It’s time to take a final look back at Sunday’s loss to the Eagles in BGA Extra - now with limited access to coaches film! After the jump, I respond to your questions from the comments in the original BGA post, which you can access here if you missed it.

MEL31602:

Slauson apparently hurt his ribs during the game. Did you see this having any impact on his performance?

Not really. As I mentioned, he had some good blocks at the start and at the end of the game, but kind of struggled in the middle, so it’s not obvious at which point the injury occurred and there was no apparent drop-off.

MEL31602:

With Celek having a career day yesterday everyone today is saying the jets can’t cover tight ends, and while I know that’s been a recurring issue in the past, it seems to me Celek’s stats were inflated by two long plays that were clearly blown coverages (and Harris, not Smith, took the blame for the 73 yarder). Did the Jets really struggle that much against the TE yesterday, and if so what can they do to fix it? Media types are saying they should jam tight ends at line, so why don’t they do that?

The Jets are one of the poorest teams against tight ends according to Football Outsiders, but they are strong against number one and number two receivers, so a lot of it is just a by-product of the fact that the receivers are targeted less often and perhaps that they look to use the tight ends to stretch the field, knowing that they won’t be able to do that with their receivers.

They have jammed tight ends and slot receivers to good effect at the line in the past, including this season, but it is often ineffective because the jammer either doesn’t get enough of the receiver to slow him down, or ends up slowing down his own pass rush.

As you correctly point out, Celek had some big catches to inflate his numbers on Sunday and the safeties weren’t really at fault. Hopefully the zone packages that they run will tighten up over the last few weeks as they did in 2010.

Jeff:

So here is Jason LaCanfora’s take on Sanchez:

“Mark Sanchez — He was the worst offender of the bunch. I continue to talk to people who have played with him, and been around the Jets, and don’t get the sense there is great hope he will take that next step. Rarely does he get multiple pass-catchers involved in the same game, and, according to sources, he has trouble reading both sides of the field. Therefore, the Jets couldn’t go with as many three-receiver sets as they would like. Sanchez still makes horrific throws with far too great regularity and without a dominant run game protecting him, his flaws are being exposed more.

At times, according to the same sources, Sanchez tries to do too much, barking out faux calls at the line and making things more complex than they need to be. He had been better in the red zone for a few weeks, but he still tends to force throws there that lead to crippling turnovers. Santonio Holmes has been pouty about the lack of diversity in the passing attack and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is open to new challenges and looking to explore head-coaching options.

Down 7-0 early, the Jets got a gift on a muffed punt at the Eagles’ 14. Sanchez threw an ugly pick on the second play of the drive. Sanchez looked jumpy most of the game, holding the ball and taking sacks. Down 21-0 early in the second quarter, deep in his own territory and needing to protect the ball, he was too casual with his grip and fumbled. He threw another pick in the second half.

You don’t see that inspiring a lot of confidence. We’ll see if the Giants are able to rediscover their pass rush in the battle of New York this weekend, which could well decide the season for the loser.”

To me, this is extraordinarily unfair and inaccurate. I agree with some of his comments about Sanchez–the painful audibles, which seem to confuse the Jets offensive players more than the defense is one example, but some of his other observations are just wrong. So, LaCanfora says, “He had been better in the red zone for a few weeks” when in fact the Jets were leading the NFL FOR THE SEASON in red zone efficiency going into the Eagles game. And then he makes the absurd observation that “Sanchez threw an ugly pick” on a ball that was spot on, right at the top of Holmes’ helmet, and right through both of his hands. That “ugly pick” was not on Sanchez at all–it was on the pathetic excuse for a team captain, Santonio Holmes. Yes, Sanchez may have problems seeing the field–but so do many other quarterbacks–watch Stafford or Flacco or many others–who throw some awful picks. Sanchez, to his credit, seems to have reduced the bad picks in recent weeks.

Yeah, this seems slightly ill-informed and he is over the top in how he piles on Sanchez. I’d agree that the source is probably Derrick Mason and if that’s the case, he hasn’t been here for two months, so it’s difficult to take his criticisms seriously.

