Words and word pictures from Thursday's practice:
Tough day for the rookie. No. 1 pick Kyle Wilson was schooled by WR Jerricho Cotchery, who was covered by the former Boise State star on most plays in the slot. That's a tough cover for any rookie because Cotchery is such a crafty receiver. Wilson already has been anointed the starting nickel back, so he will be spending a lot of time in the slot. It's a new position for him, as he played the boundary corner in college. The biggest difference, he said, is learning to play different leverages. No longer can he use the sideline as leverage; he's toward the middle of the formation, meaning there's 50-50 chance the receiver will break inside versus outside.
Clint, we hardly knew ye. Free-agent PK Clint Stitser had another awful practice -- shades of last week -- and he will be waived, Rex Ryan revealed at his post-practice news conference. Stitser missed from 48, 41 and 33 yards, including a horrendous duck hook. Said Ryan: "We're going to move on." The good news for Ryan was veteran Nick Folk, who had a solid practice after last week's hiccups. Folk hit from 48 and 41 yards.
A Vernon Gholston sighting. The outside linebacker-turned-defensive end split two blockers early in the 11-on-11s and would've had a sack if it weren't a non-contact drill. Ryan said the disappointing former No. 1 pick made similar plays in recent practices. We'll have to take his word because this was only the second practice open to the media. Gholston, discussing his position switch, said he's starting to feel comfortable at end. His objective is to play with a more "reckless attitude" than his first two seasons. Better late than never? Right now, Gholston is getting a lot of work because veteran Shaun Ellis is on an abbreviated program.
Rex's favorites. This might surprise you. Ryan was asked which player has stood out the most in practices, and he named two --WR Braylon Edwards and LB Kenwin Cummings. Ryan praised Edwards' work ethic, his willingness to stay after and do extra work. Edwards, used almost exclusively last season as the X receiver (split end), is learning the Z (flanker) position. The reason is because they're keeping newcomer Santonio Holmes at the position he knows best -- the X. Edwards did have a drop at the Z, failing to secure a quick screen pass that was a little low but still catchable. Cummings, a backup inside 'backer, has added weight (up to 250)and "looks like a different guy, according to Ryan.
Snap judgments. First-year FA Tanner Purdum has impressed as the long snapper, according to Ryan. Purdum's backup, TE Matthew Mulligan, not so much. The problem with Purdum is that he's never snapped in a game. How will he respond when the lights are on? Longtime snapper James Dearth still is available as a free agent. Said Ryan: "We know where James is at."
This and that: OLB Jason Taylor (shoulder scope) was very limited ... TE Ben Hartsock sat out with an undisclosed injury ... NT Kris Jenkins (knee) stretched with the team and did some individual drills, but he spent the rest of practice on a stationary bike ... QB Kevin O'Connell worked ahead of Erik Ainge in team drills ... Rookie LG Vladimir Ducasse remained with the first team, ahead of Matt Slauson. Ducasse (second-round pick) "deserves some reps," according to Ryan, who insisted the competition still is ongoing. Looks like Ducasse's job to lose ... RB LaDainian Tomlinson continued to impress ... Rookie RB Joe McKnight made it through an entire practice without losing his lunch. Hey, it's baby steps.