Wednesday Practice Notebook

The Jets signed wide receiver Chris Baker out of Rutgers on Monday. NFL draft expert John Murphy thinks he's underrated.

"Keep an eye on that Baker kid," said Murphy. "He has some upside. He went into last spring as a challenger for a starting spot. He has good size and 4.5 type speed."

Murphy says Baker didn't start as a senior because he missed part of spring practice to help care for his newborn child.

"Baker did the right thing by his new child and paid for it by getting passed over when the fall drills started," said Murphy . . .

It's very clear that Brad Smith has a long way to go in his acclimation process to the wide receiver position. On one pass in the Tuesday morning practice, the ball fell incomplete because he didn't turn around fast enough on a timing pattern. Then he caught a pass, and fell to the ground, and didn't realize he could get up and run. He had to be reminded of that by the coaches . . .

Another college quarterback making the transition to a new position with the Jets is Stacy Tutt, a former Richmond star. He had a rough patch in the morning practice, muffing two onside punts. Tutt earned rare praise from Jets coach Eric Mangini, who rarely singles out individual players for compliments. Mangini said on Monday that Tutt had caught his eye. Tutt is an intriguing prospect because he was an excellent running quarterback in college at 6-1, 233 pounds. If he takes to the running back position, he could give the Jets a big back with quick feet . . .

When the Jets waived wide receiver Phil Silva on Monday, they gave him an injury settlement, which means they will pay for his rehab. Silva suffered a leg injury of some sorts early in camp. If Silva had hung around, the Jets would have had two Haitian's on the team – linebacker Jon Vilma, and Silva, who was born in Port-au-Prince . . .

The Jets waived linebacker Will Thompson on Tuesday. He is a rookie free agent out of Georgia . . .

Erik Coleman missed his second straight day of practice with a undisclosed illness. During his absence, rookie Eric Smith has seen a lot of action with the starting unit. The highly-intelligent, instinctive Smith has emerged as a legitimate candidate to start at safety . . .

The Jets signed cornerback Jovon Johnson, a rookie free agent out of Iowa. He is 5-9, 177 pounds, and is a product of Erie, PA.. . . .

Don't rule out Norm Katnik from possibly grabbing the starting center job. While Nick Mangold is the odds-on favorite to start at center, the Jets really like Katnik. He's smart and tough, and is now up to 293 pounds. He's had trouble keeping weight on in the past, but that problem seems to be in the past . . .

Mangini was happy to see some fire and anger from first round pick D'Brickashaw Ferguson in the one-on-one drill . . .

Patrick Ramsey, who isn't great at dealing with a pass rush, missed a blitz adjustment in the morning session.

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