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. For the purposes of BGA Extra (but not BGA, since that is too early in the week), I have also reviewed the coaches film, which was available for every play (whereas last year, it was only available for big plays). Statistics from PFF which are not available to subscribers were used in the completion of this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access to these.

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend's game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week. After the jump, I respond to your questions about Sunday's big loss to the Steelers. If you would like your questions answered in future, remember to read my BGA game breakdowns every Monday and leave your question in the comments section.

• Prof. Esq

Do you have the numbers for before and after Sanchez was hit in the head? Before the hit, Sanchez looked good and the offense was clicking. After he was hit, the ball was all over the place and the jets didn't do very much. There was no mention of a concussion or anything like that, but we have seen in the past that after a big hit Sanchez starts to get happy feet.

Several people asked this. I can confirm that it was on his first pass of the second drive. He was 4-for-5 for 80 yards on the first drive and 6-for-22 for 58 yards thereafter. So, on the face of it, you could definitely pinpoint this as a turning point.

Yes, he misfired to Holmes in the endzone a few moments later. However, he also had he deep throw to Stephen Hill which was an accurate, confident throw. Also, when I watched the footage, Sanchez didn't seem to be that badly affected by Timmons' hit. He just raised up onto one knee, took a second to compose himself and then got to his feet. We've seen him down for much longer than that on previous plays. A further slow-motion review of the hit shows the his head doesn't snap back when Timmons' helmet collides with his - rather it seems to be a glancing blow that turns Sanchez's head to the side and maybe looks worse than it was because the helmet twisted around slightly while still on his head.

So, yes, Sanchez took the hit and played nowhere near as well as he had before it, but I don't know that I'm 100% convinced that there was a direct cause and effect. I does seem pretty likely though - and even if Sanchez wasn't physically rattled, it might have affected him mentally. Can't blame the offensive line for that, though - on the play, Sanchez rolled out and couldn't find anyone open and Timmons came up from the secondary to hit him. That was a moment where the decisiveness he displayed in week one deserted him.


• a57se

I don't think Greene is the right guy for that misdirection toss out of the wildcat, Mcknight would have had a chance to get past Clark on that play because of his speed but Greene is just too slow in that situation.......what do you think?

It's pretty unlikely any back could have done anything with that, since the Steelers didn't bite on the redirection and that left Konrad Reuland with two guys to block. Had Tebow kept the ball and ran to the left, the play might have had a chance to be successful. Having said that, on the previous play, the play didn't look like it was going anywhere and Joe McKnight made a few guys miss and turned it into a nice gain, so maybe it does make sense for someone more elusive to be back there. At this stage of the season, they're developing tendencies within that package.

• Brendan

When Cromartie did actually press at the line, did he do well? I'm to the point where Rex should sit him if he refuses to press WR's. It's so incredibly frustrating watching him play off the LOS when he's so good playing on it.

Let's flip your question around and look at the five completions he gave up. On four of them, including the touchdown, he was playing well off his man. On the other, the first completion he gave up, he was in press coverage, but didn't even attempt to get a jam on Wallace at the line. Wallace came back for the ball to get an 18-yard catch.

I've heard it mentioned that Jets coaches have determined that Cromartie has NEVER given up a catch when he gets his hands on his man at the line - a stat which was obviously kept intact here. Clearly that's something they need to get him to do and it's not as simple as putting him in press coverage, because he still needs to get his hands up on his man when he is pressing.


• juunit

Can you do a play-by-play analysis for the beginning of the game, leading up to our TD? I know I'm not the only one who was switched onto the game right as we were kicking the extra point, with 4:19 seconds left in the quarter, meaning lots of us completely missed the only good part of the game.

No problem.

- After a touchback, Pittsburgh gained eight on a WR screen to Antonio Brown. Heath Miller made a good block on LaRon Landry to spring it.

- Bart Scott exploded into the backfield to blow up the next play - a run left by Isaac Redman - for a seven yard loss. David Harris finished him off.

- On third and nine, Brown picked up a first down on a Jet Sweep to the right side. Eric Smith and Josh Mauga got blocked out on the play and Miller drove Ellis Lankster back at the second level, although it looked like a favorable spot at the marker.

- On first and ten, a run up the middle was blown up by Sione Po'uha for a short gain.

- Wallace then gained 18 on the above mentioned play where Cromartie pressed but didn't jam.

