The newest Jet, punter Robert Malone, was added to the roster earlier this week after crushing his tryout with the team. (Apparently, he hit the roof five times.) Rather than reviewing game footage as I would for a position player, punting is one area where you can read a lot into the numbers, so let's look into the numbers from his career so far.

After the jump, I'll be looking at his numbers from his two seasons in the league so far, including this preseason.

2011 Regular Season

Let's look at 2011 first, because he only played in one game, punting five times, so the sample size is too small to read too much into the numbers. Malone failed to win a job in training camp, but was called into action by the Detroit Lions when their regular punter, Ryan Donahue, was out injured. He couldn't have walked into a tougher situation, punting on a particularly windy day in Chicago ... to Devin Hester.

Hester had long returns on each of his first three kicks. It was believed that Malone kept the ball low to try and avoid the winds, but this affected his hang time and he may have outkicked his coverage. His first kick was a 49-yarder, but Hester ran it back 29 yards, which could have been worse had he not made a touchdown saving tackle himself. His second kick was a booming 60-yarder, which Hester actually muffed, but then recovered to run back 80 yards for a touchdown. On his third kick, with the announcers already saying he'd be crazy to kick to Hester again, he again kicked to Hester, who had a 35-yard return, although this one was called back for a penalty. To his credit, he did execute on his last two kicks which were deliberately booted out of bounds for 41 and 38 yards.

After the game, the Lions replaced Malone with our old friend Ben Graham, amidst suggestions he had failed to execture the gameplan by outkicking his coverage and not managing to get his third kick out of bounds.

While Malone had an impressive 49.0 yards per punt gross average, Hester's returns reduced his net average to below 25. However, he kicked in 12 games for the Bucs in 2010, so we have a much larger sample size to investigate.

2010 Regular Season

Malone failed to beat out Adam Podlesh for the Jaguars job in preseason, but got his shot with the Bucs in week four after they got rid of Chris Bryan. You may remember Bryan had a cup of coffee here last year and I did a mini-BGA on him.

My conclusion there was that the Bucs may have been a little hasty in getting rid of Bryan (who is currently out of the league). A review of Malone's numbers suggests that he actually was no better than Ryan, performing slightly below average according to our ANPP metric (explained here) with an adjusted net punt percentage of 63%.

A closer look at the numbers revealed he did show some good directional punting, landing six punts inside the ten (including three inside the five). He was actually more consistent than boom or bust - with just one obvious shank and no net punts of over 55 yards to skew the numbers. The issue of outkicking his coverage was not really an issue either, as he only had one significant return - a 37-yarder.

Looking at his basic numbers, he was down near the bottom of the league - 30th or worst - in virtually every single category. He was only slightly better (28th) in terms of net yardage but was placed in the top ten for lowest percentage of punts returned (40.4%). The ANPP suggests that by factoring field position into the results we can see how he was actually just below average, not near the bottom of the league. However, while his performance based on this was better than Reggie Hodges and Ben Graham in 2008, it falls short of the performance of Steve Weatherford and TJ Conley from 2009 to 2011.

2012 Preseason

Obviously the Jets targeted Malone to come in for a tryout after the preseason. He was in camp with the Chargers, but didn't have much chance of unseating the reliable Mike Scifres. In this case, Malone - who saw most of the workload with Scifres only punting four times - had good numbers on the face of it. A 44.8 yard gross average would have placed him in the top ten in the NFL in 2011 and a 39.9 yard net average would have put him in the top five. Would this hold up to the scrutiny of ANPP, though?

The answer is a resounding yes, as his ANPP of 68% would be regarded as close to elite if he could sustain it over the course of a full season. That's roughly the sort of numbers Shane Lechler usually puts up and is the same ANPP as Steve Weatherford had during his excellent 2010 season (before laying a egg in the postseason).

A closer look shows that he had three of his 20 kicks land inside the twenty, with two of these inside the ten and one inside the five. He only had one touchback and didn't have issues with outkicking his coverage, limited return yardage to a respectable 79 yards on 20 punts. Once again, he didn't have any major shanks or one-off dribblers to skew the numbers - all 20 punts netted out between 30 and 51 yards.

Conclusions

We've established in the past that New Jersey isn't a great place to kick and the jury is still out on whether the new stadium is any better than the old one in that regard. There's also the pressure that comes with playing for a New York franchise. In truth, the numbers don't tell us whether Malone will perform well with the Jets or not. However, some of the signs are encouraging. He seems to be consistently reliable and certainly seems to be punting well at the moment.

One other factor is that the Jets have a highly regarded coverage unit, although it's always difficult to know how much of that success is attributable to the punter. It's feasible that if the coverage unit plays well, this will make Malone's numbers look even better.

