In day 2 of full-pads practice at Jets training camp today, there were a number of impressive efforts from several Jets on both sides of the ball.
WR Patrick Turner made the catch of the day, extending one hand for an over-the-shoulder grab on a fly route from QB Mark Sanchez. The 6’5” receiver showed impressive speed to even catch up to the deep ball, then reeled it in with his fingertips.
On defense, CB Antonio Cromartie is showing no rust. After declaring on Monday that he would be playing this season with a “chip on my shoulder,” Cromartie is doing everything he can to prove he is indeed a number one corner. His athleticism is effortless as he blends his speed with freakish jumping ability.
Another CB worth noting is Ellis Lankster. The diminutive corner in his second year out of West Virginia stands 5’9” but plays much bigger. Twice he used every inch of his frame to make plays on the ball. His best effort of the afternoon came when he dove, fully extended his arms, and intercepted a pass thrown by Greg McElroy.
Full pads=full physicality
Two brawls broke out during practice. The first escalated quickly, involving nearly the entire team at midfield. The second started when LB Jamaal Westerman and OL Robert Turner exchanged punches. Westerman took Turner down, and coaches intervened to break up the scuffle.
DE Ropati Pitoitua showed off his strength in the trenches, breaching the offensive line three times. Twice, Pitoitua reached the QB for would-be sacks. Later, he leaped to deflect a Mark Brunell pass. At 6’8” and 315 pounds, the third-year DE will hope to make an impact rushing the passer.
At Thursday’s practice, undrafted free agent LB Matthias Berning got his bell rung during special teams drills. Berning was lined up across from FB John Conner, sprinted 5 yards and engaged. Conner stood up the young defender, lifted him off the ground, and threw him down with a thud. Berning’s helmet was dislodged, and he was taken off the field. For precautionary reasons, he did not suit up or practice today. Rex Ryan said he does not believe Berning got a concussion but the team would “play it safe.”
A new bag of tricks
The young trio of WR Jeremy Kerley CB Kyle Wilson, and RB Joe McKnight continue to take all the reps returning kicks. Today, the three spent some of their afternoon fielding punts with one hand, while holding a football in the other. The drill encouraged the returners to settle underneath the punt and discouraged them from fielding it over their shoulder. Each player muffed a punt but had a handle on the drill by day’s end.
Attendance at today’s open practice was 2,088. … The Jets will have Saturday off, then return to practice Sunday afternoon, also open to the public, at 2:15 p.m. at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Ellis Lankster, Jamaal Westerman, Mark Sanchez, Patrick Turner, Rob Turner
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Wayne Chrebet’s 13th blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
What a great way to end Thanksgiving. Some pumpkin pie and a Jets win. At halftime of the Lions and Patriots game I thought that there was a chance that Detroit could pull it out. Obviously they didn’t. The Pats were scary good in the second half. That’s how you put a team away.
As the Pats showed in this game, when they’re on, they can score in bunches. They lead the league with 334 points. It’s amazing how year in and year out they have a great offense. Different offensive coordinator, different receivers, different running backs. But one thing stays the same. Tom Brady. He turns good players into very good players. Look what’s he’s done with Welker since he got there.
And now with Danny Woodhead. It’s a shame he didn’t get an opportunity with the Jets. Sometimes it’s a numbers game. I know the Jets would have loved to keep him but I’m glad that he has gotten a chance to play in New England. And he has made the most of it. One thing I do know is that when players play against the team that they were cut from or left, they get a couple more plays where they are the main target. If I was the coach, I would get the ball in his hands often. Not just to put it in the Jets face, but because he is a playmaker.
Deion Branch is back on the Pats. He replaced Randy Moss. Branch is very dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball in the open field. He reminds me of Santonio. Both can score on any given play. Definitely someone that they need to pay close attention to.
This Monday night at New England has to be one of the most important games in recent history for the Jets. This is the game of the year so far in the NFL and it is in front of a national crowd. Yes, there are four more games after this one, but the winner of this game has the inside track for the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. That first-round bye is huge. In 1998 we had it. Win two and you’re in the big dance. That extra week off really helps, too.
