It’s easy to root for a player such as Kris Jenkins, to hope that Big Jenks has his knee back together, to foresee one more year of commanding double teams in the trenches, to will the Jets to give him one more chance to grab for that coveted ring.
But after Jenkins’ second season-ending left knee injury in less than a year, then after his release on Feb. 28, all that became a little more difficult to foresee.
And Jenkins seemingly has ended any last hurrah with the Jets or with another team when Wednesday afternoon he announced his retirement as an NFL player on his Facebook page.
“Wanted to let you all know that I have loved the support and respect that you all have given me throughout my career,” Jenks told his Facebook fans. “But it is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players. I am going to hang up the cleats! The mind is always willing to play but my body deserves the rest. Thank you for the opportunities to play, Carolina and New York.”
Certainly situations and minds change. But if Jenkins has indeed retired and decides to pursue a new line of work in broadcasting, gastronomy, politics or more, he left behind a legacy that, true, doesn’t include without a Super Bowl championship, yet still packed a punch to the solar plexus.
In his time with the Panthers (2001-07) and the Jets (2008-10), he played in 108 regular-season games with 102 starts, had 24 sacks (3.5 with the Jets), swatted down 12 passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two, and had an unofficial total of 359 tackles.
Some memorable Jenks games for the Green & White:
■ Game 8, 2008, at Buffalo, when he hit QB Trent Edwards four times and chalked up 1.5 sacks and stuffed Fred Jackson several times at or behind the line.
■ Game 1, 2009, the season opener at Houston, when he threw Texans around as the defense “pitched a shutout” in Rex Ryan’s first game as head coach.
■ Game 3, 2009, vs. Tennessee, when he chalked up his Jets high of 2.5 tackles for loss (plus another at the line), all taking down Chris Johnson.
Those were the days, my friend. But as Jenkins once said in his inimitable fashion, “That was then, but now we’re at now.” And so now we wish the big guy all the best as he heads into his next career.
Tags: Facebook, Kris Jenkins, retirement, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 24 Comments »
The Jets have made a series of personnel announcements this afternoon. The team is officially announcing that linebacker and team MVP David Harris signed his franchise tender on Monday and that offensive tackle Damien Woody, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Jason Taylor have been released.
Also, the Jets have announced that the following players have received qualifying offers:
■ CB Antonio Cromartie
■ WR Santonio Holmes
■ WR Brad Smith
■ S Eric Smith
■ QB Kellen Clemens
■ CB Drew Coleman
■ K Nick Folk
■ S James Ihedigbo
■ OL Rob Turner
Tags: Damien Woody, David Harris, Jason Taylor, Kris Jenkins, qualifying offers
Posted in Randy Lange | 49 Comments »
The utter heartbreak in the Jets’ locker room last Sunday in Pittsburgh was the result of many factors. After the Green & White’s championship dreams were shattered at Heinz Field, many players lamented that the team would never be the same again.
This afternoon the team’s savvy architect held a season-ending conference call with reporters to address the state of his team. It was no surprise that personnel questions dominated the conversation as the NFL looks to be headed toward a spring of uncertainty.
Labeling both RB LaDainian Tomlinson and OLB Jason Taylor as “similar situations,” Mr. T. said he expected both veterans would return. But he left the door open on changing his mind.
“Unexpected things can happen from contracts to other acquisitions you may make, but we expect LaDainian back and I expect him to contribute for another year in 2011,” said Tannenbaum.
Tomlinson led the Jets in regular-season play with 914 yards on the ground and six rush TDs. And LT, who averaged 4.0 yards a carry in the postseason and led the club in its three-game run with three TDs, also had 52 receptions.
“He ran the ball well, but he was a also great complement to Shonn [Greene] relative to the passing game, pass protection, and brought a lot of leadership to the team as well,” said Mr. T.
Taylor, who is the NFL’s active leader with 132.5 sacks, added five sacks to his total plus a safety at Pittsburgh in the regular season. The 36-year-old, a former Jets tormenter with 14 pro seasons under his belt, also took on a leadership role in his first season with New York’s AFC representative.
“We expect him back. Obviously once we get closer to the season and other players are here, things can always change,” Tannenbaum said. “But one thing I can say about Jason is he did so many good things for us from an intangible leadership standpoint, his effect on other players — Bryan Thomas and Jamaal Westerman in particular. He’s a pro’s pro. We’re lucky to have him. People like LaDainian, Tony Richardson and Jason Taylor, their leadership is really hard to quantify sometimes.”