- On the next play, the ball was dumped to the fullback in the flat and he ran for a 26-yard gain as Garrett McIntyre passed him off to the man behind him, but the man behind him (Kyle Wilson) was occupied by the slot receiver.

- Wallace then gained six on a pass underneath with Cromartie playing off him.

- Kenrick Ellis blew up the next play for a loss in the backfield on a handoff to Redman.

- On third down, Demario Davis pressured Ben Roethlisberger off the edge and McIntyre sacked him when he stepped up, forcing the Steelers to settle for a field goal.

- The Jets next drive started on the 10 after a Bilal Powell hold and began with two Shonn Greene runs and an illegal substitution penalty on 3rd and 4. With confusion in the Steelers defensive backfield, Holmes ran to the sticks and broke off his route where the ball was perfectly timed for a first down to the 21.

- On first down, Sanchez made a playfake and rolled right, but his first option wasn't there and he hesitated allowing a defensive back to come up and hit him. He span away from the sack and threw the ball away.

- On second down, Sanchez threw an out pattern to Holmes who drew a pass interference flag. It was illegal contact, but not pass interference.

- Sanchez then pump-faked right and threw deep down the seam to Kerley in the left slot. He hit him in stride but he was caught from behind inside the 20 for a 45-yard play.

- Greene was stuffed in the backfield by an unblocked Lawrence Timmons on first down. Matt Slauson blocked the other inside linebacker, which may have been a mistake on his part.

- On second down, they clawed most of the yards back on an out pattern to Clyde Gates despite Austin Howard getting beaten by Lamarr Woodley.

- On third down, a playfake and quick slant to Holmes went for an easy touchdown.

• damion

Can you give me a reason as to why Coples wasn't out there more?

Maybe the coaches saw him on film last week and didn't like what they saw, I felt he would have a monster game. The defense that seemed ready to dominate in the preseason, but has yet to find its way(in terms of being DOMINANT) but no Po'uha in week 1 and no Revis in week 2 doesn't help.

Rex said it was mostly because the bigger linemen match up better with the Steelers, but on the five plays where they ran the ball with him in, he did fare well. Presumably McIntyre's unexpected good play was a factor too. Hopefully this will only serve to keep Coples hungry.

You make a good point about the defense. People are bashing them, but they haven't played a game with both of their best two players in at the same time yet. Let's see if they give us a reason to bash them when they're at full strength.


• npr jet fan

With Revis in there would have been no touchdown on the right side to Wallace, more man coverage and added more pressure on the qb, we could of rolled our coverage to help someone else, and put our offense on the field a few more times. Playing with a lead could of kept us two dimensional and in the endzone.

Another good point, building on my previous comments. Although, I will add that Cromartie usually played Wallace one-on-one in 2010, so I don't know that Revis being there would have prevented that.

• 'NYCPE'inGermany

It seemed to me that the Jets receivers couldn't handle the Steelers DBs agressive press coverage. How have the Jets WRs who were here last year handled this? Have they always had so much trouble?

Several people asked a version of this too. They wanted to know why nobody other than Holmes (thrown to 16 times on 35 dropbacks) was targeted and wondered if there were open receivers that were not getting seen or receivers failing to get any separation.

My approach to this is to look at each of the 13 throws to Holmes that were NOT completed. Other than those throws, Sanchez was 7-for-16 for 110 yards (with one play negated by a penalty) - obviously not very good, but slightly better than his success rate throwing to Holmes (3-for-11, five plays negated by penalties).

1. This was an all-or-nothing misdirection play - a classic example of an attempted "chunk" play. Holmes ran a deep crossing route as the Jets faked a run to the right out of a three-TE set and Sanchez rolled left. Holmes was the only receiver on that side of the field, but the Steelers were playing zone so the safety remained deep and the corner on the weakside didn't fall for the playfake and instead rushed Sanchez. Still, Holmes was one-on-one with the safety so could have been an option, but Sanchez had to avoid the rushing defensive back and couldn't get a clean throw off. Jeff Cumberland leaked out as a secondary option on down the middle, but again Sanchez didn't have time to hit this.

2. This was the play where Holmes drew the penalty on the quick out, as detailed in the play-by-play above. It was a one-on-one matchup, so Sanchez really didn't (and probably shouldn't need to) look anywhere else. Here, it's worth noting that the Steelers blitzed a safety from Jeremy Kerley's side and dropped Lawrence Timmons off the line, both clearly moves to discourage the Jets from looking for a quick slant or crossing route from the slot.

