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Rookies Could Make Sunday Contributions

Posted by Randy Lange on September 5, 2008 – 2:50 pm

The Jets’ 2008 Rookie Class should have some kind of impact on Sunday’s season opener at Miami.

On our news pages, I wrote about Dwight Lowery, the fourth-round rookie who’s in the mix, if not to start then to play a lot vs. the Dolphins.

Who would’ve thought Lowery would have a better shot at being announced during pregame introductions than first-rounders Vernon Gholston and Dustin Keller?

But Gholston, the Ohio State LB, and Keller, the Purdue TE, will have their roles at Miami as well. And both are getting into the mood as their pro debuts approach.

"It was what it was," Gholston told me Thursday about his off-season, truncated by the NFL-NCAA agreements about players not reporting until that year’s classes graduated, missed time that seemed to be felt through his preseason. "Things happened the way they did. You try to take on as much as you can. At this point you take what you’ve got and roll with it."

Be that as it may, the sixth pick of the draft sounded optimistic about where he had been and where he’s going.

"I think the preseason went well for me," he said. "I’ve got a good feel."

"I couldn’t tell you how nervous I’ll be Sunday," Keller told reporters after today’s practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "There are no nerves right now. I’m just anxious to get in and start playing."

Keller added that fellow TE Bubba Franks, gave him the progression of how game speed is revealed in the NFL.

"Bubba said the first couple of preseason games the tempo is pretty high," DK said. "Then the two after that are higher. Then you get into the regular season, when it’s even higher. Then late in the season it gets higher still. If you’re fortunate enough to get in the playoffs, it’s through the roof."

So is the rookie ready for the ratcheting up of the tempo? "Without a doubt," he said.

Jets head coach Eric Mangini was asked at today’s news conference how he felt about his draft picks.

"They’ve all done positive things, and nothing’s been handed to them," Mangini said. "I don’t really believe in terms of ‘We draft him at this spot, he’s got to do this.’ It’s really not that approach. It’s much more of a meritocracy. But if they’re on the 45-man roster, I said this to the team: ‘If you’re up, you’ve got to contribute. You’ve got to contribute on teams or meaningful reps during the regular course of offense and defense.’ "

Add in Lowery and possibly some participating from sixth-round WR Marcus Henry and that could add up to some quality time for four of the Jets’ six draft picks. Fifth-round QB Erik Ainge is also on the 53-man roster.

And seventh-round T Nate Garner theoretically has a chance to play in this game as well — he was a final cut of the Jets, was claimed on waivers by Miami, and is on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster.

Favre, Coles Connections

Laveranues Coles has been bothered by injuries all preseason, and Mangini said the decision on the veteran wideout’s availability for the Dolphins will go until just before Sunday’s kickoff. But if LC gets the green light, the coach said, "He’ll play as much as he can."

Many are concerned about whether Coles and Favre, with so little work together, can be on the same page from the get-go. But they’ve been syncing up in practice and also in the locker room, where they’ve been seen sharing information from their stalls, which are next to each other.

One reporter wondered how this could happen when most of the stalls in the spacious new locker room stalls appear to alternate from offensive player to defensive player and back. Mangini said the two wound up as next-door neighbors not due to Lady Luck but to Gentleman Gus, a.k.a. equipment director Gus Granneman.

"I didn’t really go through and quiz Gus on why he put guys in certain spots," Mangini said. "That’s kind of his domain."

Friday is Fly Day

Mangini said the Jets will be flying for Miami today. The Jets never leave for road games against the Dolphins until the day before the game, but Mangini said this year is different, and it’s not due to any hurricane or weather issues (neither Hannah nor Ike is expected to factor into Sunday’s 90-degree weather).

"It was part of an agreement to get in the building," the coach said of the Jets beginning work at their new facility this past Monday. Construction workers, he said, "needed more time to go through the ‘punch list’ and clean some things up, so that’s what we’re doing. It will work out well for everybody in terms of the work they have to do here."

And leaving a day earlier than usual, Mangini added, sets the stage for the four West Coast trips ahead, for which the Jets traditionally fly out two days ahead, not one.

