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.

BGA is back…and this time it’s preseasonal (again)!

Coming up, part one your breakdown of last night’s 24-21 overtime win over the Giants with detailed analysis of the offensive players, including the obvious talking point of the day.

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

This week’s BGA is going to be two parts, so I’ll be back with the defensive analysis later. For now we’re focusing on the offense.

It’s what everyone has been talking about, a battle that’s been raging on throughout the summer. Should it be the much-maligned veteran whose inconsistent performances belie his high draft spot or the flavor-of-the-month rookie, who most are hoping will be a bargain and of whom we got our first extended look yesterday?

Offensive Line

The OL had an up and down night against the Giants athletic defensive line.

Yes, it’s the battle for the starting left guard spot! With Vladimir Ducasse being given a chance to start only to limp off early in the game, that shone the spotlight on Brian Winters, making his NFL debut following an ankle issue.

So, how did the rookie look? Regrettably, not so hot. Winters struggled really badly and seemed to be the primary reason why the offensive line struggled so much during the game. The Jets managed to rush for a pitiful 39 yards on 29 carries and there was a lot of pressure up the middle.

My initial assessment of Winters, having looked at footage from his college career and the Senior Bowl in particular, where he played guard, was that he was pretty raw and would need some seasoning before he would be ready to start at the NFL level. Many pencilled Winters in as the potential starter and he did seem to be progressing well at camp, based on reports. Missing time due to the ankle injury was without doubt a setback for him and the fact he’s not as far along as hoped should perhaps take that into account. It may also be true that the injury is still bothering him to some extent and maybe that limited his performance.

I can only judge him based on how he performed last night though and there were a lot of plays where he was badly beaten. He was driven into the backfield, failed to sustain blocks, missed blocks in space and got beaten several times in pass protection, including on the play where Geno Smith threw his first interception and a couple more where he was bullrushed into the backfield. Worst of all, he was the guy who allowed his man to get off his block to nail Mark Sanchez and knock him out of the game.

Winters is not a complete lost cause by any means. He showed some flashes of promise on the move and did settle down somewhat once the Giants started resting their starters. On Bilal Powell’s touchdown run, they ran behind him, although he never engaged his man cleanly and it was only Powell’s momentum that enabled him to break the plane. Perhaps his best block saw him pulling to the right and it looked like his man was going to beat him outside, so he flung himself sideways to prevent that. Even on that play it was more a case of effort and desire enabling him to make the block despite bad technique rather than all-round good execution. He deserves a pass because of the time he’s missed and the fact he was thrown into action against a very good Giants defensive line without first being able to get his feet wet against lower competition. Hopefully he can learn and adjust from some of the things that happened in this game.

One interesting observation was that, while Ducasse was in the line-up, they never pulled him, despite the fact he’s proven to be more than capable of carrying out such an assignment. Then when Winters entered in his place, they pulled him immediately on the first play (and regularly thereafter). I wonder if that was playing to Winters’ strengths or could they perhaps not see that as something Ducasse will succeed at on a regular basis? One theory I had is that the Jets were running their more straightforward plays early on, with a view to breaking out some of the more complex stuff as the game went on. If that’s the case, then Ducasse never got the chance to benefit from these tendency breaking runs that might have allowed him to excel. As it happens, he was never quite able to get it going.

Ducasse did make one very good block on the play before he limped off. That may even have been where the injury took place. He cut down a linebacker in the open field to spring Chris Ivory for a nice gain on a screen pass. The line as a whole did block well on the opening touchdown drive too, although mostly in pass protection. However, Ducasse was not faultless by any means. He didn’t really have any dominant blocks in the running game and there was one play where he let his man get off his block, albeit after driving him off the line. He allowed penetration on one play too, although he recovered well to drive his man upfield and out of the play. He was beaten twice in pass protection, once on a play where Nick Mangold came across to bail him out (and, to be fair, it’s possible Ducasse knew he had help behind him and directed his man in that direction). As Bassett noticed this morning there was also one play where both Ducasse and D’Brickashaw Ferguson were beaten on the outside and Geno Smith was nailed high and low (although he did get the throw away).

