View Full Version : Jets News Articles 12/20 Chad to start
12-20-2007, 04:00 AM
Chad Pennington gets nod, for now
By RICH CIMINI
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Thursday, December 20th 2007, 4:00 AM
Chad Pennington played well in relief against the Patriots.
In due time, the Jets will have to decide if Kellen Clemens is their quarterback of the future. One thing became abundantly clear yesterday: He's not their quarterback this week.
With Clemens suffering rib and shoulder injuries, the Jets will return to Chad Pennington - remember him? - for Sunday's road game against the Titans, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. "It's as certain as you could be," the person said.
Not surprisingly, the ever-secretive Eric Mangini claimed he still hasn't made a decision, indicating he wants to evaluate Clemens after a full week of practice.
It doesn't take a medical expert to recognize that Clemens still is hurting. Clemens looked like a one-armed quarterback, holding his left arm as if it were in an imaginary sling. He didn't throw any passes during the first 30 minutes of practice, open to the media, unless you count a couple of underhanded tosses to the ball boy.
Officially, he was "limited," according to the team's practice report. Pennington will make his first start since Oct. 28, but he's still a backup in the eyes of Mangini.
After muddying the quarterback situation on Monday by refusing to say Clemens will start, if healthy, Mangini acknowledged that Clemens remains atop the depth chart. Pressed on the issue, Mangini said this week's decision is "health-related," adding that Clemens still gives the Jets (3-11) their best chance to win.
That, of course, is open to debate, especially after Pennington (25-for-38, 186 yards) played reasonably well off the bench in last Sunday's 20-10 loss to the Patriots. Clemens, who lasted only two plays before being squashed by defensive end Richard Seymour, has failed to generate a spark in seven starts (2-5). Mangini said he's not second-guessing the quarterback change he made two months ago, a move that probably will lead to Pennington's ouster in the offseason. "Those are decisions that you make as the coach ...and I feel very comfortable with (it)," he said.
Clemens was medically cleared to return to the New England game, according to Mangini, but he was kept out based on a "coach's decision." Yesterday, Mangini changed his tune a bit, calling it a health issue. Clemens' injuries aren't believed to be serious, although he may have a fractured rib.
Forget Mangini's verbal gymnastics; the reality is that Clemens would be playing if he could. The Jets want to see more of him before making their decision in the offseason, but they face the prospect of finishing the season with Pennington, who may want a change of scenery. "Obviously, in the offseason, I'll have to look at (the situation) and evaluate some things and see what we need to do next," Pennington told the Tennessee media.
The Jets have an enormous decision to make, one that will affect Mangini's future. Do they commit to Clemens despite his mediocre play? Do they try to convince Pennington he's still wanted? Do they bring in a veteran to compete with Clemens? Do they use their high draft pick on a quarterback?
It would be a non-issue if Clemens had been playing better, but he hasn't capitalized on his opportunity. He has four touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.
"Looking back, there have been some good things that have come from my playing," Clemens said, "and there have also been some areas where I need to work to improve. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, the good things will continue to show up."
12-20-2007, 04:06 AM
Kevin Mawae: Eric Mangini cut me for speaking out
By RICH CIMINI
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Thursday, December 20th 2007, 4:00 AM
Titans C Kevin Mawae knows why he was released last year by Eric Mangini: He's outspoken and probably would've clashed with the new coach.
"The last thing you want is a guy that knows all the rules in there and I definitely would've been one of the guys to call him out on it," Mawae, formerly the Jets' union rep, said Wednesday on a conference call. "It all boils down to accountability. You want a player to be accountable and the player wants the coaches to be accountable, and I think that may have been an issue there."
Mawae, 36, who made six Pro Bowls with the Jets, believes left guard Pete Kendall was jettisoned for the same reason.
"They wanted to get young and get guys that weren't going to speak out against the staff, and obviously Pete didn't fit that mold," said Mawae, adding that he's heard second-hand that certain veterans on the Jets are unhappy under Mangini.
Mawae faces his old team for the second time Sunday in Tennessee.
OH, TANNENBAUM: With Bill Parcells apparently heading to a front-office position with the Dolphins, there is speculation he might try to lure protégé Mike Tannenbaum to be the GM.
"I'm happy right where I am as general manager of the Jets and won't be going anywhere," Tannenbaum said. "Mr. (Woody) Johnson and Jay Cross have given me a great opportunity and this franchise has my full attention."
GUARD DOWN: LG Adrien Clarke still was beating himself up for giving up the hit that knocked Kellen Clemens out of last Sunday's game with rib and shoulder injuries.
"You feel terrible," he said. "Since it happened, I've felt that way. When I saw him (on the sideline), I told him, 'My bad.' I apologized, but I feel terrible. There is no other way to put it."
Clarke better get his mind right for Sunday's game; he will face Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth.
SAY WHAT? Titans coach Jeff Fisher on the Jets: "They're the best 3-11 team I've ever seen." ...To replace DE Eric Hicks and OL Adrian Jones, both of whom were released Tuesday, the Jets signed OL Robert Turner and OL Clint Oldenburg from the practice squad. ... SS Kerry Rhodes thought he had a shot to make the Pro Bowl. "Not as much as last year, but it was definitely there," he said. Rhodes, coming on strong after a slow start, was named the third alternate. ...WR Laveranues Coles (ankle) practiced on a limited basis and will try to play even though he's not close to 100%. "I've probably spent more time in the trainer's room this year than I have my whole career combined," he said. "It has been very frustrating."
