This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

Coming up after the jump, an analysis of yesterday's win over the Chiefs, including a look into what impact Jim Leonhard's injury could have on the Jets' playoff chances, an appreciation of the unsung heroes on the special teams coverage units and insight into how the Jets fooled everybody by having a gameplan that relied heavily on Vladimir Ducasse of all people. Remember, if you want me to look into anything in particular or go into more detail, leave a comment and I'll include it in BGA Extra, which will follow in a few days.

For me, this game was practically over before it began. Technical issues meant that my friends and I weren't able to get coverage of the game, necessitating a cross-town trip from yours truly to fetch another laptop to try and get the game. By the time I returned, the Jets already led 7-0 and - with the Chiefs only having averaged seven points over their previous five games, there was a good chance that was going to be unassailable, as long as the Jets didn't do anything stupid.

They remained conservative, instead feasting on errors by the Chiefs, to extend the lead in the second quarter, until they had built a 28-3 lead that even the most pessimistic Jets fan would have felt pretty secure with. The second half was a mere formality, with the Jets ultimately winning 37-10.

The Chiefs are struggling, but the Jets took care of business and neutralized those things that they do well, en route to an easy win. That's what Jets fans have been hoping for, so it should serve as an ideal preparation for the last three games, all of which promise to be tough, yet winnable.

While some aspects of the team seem to be gelling and perhaps peaking at just the right time, there are still some areas that give cause for concern, so let's look in depth at all of them.

Quarterback

The two main areas I identified in the offseason where Mark Sanchez needed to improve most were in the red zone and his accuracy on short passes. All season long, he's done dramatically better in both areas and yesterday was perhaps the best evidence yet that his hard work in these areas is paying off.

In terms of the red zone, the Jets were already number one in the NFL entering this week's game and will have stretched their lead on the rest of the league by going five for five yesterday. It was interesting to hear the announcers remark who Sanchez gives much of the credit for the red zone success to. If you missed it, have a guess. (Answer at the end of this section).

In terms of short passes, the Jets had terrific success just dumping the ball off to their backs (108 yards on five completions). So much so, in fact, that they never really needed to throw the ball downfield to advance the ball.

The Jets did make a concerted effort to take a few deep shots this week, without successfully completing one. They picked up a pass interference call on one throw down the seam to Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes wanted a call on what seemed to be a well-thrown ball down the sideline. However, with Sanchez delivering the ball on time to his receivers underneath, in space and with accuracy so they could get upfield impetus, they managed to dink and dunk their way to a productive first half.

Sanchez was actually 0 for 4 in the second half, although two of those were dropped and he did have about five more throws that resulted in first downs via penalty.

It's very difficult to assess Sanchez's performance accurately because, while he didn't make any obvious mistakes, most of his pass completions were pretty simple. However, he does deserve credit for consistently taking what the defense gave him and getting the ball to guys in space who were then able to make things happen.

I'd also give Sanchez credit for his two well-executed touchdown runs. Sanchez has a real nose for the endzone. As someone who grew up watching Ken O'Brien (who had ZERO rushing touchdowns in 129 games as a Jet), that's refreshing to see.

Mark Brunell came in for mop-up duty and completed the same number of passes in the second half as Sanchez did. In fact, he handed the ball off every time.

Oh, and who does Mark Sanchez credit much of the Jets' red zone success to? QB coach Matt Cavanaugh. That surprised me.

Offensive Line

For the third straight week, the offensive line performed tremendously, creating space for the running game and doing a solid job of protecting Mark Sanchez. It had to be a good sign when they ran the "Blast" play on the first snap of the game and Matt Slauson's pulling block was perfectly in synch with John Conner's straight ahead pop in the hole. One broken tackle later and Shonn Greene was out to the second level...and not for the last time.

Perhaps even better was some of the blocking on screen passes. Nick Mangold got out in front of Shonn Greene on the long play that set up the second touchdown, finding a guy in space at about the ten yard line and driving him back into the endzone. Mangold also blocked his man to the ground to enable LaDainian Tomlinson to break out to the second level on another screen pass - Tomlinson did the rest, going in for a 19 yard touchdown.

