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  • Sat., Sep. 20, 2014 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Jets Game Plan A comprehensive look ahead at the week's upcoming matchup
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    A comprehensive look ahead at the week's upcoming matchup

  • Mon., Sep. 22, 2014 11:30 PM - 11:59 PM EDT Jets Post Game: Bears at Jets Reactions and on-field interviews with Jets players immediately following every Jets game
  • Tue., Sep. 23, 2014 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Jets Extra Point Analysis of the previous week’s game and exclusive interivews with Jets players and coaches
  • Tue., Sep. 23, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT Inside the Jets

    “Discuss the team’s gameday performance and the Jets’ match-up for the upcoming week. Hosted by Bob Wischusen,“Inside the Jets Radio Show" on ESPN New York 98.7FM is aired weekly the day after every game throughout the season.”

  • Wed., Sep. 24, 2014 12:30 AM - 1:00 AM EDT Jets Open Mic

    Exclusive live "start-to-finish" coverage of Rex Ryan's press conferences

  • Wed., Sep. 24, 2014 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT Jets Extra Point Analysis of the previous week’s game and exclusive interivews with Jets players and coaches
  • Thu., Sep. 25, 2014 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Jets Game Plan

    A comprehensive look ahead at the week's upcoming matchup

  • Fri., Sep. 26, 2014 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT Jets Game Plan A comprehensive look ahead at the week's upcoming matchup
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Idzik: ‘What We Do Will Really Prove True’

Posted by Randy Lange on January 24, 2013 – 11:05 am

Updated, 4:45 p.m. ET

Today is not John Idzik’s first day on the job, but it’s still a big day for him, and not just because his parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

He and the Jets are flying forward as he met the media for his first news conference as the Green & White general manager. The event was big enough that it’s being held in the team’s auditorium, rather than the media interview room, and the half-hour intro to the reporters and fans was being streamed live and is now available as an archived video on newyorkjets.com.

That being said, Idzik showed up in understated but unmistakable Jets mode, coming in through the football entrance door to the complex shortly after 7:45 a.m. wearing a gray business suit, a small oval Jets lapel pin and a patterned green tie — “It’s really tough to find Jets-green ties in Seattle,” he said.

Then as part of his busy day, he spent 15 minutes shortly after his arrival to chat with us about the start of his Jets tenure, which actually began with an ambitious schedule the first half of this week at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala.

“It’s been like one big, long day,” Idzik said of his first week on the job. “Everything kind of flows together. I took a little diversion to the Senior Bowl, which was good, got to spend some time with Rex, quality time with the personnel staff. We got to know each other a little bit down there, so that was very valuable.”

Much has already been speculated about the relationship between Rex Ryan and the new I-Man in town. Idzik met the Jets head coach during the interview process and again in Mobile. The relationship seems simpatico, in part because as Idzik said, he spent time around the Jets under his father, the team’s offensive coordinator from 1977-79, in a way not dissimilar to a younger Rex hanging with his dad, then-D-line coach Buddy, and the Jets of the late Sixties and early Seventies.

“Rex and I are cut from the same cloth, we’re both football brats, so we have a lot in common that way,” Idzik said. “We shared some of that when we first met. He’s a very energetic, engaging, optimistic, enthusiastic coach, an accomplished coach, so those are all qualities that you look for. I think it’s vital that the GM and the coach have a very close working relationship. My first days with Rex have been very positive and I’m very much looking forward to working with him.”

John, “a skinny receiver trying to gain weight” during his high school years (he admitted to measurables of 6’4″ and 175), spoke fondly of his time back then hanging with the Jets and especially with his father, John Sr.

“Living in a football family is very rewarding, but it’s also very challenging on a family. You don’t see your father that often because of the hours,” he said. “But me, being the only boy, I got to spend all the camps and games together with my dad. I was fortunate to observe him, his coaching style, and to be with the players back then — they actually let you run routes at minicamp, so catching passes from Richard Todd, Matt Robinson and Pat Ryan, that was really neat.

“But yes, I spent a considerable amount of time with my dad and he obviously had a major influence on me both from a professional standpoint but, more importantly, a personal one. He taught me lessons much beyond football.”