This goes back to something I’d spoken about last week and that had been a concern since the offseason began. While Ducasse might be individually capable of outperforming the incumbent starter, Stephen Peterman, the chemistry on the line was not as good. I was impressed by the cohesiveness of the line last week and, although Peterman didn’t play as well as Ducasse, I had worried that this would suffer if they made the switch. Sure enough, the chemistry was nowhere near as good and went downhill even further when Ducasse was replaced by Winters.

I wonder if the Jets made a bad mistake here. Ducasse hasn’t had many reps with the first unit but found himself performing well enough to get a shot with the starters, only to find that this had a detrimental effect on the unit as a whole. With most of the starters to be rested next week (one would assume) have the Jets painted themselves into a corner where they’re forced to choose between inferior individual play at the left guard position or inferior cohesiveness as a unit? (Obviously the injury would affect this too, but I don’t know anything about the severity yet).

As for Peterman, after struggling in the first two games, will he find himself back in the driver’s seat by default? (Whether that be by virtue of the injury or just the fact that the line perhaps won’t gel as fast with Ducasse in there). Could a platoon/rotation system be in the cards again, at least until the decision presents itself?

For his own part, Peterman struggled again, but it was difficult to know how much of that to attribute to him being uncomfortable with playing center and how much was just poor play generally. Peterman had one bad snap, although it wasn’t the one Mark Sanchez fumbled. He also gave up a sack on his and Sanchez’s first snap of the game. Peterman doesn’t really look a viable option as the emergency center, although it is very early in the day in terms of the experiment. However, it could be taking valuable preparation time away from someone who might need more reps with the starters, so it’s another tough call.

If Nick Mangold can remain healthy then the backup center is not an issue, but I got the sense he spent most of last night babysitting Winters and this impacted on his own effectiveness. There was a lot of pressure that came right up the middle and he had to save Winters on a couple of occasions, one of which was when the Giants pressurized Smith into an interception. They sent six on a blitz and the Jets had six men in to block, but Winters was the only guy to get beaten and the fact that Mangold had to step across to prevent his man from getting to the quarterback meant that Powell was left with the impossible task of picking up two blitzers at once.

Mangold did make some Mangoldesque blocks in the running game, but he also missed some and seemed to have a lot more on his plate, with rookies to his left and right behind him to worry about.

The other three starters felt the knock-on effects of all this too and none really stood out, especially when run blocking. Ferguson did set the edge well on Powell’s touchdown and, other than the play where both he and Ducasse were beaten for a hit, there was only one other time where he was troubled in pass protection (but he recovered to drive his man upfield at the last moment). Willie Colon allowed a couple of pressures – one as his man stunted around Mangold and another as he was driven back by a bullrush and knocked over. At right tackle, Austin Howard did hold up well in pass protection, but wasn’t as consistent as a run blocker, where he was called for a hold.

On the second unit, JB Shugarts and Oday Aboushi swapped roles and Aboushi looked more comfortable on the right side. On one play he took his man and drove him to the inside on a running play. He did get beaten outside for a pressure though. Shugarts made two errors – one leading to a pressure as his man shot the gap between him and Winters (although Winters was probably equally to blame). On another, he inexplicably gave his man a clean release to easily tackle Kahlil Bell in the backfield. Someone (presumably Shugarts) must have missed a call there, because he blocked that play like it was a screen pass.

Operating at guard again, Caleb Schlauderaff didn’t have much of an impact. On one play he was driven back into the way of a running back on a screen pass. None of the third stringers got to play this week.

Running Backs

Chris Ivory needs more of his yards to be vertical as opposed to horizontal.

With not much going on in the way of run blocking ahead of them, there wasn’t much the running backs could do. Chris Ivory did run for about 100 yards, unfortunately 85 of them were horizontal, as he twice showed some elusiveness to try and make something out of nothing on a busted play, but was unable to break away cleanly either time. He did have a couple of nice runs, a good gain on a screen pass and picked up the blitz well, but there wasn’t any production, highlighted by how he almost got tackled for a safety, just about managing to get out of the end zone.

Powell continues to start and did get in the end zone, as well as making some nice moves on a screen pass for a first down. However, he was beaten a couple of times in pass protection, dropped a pass and almost fumbled as he was ruled down. He also turned a big loss into an even bigger one on a play where he was blown up in the backfield.

Bell also had his best moment as a pass catcher, making a nice move on a screen. He too struggled in pass protection as he was driven into the quarterback on one play. Mossis Madu saw brief action and Chad Spann seems to have fallen back.

