It's not just the Jets players that will need to get to grips with a new system this season. The hire of Marty Mornhinweg means that after I spent last year familiarizing myself with Tony Sparano's concepts and tendencies, I've now got to get a handle on the Jets' new offensive system.

Obviously, I don't have access to the playbook (not that I'd be able to share it even if I did). Nor will I need to get anywhere close to the level of understanding as any of the players on the team (especially the quarterbacks). I just wanted to get an idea in advance of some of the approaches Mornhinweg takes and how that corresponds to our ideal of a prototypical west coast offense. It will also be interesting to cover some of the main differences between the scheme and those run by the Jets over the last few years. I've also been on the look-out for any quirky patterns or unusual aspects.

To that end, I've been watching footage of the Eagles offense from 2012 and 2011 and after the jump I'll take a look at some of the plays that are staples of Mornhinweg's offense, together with details of some of the things I noticed about his play calling and game planning.

Before I even start, I'll direct you to a piece Mike Nolan did for Turn on the Jets. Although this was written back in January before many of the personnel changes on the offense were undertaken, it still serves as an outstanding primer in terms of how the running game works and what the Eagles were looking to do in the passing game. This saves me having to go over old ground. As ever, exclusive data from PFF has been used in my article.

Coaching set-up

The first thing worth noting is that Andy Reid always had some level of involvement in the offense, so before we even start to break down what the Eagles did over the last few years, we must consider that there may be elements of that offense that will be enhanced now that Reid is out of the picture and others which might not feature as heavily, if at all. While this is one of those things that is impossible to accurately discern, the fans' perspective seems to be that the Eagles ran a more run-heavy offense when Mornhinweg was running the show, but would tend to pass more when Reid got heavily involved. Reid ceded play-calling duties to Mornhinweg during the 2006 season, but his direct involvement in offensive game planning has apparently been intermittent since then.

In many respects, this creates a similar issue to that of last year, where we were trying to evaluate Tony Sparano's offense without knowing which elements of that offense came from the offensive coordinator and which ones came from the head coach. Of course, this time, the roles are reversed and it's the coordinator that is bringing his offense to the Jets rather than the head coach. Reid and Mornhinweg do have very similar offensive philosophies in terms of scheme, but that doesn't mean they don't have different philosophies in respect of game planning and play calling.

So, we're flying blind to an extent, but just bear in mind that Mornhinweg's scheme will evolve slightly without Reid's influence. Of course, Rex Ryan may have his own offensive beliefs that will impact strategy and the personnel available to Mornhinweg is also going to become a factor in that.

Running game

Without getting too deeply into blocking schemes, I think it's safe to say that Mike Devlin's role as offensive line coach will be to implement Mornhinweg's system, so we can expect them to use the same kind of blocking schemes. Devlin - a former NFL offensive lineman who played in multiple systems - was an offensive line coach for two years at Toledo, but they ran a spread offense, so this will be somewhat different. Mornhinweg favors a zone blocking scheme, but it isn't a pure zone scheme as they do run some gap-blocking plays. You might see one or two players pulling to the outside at times.

Zone blocking, when coupled with a lot of stretch runs, dovetailed nicely with what the Eagles would do in the passing game. A lot of their runs involve all (or most) of the linemen moving in unison, so that enables them to run play action looks by creating a moving pocket. As the action flows in one direction, the angle of the handoff usually dictates whether or not the runner will have a cutback option, which is also something which features heavily. If everyone is on the move to the outside and the defense is moving laterally trying to avoid getting caught on the inside, then this can lead to a downhill surge which - if all goes to plan - causes most of the front seven to overrun the play. The runner might need to slip one tackle at the point of attack in order to get into the open field, but it's an effective misdirection play for Mornhinweg's offenses.

This reminds me of a similar misdirection play that was a staple of the Brian Schottenheimer offense, particularly in 2010. That play - termed "the swerve" - operated with similar zone blocking principles upfront. The main difference being that I wouldn't often anticipate the Eagles to have run this type of counter out of a I-formation. Here's an example of the swerve in action.

I wouldn't expect to see the "blast" play too often under Mornhinweg. That was the other staple play of the Bill Callahan running game and Sparano inherited it and made use of it last year. That play involves the left guard pulling to block a defensive end coming off the opposite edge, opening a gap over right guard. Sparano's best running play last year was probably the trap which usually involved Austin Howard pulling in behind the right guard and leading the way up the middle. Again, I didn't see the Eagles run this play.

