On the team's official depth chart, Ray Mickens and Aaron Beasley are listed as co-starter at the right cornerback position. This is somewhat surprising because Beasley had strong finish to last season. In the Wednesday morning practice, Mickens was starting for a big chunk of time. Mickens quietly had a very good season last year. Herman Edwards promised Mickens, one of the NFL's best nickel backs, a chance to vie for the starting job . . .
Rookie Dave Yavanovits continues to struggle in his transition to the guard position. In the morning practice he jumped off-sides drawing the wrath of the offensive coaching staff. Then later on, he lunged at a defensive tackle, and missed, landing on the ground and the defender got by him. It's understandable that "Yogi" is struggling after playing tackle at Temple for four years. He is going to have a battle to make the team with the emergence of NFL Europe standout Brandon Moore. Yovanovits looks like a good practice squad candidate since he could use a year to learn his new position . . .
Kevin Mawae has an amazing pain threshold. In the morning practice, it looked like a suffered a significant leg injury. It took him a while to get up. The coaches were concerned. He eventually limped back to the huddle, and on the next play, he leveled nose tackle Jason Ferguson, clearing the way for a long Curtis Martin run. . . .
Dave Szott was held out of the morning practice. His surgical knee is fine, but the Jets don't want to overwork the 35-year-old guard. The Jets other starting guard, Tom Nutten, returned after missing Tuesday's practice with a shin injury . . .
Herman Edwards praised the work of defensive tackle Alan Harper, who is in much better shape this year, compared to his rookie season. With Chester McGlockton still working himself into shape, Harper is the backup three technique tackle to Dewayne Robertson, and he done a solid job. Remember Harper was a standout three-technique tackle at Fresno State. He fits the position well because he is very quick for a 290 pounder . . .
Rookie receiver Cecil Moore continues to impress. He made a terrific catch over the middle with cornerback Andrew Davison all over him. Moore snatched the ball away from Davison. Moore is a big, tough receiver who has very strong hands. Moore also caught a ball 40 yards down field between two defenders on a perfect strike from Vinny Testaverde (who looked great this morning) . . .
Defensive back Jamie Henderson was held out of the morning practice with back spasms. The team is still undecided about whether to play him at safety or cornerback. His role will likely be a combination of both, backing up at both positions, and playing as a dime back in passing situations.
... To end the morning practice, Chad Pennington hit Curtis Conway in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. At 6-1, Conway is going to give the Jets the big red zone target they have lacked the last few years. Conway has a history of excellent work in the red zone. He had five red zone touchdowns last year and Laveranues Coles had three.
This story, or any parts of it, can not be reprinted without the expressed written consent of Jets Confidential LLC.