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)!

We're breaking down last night’s win over the Giants. 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’m going to start off today by addressing the long touchdown run on the first play and, more importantly, the Jets response to it. Obviously the play itself was extremely depressing to see. With Garrett McIntyre specifically given the starting role in place of Quinton Coples due to his ability to play the run and set the edge, they ran the ball right at him, blocked him to the inside and took it all the way for a long score. McIntyre wasn’t the only player at fault, you could probably name a handful of people, including (but not limited to) Antonio Allen – who lost contain – and Dawan Landry – who came up too fast and didn’t have the angle to get back. In short, the play was a disaster, but if you can fix what went wrong, then maybe that’s not as disconcerting as if a team was running off the edge for consistent yardage throughout the game.

David Wilson got the best of the Jets early on

Believe it or not, fixing what went wrong was exactly what they did. I’d be very interested to see if they changed their approach as a result of what happened on the first play or if the approach they used was just something which didn’t happen on that first play for whatever reason. Either way it worked.

For the rest of the game, the Giants gained 55 yards on 22 carries and every time they tried to run to the outside, they were forced back inside. What the Jets did differently was to use their inside linebackers to set the edge, therefore forcing the run back inside to where the defensive linemen – the strength of the team – were well placed to make the stop. While I’m accustomed to seeing one linebacker attack the line of scrimmage so that the other is free to roam sideline-to-sideline (aka the Bart Scott approach) or both backers staying at home and then reacting to the run as the linemen take on blocks (aka the When Bart’s Injured approach), this was a different development. The inside backer on that side was making a concerted effort to get outside and upfield and for the most part it worked. As I watched this, I was thinking that this would make them extremely susceptible to a cut-back run, but the linemen did such a good job of working their way downhill that it never happened.

This puts the onus on the other inside backer to try and stay out of traffic so that they can meet the runner in the hole (if there even is one), but having guys like Landry and Allen/Jaiquawn Jarrett who can come up into the box and help out in run support lessens the strain somewhat.

I shall take great interest in seeing whether this approach is something they’ll continue to use, some or all of the time.

Before we get to the individual player evaluations, I also want to talk about game planning. While there’s no question the Jets will be saving some things for the regular season, the Jets – who used a pretty consistent rotation over the first two games – used some specific packages last night that were obviously designed to make life difficult for the Giants. While you expect to see vanilla gameplans on both sides of the ball in preseason, the Jets did some experimenting last night, but were also, I believe, specifically tailoring what they did to the Giants’ strengths and weaknesses in an effort to win the game.

They did one or two interesting things in coverage, for example using their linebackers on slot receivers at the line quite a lot, with the option to press, drop off, pass off to a defender behind them and rush the passer or just slow them at the line and stay at home. However, I was most interested by what they did with their linemen.

Both Sheldon Richardson and Muhammed Wilkerson were used standing up in pass rush situations and not just at the line. Wilkerson lined up as a middle linebacker three times and came charging up the middle very effectively. The first time they did it, Eli Manning noticeably rushed his throw and it was incomplete. The second time, a back stayed in to pick him up and he just drove him back into Manning, knocking him down. Finally, on the third one, they managed to prevent him from getting pressure, but still had to get rid of the ball quickly. Something like that can be great, because the threat is always evident. As long as you don’t use it too much, the offense will have to adjust on the fly and you can probably set some traps for when the oppositions tries to counter it with a screen pass or something.

Anyway, it was anything but vanilla for the Jets on defense – you could tell Rex Ryan wanted this game. Now let’s look at the contributors.

Interior Line

Hey, did you see that new running back the Giants got? His name is “Muhammad Wilkerson”. I know, right, he’s supposed to be a Jets player, but he definitely spent most of the night in the Giants backfield. With constant penetration and a constant pass rushing threat, Wilkerson either directly or indirectly caused several running plays to be stuffed and Manning to be under pressure several times too. Maybe his most impressive play of the night, albeit not flashy, saw the Giants use another lineman to help out the first lineman and then a back to help him too, but Wilkerson just slipped between the three of them like an eel to generate a pressure.

I mentioned how some of the way Richardson is playing reminded me of the way Wilkerson played as a rookie last week. (Aside: That’s the sort of comment that, if Ryan said it, would be used by some beat writers as a condescending “Rex thinks Richardson is as good as Wilkerson” punchline for the next few years, probably until it became apparent that – even if he didn’t say it – it was becoming true. I’ve already witnessed some fans responding to one beat writer’s tweet by saying that he looks like a bust). Anyway, I want to expound upon my thought from last week.