One of the lessons from inside the game was the value of a good running game. Idzik was not urging Rex to reembrace “ground and pound,” but one thing the Jets of the late Seventies did well as they built their offense back to mid-Eighties prominence was to run the ball to the top of the NFL charts in 1979.

“I think it’s been well-established in our league that you need to be able to run the ball,” Idzik said. “That was certainly part of my father’s philosophy when he was offensive coordinator. He did it by committee back then. We did it in Seattle in a different fashion. So yeah, I think that is important.”

Idzik, needless to say, thinks the passing game and the scoring dimension are every bit as important. As he said about the Jets’ offense, “We’ll go through the specifics with Rex and his staff,” and he’ll address those specifics a little more in response to reporters’ questions in the 11 o’clock hour and we’ll put a news story together on that news conference with some of those replies.

As for a lesson taught beyond football, it was the value of teamwork and the importance of the new cast of players, coaches and staff he’s now meeting and will be going to work with in the coming days and weeks and months.

“The mission statement would be about developing and maintaining a cohesive unit, all pulling together for a single purpose,” he said. “It sounds trite, but it’s more difficult to do, and I think in football there’s no more visible evidence of that being the mode of success, just pure teamwork. So job one for me is to learn the people in the building. We have a lot of good people here. And we’ll get to know each other and I’ll get to know what everyone does, and more specifically as we get into planning, to do a thorough roster evaluation and then start developing plans for free agency, salary cap and the draft.”

That segued nicely into his response to my question about any misperceptions he may have read or heard from the reporting about his candidacy to become Woody Johnson’s new football executive.

“I don’t pay too much attention to perceptions,” he said. “What matters to me are the people I work with. That’s reality to me. I don’t address misperceptions. I think what we do will really prove true.”


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Great Words Now, Hard Work Ahead

Posted by Randy Lange on January 8, 2013 – 2:46 pm

It’s a testament to what the Jets have become that a 6-10 team could wait until nine days after the end of its season to hold its end-of-season news conference — and create a bigger scene than it would have eight days earlier.

All the trappings of a major news event were here at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center today: satellite trucks and Sal Pal standups outside the reporters’ area, assigned seating for the packed news conference room, Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan in business suits facing the media music.

There could have been contention among the beat reporters for the Jets possibly having been in violation of the “Bill Parcells Rule” that advises all teams to hold end-of-season news conferences within seven days after their last games, the rule named for when the Tuna took the organization “down to the bunker” for a month or two after some of those seasons back in the Eighties.

But it was never the Jets’ intention to violate the spirit of the rule, and the NFL and the Pro Football Writers of America agreed to let this process take its course. Then Johnson may have defused any lingering questions with his opening remarks.

“I want to make an apology. I’ve read your statements,” the Jets’ now 14th-year chairman and CEO said of the stories about the delay of the post mortem. “The coach is not responsible for this. I wanted him to wait until I had a chance to think a little more about the season. … Your comments about the delay are valid. I take them for what they are. I should’ve gotten back to them earlier.”

That being said, reporters still came at the duo rapidly and relentlessly, at least on the several occasions when multiple people had tough questions that they had to pose simultaneously.

Just as it was within their rights to ask all those questions, pertinent and impertinent, it was also within Rex’s and Woody’s rights to decline to answer every question directly. That’s the way it is at all news conferences of this sort. Some topics can’t be discussed at this time. Some can’t be discussed at any time.

But reporters and fans can easily read between most lines. And the space between one set of lines was clearly legible when Ryan was asked twice early on about the unusual situation of the head coach staying and the guy above him coming in new to the organization, about Rex facing a “make-or-break situation” for the 2013 season.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll have the exact same agenda as the general manager will have — that is, we want to win,” Ryan said. “I don’t know who the general manager is, but I promise you he wants to win as bad as I do. I look at this as a new beginning, just like it’ll be a new beginning for the GM. That’s how I’m approaching it.