3. Again, Holmes was basically in one-on-one coverage, with a safety coming over late. The other three receiving options were on the opposite side. Sanchez threw a quick toss down the sideline and Holmes was held - although this time it was pass interference, not holding, because the ball was clearly in the air. Again, Sanchez didn't really look to the right, although he did glance at Jeff Cumberland who ran a short route to the sticks (it was 2nd and six). Clyde Gates ran downfield and Konrad Reuland was pretty much open in the right flat, although Gates' man would have likely prevented a big play.

4. This was the play where Sanchez rolled out and threw high with Holmes open in the end zone. Again, Sanchez made the right choice here. Reuland and Hill were both jammed at the line by a linebacker to slow them up and then picked up by a safety downfield. Holmes was single-covered again and did get open, but the throw sailed on Sanchez.

5. Holmes was a hot read on this play, as once again the Jets had isolated him on one side with three receiving options on the right side. A five man rush, including the safety on Holmes' side, came and Sanchez got rid of the ball immediately. Holmes initially broke off his route then kept going and Sanchez threw it to the spot where he would have gone if he had not kept going. It was third and long though, so he'd have had to break Ike Taylor's tackle to get a first down anyway.

6. This pass was ruled incomplete, but Holmes definitely caught it. However, it wouldn't have counted anyway because of a holding call. Hill was in single coverage this time with the defender backing off him and came back to the ball where he was open downfield, similar to what happened on the flea-flicker against the Bills. You can't really fault Sanchez though, as he connected with Holmes in a tight window. John Conner would have been a checkdown option underneath.

7. On third and 16, the Jets left two guys in to block and had three receivers bunched over on the left. Gates ran a post pattern, Kerley ran a quick out and Holmes ran to the sticks in between them. This was clearly designed to go to Holmes with the other receivers hopefully creating enough space to get the throw completed. Kerley was all alone in the flat, but had a guy sitting back at the marker and no potential blockers, so would have struggled to make the first down. Gates did draw some attention and Holmes was open, but Sanchez threw high again and Taylor broke it up. A lower throw could have resulted in a successful conversion.

8. The Jets were in a two-TE set with Smith and Reuland. Bilal Powell was in the backfield but motioned out wide left. Clyde Gates ran a go-route from the slot to clear out the outside for Sanchez to throw to Holmes, who again ended up single-covered by Taylor. Reuland was double covered underneath and Smith stayed in to block. Holmes dropped the pass on yet another play where it was clearly set up for him to be the main option.

9. This was the play where Taylor was seemingly called for a phantom pass interference penalty. Sanchez actually connected nicely with an open Holmes on the left side, but Clark's hit jarred the ball loose. On the play, the Jets left Greene in to block but Reuland (from the fullback position) ran a route to the flat and Cumberland chipped a linebacker on the right side then ran an in-route. Stephen Hill was on the right side, but Sanchez didn't look his way because his first option was Holmes, who had a step on his man.

10. A couple of plays later, Holmes was hit from behind before the ball arrived but didn't get the call this time. The ball hit him in the chest. Hill was lined up wide left, but Holmes was obviously the primary option underneath and again was open. Both tight ends ran slower-developing routes and Powell leaked into the left flat, but this was a quick throw. Holmes was showing clear frustration after this play.

11. Here, they had four wideouts with Holmes isolated on the left and the other three on the right. Sanchez pump-faked to Holmes and then threw the ball away without having time to look right. He perhaps didn't trust his protection on that play with a pass rusher coming off the edge, but Powell picked it up. I think they were looking for some kind of pump-and-go, but Taylor jammed him at the line which messed that up.

12. On this play, the Jets had three receivers on the right side and left two guys in to block. While this was called a target to Holmes - the ball skipped to him as he cut off his route just beyond the marker - it looked like Sanchez was actually looking for Kerley here. Kerley ran a whip route and Sanchez's throw was just wide of him, maybe because of a bad route or maybe because of a bad throw. Hill ran a deep clear-out route.

13. Finally, Holmes drew another pass interference call downfield as his man was playing outside technique and he ran down the seam. Another well delivered pass by Sanchez, as Hill and Kerley were both jammed at the line. Sanchez could have opted to dump it to Jeff Cumberland, who initially stayed in to block, but then leaked out into the flat and had some room ahead of him.