Over the past year, we’ve looked at the development curve of Quinton Coples through a prism of having seen Wilkerson develop one year ahead of him. Essentially, Wilkerson was great against the run with flashes as a pass rusher in his rookie year and Coples was great as a pass rusher with flashes against the run. So, with Wilkerson developing into a more rounded player in year two, making plays in both disciplines, the hope is that Coples will do the same thing in his second season. All on board with that so far? Hopefully.

There’s one major difference though. Maybe it’s just a product of having pass rushing as a specialism, but Coples seems to make a higher proportion of impact plays – a sack, a big hit, a tackle for a huge loss or whatever – but also has more mistakes or negative plays where his blocker gets the better of him than Wilkerson. So, while Wilkerson is much more consistent in terms of good plays versus bad plays, Coples is more inconsistent, but makes more of an impact with the type of good plays that he makes. Still with me so far? Good.

Now, what’s incredibly exciting about Wilkerson is that he’s ramping up those impact plays and making more and more of those, while still keeping up a high standard of consistency. The Jets are recognizing this and setting things up for him to succeed wherever possible. Coples will continue to make impact plays and hopefully improve his consistency as he goes along. Which brings us to Richardson. Richardson reminded me of Wilkerson because he was consistently making positive contributions with not many errors. So, I put him on the Wilkerson developmental curve. However, yesterday, he showed a few tantalizing glimpses that maybe he’s going to make some impact plays too.

Richardson had his first sack on an explosive burst into the backfield. That didn’t look like an aberration, as he added a hit and a pressure later on. Remember, Wilkerson only had three sacks as a rookie and wasn’t very productive in terms of pressure. Richardson still contributed in the running game too blowing up a run in short yardage and getting in on a tackle at the line and his desire to chase down plays is phenomenal. His game ended prematurely but he’s not seriously injured and definitely looks set to be a big contributor this year.

They weren’t the only two high level performers on the line, though. Perhaps the main beneficiary of the force-back-inside run stopping philosophy was Damon Harrison, who once again filled in at nose tackle with Kenrick Ellis out. Mostly by simply holding his ground and leveraging his way into the path of the cutback lane, Harrison got in on a series of tackles at or near the line of scrimmage. He actually led the team with seven tackles, including one where he sniffed out a screen pass and another where he was completely unblocked and able to pull the runner down in the backfield. Harrison actually missed three tackles too, but that’s a sign he was getting off blocks to slow the runner down for his teammates. He even had a pressure as a pass rusher. As I said last week, the Jets have a viable replacement in place if Ellis misses any time during the season. In fact, if he plays like this, Harrison will deserve to split time and maybe even challenge for the starting role.

Leger Douzable was another high level performer on the line. He got plenty of additional reps once Richardson left the game and played well into the second half. He had a sack, a hit, a batted pass and a couple of pressures as a pass rusher, but he is best known for his run stopping and he got plenty of penetration to blow up runs as well as getting in on a tackle near the line and one in the backfield. He was blocked out of a play right near the end of the game, but was otherwise difficult to criticize. While he did do a lot of this damage against backups, plenty of it came earlier in the game too. He looks like being a strong contributor this year too.

Antonio Garay has had a quiet preseason so far, but he started to show some signs last night. He got some good penetration on a couple of plays, drawing a holding penalty and got off his block to stuff the runner at the goal line on third down. Garay did allow himself to be driven off the line by a couple of double teams, but he is starting to pick things up.

I’ve already spoken about being impressed with Junior Aumavae and he once again got in on a couple of run stuffs in this game. However, Tevita Finau is making a late charge too. He got good penetration on a couple of plays and had a sack and a pressure. I did not see Lanier Coleman out there.

Edge Rushers

As noted, Garrett McIntyre was caught inside on the first play, but he didn’t let it happen again, keeping contain well on a couple of other plays, including one where he made the tackle himself for a short gain. He was one of the guys they employed in coverage a lot, which is something they have done before with him in preseason. He did give up a first down on a short pass and didn’t generate any pass rush.

Calvin Pace also failed to generate any pass rush, although he did make a couple of good plays against the run and was able to stay with his man on a throw to the end zone. Antwan Barnes didn’t make much of his extended playing time though, not really making any kind of an impact.