“You’re one of 32 men in this country who have this, you’re in the NFL as a head coach. That is an unbelievable honor and a privilege, that’s certainly the way I feel. But I’m excited. I do look at it as a beginning. We’re going to be a dangerous football team, I can promise you that. How many wins and all that, I can’t tell you, but you’re not going to want to play the New York Jets. I know that’s the mentality we’re going take. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

And reading further between those lines, you can call that Rex’s bluster, or his supreme confidence in his own ability and in the people around him, but it’s something that has further rubbed off on Johnson the four previous seasons.

“Having been in the business of football for quite a while, you can recognize talent when you see it,” the owner. “I’m expressing my confidence in Rex. The only way you’re going to get better is by admitting what you haven’t done so far. Rex knows where he wants to improve and I believe him. He took us two years to a very high level, and it was just a question of whether we made it all the way in those years. I have confidence in Rex as a head coach, as a leader, as a motivator, as a playcaller.

“My confidence in Rex, I’ve stated a number of times,” the owner said later. “I think the general manager, whoever we select, it’s very important that he has to have a good relationship with Rex, which I’m sure he’ll have. That’s the GM’s job, and that’s all I’m going to say on that. We’re going to have all the pieces to put something really great on the field, led by Rex.”

All this being said, it was Jerry Glanville who I recall was the first to say NFL stood for “Not For Long.” So there’s no timeline for Ryan, no leash in the hall closet, no lame duck under glass on the menu. But there are a lot of front office and coaching shoes to fill, a lot of new players arriving, a lot of familiar names departing, some of their own volition, some not. The words today are fine, but a lot of work needs to be done for the Jets to be as dangerous as they can be.

Twenty-12 has finally been deep-sixed. It’s on to 2013.


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Ayers, Carimi, Others Visiting Jets Today

Posted by Eric Allen on April 13, 2011 – 11:00 am

The Jets continue a busy week of draft preparation today, hosting six players at the Atlantic Health Training Center, including UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers and Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi.

A pair of corners — Chykie Brown of Texas and Buffalo’s Josh Thomas — also stopped by along with Stanford DT Sione Fua and Louisville RB Bilal Powell.

The 6’3”, 254-pound Ayers was an impact player the past two seasons for the Bruins, combining for 24.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, six interceptions and four forced fumbles. A senior captain, Ayers rebounded from a disappointing combine performance by improving his numbers across the board at his pro day, including a 4.69 time in the 40-yard dash (down from a 4.81) and an increase in the 225-pound bench from 18 to 22.

If Ayers does end up with a 3-4 team, you would think that he’d start on the outside. He played a lot of coverage for the Bruins on the strong side in a 4-3, so there should be a lot of upside in the pass-rush department.

Carimi (6’7”, 214) worked out at guard during the Senior Bowl but he’ll be a tackle on Sundays. He won the Outland Trophy and captured All America first-team honors last year as the Badgers advanced to the Rose Bowl.

“I’m physically stronger and have more career starts [49] and better knowledge of the game than any other tackle out there,” he said at the combine. “That’s why I’m the No. 1 tackle.”

The Cardinal played a 3-4 front in 2010 and Fua anchored the defensive line at nose. He earned All-Pac-10 second-team honors as senior, registering 22 tackles (six for loss) and 4.5 sacks. Fua (6’2”, 308) is built low to the ground, has a strong lower body and plays with passion.

After a quiet start to his collegiate career, Powell exploded on the Big East scene with 1,405 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. He was a consistent performer on Saturdays, going over the 200-yard mark twice and reaching the 100-yard plateau seven times. He also caught 18 passes for 158 yards and three scores.

Brown (5’11”, 190) sprinted to a 4.37 at UT’s pro day. He played in nine games as a senior due to a broken forearm, yet amassed 48 tackles, two interceptions, eight passes defended, two sacks and a forced fumble his junior year. He is expected to be a third-day selection on draft weekend.

The 5’10”, 191-pound Thomas is a physical player said to always be searching for the collision. His 29 passes defended tied for the fifth-best mark in UB history.