There's so many conclusions to draw about these plays, not all of them negative. Clearly the Jets designed a lot of plays where Holmes was the first option and although the Steelers anticipated a couple of these or got lucky with the defense they were playing, they mostly seemed to be well-designed plays that could have worked if the receiver or passer did a better job.

Perhaps this shouldn't be too much of a surprise - after all, the Dolphins targeted Brandon Marshall a ton over the last few years, so Tony Sparano's philosophy is obviously to put his main guy in a position to make plays. He achieved that, although Holmes' hands let him down on this occasion (as was often the case with Marshall too). The positive part of this is that it simplifies things for Sanchez. The obvious negative is that it becomes too predictable. The Jets need to have faith in some of their other receivers to be the guy they put in a position to make some of these plays. Of course, Dustin Keller would usually be one of the primary options on a lot of plays too.

While Holmes clearly started to get frustrated towards the end of the game, it's difficult to fault his ability to get separation when single-covered and the Jets engineered those situations, while the Steelers seemed content to take their chances. It was a bit like a basketball game where you don't bother to double-team the best scorer and instead focus your efforts on keeping everyone else quiet.

Due to the way these plays are designed, we can't learn too much from them about how the likes of Hill and Kerley fared in terms of their efforts to get open. Hardly any of them were situations where Sanchez had to throw to Holmes because nobody else was open - it was more the case that they chose to make him the first option and threw it his way because he was open. However, in the few examples where they were potential options, Hill and Kerley did seem capable of getting open. I'd also add that the other receivers saw plenty of attention in terms of safety support and getting jammed at the line, so the Steelers perhaps smartly assumed the Jets would be focused on ball security and baited Sanchez into making the offense one-dimensional. In Sanchez's defense, his decision making and accuracy on these 13 throws wasn't that bad either.

I don't think the Jets should go away from this philosophy, but they do need a better Plan B going forward. I'd start by designing some plays to get more different players involved.

• __fense

So what's up with the tackling? Is this a league-wide thing, where no one can tackle? I heard someone on TV say it has to do with the limited number of contact practices. Do you think there's any validity to that?

I'm sure there is. My previous research indicated that approximately 75% of the league usually averages between four and six missed tackles per game. The Jets have missed 19 in two games - which is challenging last year's Bucs team (almost 11 per game) for futility. PFF pointed out during the week that the Jets missed only 14 in their first four games last year.

So, is it a league wide thing? Well, only one team has had more missed tackles than the Jets - Carolina has 29 in two games! - but so far 15 teams are averaging more than six missed tackles per game, which is more than usual. Clearly there are quite a few teams off to a bad start in this area. This is especially relevant, considering the fact that missed tackles usually increase once it starts to get cold. It doesn't apply everywhere though. Houston has only missed four tackles so far in two games.


• JBK

How did Vlad look at LG? Do you think Slauson can play RG as Moore's replacement or are we better bring Moore back for less money ... What's going on with Conner? If he can't go, it will be time to cut or IR two players from the 53 man roster ... Maybe 87 (Reuland) becomes an h-back

Reuland can line up in the backfield. He did in preseason with San Francisco and has done it six times with the Jets already.

I don't know yet who the starters will be at guard yet - ask me again nearer the end of the season. I think there's a good chance Vlad is one. The other might come down to money. Slauson will probably do well at RG because it's typically easier to play there.


• patd

Missed tackles...uuugghh

I think this is my "comment that bears repeating but doesn't need any further insight from me" of the week.

• JetsFaninNC

I'm wondering... you talked a little about the use of Tebow in Part 1. Do you think that this limited usage is all that they have in mind? I would have thought that he'd be more heavily used yesterday, in order to throw the defense off a bit. They seemed to know what was coming, and we didn't throw in too many wrinkles. Maybe the personnel wouldn't have changed with him in the game, but you'd think at least keeping him on the field (maybe for Connor as a FB after he went down) would give the Steelers some pause as to what's coming.

I'll boil it down - my question is, based on what you saw, do you think that just keeping Tebow on the field (with Sanchez) could have given our offense a little more breathing room?

PS - I do NOT want to see Sanchez benched in favor of Tebow. I just thought that he'd be used more as a swiss army knife, along WITH Sanchez.