Decisions will also have to be made on an interesting additional trio of vets in T-Rich, RT Damien Woody and NT Kris Jenkins. In regard to Richardson and Woody, they both could have competition for their jobs in FB John Conner, the fifth-round pick from Kentucky last April, and Vladimir Ducasse, the second-round selection from Massachusetts in 2010. It should be noted that Wayne Hunter, who played so well for the Jets when Woody went down with a pair of injuries late in the season, is also a UFA.
“Those are two guys we’re going to take a long look at,” Tannenbaum said of Richardson and Woody. “They’ve both done a great job for us, both are great leaders in their own right. No decision has been made on either guy and we’ll see how it goes, but I can say we would not have had the success we’ve had without those two players.”
Meanwhile, Jenkins, who has been limited to just seven games in the Rex Ryan era due to two ACL tears in his left knee, hopes to make a comeback. Whether that attempt takes place in Florham Park, N.J., remains to be seen.
“We haven’t made a decision. It would be very intriguing to see what he could do over a 16-game season playing under Rex,” said Mr. T. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, but we’ll take a long look at his situation as well.”
After three seasons with the Jets and a number of long looks, Vernon Gholston could be looking for a new home. The Ohio State product, selected No. 6 overall in 2008, hasn’t had a pro sack after amassing 22.5 on the collegiate level.
“He’s been given his fair share of opportunities and it could be time to move on,” Tannenbaum said, “but we’re not ready to say that yet.”
Two young players to keep an eye on are CB Kyle Wilson and DL Marcus Dixon. While the Jets hope to re-sign Antonio Cromartie, they have high hopes for Wilson
“Kyle’s future is one of our paramount objectives for the offseason in terms of his development. He has a great work ethic, he loves the game, and I expect that he’s going to be a contributor for us for years to come,” said Tannenbaum. “I’m glad that he’s here and we’ll need him to play at a higher, more consistent level next year.”
After being awarded off waivers from Dallas last September, the 6’4”, 295-pound Dixon got some valuable reps down the stretch.
“It could be a guy like Marcus Dixon who has to play a lot more next year and I see no reason why Dixon can’t be a big contributor for us.”
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Damien Woody, Jason Taylor, Kris Jenkins, Kyle Wilson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Mike Tannenbaum, Tony Richardson, Vernon Gholston
Posted in Eric Allen | 38 Comments »
Rex Ryan is a true believer in the power of the hometown hero.
You knew that if you considered why he designates many of his players as team captains for certain opponents. And he’ll have a bunch of guys with Detroit and Michigan ties going out to midfield at Ford Field on Sunday before the opening kickoff of the Jets-Lions game.
“We’re very well aware of where guys are from,” Ryan said. “I had an old football coach who told me he really believed in the hometown-hero type of thing. We had a running back who never played, then eight games into the season he put him in there, rotating in the backfield with the starter. ‘Why are you playing this guy?’ ‘He’s from this town.’ The guy goes out and rushes for 120 yards. Whoa! Ever since that time, I bought into that.”
Ryan had another example from his Baltimore coordinator’s career. In 2006 the Ravens were heading to New Orleans to play the Saints. That just happened to be near the hometowns of DBs Dawan Landry (Ama, La.) and Ronnie Prude (Shreveport). In that game Landry had two interceptions, Prude had one and each returned a pick for a TD in the Ravens’ 35-22 road win.
Ryan is planning on getting a similar hometown boost for his Jets against the Lions.
“I think the guys are excited to have Bart [Scott] going home,” he said, “and David Harris and Braylon [Edwards] and Vernon [Gholston]. Calvin Pace was born in Detroit. I think he lived there till he was 3 so he doesn’t remember much of it. Eric Smith, he was from Ohio but he went to Michigan State.”
Ryan is attuned to all his players, none more so than Scott, but one guy he’d really love to see have a career day is Gholston.
“The fact is, when I made the comment about ‘Well, the best defense in the National Football League is coming to your town,’ that was based on a comment a reporter made on Vernon Gholston,” Ryan further explained, saying the remark was detrimental toward Gholston. ” ‘You’ve got no idea. This guy’s a good football player, he really is.’