12-20-2007, 04:16 AM
Ex-Jet Mawae not big fan of Mangini
Thursday, December 20, 2007 BERGEN RECORD
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- When the Jets traded unhappy left guard Pete Kendall to Washington in August, Kevin Mawae wasn't surprised.
In fact, the former Jet said Wednesday he "expected" it.
"There was obviously a movement by the coaching staff there," the 36-year-old Mawae said on a conference call, "that they wanted to get young and get guys that weren't going to speak out against the staff and, obviously, Pete didn't fit that mold."
Nor, by his own admission, did Mawae, who was released by the Jets after the 2005 season. Mawae signed with Tennessee and has started all 30 games since that time, and this week was named a first alternate to the Pro Bowl.
"I never doubted myself," said Mawae, who missed the last 10 games of the 2005 season because of a torn triceps muscle. "I think the reason I got released there was not because of my ability, but because coach [Eric] Mangini and [general manager] Mike Tannenbaum wanted to take the team in a different direction. That was their priority and that's fine. ... Just because a guy tears a ligament or tears a muscle doesn't mean his career is over."
Mawae, the players' association representative, also indicated Mangini didn't want him around because Mawae would have reported any possible violations of practice rules by the Jets, in terms of working their players too hard.
"The last thing you want," Mawae said, "is a guy that knows all the rules in there and I definitely would have been one of the guys to call him out on it."
Mawae added, "I met with [Mangini] for about an hour when he got the job. I was the first guy in his office to congratulate him and tell him he's the kind of coach that our team needed, as young as we were at that time. My only regret is that he didn't just tell me outright then that I wasn't in the plans. [But] I'm better off for it. My wife and my kids love living in Tennessee."
Mawae also said that although he hasn't talked "directly" to any of his former Jets' teammates recently, "I know the guys there are disappointed in the way the season is right now and things are tough. It happens and I'm not at liberty to say some of the things [from] some of the older guys that I've heard comments from."
He seemed to be implying that some Jets' veterans don't care for Mangini's stringent rules and demanding practices.
-- J.P. Pelzman
12-20-2007, 04:19 AM
Clemens can't make a go of it
Thursday, December 20, 2007 BERGEN RECORD
By J.P. PELZMAN
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Eric Mangini repeatedly has indicated the last few weeks that the Jets aren't using Kellen Clemens at quarterback to evaluate the second-year pro for next season.
If that's the case, then it's a good thing, because they almost certainly won't get a look at him Sunday.
Clemens did very little other than stand around during the 30 minutes the media were allowed to watch practice Wednesday, and his seeming inability to do much with his left arm lent credence to the suspicion that he has a left shoulder injury to go with the rib injury that the Jets have acknowledged. Chad Pennington is expected to start at Tennessee on Sunday.
In fact, when Clemens was asked if he threw the ball at all during practice, he dodged the question.
"Anything about practice," Clemens responded, "[it] would probably be best to ask Coach Mangini about."
Yeah, as if Mangini is brimming with injury information because he obviously wants the Titans to have to prepare for both Pennington and Clemens. But at least Mangini did indicate Wednesday that Clemens remains the No. 1 quarterback if he's healthy, something he didn't do Monday.
Pennington, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., spoke to Titans' media on a conference call Wednesday and said: "I haven't been told anything yet. I always prepare as if I'm the starter, no matter what the situation is."
When asked if he had a lot of ticket requests for the game, Pennington responded: "It's kind of been different since I haven't been the starter over the last weeks. The requests haven't been as many. This may be a surprise game where I sneak in there and have a chance to play but not have to deal with a lot of ticket requests because it's a surprise."
Clemens suffered the injury (or injuries) when he was hit by New England's Richard Seymour as he released his only pass of the game Sunday, an attempt that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Eugene Wilson. Clemens was driven to the ground and apparently landed hard on his left shoulder.
Seymour got past left guard Adrien Clarke on the play. Clarke said his hand placement wasn't good, and that allowed Seymour to beat him.
"When you're an offensive lineman," Clarke said, "you pride yourself on making sure that your quarterback doesn't get touched and you open up holes [for running backs]. When that doesn't happen you feel terrible. Since it happened, I've felt that way. When I saw [Clemens], I told him 'my bad.' I apologized, but I feel terrible."
Clemens said he told Clarke, "Hey, I appreciate [the apology]. I know that it wasn't anything that you did on purpose."
12-20-2007, 04:26 AM
Chad will play, but Clemens still the man
BY TOM ROCK | email@example.com
December 20, 2007
It's Kellen Clemens' job. It just looks like Chad Pennington will do all the work this week.:bump2:
Jets coach Eric Mangini added a touch of clarity to the team's quarterback situation that has been up in the air since the moment Clemens was driven to the turf by the Patriots' Richard Seymour on Sunday. He said that Clemens' availability against the Titans Sunday will be determined by his health during the week and whether or not he can play a significant number of practice reps.
The question that finally broke through: If he's healthy, if he demonstrates that he's completely prepared for the game from a mental and physical standpoint, then would Clemens start?
Mangini firmly nodded his head once: "Yes."
Too bad Clemens won't. Not based on yesterday's practice, at least. Clemens spent most of the first 30 minutes of the workout with his left hand tucked into his pocket and seemed severely limited in the mobility of his left shoulder (even though his injury is being called a rib injury). He threw only a handful of passes, most of them short warm-up lobs, and was unable to catch a football with two hands. At one point, rather than toss the ball about 15 yards during a drill, he simply walked it to where it needed to be.
Speaking yesterday, Clemens would not answer questions about his participation in practice. It was officially termed as "limited" on the team's injury report.