The Jets did give up three sacks. One came as the Chiefs sent two guys off the left side and Tomlinson blocked one, but the other was left unblocked. That's presumably on Sanchez. Justin Houston beat Wayne Hunter on the inside, but I think that was a communication breakdown, because Hunter took a wide step to the outside as soon as the ball was snapped, as if he was expecting inside help from Brandon Moore, who actually pulled left and helped Dustin Keller, who was about to be beaten on the blindside. The last sack came on a meaningless fourth and four play late in the game and saw Tamba Hali beat D'Brickashaw Ferguson with an outside speed rush. I'd agree with those that said they probably shouldn't have been passing the ball in that situation anyway.

Overall, there were these three sacks and not a great deal of other pressure on Sanchez, with the success of the screen pass no doubt helping to slow down the rush. However, the linemen still deserve credit because they are looking more and more comfortable individually and as a unit when called upon to pass protect for any length of time - and Hali and Houston are no slouches. It was good to see some nastiness from Brandon Moore in pass protection as he came over to double team Armon Gordon and just shoved him to the floor.

In terms of the running game, the interior line were dominant, whereas the tackles made a few too many mistakes, especially Wayne Hunter, whose pass protection has been encouraging over the past few games, but his run blocking hasn't been as good. He was responsible for a couple of plays that were stuffed, although many of these were after the game was already in the bag.

What I haven't mentioned yet is the role played by the much-maligned Vladimir Ducasse. Ducasse played 24 snaps, which is 32% of the time, both season highs. This is about the point at which the Jets increased Rob Turner's workload last year, using him as an extra tight end in the jumbo package. The Jets did the same thing here with Ducasse, who had most of his snaps as the inside of two tight ends on the edge of the line. However, he did have five snaps on the edge of the line as the only tight end, or as a tackle in an unbalanced line set.

With Ducasse in the game, the Jets had plenty of success and he was basically error-free, other than being called for a holding penalty which looked debateable at best. While he doesn't always manage to sustain his blocks, he did have some success moving guys off their spot and didn't allow anyone to beat him badly. I know Ducasse is in his second year, but based on this game, he is further along than Slauson (who started in HIS second year) was as a rookie.

Caleb Schlauderaff got into the action for three unremarkable, but mistake free, garbage time snaps.

Running Backs

Greene's run on the first play from scrimmage set the tone nicely and he did a good job of grinding out yardage, even later on in the game when the defense was anticipating a run. Although he's played well in three of the last four games, he hadn't broken a single tackle, so it was good to see him break two on the first play. His 187 all-purpose yards was easily a career high, as were his 58 receiving yards. He also had the longest pass reception of his career. This is definitely a guy who seems to be peaking at the right time.

The one criticism I would have is that he lost the ball on consecutive plays in the second quarter. However, he was correctly ruled as down by contact on the first one and had broken the plane on the second one, as he ran over a defensive back on his way into the endzone, so it's not really fair to say he didn't protect the ball.

Greene had a fourth catch negated by a penalty and would have had a huge gain on the play where he was held by Tyson Jackson, giving rise to a first down as well as a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a teary-eyed Todd Haley. For Haley, I can see why he might have felt that a few decisions went against him, although these were more borderline than actually seeming to be incorrect. However, I can't see how he picked that moment to complain, because that was the most blatant penalty of the day - so much so that I even noticed it in real time - and actually, it was probably a smart play by Jackson. For Greene, he's come a long way since not catching a single pass until the playoffs in his rookie year.

The other two backs - Tomlinson and Bilal Powell - couldn't get anything going on the ground, as they each averaged less than two yards per carry. In fact, Tomlinson was cut down for a loss four times and probably couldn't have done anything about any of them. With the line blocking so well for Greene, it was obvious how frustrated Tomlinson was when he slammed the ball into the ground after being stuffed just a split second after receiving a handoff.

However, Tomlinson had two huge plays in the passing game - catching a 31-yarder as he was wide open on what I'd like to call a "skinny wheel" route and then taking a screen pass to the endzone for his first ever touchdown at the Jumbo Slinky.

Powell still hasn't shown any spark, which is a shame, because it would have been a good time for him to make his fresh legs count. Once McKnight returns, Powell will probably be inactive for the rest of the year, unless the Jets fall out of contention.

Finally, John Conner had some punishing blocks, as usual. He wasn't perfect, but continues to have a positive impact overall.

