View Full Version : Eric a Happy Camper- NY Daily News
08-21-2008, 06:08 AM
Eric Mangini happy camper at last public practice at Hofstra
BY KRISTIE ACKERT
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Wednesday, August 20th 2008, 8:25 PM
Wednesday marked the Jets' last public practice at Hofstra University. After 40 years of holding training camp and practices at the Hempstead, L.I., facility, the Jets are moving their headquarters to Florham Park, N.J., next month and are transitioning into closed practices for the rest of training camp.
"Over the times I've been here whether it was this time (or before as an assistant coach), it was always great to have the energy from the fans," Eric Mangini said. "It gets a little bit long during training camp at times, and there are some days when the coffee is just not getting it done. Having (the fans) there and having kids here, having their passion here, it's always been great."
Mangini and all the players except Brett Favre spent about half an hour after the practice signing autographs for the fans to thank them for their support. "Just being able to spend time with them is pretty unique," Mangini said.
Favre spent that time after practice with a terminally ill child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Jets will officially begin their new era in New Jersey on Sept. 2.
CATCHING UP: Laveranues Coles participated in more drills Wednesday than he did on Tuesday. The wide receiver has missed several practices and both preseason games with an undisclosed leg injury. Wednesday Coles caught a handful of passes from Favre in drills and participated in the 11-on-11 drill for the first time.
Coles, who was a close friend of former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, declined interview requests again Wednesday. He has not spoken to the media since the Jets acquired Favre and released Pennington two weeks ago.
FAVRE FRUSTRATION: Twice Wednesday Favre's unit got caught unprepared to snap the ball as the play clock ran out. His frustration was apparent at the end of practice when he turned the the ball over on downs after two incomplete passes in the two-minute drill. The QB had a better night Tuesday, when he got the team out of an hour of meetings and had the curfew waived when he aced a Mangini pop quiz. Favre was able to name teammates based on uniform numbers Mangini gave him, and then list the Jets' core values (communicate, focus, finish and trust). "I thought I had him," Mangini said. "I don't know how he pulled that one out. The room exploded."
08-21-2008, 06:11 AM
Thomas Jones carries high hopes for second season with Jets
By KRISTIE ACKERT
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Wednesday, August 20th 2008, 10:09 PM
Weissman for News
Thomas Jones hopes that his second year in Jets' backfield is more productive than his first.
A year ago, Thomas Jones - and his calf - were the big news at Jets training camp. The former Bears running back was the team's major offseason acquisition, and after a calf injury during training camp, the big question last August was whether Jones could effectively lead the Jets' rushing attack.
Last year he ran for just one touchdown on a team that was full of disappointments, so the question remains. Now that the offensive line has been rebuilt and there is the threat of Brett Favre's powerful arm to keep defenses more honest, Jones may have a better chance of answering that challenge.
"The second year in a system is always a little bit easier," Jones said. "I am familiar with my teammates, familiar with the offense, I am familiar with the organization. The guys they brought in are great guys. We all get along well, on and off the field. It's just an easier transition the second year."
The Jets have not given Jones much of a chance to show it during the preseason as they focus on working Favre into the system. Jones has just six carries for 18 yards - two less than he had in one preseason game last year.
Eric Mangini said he has seen enough of Jones in practice and through the years.
"The reps he gets in practice, and there's been a lot of reps, some have him doing other things. Whether it's on the passing game, screens, protections, all those reps count, too," Mangini said. "He's not a guy that just carries the ball. He's got to do all the other things as well."
Jones said he is not worried about his light workload in the preseason, either.
"I let the coaches deal with that," Jones said when asked if he needs more work in Saturday's preseason game against the Giants. "They work on things you really need to work on. I get a lot work in practice.
"This is my ninth year in the league, I know how to play the game."
Last year, despite an emphasis on blocking and pass protection, Jones still ran for 1,119 yards, the third straight season he passed 1,000. However, Jones went without a touchdown for the first 12 weeks of the season, finally finding the end zone in a Dec. 2 rout of the Dolphins in Miami.
But the Jets' dismal running game was just one reason why they were a 4-12 team.
With the offensive line left in shambles by the ugly departure of left guard Pete Kendall and no real down-field passing attack with Chad Pennington, the Jets' running backs often faced seven defenders in the box. Jones averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. The Jets, who were 19th overall in rushing in the NFL, averaged just 3.8 yards per attempt, tied for 22nd with five other teams.
