It was old home week in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room this afternoon.
David Clowney was back after a week and a half away, Howard Green after an offseason away.
Calvin Pace, well, he never really left but he hadn’t been schmoozing s-p-o-r-t-s with reporters like he used to since breaking a bone in his foot against the Redskins in the preseason.
“It was great getting off of those crutches,” Pace told me, his leg looking only a little the worse for wear with some bandages. He’s listed out again for the Patriots but he looks like he’s walking OK.
Clowney’s looking much the same as he did before he was released, ready to come out flying when called on.
“I’m happy to be here, happy to be back and help my team win,” said the Clown.
Green had the furthest trip to find his way back to Florham Park. “Big Hah’rd,” as Rex Ryan calls him, became a free agent after last season, signed with the Redskins (and made three tackles against the Jets at NMS in the third preseason game), was cut, went back home to Louisiana, then got the call not long after Kris Jenkins went down Monday night.
“You never know what’s going to happen around this league,” said Green, who got his old No. 95 back in the bargain. “Anything may happen, but when one door closes, another opens and you walk right into it. Me having been here before makes it easier.”
That’s one thing to keep in mind about roster moves at this time of year, at any time on the football calendar. One may disapprove of a particular move or exchange of moves, such as waiving Danny Woodhead and bringing back Clowney. But there are always reasons, some stated, some unstated, for why teams do what they do. And today’s players, as human as they are, have learned to roll with the punches and to know that as quickly as they depart, they could return.
“Mike T let me know it was not goodbye but more see you later,” Clowney said. “I was surprised I didn’t get claimed but I was cut after the final cuts to 53. I had a couple of workouts, but I just kept praying about it and I’m back here a week later.”
And all three of the aforementioned players found themselves watching the Jets-Ravens Monday-nighter, even though two of the three at that time were not Jets.
“I was watching the game, yelling like I was still on the team, still on the sideline,” Clowney said.
“I watched every minute of the game from home,” Green said. “When Kris went down, I felt bad for him. I really didn’t think about myself when that happened. I was thinking about him more than anything. He’s a good guy, a great guy.”
As for Calvin, he cheered, too, although his situation was and is a bit different.
“I’m not a fan of sitting in a box and watching,” he said, adding about his defensive mates, “The guys played great. They had some things that can be worked on but I think they had a great game on defense. I would’ve loved to be out there for it. It’s kind of a helpless feeling, sitting up and watching the guys go to war and you can’t do too much except cheer.”
Helplessness hits a lot of guys this time of year, for different reasons. But the great thing about these three is that they all want to be here, wanted to be contributing before they left the action. And now that two of the three are back on the roster and Pace is close to returning, they all want to have a hand in helping the Jets get back on the winning road toward their ultimate goal.
“I felt good today. I played some offense and did some scout team work,” said Clowney, who added that Larry Taylor at 5’6″ and not Clowney at 6’0″ impersonated elusive WR 5’9″ Wes Welker for the defense.
“I’m going to continue to be myself, continue to go at 100 miles an hour, continue to root on my teammates if for whatever reason I’m not in the game,” he said. “I would love to be here for the remainder of my career. I would love to play for the New York Jets for the next 10 years. I’ve been a Jet since Week 5 of my rookie year. I just want to keep it consistent. I’ve made plays in the preseason and I’ve made plays in the regular season. I want to continue to play and I want to continue to do it here in New York if possible.”
For now for Clowney and Green, and soon enough for Pace, it’s possible. And all contributions to victory are welcome.
Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick exchanged compliments today. Rex at his afternoon news conference said, “I know I respect him and I think he respects me. At least he respects the kind of commitment I have to football, the way we play, period. … But you know the kind of respect I have for Belichick doesn’t mean I’m not going to go out and try to beat him. That’s my job, and I’m going to try like crazy to beat him.”
Belichick, on his conference call with Jets reporters, confirmed: “I have a lot of respect for Rex. I always have. My relationship with that family goes back quite a ways with Buddy [Ryan] in Philadelphia and Arizona, when we were both coordinators or head coaches in the league. His brother Rob coached here for four years. Rex has done a terrific job. I think our styles are a little different, but I don’t think that really matters. I have a lot of respect for what he does and the way that his teams play. They’re a tough opponent.”