Like I’ve said before, the Jets need to throw the first punch. And it can’t be a jab. It has to be the real thing. One thing about a team like the Pats, they’re going to hit back. This isn’t the kind of team that you can easily break their spirit. But you hit someone in the mouth early and often, you have a chance to.
That stadium is going to be rockin’. Very loud and very hostile. I remember playing up there in Parcells’ first year with us. As we drove through the parking lot with our police escort, there was like half a dozen guys hanging on the fence with their pants down mooning us. Sick puppies. They love their football up there.
I know I didn’t really touch on the Bengals game because it was a win. The Jets were expected to win and they did. They won the way that they are supposed to when you play a team that is struggling the way they are.
One thing that I wanted to point out was the performance by Brad Smith. He broke the game open. He catches a 23-yard pass up the seam, takes a reverse 53 yards for a score and returns a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown with one shoe on. One of the best performances that I have seen in a while. He is a true team player and a great asset to the team. I met Brad at an event at the stadium during his first year. We talked for a minute and he is as nice a person as you’ll find. Very respectful. A guy that I would have loved to play with.
The Patriots are the team that people love to see lose in recent years. People always get that way about a team that consistently wins, has a coach like they do, the whole Spygate thing, and are cocky. Even though they deserve to feel that way. I somehow feel that the Jets are looked at as that team now. That is just more incentive to prove people wrong.
Rex made a prediction in training camp they were the team to beat. Forget the first 11 games. This is going to feel like a playoff game. The Jets win this one they’re on their way to the promised land. It all starts now.
Tags: Brad Smith, Cincinnati Bengals, Deion Branch, Monday Night Football, New England Patriots, Santonio Holmes, thanksgiving, Tom Brady
Posted in Special Contributor | 36 Comments »
Here is Wayne Chrebet’s third blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
Big win. I think the look on Tom Brady’s face sitting on the bench late in the game Sunday afternoon says it all. It told the story of how he felt knowing it was a loss that shouldn’t have been. How they got shut down the second half of the game. The Jets defense completely took him out of the game. Everyone knows how explosive the Pats offense can be. Well on Sunday, they met their match. You can bet that Brady and his crew will be fired up the next time that they play.
It’s always great to beat the Pats. Most important, it’s a division win. When it comes down to who makes the playoffs when the teams are deadlocked, the head-to-head wins are the ones that make the difference.
Nice to see them loosen the reins on Sanchez. I think it was his best overall performance in a game. He really managed the game well, made some big plays when they needed them. The difference that I saw from Game 1 to last week’s game is that he bought himself a lot of time stepping up in the pocket, rolling out and giving the receivers more time to get open. If he plays like that and the defense plays to their capability, they’ll win 11 out of 10 times.
I guess I have to talk about the elephant in the room. Everyone knows that Braylon Edwards got a DUI Monday night. I don’t like focusing on one player too much, especially if it involves a negative thing, but I feel I have to. Not everyone will care what I think, but this is my blog and I do it to give my opinion about Jets-related events. So here it goes.
I hear a lot of people saying that the Jets knew that he was that kind of guy when they signed him. He had some previous negative incidents. He was also known as a very good young player. So you know, I have never had a conversation with the man but I have heard from players and coaches that he’s a good guy. On the other hand you have people coming out and saying that they’re not surprised by his behavior. Bottom line is that he had a choice and it ended up being a poor one. It’s unfortunate for the team. It’s unfortunate for him. You just hope that he learns from it.
Next time he should use the PlayerProtect program (a 24-hour car service available to the players for instances like this). I know people who have lost loved ones in alcohol-related accidents. This is why this bothers me so much, why I’m passionate about it. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I’m glad no one, including Braylon, was hurt.
If he gets suspended this season, someone’s going to have to step up. With Santonio suspended for two more games, some of these young guys are going to have to earn their stripes. No player wants to move up the depth chart because of something like this. But it is what it is.
