"Jets Two-Minute Drive" has shifted into draft hyperdrive. My partner, Eric Allen, has been working feverishly to get three Jets Radio segments taped over the last two days onto newyorkjets.com today.
EA and I chatted early this afternoon with Joey Clinkscales, the Jets' vice president of college scouting, and while Joey wasn't going to tell us whose name will be on the card if the team spends the 17th overall pick Saturday, he had great observations on some of the individuals and some of the themes at this year's draft during the 18 minutes he visited with us.
Southern Cal QB Mark Sanchez is not among the nine top candidates who are already in New York City and will be on hand at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday. But Sanchez is one of the players more than a few Green & White followers, Seattle Seahawks fans, quarterback aficionados and NFL draftniks are interested in.
The league made Sanchez available on a conference call this morning and EA recorded the call and cut it up for your online listening pleasure — although "pleasure" is relative in this case because I'm told the quality of the call was not great. But, depending on who you listen to, he'll be the first or second QB taken in this draft and you may want to monitor the five minutes of comments he made on the call, including one response to a question about the Jets' interest.
Finally, we have our Draft Preview Analysis show, with NFL Network draft guru and "guest star" Mike Mayock. Actually, Mayock was not with us in studio or on the line, but we have interspersed our comments on the draft with some of Mayock's on a two-hour conference call he did this week with NFL reporters.
The Mayock piece was a monster to assemble, but EA has slain the beast and that show is now up permanently on* newyorkjets.com*. The Clinkscales and Sanchez spots will be featured on our home page and on our multimedia page shortly. Enjoy. And we still have a mystery ESPN guest penciled in for a possible Friday morning show.
Half Dozen Jets Will "PLAY 60"
Six current Jets will be participating in the NFL PLAY 60 youth football festival in New York City's Central Park on Thursday and Friday.
The Jets — C Nick Mangold, FB Tony Richardson, WR Wallace Wright, LB Vernon Gholston, OL Robert Turner and WR Marcus Henry — will join with other NFL players, nine of the top candidates in the NFL Draft, and commissioner Roger Goodell in helping to show more than 600 New York City fifth- and sixth-graders how to stay active for 60 minutes a day as part of the league's PLAY 60 youth health and fitness campaign.
Farewell, John Free
Old-time fans and friends of the Super Bowl era New York Jets are noting the passing of John Free, the team's business manager and traveling secretary from 1963-80.
Free, who died Sunday, has a small but significant place in franchise history: He was the first employee hired when Weeb Ewbank took over the football operations of the newly christened Jets in 1963.
"John was one of the special people who worked behind the scenes to help the Jets win Super Bowl III," recalled Bob Parente, the Jets' vice president of broadcasting and production who was hired by Free in 1977. "He'll always be remembered as an original member of the Jets family."
Free's funeral will be in Savannah, Ga., on Saturday, May 2. Our condolences go out to his family.