Shonn Greene wasn’t backing away from ownership of his lost fumble at the Ravens 24 late in the first half. “That was a key moment in the game, that fumble, and then it turned into a touchdown for Baltimore. I put that pretty much on my shoulders.” Does Greene think the Patriots defenders will be trying to pry the ball from the second-year back’s grip Sunday? “They’ll be prepared for it,” he said, “and I’ll be prepared as well.”
Jenkins was officially placed on injured reserve to make room for Green. … Only Pace and S Brodney Pool (ankle, limited) are on the Jets’ injury list. The Patriots listed five players. T Nick Kaczur (back) and CB Terrence Wheatley (foot) didn’t practice, RB Fred Taylor (toe) and WR Julian Edelman (foot) were limited in team drills, and QB Tom Brady (right shoulder) was listed as a full participant.
Tags: Calvin Pace, Danny Woodhead, David Clowney, Howard Green, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene
Posted in Randy Lange | 26 Comments »
The New York Jets today re-signed WR David Clowney and waived RB/WR Danny Woodhead.
After Mark Sanchez threw for just 74 yards in Monday night’s loss to the Ravens, the Green & White brought back a burner in Clowney. A three-year vet, the 6’0”, 188-pound Clowney played in 13 games last season and established career highs with 14 receptions for 191 yards and a TD. Originally a fifth-round pick of the Packers in 2007, he has appeared in 15 career games with the Green & White.
Woodhead, also in his third pro season, played against the Ravens but did not record an offensive stat. He appeared in 10 regular-season games last season in a dual role, rushing 15 times for 64 yards and catching eight balls for 87 yards.
Before Woodhead signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent, he won two consecutive Harlon Trophies (an award that honors the best player in Division II) while rushing for 7,962 yards and amassing 9,749 yards all-purpose yards at Chadron State. His college accomplishments included scoring in 38 straight games and rushing for more than 200 yards in 19 contests.
Tags: Danny Woodhead, David Clowney
Posted in Eric Allen | 135 Comments »
It has been a busy time for Santonio Holmes since he arrived on the Jets.
On the field he’s been showing his receiving skills on a daily basis. "There are times," head coach Rex Ryan said last week, "when he looks like the best player on the field."
And off the field, Holmes continues his fast pace of activities in the community — and especially for the kids.
The next circled date on the calendar for "Tone" is the FINESSE full-contact football camp for youth players from the ages of 7-14. FINESSE stands for Families Intent on Nurturing and Encouraging Scholastic and Sports Excellence. The camp is being held from Saturday through Wednesday at Florida Atlantic University.
Holmes, from Belle Glade, Fla., is sponsoring six kids from his hometown to participate in the camp.
A week from today Holmes drops in as a counselor at fellow Jets wide receiver David Clowney’s second annual youth football camp, held at the Delray Beach, Fla., soccer complex.
Then on July 3, Holmes and running back Fred Taylor host their annual football camp in Belle Glade.
And Holmes will join Clowney on the David Clowney Foundation’s mission to Ghana, Africa. That trip will run from July 19-27, with the players returned stateside five days before the Jets head to Cortland, N.Y., to open this year’s training camp.
Further down the road, Holmes and Taylor team up again Nov. 23 for their annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club in Belle Glade.
We asked Holmes about his busy community schedule.
"Giving back to the community is my way of showing my appreciation to those that have encouraged me to follow my dreams," he said. "I want to be an inspiration to show that no matter where people are from, with a lot of hard work and dedication anyone can do or be anything they dream."
Tags: David Clowney, Santonio Holmes
Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »
It could be a bit worthy of Seinfeld ("Don’t you know the difference between "seltzer" and "salsa"?) or Abbott and Costello.
Did you hear about David Clowney being the gunner?
Going to Ghana? Why, yes, I heard he is.
I said "gunner."
Yeah, I know. It’s pronounced "Ghana."
Clowney recently said in an Associated Press story that he’s gonna step into the fray and fill the role of the Jets’ punt-cover team’s flyer, a.k.a. gunner, held for several years by the since-departed Wallace Wright.
"I know I can do it — that’s not a question," Clowney told AP. "I come from a special-teams college at Virginia Tech. I started at flyer my last two years of college. It’s something I’m not new to."
Nor is he new to helping out his fellow man. Clowney was a part of the humanitarian visit by a group of Jets to Haiti. And from July 19-26, just before the start of training camp, he’s got his trip to the West African country of Ghana.