The good thing about the offense is that they have a balanced attack so no team can focus on the run or the pass. The best thing about this is that when you lose a player, you still have a chance to have a really good offense. As the Jets do. I know the fans were very impressed Sunday with the offense, but you have to remember that an important piece of the puzzle hasn’t even stepped on the field yet. That’s Santonio Holmes. Having played against him for years, I know that he is a game changer. You line up Cotchery, Holmes, Edwards and Keller out there, put LT in the backfield or spread him out, who are you going to cover? In my opinion, Keller has the potential to be a special player.
And what more can I say about LT? He was supposed to have had his best games behind him. But he’s not showing it. And after every play he lets you know it. I never really liked players going crazy after every play (hand up, I am guilty of doing this occasionally) but he deserves it. He does it for the same reason that I did. Just living in the moment, feeding off the crowd. It’s contagious. It gets everyone fired up. I love it. Still gives me goosebumps.
This is the first game on the road for the Jets. A Sunday night game with the whole country watching again. You can’t beat that. The crowd’s going to be hostile. They’re excited, they’re 2-0 coming off a big win in Minnesota. Not an easy place to win. Expectations are high right now in Miami. They have a very good young team. A stout defense, which limited the Favre-led offense to 10 points. There are probably not a lot of guys that you can name on their defense. A lot of unknowns with great motors. And they come to play.
The Jets are going to get booed. Loudly. I always loved being booed. Obviously it’s exciting to come out of the tunnel at home. The intensity of the crowd just hits you in the face. On the road it’s still a high, just a different type. It’s like 50 brothers locking arms and walking into someone’s house to put a beating on them.
The first thing to do is get the crowd out of the game. Make them doubt their team, maybe even get them to boo a little. If you go right down the field and score on your first possession, it completely deflates the other team and its fans. Obviously the game isn’t close to being over, but it really changes the dynamic of the game. The best feeling in the world is watching the other team’s fans leaving before the game’s over. It’s the ultimate insult. They worked hard all week, watched the film, lifted the weights, practiced hard. And before they know it, they’re losing and the fans have given up. Not a good feeling. That’s what the Jets need to accomplish.
From experience, I can tell you that a bad loss like the one that the Jets had the first week psychologically takes a toll on you. Even the most confident team might have a tiny bit of doubt. Even if it’s a blur of a thought saying “Are we as good as we think we are?” It happens.
But the team reacted exactly how a winning team does. It’s only one win, but it’s a big one, vs. a very good team. I don’t think that there was any doubt that the Pats thought they were unbeatable. The AFC East is now officially up for grabs. And it all starts this Sunday night in Miami. Rex will have them fired up. You can count on that.
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, Mark Sanchez, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Tom Brady, Wayne Chrebet
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Here is Wayne Chrebet’s second blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
It was a tough loss Monday night. The whole country was watching and waiting to see the 2010 Jets. And I think everyone was rooting against us except true Jets fans, just Like Rex said. The fact that everyone is talking about the Jets lets us know that we have a good team. True, if you think about it.
I went to the game. For anyone that wasn’t there, I can tell you that the place was rocking. All the anticipation and buildup came through when they announced the starting lineup of the defense. It is pretty uncommon for a defense to be cheered that much more than an offense. Nothing against the offense at all. I was obviously on the offensive unit. We had a whole different system and philosophy back then. Most years we had nowhere near the defense that they have right now.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get goosebumps when Revis stood in the tunnel to be announced last, the smoke and fog machines blowing on him. It sounds cheesy, but the reaction from the crowd let everyone that was in attendance know that we were going to have some fun that night. OK. The fans were great, the players were fired up, the coaches were pacing back and forth just waiting for the whistle to blow. The stage was set.
I’m not going to rehash the whole game but the first defensive play of the game, that sack and fumble, set the tone. The problem was that as good as the defense played, we just couldn’t capitalize. Maybe I should say “they” instead of “we” but I still bleed green so I still consider myself part of the team. Whatever, not the point.
I don’t know what people were expecting. If you know anything about these two teams, you would know that points were going to be hard to come by. You can’t win a game throwing for 74 yards. Part of it was lack of execution, maybe players trying to do too much. That is part of the game. For receivers, I can tell you that it is very hard to keep your head in the game when you don’t have the ball thrown to you through a couple quarters.