I've yet to see any evidence that Tebow can be a capable blocker. I'm sure the coaches are evaluating and developing him in that area and might apply him there if he's ready. I think the Tebow package is still being revealed. A lot of what they're doing presumably sets up some big plays when they start adding some wrinkles later on. Any time the defense looks like it knows what's coming, that is in play. Then once they have success with a more creative variation, it should make the base package more effective (in theory).

I know he was working with the scout team playing Roethlisberger's role this week, so maybe that ate into his preparation time for working with the wildcat packages.

• justwinbaby

How do you like Mulligan catching touchdown passes in St Louis? I think Mulligan was one of the least liked jets last year, so I'm glad he found somewhere he could be happy.

Mulligan blocked a punt and caught the winning touchdown for the Rams on Sunday, but we'll have to wait and see if mistakes creep back into his game and start limiting his effectiveness. Don't look now, but the other contender for that least like Jet crown from last year - Wayne Hunter - gave up just one pressure in 54 snaps protecting the blind side, so it seems likely he is going to play better without as much expectation placed upon him. Obviously, you'll get an update in Expendables at the bye week.

• jon in bk

Something I'd be interested to see in BGA Extra (if possible): The party line seems to be that it was just 3rd down performance that made the difference. Are numbers available on what the average 3rd down distance was, though?

They will probably be skewed by a couple of 3rd and-forevers for the Steelers, but it seemed like the Jets were behind the sticks a lot on offense, and not great on D either.

Steelers were 9-for-16 including conversions via penalty. The average distance required was 6.3 yards on the ones they made and just under ten yards on the ones they missed. This was skewed by a 3rd and 32 though. Remove that and the other ones they missed were just under six yards to go. The Jets were 5-for-13 after starting off 4-for-4. The average distance required was 3.4 yards on the ones they made and 9.5 yards on the ones they missed.

The dirty little secret of the Jets defense is that for all their talk about aggressiveness, their gameplan is usually to ensure they stop the run and put the other team into passing downs, then rely on their secondary to keep the quarterbacks to a low success rate in those situations. Phase one of that plan went pretty well on Sunday...


• reprocity

How many snaps did Coples and Maybin have? Did McIntyre really have the game of his career?

Coples had 16 and Maybin 14. As for McIntyre, it was obviously his most productive game but his first sack came because Roethlisberger had to step up due to pressure from Demario Davis and his big hit in the backfield came as he was completely unblocked. He also had two costly breakdowns in coverage, so it wasn't a flawless performance by any means. I do like McIntyre though and he gives the Jets good depth at a position where their starters are aging.

• WW85

Do you have stats on end of half laydowns? I don't agree. when I see top 10 offenses with about a minute to go with timeouts, I see them go for it. I don't doubt weak offenses don't go for it.

This is something that can't really be accurately measured statistically. A lot of teams just ran out the clock, but they had either less time or worse field position than the Jets. Then again, most of the teams that tried to score got the ball with better field position and/or more time. The closest comparison was the Lions who got the ball with the same amount of time remaining but at their 9-yard line or Miami who got the ball (also down three) with slightly less time remaining and slightly worse field position (20-yard line, 46 seconds). They both chose to run the clock out. Then there's the Giants, who got it with 53 seconds to go on their 25-yard line and ended up throwing a pick-six, so that's hardly a good argument for going for it.

You make a good point about the top offenses going for it in those situations, but the Jets offense is not a top offense - and being more aggressive in those situations wouldn't immediately turn them into one.


• Greg Drohan

Glad to see you mention McKnight. I thought he naturally showed more shiftiness than Greene or Powell possess, but also seemed he had nice patience on that run. I swear the Jets just hate small fast RBs and if a Ray Rice was on the team, he'd be lucky to get 5 touches a week. Do you think it's mainly about the fear factor? His past with fumbles? If so, then Powell should be starting over Greene after last week.

The main reason he's not seeing the field is that Powell is a better pass blocker than him. I think McKnight has the potential to be good in that role and figured that the weight he added would help him to improve, but right now Powell is doing a good job and McKnight is getting a lot of special teams work (where he is an asset). He made a nice run on Sunday for sure, so I hope they do give him some more chances to give them a spark.

• Greg Drohan

Wondering what you think about [Maybin's] weight? I thought he was probably playing unusually fast as he was 20 lbs (or more?) under weight last season. Now that he bulked up has he lost a step or three?