"I certainly know that my desire to play is as healthy as anything," Clemens said. "Whether or not I play will be based on the evaluation of coach Mangini and the doctors."
Mangini said that if Clemens was more seasoned, he might let him play even without a week of practice. "Being a younger quarterback, it's different than being a veteran guy who has played a long time and can have less reps and do less things and still be as effective," he said. "Even if going into the game he were 100 percent healthy, it's [about] what were you able to do leading up to the game to make sure that you're ready to perform at a high level."
Clemens' levels haven't been very high, even at full strength. He has four touchdown passes and 10 interceptions and has taken 24 sacks. His passer rating of 59.0 ranks 32nd in the NFL. Those numbers are wobbly enough to shake even Clemens' confidence in himself apparently. Asked if he believed he had made a case that he can be the long-term solution at quarterback, Clemens wouldn't speculate.
"That's a decision that's going to come probably from upstairs," he said, referring to the offices of Mangini and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Notes"es: Laveranues Coles (ankle) said he wants to play Sunday despite being able to play only one down against the Patriots. "Any time that you have an opportunity to go out and play," he said, "you want to because you never know when it will come to an end." He'll especially want to be on the field for what could be one of his final chances to play with close friend Pennington ... Former Jet Kevin Mawae, one of the first players cut by the Mangini-Tannenbaum regime in 2006, said he's heard secondhand that some Jets veterans are unhappy playing for Mangini ... S Kerry Rhodes said he thought he had a chance to make the Pro Bowl this year. "Not as much as last year," Rhodes said, "but it was definitely there." Rhodes had a slow start this season but so far has more interceptions (5) than last year when many believed he was snubbed from the all-star game ... Though it won't be officially announced until as late as Monday, next Sunday's game against the Chiefs will be played at 4 p.m. instead of the scheduled 8:15 p.m. ... The Jets signed offensive linemen Clint Oldenberg and Robert Turner from the practice squad to the active roster.
About the Titans
Coach: Jeff Fisher, 13th season (113-99)
Last week: Beat the Chiefs, 26-17
About the offense: Vince Young isn't the quarterback he was in college, but he's not a terrible pro either. He makes plays and forces defenses to adjust from their routines. He has made mistakes this season, though, including 16 interceptions compared to only nine touchdown passes. RB LenDale White is on the verge of posting a 1,000-yard season (he has 960) with seven TDs.
About the defense: Linemen Kyle Vander Bosch and Albert Haynesworth are as disruptive as any two in the league with a total of 15 sacks. LB Keith Bulluck is a ballhawk with a team-high four interceptions and six other pass breakups, and he also has 99 tackles. The Titans have 31 takeaways, 20 of them on interceptions. That's the second-most picks in the league.
The bottom line: The Titans have something to play for and the Jets do not. And if the Browns lose to the Bengals in their 1 o'clock game, the Titans could regain control of their own playoff destiny with a win in this 4:15 game. It's hard to see the Jets bringing the same intensity as they did last week against the Patriots.
Jets at Tennessee
TV: Ch. 2
Radio: WEPN (1050), WRCN (103.9)
12-20-2007, 04:42 AM
Mawae asserts outspokenness was his ticket out :banghead::yadda:
Thursday, December 20, 2007
BY DAVE HUTCHINSON
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Center Kevin Mawae, a former Jet and a six-time Pro Bowler in his second season with the Titans, said coach Eric Mangini got rid of him -- and veteran guard Pete Kendall -- not because their talent was diminishing but because they were outspoken players. Both are active members of the NFL Players' Association.
Mawae, in his 14th NFL season, was a first alternate for the Pro Bowl this year at age 36.
"You have a young coach coming in that's trying to win the confidence of his team and obviously he's doing things that go against the grain of what a lot of the older guys were used to or know shouldn't be happening," Mawae said yesterday in a conference call. "The last thing you want is a guy that knows all the rules. I definitely would have been one of the guys to call him out. It all boils down to accountability (players to coaches and coaches to players)."
After one year, Kendall followed Mawae out the door. Each has played well this season.
"I wasn't surprised (by the trade of Kendall to the Redskins)," Mawae said.
Mawae, who said his family loves living in Tennessee, said he had a pleasant one-hour meeting with Mangini shortly after he was hired. Mawae just wished Mangini had told him then that he wasn't in the plans. Mawae was released shortly thereafter.
"I didn't have to prove anything," said Mawae, who was coming off a torn triceps muscle. "Just because a guy tears a muscle doesn't mean his career is over. A lot of times it's just the starting point for a new point of his career. That's what's happened for me.
"But the Jets did a great job. Nick Mangold is playing great for them. There's a big youth movement. The Jets are going to be a good team."
WR Laveranues Coles (ankle) said he's leaving the decision up to the organization on whether he should play against the Titans on Sunday, and hopes the club has his best interests at heart. There's concern Coles could be risking further injury by playing.
"I don't want to put words in their mouths," said Coles. "You just wish that they do, and hope for the best. That's all you can do as a player because you're in the performance business and once you're not performing, you're not going to be around long."
LG Adrien Clarke said he apologized to QB Kellen Clemens for missing a block on Richard Seymour that resulted in Clemens' rib injury.
"It's not a great feeling," Clarke said. "I feel terrible. There's no other way to put it."
Clarke will see a lot of Titans massive DT Albert Haynesworth (6-6, 330 pounds) on Sunday.