With the risk of a counter keeping the front seven on their heels and to the inside, that should open up the possibility of runs to the outside. With that action flowing to the outside, if the tackle can get to the outside shoulder of the player with outside contain, then he can drive them to the inside and allow the running back to turn the corner. Usually you end up with a read-and-react situation where someone will maintain contain on the outside, but the blocking motion will enable one of the linemen to drive their guy out of his lane and the runner, having started off running parallel to the line of scrimmage, must anticipate and hit that hole.

One other aspect of the offensive line that the Jets have used in recent years has been an unbalanced line. I would assume that Mornhinweg sees this as unnecessarily complicated because it is not something the Eagles have tended to do. The only adjustment they made to their regular five starters was on the goal line, where they would often go with six linemen. In those situations, they used Todd Herremans - a starter at tackle - as the extra tight end and put the extra lineman in at tackle.

Passing Game

Jets fans should be familiar with a west coast offense, having watched Paul Hackett's version of one from 2001 to 2004. This was considered a dink-and-dunk offense, especially with Chad Pennington running it. However, whether Pennington adapted his game to fit that conservative style or the offense just operated better with him playing that way is unknown. No doubt Pennington's shoulder injuries - although the first of those came in Hackett's final season - and Herm Edwards' conservative nature were factors too.

Mornhinweg's west coast scheme has typically been more expansive. In fact that's another area where he apparently differs from Reid, who is thought to favor a dink and dunk approach. However, the concepts remain pretty much the same. Short, high-percentage throws spread the defense out and give the receivers a chance to make plays in the open field, with a lot of throws down the seam and deep shots down the sideline mixed in to stretch the defense vertically. Quick passing can alleviate the pressure on the quarterback, help him to get into a rhythm and make the offense slightly less predictable. However, it does require the quarterback to make decisive reads and accurate throws, two areas where Mark Sanchez lost confidence last year.

As has been widely noted, Mornhinweg's offenses have thrown a lot of screen passes. (Note: A screen pass is defined as any pass caught behind the line of scrimmage for these purposes). My previous studies on screen passes here and here revealed that the Jets don't throw the screen pass as much as most other teams and that they weren't too successful when they did. However, in 2011, they threw more and dramatically improved on how effectively they ran them for most of the season, only to then overuse the screen pass over the last few games with disappointing results, as defenses were well prepared to stop it.

To update the research for 2012, the amount of times that Sanchez threw a screen pass went back down again under Sparano, to 7% of the time - even less than in 2010. He also had miserable numbers of 65% completions and five yards per attempt. Three of Tim Tebow's seven passes were screen passes, but netted just two yards and Greg McElroy threw five screens in 31 attempts - for 58 yards. As you'd expect, the Eagles ran screen passes much more - 17% of the time in total. The Eagles completed over 90% and gained 5.7 yards per attempt.

Another key staple for the Eagles is the throw down the seam to the tight end, usually Brent Celek. I mention this mainly because I watched a lot of Kellen Winslow Jr. highlights last night and that seems to be his bread and butter. If Winslow can earn himself a contract in mini camp, then he could fit well into that stretch-the-field tight end role. If not, it's also a route Jeff Cumberland has seen plenty of success with.

As noted above, the Eagles would use a moving pocket and the fact that they get rid of a lot of quick passes to alleviate some of the pressure on their young quarterbacks. It's also worth looking into whether there was any difference between how they protected the experienced and mobile Mike Vick in contrast with the younger, more inexperienced Nick Foles.

There was one major difference - they left tight ends in to block a lot less with Foles in the game. In Vick's 10 starts, the Eagles left a tight end to block approximately once every five plays and a back in to block about the same. However, in Foles' six starts, while they again left a back in once every five plays on average, they only left a tight end in 31 times - less than once every 15 plays. In fact, in week 14 against the Bucs, backs stayed in to block 23 times and a tight end never stayed in to block. Having said that, there is a possibility that DeSean Jackon's absence was a factor in this and the Eagles wanted Brent Celek running more routes. For comparison's sake the Jets left tight ends and backs in to block about 25% less than the Eagles did last year.