Jones, who turned 30 on Tuesday, expects things to be a little easier this season - not just because the Jets brought in free agents Alan Faneca and Damien Woody to solidify the offensive line, but because Favre's arm should keep defenses from overplaying the run.
"I am just going to go out and do the best I can, play as hard as I can," Jones said, "and learn from my mistakes to be the best I can be all around."
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08-21-2008, 06:15 AM
Eli Manning 1st met Brett Favre in Mississippi 11 years ago
BY OHM YOUNGMISUK
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Brett Favre and Eli Manning go all the way back to a meeting in Mississippi 11 years ago.
The introduction took place about 11 years ago at a bar in Mississippi, of all places.
Eli Manning was only 16 when he was introduced to the quarterback who ruled the NFL at the time - Brett Favre.
"Just where I grew up (in New Orleans), I loved watching him play," Manning said of Favre, the Bayou legend who grew up a few hours away from him in Kiln, Miss. "I was a big fan. He was with the Packers, they had just won a few (NFC) championships and he was in his MVP seasons. He was at the top of his game. I was fired up to see him."
Favre also remembers the meeting that took place at his uncle's bar. Just don't ask him how the underage Manning got in.
"I can't remember if I helped him get in or what," Favre said. "But that's a different story."
When the Giants face the Jets in a preseason game Saturday night, the two quarterbacks will meet again in a completely different setting than their first encounter.
This time, it's Manning who is coming off a championship and a Super Bowl MVP performance. Manning and the Giants will face Favre for the first time since beating the former Packers quarterback in sub-zero temperatures at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game.
So much has happened since the Giants' overtime victory over Green Bay. Manning led the Giants to perhaps the biggest upset in Super Bowl history over the Patriots and earned Super Bowl MVP honors while finally emerging from the shadow of big brother Peyton.
Meanwhile, Favre retired after Corey Webster picked off his final pass as a Packer in overtime. Then Favre unretired before enduring a painful divorce with Green Bay that led to his trade to the Jets.
Now Manning and Favre meet again in a preseason game that might seem like a pivotal regular-season game with the Giants' starters expecting to play extended minutes.
Manning and Favre are the reasons why New York has become the epicenter of the NFL universe. And even though it's Manning who is now in the prime of his career at 27, he might still feel like a wide-eyed teenager looking up to Favre in awe.
"I'm a big Brett Favre fan," Manning said.
Even in the twilight of Favre's career, his star power is unrivaled. His presence here has created a media frenzy in New York and overshadowed the NFL champs. Just the sight of Favre running a punishment lap around the field after fumbling a snap caused more of a stir - footage landed on YouTube within hours - than anything the Giants have done in camp.
"I'm so glad that's the case," said defensive end Justin Tuck of all the attention surrounding the Jets. "It lets us go about our business and focus on football. That is all we want to do."
Before Favre's arrival, the NFL champs had cast a Giant shadow over their AFC neighbors. Now, the Jets are big news and one longtime Giant is happy for them.
"It's good for the Jets," said wide receiver Amani Toomer, who returned to practice Wednesday after missing time with a knee injury. "They got a good quarterback and some excitement over there with him and kind of get out of the shadows so to speak."
When Manning played at Ole Miss, he not only had to deal with playing in the shadow of his father, Archie, but also Favre's legend at Southern Miss.
These days, Favre is the one trying to help the Jets find the limelight.
"I give them a tremendous amount of credit and respect," Favre said of the Giants beating him in the NFC Championship Game. "But that is over and done with and obviously it is a new year. A lot of things have changed."
Manning can attest to that.
HAPPY RETURNS: Toomer (leg) and fellow wide receivers Steve Smith (groin and hamstring) and Mario Manningham (quad) returned to practice Wednesday after missing significant practice time with injuries. .. . Plaxico Burress participated in some light drills, and Tom Coughlin reported that the wide receiver ran "a little bit faster" than usual. ... Tuck (foot), LB Mathias Kiwanuka (groin), LB Jonathan Goff (back), WR Brandon London (shoulder), QB Anthony Wright (back) and K Lawrence Tynes (knee) did not practice. ... The Giants waived injured RB Kay-Jay Harris and signed DB Miguel Scott, who they released on June
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