S Kerry Rhodes, who has five interceptions, one sack and 63 tackles, said he was a "little bit" disappointed not to make the Pro Bowl. He lost out to Troy Polamalu (Steelers), Ed Reed (Ravens) and Bob Sanders (Colts). ... KR Leon Washington, who was beaten out by the Browns' Josh Cribbs, was unavailable for comment.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher described the Jets as "the best 3-11 team that I've ever seen."
Mangini said he appreciated Fisher's thought.
The team is auctioning off a chance to watch the Jets-Chiefs game at Giants Stadium in a luxury suite with former Jets great Joe Klecko. Go to www.nflauction.nfl.com and click on the Jets logo to bid. Net proceeds from the auction will benefit the New York Jets Foundation, which helps young men and women in the New York tri-state area.
That game, the season finale on Dec. 30, has been changed from 8:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The Jets re-signed CB Manny Collins (Rutgers) to the practice squad for the third time this season. ... The Titans listed six starters as not practicing yesterday, including Haynesworth (hamstring), but each is expected to play.
12-20-2007, 04:45 AM
:coffee3::coffee3:Star- Ledger :mob::mob:
oop! IBG smiles!
Pennington to start against Tennessee
Thursday, December 20, 2007
BY DAVE HUTCHINSON:yadda:
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Chad Pennington has his old job back and will be the starting quarterback when the Jets play at Tennessee on Sunday, according to two people with knowledge of the team's game plan.
Those people spoke on condition of anonymity because only coach Eric Mangini is authorized to speak publicly about personnel moves.
QB Kellen Clemens left last Sunday's game against the Patriots when he was sacked in the end zone by Richard Seymour, who drove Clemens' left shoulder into the turf. He didn't return to the game and the team has said Clemens' ribs were injured.
Pennington worked exclusively with the first team during a walk-through yesterday morning as the Jets installed their game plan and took nearly all the reps in practice. However, Mangini still hedged when asked which quarterback would start. Clemens will get the call, Mangini said, if he recovers from his injury and is mentally and physically prepared.
"It's really health-related," Mangini said. "We've got to see where Kellen is, see what he can do in terms of practice throughout the course of the week, where he is at the end of the week with his ability to function effectively. So, all of that stuff will go into the equation when we are deciding."
If yesterday was any indication, that decision already has been made -- or won't be hard to make.
The media is allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of practice, and during that time yesterday Clemens barely lifted his left shoulder and kept his left hand in a hand-warmer wrapped around his waist nearly the entire time. He only lifted the arm occasionally, throwing a few light overhand tosses during a quarterback drill. He required a ball boy to catch passes thrown to him. He didn't throw during the other passing drills.
"Anything about practice would be best to ask Coach Mangini about," Clemens said afterward.
Clemens is 2-5 in seven starts and has thrown four touchdowns and eight interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns. He likely will get better as the week progresses and could conceivably play. But the tight-lipped Mangini may have inadvertently tipped his hand when he suggested the second-year pro isn't experienced enough to miss critical practice time during the week and still play on Sunday.
"Being a younger quarterback, it's different than being a veteran guy who has played a long time and can have less reps and do less things and still be as effective," Mangini said. "So you have to see about the week of preparation even if going into the game you were 100 percent healthy. It's what you're able to do leading up to the game to make sure that you're ready to perform at a high level."
That's what Pennington did last week. Despite getting very little practice time with the first-team offense, he stepped in for Clemens on the Jets' second offensive series and completed 25 of 38 passes for 186 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the first time he had played since being benched following a Week 8 loss to Buffalo.
"Chad did a really nice job to ... execute all the different things we asked," Mangini said on Monday. "It's hard to do and it's the sign of a true pro."
The Jets (3-11) had wanted to use the final eight games of the season to evaluate Clemens -- and it's unclear who will start the finale against the Chiefs, assuming Clemens' injury isn't a major setback. The organization remains high on him, and he'll likely be given every opportunity to be the starter next season, especially with Pennington not expected to return.
Publicly, Pennington has voiced his desire to be a starter somewhere next season. Privately, he has said he's ready to move on after eight seasons with the Jets. But through it all, Pennington has been a class act. He maintained that he doesn't feel he played that poorly but understood the switch to Clemens. Furthermore, he did everything he could to help Clemens.
When asked if he has made a case to be the starter next season, Clemens said, "I think really that's a decision that's going to come probably from upstairs."
Dave Hutchinson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
12-20-2007, 04:49 AM
Jets Sign OL Clint Oldenburg, OL Robert Turner; Also Sign CB Manny Collins, LB Jerry Mackey to Practice Squad:welcome::coffee3:
December 19th, 2007 by Joe Pietaro
The New York Jets have signed OL Clint Oldenburg and Robert Turner to the 53-man active roster and re-signed CB Manny Collins and LB Jerry Mackey to the practice squad. The announcements were made by Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.
Oldenburg (6-5, 300, Colorado State) was signed to the Jets practice squad on Sept. 20. He was selected by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (171st overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, waived by the Patriots on Sept. 1, signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 3 and released on Sept. 19. The Gillette, WY native appeared in 36 games at Colorado State, registering 34 starts on the offensive line.
Turner (6-4, 308, New Mexico), signed by the Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 16, was waived on Sept. 1 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 3. He started at both right tackle and right guard for the University of New Mexico, where he was credited with 23 big-effort plays, 10 cut blocks and 16 pins by the Lobos’ coaching staff in 2006. The Austin, TX native started 45 games over four years.
Collins (5-10, 190, Rutgers) was originally signed by the Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent on Aug. 2, waived on Sept. 1, signed to the Jets practice squad on Sept. 3, released on Oct. 10, re-signed to the practice squad on Nov. 13 and released on Nov. 29. He recorded 68 tackles, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries during four seasons at Rutgers.
