Damien Woody has always been multitalented, as his multiple career starts at four different offensive line positions in his NFL career would attest.
Tonight the Jets’ right tackle adds another position to his repertoire: radio talk-show host.
"I’m excited to get going," Woody told newyorkjets.com on his way to the New York studios of Sirius NFL Radio, for which he will begin his weekly radio gig tonight at 8 p.m. "It’s going to be a fun little deal. They’re going to be flexible with me obviously because of my main job."
Woody will team up with Sirius NFL Radio host Brian McGovern with a weekly spot in the network’s "Late Hits" lineup. His show will air from 8-11 p.m. every Tuesday night on Sirius’s home, Channel 124.
Jets fans might want to tune into D. Wood’s premier tonight. His special guest will be his Green & White linemate, Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold.
It’s been a very good year for the Jets’ O-line to increase its profile collectively and as individuals, following its 2009 season of leading the way for the team’s No. 1 rushing offense all the way to the AFC Championship Game.
"I think the buzz we created last year with Rex Ryan and the way we played and our mentality, the way we energized our fan base, everybody wants to be part of a winner," Woody said. "Sirius is taking a piece of that and just adding it on to their programming. I know for a fact they’re excited about me joining them and I’m excited likewise about joining them."
But Woody’s interest in the TV/radio biz preceded any interest from the Sirius galaxy of NFL broadcasters and broadcasting.
"From the beginning of my career in football, it’s something I always took an interest in and people have always told me they thought I’d do well in the media," he said. "The past couple of years the opportunity has presented itself and I figured what better time to take advantage of it than right now?"
I asked Woody the obligatory question that pro athletes get when they begin to do work in arenas other than football: Is your transition from the field to the booth imminent?
"Oh, no, by no means," the 12th-year man and third-year Jets starter said with his big laugh. "I’m trying to play for a while. Retirement is nowhere on my mind right now. But it’s all about adding on to the résumé. I’m just having fun, No. 1, playing football. But the one thing about playing this game is it presents a lot of opportunities for you. It’s up to the individual players to take advantage of those opportunities, and that’s what I’m doing."
Woody, his teammates and the entire team will get another media opportunity in August, as we all know, and that’s as the featured team on this year’s installment of HBO’s NFL reality series, "Hard Knocks."
"I think it’s great. I’m looking forward to it," Woody said. "We have a lot of characters in our locker room. I think last year was a start. Now building off of that, people will really get to know our team a little bit more intimately. Our fan base will get to know our team beyond the helmet, everybody’s different personality. I think it’s a great opportunity for more guys in our locker room to get more exposure. I’m looking forward to the summer."
And as any fan knows who’s heard him speak, seen him shoot his linked cuffs and pick up his briefcase, or checked out this venture capitalist’s Website, Woody comes prepared.
Tags: Damien Woody, Hard Knocks, Nick Mangold, Sirius NFL Radio
Posted in Randy Lange | 3 Comments »
We’re still waiting for the word from the football side of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center about final cuts. Head coach Rex Ryan is expected to have a conference call with reporters this afternoon to announce the 22 player moves the team has to make to get down to the final 53 for the opener at Houston a week from Sunday.
(And needless to say, that "final" 53 isn’t necessarily final, since it can continue to change throughout the coming week.)
But to tide you over until Rex speaks, here’s some more Mark Sanchez stuff. My favorite football talk team of Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan had Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll on their show, "Moving the Chains," on Sirius NFL Radio on Friday afternoon.
Needless to say, the subject of Sanchez came up, and Pete, the one-year Jets coach in 1994 who has gone on to bigger and better things with the Trojans, said he’s been keeping tabs on his starter from last season.
"I just love the kind of success Mark’s had," Carroll said. "I just wish he played more, got another 50 reps or something under his belt. I know he’s feeling good about it. We’ve been communicating and he’s been having a ball. That game against the Ravens, he got knocked around a little bit, which was great for him, and he came back and made some plays after that.
"It’s still going to be very challenging start for him. If he can get off to a good start, it’ll make all the difference in the world for these guys. So hopefully they can find some confidence early and have some success and then they’ll get rolling"
Opposing NFL D-coordinators would love to get Sanchez on the run all season. Ryan asked Carroll if Sanchez will be able to survive in the pocket.
"There’s no question he can. He’ll be fine," Carroll said. "He’s going to have to learn to throw it [on the NFL level]. As a young guy, he will flush more and flush quicker than a guy that’s been around. But you’ve seen him already make plays with his feet, something he did very specially for us."
PK and T-Rock, who dropped in on Eric Allen and me high atop SUNY Cortland’s stadium pressbox for a Jets Radio show last month, also had a 10-minute chat with Thomas Jones in the hour before brining Pete Carroll on. It was an enjoyable afternoon of radio as I made my way from Florham Park down to my Jersey Shore palace for one last visit before February.
