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Rookies Arrive, Minicamp Kicks Off

Posted by Randy Lange on May 10, 2013 – 10:49 am

The next chapter of the Jets’ 2013 offseason is being written beginning this week. The Green & White rookie class arrived at the Atlantic Health Training Center on Thursday, and today’s first practice of the camp is under way on the grass fields in Florham Park, N.J.

The arrivals couldn’t begin until noon Thursday, and by early evening everyone was checked in, had gone through the indoctrination process as a new Jet, and rested up in their hotel rooms for this morning’s breakfast, their first team meeting with head coach Rex Ryan and staff, and their first practice set to start around 10 a.m.

The stations each player stopped at included a visit to the doctor for a physical, equipment manager Gus Granneman’s equipment room to be fitted for a helmet and receive his initial jersey and new number, a stop with head strength and conditioning coach Justus Galac’s weightroom, a chat with director of player development Dave Szott, a stay with the media relations team, and a quick couple of headshots with the always ebullient team photographer, Al Pereira.

Among the earliest to run this pro pigskin gauntlet was second-round quarterback Geno Smith. He came through the double glass doors of the players’ entrance at 12:01 p.m. and began his check-in process. On his way to the locker room, Smith was greeted by a couple of veteran Jets WRs: Santonio Holmes, recently returned from his degree work at Ohio State, and Stephen Hill, last year’s second-rounder. Holmes, Hill and the rest of the Jets’ established pass catchers will begin to catch Geno’s passes at the June, when Smith joins the rest of the team’s quarterbacks at the full-squad minicamp.

The other five draft choices arrived in short order. In rough order of appearance they were seventh-round FB Tommy Bohanon and fifth-round OL Oday Aboushi came in the next wave, followed by first-round CB Dee Milliner, sixth-round OL Will Campbell, third-round G Brian Winters and first-round DL Sheldon Richardson.

The 15-member band of undrafted free agents, plus some minicamp invitees, were also among the new Jets on hand. Among those registering in the early afternoon were TEs Mike Shanahan of Pitt and Chris Pantale of Boston College, wideouts Zach Rogers of Tennessee and KJ Stroud from Bethune-Cookman and C Dalton Freeman from Clemson.

Shanahan, who confirms for any who doubted it that he’s not related to Washington head coach Mike Shanahan, was stopped between stations for a hallway chat with senior personnel executive Terry Bradway and pro scout Aaron Glenn.

This is not an all-inclusive list. We’ll have a report on all the rookies and first-year players who are at the camp plus new uniform numbers when everything becomes official on Friday.

Speaking of new unis, the drafted Jets are reported to have received their initial numbers. These could still change but at the moment Granneman and his staff have distributed the following numbers to the draftees:

27 — Dee Milliner

91 — Sheldon Richardson

7 — Geno Smith

67 — Brian Winters

75 — Oday Aboushi

65 — Will Campbell

40 — Tommy Bohanon

The minicamp is closed to the public. A more complete list of the participants in this camp, which includes all the Jets draft choices, 2013 undrafted free agents, 2012 first-year free agents signed prior to the draft, and tryout candidates, will be available later today. The minicamp will continue through Sunday, with media availability on Friday and Saturday, including open locker room and Rex Ryan news conferences both days.


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Chrebet Reflections on the Parcells Persona

Posted by Randy Lange on February 3, 2013 – 4:53 pm

130205-parcells-scoreboardBill Parcells will be dressed to the nines tonight as he waves and smiles at the Superdome crowd and NFL Nation during his introduced along with his Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 mates. He’ll look every bit like your favorite football uncle or professor, friendly and knowledgeable and ready to help out.

And just think that before Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Melchiorri and Anne Burrell, Parcells already had established his own reality series as the new sheriff from hell — or was it heaven? — for so many pro football players who passed through his neck of the woods.

Parcells was hardly the first rough, tough, son-of-a-gun pro football coach. But he was one of the best at rolling the good cop and the bad cop all into one larger-than-life persona. And that’s one of the reasons he’s in the Hall of Fame tonight.

“The thing about Bill was he kept you on your toes,” Wayne Chrebet, Jets fans’ favorite wideout, reminisced with me late Saturday night about his on-field boss with the Green & White from 1997-99. “You’re walking around the complex and he’s coming down the hallway toward you and you really don’t know what to say. You’re looking down and he’d say, ‘Don’t worry, kid. We’ll get ‘em.’ He’d extend that hand and pick you up. You’re smiling and he’d say, ‘What are you so happy about?’

“He kept you on your toes. He never let you relax. And he always got the best out of you.”