“That just kind of burned me a little bit. Vernon’s not that guy. He’s an excellent football player and he’s part of a great defense. And we’re happy he’s here.”
Needless to say, Ryan also knows that Gholston still doesn’t have a sack in 39 regular- and postseason pro games and that fans’ perception of him won’t change until he comes up with some major production. But the coach believes there’s a chance for all those guys who are going back to the neighborhood this weekend.
“I’m telling you, there’s something to it,” he said. “So I’m expecting big games from Bart, David, Vernon and Braylon. Anytime you go back home, you want to do something special.”
S Brodney Pool returned to full practice today after his head-banging collision with Darrelle Revis late in Thursday’s workout. The four players on the Jets’ injury report all practiced full today and all are probable for the game.
The Jets spent their last two days of practices in their fieldhouse at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. They’ll be playing indoors on Sunday, their 14th indoor game since 2000. They’re 8-5 in previous roofed games, their most recent being last year’s 1-1 split in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. … Gholston’s fulfilled 77 ticket requests for Sunday’s game for friends and family. …
Another Michigander Seen
It’s a shame thinking about what could have been in this game for Kris Jenkins, who also hails from Ypsilanti, not far from Detroit. But Jenks is still overlooking everything, including in Times Square, as the attached picture shows.
Kris is currently starring in a PSA for MillionTreesNYC, an environmental initiative undertaken by Mayor Bloomberg that has a goal of planting 1 million trees in the city by 2017. The PSA is being shown on the Clear Channel SpectacolorHD Digital Billboard at 47th and Broadway every hour for the next two weeks.
Eric Smith is another who’s got those Michigan ties and another Jet who was busy with his charitable endeavors recently. On Oct. 26 the Jets safety and special-team standout was hosted by the New York After-School All-Stars at a site visit with middle school children at I.S. 192 in the Jamaica section of New York.
Smith toured the after-school activities and followed that by sharing some life experiences and discussing paths to success, then a Q&A and finally a photograph/autograph session with the students in the school auditorium.
The event marked the beginning of a partnership between Smith and the “Touchdown vs. Shutdown” program. He’s donating to the charity on a per-tackle basis during this season, with the donations helping the After-School All-Stars provide after-school programming to at-risk youth in the New York area.
Tags: Bart Scott, Braylon Edwards, Brodney Pool, Calvin Pace, Detroit Lions, Eric Smith, Ford Field, Kris Jenkins, Rex Ryan, Vernon Gholston
Posted in Randy Lange | 17 Comments »
A number of intriguing matchups are presenting themselves for Sunday’s Jets-Packers tangle at the Meadowlands. One of them involves a guard that Rex Ryan has elevated on the praise meter going up against a defensive tackle that Kris Jenkins thinks the world of. More explanation follows.
The guard is Matt Slauson, and the Jets head coach presented him today with one of his Rexy awards.
“I think Matt’s as good a left guard as there is in our division,” Ryan said at today’s news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “So when you put him up against the Miami kid, Incognito, or the kid at Buffalo, the short-armed kid, Levitre, something like that, Slauson’s right there with them. Now if New England gets Logan Mankins back, he’s clearly the best guard, but right now Slauson, in my opinion, I’ll take him over any of these guards in our division.”
Slauson probably doesn’t have an incentive in his contract for being the best starting left guard in the AFC East according to his head coach. But the second-year man is pleased just the same.
“It was a nice thing to say, it was a great thing to hear,” he said this afternoon in front of his locker. “But I know I’m still young and I know I can be playing so much better. I have a lot of growing and I’ve just got to keep on working.”
The work this week in some part involves preparing to go up against an NFC defensive tackle on the rise in Cullen Jenkins. The last name is no coincidence — Cullen is the 6’2″, 305-pound, 29-year-old kid brother of Big Jenks, the 6’4″, 350-pound, 31-year-old Jets DT.
Kris, we all know, is on injured reserve for a second season, but he’s doing well in his early left knee rehab, he’s coming off a terrific turn on the CBS NFL Today panel before Sunday’s games, and he had a bit of a scouting report on his brother as he visited with reporters today.
“Cullen’s always been a lot quicker than me, more naturally gifted,” Kris said. “I know a lot of people look at me as being a beast or whatever when I’m on the field. With the type of athletic ability he has, he definitely has the potential to be a high-caliber player in this league.”
