Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jets Wildcard Week - Day Two

Day two of Wildcard Week. 50 media people in a press room that comfortably holds 25. Good times. (Oh, and two dead mice, but at least they were outside).

All is rolling along right now at the Jets facility. Players happy and excited. Coaches happy, excited and exhausted. PR staff working on fumes.

Mark Sanchez talked today about his friendship with Carson Palmer, which goes back more than a decade to when Sanchez served as ball boy for his brother Brandon who played with Palmer on the Santa Margarita High School team. Sanchez regaled us with a few stories of Palmer as prankster, but clearly this is someone he has relied on and learned a lot from over the years and great values the relationship.

Sanchez shared that Palmer has mentored him on everything from playing the game to what to buy his linemen for Christmas.

There is also an intense spirit of competition between the two, which Sanchez described in this anecdote:

"I remember throwing these flags with Coach Johnson (high school coach) and they are made out of PVC pipe, he has them made by hand. He sticks them in the ground and you just throw at the flags and try to hit the thing. We got so competitive, we didn't want to try to hit the flags or the post we would aim for one. We would say (hit the) left one, and I would hit it and he would hit it and it would go back and forth. Now it's the same thing. He went 21 plays, let's go 22 plays, let's score. That's how competitive it is. I couldn't think of anyone else I would want to square off against. He's a great competitor and a great friend."

Meanwhile, Kerry Rhodes has been the recipient of some good-natured teasing by everyone, including Rex Ryan, for not scoring off of his fumble recovery on Sunday. So, I piled on and asked how his speed drills went today. He laughed and replied, "I thought I was a Cadillac rolling down the street, but I caught a flat tire."

On the injury front, punter Steve Weatherford's hamstring is much better. He couldn't have been more relieved at having had to punt only three times in the game. He said today that while he is still sore, there is a "100% chance" that he'll play.

Donald Strickland's quad is better, and it is looking like he will see some action this week.

Slightly scary moment at practice when James Ihedigbo lay on the ground clearly in pain. After a few minutes he got up holding his arm. Turns out he had a stinger and told me in the locker room later that he was fine.

The most sobering news of the day is that David Harris, who sprained his ankle at the end of the first half on Sunday, did not practice today and it looks like he may be day-to-day. His backup, Ryan Fowler, was limited with a head injury also sustained in the game. If neither can go, Kenwin Cummings will start. Cummings was signed off the practice squad in early November.

The fun continues tomorrow.

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