Play calling tendencies

One thing I noticed about Mornhinweg - ignoring the fact that run/pass ratios might have been warped by how closely Reid had been involved with the offense in any given week - was that he seems to have a meticulous approach towards developing tendencies. The Eagles offense provides for many staple plays which can involve misdirection and the Eagles aren't afraid to run a play several times, perhaps with limited levels of success, to set something else up. For example, if the offensive line all starts moving to the right in unison, that could be a stretch run to the right side, but there's also the possibility of the quarterback faking and throwing the ball while on the move in front of a moving pocket. Also, there's the cutback option. If a runner goes to the outside three times in a row, then that's where you might get the offense anticipating a given play and the possibility of exploiting that with a tendency breaker.

Under Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets set a lot of things like this up, but there was a Wile E. Coyote-esque quality to Schottenheimer, who seemed reluctant to revisit a well-thought out plan that had previously failed. Often, it would seem like this was a play which caught out the defense and would have worked but for one person making a mistake they ordinarily wouldn't or some other example of poor execution. As for Tony Sparano, I criticized him last year for running misdirection plays impatiently - without having set them up well enough with a developed tendency first.

What I saw from Mornhinweg was a willingness to make a play (or even just a formation or some other kind of wrinkle) a key feature of an offensive game plan one week and then you might not see it again for three weeks.

Let's look in detail at such a play. An ideal tendency-breaker and referred to as Mornhinweg's favorite running play in Nolan's article linked above, the sprint draw is a perfect example, because they ran it four times in the opening game, then hid it for a few weeks, before re-visiting it later in the season to great success. Here's how they lined up:

The first key is that the two tackles, rather than moving forward, or laterally, immediate drop back into a pass protection stance, such as you might expect to find on most running plays.

Vick sprints back to hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy. That's important, because he's getting the ball further away from the line, so he has more time to make his reads than on a conventional draw play, where he'd already be on the move and it might be harder to change direction. The center, Jason Kelce, folds behind the right guard as each guard blocks a defensive tackle. Kelce's season ended after week two, which might be another reason they stopped running this play for a while.

A lot of the sprint draws the Eagles ran were designed to go right up the middle, as the ends hopefully rush the outside and get too far upfield. This enables the tackles to peel off and block someone else at the second level. However, in this case, Jabaal Sheard (#97) has inside leverage, so he gets pushed to the inside and McCoy, by virtue of the depth of the hand-off has time to make that read and take the outside lane instead. This could be a built-in read in case the end tries to shoot the gap into the backfield or by design if he is prone to doing that.

You can see Kelce emerging from behind the right guard to get into position to prevent D'Qwell Jackson (#52) from getting across to blow up the play. Had Sheard rushed outside then the run could have gone up the middle instead with Kelce getting onto Jackson earlier. As it happens, Athyba Rubin (#71) drove his man back and stretched the play out well, but not quite well enough to prevent Kelce from still being able to get to Jackson in time.

McCoy heads into the open field where he is one on one with Eric Hagg (#27). That's a mismatch and the play goes for 22.

This play creates a lot of other options. Since Vick is on the move as he makes the hand-off, he can fake the hand off and roll out effectively. In fact, the Eagles typically use a lot of these rollouts to set up the sprint draw rather than the other way around. Finally, here's an example of where they set up in a similar manner (albeit from the shotgun), but passed the ball to McCoy instead for a touchdown.

The death of the wildcat?

Something I haven't seen speculated upon is whether the Jets are still going to run a wildcat-style package this year. There was some discussion that they'd been working with some direct snap plays at OTA's and even though Tony Sparano and Tim Tebow are gone, Ryan has long been a proponent of these packages. Also, the Jets hired David Lee to be the quarterback coach and he was the offensive coordinator when Arkansas re-introduced the wildcat on a national scale and made it popular again.

First of all, when I say "Wildcat" I don't really mean the "Wildcat" per se. "Wildcat" has become a generic term to represent any formation where someone other than the quarterback takes the snap, so I'm going to look into whether Mornhinweg uses such formations, not just the classic wildcat with the second back lined up out wide and running a jet sweep.

The short answer is not very much. At least not over the last two years. However, when you have an athlete like Vick at the quarterback position, you can run designed quarterback runs and option type plays, which is something the Eagles did a lot in the red zone. So perhaps they would have used more "wildcat" if they didn't have a guy like Vick as their starter.

