"Looks like it's Ratliff," Ira said of who looked the best this afternoon.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the story of the quarterbacks today.
* First things, first: Clemens did bounce back from a bad morning session in which he threw an interception (it was a deflection off Laveranues Coles' hands) and lost a fumble. There were no interceptions this afternoon and he suffered from a couple of dropped passes (a problem last season as you all know). Clemens's nicest pass? A 20-yarder over the middle to a diving Bubba Franks during one of the day's last 11-on-11s.
Pennington made a strong throw into the prevailing wind that blew the entire 1 hour 54 minute practice, a spiral that traveled 20 yards down the middle to Jerricho Cotchery. But emblematic of the overall afternoon and really the day on offense the next two plays were as follows: Dustin Keller, false start; Alan Faneca, false start. And so it was, Gentleman, start your laps. (Faneca had to run another one later in the practice and Rich Cimini from the News commented that was probably the most laps the veteran lineman has had to run in his career. But that's Mangini; love 'em and lap 'em).
* Incidentally, when Faneca came out to run, Will Montgomery, who had a strong minicamp and a good first day here, replaced him. Might be some depth developing there. Also of note on a screen pass, thrown by Clemens, to Thomas Jones, Robert Turner and Clint Oldenburg were far out in front impressively clearing space down the left sideline, helping on the big gainer.
* Pennington nearly had his first interception of training camp, throwing a short dumpoff pass over the middle[b/] that Shaun Ellis (quietly having a nice start to camp) read, tipped and nearly picked off. Pennington also nearly had another ball picked by Eric Barton (Mr. Turnover with an interception and fumble recovery over three days) on a ball over the middle, but Barton could not hang on. Pennington did zip a 10-yarder to the sideline to Chansi Stuckey, who caught all the balls thrown his way after one drop this morning.
* Ratliff, meanwhile, arguably had the afternoon's nicest throws an 18-yard completion to David Ball along the sideline and then, later, a 35-yarder that wobbled in the stiff breeze but still found its way to David Clowney, who made a fine catch with Drew Coleman nearby. But Ratliff wasn't perfect, fumbling later in the practice and earning a lap himself.
* Bottom line: after five practices, Pennington is ahead. But, stressing again, it's five practices.
* [b]Oh, and any receiver who bests Darrelle Revis this camp is accomplishing something major because it just doesn't happen often. As I did during last week's live chat, I'm predicting Pro Bowl for Revis.
* Mike Nugent, who missed his share of kicks during the OTAs, had a good end to the day, going 5-for-7 in field goals, the two misses coming from 50 yards. But Nugent ended the workout by nailing one right down the middle from 55 yards that had plenty to spare. Said it before: Nugent will be/is fine.
And with that, back at it tomorrow. One practice, at 1:30 p.m.
<h2 class="asset-name">Another Brett at QB for Jets</h2> The Jets already have a Brett at quarterback. Name's Brett Ratliff, their third-stringer. Never heard of him? Well, he's a kid out of Utah and he spent last season on the practice squad. Each day in practice, he shows a little something.
Like this evening, for instance. He threw a nice deep completion to WR David Clowney, who beat CB Drew Coleman up the left sideline. On the next play, Ratliff fired a real nice ball to TE Bubba Franks over the middle. Hmm. I'm not saying he's the real deal, but keep an eye on him. He has a fairly strong arm, maybe stronger than Kellen Clemens, and he seems to get the ball to the right guy.
Just throwing it out there.
Some notes from practice:
The performances by Chad Pennington and Clemens were fairly non-descript. Pennington almost was intercepted by LB Eric Barton. Clemens was victimized by a Franks drop. [b[So far, Pennington has clearly outplayed Clemens, who has committed four turnovers (three INTs and one fumble) in five practices. Pennington has yet to throw an interception. For whatever that's worth this early in camp.
It was a rather sloppy practice for the offense, which had numerous penalties. Even LG Alan Faneca got caught up in the epidemic, as he was flagged twice for false starts. Result: You guessed it, penalty laps around the field, that old Eric Mangini staple. Rookie TE Dustin Keller also got busted for a false starter. Heck, even long snapper James Dearth had to take a lap.
RT Damien Woody spent the entire practice on a stationary bike. Presumably, he was injured in the morning practice, although no one (writers, I mean) seemed to notice it. It must have slipped Mangini's mind when he addressed us after the morning workout. Ha!
RB Musa Smith, after a brief stint on the non-football injury list, showed nice burst on a run up the middle and into the secondary.
DE Kareem Brown rag-dolled OT Jacob Bender in a one-on-one, pass-rushing drill.
Can anybody catch RB Leon Washington? Every time he touches the ball, he's making something happen in the open field.
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