As you point out, the Jets were number one in terms of red zone scoring percentage entering this week and the first interception was not on Sanchez at all. He definitely struggles to read defenses at times and gets rattled by pressure, but on Sunday, there was one play – the 41 yarder to Keller – where he scanned the field, saw his first options were covered and then found Keller down the field, so I don’t see him as a lost cause.

As for the audibles, I'm sure he can only make changes that he's been instructed to do by the OC and we know they've given him extra responsibilities and taken things off his plate at various times, so if he's over-complicating things, it may just be because he's doing what he's been instructed to do - and I'm not sure a wide receiver would fully grasp that.

Anyone who concludes a 25 year old whose stats have been better in each of his first three years has stopped developing “is never going to make that next step” is being overly dramatic. He might. He might not. Some analysts need to stop looking for immediate answers to questions that will take years to answer properly.

john:

You said - “How can you avoid falling behind early on in games? A conservative approach would seem to make sense, but the game didn’t spiral out of control because they didn’t adopt such an approach on Sunday.” I disagree completely! The first four offensive plays the Jets ran the ball down their throats (4 carries, 33 yards) so what do we call next? A screen on 1st and ten!

I’m not sure that negates my point. Four runs, a screen pass and a dump off pass on their first drive is a pretty conservative game plan. It’s not like they threw downfield at all and suddenly they’re 7-0 down.

I know what you’re saying – that even this was not conservative enough and they should have stuck with the run and I have criticized them in the past for this. However, although the running game got off to a good start, the next 20 carries by running backs netted 51 yards, so obviously they were able to adjust, so perhaps they went away from the run at just the right time.

And, while the screen pass is a risky proposition against that type of defense, it should have been a 20-yard gain if Mangold, Slauson or Sanchez did their job better.

revisfan:

Does play action even work against a team like the Eagles? They play the run on the way to the QB anyway, so it’s not going to slow them down much.

The Eagles do have plenty of guys crowding the line of scrimmage and any of them might be susceptible to a play fake at any given time. So, while it might not slow down their pass rush, I don’t see why it couldn’t be effective in terms of freezing a defensive back or getting a linebacker to bite on the fake and being out of position.

Neal:

Can Kyle Wilson handle Victor Cruz?

Not sure about that. Wilson’s been better this year, but he’s still not the finished article and Cruz has had a monster season. However, if the Giants go three wide, he'll almost certainly have to cover him.

Neal:

How much coverage is Holmes seeing this year vs. last year?

Holmes is nearly always double covered, with one safety downfield on his side of the field. Last year, this wasn’t the case as often, which must at least be partly due to Braylon Edwards and his ability to stretch the field. Also, teams are often dropping more guys into coverage, because they don’t need to blitz to generate pressure against this offensive line, whereas over the last few years, the Jets had one of the best, if not THE best, lines in terms of pass protection.

Neal:

How is Sanchez still alive at this point in the season? It seems like from all the big hits he has taken and his petite size he should have missed at least a play.

Brunell has relieved him in garbage time a few times, but it is definitely impressive that Sanchez has taken so much punishment yet is still performing.

revisfan:

Schottenheimer kept going to the screen when it was clear they had keyed on that in practice, they would have been idiots not to, considering we racked up a 150 yards on them last week and the announcers kept yelling for Hunter to get help, but it seemed to me like they kept extra blockers in a lot. Is that accurate? I really think the Jets focus too much on the quick pass and emphasize it in practice so that when Mark has to hold it in a game, the o-line doesn’t know what to do. They should practice as if every play was a deep drop and stay on their blocks as long as possible.

No, there were fewer extra blockers this week. Ducasse was in for just eight snaps (21 last week) and Mulligan was in less than half of the time. On pass plays, they left an extra blocker in on fewer than one in every two dropbacks. However, these numbers may have been skewed by them going to spread formations in an effort to get back in the game.

The screen has been a staple of their offense in recent weeks and on a few of the ones that didn’t work (Sanchez was five of six for just 12 yards), they came close to having success, so I can see the reasoning behind going back to it. Brunell did complete a 27-yarder in the closing stages, so overall they gained 39 yards on seven screen passes.

The Eagles have actually struggled against the screen pass at times, but this is why I was commenting last week on how something that worked last week is not necessarily certain to work the following week, especially since that would become a focus of that week’s practice. It may even have been you that was asking whether teams would repeat sequences that had been successful the previous week. Here’s a good example of why not.

