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Rex Ryan sends 19 Jets vets out for training in leadership

Rex Ryan at a press conference while at

Rex Ryan at a press conference while at training camp. (July 29, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Leadership was a problem for a Jets team that dissolved into feuding factions at the end of their 8-8 2011 season, so, coach Rex Ryan took an unusual step to heal his team on the eve of the final preseason game Thursday night in Philadelphia. The coach surprised 19 veterans who aren't playing in the Eagles game by sending them to a military-style leadership training seminar Wednesday.

Before training camp began, the coaching staff attended the same seminar led by a former Army Special Forces operative in nearby Bedminster. "We took a group of some of our leaders on the team and had them go through a similar experience," Ryan said. "We had a heck of a time, and I thought it would be good for our players. It was something I felt all of us gained some things out of, and you saw a lot about each other. It was a great experience."

The Jets did not reveal the names of the players attending the seminar, but a bulk of the starters were not at yesterday's practice. Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Santonio Holmes, Darrelle Revis and Bart Scott were among the missing players.

Scott excited about 'D'

Veteran linebacker Bart Scott told that he thinks this year's defense can be the best in franchise history. "Our fans should be excited," Scott said. "We've put some pretty interesting defenses on the field. But we have the most potential this year."

Will 'Terminator' be back?

One veteran who remained behind was starting fullback John Conner, who is expected to play against the Eagles. Rookie running back Terrance Ganaway also is expected to see time at fullback, leading some to wonder if Conner's roster spot might be in doubt heading to the final cutdown. But the three-year veteran isn't worried.

"I'm the fullback as of right now," said Conner, who was nicknamed "The Terminator" by Ryan during the Jets' season on HBO's "Hard Knocks."

"We had a tough loss in Josh Baker . So, we're kind of low on numbers right now. They just want me to play in case I have to go in there and help Ganaway out."

Conley likes competition

Punter TJ Conley admitted surprise when his agent called to tell him the Jets picked up Spencer Lanning before the final exhibition. "If they're going to bring somebody in, I'm going to compete against them and beat them out," Conley said.

Jet streams

DE Mike DeVito (calf), LB David Harris (ankle) and TE Dustin Keller (hamstring) worked on rehabbing injuries, but they are expected to play in the opener against Buffalo.

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