Kicking and screaming
While most eyes have been fixed on the quarterback competition, there also was a significant battle brewing between punters Reggie Hodges and T.J. Conley. Until Sunday. Let's just say Jets coach Rex Ryan hasn't been enamored with either.
That's why the Jets cut Conley and signed free-agent Ken Parrish after bringing him in for a morning tryout. The signing of Parrish - a graduate of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University who was signed by the Eagles in May, released Aug. 8, and hasn't kicked in an NFL regular-season game - should serve as notice to Hodges, who was cut by the Jets in April and re-signed two weeks later.
Hodges, who had a 55-yard punt Friday, combined with Conley for a 38.3 average. Both pinned a punt inside the 20, but Ryan wants more consistency. "We're going to find a punter," an agitated Ryan said. "If he's here or if he's on somebody else's team, we've got to find a punter."
Defensive back Dwight Lowery, apparently still bothered by his struggles in Friday's game, was the first player on the practice field Sunday, nearly an hour before the scheduled 8 a.m. session. Lowery was beaten on a 50-yard bomb despite getting flagged for pass interference. He later muffed a punt.
"He had some . . . issue he was dealing with," Ryan said without elaborating. "I think it took away from some of his focus to the game, but he's a guy that I certainly haven't lost confidence in."