It's not something they've abandoned altogether though. In 2011, they signed Ronnie Brown, who was one of the main guys involved in Miami popularizing the wildcat at the NFL level. Sure enough, they went with Brown at quarterback and Vick at receiver on one early season play:

Brown went straight up the middle and the Rams were all over it, with two guys stuffing him for a two yard loss. That would be the last such play they ran with Brown receiving the snap, although he only played one more game that year anyway, so they may have planned to use it more.

The following week, they went with an actual wildcat play:

This time it was Jeremy Maclin taking the snap and LeSean McCoy did come across on a jet sweep.

However, rather than turning the corner, he pitched the ball back to Vick who was able to look downfield.

On this occasion, Vick couldn't find an open receiver and ended up scrambling for seven yards. They ran exactly the same play in 2010 and got 37 yards out of it. See that play here.

In week three they ran another gadget play with Vick at wide receiver. This time, Bryce Brown was effectively the quarterback and McCoy lined up just beside and in front of him.

However, at the snap, McCoy stepped in front of it to "intercept" it and run over the right side. The play went for a short gain and that was basically it for wildcat-style plays in 2011.

In 2012, they avoided them until Foles' second start. They then ran a similar play to the one above. This time Foles was in the shotgun and Brown "intercepted" the snap and ran outside. The Eagles ran this play four times in that game, but it was the only time all season they used it, so that's a good example of Mornhinweg working a "feature" play into his offense for a particular opponent. The first three times they ran it all gained more than five yards (32 in total), but the last one went for a loss.

It does look like Mornhinweg has experimented with some of these packages and will be amenable to working them into his game plan at times.

Conclusions

This isn't supposed to be a comprehensive look at the Mornhinweg offense, but hopefully gives some insight into certain elements and I'll leave it to you to discuss how well certain players on the Jets' new-look offense will fare in the comments.

Mornhinweg has had some good statistical success over the years, but his offenses haven't always worked as well as hoped. Last year, the Eagles beat the Ravens 24-23 early in the season, but only scored more points than that one other time. Much like Sparano last year, the main challenge for Mornhinweg is going to be to overcome weaknesses in personnel and find a way to ensure execution is better than over the past few seasons. He has a good pedigree and this could be a chance to turn his career around because he's still associated with his disastrous stint as Lions' head coach.

It may be time for Mornhinweg to empty the playbook and throw the kitchen sink at this challenge. If so, that's going to be fun to watch. As to how much success he's going to have, that remains to be seen.

That's it for this week's BGA. However, I'll be back if the Jets sign any of the mini camp tryout guys with the relevant scouting details.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Loud Mouths: Is Bowles the guy? 00:06:24
Marc Malusis, Jon Hein and Willie Colon talk about whether Todd Bowles is the right man for the job.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets weren't just bad last season, they were downright dysfunctional at times. Todd Bowles knows it. Everybody knows it. And the Jets coach expects that to change.

Just don't expect him to drop the hammer on his players, or tighten the rules on what at times appeared to be his loosely-run ship. Bowles, as a former player, understands that stuff happens. And he doesn't plan on taking control with some draconian approach.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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PHOENIX - Todd Bowles came to the Jets as a defensive guru, but he plans on making the struggling Jets offense his project this year.

The third-year Jets head head coach promised that he will be "heavily more involved" in all aspects of the offense this season during an hour-long interview at the annual AFC Coaches Breakfast on Tuesday. He didn't say his decision had anything to do with the fact the offense ranked 26th in the NFL last season, or that he'll be breaking in a new offensive coordinator in John Morton.

He said it's all just part of his "evolution" as a head coach...

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Do the Jets need Hackenberg? 00:04:25
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether the Jets should settle for Christian Hackenberg as their starter or target a QB in the draft.

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PHOENIX - Todd Bowles has declared he will hold an "open competition" at quarterback this summer between the three quarterbacks on his roster, and maybe even a fourth one from the draft. He did not promise veteran Josh McCown the job when the Jets signed him, and he wouldn't say his experience gives him any edge.

All of them will have an equal shot to be the Jets' Opening Day starter. And that's the right approach. It's also the only thing the Jets coach could do.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets have signed OL Jonotthan Harrison to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday. 