I can’t comment on what they do in practice, but I expect there are plenty of drills that they do where the linemen have to sustain their blocks as long as possible.

revisfan:

On the first McCoy TD run, I think it was Trufant came running over to help on the backside at the snap. Was that by design to get Shady to think he had a lane only to have it plugged by a DB? It seems that several times a game, Rex will call a defense that his team is incapable of executing. It seems good in his head and in theory but he doesn’t realize that some of his guys just aren’t athletic enough to execute it. As good as our line is, they can’t move laterally with these quick RBs that cut back also and he said after the game that they looked as if they were afraid to pressure Vick but didn’t he drill into them all week not to overpursue? I’m also curious to know what the dolphins did to contain them last week. I don’t think McCoy had a great game and they play a similar style of defense. Did they just execute better? Their safeties aren’t really better than ours albeit probably more athletic. It looked like we were playing more zones than we usually do and that really takes Revis and Cromartie out of their strengths. What TD did Cromartie give up?

Cromartie was badly burned in man coverage by a double-move on Celek’s touchdown (the one-hander). Generally, Rex Ryan’s defense gambles from time to time, not just by rushing a lot of players, but also by trying to set traps – for example by having the slot corner jump the outside receiver’s route and rolling coverage over to the slot corner’s man. This means they get burned from time to time.

On McCoy’s touchdown, it was Kyle Wilson that came off the edge from the slot in an effort to stop McCoy’s cutback. He would have had responsibility for the outside lane, but the reason the run worked so well was that Mike DeVito reacted to the misdirection and was forced inside by a double-team block. This gave McCoy a cutback lane that Wilson wasn’t fast enough to close, but I don’t think the defensive design was flawed, they just out-executed DeVito to create a lane.

revisfan:

Do you like the total QBR thing on ESPN? It’s supposed to account for all sorts of things that no one knows what they are. I saw Sanchez got a 3.8 this week. How does someone score that low, when anyone watching the game can see he played pretty well considering the circumstances, threw two beauty TDs and both his picks went through Holmes hands?

Sanchez wasn’t very good, but the QBR system is stupid. I have complex reasons for why I believe this, but I’m not going to reveal them.

mikebe1:

Can you tell us more about this Sanchez one week hang over after games like this. You’re usually positive, so we’re gonna need something positive heading into our subway series superbowl.

I’ve observed that if Sanchez finds himself under significant pressure, as he did in the Oakland/Baltimore games and then the Pats/Broncos games, he then seems to look uncomfortable in the pocket in the next game and will either hold the ball too long, missing an open receiver, or get rid of the ball too early, even though the protection seemed like it was going to hold up and he hadn’t waited long enough for routes to develop. That doesn’t bode well for this week, or next week.

The only positive thing I can say is that the Jets seem to be at their best when everyone is down on them. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong on Sunday, so they are due some luck and it’s unlikely that they’ll perform that badly again, especially against a struggling and banged up Giants outfit.

mataos:

I see you find the positive for a lot of guys who CLEARLY are not playing at a high level (even though they have plenty of years experience). You seem to think Sanchez should be capable of carrying this team on his back already, with a horrible RT no less. You claim “elite quarterbacks will march their team down the field to get them back in the game when the other team goes up big, so the size of the gap between Sanchez and those elite guys is readily apparent to everyone”.

The real difference between those guys and ours is not their QB makeup it’s something else. QBs like Brady have a great Oline. QBs like Rodgers have great WRs. Sanchez has neither. I’m not putting him in “elite” class because he has lots of short comings but come on. You tell me who could get the job done with one WR who can only make plays in the red zone and another who needs 5 secs to pull off triple moves to get open. Of course needing extra time to get open would be fine, if the Oline could provide it. So my question, just an opinion: Which QB do you think could take these exact same pieces and score 35 unanswered points in a half against a defense knowing you have to pass?

I know it’s a long question, keep in mind I am just looking for an opinion, I know it is a big “what if?” but I am interested to know what skill set you think a QB would need to possess to win the type of game the Jets found themselves in Sunday.

