A bit of a letdown today with the absence again of Leon Washington. However, this time, no boycott was involved. Washington's fiance, Charity, gave birth to their son Noel and Rex Ryan whole-heartedly supported his running back's decision to skip practice.
In fact, Ryan cited the greatest regret of his coaching career as missing the birth of his second child due to attending a practice. It was, however, a well-intentioned faux pas. Ryan, at the time a member of his father Buddy's staff in Arizona didn't want people to think he was taking liberties being the head coach's son.
Practice itself offered up yet another weird collision. Ahmad Carroll, covering wide receiver Paul Raymond on a corner route slammed into secondary coach Dennis Thurman who, inexplicably, was standing in the middle of the pattern and didn't move out of the way fast enough. Thurman made the most of his moment, arms and legs spread wide as he lay prostrate on the ground. In typical Thurman style, he then got up laughing.
Then there's the update on last week's collision victim, David Harris. I'm told Harris actually had two teeth knocked out by Jim Leonhard's helmet, but they were somehow put back in (any dentist out there want to explain how they do that?). In any case, Harris - who already wears braces - is being held out of all contact for the next couple of weeks to ensure full healing.
Otherwise things are status quo. No significant changes, although both Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez continue to look more comfortable. Even Erik Ainge had a good day, completing some nice passes and looking a little more solid.
Ryan is thrilled to have both Washington and Thomas Jones back describing it as a "great one-two punch" that the defense has to deal with. He touted rookie Shonn Greene as well, musing that the fourth quarter could end up being Greene's quarter, where he will get the "dirty yards."
As for an overview of what this time of year really means, I talked to D'Brickashaw Ferguson who offered up this analogy, "This is like reading the prefix of a book. We haven't gotten into the book yet."