"I’ll be visiting children’s hospitals, helping the children of Ghana and hosting an American football camp for the kids," he blogs. "It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid and now I have the opportunity to do so." He’s already raised over $10,000 for the trip and he’s reaching out to teammates plus some opponents such as Colts RB Joseph Addai and Bills CB Drayton Florence to make the trip with him.
The journey originally was scheduled for July 3-10 but has been rescheduled, and for that we have to get back to the Clown and football. The Jets’ receivers will be flying west, not east, earlier in July to take part in several days of an informal team passing camp with Mark Sanchez back near his Mission Viejo, Calif., stomping grounds.
"The wideouts, the quarterbacks, the tight ends, we’re going to go through plays, routes and things out there," Clowney said. "A couple of guys are still learning the playbook. We’re all getting everything down, helping each other out. We’re just trying to do things as a corps. You’ve got to do stuff like this. There’s never time away from football. It’s year-round."
Especially if you want to play deep into the new year. Clowney refuses to look at the addition of Santonio Holmes, for instance, as a crimp in his playing time plans.
"Of course I want to play as many snaps as I can," he said. "But what’s more important is to win a Super Bowl, and Santonio is a good addition to help us do that."
As if he’s not busy enough, Clowney also has his annual football camp for the youth of Palm Beach County and South Florida, which this year he’s holding in the middle of what he’s calling the David Clowney Foundation Celebrity Weekend, running from June 25-27. You can find details on his Website here.
Intern Arrives in the Nick of Time
I wanted to let all you who read our Website closely that you’ll soon be reading content from a new source on newyorkjets.com.
Nick Gallo, 21, is our new seasonal intern, having ventured north from a life spent mostly in the Southland. He hails from North Carolina, having attended Durham Academy, and has just graduated from Vanderbilt University with his degree in political science (and a minor in corporate strategy).
Most important, perhaps, for Jets fans is that Nick knows his way around an NFL team, having served the previous two summers as a training camp intern with the Tennessee Titans and continuing that work on regular-season gamedays in Nashville.
Now if he can find his way around North Jersey’s notorious rush hour traffic, we’ll be all set. Nick will start reporting for us from Thursday’s media-availability OTA practice, if not sooner.
Tags: David Clowney, Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes
Posted in Randy Lange | 32 Comments »
When life deals lemons, well, you’ve heard that sweet-and-sour story before. In Aundrae Allison’s case, he looks across the line at the other side of the ball.
Allison, the Jets wideout who lost all of last season to an ACL tear in the final preseason game against Philadelphia, took inspiration during that time from a Vikings linebacker of his acquaintance.
"My whole mindset during that time was that I know so many people who came back from that injury that I really look up to player-wise," Allison told me last week. "One of the guys I always thought about was Chad Greenway. He’s one of my favorite linebackers in the NFL. He had the same injury his rookie year and he just bounced back. He was making great plays out there as if he never did it. I kept that in mind. That’s kept me motivated the whole time."
"My main focus is not to be a statistic. If I am, it’ll be a statistic that came back from the injury and had a great career."
Allison has been tantalizingly close to doing that since entering the NFL as Minnesota’s fifth-round pick out of East Carolina in 2007. Packing 4.39-second speed, he turned in a 104-yard kickoff-return TD as a rookie and averaged 12.8 yards on 18 receptions in limited work as a Vikings receiver.
When the Vikes waived him last August, the Jets brought him aboard and he started to catch eyes in Cortland. Rex Ryan called him "88 Out of the Gate" during camp, and it’s easy to forget that "Drae" had the third-most all-purpose yards on the Jets last preseason — 293 total, with 70 coming on one touchdown reception from Erik Ainge against the Giants.
Then Allison’s playing time came to a halt and the rehab began on the late-second-quarter kickoff return against the Eagles. But he’s come out of it a stronger and more focused candidate for the Jets’ WR corps.
"I’m feeling really good. Thank God the trainers did a good job of getting me back right," he said after running routes and catching a few balls during the most recent OTA practice. "It’s been a good process. It wasn’t too hard. Mentally I feel like I’m all the way there, but physically I’ve just got to take my time and be patient, still get the feel for it back. It’s going to take time, but it’ll come."
Time is starting to accelerate now, of course. Full-squad minicamp is ahead in mid-June, then camp in August. As if to keep Allison on his toes, the Jets went out and traded for Santonio Holmes. But again, Allison’s using the addition of topflight competition at his position as motivation.