All in all, the Ravens defense is Top 5 in the league, maybe Top 3. But I think the players in the Jets huddle would be the first to tell you that their performance was just not good enough. There is no position on our offense that has any weakness but for some reason they just didn’t have any rhythm. Whatever it is, it is. The papers are all over Sanchez. Yes, it was nowhere near his best performance, it’s a fact. But cut the guy some slack. It’s not like he threw 3 picks.
One down, 15 to go. It’s one game. You don’t win or lose the Super Bowl the first game of the year. Special teams were phenomenal (downing 2 punts on the 1-yard line). Offense struggled (1-for-11 on third down). Ravens rushing 49 yards on 35 carries — outstanding. Bad penalties at very bad times.
I wouldn’t be doing this blog justice if I didn’t mention the penalties. We had twice as many penalty yards as passing yards. Cromartie had a couple. Some were justifiable, but as a receiver, I’ve had so much more done to me without getting a flag thrown against the defender. It almost seemed like they were throwing it up there when the receiver was well covered to try and draw a flag. Especially on third down.
He is a very good player, that’s why the Jets brought him in. That interception and return shows what he is capable of. And you can’t do anything about the catches that Heap had. Either way, you can’t have a 5-yard holding penalty on a 3rd-and-28. Rookie mistake. They’re going to happen. I had my share. Chalk it up as a learning experience. Better now than in the playoffs.
That’s it. It’s done. There is no sense even dwelling on it anymore. But I know the fans will. I don’t blame you. You put a lot of stock in the team. But from player to fan, so you know, we use that as motivation. You’ll know who does and who doesn’t by watching the game this Sunday.
Against my better judgment, I watched the Patriots game Sunday afternoon. It was either that or watching Ace of Cakes on the Food Network. Would have watched that, but sad to say I had already seen that episode. So I like watching novelty cakes being made. Does that make me less of a man? Whatever.
So I watched the game. If you saw the boxscore Monday morning you saw the final score, which didn’t look so bad. Quite the contrary, the Pats destroyed the Bengals in every facet of the game. They didn’t show it last year against us, but I think the Bengals have a decent offense. They couldn’t move the ball on Sunday. Even if you’re a football fan, try naming more than two guys on their starting defense. As was the case with the Ravens. But the Patriots are technically sound and it looks like they play the scheme very well. The Bengals figured them out towards the end of the game, but it was too late. Hopefully we can duplicate the success that they had at that point.
In my opinion, for the defense, this will be the toughest test of the year. Scary to think that it looks like Brady is back to the quarterback that made him the best in the league. Moss is Moss. He’s on Revis Island. Welker is the key. I don’t think one guy can stop him. Fact. I haven’t seen anybody do it. They’re going to have to be creative to get pressure on Brady. He doesn’t hold the ball very long. They’re big on 3- and 5-step drops. Their playcalling is very good when it comes to the timing of a deep play-action pass. But their thing is working down the field efficiently and in a very methodical way. It’s impressive to watch.
But our defense showed it’s kind of a bend-but-don’t-break philosophy. Maybe the other team makes some plays, but not the big one. Eventually they’ll make a mistake. A penalty or trying to get greedy and hit the home run.
The long and the short of it is that the only way to stop the Patriots offense is to keep them on the sideline. Last week the Ravens had the ball for 40 minutes to the Jets 20. Tough to win that way.
I have no crystal ball. I really have no clue what is going to happen, what the tempo of the game will be, who’s going to throw the first punch. It’s true. If you knock the you-know-what out of a guy on the first play, he’s like, “Ah, crap (or any other four letter word), this is going to be a long day.” If we come out swinging and the crowd gets into it like they did Monday night, in our house, we’re going to be very tough to beat.
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Wayne Chrebet
Posted in Special Contributor | 45 Comments »
Here is Wayne Chrebet’s first blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
Welcome to my weekly blog. I’ll be here every Thursday with my take on Jets football. Writing is not my forte (my wife gave me that word), so try and take it easy on me for the first few weeks.
Now, my topic for the day. Opening Day, what does it mean to me? I had 11 opening days. Eleven clean slates with hopes of winning the Super Bowl. Eight months of dreams and hopes, from the last game of the previous season till the new season’s first game.