Aaron Glenn, who played corner on Parcells’ Jets those same years and then two more years for the Cowboys, had a similar story to tell.

“He had these mind games he always played on me,” AG said. “He’d say I was too small. He’d say I couldn’t cover the best receivers in the game. I used to think, if he thinks I couldn’t cover those guys, why’d he match me up against those guys in the games? I wanted to show him what I could do.”

Parcells, who I remember more than a few times denying that he played mind games with his players, let alone us reporters, had a number of favorite tactics to get through to “his guys” as well as the guys who were his for the moment on whatever team he was resurrecting.

“I remember as a rookie,” Curtis Martin recalled of the roots of his trademark ball security, “I fumbled the ball a couple of times in training camp and Bill made me carry that ball for, like, a week straight. I wasn’t allowed to be caught without the ball. When I was eating lunch or dinner or in meetings, I had the ball in one hand. He told the entire team to knock it out of my hands whenever they saw me. I was penalized if they were able to knock it out. That attention made me focus on the ball. It was a huge part of my game, to the level that giving up the ball was letting my team down.”

There was the time, Chrebet recalled, dusting off a classic Parcells-ism, that he told No. 80, “Hey, Chrebet, your career’s going over a cliff like a dumptruck with a cement parachute.” There was that other time, early in ’98, when Wayne suffered a bad ankle sprain going out of bounds and jumping rope with the chain crew on the sideline. And a week later Bill came by to check on Wayne as he was rehabbing the injury — by kicking him in the ankle.

“It hurt enough without him kicking it,” Chrebet said, “I looked at him like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. What’s wrong with you?’ But even at the moment, I couldn’t be mad at him. He was just making sure I was really hurt.”

He wasn’t mad, but he got some classic Tuna payback late in the ’98 season as the Jets headed for the playoffs and their highest points of the Parcells regime.

“My family was Jets fans, of course, but they were diehard Giants fans,” Chrebet reminisced one more time for me. “It was ’86. I would’ve been 13 years old. And I’m watching and thinking it’s the coolest thing in the world when Harry Carson’s got on the yellow jacket and he sneaks up behind Parcells and dumps the Gatorade on him. I said I want to do that, and I want to do it to Bill, too. It was a pipe dream at the time.”

Then as events sometimes unfold, Chrebet got his chance. He doesn’t remember which game it was (maybe the win over New England in the regular-season finale?), but he was on the sideline late in the game and he said the thought struck him: “I’m gonna get this guy for all the stuff he gave me all year. I’m gonna douse this guy with Gatorade.”

“And he laughed. He took it. He wasn’t upset. He loved every part of it,” Chrebet said, no doubt looking at the Parcells-autographed photo of the prank hanging on the wall of his den. “He was just part of the team. He was right in our circle. He brought us all together.”

There were lots of other elements to the Parcells persona, naturally: Bill’s fierce, feisty competitiveness, his cadre of selfless assistants who implemented his one-voice philosophy, his attention to all the details in all the meeting rooms.

It all came together to produce wonderful results. Teams that hadn’t been winning started winning again. The Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys, even the Dolphins whom he finished up with as team president, did better than they had been once he arrived.

And most of the players, especially “Bill’s Guys,” all sounded variations on the theme of what he meant to them.

Martin, as he was approaching his Hall enshrinement last year: “I know I wouldn’t be in this position I’m in had I not listened to him.”

Glenn: “He once told me, ‘I challenged you. I knew what you had and I wanted to get the best out of you.’ That’s something he can do with any player at any level.”

Giants great Lawrence Taylor to ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday: “If I’d played for another coach on another team, I probably would’ve been a good player. But Bill was the one who made me LT.”

“Somebody told me that if Bill doesn’t mess with you, you’re in trouble,” Chrebet said. “He messed with me a lot. We were both Jersey guys and he busted my chops. The good thing was you could fire back at him a little bit, but you knew your limits. But I wanted to coached, Bill knew everything that was going on, and everybody bought into it. This guy came in and I’m like, ‘I’m glad you’re here. I’m ready to win.’ “

For these reasons and many others, we’ll get to see Bill Parcells holding forth one more time from the field on Super Bowl Sunday.


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Pace Clarifies Postgame Remark on Bush

Posted by Randy Lange on September 24, 2012 – 6:11 pm

Moving on to non-Island topics in today’s muted day-after-Miami, LB Calvin Pace came into the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room to clear up a remark he made immediately after the 23-20 overtime win over the Dolphins regarding RB Reggie Bush, who left the game with a left knee injury late in the first half.

