It was old home week in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room this afternoon.
David Clowney was back after a week and a half away, Howard Green after an offseason away.
Calvin Pace, well, he never really left but he hadn’t been schmoozing s-p-o-r-t-s with reporters like he used to since breaking a bone in his foot against the Redskins in the preseason.
“It was great getting off of those crutches,” Pace told me, his leg looking only a little the worse for wear with some bandages. He’s listed out again for the Patriots but he looks like he’s walking OK.
Clowney’s looking much the same as he did before he was released, ready to come out flying when called on.
“I’m happy to be here, happy to be back and help my team win,” said the Clown.
Green had the furthest trip to find his way back to Florham Park. “Big Hah’rd,” as Rex Ryan calls him, became a free agent after last season, signed with the Redskins (and made three tackles against the Jets at NMS in the third preseason game), was cut, went back home to Louisiana, then got the call not long after Kris Jenkins went down Monday night.
“You never know what’s going to happen around this league,” said Green, who got his old No. 95 back in the bargain. “Anything may happen, but when one door closes, another opens and you walk right into it. Me having been here before makes it easier.”
That’s one thing to keep in mind about roster moves at this time of year, at any time on the football calendar. One may disapprove of a particular move or exchange of moves, such as waiving Danny Woodhead and bringing back Clowney. But there are always reasons, some stated, some unstated, for why teams do what they do. And today’s players, as human as they are, have learned to roll with the punches and to know that as quickly as they depart, they could return.
“Mike T let me know it was not goodbye but more see you later,” Clowney said. “I was surprised I didn’t get claimed but I was cut after the final cuts to 53. I had a couple of workouts, but I just kept praying about it and I’m back here a week later.”
And all three of the aforementioned players found themselves watching the Jets-Ravens Monday-nighter, even though two of the three at that time were not Jets.
“I was watching the game, yelling like I was still on the team, still on the sideline,” Clowney said.
“I watched every minute of the game from home,” Green said. “When Kris went down, I felt bad for him. I really didn’t think about myself when that happened. I was thinking about him more than anything. He’s a good guy, a great guy.”
As for Calvin, he cheered, too, although his situation was and is a bit different.
“I’m not a fan of sitting in a box and watching,” he said, adding about his defensive mates, “The guys played great. They had some things that can be worked on but I think they had a great game on defense. I would’ve loved to be out there for it. It’s kind of a helpless feeling, sitting up and watching the guys go to war and you can’t do too much except cheer.”
Helplessness hits a lot of guys this time of year, for different reasons. But the great thing about these three is that they all want to be here, wanted to be contributing before they left the action. And now that two of the three are back on the roster and Pace is close to returning, they all want to have a hand in helping the Jets get back on the winning road toward their ultimate goal.
“I felt good today. I played some offense and did some scout team work,” said Clowney, who added that Larry Taylor at 5’6″ and not Clowney at 6’0″ impersonated elusive WR 5’9″ Wes Welker for the defense.
“I’m going to continue to be myself, continue to go at 100 miles an hour, continue to root on my teammates if for whatever reason I’m not in the game,” he said. “I would love to be here for the remainder of my career. I would love to play for the New York Jets for the next 10 years. I’ve been a Jet since Week 5 of my rookie year. I just want to keep it consistent. I’ve made plays in the preseason and I’ve made plays in the regular season. I want to continue to play and I want to continue to do it here in New York if possible.”
For now for Clowney and Green, and soon enough for Pace, it’s possible. And all contributions to victory are welcome.
Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick exchanged compliments today. Rex at his afternoon news conference said, “I know I respect him and I think he respects me. At least he respects the kind of commitment I have to football, the way we play, period. … But you know the kind of respect I have for Belichick doesn’t mean I’m not going to go out and try to beat him. That’s my job, and I’m going to try like crazy to beat him.”
Belichick, on his conference call with Jets reporters, confirmed: “I have a lot of respect for Rex. I always have. My relationship with that family goes back quite a ways with Buddy [Ryan] in Philadelphia and Arizona, when we were both coordinators or head coaches in the league. His brother Rob coached here for four years. Rex has done a terrific job. I think our styles are a little different, but I don’t think that really matters. I have a lot of respect for what he does and the way that his teams play. They’re a tough opponent.”
Shonn Greene wasn’t backing away from ownership of his lost fumble at the Ravens 24 late in the first half. “That was a key moment in the game, that fumble, and then it turned into a touchdown for Baltimore. I put that pretty much on my shoulders.” Does Greene think the Patriots defenders will be trying to pry the ball from the second-year back’s grip Sunday? “They’ll be prepared for it,” he said, “and I’ll be prepared as well.”
Jenkins was officially placed on injured reserve to make room for Green. … Only Pace and S Brodney Pool (ankle, limited) are on the Jets’ injury list. The Patriots listed five players. T Nick Kaczur (back) and CB Terrence Wheatley (foot) didn’t practice, RB Fred Taylor (toe) and WR Julian Edelman (foot) were limited in team drills, and QB Tom Brady (right shoulder) was listed as a full participant.
Tags: Calvin Pace, Danny Woodhead, David Clowney, Howard Green, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene
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