I can’t lie. We had some years where we had better chances than others. But we always had a chance.
For me, the Parcells era was my first taste of obtaining our dream. Bill’s first season, our first game, my third opener, we beat the Seahawks in Seattle, 41-3. We didn’t make the playoffs that year, but there was an excitement in the air after some bad seasons.
My first two years we were 3-13 and 1-15. You think you were miserable watching it? Try playing for the team. Forget about the fans — when your family and friends start making fun of you, you know it’s bad.
The phrase “let’s just eat in” was a frequent comment in our house. Eating in public was hard to do sometimes after a bad loss. Didn’t matter if I was with my kids or not, people weren’t afraid of saying what was on their minds. Luckily, people appreciated what I was doing on the field, so they didn’t bust me too bad about that. But I still caught some of it. Certainly not as bad as others. Some fans are brutal.
But I know how they feel. I grew up going to the Stadium and scalping tickets once or twice a year with my father. So I heard the boos. I am ashamed to say that I booed, too. Not for the Jets, of course, just the Giants. I’m lying, but who cares at this point?
OK. The 1998 season, Bill’s second, was a lot like this season. Which FINALLY brings me to my point. That season, expectations were high. A lot like this year. Bill changed the whole persona of the team and the franchise. We had a good team and people knew it. And we knew it.
If you are a Jets fan, you know what happened. We had a great season but lost in the AFC Championship Game up in Denver. After that, we didn’t get close again.
There are a lot of similarities between the ’98 team and this one. We had an older team. We played with a tremendous amount of confidence. We knew we could win every game. So does the 2010 team. So do the fans.
Here’s the difference. This team has swagger. People can say they’re cocky, say we haven’t won anything since 1968. All that doesn’t matter. We had teams when I played that we didn’t look forward to playing. We knew we could win, but we knew we had a tough day in store for us.
The 2010 Jets are that team. Rex laid the foundation last year. A foundation that said this isn’t the same old Jets. We can play and beat any team on any given day. And we are going to hit you in the mouth play after play for 60 minutes while we’re doing it. Other teams will say, “Oh yeah, we will do the same to you”. Some might. But watch a replay of any game last year and you’ll see who did and didn’t.
Now, I am pro Jets all the way. No one will doubt that. But the film doesn’t lie. I watch the games. I go down in my basement and watch them by myself every Sunday. I am a one-person tailgate. Sad, but that’s how I watch the game. And yes, I miss it that much.
I don’t make predictions. Haven’t made one since I guaranteed that 1996 would be better than 1995, and that’s when we went 1-15. What I do see is that this is a team that has the talent and the coaching to win, and that’s all you can ask for. GO JETS.
Tags: Wayne Chrebet
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Day 4 was our final day here in Haiti and even though we didn’t have much of a schedule today, I wanted to take the time to reflect on this week.
A huge and special thanks to everyone at the Yele Foundation and founder Wyclef Jean for allowing us to team up with them this week. Yele was so instrumental in assisting us in accomplishing our goals this week and providing us with support throughout our mission.
A personal thanks to the members of CIMO, the Haitian National Police, who guided and protected us everywhere we went. Haiti is a very dangerous country right now, but we felt safe with them around.
A big thank you to my teammates Vernon Gholston and David Clowney, former teammate Ahmad Carroll, and the Jets Television Network, Rich Gentile and Chris Ubbens, for being here, helping out and donating their time and efforts. Just their presence here was so gratifying, knowing that extra voices are going back to spread the word. To my fabulous mother Dr. Rose Ihedigbo, my adviser Greg Domond, friends Marcos Catania, Amanda Anderson and Kendra Porter, thank you for being on this journey and sharing your love and compassion with the people of Haiti.
As we drove through Port-au-Prince today I had time to reflect on this mission. As I have said every day, words can’t express what we all witnessed here — the devastation, the horror, the pain and the suffering — but we left knowing we gave a sense of HOPE! The hearts we touched, the smiles we created, the hands we held, the sense of comfort we created in these people will last a lifetime.