Mackey (6-1, 233, Syracuse) signed with the Jets on Aug. 4 before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 21 for an undisclosed draft pick. He was waived by the Buccaneers on Sept. 1, signed to the Jets practice squad on Oct. 4 and released on Oct. 29. He played four years at Syracuse, recording 202 tackles (106 solo), three sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. The Freeport, NY, native earned All-Nassau County and All-Long Island honors as a senior at Freeport HS and is a great nephew of NFL Hall of Famer John Mackey.
Posted in NY Jets |
12-20-2007, 05:05 AM
Clarke better get his mind right for Sunday's game; he will face Pro Bowl DT Albert Haynesworth.
SAY WHAT? Titans coach Jeff Fisher on the Jets: "They're the best 3-11 team I've ever seen." ...
Good one Jeff.
That's right up there with "Greatest 1-15 team of all time." :rolleyes:
12-20-2007, 05:09 AM
STOP THE PRESS: CHIEFS, JETS TO BE FLEXED
The Kansas City Chiefs have announced that their December 30 game with the New York Jets possibly will be moved to 4:15 p.m. EST.
Ya think? :welcome:
The Chiefs-Jets game currently is slated to be played at 8:15 p.m. EST, as part of the NBC Sunday night package. But the game will have zero meaning for the postseason, and it possesses no other interesting angle or subplot. Thus, it is certain that the game will be moved, and that some other game will take its place.
Although NBC generally is required to identify the game that will be moved to 8:15 p.m. EST at least 12 days in advance, the rule changes for the final week of the regular season. As to the Week 17 game, a decision must be made at least six days before Sunday night. This helps to ensure that NBC will have a game with playoff implications.
If such a game is available.
Given that only seven teams are still alive in the AFC and eight teams remain in contention in the NFC, the options are limited. Possibilities include Pittsburgh at Baltimore, New Orleans at Chicago, San Francisco at Cleveland, Tennessee at Indianapolis, Dallas at Washington, and Minnesota at Denver. With the Cowboys and the Packers still jockeying for home-field advantage in the NFC playoff field, the Cowboys-Redskins game could have a significant meaning to both teams.
One game that never would have been seriously considered for flexing to the 8:15 p.m. EST kickoff was Cincinnati at Miami. Even if the Fins had been winless after the December 23 games are played, the league would not have allowed the potential 0-16 season to be featured in prime time, notwithstanding the train-wreck curiosity factor. Moreover, NBC surely would have been faced with a South Florida blackout of the game, which would have made broadcasting the contest far less attractive from a business standpoint.
UPDATE: By rule, the Cowboys are maxed out on prime-time games due to appearances in Week One (vs. Giants), Week Three (at Chicago), Week Five (at Buffalo), Week Nine (at Philly), Week Thirteen (vs. Green Bay), and Week Sixteen (at Carolina).
12-20-2007, 05:13 AM
The return of Tuna ends further South
By JUDY BATTISTA
Published: December 20, 2007
When Wednesday began, it seemed nearly certain that Bill Parcells would take on his latest reclamation project and become the executive in charge of rebuilding the Atlanta Falcons. Parcells was even quoted in multiple news media outlets saying he was pretty sure he would take the job as the Falcons’ vice president for football operations. He had already agreed to a deal in principle.
But things are rarely as straightforward as they appear with Parcells. So nobody should have been surprised when, by Wednesday evening, Parcells had agreed to a four-year deal to take over football operations for the Miami Dolphins, according to The Miami Herald.
The Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, had flown to Parcells’s home in Saratoga, N.Y., on Wednesday morning thinking he was about to complete the agreement, only to learn that the Dolphins, who had preliminary talks with Parcells several weeks ago, had re-entered the picture. The talks with the Falcons were broken off because the Dolphins had resumed negotiations with Parcells.
The Dolphins, who won their first game of the season last Sunday, had no comment, the team spokesman Harvey Greene said. Parcells would not coach the Dolphins, but he would be in position to decide the fate of Cam Cameron, who is in his first season as the coach, and General Manager Randy Mueller. He could be introduced by the Dolphins by the end of the week, barring the sort of change of heart that presented the Falcons with their latest loss in a miserable season that has included the jailing of quarterback Michael Vick on dogfighting charges and the resignation of Bobby Petrino as the coach.
In his statement, Blank said the team would hire a new general manager, leaving Rich McKay with the title of president and an uncertain future.
“We remain committed to looking at every option for building a championship-caliber team for our fans,” Blank said in a statement. “I have stated we will leave no stone unturned in doing so, and this effort is one example of that. We gave it our best shot, and it didn’t work out.”
Blank is not the first N.F.L. owner to be on the receiving end of an about-face by Parcells, whose gift for turning around struggling football teams is matched only be his odd relations with their owners. Parcells rebuilt the Giants (two Super Bowl titles), the Patriots (one Super Bowl appearance), the Jets (one American Football Conference championship appearance) and the Cowboys (two playoff appearances and the discovery of Tony Romo). But his peripatetic career has made the Parcells watch a nearly annual rite of winter.
He has twice been close to becoming the Tampa Bay coach, only to back out. When Parcells was under contract and coming off a Super Bowl victory with the Giants in 1987, his agent at the time negotiated with the Falcons, until Commissioner Pete Rozelle stepped in to stop it. Then, when Parcells was with the Patriots at the Super Bowl in January 1997, there were telephone calls between the team hotel and Hempstead, N.Y., where the Jets train. Parcells did not fly home with the Patriots after the game; a few days later, he quit and became the Jets’ coach. And, according to Tom Callahan’s book “The GM”, Parcells angled for the Giants’ general manager job at the end of last year — when he was still the Cowboys’ coach.
