Jets honor late Long Island boy with minicamp jersey

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The Jets had a special jersey on the wall of their field home Friday when rookie minicamp began.

On the wall was a No. 9 Jets kid’s jersey with “LaPenna” written on the back. It was one of several tributes by the Jets in memory of Lazar LaPenna, the 10-year-old Long Island boy who died last week after suffering a seizure while playing baseball.

The Jets didn’t give the #9, LaPenna’s Little League number, to any of the players here for minicamp. Head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas wore sweatshirts with the number 9 on the back and LaPenna’s name on it.

“Joe and I and the organization honor him and his family,” Saleh said. “Not releasing No. 9 this week… an absolute tragedy.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh (center), wearing a shirt honoring the late 10-year-old Long Island boy Lazar LaPenna, speaks with general manager Joe Douglas (left) and assistant general manager Rex Hogan during the Jets rookie minicamp in Florham Park, NJ
Bill Kostron

The Jets released guard Greg Van Roten on Friday.

Van Roten has started 23 games in the past two seasons but lost his starting spot in the middle of last year.

Van Roten became expendable after the Jets signed former 49er Laken Tomlinson in March.

They also called guard Nate Herbig Thursday from the Eagles’ waivers.

Van Roten’s release freed $3.5 million in salary caps.

First-round draft pick Sauce Gardner wears the #20 minicamp, but it sounds like he’s about to make the switch.

“That’s quite likely,” said Gardner, who wore No. 12 and No. 1 in college in Cincinnati. “You just have to keep at it.”

The Jets are treading cautiously in the rookie minicamp, with draft picks doing very little. Saleh said the goal is to keep them healthy and ramp them up slowly after spending the past few months preparing for the draft rather than training.

Saleh said the cautious approach will continue organized team activities in a few weeks. It sounds like there won’t be much action for the linemen.

“We will in terms of our bigs[offensive und defensive Linemen]be more aware,” Saleh said. “This year it’s going to be a lot more 7-on-7 to make sure the quarterback, receivers and back end of defense are doing all their work, but the bigs instead of hitting they’re going to be a lot more individual and we’re going to be a lot have more walkthroughs to get the bigs trying to save their bodies.[offensiveanddefensivelinemen”Salehsaid“It’sgoingtobealotmore7-on-7thisyearmakingsurethatthequarterbackreceiversandthebackendofthedefensearegettinginalltheirworkbutthebigsinsteadofthebangingthey’regoingtobealotmoreindividualbasedandwe’regoingtohavealotmorewalkthroughstogetthebigsincorporatedtotrytosavetheirbodies”[offensiveanddefensivelinemen”Salehsaid“It’sgoingtobealotmore7-on-7thisyearmakingsurethatthequarterbackreceiversandthebackendofthedefensearegettinginalltheirworkbutthebigsinsteadofthebangingthey’regoingtobealotmoreindividualbasedandwe’regoingtohavealotmorewalkthroughstogetthebigsincorporatedtotrytosavetheirbodies” Jets honor late Long Island boy with minicamp jersey

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