Working with the second unit, Ricky Sapp was double teamed a ton, but was getting off blocks much better this week and generally causing a nuisance. He hit the quarterback once and beat his man to get into the backfield on three other occasions, but the pass was released before he could get there. More enticing was his play against the run, where he made two good stops at the line. The first saw him diagnose a play and shoot a gap into the backfield to force the runner back inside, then trip that player low for no gain. The other saw him chase a play down from the backside and make a tackle for a short gain. If that’s somewhere he can contribute, it could put him in line for a bigger role.

Some of the third stringers made an impact this week too. Troy Davis blew by a running back for a hit and then had another one negated because he accidentally hit the quarterback’s face mask. Jacquies Smith had a pressure and a cheap tackle for a loss after a fumbled snap. He also dropped into coverage a couple of times, getting beaten once, but doing well the next time on an incompletion. Finally, Sean Progar-Jackson broke up a pass.

Linebackers

After their disappointing performances last week, David Harris and Demario Davis made much better contributions this week. Maybe the edge-setting role was something that will work well for this tandem. Harris was blocked out badly on the touchdown run at the second level, but managed to stay clean most of the time this week. He created a pressure by driving his man back into the quarterback and stuffed a run as he was unblocked. Davis helped to blow up a screen, stuffed a run for a short gain with a big hit near the goal line and pressured Manning once. He did get badly driven out of a play by a tight end on one play, but otherwise put forward a disciplined performance.

The second unit employed the same approach to stopping outside runs, with Nick Bellore contributing to keep contain on one play. He also stuffed a run and had one pressure, although he was blocked out of one play at the second level.

Danny Lansanah made some noise with a couple of nice stops and a forced fumble. He also blew up a screen and almost made an unblocked tackle in the backfield that ultimately led to a run being stuffed by his teammate. However, he did have some issues in coverage, getting beaten for a first down on one play and showing poor awareness on another.

Jojo Dickson got some playing time, but didn’t manage to make an impact.

Cornerbacks

Keep that head on a swivel, Kyle Wilson!

Dee Milliner missed this game, but so did Ellis Lankster. After the last game, where Milliner was poor but Lankster played great, it will be very interesting to see where they stand on the depth chart. The Jets should have enough depth that they don’t need to play Milliner if he’s not 100% ready. Lankster apparently has a minor foot issue and was rested as a precaution.

Of those that did play, that meant an increased role for Darrin Walls and Kyle Wilson. Of the two, Walls had the better day. Wilson was flagged for pass interference three times and beaten for a long catch by Hakeem Nicks. He was in position on one incompletion, but overall was disappointing, with the old problem of not getting his head turned around seeming to return. Walls, on the other hand, was in pretty good position on five incompletions, one of which he broke up, and made a good play in run support. He wasn’t flawless though – on one of those five plays he didn’t get his head turned around either and was pretty physical with the receiver, so was lucky not to get flagged. He was also beaten a couple of times on third down, although one was dropped.

There’s not much to say about Antonio Cromartie. He was challenged deep once, but in perfect position. He was blocked off the edge on the opening touchdown run, but otherwise couldn’t really be faulted for anything.

Bassett noted Isaiah Trufant’s gutsy performance this morning and also described him as the NFL version of Hit-Girl on twitter, which I thought was great. Trufant is very willing in run support and was in on several plays here and also displayed a neat spin move to register a pressure on a blitz from the slot. He did get beaten for two first downs, one on a play where he was badly fooled by a double-move, though.

I was interested to see Royce Adams get some decent playing time towards the end. You may recall that, until he was injured in camp last year, Adams was 5th on the depth chart and looked set to make the roster. Adams broke up two passes and made a good open field tackle to force a punt. He did get beaten for two catches – one for a first down and one for 17 on 2nd and 22 as he was backed off. I liked what I saw from him though.

Safeties

After his poor start to the game (losing contain on the Wilson touchdown), Allen had his ups and downs. He was in position in coverage a few times, made a nice open field tackle and almost forced a fumble, but he was badly burned by Nicks for what should have been a touchdown. He gave up one other first down, but he was in a pretty good position on that play. It’s a little disconcerting that nobody has really stepped up at the “other” safety spot so far.

Relegated to second team reps, Jarrett made some good plays – a run stuff near the line, an open field tackle and a fumble recovery. He displayed pretty good recovery speed on one coverage play but was beaten on another and bailed out by a drop.