"Santonio coming in, I’m like ‘Good, I can learn from him.’ That’s another guy I looked at, paid close attention to when he was at Pittsburgh. He’s a playmaker, so if anything I’m always going to be in his ear, trying to get his knicks and knacks, what he does on the field.
Ryan has Jerricho Cotchery plus two talented players at the position that he didn’t have at training camp last year in Braylon Edwards and Holmes. But the coach hasn’t forgotten how Allison was starting to come on late in the preseason. As he said on last week’s live chat, "We have an incredible amount of depth right now at receiver. Someone like David Clowney, Aundrae Allison, who unfortunately had the knee injury last year, the multitalented Brad Smith, those are guys who will be competing for jobs."
"You can’t really focus on who’s here and who’s not," Allison said about the crowded wideout picture. "You’ve just got to really stay in the present, just take advantage of the time you’re in that situation. That’s what I try to do. I just try to stay focused on the present and myself."
Here are the Jets’ seven pass plays of 70-plus yards, all for touchdowns, in all games the past five seasons:
|Sept. 17, 2006||RS||Jerricho Cotchery||Chad Pennington||vs. NE||71|
|Jan. 7, 2007||PO||Jerricho Cotchery||Chad Pennington||@NE||77|
|Aug. 25, 2007||PS||Leon Washington||Chad Pennington||@NYG||79|
|Aug. 7, 2008||PS||David Clowney||Brett Ratliff||@CLE||71|
|Aug. 7, 2008||PS||David Clowney||Brett Ratliff||@CLE||70|
|Aug. 29, 2009||PS||Aundrae Allison||Erik Ainge||@NYG||70|
|Jan. 24, 2010||PO||Braylon Edwards||Mark Sanchez||@IND||80|
Tags: Aundrae Allison, Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, David Clowney, Jerricho Cotchery, Rex Ryan, Santonio Holmes
Posted in Randy Lange | 19 Comments »
Just 16 days before the commencement of the 2010 draft and the Jets are dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s as a number of draft prospects are dropping by Florham Park for a visit this week.
Most of the hay is in the barn at this point, but these visits might give the Jets a better feel for a player and another chance to review some critical medical details. We’ve seen a bunch of the guys walking the halls here at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center and the list of invitees this week includes:
|T Anthony Davis||Rutgers||DT Corey Peters||Kentucky|
|RB Montario Hardesty||Tennessee||OL Maurkice Pouncey||Florida|
|CB Kareem Jackson||Alabama||CB Patrick Robinson||Florida State|
|RB Ryan Matthews||Fresno State||OLB Ricky Sapp||Clemson|
|CB Devin McCourty||Rutgers||TE Mickey Shuler||Penn State|
|DL Jared Odrick||Penn State||S Major Wright||Florida|
Thirty-two years ago, the Green & White drafted Penn State TE Mickey Shuler in the third round of the 1978 NFL Draft. Shuler played 12 seasons for the Jets and finished with career totals of 438 receptions (tied for fifth in franchise annals with Wesley Walker) and 4,819 yards (seventh). Mickey’s son, who impressed pro scouts at PSU’s pro day, had plenty of blocking responsibility under Joe Paterno and finished with 27 career catches.
Each NFL club is permitted to host 30 players, plus prospects who either attended a college within a 30-mile radius of the team’s facility (e.g., Rutgers for the Jets) or are currently living within 30 miles of a franchise’s headquarters.
Clowney Jet-Setting to Ghana
Fresh off a humanitarian mission in Haiti, WR David Clowney recently announced that he’s going to Ghana from July 3-10 in an effort to improve the lives of children in West Africa. His week-long mission will feature a visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital/Little Angels Trust, where he will make donation of money and medical supplies.
Clowney is also scheduled to speak to students and make a donation at a school in Kumasi and he’ll make an appearance at a children’s home in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The trip will conclude with an American football camp.
Tags: David Clowney, Penn State
Posted in Eric Allen | 58 Comments »
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
Posted in Special Contributor | 6 Comments »
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 »
You can file this under "Bottom Stories of the Day" (title courtesy the WSJ’s James Taranto) but we’re not expecting LaDainian Tomlinson to speak with reporters today.
However, that is news in the sense that Jets fans are eager to hear from the newest Jets signee. And while Tomlinson was reported to have agreed in principle to a contract with the Jets on Sunday night, he is, we hear, still on the West Coast, and the contract still needs to be officially signed.
With the day growing late here on the East Coast, the media relations department is planning to connect with LT on Tuesday for a conference call with reporters. This conference call won’t be carried live on newyorkjets.com but we’re planning to record the call and have it available as a podcast on our site.
