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FLORHAM PARK, NJ – For the second straight day, the rookie running back struggled to hold on to passes and appeared to be out of shape, unable to physically keep up in drills.

According to ESPN New York’s Jane McManus, at one point McKnight was down on all fours and had trainers applying wet towels to his neck.  McManus also added that the former Trojan missed four-straight catchable passes in seven-on-seven drills.

Despite two-straight poor performances by the rookie running back, The Start Ledger’s Manish Mehta reports that Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn’t jumping to conclusions.

It was another rought day at rookiecamp for new Jets RB Joe McKnight. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

“I don’t even need to overreact,” said Ryan. “He still does some great things out there. I don’t know if it’s much his physical conditioning. Maybe he’s got a bug or something. The thing that I appreciate about him is that he is trying to fight through it. … albeit on a knee most of the time.”

“Sometimes it takes a player a little longer to play like a Jet. Maybe the tempo’s different (from college). I don’t know….It’s funny. Every time I look around, he’s got a wet towel around his neck… then he’s making one mistake after another. Then you put the ball in his hands – and he’s pretty good.”

On the positive side, McKnight did appear to impress special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff in kickoff returns.

Defensive players impress

Meanwhile, it has been a group of undrafted free agents who have stolen the show through minicamp so far.  The coaching staff is believed to be high on Alabama LB Cory Reamer.  The 6-foot-3, 228 pound Reamer is coming off a stellar season in Tuscaloosa, in which he recorded 50 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception in 12 games.

So far, Reamer, a guy who wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, has stood out from the bunch.

“He wants to stay… that’s obvious,” said Ryan. “He’s here competing and he wants to stay.  Every year, there’s a few guys that are like that.”

The coaching staff is also high on undrafted cornerbacks Brian Jackson of Oklahoma and Donovan Warren of Michigan.  If they do end up making the team, they will both most likely be moved to the safety position.

Warren was projected to be a late-second to early-third round pick after an impressive three-year campaign at Ann Arbor.  Warren was selected to the 2009 All-Big East first team selected by the media, while picking off four passes during his junior season.

The former Wolverine’s draft stock plummeted after he ran an unimpressive 4.59 in the forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

The 6-f00t-1, 200 pound Jackson, ran a 4.6 forty time and was rated by most media outlets as the fortieth-best corner prospect in the 2010 draft pool.

The latest on iGate

Rex Ryan touched on the Santonio Holmes/iPod situation during his press conference this afternoon.   Ryan offered the following (courtesy of The Daily News):

“When the flight attendant came by she kind of woke him and said, ‘Please turn off your iPod.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, no problem,'” Ryan told reporters. “Well he was tired and never took out the ear pieces, so he went and laid back down. When lady came by and asked again, he said, ‘I did. I can hear every word you’re saying. I have it off.’ He literally handed the ear things to the lady sitting next to him and she goes, ‘Yeah, I can’t hear anything.’ So they were off.

“I don’t know, I guess when he landed he came off and there were some police officers and they asked him about it. He said exactly what happened. When Santonio told me, I totally believe him. It’s just one of those things I guess, but I believe Santonio.”

The Jets close out rookie camp today in two private sessions closed off to the media. The next minicamp is a mandatory full-team event starting on Monday June 15 through the 16th.


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