The fullback, Tommy Bohanon, had his ups and downs again. His consistency is mostly okay but there were still errors. His missed block led to Ivory nearly getting tackled for a safety and then on the next play he probably picked up the wrong blitzer, leaving another to have a clean run at Smith. There were some good lead blocks and one nice catch, but he’s still as much of a work in progress as most of his rookie counterparts.

Receivers

Kellen Winslow was one of Geno's favorite targets

On a day when the Jets offense racked up 420 yards, despite only managing 39 on the ground, there were obviously some productive outings for some of the receivers. For Stephen Hill, there was good mixed with bad. His four catches were encouraging, with one of them showing the deep separation we’ve been looking for since he was drafted. That exceeds the number of catches he had in the first two games combined. He’s also now drawn three first downs via penalty. However, he lost his cool badly and got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, then fumbled moments later. Nitpicking perhaps, but the long catch he did make didn’t exactly look natural or comfortable either.

The other would-be starter, Jeremy Kerley, had a poor day. After starting off well with a third down conversion, he had two plays you could classify as drops and missed a couple of blocks badly in the running game.

By contrast, Ryan Spadola had a rocky start, but finished strongly. Some will say he shouldn’t have allowed Smith’s first interception to happen, even if the throw was slightly behind him. He bounced back late in the game with three big catches, including the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left and the 70-yard catch and run to set up the game winning kick in overtime. Spadola certainly solidified his spot there, although he did it all against the Giants third secondary which was really bad. On the touchdown, the deep safety overran and basically let the pass fly right past him and on the long pass, Spadola immediately ran downfield and was wide open, so there must have been some kind of a breakdown.

Newest Jet Mohamed Massaquoi saw brief action and made a couple of catches including one where he found an open space downfield after the play was extended. He wasn’t able to get open deep on one pass that was broken up, though.

Ben Obomanu has now had two nice games out of three as he looks to earn a spot. He caught three passes for 56 yards, doing well to get into the end zone for the first score and catching a couple of other first downs including a 24-yarder.

Reserves Zach Rogers, Joseph Collins and Michael Campbell were all targeted at least once. Rogers had two catches.

At tight end, no touchdown for Jeff Cumberland this week and he also had a rough start as a blocker. However, later on he redeemed himself a little with two of the better blocks I saw from anyone on the day. Operating as a left tackle on an unbalanced line play, he blocked his man out of the play and then later set the edge really well.

Kellen Winslow Jr. had a good day in the passing game and was Smith’s favorite target, with four catches. I suspect he got lucky on the diving catch because that may have hit the ground as he landed. He twice caught short passes and had to try to elude defenders to get the first down, managing to go one-for-two in that endeavor.

Backup Konrad Reuland had a quiet game but that’s okay because when he stood out in the earlier games it was often for blocking mistakes. He caught one short pass. Chris Pantale failed to sustain his block on one running play, but he remains ahead of Hayden Smith in the unlikely event that the Jets would consider carrying four tight ends.

So, I guess that’s it for part one, we’ll be back later with … ah, wait a minute. Did I forget someone?

Quarterbacks

Smith’s eagerly anticipated debut didn’t go well. Prince Amukamura did the analysis for me when he said that Smith was locked onto his target all day. (Thanks, Prince). On the second interception in particular, he missed the end dropping off into coverage, which was very Sanchezian. Yes, Justin Tuck was well-hidden behind the enormous Shaun Rogers as the pass was being released, but that’s no excuse. When I saw his first interception, I knew people would defend him and say that it was the receiver’s fault (although Smith was still partly at fault for hitting him in the back hip). However, once you get to three interceptions in one half, that’s too much of a pattern to ignore.

Smith was clearly rattled by pressure, including on the third interception, an overthrow, and showed a disappointing lack of awareness when he stepped out of the end zone for a safety with the Jets up by one. (I would note, however, that this wasn’t a very good play call by Marty Mornhinweg. When close to the end zone, pulling a lineman in play action is asking for trouble – you’re not fooling anyone and it puts pressure on everyone to pick up the right guy.)

There was also a lot of pressure up the middle, for which Smith may have been partially responsible and there were times when he waited for his receiver to make their breaks instead of throwing them open. Most disconcerting of all, he didn’t hit many receivers in stride, despite the expectation that his accuracy would be better than that of Sanchez.

