Lewis progressing well/Jets Fest pushed back

The Jets are very happy with their two Michigan draft picks - LB Victor Hobson and FB B.J. Askew. One good thing about Michigan prospects is that they are often ready to play immediately. The Wolverine coaches do a great job preparing their players for the pros, teaching them well, and putting them through an excellent strength program. Also playing at home in front of 100,000 people also helps them deal with pressure well, so the jump to the NFL isn't as traumatic.<p>

"We are kind of lucky coming from a good Michigan program," said Hobson. "It kind of grooms for you as far as how you practice, and how you play. When we came in here (to the Jets), it was like second nature."

Both of these players are going to be a big part of the Jets special teams. Since Jerald Sowell is now the starting fullback, Mike Westhoff plans on giving Askew some of Sowell's responsibilities on special teams. With his tremendous hitting ability, Hobson has the makings of a special teams standout . .. .

New Jets punter Dan Strazynski has been one of the NFL's best directional punters over the last decade, but Westhoff doesn't agree with the assessment that he's a finesse punter who can't punt you out of a deep hole.

"He isn't just a punch and judy," said Westhoff. "Danny can hit the ball pretty far. He can hit it far enough to get you out of a hole. Will he hit it 70 yards? No, but he will hit it far enough to get it out of a hole." . . .

Quietly, the Jets have reduced the size of their proposed Westside Stadium by 10,000, from 85,000 to 75,000 . . .

A lot of people are wondering if Curtis Conway can fill the void left by the departure of Laveranues Coles. Conway has been asked this question a lot. This theory could be perceived as insulting because Conway is an established veteran who has done a lot of good things during his 10 years in the NFL. Coles had one standout season. However, the even-keeled Conway isn't bothered by the questions.

"Coles is a good player," said Conway. "His last season was his best season. When a guy like that leaves, of course you wonder how you are going to fill his shoes. So with me coming here, people wonder - can he do it. It doesn't bother me. It comes with the territory. I'm going to go out there and be Curtis. If it's good enough, it's good enough. If it's not, it's not." . . .

Jets fans planning on coming to training camp should be aware that Jets fest will not be open until August 5th. Training camp practices will be open to the public though starting July 21. They will be back on the Hofstra soccer field next to the school's physical education center. Last year the Jets held their practices behind Weeb Eubank Hall because the Hofstra field was in such bad shape. Well Woody Johnson spend over $1 million to put in two need fields - one grass and one field turf, so training camp will now be back to it's traditional location. Also lights were installed and more stands. This should be a more pleasurable viewing experience for the fans than in the past . . .

Mo Lewis continues to make progress from his off-season hip surgery. While he's never going to be a speedster, the team expects him to move better than he did last year. He was in constant pain in 2002 and lacked mobility because of the painful hip ailment.

`The doctor said I shouldn't have a problem this year,'' Lewis said.

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