As always, we’ll let you know what we’ve got when we’ve got it.
Meanwhile, we want to pass on to you that the Jets contingent headed up by safety James "Dig" Ihedigbo has landed in Haiti on its three-day mission to help that country continue to rebound from last month’s devastating earthquake.
Ihedigbo has been joined by WR David Clowney, LB Vernon Gholston and, from our multimedia department, Rich Gentile and Chris Ubbens. We heard first from Clowney, who tweeted the following:
Just landed in Haiti. Here’s a view from the sky http://twitpic.com/18srjl
Before they left, Ihedigbo offered this message via Twitter:
Few more hours till Hope Africa foundation joins Yele in Haiti…Can’t Wait also please pray for the group while we’re there!
Yele is the name of Wyclef Jean’s charitable foundation, which arranged much of the logistics for this trip.
We plan to have audio, video and written content for the next three days from the Jets players who are giving of themselves to help Haiti get back on its collective feet.
Tags: David Clowney, Haiti, James Ihedigbo, LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego, Vernon Gholston
Posted in Randy Lange | 46 Comments »
As an undercard to today’s Rex report, we bring you some excerpts from wideout David Clowney’s new blog. On his first pro regular-season touchdown reception, the 35-yard man-beater from Mark Sanchez at Oakland, he said:
"I almost came to tears on the sideline. I’ve been waiting on that thing for three years. All the times I’ve shined in the preseason, I finally got an opportunity in the regular season and I made it happen."
Now to the main event. Head coach Rex Ryan expressed optimism that more of those kinds of plays are in the offing and that he won’t become overlooked with Jerricho Cotchery returning to health to rejoin Braylon Edwards.
"I don’t think that’s going to happen anymore," Ryan said at today’s news conference. "I think there’s a lot of trust now. I think our coaches believe he’s going to be where he’s supposed to be. David, I think, is getting the mental part down. He obviously has the physical tools.
"I just think David gives you a weapon. If you just want to play man-free coverage or single high safety, he can blow the roof off, and I think he’s proven that. So I think that’s going to help us. The more balls he can catch underneath with the crossing routes, the little drives, the shallow routes are only going to help him become that big-time receiver also. He’s working like crazy to get better catching those intermediate and short routes as well."
Clowney started doing that seriously at Oakland as the Raiders focused on preventing Edwards from hurting them. His other three receptions went for 11, 14 and 19 yards. All four catches moved the chains; three converted third downs.
"We didn’t throw the ball a lot against Oakland, because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it," Clowney blogged. "We had two running backs running the heck out of the ball, so we just had to keep running it. That’s great because it’s going to open up plays for myself, Bray, Jerricho, Wallace and Brad."
And the positive health report today from Rex is that, while Clowney (ankle), Cotchery (hamstring) and Brad Smith (quad) remain "limited" at practice, "I think everybody looks pretty good" for Miami on Sunday.
"I think that’s going to give us a heck of a receiving corps, I really do," Ryan said. "When we got Braylon, that really upgraded our receiving corps. I really believe we have two No. 1 receivers now with Jerricho and Braylon, and you’ve got an emerging guy in David Clowney and then you’ve got the multidimensional Brad Smith and you’ve got Wallace Wright. I think that’s an excellent group."
Mix that in with the Thomas Jones/Shonn Greene-led running attack and Mark Sanchez’s growth curve and the prospects are good. We have to see who dresses and how it all shakes out vs. Miami, but just remember that in prime time three games ago, with Cotchery limited and Brad Smith out after he pulled his quad, Clowney reeled in his 53-yarder from Sanchez, still the Jets’ long reception this season.
A little special teams updated: Justin Miller continues to look good returning kickoffs and "he’ll be our kick returner" for Miami, Ryan said. Playing defense in this new Jets system "is probably French class to him," but Miller will be doing more on special teams than just KORs.
Ryan said Danny Woodhead isn’t moving into a prominent kick or punt returner at this time, although he’s a backup in those roles. But Woodhead’s three kickoff-coverage tackles led the Jets at Oakland "and that doesn’t happen by accident." Since he’s also developed something along the lines of dual offensive citizenship as a WR and RB, Rex said, "He’s a valuable player right now for us."
Tags: Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, Danny Woodhead, David Clowney, Jerricho Cotchery, Justin Miller, Miami Dolphins, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 31 Comments »