit left at the end there," Nugent said. "But Kerry did a good job getting it done."

Kind of like a kicker with a new holder and snapper on a bad patch of turf muscling a field goal just through the uprights.

We talked with Rhodes and three other teammates Monday. Today "Nuge" added his observations on the new facility. They weren’t much different from the raves of the players or from everyone else gathered for today’s ceremony in Florham Park, N.J.

"Mr. Johnson’s giving us just an unbelievable opportunity," Nugent said. "I’ve been here three or four times now, and every time I see it, I’m just amazed at how perfect it is for a football team to get a lot of work done."

Specifically, Nugent mentioned several benefits for him and his special teams-mates.

"There are so many options," he said. "If we have an indoor game [the Jets have none in the '08 regular season], we can go inside the fieldhouse, do full kickoffs and pretty much full punts, although I haven’t seen Ben [Graham] punt inside yet.

"Then outside you’ve got a full turf field and three grass fields. If the whole team is out on the practice fields, you can still find a spot to placekick and punt."

Nugent also mentioned a great point that was underscored by today’s high, bright sky.

"I think this will be a big help for returners catching punts and kickoffs," he said. "That’s a factor in 1 o’clock games where you can be looking straight into the sun."

So if the Jets are going on the road to play an early game in a north-south stadium, they can work on kicks on their three grass fields. An east-west orientation, it’s onto the outside turf field.

Nugent’s conclusion? He adds his voice to those of Rhodes, Shaun Ellis, Jerricho Cotchery and Nick Mangold from Monday. The AHJTC, said Nuge, is "a great place to work at so great things can happen."

OK, Jets fans, I can hear you now: Can we hear about something besides the new building? Soon. The player availability since Thursday’s preseason finale at Philly has been limited, and we’re very proud of our new home and the advantages it figures to bring to the Green & White. But I pledge the training center will be brought up only when it applies to specific players and storylines.

But in 18 hours or less, we shift gears into regular-season mode. Chad Pennington, Joey Porter, Tony Sparano, Bill Parcells and the Dolphins are ahead. And the reporters will grill the Jets on those players and many themes in the team’s huge new locker room (sorry, one more plug for the building), beginning Wednesday.

Know Your Westhoff History

ESPN committed an error on its "Bottom Line" crawl Monday night. In announcing the return of Mike Westhoff to the Jets’ coaching staff, the network declared that Westhoff had missed the entire 2007 season. For those who thought that sounded it odd, it was. Westhoff announced his retirement in the locker room following last year’s season finale against Kansas City after coaching the entire ’07 season. What Westhoff sat out was the entire ’08 off-season and preseason.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Changing Roles … for Ribbon-Cutting”

  1. By Ira on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Congrats and the Best of Luck to the entire Jets Staff and Team. GO JETS!!!!

  2. By Jake on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Hofstra will always be there true home

    florham park is not a good place

  3. By Ira on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    I had a wierd feeling leaving Hofstra on the lst day of practice. Hofstra is really their roots but the new Florham facility will hopefully benefit the team. Will it have the same feel as Hofstra probably not but maybe a new tradition will start now. Just hope they have somewhere in the new facility like a walk down memory lane so Hofstra will always be remembered. GO JETS!!!!

  4. By Ira on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, Don’t mean to get off of the topic of the new place but i need to hear what everybody thinks of this. This weeks game is the most anticipated opener in many year. I guess i would go back to 97 with Parcells or even 99 when they were picked to go to the SB and of course last year with Eric and Bill. But the story lines with Chad/Favre/Parcells and the new look Jets to me is the most ever.

  5. By Moshe on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Check out NFL.com’s video on Coach Mangini wired. At the end, MARSHALL FAUlLK PREDICTS THAT THE JETS WIN THE DIVISION!!!!!”

  6. By Xavion on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    Randy I have no problem with you boosting the new Facility. i honestly never got to make it out to a Hofstra camp but I know how important it was to many other Jets fans but I like that the Jets now have the best training Facility. And It looks like an amazing place do you know when it will be open to fans to come out take a look and Tour?

  7. By Xavion on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    I’m a bit Bitter that it is in New Jersey and It seems that the only thing NY about the Jets is The Name. Im so afraid they will eventually be named The New Jersey Jets… Which makes really hate cable vision for what they did to The Stadium plan that was supposed to be built near the Jacob Javitz center and I bet they still havent done anything with the Land. If I had the money Id build it Myself

  8. By Randy Lange on Sep 2, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t know the answer to that, Xavion, but when we do get the answers on tours of the facility, we’ll pass them on to you.