Receivers

With the short passing game working so well, there's not much to say about the receivers today. Plaxico Burress did not catch a pass and Santonio Holmes had just 12 yards on two catches. Dustin Keller fared slightly better, with a team-high four catches (all, obviously, in the first half). They did combine to create some first downs via penalty though - and all three got involved with downfield blocking, even Holmes who currently ranks dead last in the NFL for receivers' blocking on PFF.

Although they didn't need to pass the ball in the second half - and Holmes did contribute a key first down and one of the touchdowns - it's still a little concerning about the lack of production. They did try to get everyone involved in the second half, knowing that this is something they will have to do in next week's game, but it didn't work out. I'd imagine that will be a focus of this week's practices.

The backup receivers made an impact, with Jeremy Kerley picking up a couple of short gains and making some nice punt returns after Leonhard's injury, although he allowed Brandon Carr to strip the ball away from him for an incompletion on a ball he should have held. Patrick Turner had an important third down catch on the opening drive, but was just in for nine plays, most of which were in garbage time. Josh Baker was in for six plays, making a nice 17 yard grab, the longest of his career.

Matthew Mulligan had a big role this week and was only in for one less snap than Keller (47). He whiffed badly on one block, but was otherwise an important factor in the running game. I noticed that the Jets shared the load between him and Keller this week in terms of who stayed in to pass block, so they are perhaps trying to focus on what he does well.

Defensive Line

I seem to say it every week, but Sione Pouha continues to perform superbly, constantly shedding blocks (including double teams) to blow up plays and rarely ever getting moved off his spot. Pouha actually sat out most of the second half, showing up late to register a safety on yet another play blown up in the backfield on his only snap in the last 24 minutes. He's not just blowing up runs though. Not only did he have a sack, but on another play he got a terrific surge on a bull rush to drive his man back into the quarterback and on another, he dropped into coverage, saw Dwayne Bowe running a shallow crossing route and shoved him completely off course. That's Kris Jenkins type stuff right there, people.

With Mike DeVito out and Pouha resting for much of the second half, we got an extended look at Marcus Dixon, Muhammed Wilkerson and Ropati Pitoitua. Dixon seems to be the one who is benefiting most from DeVito's absence and really seems to have upped his game over the past few weeks. Here he picked up half a sack and did a good job of penetrating and getting in on tackles. Pitoitua hasn't been as productive as he was earlier in the season before he hurt his knee, but is completely reliable whenever called upon and did stuff a couple of runs. Wilkerson, as you'd expect, has his ups and downs, but is usually good for one spectacularly blown up play per game and on Sunday he got some good pressure on Tyler Palko, forcing him to throw it away.

With Kenrick Ellis inactive, Martin Tevaseu wasn't used, although he did play the last three snaps.

Linebackers

While the Chiefs offense really didn't pose much of a threat all day, the linebackers still put the work in. It was business as usual for Calvin Pace, David Harris and Bart Scott. Pace did a good job of maintaining contain all day and came off the edge to blow up a couple of runs in the backfield. He was also credited with half a sack. Harris had a sack, blew up one run in the backfield and led the Jets in tackles. Scott had a sack, blew up one run and attacked the line more than in some recent games. He was actually in for 33 of the first 39 snaps this week, so a much bigger part of the game plan. The Jets often left base personnel in on passing downs for a change this week.

While Pace, Scott and Harris combined for 2.5 sacks, two Jets that have been piling up the sacks recently were unable to get on the board. However, the Chiefs linemen had their hands full with Aaron Maybin all day, as he rushed the passer on 20 of his 27 snaps. Jamaal Westerman, on the other hand, only rushed the passer seven times in 29 snaps, as he was called upon to play a more disciplined role.

With Westerman taking his spot, Garrett McIntyre didn't play on defense until the last series, with Nick Bellore joining him for the last three plays. Josh Mauga saw action on six snaps.

Defensive Backs

While the game was still competitive, the defensive secondary was as impenetrable as ever. In fact, the Chiefs only had four total yards in the first half. In the second, they did have some successes against the Jets' defensive backs, who were tending to play passive and giving the receivers a cushion.

Darrelle Revis had a shut-out going until Dwayne Bowe made a first down catch on him early in the third quarter, getting away with the most blatant push-off you're ever likely to see. After that, Revis did give up a handful of catches, but none for any significant yardage. He also made one great play in run support and one spectacular pass breakup.