I commented in preseason that he seemed to have lost a step in terms of getting off the initial block and bursting back to the quarterback, which was how he picked up five of his six sacks last year. I wonder if they're better off letting him shed the weight and just using him in a one-dimensional role, because their attempts to turn him into a three-down player have just made him worse in the role he used to have.

Having said that, after I made those comments in preseason, he had eight pressures in two games, so hopefully he is just trying to find his feet.


I'll be back on Monday to break down the Miami game.
Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When the Jets start their sales pitch to Kirk Cousins, he's going to want to know about more than just the size of their check. He's going to want to know, among other things, how they plan to protect him.

That's a project they can get started on right now.

The Jets should begin by re-signing center Wesley Johnson before the free-agent market opens on March 14, and solidify what was a young and better-than-you-think offensive line last season. Together with right guard Brian Winters and right tackle Brandon Shell, it would give the Jets a strong young corps on the line to build around. And with two solid veterans on the left side -- tackle Kelvin Beachum and guard James Carpenter -- it's a line that could actually be pretty good.

Tags: Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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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)

In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft. 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center. 

READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS BELOW

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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GEICO SportsNite: Cousins 00:02:18
The Jets hope to be in the mix to land highly touted free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins in order to provide stability at the QB position.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The entire Jets offseason will be played out in the shadow of Kirk Cousins -- the biggest name on the free-agent market, and the franchise quarterback they so desperately need. And that's even true right now, as the NFL's 15-day "franchise tag" window opens on Tuesday.

The Jets aren't likely to use the tag, but the Washington Redskins are reportedly considering using it on Cousins.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Morris Claiborne, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Sep 4, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (56) during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

The offensive line was a huge disappointment for the Jets in 2017, especially on the interior. In 2016, Wesley Johnson started eight games for the injured Nick Mangold, and the line didn't seem to suffer too badly. However, he struggled throughout the 2017 season after moving into the full-time starter role.

Guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter also failed to play as well as they had in 2016, although that may partly have been caused by Johnson struggling on their inside shoulder.   Injuries were also an issue here, with Winters in particular playing most of the season hurt, and eventually requiring surgery on an abdominal issue.

Dakota Dozier's performances in relief of Winters over the past few years have some people wondering if it was really wise to give Winters a big money extension, when Dozier doesn't appear to be much of a downgrade. However, he's out of contract now, so the Jets may need to replenish their depth.

Tags: Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold
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Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium.  (Brad Penner (USA Today))
Jets defensive tackle Steve McLendon (99) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets exercised their options on two defensive starters on Tuesday, ensuring that defensive tackle Steve McLendon and linebacker Josh Martin will both be back for the 2018 season.

The Jets were facing a deadline of Tuesday on both players, but the decision likely wasn't difficult, especially with the team likely to have nearly $100 million in salary cap space to spend this offseason. McLendon is due a salary of $3.125 million this year and has a salary cap number of $4.25 million. Martin is due a salary of $1.8 million, with a cap number of $2.1 million.

The moves come one day after the Jets declined their 2018 option on tackle Ben Ijalana, making him an unrestricted free agent...

Tags: Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

It is no secret the Jets wants top free-agent QB Kirk Cousins on their roster next season, and it came out Monday that they are "willing to pay whatever it takes." But what if Cousins decides to sing elsewhere? What is the Jets' next move from there?

According to SI's Peter King, the Jets should be high on bringing back Josh McCown, and drafting Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield ahead of next season. Though the jets are expected to have a pretty healthy cap situation, McCown could come back for cheap, and Mayfield will obviously be on a rookie contract. 

King doesn't deny that Cousins could certainly be a Jet, but this situation could also work with McCown mentoring Mayfield as he did Johnny Manziel back in 2014. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets tackle Ben Ijalana blocks during the second half of the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets made offensive tackle Ben Ijalana a free agent on Monday after they failed to exercise his player option.

New York did not exercise Ijalana's $500,000 option bonus that would have activated his $4.5 million base salary for the 2018 season. By doing so, the Jets will save a total of $4.6 million.

Tags: Ben Ijalana
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCowwas the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season. 