“I know he’s a great player,” said Slauson. “Obviously he’s Kris’ brother. I know what Kris does, and if he’s half of what Kris is, he’s going to be a handful and a half.”
But there are two wrinkles in this potential interior line slugfest. One is Cullen Jenkins’ calf injury. He aggravated it during warmups before the Sunday night game against Minnesota and wound up as a DNP against the Vikings. And he is listed on the Packers’ injury report today as limited at practice with the injury.
Kris says as far as he knows, Cullen will be ready to roll on Sunday.
“I think he thinks so,” Big Jenks reported. “But he’s honestly not going to share that with me just because I’m the enemy for this week and he is the younger brother, so he always tries to take advantage of the situation to be able to show up his brother.”
Slauson said he’s preparing for perhaps a three-headed DT — Jenkins as well as second-year man Jarius Wynn and rookie C.J. Wilson.
As for picking Kris Jenkins’ brain on how to approach Cullen, Slauson said, “I don’t really want to get into any of that because you never know. Players change on a weekly basis. There’s been a lot of times where I’ve watched film and I say, ‘OK, this is this guy’s go-to move,’ and I get into the game and he doesn’t do it at all, or he uses it twice.”
“I don’t know sometimes what to believe when it comes out of his mouth,” Big Jenks said of Little Jenks. “I just take it all with a grain of salt and I tell everybody to make sure you watch film and see what he’s going to do.”
One thing is certain: Slauson’s been doing everything the Jets had hoped and more in stepping in for Alan Faneca between C Nick Mangold and T D’Brickashaw Ferguson. He got beaten for a sack on opening night by Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata. But as Ryan said, “I’ve got news for you — Ngata makes maybe everybody look average. He’s got a chance to be Defensive Player of the Year, in my opinion.”
And ever since, Slauson has been improving in leaps and bounds. He’s a great story to document, one minute admitting he was “scared every day all throughout the offseason” about not wanting to be the line’s weak link, the next minute saying, “I knew in my heart that I was going to win the job.”
“My goal wasn’t to come out and be mediocre. It was to come in, replace a Hall of Fame guard and play as good as he did,” Slauson said. “Last year we were the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL, a great pass-blocking team, and I didn’t want to take a step back., And I feel like not only have I not done that but that we’ve gotten better as a group.”
Ryan lists only three players on today’s first injury report of the week: Calvin Pace (foot), limited, and Mangold (shoulder) and CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) as full practicers. “We’re healthy coming off that bye week and ready to roll,” said Rex.
The Packers list nine injured players, including eight starters who were limited or worse at today’s practice: Out — ROLB Brad Jones; Did Not Practice — WR Donald Driver (quad) and LDE Ryan Pickett (ankle); Limited — LT Chad Clifton (knee), RT Mark Tauscher (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (toe), FS Nick Collins (knee) and Jenkins.
Tags: Cullen Jenkins, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Green Bay Packers, Kris Jenkins, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Rex Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 14 Comments »
These are the times that try fans’ souls. I’m talking of course about the days between a tough opening night loss and the prep time for a tough foe ahead. It looks bleak. It feels crummy.
That’s what I loathe and love about the game of football. The waiting is the hardest part (thanks, Tom). While the team’s outside world reacts with anger and indecision, the players and coaches tighten their pads, double their chinstraps and get ready to get after it one more week.
And one thing I’ve learned over the more years than I can count (really, I’m getting old) about this game is that things turn around quickly. What looks bleak and weak after one game can become sleek and chic in the weeks ahead.
The Jets started 0-3 in 1981, finished 10-5-1 and made the playoffs. They lost the ’82 opener at home to Miami, 45-28, and proceeded to the AFC Championship Game. They opened ’85 with a 31-0 loss to the Raiders in La-La land and again fashioned a playoff season. From 0-2 in ’98 they went to 12-4 and were ahead of the Broncos with 23½ minutes to play for a ticket to Super Bowl XXXIII. They fell to Peyton and the Colts, 45-24, at home in their ’01 opener and made the playoffs. Let’s not even bring up the 1-4 start in ’02.
It might be said that the Jets seem to like to start in a small hole, or let’s count up how many Super Bowls in the above seasons that the Green & White reached. And a 10-9 loss to fall to 0-1 is not the preferred way to make it to this year’s dance.