Landry didn’t do too well on that opening play either, but settled down and made some good contributions, breaking up a pass on fourth down and getting in on a run stuff near the line.

Finally, Josh Bush almost (and perhaps should have) made a diving interception on a tipped pass but gave up a first down in zone coverage.

Special Teams

A rough night for the kicking competition

This wasn’t a good week for special teams, what with all the missed tackles and missed field goals (whether or not they counted). However, there was one sparkling play I wanted to highlight. After Simms touchdown pass, he was flagged for excessive celebration and the Jets, protecting a three-point lead with two minutes left, were forced to kick off from their 20. Billy Cundiff unleashed a monster kick that was fielded by the return man a couple of yards deep into the end zone. However, you’d worry that he out-kicked his coverage on that play. Not so, as Adams got down there before everyone else and forced the return man to change direction by clattering into his lead blocker and knocking him flying. The next man down, Bret Lockett, broke the return man down and Rontez Miles followed up to trap him so that Lockett could get him down inside the 15. The Giants still tied the score, but that was a great play when the Giants probably expected to get the ball at about the 40.

Cundiff also managed to make the winning kick, but can’t have impressed when he missed it initially with Tom Coughlin trying to ice him. Of course, Nick Folk had already missed both in the same situation moments earlier, so maybe Cundiff has a lead now.

After missing last week, Robert Malone is probably back in the lead in terms of the punter battle, especially following a horrible shank by Ryan Quigley.

The coverage units missed Lankster. Sapp, Miles, Demario Davis and Lockett all made good tackles, but Jarrett, Bush and Troy Davis all missed tackles.

On the kick return unit, Mike Edwards didn’t help his cause by fumbling and Chris Pantale had a bad missed block. Wilson didn’t look that good returning kicks and the punt returners (Jeremy Kerley and Zach Rogers) didn’t make much headway.

Finally, for those of you interested in the long snapper battle, Pat Scales got in on another tackle this week, but also had one bad snap that Robert Malone did well to rescue.

Conclusions

I was extremely concerned by the run defense after the first play, but as noted they seemed to fix this pretty sharply so I feel a lot better about the run defense now. The potential on that line is incredible and if there are some weaknesses elsewhere on defense, you can still be very successful when your line is elite. There’s no better example of that than the Giants themselves over the past five or six years.

Of course, the big story is whatever happens at the quarterback position, but also to a lesser extent the left guard, backup center and number three quarterback. I’m not convinced the safety position is set yet, either.

Next week is the Bollinger Bowl, so named not as a slight to the caliber of players that will be getting the reps, but as a tribute to Brooks Bollinger’s fourth quarter heroics (three late TD’s to overturn a 27-7 deficit) in the same fixture back in 2005. It’s my favorite game of the year, but this year there is still much to be settled.

If you enjoyed this, buy Bassett and Bent's Season Preview. Details here.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

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Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson says head coach Todd Bowles has been more strict than in the past, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. 

Bowles has been left with a young team following the Jets' roster purge that including veterans like C Nick Mangold and LB David Harris. With his job possibly in jeopardy, he has been putting emphasis on working harder.

"It's completely different from the last couple years," Richardson said at minicamp. "A lot more strict now. We weren't loose [in the past], but it's a lot more strict now. It's even more enforced than what it has been in the past."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan for his alleged role in a nightclub attack that took place on April 2, according to TMZ Sports.

Mauldin, who is also being sued in civil court, was not arrested or charged after the incident. The Jets said earlier this month that they're aware of the lawsuit but had no further comment.

An NFL spokesman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that the league is looking into the incident. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former Jets LB David Harris has agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots worth $6.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Patriots offered Harris more than the Jets offered him earlier this month prior to his release, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Harris visited with the Patriots on Wednesday after speaking with head coach Bill Belichick (and coaches from five other teams) earlier this week, notes Florio.

Tags: David Harris
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Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)
Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)

The Jets were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last year, finishing the season wtih just 27 sacks, and only 5.5 of them coming from the team's outside linebackers.

Todd Bowles brought in former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene as New York's new linebackers coach, and Greene has already expressed optimism towards his young group of players.

"The sky's the limit for all my kids," Greene told Daniel Popper of the Daily News. "I'm teaching my kids technique and fundamentals not based on athletic ability and skill. It's based on physicality. It's based on drive and desire and want-to and being a student of the game. ... All my kids can really be as good they want to be."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

The Jets have signed former Bears WR Marquess Wilson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Wilson only played in three games last season as he was on the IR with a broken foot. He is a big target, standing at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and will add some competition before training camp begins.

