- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
The Jets returned to their Long Island roots Thursday evening, drawing 11,000 fans for a "Family Night" practice at Hofstra Stadium. This was their way of throwing a bone to their Long Island fan base, which lost the team in 2009. Hofstra was the Jets' year-round home for four decades, but that changed when Woody Johnson decided to move the operation to Florham Park, N.J. They promised an annual visit to Hofstra, but those visits stopped in 2010. They finally made it back, and the atmosphere was terrific. Hey, they could be back next summer on Long Island. The Jets are considering SUNY-Farmingdale, about 20 minutes east of Hofstra, as their training-camp site. It would be a great way to reconnect with the loyal fans that feel abandoned.
With a game Friday night, the Jets dialed it down a few notches in terms of practice intensity, but we saw enough to realize the beleaguered secondary remains in flux. There will be two new starters when they face the New York Giants: Safety Calvin Pryor and cornerback Darrin Walls will replace Jaiquawn Jarrett and Ellis Lankster, respectively. Makes sense. Pryor is too talented to sit on the bench. Walls is a borderline starter, but at least he has experience on the boundary. Lankster played well last week, but his meal ticket is special teams. Basically, the Jets will be playing with three safeties -- Pryor, Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen, who remains at corner. You don't want to be in experimental mode for the third preseason game, but it's not as if the Jets have a lot of options.
It sure doesn't look like cornerback Dimitri Patterson (leg) will face the Giants; he didn't participate in any of the team drills. Tight end Jeff Cumberland (Achilles' tendon) was limited, so there's a chance he could play. It will probably be a game-time decision.
Thursday was a homecoming for guard Willie Colon, a Bronx native who played at Hofstra through the 2005 season. Upon arriving at the stadium by bus, Colon caught some flak from his teammates, many of them wondering why his old college number isn't retired and hanging with the other famous alums from Hofstra -- namely Wayne Chrebet, Marques Colston and John Schmitt, the starting center on the Jets' 1968 Super Bowl team. Said Colon: "It brought back memories. I keep getting heckled on why my name and number isn't up there, but Mr. Schmitt has (No. 77)." Hofstra disbanded its football program in 2009.