I’d just like to clarify those comments if I may. First of all, I was talking more in terms of when teams perhaps soften up their defense and go to more of a soft zone or prevent look. Also, I was making the observation that while we can have confidence that Sanchez will often make a one-off offensive drive with his team trailing, I don’t have faith in him to do it several times in a row to eat into a big deficit. Finally, I was merely trying to emphasise the gaping chasm between Sanchez and the elite quarterbacks in the league and pointing out that he isn’t yet equipped to carry a team, so the team is in trouble if they land themselves in a situation where they need him to (whether that be due to an ill-advised gameplan or just because they found themselves in a three or four touchdown hole).

Please don’t mistake what I was saying to mean that I think Sanchez should be at an elite level already, or that I don’t think he is capable of ever getting there.

kevin t:

You said Revis gave up 3 big catches? How many yards did he allow and could you give us his stats for the season?

As noted, one was negated by a penalty, so he had two for 28 yards, one of which was on a third and long where he kept the receiver in front of him and made the tackle to force a punt.

When Revis is thrown at, these are the numbers for opposing QBs:

31-72, 448 yards, one TE, four interceptions (45.4 QB rating, 43.1 completion percentage).

While those are sparkling numbers, over the last four games, he’s given up 16 catches on 28 targets for 177 yards and a touchdown – with no interceptions. That’s not so good – an 87.9 QB rating. However, he’s still rated as PFF’s number one cornerback and he’s 4th in lowest completion percentage and 2nd in lowest QB rating for anyone with over 30 targets.

matt m:

After the game Eric Smith said the Eagles were able to easily identify the coverage before the snap. This could have something to do with the supposed simplified game, but isn’t it still his responsibility to audible the coverage? Between that and him having no clue the playbook was even scaled back, I was pretty alarmed to say the least considering he’s known for his “smarts”.

I’d imagine they simplified things to the point where there was no audibling of coverages or anything like that. I think, judging by what he was saying, that they knew all of the Jets coverages, so I’m not sure switching from one to another would have helped much.

matt m:

Are there any examples of corners who handle the play-calling in the secondary, or does their position on the field make it too difficult?

I think cornerbacks have to be vocal and the communication across the secondary as a whole is crucial, but as a general rule, as I understand it, you need the calls themselves to be relayed by someone in the middle of the field. I don’t know that Revis could communicate with Cromartie if they were both on opposite sides, for example. Also, you presumably get a better viewpoint from a central position that you would on the outside. In any case, the Jets’ corners play a lot of man assignments, so presumably a lot of the adjustments being made don’t apply to them.

WOJF:

Both Cimini and yourself seem to indicate the inability to cover the TE’s at least this week, was not the fault of the safeties, that primary coverage was by Harris, Cromartie and Wilson. Rex, on Monday, kind of claimed that the reason for the Jets poor stats vs. TE’s was because we have excellent CB’s and other teams gameplan to the middle of the field. Rex’s explanation is counter intuitive to me, if the outside coverage is so great shouldn’t it make it easier to cover the TE’s? Is it possible to ascertain, on a seasonal basis, why the Jets are unable to adjust and get those big guys covered? It seems to me that ALL our LB’s and Safeties lack coverage talent, so who they put in coverage doesn’t matter, but wondering what the tape shows? Is it perhaps because we play so much man to man, and other teams play zone?

I think the lack of individual coverage talent, at least since Rhodes left and perhaps also due to Bart Scott slowing down is the reason we’ve seen a shift to more zone coverages since last season.

The cornerbacks do a good job, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get help from the safeties. So I don’t think covering the receivers over the middle is any easier, opposing teams are just looking for those receivers more and perhaps further downfield. At times, they leave their corners isolated in an effort to help out with the middle, but those are the times that other teams can attack the corners with success.

WW85:

How much better or not would the Jets be with Kerry Rhodes?

As I said when Rhodes left, the Jets were always going to miss him. Had he been prepared to continue playing the disciplined role which contributed to the Jets’ top-ranked defense in 2009 then that’s exactly what the Jets miss now – a coverage safety with range that keeps everything in front of him and can handle man coverage assignments.

However, as he was playing that role, a lot of Jets fans were complaining that he wasn’t making enough impact plays and Rhodes responded to that in the worst possible way – by complaining about his role and starting to gamble which led to mistakes.

