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Today’s Website Whispers from the Atlantic Health Training Center include notes on New England, Jason Smith, Antonio Allen, Eric Smith and more . . .
While Jets fans worry about their right tackle position, it sounds like the Patriot are worried about their whole line.
“I know Tom Brady said he came out and said he wants to play forever but that won’t happen if they don’t improve this offensive line,” said former Pats safety Rodney Harrison. ‘You look at Brian Waters, Pro Bowl guard, he’s out of camp; Nate Solder, who’s a young guy they drafted in the first round, he continues to struggle; Sebastian Vollmer, he’s been injured, he’s had some issues. He looks really stiff and really doesn’t look up to form; and Dan Koppen, their starting Pro Bowl center, coming off a major injury, he doesn’t look the same; and if Brian Waters comes back, then Dan Koppen might not even be a starter, so they have a lot of issues right now.” . . .
I think it’s possible that Jason Smith could play more than expected.
The starting offensive line at practice today was – Austin Howard at RT, Matt Kroul at RG, Caleb Schlauderaff at C, Vlad Ducasse at LG and Smith at LT.
Howard backed up at left tackle throughout at camp, but they aren’t doing that anymore since he’s emerged as the starting right tackle – they are letting him focus on the right side.
So at left tackle in this game, it’s Smith and Paul Cornick, who has hardly played all summer. So I think Smith could play quite a bit.
Let me say this about Smith – when I saw him running between drills today, he ran more like a tight end than a tackle, and I mean that as a compliment.
I know he has a lot of work to do as a tackle, but this guy is really, really athletic.
But for the role the Jets have lined up for him, he’s perfect for it – sixth lineman/tight end.
Remember, he was a tight end as a freshman at Baylor, before moving to offensive tackle as a sophomore.
Don’t be shocked if the Jets throw to him, as that extra lineman/tight end, at some point . . .
As you know by now, Eric Smith isn’t only dealing with a knee issue, but also a hip. Both injuries happened on the same play in the first preseason game.
You have to wonder if he’s going to be ready for Week One.
And also, even if he claims to be ready, will Smith, who isn’t a speed merchant, lose another step he can’t afford to lose, playing with a banged up hip and knee . . .
Speaking of safeties, I noticed today that Antonio Allen was playing a deep safety spot.
The Jets know he’s a terrific box safety, but he has to show he can play better in space, and I think you will see him playing in space quite a bit in Philly . . .
Mike DeVito on his pulled calf – “It was just one of those things where you push off (and it pulled).” . . .
The photo above is of Rex Ryan telling reporters why 19 players were missing from practice today. They were at a leadership seminar.
August 29, 2012
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