By Brian Clark
Today the Jets had a closed practice, and opened it up to 50 members of the military. We were able to watch practice and were scheduled to have a meet and greet afterwards.
Firstly, the facility is amazing. Brand new, nice, BIG, and really is a great reason for a player to come to the Jets. The practice took place outdoors on one of many outdoor fields.
As for the practice:
Brett looked great, hitting Keller and Baker on seam routes. He hit Coles for a TD on a corner route where he threw it short of the receiver and he came back and caught it at the front pilon. One thing to look for either this game or the game against New England is the naked bootleg run with Favre. That play was run 3 times, once at the goalline, and twice where the only option was a WR who worked his way across the field from the far side.
Clemens did not have a good practice, missing on a few high, and threw 2 picks, one to Revis, and one on a high throw that was deflected and caught by Rhodes.
Ratliff played for a little as well, and didn’t do anything outstanding.
They ran Jehuu caulcrick plenty with the 2nd squad.
Near the end of practice, Sean Ellis and Will Turner got into a little scuffle and had to be seperated. It dind’t seem to be anything major though.
On the sidelines with the military personnel were Kenny Albert, Tony Siragusa, and Daryl Johnston, who will be the commentators for the game. Both Tony and Darryl took pictures with Soldiers, and talked with us throughout practice.
After practice instead of a few players coming over and signing autographs, the ENTIRE TEAM came over, and not only signed autographs but interacted with the 50 or so Soldiers from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Unlike training camp when they just sign autographs and get shuffled along, they actually engaged us, wanted to know what we were doing and showed sincere respect for the job we were doing.
All the players hung around for at least 20-30 minutes, while a few other players; Favre, Cotchery, Gholston, Jenkins, Nugent, Dearth, and Coach Eric Mangini, were still there for an additional 15 minutes, just talking, taking pictures, and signing autographs.
The Jets gave all the members who showed up a camoflaged Jet hat which many Soldiers used for autographs.
The gesture by the Jets players and coaches was a great sign of support as these guys were sociable friendly, and really great.
Players that really showed thanks were Cotchery and Jenkins. Jenkins’ brother is currently serving in Iraq, and went up to many guys to thank them for their service.
As for Jets news:
Mike Nugent kicked for the first time today. I spoke to him and he said he would hope to be back in the lineup soon. Maybe by the Pats game, but no guarantees.
Bubba Franks was working out on the sidelines. When I asked him when he thought he would be back he said he was hoping to be back for New England as well.
I spoke to Coach Mangini, and let him know that I thought he did a great job getting his players prepared for last week at Buffalo. When I told him that I gave him an A- on the report card, he questioned it by saying, “why an A-?”
After saying that despite the percentages, you cannot take that type of penalty on the road in your half of the field, he said “It worked out for a touchdown, it was the right call for the situation, although it could have been worse for me if it led to a score. Either way you need to make the tough decisions when your in charge”
Autographs gotten on my ball: The entire offensive starting 11 plus Stuckey, Wright, Smith, Keller, Franks.
On the defensive side the entire starting 11 minus harris and spencer. I also got a few extra guys (Barrett, Murrell, Mosley, Bowens).
I got my Stuckey and Ellis jerseys signed.
You can tell from the pictures that the building is huge, and that with a water spout coming from the man-made lake, it is definitely a step up from Hofstra.
Here is the discussion thread.