But these are the cards the Jets have been dealt, it is what it is (thanks, LC), and any other phrase you’d want to come up with. In Rex we trust as the team gears up in an hour or so for today’s practice, the first of the week before the Patriots come calling at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday.
To get us through the day, here are a few lingering thoughts on the game past and the games ahead.
Somewhat lost in the Kris Jenkins injury and later developments was Sione Pouha’s milestone contribution to the Jets’ early success against the Ravens. His first fumble recovery on the strip sack of Joe Flacco set up the Jets’ first points in their new stadium, then his second on the Willis McGahee fumble turned the Birds away on the brink of entering the red zone.
Thus Pouha became the first Jet to recover two opponent fumbles in the same game (never mind the same quarter) since Bobby Houston in 1995 and the first Jets D-lineman to do the same since Bill Pickel in ’93. “Big Bo” was happy to hear about the distinctions.
“You have to hustle to the ball, man,” he told me. “My first one, I had a double-cut — the guard cut me and the center came out on top. So all I know is keep fighting, keep fighting. The guys got there and did what they did, got the ball out, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“The second one was more of a pursuit play. I think I tried to get a double slip and all I know is just run to the ball. The ball’s a magnet for the Jets defense. Everyone’s magnetized toward the ball — get there as quick and as fast as you can. You never know what’s going to happen. Know what I mean?”
We sure do, and that applies equally to the pain of Big Jenks’ second catastrophic injury to his left knee in 11 months. Pouha captured the defense’s mentality when talking about the loss of No. 77 again.
“He was disappointed that he wasn’t out there with us,” Pouha said of talking with his “brother” several times that night. “I was just giving him assurance, letting him know I was there. After he went out, it was just all men up. That was the rotation. It was pretty much just dig in your gut, give it all you’ve got.”
That’s what it is again for the D-line, and Bo and Mike DeVito are in the forefront once again.
Green Day Again?
It has been reported today that to help the troops, the Jets have reached out to and have signed seventh-year free agent Howard Green, who pitched in on the DL rotation before and Jenkins’ injury last year and began this season with the Redskins. We can’t confirm the signing yet, but we’d say there’s a good chance No. 95 could be at practice in a short while.
Top Ten Still
Rankings are a dime a dozen but rankings over time attest to a certain excellence. Despite the back end issues Monday, the Jets D yielded 282 yards to the Ravens and that pegs them 10th overall in the NFL’s yardage rankings this week. And that means for the 82nd time in the past 83 regular-season weeks, the Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine defense is a top-10 D. And the run defense is tied for third with the defense of a former Jets head coach, Pete Carroll’s Seahawks.
The passing offense, on the other hand, netted 60 yards, which is 32nd and last in the NFL. The last time the Jets’ passing game was ranked last was after the opening week in 1996, when they were 30th in a 30-team league.
Antonio Cromartie’s first game as a Jet had its ups but also a few downs. The pick and 66-yard return against Flacco? Up. The four penalties for 43 yards. Down.
Cromartie became the first Jet since tackle Jason Fabini to have four penalties marked off against him in a game. Fabini’s flag day came 10 years and 10 days before Cromartie’s night, when J-Fab was hit with four penalties for 35 yards in the ’00 opener at Green Bay. His infractions taht game: illegal use of hands, false start and two trips.
Three times in the last decade a Jet was flagged three times in a game: Santana Moss in 2002 at New England, Fabini in ’03 vs. Miami (all three penalties coming against current Jets LB Jason Taylor), and Darrelle Revis in January’s playoff game at Cincinnati.
One other thought for “Cro”: most such large penalty games, at least in recent Jets history, have come early in the year, and then decent seasons unfurl for those individuals. Cromartie’s a fine corner and games with much less yellow for him are ahead.
Sack Is Changed
Update, 2 p.m.: This afternoon Elias Sports Bureau issued a change in the scoring of the crushing sack of Joe Flacco 2:33 into the game. Even though Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas converged almost together for a Raven sandwich, Ellis got there a split second sooner to punch the ball loose from Flacco’s grasp. The play originally was scored a half-sack for each Jet but the revised ruling is a full sack for Ellis.
