Jets Reopen Doors; Mark Sanchez, Others Stream Into Practice Facility
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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Finally, there are signs of football in Florham Park. For the first time since a short blip in April, Jets players were back in the building at the team’s practice facility.
“Very excited to be back,” tight end Dustin Keller said shortly after his arrival on Tuesday.
A few players took to twitter, happy to get back to work after the NFL’s players and owners agreed to end the 4.5-month lockout.
“Haven’t made this drive in 6 months. I hope I don’t get lost!” tweeted center Nick Mangold.
“Finally back in the building,” linebacker Jamaal Westerman wrote.
LISTEN: WFAN’s Peter Schwartz from the Jets’ practice facility
According to WFAN’s Peter Schwartz, around 19 players have already arrived at the Jets’ facility. Quarterback Mark Sanchez strolled in around 10:05 a.m.
A big green and white sign that read “Welcome Back! Here Come The Jets” greeted the players as they reached the security gate. Defensive end Ropati Pitoitua was the first to arrive, followed by offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse, but both were told to wait to enter until 10 a.m. — when players could voluntarily report.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: It’s A Great Day For Football
Jets owner Woody Johnson, who repaid employees on Monday for lost wages due to forced furloughs during the lockout, was on hand to welcome his returning players.
From the Jets’ official twitter account: “Mr. Johnson was at the players entrance at 10 AM sharp. He exchanged pleasantries with many of the players including Mark Sanchez.”
Now it’s up to general manager Mike Tannenbaum, who faces some tough decisions on free agents Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith and Antonio Cromartie.
Sanchez isn’t too concerned with attracting free agents. Some are calling it the “Rex Ryan Effect.”
“We’re not going to need to say too much to guys to get them to want to play here,” said Sanchez, according to the Jets’ twitter page.
Are you ready for some football?! Make your Jets predictions in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)