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Multiple Threat Cobb Among Today’s Visitors

Posted by Eric Allen on April 12, 2011 – 1:51 pm

The Jets are hosting college prospects again at their Atlantic Heath Training Center and today’s group includes the versatile Randall Cobb. A multidimensional performer at Kentucky, Cobb broke the SEC’s single-season record with 2,396 all-purpose yards last season.

In addition to Cobb’s arrival, the Jets also have brought in Abilene Christian WR Edmond “Clyde” Gates, Michigan TE Martell Webb and Hampton DT Kenrick Ellis for visits.

The only thing that slowed Gates recently was a hamstring injury during Senior Bowl week. He blazed to a 4.37 time in the 40-yard dash at the Indianapolis combine and was tremendously explosive as a senior with 66 catches, 1,182 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. After attending Tyler JC, Gates made a successful transition to Abilene Christian and finished first in school annals in touchdown catches (27), second in receiving yards (2,885), third in catches (158) and fourth in scoring (194).

A four-year letterman at Michigan, the 6’4”, 256-pound Webb played in 38 career contests and made three starts at tight end. His career stats include nine receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The Wolverines were a run-heavy offense under the since departed Rich Rodriguez.

After struggling with character issues at South Carolina, Ellis transferred to Hampton and took advantage of the lower-level competition. The 6’5”, 346-pounder totaled 94 tackles (34 solo), 15 tackles for loss and two sacks last season while earning All-MEAC first-team honors. He was also all-conference first-team in ’09 after he amassed 51 tackles, 15 for loss and 1.5 sacks.

“I had to look within myself and change a lot of things within myself and around me,” Ellis said at the combine. “And after I changed those things, it was pretty much easy after that. I had to realize that I had a problem, and I confronted it and overcame it.”

Cobb’s numbers were staggering last season when you consider he had 84 catches and seven receiving touchdowns, 424 yards on the ground and five scores, and another 955 yards returning punts and kicks. He has received comparisons to Hines Ward.

“I just want to be known as a football player,” Cobb said this year on ESPN.com. “I know I’m not the fastest guy. If you take me to the combine, I’m not going to have the best numbers across the board. But when you put me on the field, I think my talent would be at a level where I could overcome the speed and the strength of other guys.”


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Rex’s Training Camp May Be a Road Show

Posted by Randy Lange on March 26, 2009 – 6:37 pm

There are many approaches to NFL training camp. For 40 years the Jets held their camp at their trainining facility on the grounds of Hofstra University. Other teams also stay close to home.

But others still look further afield, to sites that subject a team and its players to a spartan environment, away from familiar surroundings, to produce a unit knit tightly by adversity that is ready out of the starting gate to take on the rigors of an NFL season.

Head coach Rex Ryan’s Jets may try this last approach to training camp this summer.

“Coach Ryan is looking to find a more isolated environment for training camp to promote team building and we are researching potential locations," said Bruce Speight, the Jets’ senior director of media relations. "However, any plans will also include community events at our Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and on Long Island prior to the start of the regular season.”

The team is seeking a balance, wanting to maintain ties to its longtime base and to the communities surrounding its new home in Florham Park, N.J., while also finding that right spot to conduct Ryan’s first camp as an NFL head coach.

 

The Ravens, whom Ryan coached with for the previous 10 seasons, have held their past 13 training camps at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md., which is located 30 minutes from the Ravens’ practice facility in Owings Mills, Md., and 50 minutes from downtown Baltimore.

At this point, nothing has been decided and, Speight said, "No options have been ruled out."

We’ll keep you posted on details of Jets training camp as we get them.


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JUSTINE: Dancing, Learning … and Voting

Posted by jetsflightcrew on October 21, 2008 – 2:26 pm

Each week we’ll feature a blog by a different member of the New York Jets Flight Crew. This week’s guest Flight Crew blogger: Justine.     

Hey, Jets fans, it’s Justine from the Flight Crew! I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am that this past extremely hectic week has ended. Between mid-terms all week and traveling from school to practice in Florham Park, N.J., I was exhausted.

It was so exciting to visit and dance at the new Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. It’s absolutely gigantic and just so state of the art! My teammates and I got to practice on a full indoor field, something we don’t usually get to do during the week. By the second practice we couldn’t help but feel at home!