Had they kept him and persuaded him to play that role, then the Jets would be much better off (assuming he didn’t get injured like he did this year). However, I’m not certain he wanted that. Since he went to Arizona, he’s been playing more the way he wanted to here and has made more impact plays. However, he has also made a lot more costly mistakes and has overall graded out poorly. If he stayed in New York and played that way, I’m not sure the Jets would be any better off than they are now.

Tk:

PFF has Hunter as the second worst tackle in the NFL I believe.

No, he hasn’t been that low since the third week of the season. His low grade from this week’s game dropped him back into the top ten, but he’s still only 8th worst and 9th worst in pass protection (although his Pass Blocking Efficiency is only 14th worst).

I’m not going to pretend Hunter played well on Sunday, or that he’s anything other than a huge downgrade from Damien Woody, but the fact remains that about half the teams in the league start someone comparable or worse at tackle than Wayne Hunter, so that says it all about how many upgrades were readily available.

WOJF:

Regarding coverage, Francesca I thought made a rare astute point, that while Hunter has certainly been a problem, that ANY RT would struggle vs. elite pass rushers like Babin and most teams provide help. The problem with the Jets is that the guys they insert to help, Ducasse and Mulligan, can't block either. Is this a fair assessment?

My current working theory is that Hunter is better off when those guys don’t stay in on his side to help, because they sometimes get in his way and prevent him from using his best asset – his athleticism – to recover, because he doesn’t have space to do so. Also, this means he’s matched up with an interior lineman, which again exposes the fact that he relies on his athleticism more than size, strength and technique.

Unfortunately, Babin is so strong that he was a bad matchup for Hunter anyway, although as I stated in BGA, almost all of the damage was done in the third quarter and he fared okay the rest of the way.

The Giants use Jason Pierre-Paul on the weakside, so unless they change their plans, he’ll be matched up with D’Brickashaw Ferguson. I’d imagine that the Jets will trust Hunter to pass protect against Kiwanuka, but Justin Tuck is more powerful, so they might opt to give him help when he’s matched with him, even though Tuck has been playing hurt.

WOJF:

In addition to Turner and Hartsock, seems we are missing Lowery and, I can’t believe I am typing this, Drew Coleman in the nickel and dime. Has Wilson progressed at all? Is Strickland any good?

Yes, Hartsock barely plays in Carolina, so I wonder if he regrets not taking a minimum salary deal to play a bigger role here. For all his reputation as a penalty machine, he was penalty free in 18 of 19 games last year and there’s no question he was better than Mulligan has been. As I’ve said before, I’ve always liked Turner. I wonder what condition his leg is in right now. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was 100% and has been sitting watching the Jets’ struggles and wondering why they IR’d him instead of waiting it out. You don’t think they could use him right now? Remember, his injury was supposed to be healed by mid-season and the Jets probably decided they needed the roster spot more than the ability to use him right at the end of the year. Big mistake, if that’s the case.

Drew Coleman made some big plays last year and hasn’t done badly in Jacksonville, but overall he was beaten more than Wilson or Strickland have been so far this year, so they don’t really miss him that much. Wilson has certainly progressed since last year, although I think he’s another year away from convincing me he can start at this level. Strickland is a reliable enough slot guy most of the time.

O-Insanity:

I’m in no way saying Sanchez is an elite QB, but I do think it’s a little unfair to say elite QBs will march their team down the field to get them back in the game when their team is down big. How often do Brady or Rodgers or Brees have to bring their teams back from 21 or 28-point deficits? Sure, their defenses are awful and they have to score a lot, but they’re usually not playing from way behind. Anyway, we have plenty of examples of Sanchez marching down the field to win the game in the 4th quarter or OT, so he is capable. Even the great Aaron Rodgers couldn’t get a drive going against the Chiefs…Sanchez scored 37.

These are good points, but if the Jets faced any of these guys in the postseason and went 17-0 up early in the second quarter, would you be that confident they could hold on? Both Manning and Brady fell behind against the Jets in the postseason over the last couple of years, but then got things going.

subwayfare:

Are there other teams with similar personnel that cover TE’s and RB’s out of the backfield better? If so, how? Should Jets LB’s be engaging TE’s better/longer at the LOS? It did look like Vick bought a lot of time with deep, backpedalling drops and, as noted, eluded some near sacks, but this is a consistent issue.

