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Return Flight: Preseason 2006

Am I just me, or do most fans like to record the games?  I started doing this in the 90s when Jets wins were few and far between.  I would generally tape over the losses and re-live the good games over and over.  Also, I was just getting into football, and it helped me understand the sport a little better.  

Years ago, I decided not to erase the tapes and just keep them.  When I first met my wife, she couldn't believe it.  She wondered why I taped the game even though I was able to watch it.  She asked, "Do you actually watch them again?"  I said, "Yes, I do."  Somehow she stayed with me anyway.  When we first lived together, I tried to get out of having to watch her shows by playing the tape, and it actually worked.  Well, sometimes.

Anyway, back to the point.  Since we've been talking about OC Brian Schottenheimer, I decided to re-watch all the games I have since he joined the team.  I rarely revisit more than a few games, let alone full seasons, so I don't know if I'll actually be able to go through with this.  I'm gonna try anyway, and I'll share some observations here on GGN.  Maybe we'll learn more about the players and coaches past and present.  Maybe it will just be a good way to pass the time during the offseason.  Or maybe we'll all just get tired of the idea and forget about it.  We'll see what happens.

I'll start with the 2006 preseason after the jump.

I was only able to tape two of the preseason games this year.  The first one against the Buccaneers snuck up on me.  We didn't have GGN yet to keep us on track, so I only caught the last few minutes of the game, in which the Jets lost 16-3.

The next week, I was actually at the Redskins game at FedEx Field, only to learn the QB Chad Pennington would not be playing.  This was a good game by rookies WR Brad Smith and RB Leon Washington.  Of course, when I came home a few days later, I realized I forgot to set the VCR.

So that leaves us with two games to look back on.  The first is the third preseason game, the dress rehearsal.  This is where the starters play the most to get ready for the season.  And it happened to be against the Giants.  You just knew this would be a great game.

HC Eric Mangini had just named Chad as the starter after having to compete with longtime back-up QB Brooks Bollinger, new acquisition QB Patrick Ramsey and second-rounder rookie QB Kellen Clemens.  

RB Curtis Martin started the year on injured reserve and restructured his contract before this game.  I don't know the specifics of this, but Curtis was always grateful to the Jets and never had a bad thing to say.  The Jets also added RB Kevan Barlow, who wore #31 for his first game in green and white.  The starting RB was former Chief Derrick Blaylock, and he could barely gain a yard in this game.

The defense started out all right.  CB Justin Miller defended a pass against Giants WR Plaxico Burress and ILB Jonathan Vilma was able to stop Giants RB Tiki Barber short of the first down marker.

The offense started off trying to spread the defense.  The first pass was a completion to FB B.J. Askew to move the chains immediately and after that was an incompletion to TE Chris Baker.  After a short gain by Blaylock, the offensive line consisting of first round rookies C Nick Mangold and LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, along with LG Pete Kendall, RG Brandon Moore and RT Anthony Clement allowed a sack on third down.  P Ben Graham looked good though.

Miller and Burress were all over each other all game, and Plax even lost his cool and smacked Justin in the helmet for a penalty.  Announcer Greg Buttle commented that he is only hurting himself this way.

Pennington was able to draw the defense off-sides a couple of times.  The offense was starting to get on a bit of a roll when Barlow fumbled the ball away.  NT DeWayne Robertson was actually able to tackle Barber for a one-yard loss, mainly because Vilma drew him inside.  D-Rob was no match for the double teams the rest of the game.

TE Doug Jolley caught a third down pass and was run out of bounds by Giants CB Sam Madison who gave him an extra push.  Jolley reacted, laid a shoulder on him and Madison flopped.  Penalty for the Jets, and they have to punt.

SS Erik Coleman intercepted a pass by Giants QB Eli Manning.  Plax was again flagged for roughness against Miller.  Blaylock couldn't get a yard on 3rd and 1.  They lined up on 4th down but Brick moved.  Mangini immediately talked to him about it.

The linebackers couldn't cover the gap against Tiki, and Coleman couldn't tackle Giants TE Jeremy Shockey.  Giants RB Brandon Jacobs then came in and ran over the defense.  DE Dave Ball had consecutive tackles of Tiki to get the defense off the field.

Chad's throw went through the air for about 25 yards to WR Justin McCareins who ran for about 20 more.  Mangini refuses to smile.  Chad tried another long ball, this time to WR Laveranues Coles, but it went out of bounds.  K Mike Nugent ended the drive by missing a 49 yarder.

The defense can't get anywhere near Eli.  A long run by Tiki helped get the G-Men to the endzone.  Miller defended a pass against Giants WR Amani Toomer on 3rd and goal, but then he celebrated over him.  Taunting.  Two plays later, and it was 7-0 Big Blue.