Parcells, who left the Cowboys after the 2006 season, said at the time he would never coach again, but he left the door open to returning to an N.F.L. front office. Parcells has been an analyst on ESPN this season.
At Miami, Parcells may have an even tougher task than he would have at Atlanta. The Dolphins were in danger of going 0-16 until they beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime last Sunday. Their drafts have been failures — not one player drafted from 1998 to 2003 is playing for the team — leaving the roster without a talent nucleus. The team has been decimated by injuries, there is no clear starting quarterback and many of the best players are aging. The owner, H. Wayne Huizenga, had even talked about selling the team, but his pursuit of Parcells — and Parcells’s interest — indicates Huizenga will not sell any time soon. Still, the arrival of Parcells would lend the Dolphins instant credibility.
“Somebody like the Big Tuna, regardless of who’s in the front office or who’s not, brings a lot of respect and a lot of credibility with him,” Dolphins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday told The Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s a Hall of Famer. If you’re a free agent out there, that might draw you in."
Parcells is not yet in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in part because he does not stay retired long enough to become eligible.
12-20-2007, 05:25 AM
At the halfway point of the season, the Jets handed Kellen Clemens the keys to the offense, hoping that he could provide some kind of a spark, as well as a better vertical presence to the passing game. And, although they haven't come out and said this, they needed to see if Clemens, indeed, is their quarterback of the future.
Clemens hasn't demonstrated that quite yet, with four touchdowns and eight interceptions in his seven starts. Certainly he has been victimized by many of the same things as former starter Chad Pennington was, such as faulty protection and the lack of a consistent running game. In fact, he's even had a problem that Pennington didn't have to deal with when he was starting, as wideouts Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery both have been banged-up in recent weeks.
Yes, Clemens has been very poised in the two-minute drill, but even so, he's rated 23rd in the AFC in fourth-quarter passing (Pennington is 21st) and 27th in the NFL in third-down passing, while Pennington doesn't have enough attempts to qualify. Pennington doesn't want to be a backup, and he still has value in the trade market. But how secure can they feel about Clemens based on this admittedly small amount of evidence?
Still, coach Eric Mangini has repeatedly indicated the last few weeks that the Jets aren't using Clemens at quarterback to evaluate the second-year pro for next season.
If that is the case, then it's a good thing, because they almost certainly won't get a look at him Sunday.
Clemens did very little other than stand around during the 30 minutes that media were allowed to watch practice Wednesday, and his seeming inability to do much with his left arm lent credence to the suspicion that he has a left shoulder injury to go with the rib injury that the Jets have acknowledged. Pennington is expected to start at Tennessee on Sunday.
In fact, when Clemens was asked if he threw the ball at all during the practice, he dodged the question.
"Anything about practice," Clemens responded, "(it) would probably be best to ask coach Mangini about."
Yeah, as if Mangini is brimming with injury information. But at least Mangini did indicate Wednesday that Clemens remains the No. 1 quarterback if he's healthy, something he didn't do Monday when asked that question.
Pennington, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., spoke to the Titans media on a conference call Wednesday and said, "I haven't been told anything yet. I always prepare as if I'm the starter, no matter what the situation is."
When asked if he had a lot of ticket requests for the game, Pennington responded, "It's kind of been different since I haven't been the starter over the last weeks. The requests haven't been as many. This may be a surprise game where I sneak in there and have a chance to play but not have to deal with a lot of ticket requests because it's a surprise."
SERIES HISTORY: 37th meeting. Titans lead series, 20-15-1. The Jets have won all three games since the former Houston Oilers franchise moved to Tennessee. The Jets opened the Eric Mangini era with a 23-16 victory at Tennessee on opening day in 2006 as Tennessee native Chad Pennington threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns for New York. In the Jets' 24-17 home victory in 2003, then-Titan Justin McCareins hauled in the longest touchdown pass of his career, a 59-yarder.
—QB Kellen Clemens suffered a rib injury (and likely a shoulder injury, although the Jets haven't admitted it) when he was hit hard by New England's Richard Seymour as he released his only pass of the game Sunday, an attempt that was intercepted for a touchdown by Eugene Wilson. Clemens was driven to the ground and apparently landed hard on his left shoulder.
Seymour got past left guard Adrien Clarke on the play. Clarke said his hand placement wasn't good, and that allowed Seymour to beat him.
"When you're an offensive lineman," Clarke said Wednesday, "you pride yourself on making sure that your quarterback doesn't get touched and you open up holes (for running backs). When that doesn't happen, you feel terrible. Since it happened, I've felt that way. When I saw (Clemens), I told him 'My bad.' I apologized, but I feel terrible. There's no other way to put it."
Clemens said he told Clarke, "Hey, I appreciate (the apology). I know that it wasn't anything that you did on purpose."
—WR Laveranues Coles, who has been trying to play through a high-ankle sprain on his left leg, still doesn't want to shut himself down for the rest of the season, despite the fact that the Jets are 3-11.
"With time, all things start getting better," Coles said. "It's one of those things that I'm going to play by ear. I'm going to talk with the doctors and trainers and see how it goes.
"Opportunities (to play) are limited," he added, "When I was younger, I always looked at it as I could play forever. The older you get, the more you realize that you're closer to the end. You start looking around and realize that a lot of the guys that came into the league the same year as you are either retired or are not in the league anymore for different reasons. Anytime that you have an opportunity to go out and play, and you are capable and a willing person, you want to because you never know when it will come to an end."
