Welcome to Bent's Game Analysis, which 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.

We're breaking down yesterday's win over the Falcons. Part one is here. In part two, we're focusing on the defense and special teams.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle.

I'd imagine most people were pleased with the defensive performance this week, but the Jets actually gave up 40 more yards than they did in the loss to the Titans last week. They also surrendered 26 first downs and allowed Matt Ryan to complete 80% of his passes, but most disappointingly of all, they seemed to lose the ability to tackle after half time, with 14 of their 16 missed tackles occurring after the interval. Fatigue played a noticeable role, perhaps contributing to those missed tackles in the second half.

The Falcons entered the game struggling in the red zone, but ended up scoring four touchdowns on five trips with the only failure coming when the clock ran out on them even though they had first and goal at the one. Maybe the red zone defense is something that the Jets need to shore up somewhat too.

However, for all their struggles stopping some of the Falcons' high-powered weapons, the Jets won matchups up front and made life difficult for the Falcons while also, at last, forcing a game-changing turnover and underlining their playmaking potential by almost forcing several others. While they gave up 363 yards, that was actually 35.5 yards below the Falcons' average entering the game.

Interior Line

In the trenches the Jets had their way with the Falcons for the most part. Unlike most of the previous games so far this season, several different Jets saw themselves double teamed, but that strategy didn't pay off for Atlanta as everyone else dominated when single-blocked.

Sheldon Richardson had a particularly interesting game, as he actually got off to a really bad start. He was driven off the line by a couple of double teams early on and then blocked out of a play where the Falcons converted in a short yardage situation. However, he was outstanding in the second quarter, exploding up the middle for a sack, blowing up a run with a tackle in the backfield and making the tackle on the Jets' goal line stand to end the half. In the second half, he went from strength to strength, swatting a pass, bullrushing Justin Blalock into Matt Ryan's lap and shedding a block to stuff another run. He did miss a couple of tackles though, although one was negated by a penalty.

Damon Harrison had to deal with a few double teams in this one, which of course frees up those around him to make plays. I marvel at his efforts to keep fighting to get off the block, which usually ended with him leveraging his way back into the path of the runner and limiting the yardage surrendered. There were two plays where he was driven off the line by a double team, but when single-blocked he made a positive impact as ever, including one play where he burst into the backfield to trip the runner for a loss. Harrison also got some good push as a pass rusher, getting in Ryan's face twice.

Behind Harrison, Kenrick Ellis continues to be extremely productive despite not playing much. In just 10 snaps, he blew up a run in the backfield, got crucial penetration on the Jets' stop at the goal line, stood up his man on another short yardage play and, perhaps most impressively of all, collapsed the pocket by bullrushing against a double team on third and one. Harrison is currently behind just Ndamakong Suh, Jurrell Casey and Gerald McCoy in PFF's NT/DT rankings, but Ellis is number two on a per play basis, behind just Jonathan Hankins of the Giants. If you combine Ellis and Harrison's grades, that beats Suh, Casey and McCoy's grade despite the fact they've combined to play at least 44 fewer snaps than each of them. In other words, the Jets can claim that they are getting the best nose tackle play in the NFL right now, especially against the run.

However, it was the star of their defense, and one of the main reasons the nose tackles are grading out so well, that without question shone brightest of all last night. Muhammad Wilkerson drew a holding penalty and had a strip sack, two pressures, two tackles in the backfield and two other tackles on plays that went for a short gain. If he could have just got a finger on that shovel pass to Jason Snelling, it would have been pretty much a perfect performance and on a big national stage, too. I can't get my head round how Jon Gruden kept saying he is going to be a star like he'll become even better than he is right now. Is that even possible?

Last but not least, Leger Douzable got the Jets their first turnover since opening day when he recovered a Ryan fumble forced by Wilkerson. Douzable also had one pressure, but did jump offside on another play.

Edge Rushers

It was a disappointingly quiet performance by Quinton Coples in terms of impact plays, leading some to question how far along he is in his recovery from his ankle injury back in August. However, there were flashes from Coples, who definitely played his part in terms of drawing plenty of attention from blockers. Early in the game, he beat the right tackle handily with an inside move and the back had to come across and pick him up. That was important, because it established the threat and that led the Falcons to dedicate extra bodies towards stopping him at various times. Coples did get close to pressuring Ryan three times, only for Ryan to make a quick throw, and then on the one time he broke free and hit him, there was a penalty on the backend coverage. In the second half, he did look like he started to tire, playing 60 snaps overall.

Against the run, Coples came up big at the goal line, shooting a gap into the backfield to blow up the run on the last play of the half. He did come too far upfield on Jacquizz Rodgers' first touchdown run, although to some extent it's his assignment to get upfield and force the run back inside and there were bodies there, they just failed to make the play with Jaiquawn Jarrett getting initially blocked and then missing an arm tackle when he got off the block at the last moment and Darrin Walls overpursuing to the inside and losing contain.