At the end of the half, the offense was moving the football in the two-minute drill.  There were big catches by Coles over the middle and a sideline catch by McCareins.  However, the offense allowed the sack which took them out of field goal range.

Leon Washington finally saw some action in the third quarter.  So did Brad Smith, who was under center on one play with Chad lined up wide.  The first drive of the second half ended with a Pennington pick by Giants DB R.W. McQuarters on a ball meant for WR Jerricho Cotchery.

FS Kerry Rhodes took Brandon Jacobs head on. Kerry was able to tackle him, but he couldn't quite get up right away, although he did walk off the field.  I wonder how a play like that affects a person.

The offense then tried shifting some more, as well as the muddle huddle, but that didn't work.  3 and out.

The backups came in after that, at least for the offenses.  Mangenius kept his defensive starters in through the third quarter.  For the Giants the QB was "Hefty Lefty" Jared Lorenzen.  He tried a long pass to Giants TE David Tyree but he couldn't catch it.  Giants K Jay Feely was able to add two more field goals to the score.

Announcer Ian Eagle was a little confused because the Giants had two players with the same number.  I haven't noticed this in recent years.  I think maybe they changed the rules allowing players to wear numbers for a different position in the preseason.  But I'm not sure.  By the way, the sideline reporter was Chris Wragge, who is now a co-host of "The Early Show".  Back then he was the sports guy for WCBS-TV.

Clemens, wearing #6, didn't do much.  Mangini sent Brick out there to finish the game, letting him know he's not guaranteed to start.  Little Leon couldn't read the blitz and help pass protect.  TE Joel Dreesen saw little action.

LB Darrell McClover was finally able to put points on the board by blocking a punt and taking it in for a touchdown.  Buttle called him Glover, despite Eagle pronouncing the name correctly and clearly.  It's possible he may have actually called him Danny Glover.

The game ended after an interception by Giants DB Charlie Peprah.  The final score was Giants over Jets 13-7.

The next week, Gang Green hosted the Eagles.  Brooksie was traded to the Vikings for DT C.J. Mosley.  Jolley was traded to the Buccaneers for a 6th round pick and then the Jets gave a 7th round pick to the Cowboys for TE Sean Ryan.  CB Hank Poteat was picked up after being released by the Patriots.  WR Jabar Gaffney was on the opposing sideline playing for Philadelphia.  Poteat would return to New England, then get released again when the Pats signed Gaffney, giving New York a chance to re-sign Hank.  CB Ray Mickens didn't see much action all summer and would end up a Patriot the rest of the season.

Barlow switched to #32, and Poteat took #31.  Rookie WR Wallace Wright wore #2 all summer.

Despite Pennington not leading the offense to a touchdown all summer, Clemens started the game.  Kellen's night ended with an interception.  Leon can hit the hole quickly but still couldn't protect.  Schotty tried the screen pass on third and long to no avail.

Eagles CB Donald Strickland was able to tackle RB Cedric Houston short of the first down.  Houston had a strong game overall, IMO.  Backup C Norm Katnik and Clemens had some problems with the snap.  Sixth round rookie CB Drew Coleman was able to catch the punt and pin the Eagles inside the five.  CB Derrick Strait couldn't cover.  No wonder the team had tried to trade him for Browns RB Lee Suggs, who failed his physical, breaking the deal.

Leon started the second half with a 50 yard kickoff return.  Ramsey then took over at QB.  Eagle and Buttle talked with new GM Mike Tannenbaum in the booth.  As the interview ended, Ramsey threw a TD pass to WR Dante Ridgeway.  Later, Ramsey was able to escape a closing pocket and run for about twenty.  Nugent was able to make a 49 yarder and a 30 yarder later on.  DE Trevor Johnson had an interception off of Eagles QB Timmy Chang.  Later, Coleman picked him off as well.

Brad Smith came in as quarterback in the fourth quarter.  Most of his throws were off.  His keepers had good gains, and he even scored a running touchdown.

The game ends on a goal line stand, as Eagles HC Andy Reid decided not to kick a field goal to tie and prolong the game.  But it actually didn't end there, as the offense failed to get the first down to run out the clock.  Mangini was upset at Graham for punting the ball too soon, as he could have let a few more seconds tick off.  The game actually finally ended when Trevor Johnson picked off another Chang pass.  Final score is 20-17.

Tomorrow we'll return to the 2006 opener at Tennessee.  By the way, I don't know if I'll be as lengthy as we continue with this off-season series.  Please leave your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions in the comments.