Bubba Franks thought the Jets’ practice in the Atlantic Health Training Center fieldhouse today went pretty well, considering the stories he’d heard about the way the Jets used the Hofstra training bubble during Eric Mangini’s first two seasons as head coach.
‘I don’t think guys were coming up here to work today expecting to go inside," said the veteran tight end, "because they said last year they were never in there. That’s new to them"
Surprise: As the morning’s rains pelted Florham Park, N.J., and environs, Mangini had his team working out on the 100-yard turf field (actually, there’s enough room for a CFL field) under the roof that’s almost 100 feet off the ground. It was the team’s first full practice in the structure. The only other fieldhouse activities players have had since Sept. 1 are walkthroughs and yoga sessions.
Franks said he, Brett Favre and the Packers spent a lot of time in the Green Bay fieldhouse since he arrived and worked with the QB from 2000-07 up in the Frozen Tundra.
"We had to go in," Bubba said about late-season practices. "The snow would be so high on the field that they’d be shoveling it every 30 minutes. It came to a point where it gets too cold and there’s to much snow on the ground."
And the side benefit to working under the roof: "I know Brett likes it a lot. He wears tennis shoes in there. A lot of guys were able to wear their tennis shoes. It doesn’t hurt your feet as much but you can still get your work done."
Franks wasn’t alone in his approval of the new practice venue. Some other reactions:
G Brandon Moore: "It was nice, roomy. We’re not on top of each other. It didn’t feel like we were all in a phonebooth."
LS James Dearth: "It’s real nice. It’s huge compared to what we were used to. It felt like we could get a little more work done."
TE Chris Baker: "It was a nice changeup."
QB Erik Ainge: "It was fun. It’s almost like you’re playing in a dome. It’s definitely louder. The crowd noise factor is definitely improved. And it keeps everybody healthy. You’re not slipping and sliding around."
In one way, perhaps the fieldhouse workout was the perfect way to end a short week of practice and get ready for a crucial early-season home game against a Cardinals team that looks improved and dangerous over past seasons. The week began as usual on Wednesday but without the usual off-day due to Monday night’s game at San Diego.
"It’s tough. We didn’t get back here till Tuesday at 7 o’clock in the morning. Then we turn around 24 hours later and we’re practicing," Franks said. "The guys did a good job responding to that aspect."
Mangini in fact praise his team’s first two practices this week. And Franks said he and his teammates passed today’s indoor test.
"The one big thing is you have to get your team to realize that just because you move in, it doesn’t mean the tempo changes," he said. "This is their first time in here, so it was a great practice. That was a good thing.
"Guys are just happy to go play again. The last two, we kind of let slip away. I think that long plane ride home actually gave guys time to really think and evaluate the situation we’re in. Either we take advantage of it or we don’t."
Maybe one of the most difficult practice weeks in a while will have its silver lining. We’ll find out in less than 48 hours.
Cards List Boldin
This may mean nothing, but WR Anquan Boldin went on the Cardinals’ injury report today for the first time this week, with a hamstring injury. Yet he still practiced full and is listed as probable for the Jets. Click here for both teams’ full reports.
Tags: Atlantic Health Training Center, Brandon Moore, Bubba Franks, Chris Baker, Eric Mangini, Erik Ainge, fieldhouse, Green Bay
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