One interesting factor this week was his role. Throughout preseason and, to an extent since he's made his return, Coples has been on the outside on rushing downs and inside on passing downs. However, when the Jets went to a four man front on passing downs, that was when Coples was usually rested with Richardson and Wilkerson (and sometimes Douzable) used inside. Coples played just six reps inside overall, which would usually be where he generates some of his pass rushing production.

Those who misunderstand his role within this defense will point to the fact that he was just standing on seven plays as a sign that the "transition" to "linebacker" is not being implemented, but he was the primary weakside rusher more than half of the time, just opting to put his hand in the dirt on most of those reps. He dropped into coverage just four times and there was a mix-up on one as he re-routed Tony Gonzalez at the snap and then dropped off underneath, but the fullback ran out uncovered to the flat for an easy first down. That may have been Antonio Cromartie's responsibility though, because he dropped off with the wide receiver who was already covered and then came up late to make the stop.

Antwan Barnes had an interesting performance, which sadly ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury. Newday's Kimberley Martin reports that she heard it was "just a tweak" although Rex Ryan said he didn't have an update yet, but it "didn't look good". If he's expected to be out for any length of time (and perhaps even if he isn't), I would anticipate that the Jets will bring back Ricky Sapp who was waived last week in a numbers move that was always likely to be temporary. Barnes was only credited with one pressure and no tackles, but actually got close three other times. His best highlight was definitely this though...

With Barnes hurt, the Jets turned to Garrett McIntyre who had three pressures in the fourth quarter, one on the outside, one on a stunt up the middle and one as he flushed the quarterback from the pocket.

Linebackers

David Harris and Demario Davis certainly filled up the stat sheet, with Harris' 14 tackles representing his best output since Thanksgiving Day in 2009 and Davis adding eight tackles of his own. However, neither graded out too well, in large part due to the success the Falcons had passing the ball over the middle. Harris and Davis gave up a combined 13 catches on 14 targets and had three penalties between them (and although #56 was called on two of these, it actually looked like all three should be on Harris). Harris also had three missed tackles, including one that led to a first down on a third and three play and, moreso than in recent weeks, was blocked out of a few plays including on both of Rodgers' touchdown runs. Davis was more disciplined as he didn't miss any tackles, but he was blocked out of one play that went for decent yardage by a pulling guard.

While they found themselves on the end of a lot of negative plays, there's no question that they each had a tough assignment, often having to deal with Tony Gonzalez (who has 22 catches for almost 250 yards in the last two weeks), but also having to pick up crossing routes from the Falcons' speedy receivers in zone coverage. With Matt Ryan in a nice rhythm and finding the gaps in the zone defense, they were always going to be on the wrong end of some plays. At the same time, there were plenty of positives with Harris making seven of his tackles close to the line of scrimmage, including one big hit in the flat for a loss. Davis shot a gap to make a tackle in the backfield, stuffed one other run and took out the lead blocker on a couple of plays that were stopped.

Cornerbacks

There's a lot of interest in Darrin Walls' performance this week. He didn't play too badly in coverage but he did make a mistake on Rodgers first touchdown run and also had a missed tackle on a cutback run that went for a solid gain.

Overall, he was targeted nine times and gave up six catches for 42 yards. While he did give up a 12 yard catch on third and three, four of these plays saw him close quickly to restrict the gain to between seven and nine yards. That actually benefited the Jets, who seemed to fare well in second and short situations all day long, often because the Falcons were tempted to run it and then unsuccessful in doing so, leading to a third down situation. The other catch he gave up saw him make a terrific play, closing to cut down Harry Douglas for a loss. He actually gave up two other catches, but both were negated by penalties, one on the Jets and one as his man pushed off.

It could have been a much better day for Walls, who stepped in front of a rare errant pass by Ryan and could have returned it the distance but dropped the potential pick. He had another two passes go off his hands, but these were tougher - one over the shoulder as Ryan was hit as he threw and one which was more of a well timed pass breakup on a throw to the end zone. Based on everything I've seen from him so far, Walls does not have very good hands. He also dropped an easy interception against the Chargers last season and dropped an easy pick six with the ball right in his hands when with the Falcons a couple of years ago.

Antonio Cromartie had quite the battle with Julio Jones in this one, but also had to play plenty of zone coverage, which he appeared to struggle with at times. Cromartie stayed with Jones on a deep ball, as Jones wanted a pass interference call because Cromartie had a hand on his shoulder as he tried to stay with him. Later on, Jones got a step on Cromartie deep, but Cromartie was able to recover well enough to disrupt the catch and the ball fell incomplete in the end zone. Then on a throw to the outside, Jones was ruled to have pushed off, but on the next play Jones beat him deep for a 46-yard one-handed catch, despite Cromartie's interference this time. He had a couple of missed tackles and was too far off on a couple of other catches, but he showed great hustle to make a touchdown saving tackle after Jones recovered Roddy White's fumble. Cromartie's best coverage play of the day saw him break up a pass in the end zone, but that was negated by a flag on Harris.

