- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Joe McKnight knows how it looks. The running back who can’t pass the conditioning test. The rookie who lost his lunch at his first Jets practice comes back for training camp and isn’t ready to play. Again.
He knew he’d hear it the moment he failed his conditioning test on Thursday.
“Everything went through my head,” McKnight said. “I was thinking about rookie minicamp and what people think, people’s perception of me. And once I found out I failed the test I just put it behind me and just working on passing and get back on the field.”
Even Rex Ryan, who isn’t in the habit of defending anyone he perceives as a slacker, said McKnight just had a bad day.
"He's a young man that I think gets a little hyped up some times, and he did that first minicamp also," Ryan said. "He'd run the ball, throw up, run the ball, throw up. But you look at him this is an impressive kid now he did some great things hits the hole he's explosive when he gets there."
McKnight said he had over taxed his leg muscles during a workout and that’s why he wasn’t able to perform when he got to Florham Park, reporting early with the other rookies.
“I just drained my legs out over the break, doing a lot of squats and trying to keep my legs strong,” McKnight said.
McKnight had been Working out with his high school football team in Louisiana and then hooked up with his former trainer. Afterwards, he went to California to work out with his former team USC before rejoining the Jets.
The rookie is growing a beard ala Braylon Edwards, and he has an idea of how long he’ll keep it.
“I just left it like this until I prove myself and then I’ll cut it off,” McKnight said.
As for the other rookies, Bart Scott said everyone’s pads got carried just like they should. FB John Conner was singled out by Rex Ryan as having a particulary good practice.
Joe McKnight knows how it looks. The running back who can’t pass the conditioning test. The rookie who lost his lunch at his first Jets practice comes back for training camp and isn’t ready to play.