It was then suggested to Coles that sitting out the rest of the season could help him be healthier for next season.
"It's a good way to look at it," he said, "but that's not a decision that I would like to make. If anything, you always want somebody to do that for you. As a ball player, you always want to keep your foot on the gas, so you don't take anything that you have for granted. You always want somebody that is high ranking to step in and say, 'This would be better for you. This is something that we have been thinking about. We have your best interest in heart and this is a decision that we are making to protect you.'"
—SS Kerry Rhodes was hoping to make the Pro Bowl. Rhodes is tied for fourth in the AFC with five interceptions, including four in the last five games. Instead, he was named a third alternate.
"A little bit," he said when asked if he was hoping to make it to Hawaii. "Not as much as last year, but it was definitely there. I definitely thought I had a chance, but they picked who they thought (deserved it) and that's how it goes. Those guys are deserving guys as well."
Center Nick Mangold also is a third alternate and kick returner Leon Washington is a first alternate behind Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs.
—The Jets promoted rookie offensive linemen Robert Turner and Clint Oldenburg from the practice squad to the active roster after releasing two veterans, OL Adrian Jones and DE Eric Hicks.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 — Number of offensive touchdowns scored by the Jets in their 12 games this season that weren't against Miami. They had seven in two victories over the hapless Dolphins.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He embarrasses people." — LG Adrien Clarke, on Pro Bowl-bound Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth, who has six sacks this season
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Jets continued to shake up their defensive starters against New England, opening the game in a 2-4-5 alignment with David Bowens as one of the outside linebackers instead of Bryan Thomas. But Dewayne Robertson started again at nose tackle one week after Sione Pouha got the start.
With the release of Darian Barnes, the Jets have no fullbacks on the roster. Stacy Tutt (knee) is on injured reserve. They have instead been using tight ends Sean Ryan and Joe Kowalewski as H-backs and fullbacks at times.
For the last five games, starter Adrien Clarke and second-year player Will Montgomery have shared time at left guard. Obviously, this position is up for grabs going forward into 2008. Clarke allowed the quarterback pressure by Richard Seymour on which Kellen Clemens was injured.
PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
—WR Laveranues Coles (ankle) was very limited in practice Wednesday and his status for the Tennessee game is very uncertain.
—WR Jerricho Cotchery (finger) was limited in practice Wednesday but is expected to start at Tennessee.
—QB Kellen Clemens (rib, shoulder) did very little in practice Wednesday and is not expected to play against Tennessee.
—LB David Bowens got his first start of the season against New England. Bowens' playing time has increased in recent weeks at the expense of LB Bryan Thomas.
—WR Justin McCareins (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday but is expected to play. He had two key dropped passes against New England, including an apparent touchdown that was overturned by a replay challenge because McCareins was bobbling the ball and didn't have control before he went out of bounds.
GAME PLAN: The Jets must keep Tennessee QB Vince Young from roaming too much. Young leads NFL signal-callers in rushing yards with 375, but isn't as effective throwing the ball, with 16 interceptions and only nine touchdown passes. That's a big reason why the Titans passing offense is 27th in the NFL. But the Tennessee defense is quite opportunistic, with 31 takeaways and 32 sacks. The Jets should stick with one quarterback, most likely Chad Pennington, as it seems that Kellen Clemens will be doubtful to play. The Jets should retire the Brad Smith option package until Smith is a viable threat to throw. He missed badly on a fourth-down incompletion against New England, his lone attempt of the season.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Titans WR Roydell Williams vs. Jets CBs Hank Poteat and Darrelle Revis. Williams, a third-year wideout, has 22 of his 45 receptions and three of his four touchdowns in the last six games, including a four-catch, 94-yard effort in a win over Kansas City last week. Williams caught two TD passes in that game, including a 41-yarder. Young's ability to escape the pocket and buy time means the Jets secondary must stick with the Titans receivers downfield in case Young decides not to run.
Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery vs. Titans CB Nick Harper. After missing the Miami game because of a broken finger, Cotchery has 12 receptions for 172 yards in his last two games. With Pennington likely to start in place of a banged-up Clemens, and with the uncertain status of WR Laveranues Coles (ankle), Cotchery figures to get the bulk of the work. He has the ability to turn a short pass into a long gainer.
Jets LGs Adrien Clarke and Will Montgomery vs. Titans DT Albert Haynesworth. Clarke and Montgomery have been sharing time at the position in recent weeks. Clarke allowed the pressure by New England's Richard Seymour that resulted in the hit on Clemens that caused his injury. Haynesworth has six sacks this season despite missing three games because of a hamstring injury.
INJURY IMPACT: Clemens (rib, shoulder) almost certainly won't play against Tennessee, which means that former starter Pennington will get the nod.
Coles (high-ankle sprain) could again be sidelined. He tried to play against New England after having 12 receptions in the previous two games despite the injury, but was only on the field for one play against the Patriots.
Cotchery (finger) seems to have no problem catching the ball despite the soft splint on his broken right index finger and should start against the Titans.
12-20-2007, 06:19 AM
By MARK CANNIZZARO
NO DECISION: Eric Mangini said Chad Pennington (left) will start, if Kellen Clemens (sore rib) isn't healthy enough to play.
December 20, 2007 -- The early line on who will quarterback the Jets against the Titans Sunday in Nashville appears to be leaning heavily toward Chad Pennington.
Eric Mangini would not confirm that, but if the short window that reporters are permitted to watch practice is any indicator, Kellen Clemens is still sore from the rib injury that knocked him out of the Jets loss to the Patriots Sunday.