Time will tell whether Malone will be the next one in a long line of punters to play for the Jets and end up underwhelming. Hopefully not, because it would be fitting if Coach Westhoff should manage to mark his last season by finding a diamond in the rough that could continue to contribute long after he's retired.
Tags: BGA, Bent Double

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)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead is still deciding whether or not to have surgery for the injury.

Head coach Todd Bowles said on Monday that he wasn't sure if Whitehead will be out for the rest of the season, but noted "he's out for a little while."

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

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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 | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another tough day at practice Wednesday, throwing two interceptions during team drills. It marked the second straight day that Hackenberg threw two picks during 11-on-11 drills. 

The second-year quarterback had not thrown an interception during his first eight practices of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles is still confident in what Hackenberg can do on the field, regardless of what has happened the last two days. 

"It's practice," Bowles told reporters Wednesday. "The defense has got to get turnovers. I'd be concerned if they weren't. They got two today, but we're cleaning some things up, and we're learning as we go. It's going to be up and down every day, so we'll just go from there."

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Though the Jets lost WR Quincy Enunwa for the rest of the season, the other receivers are not viewing it as a setback, per Newsday's Kimberly A. Martin.

Leading the wide receiver corps now is WR Robby Anderson who saw limited time in his rookie year last season. The 24-year-old viewed the situation entirely different than the reporters asking him questions after practice Tuesday. 

"It's not a challenge," Anderson said, "it's an opportunity."

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' offense 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp in Florham Park to discuss the Jets' depth chart and how the offense can stay competitive this season.

 

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New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Todd Bowles has had more than enough of the Sheldon Richardson-Brandon Marshall feud.

After 11 months of sniping back and forth between the two of them, and one day after Richardson reignited the war by ripping Marshall in a radio interview, the Jets coach made it clear he's had enough of their fighting. Bowles even grew testy with the media when asked about Richardson's latest remarks.

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets rookie S Marcus Maye has been one of the best players at training camp so far, per NY Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

Maye, the Jets' second-round pick out of Florida, was known to be extremely aggressive and instinctive coming in, and he has certainly shown CB Morris Claiborne he is NFL-ready.

"You can tell: He's a guy that's all about his business," Claiborne said. "He's just aggressive and smart. You wouldn't expect the football smarts from him at this stage. But he's picking up the defense well and going out and making plays."

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Jets are down with Enunwa out 00:01:09
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR wonders how the Jets will ever be able to score without the injured Quincy Enunwa.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa is nice receiver with decent size (6-2, 225) who can make tough catches. And his production last season as the Jets' No. 2 receiver after Eric Decker got hurt was unexpectedly good.

But he's never been thought of as one of the players the Jets could least afford to lose. He's never been considered irreplaceable.

Tags: Charone Peake, Chris Harper, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 29, 2017; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 29, 2017; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

 Jets DE Sheldon Richardson has taken a shot at former teammate, WR Brandon Marshall yet again as he called him "drama queenish" after games last season. 

In an interview on The Michael Kay Show, Richardson recalled how Marshall supposedly acted following Jets' losses last season. It was the reason the two had altercations in the first place. 

"That whole situation was sticky because we lose and he did little things that were drama queenish," Richardson said. "Dogging out this guy, that guy. It's everybody's fault except his. And there's a reason this, a reason that, and everybody pointing the finger when you losing, and then no one wants to say something to him. Then I say something to him, and I'm the criminal, the bad guy, and the media just ran with it."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:51
Jeane Coakley reports on Quincy Enunwa's neck injury and the implications for the Jets' roster for the season.

 

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Quincy Enunwa's injury 00:03:19
The Daily News Live panel discusses the state of the Jets' wide receiver corps after the news of Quincy Enunwa's season-ending injury.

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa has been placed on injured reserved due to a neck injury and is expected to miss the entire season, an NFL source confirmed to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Enunwa has a bulging disk and is expected to miss six-to-nine months, head coach Todd Bowles said on Monday.

Enunwa is receiving a second opinion regarding whether surgery is necessary, but the injury is not considered to be career-threatening.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets safety Jamal Adams (ankle) returned to practice on Monday.

He had left practice last Thursday due to a sprained ankle, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

Adams was held out of team drills on Thursday due to the injury, but did not undergo further tests.

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) hands off the ball to New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (35) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) hands off the ball to New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (35) during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire nearly gave up the game of football and other sports as a 12-year-old after his father died, he told the New York Daily News. 

Describing a tumultuous situation, McGuire says that youth coach Jose Chapman kept him involved in sports and allowed him to keep going during a difficult time in his life. 

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