Harrison, 25, played in 13 games for the Colts last season, including four starts.

He played 31 of 32 games for the Colts from 2014 to 2015, starting 19.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson is in Arizona for the NFL owners meetings, along with his brother Christopher, according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

The Jets owner declined to talk to reporters on Sunday.

Woody Johnson has long been expected to be named the ambassador to the United Kingdom in President Donald Trump's administration, although the president has not yet formally announced the appointment.

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Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)
Josh McCown led the Browns down the field on their initial drive. The drive stalled after McCown's fumble in the end zone, and the quarterback suffered a concussion on the play and did not return. (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan wouldn't say if Josh McCown will be the Jets' starting quarterback this season - that, he insisted, is a decision for coach Todd Bowles. But he did say that McCown can still be a good quarterback, even as he closes in on 38 years old.

"I know he's had some injuries this past season, but the season before he played and actually did some good things for Cleveland," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday. "I still think he has good football left in him. We do think he has the ability to play and perform if needed."

The Jets signed McCown to a one-year, $6 million contract last week, with another possible (but unlikely) $7 million in incentives. Maccagnan said that the 15-year vet - a journeyman now on his eighth NFL team - was under consideration from the start of free agency, even as the Jets sorted through all their other options.

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Should the Jets trade down? 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses whether or not the Jets should trade down so they can acquire more draft picks.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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The Jets were so intent on acquiring more draft picks that just three weeks ago Mike Maccagnan insisted the Jets were "open for business every round."

Now it sounds like he means every round except the first.

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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

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One year after using a second-round pick on quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he "potentially" could draft a quarterback again. And no, he insisted, that wouldn't mean he's admitting a mistake on Hackenberg.

It would just be another step in the long process of finding "the right quarterback for this team."

"I don't think taking a player at one position is a referendum on another player," Maccagnan said on a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon. "I think the goal is to put together best roster you can. Of course quarterback is a very, very important position in this process. But I wouldn't necessarily view it as a referendum."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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DeShone Kizer highlights 00:01:19
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Notre Dame quarterback and NFL Draft prospect DeShone Kizer.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Only time will tell if the Jets are serious about taking a quarterback in the first-round of the draft, but in the meantime they certainly are doing their homework.

The latest proof of that is the NFL Network report that they've already held a private workout with DeShone Kizer, the Notre Dame quarterback considered to be one of the top three quarterback prospects in the draft. That explains why Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles skipped Notre Dame's Pro Day on Thursday and were both at Ohio State's Pro Day instead.

The Jets also have a private workout scheduled with North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who revealed that "secret" to reporters at his own Pro Day earlier this week. And while it's not known if the Jets plan to do the same with Clemson's DeShaun Watson, it seems likely that they will...

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

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The NFL's free-agent signing period is open, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates on what the Jets are doing with their own free agents and with free agents from other teams, and for updates on their available salary cap space and contract numbers.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Brian Bassett is joined by SNY Analyst and former New York Jet Willie Colon for an all-new podcast, as they cover all the angles of the Jets rebuild - including Josh McCown, the future at running back, the state of the defense, and whether or not Todd Bowles will be around to see it all through.

Click below to listen!

 

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after sending a large contingent to North Carolina to watch quarterback Mitch Trubisky at his Pro Day, the Jets rolled out their big guns for the Pro Day at Ohio State.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles were both in attendance at the Buckeyes Pro Day, according to reports out of Columbus, Ohio, along with representatives of every other NFL team -- including Giants scouting director Marc Ross. Maccagnan and Bowles were surely taking a close look at cornerback Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker -- two strong candidates for the Jets to take with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

And for what it's worth, they chose a trip to Columbus over a trip to South Bend, Ind., where Notre Dame was holding its Pro Day on Thursday. The star of the Fighting Irish showcase was another quarterback -- DeShone Kizer -- who could go in the first round (though likely not as high as 6)...

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

WR Quinton Patton has signed with the Jets, the team annnounced Thursday.

He had visited with the team this past weekend.

Last season, Patton recorded 37 catches for 408 yards with the 49ers.

Tags: Charone Peake, Quincy Enunwa
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Jamal Adams highlights 00:01:05
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of LSU safety Jamal Adams.