Antonio Cromartie didn't give up a catch for most of the game, until Jonathan Baldwin made a spectacular, leaping grab.

The likes of Kyle Wilson and Donald Strickland, while obviously playing most of the time in the slot, also had a lot of snaps where they were basically lined up as an in-the-box safety, but their assignment was to pick up a receiver that had lined up in the backfield in a two back set. Marquice Cole saw 14 snaps, mostly as an in-the-box third safety.

After going into the lead, the Jets were mostly in a soft zone, so it's difficult to apportion too much blame for any of the yardage that was surrendered in the second half. The Chiefs did pick up 26 on a screen pass, which any one of a number of players could have prevented from being such a long gain, and did score a touchdown, although on that play, there were four defensive players in the area and they may even have got into each other's way. The biggest coverage breakdown was on Dwayne Bowe's late 4th quarter dropped pass in the endzone. Darrelle Revis was covering Bowe, but passed him off to someone behind him. This would either have been Kyle Wilson, who was in the slot, but reacted to the inside as his man ran a skinny post, or Eric Smith, who was closer to the middle of the field. It's not really possible to say who was at fault there, but this is the sort of breakdown they must avoid over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, Jim Leonhard's knee injury - incurred while making an important interception with the score still 7-3 - means he is out for the season and again the Jets will have to make do without him. As I wrote last year, Leonhard isn't such a great player that they lose out significantly when he isn't there, but the fact he calls the coverages means the Jets have to do a lot of work to get on the same page by next week.

Last year, I boldly predicted that they would cope okay without him, but acknowledged that I was wary about them only having two days to prepare for life without him before their next game. Sure enough, Tom Brady picked apart the secondary after Leonhard's injury ten minutes before the end of the Jets' final practice in preparation for that game had thrown their gameplan into chaos. However, Rex Ryan vowed to fix the defense and they performed superbly in a loss to Miami the following week, after which they beat Pittsburgh and of course went on to play well in the postseason.

The major difference this time is that the Jets cannot afford to have a one-game hangover and then fix the defense, because one more loss could eliminate them. However, at least they've got all week to prepare.

During the postseason, it was Eric Smith and Brodney Pool, the two obvious starters now, who got the job done with Dwight Lowery as a third safety off the bench. However, people forget that Smith was injured too at the end of the season, so it was actually Pool and Lowery who were starting, with Cole as the third safety, in a couple of those games where they had started to turn things around.

Given the complexity of the Jets' scheme, I think it's unlikely that the Jets will sign anyone to fill the void. Instead, I anticipate that they will employ Cole or Strickland in the box, or perhaps sometimes in center field. I could see them using Cromartie to roam deep on some passing downs too and Cole and Strickland have the versatility to line up opposite their man with Cromartie eight yards behind and then they have the option to rush the passer and have Cromartie pick up their guy in off-man coverage. When Pool was out earlier in the year, they did run some two safety packages with three or four cornerbacks, so the biggest upheaval will almost certainly just be in terms of how well they can communicate back there.

On Sunday, Pool actually started and then it became apparent that they were going to rotate Pool and Smith like they did in the Buffalo game (but not last week). Obviously, once Leonhard went down, Smith and Pool were in full time (although Tracy Wilson got three snaps for Smith at the end). Neither was badly exposed in coverage and Smith even added a sack, although he did also miss a tackle.

Pool has always concerned me because he seems more susceptible to blown assignments than anyone else (remembering that I can't always be certain whose fault a given play is). However, he played smart, disciplined football at the end of last year, so perhaps if he's playing full time, his focus will be greater. I note that I've highlighted the discrepancy between how well Smith plays when he's getting the majority of the snaps compared with when he's in a backup role, so perhaps something similar can be said for Pool and how much more likely he is to blow an assignment if he's coming in cold off the bench.

Isaiah Trufant went into the game on defense with three plays to go, but then there was a timeout and he came out of the game again for some reason.

Special Teams

There's not much to be said about the kicking game, as Nick Folk didn't attempt a field goal. TJ Conley punted well, with a 45.0 average and three downed inside the 20, one of which set up Pouha's safety. One of his kicks was almost blocked, but he got away a great punt. However, he did have a short one from the endzone, which led to a field goal. Note: Other than Sebastien Janikowski's 61-yarder in week three, the Jets' opponents are perfect on field goals this year.