This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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In 2017, the Jets' running game struggles probably had more to do with the offensive line being overmatched than the performance of the backs.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron throws against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. (David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets reportedly turned down a Cincinnati Bengals trade proposal that would have sent quarterback AJ McCarron to New York last season, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Cincinnati, according to Cimini, called the Jets organization at the start of free agency and offered McCarron in a trade, however the Jets turned it down to focus on free agency. It is unclear what Cincinnati requested in the deal.

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets started over last offseason and actually built themselves a nice core of talent. They have many young, inexpensive players they can build around this spring.

They certainly have the tools to build around them - perhaps as much as $100 million in cap room, the sixth overall pick in the draft, and some extra picks too. And that's good, because even though the Jets exceeded expectations last season, they were still 5-11, and have plenty of holes to fill.

Now, as they get ready to begin Phase 2 of their rebuilding project, here's a look at their biggest needs.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Cornerback is one position where the Jets obviously need to upgrade.

They opted not to pick up a corner from last year's deep draft class until they took two project players - Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones - in the sixth round. The coaching staff claimed to like the upside of these players along with Juston Burris and Darryl Roberts as well as Rashard Robinson, who was added via trade at the deadline.

However, none of these players stepped up as hoped.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Juston Burris, Morris Claiborne
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield

The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone. 

Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight...

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.

"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement...

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 (Jeremy Brevard)
(Jeremy Brevard)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have been a team whose defense has been built around their interior linemen for a long time, but Muhammad Wilkerson's anticipated departure could be an opportunity to reinvent themselves by finding a difference-maker who can create constant pressure off the edge.

The Jets haven't really had an elite edge rusher since John Abraham, who was traded before the 2006 draft. They've tried drafting one high (Vernon Gholston), converting an interior lineman into one (Quinton Coples), and bringing in an established veteran (Jason Taylor). But none of these have been successful. None of their low-cost free agents, reclamation projects, or later draft picks have stepped up either.

Tags: Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are in position to be the kings of free agency, with potentially more salary cap room to spend than any team except for the Cleveland Browns. They are already projected to have about $75 million in salary cap space, and that's if they don't make another move.

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New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne breaks up a touchdown attempt to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the free agency frenzy finally begins, the Jets figure to be at the center of the storm. And all eyes will be on how hard they go after the quarterback they so desperately need.

But they have a ton of salary cap space to spend in other areas, including maybe on the 24 players they have on their roster who are approaching free agency. Here's a look at all their free agents-to-be, and their prospects of returning or finding potential riches somewhere else around the league:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brent Qvale, Chandler Catanzaro, Dakota Dozier, Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There are always plenty of receiver prospects who make an immediate impact as a rookie, even in the later rounds. However, the Jets haven't had much success in recent years despite selecting seven wideouts in the last four drafts.

While four of those seven are under contract for 2018 and a fifth -- restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa -- also figures to be back, the Jets got just 15 catches of production from that group in 2017.

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Daily News Live: Jimmy Garoppolo 00:03:54
The Daily News Live crew discusses the impact Jimmy Garoppolo's new contract will have on the deal Kirk Cousins will want.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jimmy Garoppolo just became the NFL's highest paid player, even though he's only started seven NFL games and thrown 12 touchdown passes in four seasons. He reportedly agreed to a monster, five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers -- a record average of $27.5 million per season. That record will be very short-lived.

It's a simple fact of the NFL that the price of franchise quarterbacks only goes up, and in less than five weeks another one will be on the open market. And when Kirk Cousins officially becomes free on March 14 you can bet his deal will eclipse what Garoppolo just got...

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 (Glenn Andrews)
(Glenn Andrews)

In NFL.com's latest mock draft, Chad Reuter forecasted the first three rounds for all teams. With the Jets first selection at no. 6 overall, Reuter has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen.

The Jets take Allen over Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who fell to the Cardinals at no. 15. USC QB Sam Darnold went no. 1 to the Browns and UCLA QB Josh Rosen went no. 2 to the Giants.

Allen threw for 3,202 yards with 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his sophomore season. However, his production dropped this season to 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also suffered a shoulder injury, and was forced to miss the final two regular-season games this year...

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Most of the draft discussions surrounding quarterback prospects have been focused on the consensus top five prospects: UCLA's Josh Rosen, USC's Sam Darnold, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson from Louisville.

However, depending how the offseason goes, the Jets might end up in a situation where they're not in the market for one of the top prospects.

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Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)
Nov 26, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Chiefs have released former Jet Darrelle Revis, the team announced. 