Well, the Ravens and Steelers have pretty similar base defenses and they are both in the top ten for covering TE’s. However, they also have Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed.

As noted above, jamming at the line is something they’ve had success with in the past – notably against Wes Welker and Brandon Marshall as well as tight ends – but doesn’t come without its drawbacks.

The Jets are actually fourth best against RB’s.

subwayfare:

Are the Jets just lacking personnel to run Ryan’s D effectively and he’s in denial about it? Ryan’s Ravens had a legit one-on-one Pass Rusher and an elite Safety. The Steelers have similar strengths in those spots. Seems that with big, run stopping LB’s you need either a legit pass rushing threat, or better backend coverage, if not both.

And you’re telling me Jamaal Westerman and Eric Smith can’t be those guys?!?!

Only kidding. Yes, that’s what they need in an ideal world. Their personnel is better at the cornerback positions, but otherwise they seem to constantly be trying to overcome talent deficiencies with traps, disguise and by having multiple packages.

WW85:

At first I thought this was a joke, but maybe we should seriously look at moving Cromartie to safety next year & admitting that a good safety is more important than a #2 corner? He’s got the size & talent. Revis locks down the #1 WR. Wilson +nickels Strickland or Cole on the #2 with Cromartie running free … It’s basically the same formula as 2009 with Revis alone with Shepperd, Lowery & Coleman & then Rhodes running free … Is that nuts?

The problem is that as soon as you do this, you’ll realize that a good safety is NOT more important than a #2 corner! I’d much rather they get a durable safety with range, speed and size, but such players don’t grow on trees, especially if you need them to also be experienced and/or smart to learn your complex scheme.

Cromartie is a cornerback. However, the way the Jets operate their scheme, that doesn’t mean he won’t find himself roaming deep in certain situations. Perhaps exploring that more would be a good way to overcome their lack of depth at safety over the next few games, but I think they’ll need him in man coverage most of the time.

F 16:

As half a joke with a bit of a head scratcher, how about putting Maybin in as a free safety? Or better yet, have him as a Monster Man on D, which is a roaming defender. He seems quick enough to cover the middle of the field.

Maybin ran a 4.78 at the combine. That’s super slow for a safety. He did improve it to 4.64 at his Pro Day, but even that is slower than Eric Smith’s combine time and he was only 249 pounds at the time, so it’s not like he’s likely to be much faster at the moment.

As noted above with Cromartie, maybe they could drop him deep on a certain look to try and catch the other team out, but he’s not going to be the answer to how they replace Jim Leonhard or anything.

While we're on the subject of Maybin, I criticized Muhammed Wilkerson for losing contain on Vick's touchdown run, but now that I've seen the coaches film, Maybin getting caught on the inside was the bigger problem there.

JetsImpact414:

It looks as if Sanchez has lost his love for the game over the past couple weeks. It’s almost as if he is just going through the motions and is playing with no passion. Can you comment on this?

I answered a similar question last week by saying this:

I went to a Sanchez post-game presser in 2009 and what came across was how genuine he was when he said playing in the NFL was the most fun he’s had in his life, even though that was after a tough loss. These days, I completely agree that sometimes he doesn’t look like he’s having as much fun and I have definitely noticed his reluctance to celebrate with the fans since they booed him.

However, this might not be a negative thing. Perhaps he’s decided to get more serious and that’s been reflected in a few good games in a row. I still think he desperately wants to win, even if it’s for his teammates and he’s decided to use the fans’ negativity towards him as fuel for motivation.

I’d suggest that the vast majority of fans are big supporters of Sanchez and I hope he realizes that we all want to win just as bad as he does. Playing with a chip on your shoulder can be a good thing, as long as you don’t become stubborn and let it affect your decision making process adversely.

Statistics and data from PFF were used in this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Jets will see a primetime game in their first matchup of the 2018 season as they take on the Detroit Lions on the road on "Monday Night Football," per The Post.

New York had just one primetime game last season, and it wasn't on "Monday Night Football." The last time they saw a game on the ESPN-aired telecast was back in 2016, when the Colts routed them 41-10 on their home turf in MetLife Stadium. 

There are a few good storylines heading into this year's contest, though. For the visiting Lions, they have a new, young head coach in Matt Patricia who will want to start off his new career with a win.