"Two-Minute Drive" Under Way

Check out "Jets Two-Minute Drive" Eric Allen’s and my newyorkjets.com radio show previewing each week’s game every Friday at 3 p.m. Our first  show is now available and you can go to it either through this link or on our home page. And while you’re enjoying EA and me and our special first guest, my good friend Phil Simms, I’ll be getting ready to leave on the Jets’ trip to Miami. 

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Posted in Randy Lange | 44 Comments »

44 Responses to “Rookies Could Make Sunday Contributions”

  1. By harborrat on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    lets all just hope L.C. is good to go for sunday…without him on the field it could be a long day for brett…i mean cotchery is a very good receiver…but he can be even better when the defense has to account for L.C….lets go jets…i hope they win cause if they dont…0-3 is looking very possible..i.e. home v.s. pats and on the road in san diego….hey randy any word on how dennis byrd?thx

  2. By #1dolphinsfan on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    finally made the first comment of the day . GO FINS!!!!!!!

  3. By Drew on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    I expect big things from Lowery. Loved the pick in the draft and glad to hear he will probably start opposite Revis. Keller will get some touches and hopefully break one. As for Gholston, we just need him to get used to playing OLB. Let him rush on 3rd and long and use his talent. It’s not like the Dolphins have a great O-line. We should have plenty of chances to get to Chad

  4. By scjoe on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, I know getting injury reports around Jets camp is a real adventure, but what are you hearing about David Clowney? Will he be able to contribute any time soon?

  5. By wayner on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    I expect that both Keller and Lowery will do real well and make the all rookie team. I have my doubts about Gholston, but I am a Jet fan, so I hope he does well and prove me wrong…..”And the home of theeeeeeee….JETS!!!!!”

  6. By Randy Lange on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    I’ve heard nothing recently on Dennis Byrd, harborrat. If I do, I’ll pass it along.

  7. By Randy Lange on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    All I can tell you is what’s on the injury report today, scjoe. David Clowney is listed as out for the Dolphins. When Coach Mangini gives an update, we’ll pass it on.

  8. By Christopher Regalado on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Sup Jets fans,

    If your coming down to the Jets VS Fins game this Sunday the 7th, stay at our hotel and take part in our Madden tournament on Saturday the 6th. For more info please contact me via email chris@beaconsouthbeach.com

    Best of luck to Favre and company

  9. By MikeMc on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    #1Dophinfan -sorry you missed it by 9 minutes. Drew -Lowery has been great but we are using live ammo Sun. hope he is up to th challenge. Has anybody heard what kind of weather Miami is going to get with that whole HANNA/IKE mess? IRA glad to hear you still talk to Sid Rosenburg, he was real & one of the few hosts that have passed thru here that I really liked. GO JETS

  10. By JetStomper on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    And the home of theeeeeeee…Dolphins!!!

  11. By supercooljetfan on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Why dont the Jets make Gholston strictly a DE.It could be another waste of a 1st rounder jus like Dewayne at NT and Vilma at ILB not MLB . Oh i cant wait for finfans comment when Miami and noodle arm Chad lose on sunday

  12. By Ira on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, You know the 4th rd has been good to the Jets over the past few years. Lowery is just another one added to that list. While he will have some growing pains this guy is the real deal and will be a bigtime playmaker. Don’t be surprised if he gets a pick this week. Would love to se Gholston get into the action. Keller will also catch about 4-5 passes this week. LC will be a factor too. GO JETS!!

  13. By Patrick on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    The jets have alot of depth at wide receiver,so L.C. being out won’t be a problem.I believe the JETS will beat the Fish.J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS.I’m ready.

  14. By Xavion on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Is it just me or when Chad was a Jet the media had nothing but Criticism for Chad P. But Now That he is a Dolphin every one is singing praise… I mean dont get me wrong I love Chad for everything he has done for us but cant the media at least keep it consistant?