Revis, 32, would have been owed a $10 million contract guarantee if he was still on the roster on March 18. He was signed by Chiefs in November, playing five games, including two starts. 

After the Chiefs' season ended, Revis admitted he wasn't at his best.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers responds to questions from media during OTA at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Kacy Rodgers never got a chance to play in the NFL before he turned to coaching. But now he might be able to give his son the shot that he never had.

The Jets will be signing Kacy Rodgers II, the son of their current defensive coordinator, according to his agent, David Canter. Rodgers II will join the Jets for their offseason program, at least, after two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Rodgers II is a 6-2, 208-pound defensive back out of the University of Miami. In 2014 he was a tryout player at the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp, but didn't stick. He then signed with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos and spent a year on their practice squad before joining the Roughriders...

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Former Jets C Nick Mangold was thinking about starting his political career, and running in his local GOP primary, according to Politico's Matt Friedman.

However, Mangold said Thursday that he will not be running.

Mangold would've been running to replace the retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who represents the 11th District of New Jersey. Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas has spoken with Mangold, and he appears to be serious about running for the position.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) rushes the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Jacksonville won 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

After saying he wouldn't join the Jets for $60 million, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, a pending free agent, told TMZ exactly what it would take to secure his services.

"A hundred Ms," Bell said, referring to $100 million. "Hey, listen to me: I play running back, but they've got to respect me like I am, man." 

Bell, 25, responded to a fan's tweet last week asking what amount of money it would take for him to join the Jets.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another year has come and gone without the Jets winning the Super Bowl. Even the Philadelphia Eagles now have ended their forever Super Bowl drought. If you're counting, that's 49 straight Super Bowls that have been played without the Jets.

Can the 50th time be their charm?

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two years ago, the Jets drafted Darron Lee with their first pick, hoping to shore up one of their inside linebacker positions for the foreseeable future. Over the course of his first two seasons, he's been up and down, but he has retained an every-down role.

Last year, he struggled initially, then played the best football of his career in the middle of the season, only to regress down the stretch. However, there are no indications that the Jets intend to move on from Lee.

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams
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Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)
Jan 27, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad quarterback Josh Allen of Wyoming (17) throw a pass during the second quarter of the 2018 Senior Bowl against the South Squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports (Glenn Andrews)

In his latest mock draft, Todd McShay changed his pick for the Jets, and has them taking Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

McShay originally had New York taking LSU DE Arden Key. However, he had a change of heart as the Jets desperately need to find their franchise quarterback. But he warns not to forget about free agency, where GM Mike Maccagnan will have about $100 million to go after high-profile QB Kirk Cousins.

"Yes, it's a running theme -- this is another landing spot for Cousins," McShay writes. "If the Jets don't sign him in free agency, Allen makes a lot of sense if Mayfield is off the board. There is a significant drop-off in talent after the first four QBs in this draft, so the Jets need to make sure they grab one here. Allen had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, showing off his arm and his mobility. There are still concerns about his accuracy and ability to make multidimensional throws consistently, but all the tools are there. And he has the prototypical QB build (6-foot-4 7/8, 237 pounds)."

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 (Matthew Emmons)
(Matthew Emmons)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Philadelphia Eagles would be absolutely crazy to get rid of Nick Foles now after he slayed the mighty Patriots, and was rightfully named the Super Bowl MVP. Yes, they have Carson Wentz, a legitimate MVP candidate, before he got hurt. And yes, Foles will likely be Wentz's backup again next season.

But didn't Foles just prove to everyone how valuable a backup quarterback on a contender really is?

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

In last year's draft, the Jets used their first two picks on safeties, and Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye started every game alongside one another in the secondary. Those starting roles seem settled for the next few years, but the Jets like to operate out of packages with three and even four safeties, so Todd Bowles may be keen to add some depth.

Last year, Rontez Miles and Terrance Brooks each saw regular playing time, often playing together as the Jets used a four-safety dime package in passing situations. Also, Doug Middleton, who missed the season due to injury, was expected to contribute. All three are now out of contract though, so the Jets may look to fortify their depth in the draft.

While it seems unlikely the Jets would select another safety with their top pick, Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick is a possible consideration due to his versatility. Could Fitzpatrick be like Jalen Ramsey -- a hybrid cornerback/safety who has developed into one of the league's better cornerbacks?

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles
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