Cotchery continues to please Edwards

Rookie wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery continues to be the toast of camp, as the 22-year-old out of North Carolina State hooked up with quarterback Ricky Ray, Tuesday, for a few more impressive catches.

"It's starting to get funny," head coach Herman Edwards said. "Every time I turn around and I look down there-I don't even have to say it anymore. The defense starts hollering, 'Yeah, I know, coach. It's 89.'

'Yeah, well good luck to you all. Figure out how to cover him.'" . . .

Tempers flared between the offense and defense for the second straight day, and this time it got physical.

After linebacker Eric Barton wrapped up running back Johnathan Reese on a run to the left side, whistles blew the play dead. But Barton did not let go. He twirled Reese around a few times before flinging him to the ground. When Reese got up, he flipped the ball to Barton who immediately spiked it at the running back.

With both sides fired up, Reese got the handoff on the next play and was stuffed at the line by defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson. Away from the play, Barton and right tackle Marko Cavka went at each other before linebacker Kenyatta Wright eventually broke them up.

Barton was kept off the field for the remaining 15-20 minutes of practice . . .

A few plays after the scuffle, with the intensity still high, linebacker Ryan Myers intercepted a pass from quarterback Chad Pennington in the end zone . . .

After an off-season in which number-two tailback Lamont Jordan complained about playing time and asked for a trade, speculation swirled Friday, when Reese entered the first preseason game ahead of Jordan.

Tuesday, Edwards convincingly discouraged observers from reading too seriously into the "demotion." The coach called it a simple matter of fairness to Reese, because Jordan had missed a few days of practice to tend to a family matter in Maryland.

"It wasn't a punishment," Edwards said. "It was, the other guy was working. The other guy was here. The other guy went to Albany. The other guy deserved to play. It wouldn't be fair if all of a sudden you got in a game, and you said, 'Guess what, now you're out.'

"At the end of the day, Lamont is a pretty good football player. We all know that." . . .

Tight end Mikhael Ricks made yet another impressive catch when, in Tuesday's afternoon session, he sprawled out his 6-foot-5 frame to snag a pass from Ray. With his size and speed, Ricks is an overwhelming match for many safeties and linebackers, and provides yet another dangerous weapon in the Jets' stocked offensive arsenal . . .

Finally back in full action, wide receiver Ken-Yon Rambo provided a glimpse of why the Jets were so high on him after mini-camps. When Ray served up an underthrown deep ball down the left sideline, Rambo stopped short, then fell backward to catch it.

Matt Dominguez, who seemed to have grabbed the number six position on the depth chart from Rambo in Rambo's absence, had to watch that play from the sideline as he nursed his shoulder injury. But Dominguez returned to full action in the afternoon and picked up where he had left off. He caught several passes from Ray, including a 20-yarder down the left seam.

Of course, the Jets might not even take six receivers . . .

Wide receiver Wayne Chrebet has looked sharp in his return from post concussion syndrome-when he has been able to practice. After a groin injury sidelined him for the first preseason game, he popped back up on the injury report Tuesday after he was hit in the quad during Monday's afternoon practice-a session in which he caught a few deep balls. He did not practice Tuesday and is questionable for Saturday's game at Indianapolis . . .

Veteran guard Pete Kendall was given the afternoon off. But it was not guard/tackle Brent Smith, whom the former Cardinal supplanted at starter when the Jets signed him 11 days ago, taking the reps in Kendall's place. Instead it was backup center Jonathan Goodwin, whom the Jets actually list as a guard . . .

Wide receiver Santana Moss sat out the morning practice, his second in a row, after returning Monday morning from a sore hamstring. He saw limited action in the afternoon and is questionable for Saturday . . .

Jonathan Carter sat out his second consecutive afternoon practice with a wrap on-and-off his left knee. He played in the morning . . .

After a stellar game against the Saints on Friday, in which he was one of the few second-team defenders consistently making plays, linebacker Jason Glenn made an over-the-shoulder interception on Chris Finlen in Tuesday's morning session . . .

More updates to the injury report: cornerback Jon Pendergrass (knee) and defensive tackle Joey Evans (foot) are out; fullback B.J. Askew (shoulder) and Dominguez (shoulder) are questionable; safety Reggie Tongue (calf) has been downgraded to doubtful. Still out are: defensive end Kevin Fales, quarterback Brooks Bollinger and cornerback Ray Mickens. They all have knee injuries . . .

Running back Josh Davis (knee) was placed on injured reserve . . .

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