Some stability on the Jets' starting offensive line returned at this morning's practice on the grass field behind Cortland Stadium because No. 74 was on it.
"It's coming along," center Nick Mangold said of his first full practice since Aug. 9. "We're taking it easy. I don't want to reaggravate anything. I want to make sure I take the appropriate amount of time. But we're doing a good job of slowly grinding into things and I got a little work in, which was nice."
It's still early in the planning phases for next Monday night at Baltimore. Mangold, who twisted a knee, is going to leave his game availability up to the trainers and head coach Rex Ryan, and Ryan at today's news conference was still in a we'll-see mode. But as far as having his starting center playing against the Ravens, Ryan said, "he's definitely heading in that direction."
Ryan said RT Damien Woody (concussion) is probably not as close to a return as Mangold. Woody tweeted this morning that he's "making good progress." LG Alan Faneca (finger) will miss Baltimore.
But whether the Jets enter their preseason prime-time affair with two-fifths, three-fifths or four-fifths of their starting O-line, that unit is starting to make its way back toward the most important date at this time of year: opening day Sept. 13 at Houston.
The same is true of the defense, which has DT Kris Jenkins back for limited work for a second day and also regained the services in individual drills of CB Darrelle Revis.
"I hope Darrelle's back there Monday night, but I'm not sure," Ryan said. "He's feeling better. The hamstring wasn't a pull, it was just something we were trying to be cautious over. He felt it grab on him a little bit, so we were being more cautious than anything else. But it was not a pull."
Tuesday Morning Notes
Ryan promised the third units that they would be scrimmaging — i.e., hitting — almost every day this final week at Cortland, and hit is what the threes do toward the end of this morning's hot (but not nearly as sizzling as Monday morning) practice.
The first eye-popper is a Mark Sanchez swing to TE Kareem Brown, but as soon as Brown turns upfield, he is separated from the ball by a hard stick from CB Marquice Cole. The fumble goes out of bounds. The first and second defense roars its approval.
The offense roars back with TE Kevin Brock catching a ball over the middle and plowing on as four, five and six green shirts eventually bring him down.
Then Erik Ainge finds WR Britt Davis for a nice fingertip grab and run, but S Emanuel Cook brings Davis down hard along the sideline. And James Ihedigbo ranges to his right for a breakup of a long deep ball from Ainge intended for Huey Whittaker.
In situational drills, QB Kellen Clemens, with the ones, throws a perfect out to Jerricho Cotchery on third down from 12 yards out and 5 seconds on the clock.
Sanchez has some nice deep balls, to Marcus Henry past Cole and Eric Smith, then to David Clowney past Cole and Drew Coleman. But Sanchez also seems to heave a pass with no one downfield in the vicinity except Smith for the interception.
WR Aundrae Allison didn't get any chances in team drills but Rex seems to be encouraging it.
"The kid out of Minnesota, I call him '88 Out of the Gate' — he can fly," the coach said. "I'm just waiting for someone to throw him the ball. '88's open again.' I'm just waiting for our quarterbacks to realize that. We'll see what he can do. He's been impressive, too."