That is significant for “Big Katt” watchers, since Ellis now has 69.0 career sacks. It puts him nine sacks away from overtaking Ring of Honor D-lineman Joe Klecko for second place on the Jets’ all-time sack list. Klecko is at 77.5 and leader Mark Gastineau is at 107.5.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bryan Thomas, Howard Green, Jason Fabini, Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Sione Pouha
Posted in Randy Lange | 40 Comments »
Nose tackle Kris Jenkins, said Jets head coach Rex Ryan, is out for the season after reinjuring his left knee in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
“Obviously it’s going to be a huge blow for us,” Ryan said in subdued tones at his news conference today at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “I just feel really bad for Kris, a guy that rehabbed that injury everyday and worked at it.”
“We lost a heck of a football player. The thing is we did overcome him last year. The defense rallied around the guys that were out there — Sione [Pouha], Mike DeVito. We talk that it’s about the unit; it’s not just the individual.. We just have to step up.”
Ryan’s big man in the middle worked incredibly hard this offseason to recover from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament that he suffered against the Buffalo Bills in Game 6 last season. But midway through the second series of the first regular-season game, on a 3-yard run by FB LaRon McClain, he reinjured the same knee.
Jenkins, who was drafted out of the University of Maryland is a four time Pro Bowl selection (2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008), and made the All-Pro team in 2002, 2003 and 2008. For his career he has 278 tackles and 24 sacks, all while being known as one of the most imposing presences along the line of scrimmage in the NFL.
“He is a physical mismatch against anybody that he plays against,” Ryan said. “Not too many people walking the face of the earth are like that. Just a big powerful man that is athletic. And it’s hard to block one on one, impossible really.”
Ryan said he talked with Jenkins minute before he began his news conference. “He’s down,” Rex said, adding that no surgery has been scheduled yet and he thought Jenkins could “come through” the setback.
The coach reiterated that one player does not determine the outcome for an entire team and that defensive tackles Sione “Bo” Pouha and Mike DeVito played outstandingly in Jenkins’ stead last season and again Monday night as the Ravens’ ground game was held to 49 yards on 35 carries.
Tags: Kris Jenkins, Mike DeVito, Rex Ryan, Sione Pouha
Posted in Nick Gallo | 69 Comments »
The highlights of Rex Ryan’s short news conference today was the announcement of two starting backfield positions for Monday night’s season opener against Baltimore and the shortening of his short injury report by one name.
The starters are Shonn Greene at tailback and Tony Richardson at fullback. There wasn’t much surprise to either declaration, although the reporters at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center today wouldn’t have minded a Rex surprise at either spot.
As it was, Ryan used the P-word — “probably” — in saying the second-year man Greene will get the ball first ahead of 10th-year Hall of Famer-to-be LaDainian Tomlinson.
“We’ll probably start Shonn,” Ryan said, “but both those guys are going to be heavily involved in every week’s game plan. I’m sure they’ll be in there about the same amount of time.”
For anyone expecting to hear a stunning start for rookie John Conner, Ryan had only disappointment.
“The Terminator? We’ll start him on special teams, probably,” the coach said. “But T-Rich will be our starter” at fullback.
I’ll have a story with Greene on starting the year as the starting tailback — which, interestingly, doesn’t seem to motivate him as much as helping the Jets put together a winning effort — at midday Saturday.
Pool, Ellis Doing Better
The injury report also got a bit of good news with S Brodney Pool being elevated from not practicing in team drills on Thursday to doing limited work today.
“It was good to have Brodney out there, so that was a positive,” said Ryan, although he didn’t declare Pool’s ankle news to be so positive that he would start alongside Jim Leonhard at safety.
Also on the report, LB Calvin Pace (foot) remains out and DE Shaun Ellis (knee) is off the list and ready to roll.
The Ravens are listing six players on today’s I-list, with three out — WR Donté Stallworth, T Jared Gaither and 360-pound rookie DT Terrence Cody — and one new addition, LB Paul Kruger, listed as limited in practice with a shoulder injury.
SNY Expands Its Green Roster Limit
SNY announced the addition of four Jets starters to its weekly coverage of the Green & White today. DT Kris Jenkins, Richardson, WR Braylon Edwards and T Damien Woody will appear regularly on the cable network’s Jets reporting. The specifics:
■ Woody will join host Jonas Schwartz, Joe Benigno and a panel of Daily News writers every Tuesday from 5-5:30 p.m. to talk “all things Jets” on Daily News Live.
