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July 29, 2010

 

Jets Countdown

First practice sessions slated for Monday at SUNY Cortland

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

The final countdown has begun before the New York Jets return to town for the second time to conduct its pre-season training camp at SUNY Cortland.
The Jets will roll into town Sunday afternoon before commencing workouts Monday. The opening session of 2010 Training Camp presented by Madden NFL ‘11 at 8:20 Monday morning is closed to the public, but everyone can take in the 4:20 afternoon session to get their first look at a slimmer Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Bart Scott and the rest of the squad.
The team has two grass fields to practice on during camp which means more live tackling, something Ryan really wants. The one field is in better shape for round two of training camp and another new grass field was put in place next to it since camp broke last August.
It will be a busy first week with double session through Friday in preparation for the Green and White Scrimmage that will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. There will be no practice on Aug. 8, the first full Sunday the team is in town.
The second week of camp will again feature double sessions Monday through Saturday with one single morning session Aug. 15 as the team will then return to the Meadowlands for is first pre-season scrimmage in its new stadium. The Jets will battle the New York Giants in the annual battle for bragging rights in the Big Apple.
The final two practice days will be Aug. 18 and 19 before the team returns to the Atlantic Health Training Center and a practice at Hofstra University.
In addition to the HBO “Hard Knocks” cameras following the Jets around training camp, Generation Jets Fest, an interactive NFL theme park, will return as will the Jets Shop for fans to purchase all their Jets merchandise.
Kids 14-and -under came get involved in two Dunkin’ Donuts Punt, Pass and Kids days. The first will be Aug. 5 with the second scheduled for Aug. 19.
There will be a lot of questions as the Jets begin preparing for the upcoming session. The biggest will be whether All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis will be here or holding out until he gets his contract situation settled. Fans may remember that now-departed running back Leon Washington was a no-show briefly at the start of camp last year, but returned quickly. Revis is in an option year with his contract and a new deal is most certain after this season, but the risk of injury is the concern.
Veteran center Nick Mangold is another player coming to camp as of today without a contract, but indications were that he would be here to start practice Monday.
The Jets also have added a veteran back-up quarterback in Mark Brunell, who signed with the team Wednesday. Brunell will serve as a mentor for Sanchez who enters his second season after helping the Jets reach the AFC Championship game in the 2009 season. Brunell enters his 18th season in the NFL. A three-time Pro Bowler with the Jaguars, Brunell has thrown for 31,928 yards and 182 touchdowns and rushed for 2,421 yards and 15 touchdowns during his career. In addition to Jacksonville, he played for Washington (2004-07) and won a Super Bowl last season with New Orleans where he played from 2008-09. In 2009, he contributed as a reserve quarterback and completed 15 of 29 passes for 102 yards. Originally drafted in the fifth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Packers, he spent two years in Green Bay before being traded to Jacksonville in 1995.
Sanchez is coming off minor knee injury and is looking to improve his numbers from one year ago. The number he most wants to improve is lower the number of interceptions (20) he threw one year ago. Despite the rough regular season, Sanchez played like a veteran in the post-season and the team hopes that’s what they will see in 2010.
The primary running back will be second-year speedster Shonn Greene, who also looked good in the post-season, but got injured in the AFC Championship game loss to the Indianapolis Colts and was running on fresher legs as Thomas Jones did much to the ball-carrying in the regular season. Jones is now a Kansas City Chief.
Defensive nose tackle Kris Jenkins is also coming off a knee injury and looks for a much better 2010 season. Will he be able to return to his previous form? Jenkins is in a weight-loss challenge with Ryan and it should be fun to see who lost the most weight as camp opens. The winner’s charity will actually be the biggest winner in the end.
There will be some other new faces in camp this season as running back LaDainian Tomlinson, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, linebacker Jason Taylor, kicker Nick Folk and wide receiver Santonio Holmes join the fold for the 2010 season. Holmes will serve a four-game suspension at the start of the season.
With new arrivals, there are also some departures. Among those sent down the road were the previously mention Washington (recovering from a major leg injury suffered against Oakland), offensive guard Alan Faneca, safety Kerry Rhodes and fan favorite kicker Jay Feely. Feely, Faneca and Rhodes are in Arizona. Washington was traded to Seattle.
How will Sanchez look? What is the “team chemistry” like with all the off-season changes? Can the Jets return to the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl? All those questions will begin to be answered Monday at SUNY Cortland.

 

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