  15. By EYEH8DAPATS on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Lets go rookies! The future of the team! The NFL is sink or swim throw’em in there they can handle it! The Jets will be strong in all 3 phases of the game and if they play hard should beat flipper with no problem!This is the best time of the year hope is blooming and the football is coming!This could be the year we go all the way.when we moved to hofstra we won the SB.Nothing wrong with ………

  16. By EYEH8DAPATS on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    history repeating itself! GO J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS

  17. By poobah on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    chad’s interception thing was just last year; check the stats. same goes for red zone. weak arm and injuries ? ok. but let’s give credit where due.10-6 in ’06 and ’04 weren’t bad. 4-12 every other were the (painful) aberrations. he’s a good qb. not great, not favre, even at 38, but good. can’t wait til sunday. go jets!

  18. By Jets fan in Miami on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    Long time fan.first time posting on the radar..I transplanted from Brooklyn to Miami 4 years ago and i have to say theres alot of buzz about the Jets this year even from Miami natives. Alot of florida natives are picking the jets over the dolphins this week. On the subject of our rookies.I’m really excited to see lowery and keller have immediate impacts and we see when gholston comes around goJETS

  19. By JP on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    The Rookies will contribute – Crush Miami – Go JETS!

  20. By Scott on Sep 5, 2008 | Reply

    The Jets always have luck at No. 4— Cotchery, Rhodes, Smith, Washington, Bad kharma last year to not have a 4. Lowery is in this mold. Go Jets.

  21. By Wayne on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Hope Mangini let’s the boys play & doesn’t coach himself out of this game.Jet’s are the much better team & if he plays things too close to the vest, could make it tougher than it has to be.Lowery is a stud no doubt.Henry & Clowney are future stars.Keller can be an impact receiver & will have an amazing career & Gholston has to fit into his new role.Hope he can play to his # worn by LT of Giants.

  22. By MikeMc on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    XAVION-Funny how the media crushes the struggling hometown guy & embraces or should I say respects the opposition. I see it with Chad, and Farve is about to go from media darling to struggling jet QB. Now don’t beat me up guys,I fully support Brett,I just think there will be an extended adjustment period. That doesn’t mean we can’t win games while he acclimates himself to the system& the players.

  23. By MikeMc on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    JP- the rookies will contribute. They need to be productive & coach needs to be patient through mistakes that will be made. Truth be told without the next generation of Jets we are in trouble, its a long season& by playoff time we need our rookies, 2nd & third year players to be dominate & motivate the Vets with their energy & enthusiasm. MIAMI is the first step , lets get one.

  24. By Jay on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    I still love Chad too, but I agree – why was he considered a chump all these years and now he is Miami’s savior. Check out ESPN – how do Wickersham and Mortensen have jobs. This is not difficult math…….

  25. By Jay on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    2007 Jets: poor offensive line, Pennington at qb, 2 solid rbs, 2 solid wrs, 18th ranked D – record w/ pennington as qb : 1-7 (1 win vs. Miami 31-28; 2nd Win vs Miami w/ Kellen Clemens 40-13)

    2008 Miami: poor offensive line, Pennington at qb, 2 solid rbs, 0 quality wrs, 23rd ranked D (2007 w/ taylor and thomas).

    How exactly is this team going to beat the Jets? Too bad sportswriters aren’t as thoroughly drug tested as the athletes they cover.

  26. By #1dolphinsfan on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    i cant believe i missed the first comment DAMM YOU HARBORRAT!!!!.Anyways im starting to get second thoughts on this game i think the jets will lose by only 1 td and not 2 or 3

  27. By TonyC on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Xavion, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a S Florida resident and all the local papers here always bad mouthed Penny, but now they have nothing but good things to say about him. I’ll be at the game Sunday, and while I’m still a fan of #10, I hope he is on his back for most of the game!

  28. By MikeMc on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    #1dolphinfan- You crack me up, I know your just trying to get a rise out of us. I think your a closet jetfan. I hope we still hear from you its a long wait till week #17 to get your revenge.TonyC we need to knock Penny around but please don’t hurt him, we need him to cause havoc in the division after we have left Miami.Jay- the talking heads are there for our amusement,put no stock in their words.

  29. By Ira on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    The media down here in Miami are now all in love with Chad. Funny how they have changed their opinion of him.Chad deserves the repsect.GO JETS!!!