Instead, I want to focus on the coverage units, which were excellent this week. While Javier Arenas fared slightly better, Dexter McCluster was held to four yards on one punt return and 85 yards on five kickoffs, as the Jets did a great job of getting downfield.

In particular, I wanted to highlight the work of Nick Bellore, who had two tackles and has quietly moved up to 2nd place in the NFL in special teams tackles. However, it wasn't either of his tackles that stood out. Instead there was one kickoff where he just annihilated Jerheme Urban, the lead blocker, and knocked him flying. Tracy Wilson cleaned up behind him with the tackle on about the 15-yard line.

It wasn't just Bellore, though. Cole, Trufant and Tracy Wilson all did a great job of getting downfield all day, with Cole downing a punt at the five and Trufant combining with Mauga to down a punt at the one. McIntyre also contributed a forced fumble.

Most of all, it's good not to have to talk about another muffed punt, although Leonhard's injury gives further cause for concern. However, Kerley looked good and will hopefully be much more comfortable with a full time role than putting him out there at random times.

Conclusions

Same conclusion: One game at a time. These three wins in a row won't mean anything if they don't win on Sunday.

The Leonhard injury presents a huge challenge and they will probably need to open up the playbook a bit more to win this one, but the play of Greene, the offensive line, the defense, the coverage units and Sanchez avoiding any serious mistakes give them a solid foundation with which they are capable of beating anyone. Hopefully, they will carry over some momentum from this game in all of those areas.

Remember, if there's anything else you'd like me to comment upon or go into more detail about, let me have your suggestions in the comments and I'll respond in BGA Extra later in the week.
Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

At this point, the entire Jets roster, season and future can be summed up with one big question mark. No one seems to know - or at least fully understand -- exactly what they're doing and whether whatever plans they have can actually work.

So I know you've got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part II...

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Daily News Live: Mike Westhoff 00:03:54
Mike Westhoff joins Daily News Live to discuss the notion of the Jets tanking and Todd Bowles' job security prior to Jets camp on Thursday.

If you Googled 'New York Jets owner' early Thursday afternoon, it wasn't Woody Johnson who came up. Instead, it was New England Patriots QB Tom Brady.

Click below to see the image

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The Jets have claimed RB/KR Marcus Murphy off waivers, reports Brian Costello of the NY Post.

The Saints waived Murphy earlier this week.

Murphy, 25, played in 16 games for the Saints between 2015 and 2016 while being used mostly on special teams.

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Bill Cowher on set for the Thursday Night Football before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Bill Cowher on set for the Thursday Night Football before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Former NFL head coach and current CBS analyst Bill Cowher believes Jets coach Todd Bowles has a tough challenge ahead this season. 

After going 5-11 this year, the Jets have lost key pieces on both sides of the ball, and Cowher says this will only make things harder for New York's third-year head coach. 

"The biggest challenge for Todd is to create a culture of winning because I think until you win the close games, until you win back-to-back, there's constantly going to be that one point in the game where you say, 'Oh boy, here we go again,'" Cowher said, according to Newsday.

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

At this point, the entire Jets roster, season and future can be summed up with one big question mark. No one seems to know - or at least fully understand -- exactly what they're doing and whether whatever plans they have can actually work.

So I know you've got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part II...

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Despite the uncertainty the Jets face this season at many positions, Matt Forte believes this year's team will have better environment in the locker room. 

This offseason, the Jets have seen Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Ryan Fitzpatrick, among others, leave for other teams. 

"It's a detriment to a team if you have guys that are selfish and only want to get their job done for a certain reason instead of the main reason, being for all of us to get our job done to win," Forte said, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Tags: Matt Forte
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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Giants safety Duke Ihenacho believes the rival Cowboys completely botched the situation with Lucky Whitehead, who was recently cut and claimed off waivers by the Jets. 

Whitehead, 25, had been involved last week in an apparent case of mistaken identity, where he was initially implicated for shoplifting. Ihenacho took to Twitter to lash out at the Cowboys for getting rid of the innocent player. 

Tags: Dallas Cowboys
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Loud Mouths: Ralph Vacchiano 00:05:05
SNY's NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths to play a round of Boom or Bust on the upcoming NFL season.