In four seasons with the Bears, Wilson played in 31 games, hauling in 56 receptions for 777 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets new running backs coach, Stump Mitchell, believes RB Bilal Powell has Pro Bowl ability, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Mitchell has been impressed with Powell since joining the Jets this season, and he thinks if he didn't have to share time with another back, he has would attain Pro Bowl status. 

"Bilal is a Pro Bowl back if he was playing by himself, make no doubt about that," Mitchell said at minicamp.

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin

Projected Backups: Dylan Donahue, Josh Martin

Tags: Deion Barnes, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets minicamp 00:02:24
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson
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Former Jets LB Larry Grantham dies at age 78: Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets' only Super Bowl team in 1969, died on Tuesday at the age of 78. Apart from being a Super Bowl Champion, Grantham has been enshrined in the Jets Ring of Honor as well. 

Elsewhere in New York sports the Mets dropped a slugfest to the Dodgers, the Yankees lose their top prospect to injury, and the NBA draft is just two days away. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Jets' roster purge and commitment to begin rebuilding this season earned them a "C+" offseason grade, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

As the offseason is normally used to rebuild rosters, the Jets tore theirs down thanks to move made by owner Woody Johnson. Among the roster cuts were LB David Harris and WR Eric Decker, which saved the Jets almost $14 million in payroll alone. C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis were also part of the 11 veterans the Jets go rid of this offseason. 

Cimini said the grade should be worse considering the Jets now have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but looking at the big picture, the Jets are acknowledging their rebuild and will have $80 million to work with next offseason.

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starter: Matt Forte

Projected Backups: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
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GEICO SportsNite: Larry Grantham 00:00:26
Michelle Yu reports on the passing of former Jets linebacker Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets Ring of Honor, who was 78 years old.

The Jets announced former LB Larry Grantham, a Ring of Honor member and Super Bowl III champion, has died at age 78.

Grantham opted to join the AFL's New York Titans despite being drafted in the NFL by the Baltimore Colts in 1960. The Titans became the Jets in 1963, and Grantham would stay with them until his retirement in 1972. 

He was the starting linebacker for the Jets' Super Bowl III championship team where he called all the plays on defense. Grantham played in 175 career games, and was a five-time AFL All-Star and a five-time all-NFL selection. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets receivers 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa to discuss his expectations for himself and the young receivers for the upcoming season.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa after the conclusion of Jets minicamp to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  (Bill Wippert/AP)
Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is now a Tennessee Titan after agreeing to a deal on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Jacob deGrom homers, the Yankees drop their sixth straight, Bradley Wright-Phillips scores twice and the Rangers, Islanders and Devils announce their protected players list ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft. 

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Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Decker, 30, played 33 games with the Jets over the past three seasons, totaling 163 catches, 2,183 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Decker had appeared healthy entering organized team activities in May after he missed 13 games last season due to rotator cuff and hip injuries.

New York released him last Monday when they were unable to find a trading partner. The Jets will face a $1.5 million cap hit this year and next after releasing Decker.

Tags: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

RB Matt Forte says the Jets aren't tanking the season, despite the fact that they've cut the majority of their veteran players this offseason.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said, according to The Record. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

The Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have cut Brandon MarshallEric DeckerDavid HarrisDarrelle RevisNick MangoldNick Folk, and Breno Giacomini since the season ended. They also declined their option on Ryan Clady.

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's really quite an accomplishment for the Jets to come off a disappointing and perhaps disastrous 5-11 season and find a way to get worse. But they did it. They purged their roster of most of their veterans and replaced them with untested, unknown players. They're playing the long game, even though their short term looks rather bleak.

Who knows if they're "tanking" with their eyes on a top draft pick next season? Maybe they're just acknowledging the need to experience short-term pain for long-term gain. Whatever it is, there isn't a lot of hope for the 2017 season. Their eyes are on 2018, or perhaps beyond.

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Rookie Marcus Maye on minicamp 00:01:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

The Jets selected Maye in the second round of Apri's NFL Draft.

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Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Thursday there is no frontrunner for the srarting quarterback job. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees lose in extra innings, Juan Lagares is injurede in a Mets loss and the Giants ink their first-round pick. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:10
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.

Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.


