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Schwartz: Jets Get Back To Football

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan works with his defensive line during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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By Peter Schwartz
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The Jets held their first practice of training camp 2011 on Monday and they welcomed back a familiar face.

After getting jilted by Nnamdi Asomugha, the Jets turned to Plan B and re-signed Antonio Cromartie early Monday morning to a reported 4-year deal worth $32 million.

Cromartie, along with Antonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and all of the other Jets who re-signed or re-structured their contracts cannot participate in practice until Thursday as per the new CBA rules.

As for bringing back Cromartie, GM Mike Tannenbaum told me that the Jets didn’t need to mend any fences with Cro because of his one-year experience with Gang Green last season.

“Every organization wants to try and sign the best player,” said Cromartie. “And that’s what (the Jets) tried to do. At the end of the day, both sides are satisfied. I didn’t see it as being a plan b at all. There’s no hard feelings. That’s part of the business.”

Rex Ryan was a barrel of laughs at his first training camp progress. He poked a little fun at the Jets’ unsuccessful run at Asomugha.

“Did we get every player we want?, asked Ryan. “ I think we did. I’m just kidding. Was there one that slipped away? I don’t know. That’s the beauty of it. We go after it, there’s no question. We’re not going to hit every time, but I think our team right here, I think this is the best roster that we’ve had since we’ve been here and everything that I’ve said in the past is still in play.”

That being that the goal is to win the Super Bowl.

Ryan also said this is the best roster he’s had in his three years with the Jets and that they are not done fine-tuning the roster.

Owner Woody Johnson echoed those sentiments saying that he agrees with Rex about the roster and that there are some other things that they are working on.

After signing Asomugha and making a ton of other moves, the Eagles are calling themselves the “Dream Team”.

The Jets might have something to say about that.

“We are who we are,” said Holmes. “We’re the New York Jets. Coach Ryan is building this team, he’s putting together the guys that he knows that are championship caliber guys, guys that he knows are going to play like Jets. Guys that are going to go out there and give everything they have for one of their teammates. Guys who are going to take care of their guys and make sure that nothing happens to them. Why not consider ourselves as one of the top teams? He preaches about it, he’s been to the AFC Championship Game two years in a row, why not continue striving for what’s at the top instead of what’s underneath what we have?”

Also during Holmes’ press conference, I asked the last question and asked him if he saved any of that champagne he was drinking in the twitter picture when he re-signed for a Super Bowl celebration.

He said there was more where that came from.

Mark Sanchez met the media and spoke about a number of topics including being named a captain. He talked about how Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter is the best captain in New York and hopes to pattern himself around DJ3K.

Plaxico Burress said everyone is going to be stunned and how great a shape he is in on Thursday when he can practice for the first time.

He said he turned down more lucrative offers to sign with the Jets.

“I did,” said Burress. “Like I said, this is a beautiful situation, you look at what these guys have here. They’re building a great football team, (have) a great coach, somebody who you’d love to play for in Rex Ryan. Woody Johnson is a wonderful owner and he’s running this organization first class, top shelf. They’ve been supportive with me. Just having the opportunity to come here and come play and to be where I am at this stage in my life, just to live up the street from here, it was just a beautiful situation. “

Think about this. With Holmes and Burress, they have two receivers who caught Super Bowl winning touchdowns.

While the Jets brought back a lot of players, they lost WR/KR Brad Smith to the Bills so there will be some competition for kick return duties. 5th round draft pick Jeremy Kerley from TCU could be a candidate for that role. I caught up with him after the morning walk-through….

Hey Jets fans don’t forget that the first practice open to the public will be Tuesday at 2:15pm. Here’s some info from the Jets.

While the Jets invite fans to attend practices, please note that practice may be cancelled or closed to the public due to inclement weather. For the most up-to-date news regarding practice schedules, fans are encouraged to call the team’s fan line at (973) 549-4844 or go to newyorkjets.com. Fans can also RSVP for the practices they’ll be attending on facebook.com/jets.

Offsite parking is available across from Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. The lot is within walking distance of the facility and can be accessed from Park Avenue. Once on Park Avenue, fans will be asked to please follow the posted signs.

Rex Ryan wanted the media to remind Jets fans not to bother showing up for the morning walk-through. Why?

“I’m telling the fans right now, I don’t care if they’re open or not, whatever you do, do not come to the walk-thru practices,” said Ryan. “That’s about as boring as it gets. And you guys (the media) should never come again to the walk-thru thing. It is what it is, we’ll adjust.

Ryan was right. The walk-through isn’t the most exciting thing in the world.

That’s all for now. Check back later in the week for more.