 (Brad Rempel)
(Brad Rempel)

The Jets have claimed former Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead off waivers and cut WR Devin Street, the team announced Wednesday.

Whitehead, 25, had been involved last week in an apparent case of mistaken identity, where he was initially implicated for shoplifting.


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

On the surface this seems like an odd and unnecessary move for a rebuilding Jets team. Yes, Whitehead was apparently an innocent victim of mistaken identity in his recent "arrest." But the Cowboys decision to cut him anyway for an alleged pattern of bad behavior should raise plenty of red flags...

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

At this point, the entire Jets roster, season and future can be summed up with one big question mark. No one seems to know - or at least fully understand -- exactly what they're doing and whether whatever plans they have can actually work.

So I know you've got plenty of questions. I'll take my best chance at giving you some answers here in my pre-training camp reader mailbag, Part I...

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Davis on camp 00:01:56
Jets linebacker Demario Davis speaks with Michelle Yu about training camp opening up this weekend.

Jets linebacker Demario Davis speaks with Michelle Yu about training camp opening up this weekend.

Tags: Demario Davis
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 (Orlando Jorge Ramirez)
(Orlando Jorge Ramirez)

Former Chargers G Orlando Franklin had a visit with the Jets today, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Franklin, 29, was released from the Chargers after they drafted Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

He signed a five-year, $36.5 million contract with the Chargers in 2015. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The word that defined the Jets during the offseason was "rebuilding" - unless, of course, you were Jets GM Mike Maccagnan. To him, it was all about "competition". And with a roster in flux, he certainly has created a lot of that.

Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen, and depends on the talent he has assembled. He will have plenty of training camp position battles to watch, though.

Here's a quick look at the Top 5..

Tags: Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Buster Skrine, Christian Hackenberg, Jalin Marshall, Juston Burris, Lorenzo Mauldin, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Even though they didn't pick a wide receiver in the first six rounds, a trio of rookie wideouts made significant contributions for the Jets in 2016. Charone Peake, who was selected in the seventh round, combined with undrafted rookies Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall to register 75 catches for 935 yards and four touchdowns.

Preseason Stats: Jalin Marshall: 9-94, Charone Peake: 10-103-TD, Robby Anderson: 13-264-3TD.

Tags: Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

It's hard to pick out the most important players on a team that has such low expectations. In the case of the Jets, tomorrow matters more than today, and the most important players now might not be part of their long-term future.

Or to put it another way: Who is more important - Josh McCown or Christian Hackenberg? A resurgence by McCown could cause the Jets to surprise some people. But is that more important than Hackenberg proving whether he can be the Jets' quarterback of the future?

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The evidence is hard to refute. They jettisoned almost every recognizable veteran they had. They didn't add any significant free agents. The veteran quarterback they added is a 38-year-old journeyman. The Jets were 5-11 last season, and it's hard to argue this year won't be worse.

So yes, it sure does look like the Jets are "tanking" this season, with their eyes on the top of next year's quarterback-rich draft. They're not, of course. Tanking is almost impossible to do effectively, especially in the NFL. But they are doing a bit of scorched-Earth rebuilding and know they are in for a long, losing season.

There'll be a lot of short-term pain. And intentional or not, for the long run that's not so bad...

Tags: Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)
Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams, the Jets' top draft pick and one of the cornerstones of their rebuilding project, agreed to terms on his rookie contract on Thursday night and is expected to be at training camp on time when it opens in eight days.

The agreement, announced by agents on Twitter and confirmed by the Jets on Friday, is projected to be worth about $22.2 million over four years with a signing bonus of approximately $14.3 million. The money is fully guaranteed for the No. 6 overall pick out of LSU. As with all first-round picks, Adams' deal also includes a team option for the fifth year.

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New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When safety Jamal Adams agreed to his rookie contract Thursday, the Jets finally locked up all nine of their draft picks. And that's good; given the state of their roster, they're probably going to need all of them.

There certainly will be plenty of opportunities for all the draftees on this young and rebuilding team, and maybe even a few undrafted free agents too. The Jets will enter camp next Friday with an open mind at almost every position, both for this year and in the future. Almost all jobs will be somewhat up for grabs.

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JRSportBrief: McCown & the Jets 00:01:36
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR explains why Josh McCown just needs to hold down the fort for the Jets.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown gave his new team a vote of confidence in an interview with ESPN's First Take on Thursday, highlighting the positives he has seen from both veterans and newcomers alike.