“Apparently I said something about Reggie Bush, trying to get him out of the game,” Pace said. “I wasn’t trying to say it as if we were trying to hurt him. I’m sad to see him get hurt. We aren’t running any kind of bounty system or anything like that, and actually, looking at the play, somebody just fell on his knee.

“I guess I need to say things in a different manner, and I’ll do a better job of it next time.”

The word from South Florida today is that Bush’s knee injury isn’t serious and that he may be able to return to action as soon as Sunday when Miami visits Arizona. That’s good news for Bush.

And perhaps not as good for the Jets, who could face him for the second time this season in five weeks at MetLife Stadium. Bush is currently No. 4 on the NFL’s rushing-leaders list this season with 302 yards on 50 carries for a gaudy 6.0-yard average. And it’s an even gaudier 6.5 yards per carry in his three career games vs. the Jets (26 carries, 169 yards).

Figuring Out OT

Sunday’s game was the Jets’ first in overtime under the NFL’s OT rules that were modified for last season. Had they moved into range for a Nick Folk field goal on their first possession and he hit it, the Dolphins and Dan Carpenter would have had the chance to tie it. Since the Jets punted on that first series, Carpenter’s kick was of course for the win.

And with that 48-yarder sailing wide left, Carpenter has begun an unusual new chapter in his career vs. the Green & White. Including Sunday’s first kick from 21 yards out, the Dolphins’ Pro Bowl kicker had made his first 14 field goals against the Jets dating to 2008. But he’ll go into the Oct. 28 rematch having missed two of his last three.

Perhaps Carpenter’s miss and the outcome of the game was preordained, since the Jets have gotten the extra session figured out lately, especially against the Aqua & Coral.

Their last OT games were the back-to-back wins at Detroit and Cleveland in the middle of the 2010 season. In fact, the Jets have won their last three overtime games and their last four on the road.

The Jets are now 19-19-2 all-time in overtime. And that includes a perfect record against their friendly AFC East rivals. They’re 5-0-1 in OT vs. the Dolphins, 2-0-1 at Miami.

Other Notes

Due to overtime, injuries and a few discussions by the replacement refs, the game lasted exactly four hours. The last four-hour game the Jets played: the 2000 Monday Night Miracle in the Meadowlands against the same Fish, a 40-37 overtime win that went 4:10 into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

Folk’s 33-yard kick to decide things was the fourth gamewinning kick of his Jets career and his third “walk-off” FG. He’s tried six field goals in all to tie the score or put the Jets ahead in the last two minutes of a game or in overtime. He’s missed only one, a 47-yard wide-right miss that would have beaten Cleveland in ’10.

Santonio Holmes won that game vs. the Browns, and he played a big role in Sunday’s triumph. His nine receptions were the most by a Jet since Jerricho Cotchery had nine against Kansas City in 2008, and Tone’s 147 receiving yards were the most by a Jet since Cotchery’s 152 at Tennessee in ’07.

And for trivial trivia, consider that LaRon Landry’s 18-yard interception-return TD was the shortest IR TD by a Jet since Aaron Glenn returned a 13-yarder vs. Ty Detmer and Philadelphia in 1996 and the shortest on the road since Mo Lewis went 15 yards vs. Kerry Collins and Carolina in the “Shovel Pass Game” in 1995.

Late Transactions

Late today the Jets announced that LB Bryan Thomas and WR Patrick Turner — BT and PT — have been re-signed. The team also waived DT Marcus Dixon, T Dennis Landolt and CB Donnie Fletcher, who went on the Miami trip in case Ellis Lankster’s low back strain prevented him from playing. But Lankster did play, Fletcher was deactivated, and for 24 hours he’s in the NFL’s waiver system.


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Garrett McIntyre Savors His Tebow Takedown

Posted by Randy Lange on August 1, 2012 – 1:54 pm

Garrett McIntyre knows his pelt in the twos-vs.-twos red zone period at this morning Jets training camp practice is not one to hang on his wall. But he still took a little satisfaction out of “sacking” Tim Tebow in the drill.

“I actually had a chance to sack Tim in the game last year — a real chance — and he made me look bad,” the second-year linebacker said, referring to last year’s 17-13 loss in Denver. “So I know his ability to make people miss. He’s strong. Anytime you can get your hands on him, you feel good, but it’s got to be a collective defensive thing, it’s not one guy, because he’ll make one guy miss.”

McIntyre didn’t miss this time. The second defensive front got good pressure and forced No. 15 to improvise, right into the arms of No. 50, who was coming off the defense’s right edge and pushing back LT Austin Howard.