Clemens spent that period of time in practice avoiding use of his left arm, and he didn't throw any passes.
Though Pennington did the throwing, Clemens watched and retrieved a few loose balls and tossed them underarm to Pennington. He didn't even use his left arm, which stayed in his hand warmer, to catch the balls tossed his way.
Mangini, however, in a moderate and rare revealing moment, did say Clemens would start Sunday if he was physically well enough and if the coaches felt he got enough physical and mental practice work in during the week.
"It's health-related," Mangini said. "We've got to see where Kellen is, see what he can do in terms of practice throughout the course of the week, where he is at the end of the week with his ability to function effectively.
"You have to evaluate it throughout the week, because there's the preparation throughout the week that goes into it," Mangini said. "Being a younger quarterback, it's different (for Clemens) than being a veteran guy who's played a long time and can have less reps and do less things and still be as effective (in the game).
"You have to evaluate the number of reps, the quality of reps, the things he can do in practice, and going into the game seeing where he is in terms of his overall health and his ability to function based on his week of preparation."
Speaking to reporters after practice, Clemens was very careful with his words, avoiding any talk that might reveal more than Mangini would like him to divulge.
Asked if he threw at all in practice, he said, "Anything about practice probably would be best to ask Coach Mangini about."
Interestingly, Clemens, who's listed with a rib injury, when politely telling reporters he couldn't talk about his injury, seemed to let it slip that his left shoulder is hurt.
When asked yesterday about him favoring his left side, Clemens said, "I'm sorry. Anything regarding the shoulder will have to be discussed with Coach Mangini."
In another development, Jets LG Adrien Clarke, beaten by the Patriots' Richard Seymour on the hit that knocked Clemens out of the game, said he apologized to Clemens on the sideline after the incident.
"Don't worry about it; you've got the rest of the game to concentrate on," Clemens told Clarke.
"Injuries are part of the game and nobody points a finger at anybody," Clemens said. "Nobody is going to have a perfect game. Adrien came up and said, 'Hey, I'm sorry,' gave a brief apology. I said, 'Hey, I appreciate it. I know that it wasn't anything that you did on purpose.'
"As a quarterback, you appreciate so much what those front five guys do for you over the course of a game and of a season."
Clemens said he has seen a replay of the Seymour hit.
"I saw it. I looked at it that night when I got home," Clemens said. "I kind of watched it real quick. It's difficult to watch, but it's part of the game, and every time you go out there and take a snap you risk potential injury."
12-20-2007, 06:20 AM
Good one Jeff.
That's right up there with "Greatest 1-15 team of all time." :rolleyes:
On that we agree! Happy Holidays, IBG.
12-20-2007, 06:24 AM
OUTSPOKEN MAWAE UP TO OLD TRICKS
By MARK CANNIZZARO
December 20, 2007 -- Former Jet and current Titan center Kevin Mawae participated in a conference call yesterday and said he felt the reason Eric Mangini didn't want him back was because he was an outspoken veteran. Mawae, who last season declined to speak to reporters, also said Mangini wanted younger players who were prepared to adhere to his rules.
"You have a young coach coming in that's trying to win the confidence of his team, and obviously, he's doing things that go against the grain of what a lot of the older guys on the team were used to or know shouldn't be happening," Mawae said. "The last thing you want is a guy that knows all the rules in there, and I definitely would have been one of the guys to call him out on it."
Mawae said he didn't agree with Mangini's decision to release him.
"I think I was a big asset to the team, and I still could have been," Mawae said. "I was the first guy in his office to congratulate him and tell him he's the kind of coach that our team needed, as young as we were at that time.
"My only regret is that he didn't just tell me outright then that I wasn't in the plans. I'm better off for it."
WR Laveranues Coles wants to keep playing. He wants to finish the season, despite the painful high-left ankle sprain that kept him from playing against the Patriots on Sunday.
That's why Coles, a team captain, was back on the practice field yesterday.
"Opportunities are limited," Coles said, regarding his career. "When I was younger, I always looked at it as I could play forever, (but) the older you get, the more you realize that you're closer to the end."
Coles, who has 55 catches and six touchdowns, called this his most frustrating season.
"I've never been one to like being in the training room, and I've probably spent more time in the training room this year than I have my whole career combined," he said.
Here's the injury report for the Jets and Titans.
For the Jets, Coles (ankle), QB Kellen Clemens (rib), TE Chris Baker (back), C James Dearth (foot), WR Justin McCareins (thigh), RG Brandon Moore (neck) and NT Dewayne Robertson (knee) were limited in practice yesterday.
For the Titans, the following players didn't practice: LBs Keith Bulluck (knee), Gilbert Gardner (calf) and David Thornton (knee), DT Albert Haynesworth (hamstring), G Benji Olsen (thigh), Mawae (calf) and RB Lendale White (knee). S Vincent Fuller (shoulder) was limited.
The Jets signed OLs Clint Oldenburg and Robert Turner to the 53-man active roster. They took the roster spots vacated by the release of DE Eric Hicks and OL Adrian Jones.
WHO'S THE BOSS? Kevin Boss, who had two catches for 31 yards against the Redskins Sunday, makes his first NFL start, replacing Jeremy Shockey who will undergo surgery tomorrow.
NO DECISION: Eric Mangini said Chad Pennington will start, if Kellen Clemens (sore rib) isn't healthy enough to play.
12-20-2007, 06:44 AM
On that we agree! Happy Holidays, IBG.
Merry Christmas KJ. :xmas: :xmas2:
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