We are not ready to leave yet. There is so much more we want to accomplish. We understand this won’t be a quick fix, that it will take time to rebuild. But I encourage everyone to help in any way you can. We suggest donating to the Yele Foundation because we have seen first-hand that every item or dollar you donate makes it to the victims in Haiti. Or you can visit my foundation to learn how you can help more. Thank you everyone for all your support and for following my blogs throughout our trip. God Bless!
Tags: Ahmad Carroll, David Clowney, Haiti, James Ihedigbo, Rich Gentile, Vernon Gholston
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Day 3 is complete and it was by far the most visual and influential day since we got here. Sometimes its hard to believe this all has actually happened. The people from Haiti are so desperate for help that no matter where we go, it’s upsetting seeing so many people just begging for anything they can get their hands on.
Our first stop this morning was to deliver a truck of supplies and water to the Jean et Marie orphanage. When we arrived, all the kids were singing a blessing to us. I’ll always remember the one song they were singing, "We’re not crying anymore, its time to go to work." For all the destruction and pain these children have been through, it brought tears to my eyes seeing how energetic and positive they all were.
Our second stop of the day was to L’Athletique d’Haiti, a sports program and training center for youth in Port-au-Prince. We met the Under-19 Soccer World Champions and actually played a short game against them — we lost 2-0! Then it was our turn. My teammates and I had the opportunity to teach the local youth some American football. There’s definitely a difference between their biggest sport and ours, but it was amazing.
On the way to the sports center our van got a flat tire as we traveled through some rural roads. The roads are really bad here — people, trash and foul smells everywhere we go, and most of them are unpaved too. Also, they are so congested because of all the destruction forcing people out into the streets. Having a flat tire allowed us to spend some time with locals and pass out some of our own food and water. They needed it more than us.
After we left the sports complex we took a road tour of Port-au-Prince on our way to the town of Kenscoff. It was a sight you can’t even imagine, just seeing how easily most of the buildings just crumbled from the earthquake. People are everywhere trying to sift through debris and rubble, searching for some form of hope.
At the town of Kenscoff we were greeted with a heroes’ welcome. The entire town of over 5,000 people came to greet us and parade us down the street, singing and dancing in joy for us just coming to visit them. In a town that needed such relief, just us showing up was enough for them to feel the power to believe things will get better. My mom, Dr. Rose Ihedigbo, was tagged as the guest of honor by the village as she was commended for all her educational work. It was a proud and glorious moment!
We don’t really have a schedule for [today], our final day in Haiti, but we’ll keep you updated on what happens. I’m sure we will find some way to help these people. Don’t forget if you want to support the relief effort here in Haiti, visit the Yele Foundation at www.yele.org.
Tags: Haiti, James Ihedigbo
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Here is the latest report from Jets safety James Ihedigbo, who landed with his group in Haiti on Monday afternoon. We’ll have more audio, video and written reports in the next three days:
Day two is complete here in Haiti and it was full of more destruction and poverty. Words cannot truly explain the horror of seeing starving, homeless families on the street with nowhere to go or the site of a mom sitting outside her cloth-made shelter with no clothes for her baby. But that is our goal — to learn and understand the issues of these people so we can be better ambassadors back home and encourage people to help more.
Our day started off filling care bags and loading a truck with hundreds of boxes of survival supplies at the Yele compound in Port-au-Prince. The compound is also where we are staying while here in Haiti. There is nothing fancy about it. In fact, we all share one big room full of cots and air mattresses, we eat traditional Haitian meals, and the shower and bathroom facilities are very limited. However, we are so very thankful for the Yele Foundation for hosting us while we do our work here.
After the truck was loaded and care bags filled, we took a short ride to Mais Gate #44 in Place Cazeau, where we saw hundreds more starving and desperate people waiting for relief. However, we were welcomed with cheers and smiling faces.
After all the supplies were unloaded and we spent time with the kids, we were on the move again. Our next stop was Fondation Grace, an agricultural college in the town of Mirebalais. We met with farming officials and learned of the produce plans in the most agricultural part of the country.