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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former QB Dan Orlovsky thinks the Jets are targeting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick in the Draft, and one of the reasons is very specific.

Orlovsky, who played under Kyle Shanahan, noted that Jets OC Jeremy Bates is from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. And that one of the traits Shanahan loved about John Elway is that he would screw his back foot into the ground when he threw -- adding that Bates loves that trait in quarterbacks as well. 

"There's one guy in the Draft who has that trait," Orlovsky said earlier this week on SNY's Jet Stream podcast. "And it's Baker Mayfield. He does the same thing when he throws. And I just think that those coaches fall in love with traits of guys that remind them of players that they had success with in the past. I think that they're looking at Baker Mayfield and going 'that's our guy.'"

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are ready to open their present that is the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. The guys discuss the possibility of the Jets trading up, yet again, and the crazy idea of selecting a non-QB (can someone say Bradley Chubb) with the 3rd overall selection. Plus, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky calls in to give his insight into the top four quarterbacks.

Click below to listen

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Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has the Jets taking Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future at No. 3. 

Many experts believe Darnold could be the first overall pick by the Browns, and if he doesn't land with Cleveland, then the Giants would scoop him up at No. 2. However, with Josh Allen as Breer's No. 1 pick and the Giants electing to go with Saquon Barkley over a quarterback, Darnold drops in the Jets' lap. 

So, there is no need for the Jets to choose between Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield...

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Mangold's Hall of Fame chances 00:04:59
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate over Nick Mangold's chances at making the Hall of Fame and the Devils' chances at beating the Lightning.

After a year out of football, No. 74 is officially hanging up the cleats. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: On the lists of favorite players and all-time greats, you'll rarely find a center. They're buried in the trenches, often noticed only when a bad snap happens or a defensive tackle breaks through.

The same was probably true for Nick Mangold during his 11 NFL seasons - rarely noticed from the outside and incredibly underappreciated game to game. Yet somehow he still emerged from his long career as a fan favorite. And he definitely emerged as one of the Jets' all-time greats.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear he had no worries about the state of the Jets' defensive line heading into the offseason. Sure, they've lost a lot of talent in recent years, trading Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammad Wilkerson and not re-signing Damon Harrison.

But they still have Leonard Williams, the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, and despite a down season last year, the Jets have huge expectations for him.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon take their deepest dive yet into the NFL Draft. They discuss the latest with the four quarterbacks, as well as look back at Willie's draft process with the Steelers in 2006. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post joins the show to give his take on the draft and the possibility of Mike Maccagnan signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Click below to listen

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets' preseason schedule has been officially released for the 2018 season. 

The Falcons will be Gang Green's first opponent of the new year on their home turf. Then, they will hit the road to face the Redskins on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.

The annual Snoopy Bowl at MetLife Stadium between the Jets and Giants will be the Week 3 matchup, with the Jets getting home field advantage.

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper sees the Jets grabbing UCLA QB Josh Rosen with their third overall pick -- as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano projects in his Mini Mock Draft 3.0. 

The Jets clearly traded up to the No. 3 slot to take one of the highly touted quarterbacks. With Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold going to the Browns and Giants respectively, Rosen appears the best option for the Jets in Kiper's mind. 

CLICK BELOW TO READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS

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Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Having opted to let Austin Seferain-Jenkins leave in free agency, the Jets are relying on a group of young tight ends to replace his production, recently adding two more options to the mix.

It's possible the Jets could look to add to the group via the draft but, for now, let's consider what each of the tight ends currently on the roster brings to the table, and consider how they might be used in 2018...

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the NFL Draft a little over two weeks away, the Jets continue to get their last live look at the top prospects they could select with their third overall pick. 

After Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wraps up his private workout with the Jets Tuesday, UCLA QB Josh Rosen will visit the team, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

After Rosen's visit, USC QB Sam Darnold is expected to be next on the list at some point later this week. Wyoming QB Josh Allen is also expected to visit at a later date.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Jets continue to bolster their defense with another addition at the second tier in vetearn LB Kevin Minter, the team announced Monday. 

Minter most recently played for the Bengals in 2017, where he tallied 32 tackles in nine games. 