“It’s just understanding the rush lanes,” Mac said, “knowing that Tebow’s going to scramble a lot and you can’t just run up the field on him. Our goal as a front, especially if we’re rushing four, is to contain him, which is not easy. I just came under. I don’t know who was on the other side but they did a good job of flushing back to me.”

Later in that same drive, McIntyre put a lick on Terrance Ganaway that knocked the rookie RB to the grass. The hit looked and no doubt felt good but drew a mild rebuke from head coach Rex Ryan, since this was not a full-tackling drill.

“You’ve got to treat each other well,” he said. “I was kind of off balance a little bit so I happened to fall on him. We like to be physical on this side of the ball, but we also like to take care of the other guys. We’re teammates, so that’s why I’m looking forward to Cincinnati.”

Some might think McIntyre’s a bubble ‘backer but he rightly feels a lot more comfortable this summer than he did last year, when he was a first-year NFL player who had been to three NFL camps and played for two years with the Arena League’s SabreCats and two years with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats.

“That probably would’ve been my last shot with the NFL. I would’ve gone back to Canada. I had a job waiting for me up there,” he said. “Now, I do, I believe I belong in this league. I just had to get in first. That’s the hardest part, especially the second time. The best chance you have is coming right out of college, then very rarely you get opportunities after that. So I’m blessed to just have gotten an opportunity and now I’m going to make the best out of it.”

Tempo and Soft Tissue

Santonio Holmes was the latest Jet — in fact their latest WR — who has had to sit out some reps. A little gimpy in previous days. Holmes was on the sideline for the first offense’s two-minute drill at the end of practice.

“Santonio was just one of those soft-tissue type of things,” said head coach Rex Ryan at today’s midday news conference. “That’s why it’s fortunate. They’re not major injuries. But those things keep adding up and we’re trying to figure out why.”

There have been more hamstring/calf-type pulls this year than in previous summers, so this morning’s return after Tuesday’s off-day began with a 20-minute stretching period before practice. Ryan and OC Tony Sparano have talked about the wideouts, who’ve been the hardest-tweaked, and one possible reason for the minor injuries is Sparano’s up-tempo approach, which often this camp has resulted in the Jets getting in twice as many plays in a particular period as they had originally scripted it for.

“I’m not saying anything against what we did in the past, but we were not even close to this kind of tempo,” Ryan said. “But this is who we are offensively, and that’s not going to change. We’re not slowing up. This isn’t just great for our offense but it’s great for our defense. A lot of no-huddle teams gain an advantage because the other teams aren’t working at that level. And I think we are.”

Practice Notes

Vlad Ducasse was another injury concern, but the third-year man said he feels fine after playing LG, hitting the turf, then limping off. Ducasse also played a few reps at RG for the first time this camp, part of the Ryan/Tony Sparano/Dave DeGuglielmo push to get their O-linemen familiar with multiple positions.

In general Vlad says camp is going well, including GM Mike Tannenbaum’s description of him as “a young, ascending player.” “It always gives you confidence every time they talk positively about you. It makes you want to push yourself to get better every day,” he said. “This year I put a lot of pressure on myself to show something, so we’ll see.”

Could this be one of the key days in the kicking competition? For the in-practice FG period, Nick Folk hit from 35, 37, 44 and 46, Josh Brown from 39, 41, 47 and 49. Then Folk nailed a 51-yarder but Brown banged his 51-yarder high off the right upright. Then in the two-minute period, Mark Sanchez rescued his drive with a third-and-long completion to Dustin Keller to set up a Folk 51-yard “game-winner,” which he drove through. … Antonio Allen had his third INT in two practices on an off-line fade into the end zone from Tim Tebow for Dexter Jackson.

Rex Cetera

Veteran reporters and fans who followed the Jets more than a decade ago could be forgiven if they had a flashback this morning. On the sidelines and then walking off in close proximity to each other today were Aaron Glenn and Laveranues Coles. Glenn, the Jets’ Pro Bowl CB, is now a pro personnel assistant with the Jets. Coles, the 459-catch WR for the Green & White, is a pro personnel intern this summer. The two went up against each other during the ’00 and ’01 training camps back at Hofstra University.

S Tracy Wilson was waived this morning. The roster is now at 86 players. … Ryan said Saturday night’s Green & White scrimmage will be held for the first time in Cortland Stadium, on the school’s new turf field. “We’re going to put it in the stadium and the fans will get a better view,” Ryan said. “In the past we held these on the grass fields, but now the turf field’s so nice that we think we can do that. I think it’ll be a good experience for the fans and it’ll be a great experience for us.” … Today’s attendance: 2,361.


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