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Now that the big-money part of NFL free agency is over, teams have begun increasingly focusing on the NFL draft, and their first-round targets are becoming a little clearer. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27:

1.) S Jamal Adams, LSU - From the beginning, I've been focused on a cornerback for the Jets in this spot and Marshon Lattimore sure is a possibility (see below). But after free agency, it's clear that safety is the Jets' biggest unfulfilled need. No, they didn't do big things at corner either, but they have young players they liked and they added some potential in Morris Claiborne. At safety, though, they don't have much after striking out on Tony Jefferson in free agency. Calvin Pryor is in the last year of his contract and Marcus Gilchrist could be a salary cap casualty after the season. The 6-foot, 214-pound Adams is the best at his position in the draft and could be the leader of the Jets' secondary for years. (Last report: 2)...

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Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

TE Mychal Rivera has agreed to terms with the Jaguars, reports Jeff Darlington of ESPN.

Rivera visted the Jets on Monday, according to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports.

Rivera caught 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown in 13 games with Oakland last season. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson took to Instagram to refute a recent report that he is out of shape. 

In a video posted to his Instagram story, Wilkerson is seen running on a treadmill while sarcastically responding about his conditioning. 

"They say I'm fat and out of shape," he said. "Ha-ha. Keep sleeping on me. I'm telling you."

Wilkerson was referencing an article by the Daily News' Manish Mehta from last week. In the piece, Mehta quotes unnamed scouts who said the 27-year-old looked out of shape when he attended the Temple Pro Day in Philadelphia.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)
Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the third quarter in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. (Kirby Lee)

Mel Kiper's third Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting Alabama tight end O.J. Howard with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Kiper notes that if the Jets are going to go with Josh McCownBryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback, they are going to need someone to catch passes, and at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds, Howard is Kiper's top-ranked pass-catcher. While his numbers were not staggering at Alabama, Howard "has all of the athletic attributes of a top-tier player, though, and he was one of the most impressive prospects at the combine."

Howard caught 45 passes for 595 yards and three touchdowns last season. In his four years at Alabama, the 22-year old accumulated 114 receptions for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns.

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DNL on new Jets quarterback 00:02:51
The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown.

The Daily News Live panel breaks down the Jets new man under center, journeyman quarterback and ex-Brown, Josh McCown. 

 


Weighing the Jets QB options 00:01:15
Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets' quarterback quandary after signing Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One day after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets' search for their quarterback of the future continued in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Jets had a group of scouts and coaches -- reportedly including new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates -- in attendance there on Tuesday for the University of North Carolina's Pro Day, where the star attraction was Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky. And they're interested enough in the 22-year-old that Trubisky told reporters the Jets have set up a private workout with him, too.

The Jets currently are slated to pick sixth in the upcoming NFL draft and Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson are the only quarterbacks most NFL scouts and talent evaluators consider to be potential Top 10 picks. Some don't think any of the quarterbacks are Top 10 worthy, which means they could be available if the Jets decide to trade down.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Josh McCown 00:01:28
Taylor Rooks talks with SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano on the Jets signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Josh McCown is not the New York Jets' quarterback of the future, but neither were any of the other quarterbacks available on the free-agent market. There was no ideal answer to the Jets' biggest question.

But McCown is the perfect player to get them closer to the answers they need.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Eli Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The No. 1 priority for the Jets heading into this offseason was unquestionably to find a quarterback. Nothing else came close. Without a quarterback, nothing else really mattered. The Jets were desperate.

Or so we all thought.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)
(Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports Images)

Writer/director Spike Lee said it's "fishy" that free agent QB Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, mentioning the Jets among the teams that could use Kaepernick.

"The New York J-E-T-S Need A Quarterback," Lee wrote on Instagram. "Who Is The J-E-T-S Quarterback? Is My Man Joe Willie Namath Coming Back? Crazy Times We Live In."

Lee, who recently had brunch with Kaepernick, added that Kaepernick being unsigned "stinks to the high heavens."

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Chase Daniel (10) runs past New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent quarterback Chase Daniel will visit with the Jets on Monday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Last Monday, Daniel asked the Eagles for his release after they traded for veteran QB Nick Foles.

The 30-year-old backup quarterback visited with the Saints over the weekend, but left New Orleans without a deal.