  9. By uncle joe on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    I live in Staten Island so I love the move,Ill be there next year!It just feels special,like we now have an NFL team.New state of the art facilities,new stadium being built,Cheer Leaders(which for some strange reason this site refuses to update)a QB that can throw over 20 yards,a defense that can sack QBs,Westoff,we are finally relevant.Feels like a SPECIAL YEAR!

  10. By uncle joe's WHY COME on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Randy,Why Come no one attemps to crack the story of what is Green Bay Yellow under Brett Farve’s Jets Jersey in all these Pre Season games?He always hangs his hands on his pads displaying this yellow that no other player seems to have.Is it maybe no one wants to know?And WHY COME we cant get new pictures of our Flight Crew?WHY COME RANDY, WHY COME?

  11. By uncle joe on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    And one more thing, Does anybody know if this Hurricane Hanna is gonna ruin My season opener?I cant Believe we now have one of the top 3 QBs in football and we have to open up in a hurricane.Unbelievable!

  12. By Drew on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    In reply to Ira its the most excited I’ve been as a Jet fan since the start of the Parcells era. But I do remember the start of the 05 season people thought we would have a big year coming off the 04 playoffs and then we got waxed by the Chiefs in week 1. Vilma got punched by a teamate, Herm was talking to the Chiefs, Both QB’s got hurt..I think we have a solid team that can do some damage in 08

  13. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    uncle joe, I applaud your enthusiasm but not your impatience. Give us some more time on the Flight Crew.

  14. By Ira on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Drew, If my memory is right that was James Reed after a TD run by Larry Johnson early in the game. Uncle Joe, You’re right about that GB Green under Favre’s unifrom. Maybe its his old shoulder pads. Most athletes are very superstitous and i was too when i used to play. hey at least its green. Foxworth to the Falcons for a conditional 7th rd pick. Wonder if he was offered in the D-Rob trade?

  15. By Dan the Man on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Uncle Joe to answer your question about the yellow. I believe he brought his shoulder pads from Green Bay with him. It may be because he is comfortable playing in them or he is superstitious about not playing well if he doesn’t wear them.

  16. By Old Rogue on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Uncle Joe: I am certain that the yellow under Brett’s jersey is his tailor-made pads from Green Bay. They are probably a perfect fit for Favre, and he just brought them with him. Why not? He may even be superstitious about them – many players are about such things.

    Randy: I think you are the best damn sports blogger, period. Thanks for being so responsive to us fans

  17. By uncle joe on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Sorry Randy I just love Women,especially ones that wear green and white and dance and are hot,Sorry Man,but with all this talk about this Guy is great and I want this Guy I just need to see some Cheerleaders!I will be patient But how about the yellow Farve wears what is it?

  18. By Ken on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Randy do you know what will happen if their is a hurricane in Miami for the JETS vs MIAMI game?

  19. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    You Old Rogue, you.

  20. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    A few fellow commenters have a theory about Favre’s yellow being from his custom Packers shoulder pads. They responded among the comments at the end of this Radar entry.

  21. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    So far neither of the tracks for Hurricane Hanna or Hurricane Ike appear to be threatening Sunday’s game at Miami. In October 2005, in advance of Hurricane Wilma, the Dolphins moved their Week 7 home game vs. Kansas City from Sunday afternoon to Friday night.

  22. By Wayne on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Just hope the new facility translates into WINS. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway. Now time to get back to business and kick some Dolphin butt! I’m ecstastic about Westoff coming back this year. Feels like an early Christmas present. He’s the best in the business bar none. GOOD LUCK WESTY & Go Jets!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. By JOHNNYJET on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply


  24. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    JohnnyJet, the Patriots, just like any other team, are allowed to sign free agents and claim players off of waivers, just as the Jets are. I’ve heard nothing new on John Lynch.

  25. By carl on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Randy, ya think they’ll let fans in to check out the joint?

  26. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    I would think perhaps at some point, carl. But nothing for a while.

  27. By upstate Mike on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Glad theres a new home, just wish it was in NY.

  28. By Jetsramazing on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Randy, I think we should get John Lynch. What do you think and do you think Dwight Lowery will start opposite of Darrelle Revis? What about the position opposite of Kerry Rhodes the strong safety. Who do you think is going to start for us there?

  29. By Randy Lange on Sep 3, 2008 | Reply

    Jetsramazing, I’ll let Coach Mangini reveal his starting lineup. And I always like to quote Bill Parcells on such matters: “I guess you’re going to have to come to the game, fellas.”

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