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Rex 'Disappointed' by Leon, Thomas Absences


No. 22 continued to run with the Jets' first offense at today's OTA practice, which is good news for Danny Woodhead — the aforementioned No. 22 — but not for Jets fans wanting to hear that No. 20 (Thomas Jones) or No. 29 (Leon Washington) was back in uniform for the voluntary practices.

Head coach Rex Ryan said he was caught slightly off guard that Washington wasn't at practice for any of this week's three OTA practices that began Monday.

"I would say maybe a little [surprised]," Ryan said at his news conference this afternoon about Washington's absence. "I was disappointed. Again, it's a voluntary camp. Would I like him to be here? Absolutely, no question, I'd love for Leon to be here, and Thomas. But he chose not to be here and that's unfortunate."

But when the Jets hold their full-squad camp at the Atlantic Health Training Center from June 9-11, the coach noted that the practices will no longer be voluntary then..

"That word 'mandatory,' to me, I'm not the smartest guy, but I think you should be here. I expect him to be here and I expect Thomas to be here as well," Ryan said. "And when we go to play our first game at Houston, I believe both of them are gonna be with us and ready to go. So I'm definitely confident of that."

Rex had a few other choice comments, about Woodhead, which Eric Allen will detail in his news story later this afternoon, and on Bart Scott's "chirping" during practice, which I'll write about for early Friday morning, plus other subjects.

On Kellen Clemens' response to the Sanchez acquisition:"His focus hasn't changed. He knew he was going to have to compete for the job. It just isn't exactly how he thought. We didn't know we were going to get Sanchez — nobody knew. The fact that we were able to get this young man, now the competition's against somebody else. He's the first-round pick, he's going to be making a lot of money, you can read into it any way you want. At the end of the day, the best guy's going to be playing quarterback for us on opening day. If that's Kellen, then that's great. If it's Sanchez, that's great. One of them's going to have to earn that job."

Clemens added during the locker room session that he doesn't need Sanchez (expected  to join the Jets vets along with the rest of the rookies next Monday) to get after it in practice. "You know what? I'm competing every day," KC said. "Whether it's against Erik [Ainge] or Mark, Tom Brady, Chad Pennington, Trent Edwards, myself — there's a long list of competitors. We're always competing."

On DE Marques Douglas being one of the secrets to the trade to draft Mark Sanchez: "Signing him in the off-season kind of went under the radar, but it allowed us to make a trade to move [DE Kenyon] Coleman, a good football player. Would we have been able to make the trade if we never had the depth at defensive end, at safety? But we felt great about the depth we added, and we know Marques can play. ... This is the kind of player I want to surround myself with and bring in, guys who are passionate, love to play the game, prepare to play, and when the lights come on these guys really play great and elevate other players' games as well. Douglas is that kind of guy."

On TE Bubba Franks, who re-signed Wednesday but did not practice today: "You can tell he's been working out. He has a little thing with his knee, but we don't think it's serious. We wouldn't have re-signed him if we did. I think Bubba'll be fine when we get to training camp."

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