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

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wants to stay with the team for the rest of his caeer, but is not open to giving a hometown discount. 

The Jets, who finished 5-11 last season, are entering a rebuilding phase. But Richardson wants to be a part of it.

"A lot of guys just want to go jump on a bandwagon," Richardson told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News earlier this week. "Older guys. Later in their career, it's easy to go jump into a good situation. It's a free market, so by all means, do your thing. But me personally, I like to make history, not be a part of it."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insinuated the team's starting QB is job still up for grabs, noting Thursday that there is currently no frontrunner.

The Jets, who are expected to turn to Josh McCown as their starter, have also been giving reps to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

McCown, 37, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million this offseason.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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New York Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis (56) comes away with a fumble recovery during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Steven Ryan)
New York Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis (56) comes away with a fumble recovery during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Steven Ryan)

Jets linebacker Demario Davis took a $2.7 million pay cut in order to help facilitate the trade that brought him back to New York, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

Davis, who was set to earn $3.7 million in the final year of his contract, will now make $1 million this season. This includes a $100,000 signing bonus and a $900,000 base salary. He can also earn $1.225 million in incentives. 

Davis re-structured his contract at the time of the June 1 trade. 

Tags: Demario Davis
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 (Julio Cortez/AP)
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates said he was impressed with Christian Hackenberg's passing in minicamp. 

Elsewhere, Yankees lose and Mets win their respective rubber games and Joe Girardi would have no problem with Aaron Judge in the Home Run Derby.

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GEICO SportsNite: New York Jets 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest from the New York Jets training facility as Quincy Enunwa talks about his new role in the offense.

 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite evidence to the contrary, Jets quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates has been impressed with Christian Hackenberg's passing in minicamp, according to Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News. 

Bates, who previously coached the team's quarterbacks in 2005, likes the precision of Hackenberg's passes thus far at camp. 

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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson, who struggled in 2016, said he's ready to rebound this season.

"I want to pretty much have one of my best years ever," Wilkerson said Wednesday, according to the NY Post. "I plan on being dominant."

The 27-year-old Wilkerson, who signed a five-year deal worth $86 million before last season, had 4.5 sacks, 58 tackles, and one forced fumble in 15 games. He had ammassed 12.0 sacks in 2015.

Wilkerson said the leg he broke during the final game in 2015 was strong enough to play on last season, but that it impacted his performance. And he bristled at those who suggested he was mailing it in.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets QB Christian Hackenberg has been making lots of awful throws this spring -- first during OTAs and again on Tuesday when minicamp began.

A few of the team's beat writers tweeted during OTAs that Hackenberg had been hitting those on the sidelines with errant throws. On Tuesday at minicamp, one of those throws was filmed...

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown (15), Christian Hackenberg (5) and Bryce Petty (9) work out during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown (15), Christian Hackenberg (5) and Bryce Petty (9) work out during NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Josh McCown is still standing in front of Christian Hackenberg for the starting quarterback role. 

Elsewhere, Odell Beckham Jr. speaks, and the Yankees and Mets both have their respective win streaks snapped. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:02
Darron Lee, Lorenzo Mauldin and Leonard Williams are surprised by the Jets' decision to release David Harris and Eric Decker.

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It doesn't seem to make any sense that the Jets are rebuilding and going with young players at every position, but they will almost certainly be led by a 38-year-old quarterback. Everywhere else, the Jets purged their roster of veterans so the young players could get an unimpeded opportunity.

Yet McCown, who has no viable future with the Jets beyond this season, still stands in second-year pro Christian Hackenberg's way.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets quarterback Josh McCown said he has been working with younger quarterbacks Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty in the team's mandatory minicamp this week.

The veteran 37-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the Jets this off-season, said Hackenberg and Petty have often asked him questions as they continue to learn the quarterback position.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wasn't afraid to voice his disapproval of the Jets cutting veteran LB David Harris, per Manish Mehta of NY Daily News. 

Jets owner, Woody Johnson, made the call to cut Harris as he looks to shed payroll for the upcoming season. Upon hearing the news, Richardson said what many were most likely thinking. 

"It shocked the s--t out of me," Richardson said. "It is a business. But after a while it don't become a business. Dave wasn't (greedy). I know him, so I know he would have taken something (a fair and reasonable pay cut). I know he wasn't busting nobody over there. He don't want to play for free, either."

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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Former Jets WR Kenbrell Thompkins is among 12 players trying out for the Jets at minicamp Monday, per AP's Dennis Waszak. Jr.