Now, Smith did have some quality moments, highlighted by his penalty-aided touchdown drive in the first half and another good drive to pad his stats after half time. Moreover, there was one area where he was unquestionably better than Sanchez has ever been and that’s in terms of the timing and accuracy of his short passes. Of course, the book on Smith in some circles was that short passes were all he could do, but we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of his game blossoms over time.

As for Sanchez, he wasn’t doing badly against backups – five for six with three first down throws – but there were still mistakes. The fumbled snap was disappointing and his sole incompletion came on a poorly timed screen pass (underscoring Smith’s superiority in that area). On another play, he did complete a screen pass for a first down to the left, but it looked like the receiver in the right flat (Reuland) had way more room to run and Sanchez didn’t see him. The injury obviously messes up whatever plans they had at that point (although the media seemed to have decided the competition was already over).

I won’t dwell on the decision to put him out there with the backups, but one point I haven’t seen made is that maybe it’s good to put him out there with an overmatched offensive line, so that they can prepare him for that situation in the event of a rash of injuries or whatever during the season.

Matt Simms came in and performed admirably again, albeit against a weak third string secondary. He wasn’t as flawless as last week, with a few wayward throws, but his touchdown and long throw to Spadola were spectacular. Next week should be interesting between him and Greg McElroy (who is still nursing an ankle injury), assuming that the third string quarterback job is between the two of them. While Simms has looked good late in games, he hasn’t had experience against starters like McElroy has, so I don’t think you can call either of them a viable starter option at this stage, as impressive as they’ve both been at various times.

So, where does this all leave us?

Last week I received a mixed response to a comment I made on the blog:

Part of me wonders whether Geno running a vanilla offense is that far behind Sanchez in terms of gives-us-the-best-chance-to-win-ocity … That’s if Geno is only capable of running a watered-down version as some seem to be suggesting.
Allow me to re-visit that thought. Ignoring the possibility for the same excuses made earlier for Winters (reduced preparation time, possible lingering effects from previous injury), it did seem like Smith was just not ready. However, we’ve seen Sanchez run “air it out” and “play it safe” versions of multiple different offenses and he’s always struggled to limit the back-breaking mistakes in the “air it out” version, but isn’t accurate enough to move the chains on a consistent enough basis when playing it safe due to his lack of timing and accuracy in the short game. We’ve also seen Smith in a “play it safe” version (week one, after which everyone was asking whether he could perform with the offense functioning fully) and an “air it out” version (last night, after which the answer to that question would appear to be “not yet”).

So…with Smith not ready to run that kind of offense and Sanchez seemingly having worn out his welcome (as well as being hurt to the point that it may force their hand), is there a third option (no, not Simms/McElroy)? Could it be that the best option is a more conservative offense with a shackled Smith sticking mostly to those short plays he excels at and not taking undue risks? It’s a thought, at least.

The downside to this is that it’s going to undermine Mornhinweg, who seems to be one of the best things the offense has going for it right now. You’ll bring people into the box, gumming up the running game, and reduce the number of big plays being made downfield. Why neuter your best asset? However, on the understanding that this would buy Smith the time to gradually install the rest of the offense at a speed with which his comfort level can cope, could this be a workable plan? Maybe not, but to do that and lean heavily on the defense might be the best plan available to them, at least in the short term.

Part two will cover the defense. We'll be posting this tonight.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Chad Hansen is looking to impact the Jets more in his second season, which is why he linked up with his former college quarterback who had great success in his second year.

Rams QB Jared Goff and Hansen played together at Cal, and they both spent time in Southern California working together in preparation for next year. Goff, who had a shaky rookie season, shined in his second year as he led his team to a NFC West division title. 

Hansen wants the same success as his former teammate in his second season, and he thinks he can do so in any role with the Jets. 

Tags: Chad Hansen, Scott Thompson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert and outside linebacker James Burgess bring him down during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe never-ending rebuilding loop that the Jets always seem to be stuck in finally seems to have an end in sight. And they will have plenty of high hopes for the future when the full team reports for training camp on July 26.

Here is Part 1 of what to look forward to when Jets training camp begins, which will be followed by Part 2 on Thursday...

The rise of Sam Darnold

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who comes in at No. 9.

Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley tops the list, which was released by the DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets have brought in a dizzying number of players. In addition to their six draft picks and several undrafted free agents, the Jets have acquired 24 veterans since the league year began. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

24. PK Nick Rose - Rose was brought in as competition at the placekicker position but was replaced four weeks later before he even got a chance to practice with the team.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We start with a look at the running back position.

Probable roster locks

Anything is possible, but the expectation heading to camp is that Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell will assume the top two spots. Powell is the incumbent veteran and a Todd Bowles favorite, so he's certainly expected to at least begin camp as the No. 1.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
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Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Redskins will have joint practices from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 ahead of their preseason game on Aug. 16, and Washington's defense seems to be ready to go after current Jet wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown called out Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with New York after one year with the Redskins, by saying other members of Washington's defense "have it out for him."

"That's going to be something right there," Brown said on "Inside the Locker Room" on Team 980, according to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now ... [head coach] Jay [Gruden] ain't here to protect you anymore."

Tags: Washington Redskins
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Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets S Jamal Adams has never liked to lose, and his father -- former NFL RB George Adams -- gave the perfect anecdote to explain why. 

"As a G.A. Giant, we didnt' lose," George told The Post's Steve Serby as he referenced Jamal's Pop Warner days. "I gave the ball to J., he got the first down, and they came out and measured and then they said, 'No, no, no. We gotta remeasure.' So they didn't give us a first down, so they got the ball and they scored and we lost.

"He cried like a baby. So what I told him, I said, 'That's life. That's football. You're gonna get some people to say one thing and it's another, but the thing is, I'm teaching you how to lose.' And that really just didn't set with him, because he just don't like losing."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Scott Thompson
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Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)
Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)

This offseason, the Jets signed QB Teddy Bridgewater, drafted QB Sam Darnold and re-signed QB Josh McCown. Regardless of who gets to be the starting quarterback, they're going to need someone to throw to. 

WR Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March, certainly believes he can be that guy, after having 'minor' ankle surgery recently.

"Right now I'm healthy and I'm ready to get back to form and have a dominant year," Pryor said...

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General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr., who was just arrested for suspicion of burglary last week, has even bigger problems with the law in his latest arrest. 

Winslow was arrested on Thursday and faces two counts of forcible rap, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure. 

It is unknown whether or not Winslow's arrest last Thursday corresponds to this arrest...

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New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Derrick Jones was considered a bit of a long-term project when the Jets selected him with their final pick in 2017's draft. He's a terrific athletic with excellent size and length, but was considered raw having spent much of his collegiate career as a wide receiver, starting just eight games in total. The Jets carried him on their active roster all year, but he only suited up for three games and didn't get any defensive reps.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Robby Anderson
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A lot will change between mid-June and September 10th, the day of the Jets season opener, but if they were to play that week one game against the Lions tomorrow, Todd Bowles knows who his starting quarterback would be: Josh McCown. 

Bowles also confirmed that Teddy Bridgewater is the current backup, leaving rookie Sam Darnold as the third-string. But all three will have ample time during training camp to change his mind, when "a lot of things count."

"Josh will start come training camp and we will see what happens at the end of training camp," Bowles said after minicamp...

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg visited the Patriots on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Patriots currently have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and rookie seventh-round pick Danny Etling. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots aren't expected to sign Hackenberg, though he remains an option going forward...

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Elijah McGuire the new LT? 00:01:58
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell saying that Elijah McGuire could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson.

Entering his second season in the league, Elijah McGuire is expected to make an impact on the Jets in 2018.

The running back had 377 rushing yards in 2017 but those within the organization see something more in the 24-year-old-- they see one of the best running backs ever: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He has the skillset to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity," Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell said...

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

If there is one player Jets S Jamal Adams would like to emulate in his career, it would certainly be one of the best to ever play the safety position. 

Former Steelers S Troy Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member, changed how safeties were perceived in the NFL. Polamalu wasn't just a ballhawk as his position was normally asked to do, but he was relentless on the blitz as well as run defense. 

Adams says it was Polamalu's smarts along with his physicality that makes him his role model now that he is in the NFL...

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May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This offseason, Jets WR Robby Anderson has been battling numerous legal issues. He has been arrested twice in nine months, but the Jets have had his back throughout this process. 

That doesn't mean the NFL will. 

Anderson, who has one of his two legal cases still in the works, knows the NFL has the jurisdiction to suspend him for his run-ins with the police...