He was a second round draft pick by the Cardinals back in 2013, and he would spend four seasons in Arizona before heading to Cincinnati. He totaled 175 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and six passes defended over 61 games (37 starts). 

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Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Jets continue to stack their wide receiving corps for next season as former Vikings WR Charles Johnson signed a deal with the team on Monday. 

Johnson, who was waived by the Panthers in July 2017, sat out all last season due to surgery on his right knee. He played for the Vikings from 2014-16, where he totaled 60 receptions for 834 yards and two touchdowns over 39 games. 

The Grand Valley State product was a Packers' seventh-rounder back in 2013, and after joinging the team's practice squad following camp that year, the Brown picked him up to join their 53-man squad. He dressed but never saw action with the Browns. 

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The Jets' free agency strategy 00:12:52
The Jets Nation panel analyzes the Jets' recent free-agent additions, including former Vikings franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on whom the Jets have added and lost during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the Jets are reportedly hosting Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen for official Draft visits this week, we've also been keeping an eye on who else is reportedly scheduled to attend. Last year, both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye took official visits before being selected with the Jets' top two picks.

Aside from the quarterbacks, most of this year's names that have leaked so far would be players the Jets might be hoping will drop to day three of the draft or maybe even be available as a priority free agent if they go undrafted. Let's look at some of the more interesting prospects...

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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

With the NFL Draft just 17 days away, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is scheduled to meet with the Jets in Florham Park on Monday and Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Jets have already met with Mayfield on multiple occasons -- including at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine -- and the team held a private workout with him. 

The 22-year-old Mayfield, who is expected to be selected early in the first round, threw 119 touchdowns in three seasons with Oklahoma and capped it off by throwing 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2017 when he started a career-high 14 games...

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the retirement of Matt Forte, the Jets have bolstered their depth in the offensive backfield with a couple of veteran additions. Let's give consideration to what each back brings to the table and how they might find a niche in the Jets' offense this season.

Bilal Powell...

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Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Free agent DT Johnathan Hankins visited the Jets on Thursday, reports Dan Graziano of ESPN. Hankins, who was cut by the Colts earlier this offseason, has also visited the Redskins.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Giants, Hankins agreed to a four-your deal with the Colts worth $30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets were obviously looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle when they made their brief -- and ill-advised -- pursuit of Ndamukong Suh. Thankfully, they pulled the plug on that before it happened. Johnathan Hankins could turn out to be a much better fit...

Tags: Johnathan Hankins
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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets WR/DB and Super Bowl champion, Bill Rademacher, has passed at the age of 75, the team confirmed on Tuesday. 

Rademacher came out of Northern Michigan undrafted, and ending up joining the Jets as a receiver in 1964. He would play in New York for five seasons that included a Super Bowl title in 1968. 

After getting released in 1969, he joined the Boston Patriots where he played just two seasons before retiring. Radebacher, then, became the head coach of Norther Michigan, where he owned a 37-16-1 career record. 

Overall, he played in 58 games totaling 24 receptions for 282 yards and three touchdowns.

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield keeps notes on media members who are criticial of him, which former Jet and current SNY Jet Stream podcast co-host Willie Colon thinks is a bad sign.

"I saw it as a red flag," Colon said on Tuesday. "I did see it as a problem. This is a city that is notoriously known for its media. The New York media is unapologetic. Our beat writers make their name for being leaderless -- they're not rooting for you."

"Half the time, you have to earn it," Colon said about the respect of the media in New York. "And I think if you're Baker Mayfield, and you're already doing that without a team. Let's say you do get drafted by the Jets, there's three or four beat writers that will -- I promise you -- will say bad things about you and critique your game and who you are as a person. And may sometimes go over the line. And you're at the end of the locker like 'oh, I just checked twitter. Let me check this guy's name off.' That means you're focused on the wrong things. You should only be worried about being the best you can be for your team and winning football games."

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Nov 18, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson (4) scores a touchdown against Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive end Justin Lawler (99) during the second half at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Nov 18, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Tigers quarterback Riley Ferguson (4) scores a touchdown against Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive end Justin Lawler (99) during the second half at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

The Jets currently own four day three picks and, having traded away two second rounders, will be keen to find some contributors. Last year, the Jets traded down a few times and ended up making six selections on day three. 

Let's highlight some players who could interest the Jets on day three this year.

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