Thompkins, who didn't play in the league last year, spent the 2015 season with the Jets. He played in seven games, hauling in 17 receptions for 165 yards. 

Other notables on the list are former Jaguars RB Denard Robinson, veteran WR Dexter McCluster, and RB Bobby Rainey, who spent time with the Giants last season. 

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (16) runs the ball during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson (16) runs the ball during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at EverBank Field. (Reinhold Matay)

Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson is trying out with the Jets at minicamp this week, Robinson's agency announced on Twitter Tuesday morning.

Robinson carried the ball 41 times for 144 yards last season, appearing in 14 games for the Jaguars.

In four seasons in the NFL, Robinson has rushed the ball 263 times for 1,058 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, with five touchdowns. The 26-year old back has added 47 receptions for 310 yards, all during the last three years.

The former Michigan quarterback had a tryout with the Bears last month, but left without a contract.

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New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs on the field for the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs on the field for the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

After failing to find a trade partner, the Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker on Monday. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees and Mets continued their winning streaks, and made selections in the MLB Draft, 

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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams celebrates with defensive end Sheldon Richardson after Richardson's tackle against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams celebrates with defensive end Sheldon Richardson after Richardson's tackle against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon

Projected backups: Sheldon Richardson, Lawrence Thomas, Deon Simon

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:34
New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins discusses his role in the Jets offense and his mindset heading into camp.

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets released wide receiver Eric Decker on Monday after they were unable to find a team as a trading partner.

"We think very highly of Eric. Our focus right now is seeing our young players, how they do," GM Mike Maccagnan said earlier this week in a press release.

New York had reportedly discussed trading Decker to the Baltimore Ravens among other teams, however were unable to eat enough of Decker's $8.75 million cap hit for 2017 to make the numbers work, according to SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano.

Tags: Eric Decker
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Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Todman returns a kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Todman returns a kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets are expected to sign running back and kick returner Jordan Todman to a contract, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Todman, 27, recorded 59 rushing yards on nine attempts in 16 games last season for the Indianapolis Colts. As a kick returner, he totaled 16 returns for 478 yards, including a 99-yard return for a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in Week 9.

A sixth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, Todman played 33 games with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2012 to 2014 and played 11 games with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. 

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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

The old battle cry from venters that "You can't tell the players without a scorecard" has never felt more appropriate than it does now, heading into the Jets' full-team minicamp. So many familiar names and faces are gone. Really, almost every familiar name and face is gone.

The Jets might want to consider handing out nametags, too.

For better or for worse - and yes, it's likely for worse - the Jets get their first, full look at the purged roster that GM Mike Maccagnan has assembled when their three-day minicamp kicks off on Tuesday morning. They have so much work to do - work that likely won't be completed until 2018, or perhaps later - and so many questions to answer.

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 (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starter: Josh McCown

Projected back-ups: Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

The Jets have announced they have waived LB Randell Johnson.

A seventh-round pick by the Bills in 2014, Johnson didn't record a stat with the Jets last season, only playing in a single game. 

Johnson played two seasons with the Bills, recording five total tackles and one fumble recovery in 15 games. 

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 (Mike Dinovo (USA Today))
(Mike Dinovo (USA Today))

Recently-retired QB Jay Cutler said he 'balked' at the potential of signing quickly with the Jets this offseason before the team signed Josh McCown.

Cutler was contacted by the Jets soon after being released by the Bears but wasn't ready to make up his mind on his next move.

"I kind of balked at that because I didn't really want to jump into anything," Cutler told Adam Schefter of ESPN earlier this week. "Whether they would've offered me a contract or that it would've worked out, I have no idea. That's something the Jets know more than I know."

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Spencer Paysinger heads onto the field before a game against the San Diego Chargers. (AP)
Spencer Paysinger heads onto the field before a game against the San Diego Chargers. (AP)

The Jets have signed former Giants and Dolphins linebacker Spencer Paysingerthe team announced Friday morning.

Paysinger spent the last two years with the Dolphins, appearing in 29 games (three starts) and recording 83 tackles. 

The 6-foot-2, 249 pound Paysinger joined the Giants as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons in New York, and was a part of the Super Bowl XLVI championship team.

In his six NFL seasons, Paysinger has played in 91 games (17 starts) and has racked up 157 tackles on defense and 70 more on special teams.

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