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Darnold impresses at Jets camp 00:03:04
Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates breaks down the performance of rookie QB Sam Darnold at the team's minicamp on Wednesday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold may be a rookie, but his new team isn't treating him like one. 

The No. 3 overall pick hasn't been eased into his new role with the Jets, but rather, the team is throwing everything they can at him. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said the entire playbook has been thrown his way during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. 

The reason? Bates says that's how you see what Darnold can truly handle.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn't get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players' Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy...

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

Over the last few weeks, we've been looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Jeremy Clark spent virtually the entire 2017 on the injured list, which was something the Jets must have anticipated when they drafted him. Clark was recovering from a torn ACL when the Jets selected him in the sixth round, presumably on the basis that he'd have gone much sooner had he been healthy. He was unable to practice at training camp and his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year. However, the Jets were able to activate him at the end of the year and he made his NFL debut in the season finale.

Preseason Stats: Did not play.
Regular Season Stats: One game played.
Projected Role: Back-up cornerback.

Tags: Jeremy Clark
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday.

Hackenberg was traded last month for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 -- a pick the Raiders will now get to keep. 

"I was disappointed in not really giving Christian the opportunity to go to camp," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN. "We felt like we needed to add a couple defensive linemen. We ran out of numbers, and that's not good at that position heading into camp."

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Sam Darnold on adjustments 00:00:32
Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold explains the challenges he's facing while making the adjustment to calling plays in the huddle in the NFL.

Jets QB Sam Darnold on Tuesday shed light on the learning curve he has experienced during his transition to the NFL.

"It hasn't been super easy to adjust but it's all the same plays," Darnold said on the first day of the Jets' mandatory minicamp. "It's just getting used to the different terminology... being able to picture the play in my head when it's called makes it easier to call it in the huddle."

Darnold, the Jets' first round pick this year, earned roughly 20 first-team reps, according to Newsday. QB Josh McCown led the pack with around 20 first-team reps, while Teddy Bridgewater also had a handful of first-team snaps.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets QB's throwing deep 00:00:33
See Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown throwing darts to their receivers at New York Jets minicamp on Tuesday.

Check back here for highlights from the Jets' first day of mandatory minicamp...


The first day of the Jets' three-day mandatory minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, and rookie QB Sam Darnold continues to get some reps with the first-team offense. Throughout the day, Darnold bounced around the depth chart by taking most of his reps with the third team to go along with his few throws with the first team. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Last Thursday in San Diego, California, ex-Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a mobile-home park, reports NBC San Diego's Rafael Avitabile.

A burglary call was made at around 2:30 p.m. by a neighbor in the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

According to Winslow's publicist, Denise White, "An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home." Winslow was later arrested and charged with first-degree burglary as well as being held on $50,000 bail. 

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Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)

Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today. 

Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.

He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do. 

Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

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Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Elijah McGuire had what looked like being a breakout performance against the Jaguars in Week 4, when he racked up 131 yards on 12 touches, including a spectacular 69-yard touchdown run. However, that breakout never fully materialized as he struggled to produce much over the rest of the year, other than the occasional flash. Will he be able to earn a more significant role in 2018?

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Wesley Johnson
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Dylan Donahue will be hoping to bounce back after a rookie season that was cut short by injury and an offseason which saw him dealing with off-field issues. The coaching staff has been high on his potential, but he didn't really get much of a chance to deliver on that yet.

Preseason stats: Three games, four tackles, 0.5 sacks
Regular-season stats: Four games, five tackles
Projected role: Situational pass rusher

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

After the Jets missed out on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency this offseason, the team almost had more cap space than they knew what to do with. 

They gave some of that money to QB Teddy Bridgewater, but they handed the most to CB Trumaine Johnson, who inked a big five-year, $73 million contract with the Jets. 

Johnson played for the Rams his entire career but was free to leave this offseason after the team acquired Aqib Talib, Sam Shields and  Marcus Peters. As the top corner on the market, he had options. But he chose to sign with the Jets to win games...

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are continuing to try and impact the community, as Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, along with QB Josh McCown, LT Kelvin Beachum and former Jets LB Demario Davis, sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for bail reform.

The letter was not only addressed to Cuomo, but also to the speaker of the house and the senate president. It brings up several points that the Jets hope lawmakers will take into account.

 

Some of the points raised are...

Tags: Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum
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