Another week has gone by, which brings us closer to Nov. 4, this year’s presidential election. I am 18, the youngest member of the Flight Crew, and finally eligible to vote!!! Now I’m not going to tell you who I am voting for, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for my generation to vote and be educated on the candidates and who you choose to vote for.

We all live busy lives (myself included) but it is a necessity to take ten minutes and watch some highlights from the debate or discuss it with your friends and family. In between running from school to work to practice, I always make time to catch a clip from the news.

I personally make my decision by reading and watching as much about the candidates as I can. I talk about the election with my peers and parents (who do have a little influence on me because they brought me up to have the same value system as them) and I try to listen to all sides and opinions and take everything in so I can formulate my own opinion.

Not to be cliché but every vote does count! But don’t just vote to vote. Make your own opinion! Find out who you want to vote for and let your voice be heard Nov. 4!

And remember, we have another big home game on Sunday. Get in your seats early and make a lot of noise!

 

 


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Perfect Day to Picture the 2008 Team

Posted by Randy Lange on September 29, 2008 – 2:34 pm

If you went by the sky, there was kind of a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse feel to today’s team photo. Even though the sun poked out here and there, it was hiding behind a long patch of overcast shortly after noon as the players, coaches and the rest of the support staff began climbing the small yet sturdy gray bleachers.

But if you went by the mood of the players, it was a fun break from today’s meetings, and 56-35 makes it a whole lot easier to take as well.

Team photos seem to usually be snapped at this time of year but on a Saturday before a home game, once the week’s work is done. But with the Jets’ bye week coming earlier than usual, head coach Eric Mangini found a hole in the schedule for the players to change to their green jerseys and white pants (although two-thirds of the players sported bare lower legs, no socks, in the spirit of the news anchors who wear shorts behind their desks).

The lensmen for this job are familiar with the Mangini Jets. VSN Photography, based on Reading, Pa., travels in a van with the slogan "We Photograph Pride" on the side and shoots only sports team photographs for high schools, colleges and four NFL teams — the Bengals, Redskins, Patriots and Jets.

In fact, this is the sixth year the two-man crew has shot the Jets (and obviously their first at the team’s new Florham Park, N.J., facility). They got the assistant coaches, doctors, trainers, equipment staff and strength staff positioned on the upper tiers of that structure.

Then came the players, who were arranged in increasing numerical order from left to right, the first row sitting on the far sideline of the outdoor turf field, the second row sitting in chairs, the third standing on the ground, then rows 4 and up in the bleachers.

Fitting into the middle of the lower rows was the Jets’ hierarchy — owner Woody Johnson surrounded by executive vice presidents: GM Mike Tannenbaum to his right, Matt Higgins and Thad Sheely to his left.

One person remained to be seated.

"Waiting for you, Coach!" one of the players, probably Kris Jenkins, shouted as Eric Mangini came walking out of the building diagonally toward the "stage."

Mangini’s late arrival was understandable, seeing as he was accompanied by a guest. Curtis Martin is in the neighborhood today.

The legendary running back is getting a tour of the complex, and he stood to the side and watched a ritual he had participated in about a dozen times in his NFL career.

In five minutes, probably less, the positioning and the photos were done and the players clambered down from the framework to resume meetings. Based on the outcome of Sunday’s win over the Cardinals that propelled them into their bye week at 2-2, they should remain photo-worthy through October and deeper into the 2008 season.

More Firsts from the Cards Game

In case you were wondering …

Brett Favre is the first Jets QB to throw for 12 touchdowns in the first four games of a season. Favre is also the first Jets QB to throw for nine TDs in two consecutive games. He’s also the first NFL QB to have six touchdown passes and less than 300 yards in one game since Peyton Manning did it for the Colts against the Lions in 2004.

The Jets’ 34 second-quarter points were the most in any quarter in franchise history. And the last time an NFL team scored more in a quarter, it was the Redskins with 35 second-quarter points in their 42-10 Super Bowl XXII pullaway from the Broncos to end the 1987 season. Only the Lions last year, with 34 fourth-quarter points to pass the Bears, 37-27, had as many as the Jets since then.

