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A Quiet Day at SUNY Cortland


Cortland is quiet today. 

After seven consecutive days of practice to open the Jets' 2009 Training Camp, head coach Rex Ryan has given his players the day off. While the NFL prepares to celebrate its Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio, Ryan and a number of other Jets are going to baseball's shrine.

"We're actually going to do a little Cooperstown trip [Baseball Hall of Fame], I think, with some of the players," he told reporters after Thursday evening's Green & White Scrimmage. "We have some work to do administratively, but we're going to probably go down there and see some baseball things and come back. So yes, I'm definitely looking forward to that."

Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez was scheduled to get in some physical activity early and then select from a number of options.

"I am going to Cooperstown, NASCAR, or just relaxing and rehab and look at film," he said. "I have to do that first. I get to lift in the morning. That's it, though."

The Jets were lifted up by the local community Thursday as more than 6,000 gathered at SUNY Cortland for an evening scrimmage. The one thing that kept entering my mind last night as all the cars kept coming up Stadium Drive was the movie "Field of Dreams." 

Sanchez, who got snaps with both the starters and the offense's second unit, completed nine of 15 for 70 yards. His numbers could have been much better if not for a few drops.

"I'm not a quarterback expert, but when a guy was open, he was putting the ball on the mark," said Ryan of Sanchez. "They all would've been first downs. He was impressive to me. Again, I keep talking about that deep sideline throw, those comebacks and outs. You have to be able to make that throw, and he does it consistently, so I was excited about that."

Despite missing NT Kris Jenkins, the Jets played solid rush defense as Sione Pouha filled in there in the middle. The Jets' top two backs — Thomas Jones (7 rushes, 15 yards) and Leon Washington (2-4) — were held to just 19 yards on nine carries. 

"I think the defense is doing well when you consider that the big guy is not in there. You know he's only better than anyone in the league," Ryan said. "So you throw that big dude in the middle of your defense, that's pretty good. I'll be excited to get Big Jenk out there."

Ryan does like his offense's tempo and its multiplicity but said the club hasn't had a No. 2 receiver step up. And with that spot open, Wallace Wright sees opportunity. A terrific special teams player who has become Sanchez's favorite target in camp, Wright had three receptions Thursday.

"I am kind of going under the radar a little," Wright said. "People are talking about other receivers and I haven't been mentioned. I'm out here practicing, working every day and trying to let people know I'm out here. The competition is wide open, so let the best man win."

The Jets will return to the practice field Saturday with two practices — 8:20 a.m. and 3:55 p.m. — at SUNY Cortland.

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