■ Richardson sits down exclusively with host Gary Apple on Geico SportsNite every Tuesday from 10-10:30 p.m. to discuss the latest news surrounding Gang Green.
■ Jenkins will bring the heat to Loud Mouths every Thursday from 6-6:30 p.m.
■ Edwards steps into The WheelHouse every Friday from 5:30-6 p.m. with Brandon Tierney, Marc “Moose” Malusis and host Brian Custer.
Huddle Up, NJ and LI
Jets Huddle, our in-house TV show for Verizon FiOS Channel 1 viewers, will make its regular-season debut both on Long Island and in New Jersey this weekend. For future reference, the times in New Jersey are Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The times on Long Island are Saturday, 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m.
Tags: Braylon Edwards, Damien Woody, John Conner, Kris Jenkins, LaDainian Tomlinson, Rex Ryan, Shonn Greene, sny, Tony Richardson
Posted in Randy Lange | 8 Comments »
The Jets are warming up at Bank of America Stadium about an hour before the start of tonight’s preseason game against the Panthers. And it would be a welcome turn in franchise history if the Green & White starters (about one quarter) and the twos and threes (about the last three quarters) can put together a complete game in Charlotte, N.C.
They’ve been hard to come by the few times the Jets visited here previously.
Remember the 2005 regular-season game at this stadium? Brooks Bollinger, pressed into duty due to multiple starting QB injuries, threw four second-half interceptions as the Panthers pulled away for a 30-3 victory.
Four years earlier, these teams played a game that so ugly that it got a nickname: “The Shrek Game.” The reason it wasn’t as ugly for the Jets as for the Panthers is that the Jets won it, 13-12, on John Hall’s field goal with 4:53 to play (at the same venue as tonight, although the name then was Ericsson Stadium).
Reporters sniffed about how ugly the victory was, but then-coach Herm Edwards, not one to pass up a great cultural tie-in, employed Shrek, the green, animated ogre who made his movie debut a short while before, to let his players and fans know that every win is beautiful.
We won’t even venture too far back to 1995, when the teams met for the first time (at Clemson Memorial Stadium, just over the NC/SC border) and Bubby Brister committed “the Shovel Pass” that Sam Mills took 36 yards for the INT-return TD that helped the Panthers to the first win in franchise history, 26-15.
And since the teams have never played a preseason game at Carolina, this is certainly a chance for the Green & White to make a small break with the past and send out the message, to their fans and their “Hard Knocks” audience among many, that the entire team is settling into “Play Like a Jet” mode.
As mentioned, the starters, after playing the first half vs. the Giants, have been ticketed for roughly one quarter of work tonight.
“Yes, I think that’s it, no more,” said head coach Rex Ryan on Thursday, his last news conference at training camp on the SUNY Cortland campus. ‘That’s the deal, that’s how we’re going into this game, so it’s really flipped, how you would play the game.”
So Mark Sanchez may get to work on some of the checkdown passes that were the talk of the past week or so, and Matt Slauson and Vlad Ducasse will continue their LG battle. On defense, NT Kris Jenkins, back in the town he called home for his first seven NFL seasons, will take the next step on his road back from his season-ending knee injury of a year ago, and first-rounder Kyle Wilson is expected to get the CB start as Darrelle Revis’ holdout continues.
But the starters will leave early on and Rex and the Jets will then take a look at their backups, such as QB Mark Brunell perhaps throwing to old/new Jets WR Laveranues Coles, a large cast of ILBs (Kenwin Cummings, Lance Laury and newcomer Boris Lee should play, but no word yet on the health status of Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele), and a secondary that could be tested by the Panthers WR corps, which should include some routes being run by former Jet Wallace Wright.
The weather in Charlotte is expected to be in the low 80s under mostly cloudy skies for this game. Because the Panthers are in their white uniforms with blue trim, the Jets will be wearing their green jerseys and white pants.
Tonight’s referee is Clete Blakeman. If you’re not familiar with that name, that’s because Clete is a new referee this season and thus is working his first Jets game.
Kickoff is about an hour away now. Eric Allen and Nick Gallo will be manning the CoveritLive chat on newyorkjets.com for all who want to check it out, while I will be doing my ingame tweeting, along with Jets radio voice Bob Wischusen, with our tweets appearing on both twitter.com/nyjets and the live chat. I’ll have a game story available on our site as soon as possible after the end of the game.