The Jets’ turnover differential was one of the three best marks in franchise history. Here are the games in which the Jets registered a plus-6 or better in franchise history (all Jets home games):

 Season Final Score TAs-GAs TO Diff
 1979 JETS 14, Vikings 7 7-0 +7
 1984 JETS 43, Bengals 23 6-0 +6
 2008 JETS 56, Cardinals 35 7-1 +6

Kurt Warner’s 472 passing yards is the third-most by an opposing QB in franchise history. Dan Marino racked up 521 yards in the Dolphins’ 44-30 loss to the Jets at Miami in 1988, and Bernie Kosar went for 489 in the Jets’ 1986 playoff loss at Cleveland.

Inside the Jets

A dynamic duo of Jets big names are scheduled for tonight’s "Inside the Jets" show live at Charlie Brown’s steakhouse in Chatham, N.J., and on 1050-AM ESPN Radio. WR Laveranues Coles and G Alan Faneca are the guests, along with Jets Flight Crew members Lauren P. and Jessica S. Festivities go from 7-8 p.m.


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Frankly, Franks Is a Big Fieldhouse Fan

Posted by Randy Lange on September 26, 2008 – 3:01 pm

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.


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Jets Hold First Practice in New Fieldhouse

Posted by Randy Lange on September 26, 2008 – 11:02 am

The big news for today’s soggy day in Florham town is that head coach Eric Mangini and the Jets are going to take their new fieldhouse out for a spin.

Andy why not? I’m looking out on the outdoor turf field at the Atlantic Health Training Center and the steady rain is punctuating the standing water along the near hashmarks and on the far sideline and has put the area beyond the west end zone under a thin sheet of moisture.

Normally, this kind of day wouldn’t have deterred Mangini from taking his team outdoors at Hofstra. But considering that he’s got a starting QB and starting NT who don’t need slippery footing to help along their injuries, it’s time to hold the first practice indoors at the team’s new facility.

"We’re inside the fieldhouse," the coach announced to reporters at this morning’s news conference. "We used to say the bubble {at Hofstra] but it’s a little bigger than the bubble."

I’ll get you some reaction late in a followup blog late this afternoon from the players this afternoon on their first experiences under the 100-yard-long, 100-foot-high structure.

On those injured players, the I-report won’t be out until 4 this afternoon, but Mangini said again that he expects both Brett Favre and Kris Jenkins to be ready to go for Arizona at the Meadowlands on Sunday. And he had a semi-optimistic take on the status of the foot injury that has kept CB/KR Justin Miller sidelined so far this season.

"Justin’s good. He’s moving along," Mangini said. "Anytime with injuries, time definitely is a huge factor. It’s just difficult in the course of the season. You just can’t get off it and still be able to get prepared for a game. He’s working at it in the treatment room and out on the field. He’s like the rest of the group — we’ll evaluate him on gameday."

One practice point that the coach mentioned today was that the Cardinals won’t have the only defense on the East Rutherford pitch on Sunday that will be flying to the pigskin.

"I thought yesterday was another good day of practice," he said. "I’m pleased with the defense’s pursuit to the ball. It’s something we emphasize and something they’ve been doing a good job with. It’s another way to improve conditioning, getting 11 hats on the ball. A lot of plays open up when you’re chasing the ball. Opportunities happen."

Titan-ic Day

A reminder that the Jets will be wearing their Titans throwback uniforms for Sunday’s game. "It’s always fun to recognize the history of the organization," Mangini said.

This will be the third time the Jets will be wearing their navy and gold and the first time this season. Last year they lost to the Eagles at home, 16-9, then donned them again for the 40-13 December road defeat of the Dolphins. The Jets are also set to wear the throwbacks for the next game, Oct. 12 vs. Cincinnati.

Drive Time

Eric Allen’s and my weekly game preview radio show, "Jets Two-Minute Drive," will be available on newyorkjets.com today at 3 p.m. Our guest this week is Brian Baldinger, who will be analyzing the game for FOX. Baldinger, a New Yorker and Jets fan in his youth, has worked one other Green & White game — the 2003 meeting with Big Blue, won by the Giants, 31-28, in overtime. He has some great memories of that game that you can hear on our site beginning this afternoon.