For what it’s worth, one more time for posterity’s sake, here are the drive engineering stats for all four Jets QBs in the four preseason games:
One last note on Sanchez: Before I left Florham Park, EA and I actually got to sit down with Sanchez in the Jets’ new studio to record a segment of Jets Radio with the team’s new starting quarterback. And Rich Gentile, Ryann Ruzika and Chris Ubbens manned the cameras to provide a little Mike & Mike ambience. The radio show and Jets TV clip will both be going up on newyorkjets.com at midweek.
David Clowney finished this preseason healthy and fast. His 243 receiving yards, on seven catches, were the most in a Jets preseason since at least 1992. His three receiving touchdowns were the most since Terance Mathis had three in ’92. And Clowney’s 34.7 yards per catch was the best in the NFL this summer for all receivers with at least two catches. … A final note on the Jets-Eagles game. The last time the Green & White scored more than 38 points in a preseason game was in 1997, when they defeated the Baltimore Ravens (before Rex Ryan arrived there) at the Meadowlands, 39-29.
Tags: David Clowney, Mark Sanchez, Pat Kirwan, Pete Carroll, Sirius NFL Radio, Terance Mathis, Tim Ryan
Posted in Randy Lange | 73 Comments »
Sirius NFL Radio’s best two-man team is now where it should be: in afternoon drive.
Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan are "Movin’ the Chains" (the name of their show) weekdays from 3-7 p.m. for the past several weeks, and even though Adam Schein’s large personality filled the bill there for a while before Sirius moved his show to help him with his other big-media commitments, P.K. and T-Rock are in the slot that was made for them.
Ryan, also an NFL analyst for Fox, is the voice of the player. Kirwan, the former Jets front office man, has the management perspective. Both love to have fun — Rock has possibly the most maniacal laugh in radio, terrestrial or satellite, and Kirwan also enjoys a good chuckle and many funny anecdotes. But both know when to get serious and offer their well-stated knowledge.
They’ve got nice chemistry, and as a tag team, they do some great interviews. It could be with a player — they recently drew out Ohio State DE/LB Vernon Gholston and Boston College T Gosder Cherilus — or it could be with the callers. If you love football, you’ll find something to enjoy during Movin’ the Chains.
All this is a segue to some new mock drafts. The two break out their mocks on their Friday shows, alternating picks, with each taking turns with the first pick so that one of them isn’t doing the same teams two weeks in a row.
That led to two different selections for the Jets at No. 6 in their first two mocks. On March 21, Kirwan had Gholston going to the Green & White. Last week it was Ryan’s turn and he ran with Arkansas RB Darren McFadden for the Jets.
Last week also led to a change in Kirwan’s thinking on how things may shake out at the top of this draft. Since he had the first pick in last Friday’s show, he tabbed Gholston for the Dolphins at No. 1. And he also apparently likes Troy CB Leodis McKelvin a lot, since he elevated McKelvin to the Chiefs at No. 5.
Those two thoughts carried through to Kirwan’s just released "Mock Draft 2.0" on NFL.com. For the league’s Web site, where Pat goes it alone, he still sees Gholston going to the Dolphins. And he saves McKelvin for the Jets.
The best thing about anyone with connections doing regular mocks isn’t how right they will be when the real draft begins April 26, it’s the weekly evolution of opinion and information from around the league and how it ripples through the round, from 1 to 31. As Kirwan reminds, "between the 32 teams there are probably 45 different players with first-round grades, which makes mock drafts very volatile."
On to the Defense
You may have noticed the Fanzone Polls on our home page in which you can vote for the player you’d like to see as the Jets’ first pick of the 2008 draft.
In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournaments, we’re running this like the regionals. Just up now is the poll for which defensive player you think the Jets should take. The options are DE Chris Long, DT Glenn Dorsey, DE/OLB Vernon Gholston and CB Leodis McKelvin.
The top two vote getters in the next two weeks will advance to our "Final Four" on draft week, our final Fanzone predraft poll, and join the top two offensive picks, RB Darren McFadden and QB Matt Ryan.
McFadden drew 60.8 percent of the more than 10,000 votes cast in the last two weeks, and Ryan came in with 20.2 percent. T Jake Long was a close third at 17.0 percent, T Ryan Clady a distant fourth at 2.0 percent.
Call Him Coach Nuge
Jets K Mike Nugent will be among the contributors to a celebrity soccer game that will be among the prematch festivities leading up to the Red Bulls’ Major League Soccer season opener against the Columbus Crew at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Nugent will be coaching but not playing in the game.
Tags: Leodis McKelvin, Pat Kirwan, Sirius NFL Radio, Tim Ryan, Vernon Gholston
Posted in Randy Lange | 55 Comments »