"There's still some guys there that are pros," McCown said. "When you watch how a guy like Matt Forte comes in and does his job every day, Mo Wilkerson had a great spring, came in and worked hard, and our rookies coming along, Jamal Adams so impressive coming in as a rookie out of LSU, a high draft pick."

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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Darron Lee had his ups and downs after being the Jets' first round pick last season, but the team seems compelled to proceed with the plan to build around him as one of the cornerstones of the defense. Entering his first season, everyone knew that Lee was a terrific athlete, but he still had to prove he had the instincts to play inside linebacker in a pro-style defense.

Preseason Stats: Four games, no starts, seven tackles, one sack

Tags: Darron Lee
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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the NFL is still reviewing an incident invovling Jets' LB Darron Lee and DE Leonard Williams from early June, reports ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

The incident occured at Governors Ball Music Festival on Randalls Island in June where Lee had to be restrained by Williams after getting into an argument with a woman. An eye witness video showed Williams getting in between his teammate, and eventually, carrying him away from the argument.

Jets' head coach Todd Bowles later indentified the woman as Lee's girlfriend, and noted that the team will not be disciplining the linebacker. However, he thinks he needs to take caution in the future. 

"You don't want that stuff to happen, obviously," Bowles said earlier on the situation. "With social media going on these days, they've got to take better care of themselves. Darron understands that. I just know, from the past, any time you go to a concert, there's going to be trouble around, just as an ex-player and as a coach. When you go to a concert, a lot of things can happen. You have to be very mindful and very aware of where you are, and your surroundings -- and handle yourself better and keep yourself out of trouble."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected specialists: Chandler Catanzaro (K), Lachlan Edwards (P), Tanner Purdum (LS), Jalin Marshall (KR/PR)

Key contributors: Rontez Miles, Josh Martin, Dylan Donahue, Juston Burris, Charone Peake

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dexter McDougle, Jalin Marshall, Juston Burris, Loc Edwards, Nick Folk, Quincy Enunwa, Ronald Martin, Rontez Miles, Tanner Purdum
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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking with the New York Post, Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said he would not be surprised if the Jets have another struggling, losing season in 2017. 

"It's hard to argue [with] that," Enunwa said, "when everybody else sees all the stuff that's going on."

This offseason, the Jets have cut ties with many players, including receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Despite the possibility of another tough year ahead, Enunwa believes the players will still play hard when the season begins. 

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets QB Chad Pennington believes head coach Todd Bowles deserves the chance to turn the team around, per Brett Bonder of NY Daily News. 

If the Jets are to tank this sesaon, Pennington doesn't think it will be fair to put the blame on Bowles as he thinks he is the right guy for the job.

"My one hope for the Jets is that they give coach Bowles a chance to right the ship, don't pull everything away from him and then make him the reason why they're getting rid of him because of the lack of success," Pennington said. "He is the right guy, I think he showed that in his first year, last year wan an anomaly and this year you can see, wow, what a task he has."

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Former Jets WR Brandon Marshall said he requested his release because he couldn't deal with the Jets not having a chance this season, per ESPN's Eric Cimini. 

Marshall was on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show Thursday where he admitted his former team wasn't going to have a good 2017 season, and he didn't want to be a part of it.

"I wouldn't have made it through an entire season, knowing we didn't have a chance," Marshall said. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

USC QB Sam Darnold said last week's report that he might remain in school instead of entering the 2018 NFL Draft did not come from him, but remained vague about his future.

"I don't really have many thoughts about that," the potential No. 1 pick said during an appearance on ESPN's "The Fix". "I don't think any team should tank their season because of me. I'm just taking this every day, one day at a time. That's all I can do."

"I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead of my future," he said. "But I'm really just taking it one day at a time."

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After a solid rookie season, Jordan Jenkins is hoping to thrive in a full-time role in 2017. The 23-year old has spent part of his offseason back in Georgia, working on his pass rush techniques with pass rush guru Chuck Smith.

Preseason Stats: Two games, two starts, four tackles, no sacks, two quarterback hits.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Projected Starters: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Projected Back-ups: Rontez Miles

On the bubble: Shamarko Thomas, Ronald Martin, Doug Middleton, Corey White

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