Favre the Prophetic?

In the first minute of Monday’s telecast from San Diego, the ESPN crew was setting the over-under on how many passes Brett Favre was going to throw against the Chargers. The number in the booth was about 48 passes. Then Ron Jaworski reported that Favre "said he wanted 30 completions when I spoke to him yesterday." Favre, of course, finished 30-for-42.


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Changing Roles … for Ribbon-Cutting

Posted by Randy Lange on September 2, 2008 – 4:08 pm

Today’s actual ribbon-cutting to officially open the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center was somewhat like an Eric Mangini practice exercise in position versatility.

There was Mike Nugent — as the holder. Specifically, the Jets placekicker was gripping the ribbon across the business side entrance to the bulding, holding it taut for the ribbon-cutter and so the assembled photographers could get a clear shot of the names and logos on the ribbon.

As for the cutter, Kerry Rhodes wielded the scissors, but that, too, was a change in position.

"I wasn’t supposed to do anything," Rhodes said, "but at the last second, Mr. Johnson told me to do it."

So, flanked by Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbaum and some of New Jerseys most prominent politicians, and in front of cameras from multiple New York and New Jersey TV stations, Rhodes sheared most of the way through the ribbon, then finished the last half-inch with a strong second effort.

"It looked like there was a little bit left at the end there," Nugent said. "But Kerry did a good job getting it done."

Kind of like a kicker with a new holder and snapper on a bad patch of turf muscling a field goal just through the uprights.

We talked with Rhodes and three other teammates Monday. Today "Nuge" added his observations on the new facility. They weren’t much different from the raves of the players or from everyone else gathered for today’s ceremony in Florham Park, N.J.

"Mr. Johnson’s giving us just an unbelievable opportunity," Nugent said. "I’ve been here three or four times now, and every time I see it, I’m just amazed at how perfect it is for a football team to get a lot of work done."

Specifically, Nugent mentioned several benefits for him and his special teams-mates.

"There are so many options," he said. "If we have an indoor game [the Jets have none in the '08 regular season], we can go inside the fieldhouse, do full kickoffs and pretty much full punts, although I haven’t seen Ben [Graham] punt inside yet.

"Then outside you’ve got a full turf field and three grass fields. If the whole team is out on the practice fields, you can still find a spot to placekick and punt."

Nugent also mentioned a great point that was underscored by today’s high, bright sky.

"I think this will be a big help for returners catching punts and kickoffs," he said. "That’s a factor in 1 o’clock games where you can be looking straight into the sun."

So if the Jets are going on the road to play an early game in a north-south stadium, they can work on kicks on their three grass fields. An east-west orientation, it’s onto the outside turf field.

Nugent’s conclusion? He adds his voice to those of Rhodes, Shaun Ellis, Jerricho Cotchery and Nick Mangold from Monday. The AHJTC, said Nuge, is "a great place to work at so great things can happen."

OK, Jets fans, I can hear you now: Can we hear about something besides the new building? Soon. The player availability since Thursday’s preseason finale at Philly has been limited, and we’re very proud of our new home and the advantages it figures to bring to the Green & White. But I pledge the training center will be brought up only when it applies to specific players and storylines.

But in 18 hours or less, we shift gears into regular-season mode. Chad Pennington, Joey Porter, Tony Sparano, Bill Parcells and the Dolphins are ahead. And the reporters will grill the Jets on those players and many themes in the team’s huge new locker room (sorry, one more plug for the building), beginning Wednesday.

Know Your Westhoff History

ESPN committed an error on its "Bottom Line" crawl Monday night. In announcing the return of Mike Westhoff to the Jets’ coaching staff, the network declared that Westhoff had missed the entire 2007 season. For those who thought that sounded it odd, it was. Westhoff announced his retirement in the locker room following last year’s season finale against Kansas City after coaching the entire ’07 season. What Westhoff sat out was the entire ’08 off-season and preseason.


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