By Peter Schwartz
A crowd of 9,500 made their way to the SUNY Cortland campus on Saturday night for the Jets’ annual Green/White scrimmage. Any fan that was just a few seconds late in sitting down missed an electrifying first play as Mark Sanchez hit LaDainian Tomlinson on a 70-yard touchdown pass. Sanchez hit the former Charger in stride down the left sideline as Tomlinson beat linebacker David Harris on the play.
It was a great start for the offense. I caught up with right tackle Damien Woody after the scrimmage and here’s the interview….
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a big night as well hauling in 34-yard pass from Sanchez. The former Steeler was also on the receiving end of a 32-yard strike from Mark Brunell.
Joe McKnight had several strong runs including a first down scamper of more than ten yards as he bounced off a tackler to the outside.
Laveranues Coles reeled in a 17-yard catch from Kellen Clemens.
Kicker Nick Folk missed a 38-yard field goal. However, head coach Rex Ryan accepted the blame after the scrimmage. He said Folk was scheduled for a series of kicks twice in the game, but when the offensive drive of the game stalled, Ryan made a last second decision to send out the field goal unit. Holder Steve Weatherford wasn’t ready either and couldn’t find his helmet so he had to wear someone else’s.
Defensively, Orlando Pace was credited with a sack of Kellen Clemens. Quarterbacks were off-limits in the scrimmage so once the official felt that Pace would have had the sack in a real game, he blew the whistle.
I ran into a defensive coach in a restaurant after the scrimmage and he wasn’t happy with the unit’s performance.
One player who has been drawing raves during camp is cornerback Antonio Cromartie. He has been taking Darrelle Revis’ spot until the Jets’ pro-bowler returns from his holdout. I caught up with Cromartie after the scrimmage.
Other notable plays in the game……
Former University of Connecticut wide receiver Larry Taylor had a reception. He came to the Jets from the CFL.
Running back Chauncey Washington had a long run that looked to be about 20 yards.
Quarterback Kevin O’Connell had a nice quarterback scramble for about 15 yards.
The Jets are off Sunday and return to practice on Monday. The first pre-season game will be Monday night August 16th against the Giants in the first football game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Some other notes from camp….
JETS HEAVEN IN CORTLAND
Jets fan Mark Braun travels from Cortland to New Jersey for every Jets home game and he uses his business to let everyone know that he bleeds green. Mark owns “Doug’s Fish Fry”, a popular seafood restaurant just down the road from SUNY Cortland.
The restaurant is filled with Jets memorabilia, photos, and signs. In fact, there is a Jets helmet Fathead on the wall signed by Jets players, coaches, and members of the media. However, by the time I made it to Doug’s on Saturday, the Fathead was already filled with autographs so Mark asked me to sign another portion of his “Wall of Fame”.
I got a pretty good spot…next to Steve Serby of the New York Post!
The food was awesome including desert, which was a “Jets Sundae”. So, if you are planning a trip to Cortland during training camp, be sure to stop by!
Not to beat a dead horse, but the Jets still have some seats to sell in the New Meadowlands Stadium. Just how many remain is up for debate but suffice it say, there are more than a few left.
There’s no question that the issue of PSL’s is a sore subject for Jets and Giants fans. The fact that both teams exhausted their waiting lists and still have seats to sell speaks volumes to how angry fans are. Of course, the economy has a little something to do with it as well.
Having said that, I think the Jets need to do a better job of instructing their sales people on how to speak to potential customers or they need to hire people with more experience.
I have received many phone calls and e-mails from the Jets regarding season tickets. They have my name because I used to have season tickets and I took my son to the open mini-camp practice at the new stadium that required “free tickets” to be downloaded from Ticketmaster. In order to get them, I had to give them my contact info.
On Friday, I received a call on my cell phone from the Jets. At first, I thought it was a member of the media relations staff calling with news but it turned out to be a ticket solicitation.
“With it being so close to the start of the season, I wanted to know what it would take to get you in the building this year,” said the woman.
Wow! That was a nice obnoxious way to start!
I said thanks but I’m not interested in buying season tickets (just so everyone knows, I don’t think this girl knew that I work in the media and I didn’t say anything either).
“Why?” she asked.
Not that it was any of her business, but I just had to keep this going to I came up with an answer that I thought reflected the views of many fans. I said it wasn’t in the budget.
“Why is that?” she queried.
Holy Cow! Talk about chutzpah!
Again, I said it wasn’t in the budget.
“Not even our non-PSL seats?” she asked.
Are you kidding me? I said no I’m not interested.
“Have you looked at our payment plans?” she said.
I said no and that finally put an end to the call. This came a few months after somebody called me at home and asked if we were interested in tickets.
When I said that we weren’t interested in PSL’s, the sales person was a bit on the rude side.
“OK THANKS!!!!” he screamed before slamming the phone.
You can’t make this stuff up!
The premiere of “Hard Knocks” on HBO will be on Wednesday, but the hype of the inside look at Jets training camp continues on Tuesday with a rally to promote the show on Tuesday afternoon in Times Square. There will be several former Jets players on hand as well as the Flight Crew. Also, head coach Rex Ryan and Jets players will appear via satellite from Cortland.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more Jets news during the week.