  30. By MikeMc on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Paramedic? your a hero, bullet wounds a specialty? Pls be safe out there, Brooklyn, my son in law is a doctor at Methodist Hosp in Park Slope Brooklyn, also where he & my daughter live. # 1 dolphinfan, 1 TD will be a moral victory for the Fish.Wayne no worries Mangini knows his guys & will let them play, just don’t get sloppy & NO PENALTIES!GO JETS-fish fillets

  31. By jet80 on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Good luck to the boys. I see at least one run back by Washington and one int for Rhodes and maybe even Lowery.Go Jets! #1phinsfan dont get your feelings hurt.

  32. By supercooljetfan on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    pennington and miami should watch out for hurricane rhodes tomorrow

  33. By EYEH8DADOLPHINSTOO on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Jetstomper and #1flipper lover good to see you posting on a real website. Yours just like your team are horrible!You should have to admit you were wrong on monday before you can post again on the radar! The good thing is after the game you will be gone a flash in the pan if you will.We won’t mind if you disown flipper and jump on with us. Jets 41 flipper 17 now go spend some time on your WS

  34. By Ken on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Guys! Give CHAD a running game, like Ricky Williams, and Chad will play fake you to death! I just hope the Miami HEAT and humidity doesn’t kill the JETS players. And Chad probably already told the Miami defense and offense ALL of the JETS formations and plays. GO JETS!!!!

  35. By Row on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    I am tired of Coles, he is a waste of roster space. Everyone was talking how we NEEDED him, when he sits out 4 games last year and all of preseason. I expect a big game out of B. Smith. As far as the rookies, Lowery will be tested, will split with Miller. We might just run one back here guys, dolphinfan hold your breath. It’s miller and washington time now!

  36. By nick on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    the dolphins are a joke……..i never seen a team get so much hype when you have chad pennington. … maybe ill worry about Parcells squad in year 3, but not in game 1…….sorry phins, you’re as sad as Dan Marino

  37. By Xavion on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Randy Do you have any info on How much practice has LC has had so far and if he looked good with his speed?

  38. By Randy Lange on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Ken, a Miami weather report says Sunday will bring high heat, perhaps 90 degrees, but low humidity.

  39. By Randy Lange on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    Xavion, Laveranues Coles was limited at all three practices this past week. We didn’t see any full-speed offensive drills so it’s impossible to say how LC is running.

  40. By #1dolphinsfan on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    I will admit defeat on monday ,if and thats a big if the dolphins lose. Just dont be surprised if my cousin #1patriotsfan starts posting next week

  41. By Ira on Sep 6, 2008 | Reply

    I know everybody wants to see Favre throw the ball al over the place tomorrow. He will get his chances and will make plays. But the key to winning tomorrow is controlling both sides of the line and play smart,mistake free football. And i do expect a big special teams play. The Jets will block a punt and score on it or set up a easy score. Everybody enjoy and GO JETS!!!!

  42. By Charles F on Sep 7, 2008 | Reply

    I’m going to be bold and call it right now Jets win 24-21 or 17-14. Let the Favre era begin. Love ya Chad but tomorrow you will be on your back. I’m claiming two Int. tomorrow for the Jets E.Smith and Revis. Remember Bad Boy’s Will Smith was Mike Lowery we have Dwight LOWERY. lol Go Jets were going fishing tomorrow guys. 08 is our year were bound for greatness. GangGreen 4 life.

  43. By Ray on Sep 7, 2008 | Reply

    Row, these are the comments you make that just have me shaking my head and wondering where you come up with this stuff! I understand you and others don’t like Coles, but you act like he just bailed on the team last year. If someone is injured they are going to sit, period. You guys might not like his attitude, but on the field he’s as tough as they come. When he’s healthy I want him out there.

  44. By Rick Roucoulet on Sep 8, 2008 | Reply

    Well LOWERY played very well, NOT much from GHOLSTON or KELLER but I think COTCHERY is FAVRES target this year-With COLES not playing much w/FAVRE in off season, I think FAVRE/COTCHERY are bonding well – MY PREDICTION: COTCHERY has high #s than COLES @ the end….

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