Off the bench, Kyle Wilson drew the Gonzalez assignment a few times, giving up a first down on 4th and one. He also got lucky on an earlier play near the goal line where Gonzalez ran the exact same route, but this time the pass was offline because Jarrett hit Ryan as he threw it. Each time, Wilson was right with Gonzalez, but couldn't prevent the fourth down catch and likely wouldn't have been able to do much about the potential touchdown pass either. Wilson also got lucky when a pass near the goal line was off Douglas' fingertips. Overall, he gave up four catches on six targets, but limited the damage to 22 yards with good tackling (although he did have one missed tackle). He was badly blocked out of the play at the second level on Rodgers' long touchdown run though.

Ellis Lankster was in for a few plays and gave up a catch to Gonzalez on a play where he covered him about as well as you could. On another play, Gonzalez got away with a push off and made another catch. Lankster's physical play does make him a viable option to cover tight ends in certain packages, but I'd still like to see him get more conventional reps than he is.

Safeties

One interesting wrinkle from this game was that Josh Bush got some significant playing time for the first time in his career. He was in for 25 snaps, having only previously played 20 snaps in his career. He made an immediate impact, jarring the ball loose downfield for what should have been the Jets' first turnover since week one, only for Dawan Landry to misfield it, tripping Davis over in the process. He gave up one first down and had a missed tackle, but did make a crucial touchdown saving tackle on a wide receiver screen at the goal line.

Rex Ryan said that Jarrett started this game for matchup reasons, but that Antonio Allen should return to the starting lineup this week. Jarrett bears no resemblence to the player who started for Philadelphia two years ago, making rookie mistakes all over the place and hardly any positive contributions. Here he had a forced fumble of his own, assisted on two tackles near the line and hit Ryan to disrupt his throw on a blitz up the middle in the red zone. In the second half, he did give up a couple of first downs because he was too far off in zone coverage and he failed to stop Rodgers on his first touchdown as mentioned above, but Jarrett is certainly making his presence felt out there with some big hitting and no major mistakes so far.

Allen still did play 16 snaps and had three tackles. His best moment on defense saw him make an open field tackle inside the five.

Finally, Landry had a bad missed tackle downfield on Rodgers' long touchdown run and was beaten for a touchdown in coverage. He did have one other missed tackle and gave up one other short catch on 2nd and 20. There were some positives though, as he was productive in the pass rush, pressuring Ryan four times off the same blindside blitz. He also helped Bush make the stop at the goal line. It would have been a better day for him if he secured that fumble recovery though.

Special Teams

This was definitely the best game so far on special teams, with Nick Folk's game winning field goal, long returns by Clyde Gates and Jeremy Kerley, each of which led to a touchdown and Allen's blocked punt on the first series which helped to set the tone. Aside from his perfect field goal kicking so far, Nick Folk added another five touchbacks to give him 17 on the year. In 2012, he had 12.

Give McIntyre credit too, because he had a crucial tackle following the blocked punt. That would have been a big blow if the Falcons managed to convert the first down off the rebound. He did have one missed tackle in coverage though. Konrad Reuland and Isaiah Trufant made the key blocks on the two big returns, although Reuland later had a missed tackle too. Nick Bellore did a solid job in coverage, with two tackles and Lankster forced a fair catch.

If I have one minor quibble, it's that Ryan Quigley had an underwhelming game as a punter. He'll have to improve quickly if he wants to quieten his quitics. Er, critics.

Conclusions

An exhilarating win for the Jets should be tempered by the fact that although it's the third game they've won this year, they nearly blew it in all of them. However, given the fact that this team wasn't even supposed to be competitive, they're already exceeding most people's expectations and it's clear that there is still some room for growth and some signs of life in those areas.

Up next is a home game against the winless Steelers, which I'll obviously be here to preview on Sunday morning. Naturally the Steelers have their issues so far this season, but they're no pushover and the Jets have shown that they can be inconsistent and shoot themselves in the foot, so they can't afford to take this one lightly.

If you have anything you'd like me to take a closer look at or any other questions for me, leave them in the comments section of either BGA post, tweet them to @Bent_Double or email bentdouble@gmail.com and I'll respond in BGA Extra on Wednesday.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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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 coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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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)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

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The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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GEICO SportsNite: Sam Darnold 00:03:53
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the impressions of Sam Darnold at the Jets minicamp and Jeane Coakley speaks with Todd Bowles about the young QB.

Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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