From there we made our way back to Port-au-Prince, where we toured some of the hardest-hit areas of the city before having the privilege and honor to meet President Preval, the current president of Haiti, at the presidential palace. We found out today that President Preval wanted to meet us after hearing about our relief efforts here.
It was amazing being inside the walls of the palace, which was one of the most recognizable buildings from the earthquake. The president had some amazing things to say to us and about our work here and he even gave us a cheer: "Let’s Go Jets!"
We are all looking forward to tomorrow when we get to help more people and to visit some orphanages and teach the game of American football. That’s it for now, I’ll update you more tomorrow. If anyone wants to help out, you can visit my foundation at www.jamesihedigbo44.com or the Yele foundation at www.yele.org.
Tags: Haiti, James Ihedigbo
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Here is a report from Jets safety James "Dig" Ihedigbo, who landed with his group in Haiti on Monday afternoon. We’ll have more audio, video and written reports in the next three days:
Day one complete. Just a surreal experience — words can’t express the tragedy and devastation we’ve witnessed but the guys are helping out in a big way. Those here with me are David Clowney, Vernon Gholston and former Jet Ahmad Carroll.
After we landed, we were part of a press confernece with Wyclef Jean’s wife Claudinette and the Yele foundation, which was attended by over 50 media members. Then we toured the streets of Port-au-Prince before heading to Croix-des-Douquets, a small village, and set up tents in the dark for over 500 people without shelter.
Right now the streets are dark because there’s no electricity. People are everywhere, homeless, searching for food, starving and just in search of anything for survival.
Tomorrow we visit sports and agricultural programs in one of the worst and most devestated areas of Haiti, teaching football and replanting produce. Then a visit to a tent city to spread some cheer and show support to the locals.
I’ll update you more tomorrow.
Tags: Ahmad Carroll, David Clowney, Haiti, James Ihedigbo, Vernon Gholston
Posted in Special Contributor | 6 Comments »
Guard Brandon Moore was enrolled in the NFL’s Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program at the Harvard Business School last week. Here is his final blog about how the program went for him:
In one of our last classes at the program, a professor came in and gave a speech on career vision — how do you see yourself in the future? Like I said in my last blog, I went into this program with some questions and I left with more questions, but my eyes have been opened to some of the opportunities, different ways to think about how you want to transition into what you want to do.
The biggest thing I took out of it was, the first step, whatever that first step might be, is the most important step. So I’ve got some things in mind.
With the more than 70 players who took part in the program, football was going to be mentioned here and there. The professors might use an analogy comparing business to football. Athletes, as competitors, we always feel we need to be in the game. The analogy to the business world is that it’s OK to be patient, it’s OK to be on the sideline sometimes. The thing that works for us playing football might be somewhat of a hindrance in the business world or private lives.
Some of the professors were football fans. But then when you got to know them a little, you’d find out that since we were at Harvard in Massachusetts, some of the professors were Patriots fans. But that was OK.
None of my current teammates were here at the program, but one thing that stood out for me — not to toot our horns — was the respect that the Jets’ offensive line got sitting around the dinner table. We’d go out to dinner, and there’d be DBs, D-linemen, players from other teams who had lots of nice comments about the season we just had. My reputation kind of precede me, I guess. That’s the first time I’ve ever been around anything like that. It felt good to have guys from around the league who don’t usually care about offensive line play give us some respect.
The program ended last week. I came back to North Jersey for a couple of days. Now I’m in Chicago and Gary, Ind. My wife is from Chicago, I’m from Gary and we’re visiting home, friends and family. Then I’ll be going down to the NFL Combine in a couple of days. The NFLPA is having a Player Safety and Welfare Summit for the second year. Nike, Reebok and other outfitters are coming in to do presentations for the PA. I found that event informative last year and I’m looking forward to it again.
I was asked if going to the Harvard seminar meant I was going to be retiring and opening a restaurant this year. No, no, no, I’ve got a bit more mileage on me. You get so locked into being a football player and into thinking football is the only competitive venue out there. I don’t think I’ll be getting the thrill I get running out on Sunday against New England. But the program was good just to see that there are other options out there after leaving the game.
But retiring from football? You don’t have to worry about that just yet.
Tags: Brandon Moore, Harvard Business School
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