Then EA, Nick and I will do followups through Sunday leading into next week’s final training camp practices — open sessions Monday and Tuesday at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J., and Wednesday evening at Hofstra Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. The busy preseason continues.
Tags: Bank of America Stadium, Cliff Blakeman, Herm Edwards, Kris Jenkins, Kyle Wilson, Laveranues Coles, Mark Brunell, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Shrek Game, Wallace Wright
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Matt Slauson’s a semi-hangin’ judge.
“I’m kind of tough on myself,” the Jets’ left guard said. “I’d give myself a B-minus.”
In the Jets’ 31-16 loss to the Giants on Monday night, Slauson said he “had three pass plays I wish I had back,” and there was a red-zone holding call on a short LaDainian Tomlinson run.
But all things considered, let’s give Slauson an incomplete with a green star showing hope for improvement. It was, after all, his first pro start of any kind. And the morning of the game, he and the Jets’ O-line found out that Nick Mangold wouldn’t be playing.
“Nick had a headache and it’s probably not even related” to a blow to the temple he suffered in practice, head coach Rex Ryan said. “It’s one of those things where you’d much rather be safe than sorry.
So Rob Turner moved in at the pivot, and say what you want about Turner’s versatility and scrappiness, he’s not yet Mangold to Slauson, who had perhaps gotten used to the experienced No. 74 lining up to his right during Cortland practices.
But Slauson did fire out nicely on some of the Shonn Greene and LT runs, and the only sack the OL gave up of Mark Sanchez came when first-round rookie Jason Pierre-Paul got past RT Damien Woody late in the first half.
“It’s really day-to-day. There are some days where my run blocking is just great, then other days where my pass blocking is great and my run blocking isn’t,” Slauson assessed. “But I’m heading in the right direction. I’ve just got to keep on working, keep on pushing.”
Second rookie Vlad Ducasse worked at LG in the second half. We’ll see later this week if Ryan, Brian Schottenheimer and OL boss Bill Callahan will decide to tweak the rotation or the percentage of plays for either man when the Jets visit the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.
Big Jenks Back
Kris Jenkins was feeling frisky in his postgame interviews, which generally means Big Jenks is pretty happy. Finally the big but less big than previously No. 77 settled down and talked about his physical well-being after his first game activity since tearing his knee in Game 6 vs. Buffalo last season.
“I feel fine,” Jenkins said. “It was great. It was something I definitely had to get out of my system. It’s something I understood that the first game, there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment because I haven’t been out there in a while, and when we’re going at practice it’s not at that tempo and the fans out there, the environment’s different. Being out there was a little bit of a shock because I haven’t been out there in a while, but at the same time, once I got a couple of plays under my belt, I felt great.”
Jenks was also asked the always provocative question regarding Giants RB Brandon Jacobs chirping about how the new stadium may not say “Giants” on the outside anymore but it’s still the Giants’ stadium, which is an incorrect statement on the face of it, and Jenks let the questioner know that.
“Brandon’s my boy but it’s always fun and games with him,” Jenkins said. “This is the first year I can say he’s heavier as a running back than I am as a D-lineman right now. So back at you — jab, jab!”
We mentioned in our game story that WR Victor Cruz, the Giants rookie and Ducasse’s former UMass teammate, did something no other Jets preseason opponent had done in at least two decades, which was score three touchdowns in a game on the Green & White.
Three TD grabs in an NFL summer game hasn’t happened for a while. Terrell Owens was the last to do it, for San Francisco against Miami in 1998.
Cruz also racked up 145 yards on six catches, which also ranks up there on the list of most summer receiving yards by Jets opponents. Perhaps not surprisingly, since the Jets play the Giants every year, is that the top four opponent yardage totals since 1992 have been put up by Big Blue wideouts. The other three: Ike Hilliard (7-150-1) in 2003, Hakeem Nicks (6-144-2) last year and Amani Toomer (3-124-1) in 2000.
The last Jets receivers to reach the 140 plateau in preseason? Dedric Ward (6-141-1) against the Giants in ’98 and Wayne Chrebet (10-140-1) at Tampa Bay in ’97.
Tags: Dedric Ward, Kris Jenkins, Matt Slauson, Rex Ryan, Terrell Owens, Victor Cruz, Vlad Ducasse, Wayne Chrebet
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