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GEICO SportsNite: McCown 00:00:53
After reports that QB Josh McCown left his visit with the Jets without a contract, Ray Lucas discusses if signing the veteran is a fit.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets' latest search for their quarterback of the future could be nearing a temporary conclusion. And if it is, they'll have yet another short-term answer to the franchise's biggest problem.

Josh McCown, a 37-year-old journeyman free agent, continued his visit with the Jets for a second day on Saturday, according to an NFL source. The two sides are serious enough about each other that they've discussed contract parameters, the source said. Indications were that his visit was going very well.

That seems to position McCown as the leader of the dwindling pack of Jets' quarterback options. The Jets are also interested in former Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, according to a source, and though he was expected to be brought in for a visit that has not happened yet. A team source confirmed the Jets have no interest in ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and beyond that the market is extremely thin.

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CB Morris Claiborne has signed with the Jets, the team announced. 

It will be a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to multiple reports.

The 27-year-old Claiborne had 26 tackles and one interception in seven games last season for the Cowboys.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
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On the latest edition of Timeout with Taylor Rooks, former Jets QB Geno Smith sits down with Taylor to discuss his time with the Jets and his decision to join the Giants.

"I will always kind of have that regret because I wanted to do so many things for that franchise.....I'm not a quitter, I don't like to lose and I don't like to give up on things. Sometimes in business you have to go your separate ways."

Click below to listen...

 

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrambles away from Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze)

Free agent QB Josh McCown will visit the Jets on Friday and Saturday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed. 

McCown, 37, recently visited with the Cowboys.

He completed 90 passes for 165 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions in five games last season for the Browns...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Smart or Disappointing 00:02:19
Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing off season

Marc Malusis and Dan Graca discuss if the jets had a smart or disappointing offseason.

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Jets making right moves in FA? 00:03:37
The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.

The Daily News Live panel debates whether or not the Jets have been right in their approach to free agency so far this offseason.


 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets claimed defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers in February, only to let him go a month later. Now they are bringing him back again.

The 25-year-old Pennel has signed a one-year deal with the Jets, his agent, Andy Simms, confirmed on Twitter. The former Green Bay Packer will be in the mix this summer to make the team on the Jets' crowded defensive line.

Pennel was once seen as a promising player. The 6-4, 332-pounder even started five games with the Packers in 2015. But his career took a bad turn last season when he was suspended twice -- for the first four games and then the last four games -- for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Let me get you started with the questions, because I know the big one that's on everybody's mind:

Q: What are the Jets going to do at quarterback?

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Quincy Enunwa's breakout year was another example of how the former sixth-round pick has exceeded expectations. And in the NFL, young players get compensated for doing that.

To no one's surprise, the 24-year old receiver led the Jets in performance-based compensation from the NFL for the second straight season, pocketing another $327,637 for his 58-catch, 857-yard season. The annual bonus distribution is a way for the NFL and NFL Players Association to make sure that lower-salaried players are compensated for excellent performances, without counting against a team's salary cap.

In 2015, Enunwa pocketed nearly $300,000 in performance-based pay, giving him about $625,000 in bonuses for the last two seasons. His salaries for those two seasons were slightly more than $850,000 combined, so his bonuses equated to about 74 percent of his base pay...

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Rontez Miles, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) carries the ball ahead of San Francisco 49ers strong safety Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been suspended by the NFL for two games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, the team announced. 

Late last September, Seferian-Jenkins was arrested for a DUI charge and was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three days later, the Jets claimed him off waivers. 

In seven games with the Jets, he recorded 10 catches for 110 yards. 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

A Pittsburgh judge has dismissed all charges against former Jets CB Darrelle Revis.

According to reports, Revis' childhood friend appeared before the judge with his attorney and said he pulled the accusers off Revis and punched them.

Pittsburgh police charged Revis with four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery, one count of conspiracy/aggravated assault and one count misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats for the incident that took place in the early morning hours of Feb. 12.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are looking for a versatile third running back and kick returner and had made an offer to Travaris Cadet, but he has chosen to remain with the Saints, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Cadet was also weighing an offer from the Bills.

A 6-foot-1, 210-pounder, Cadet -- who visited with the Jets this past weekend -- has spent most of his five NFL seasons with the Saints. He had 40 catches and four receiving touchdowns for New Orleans last year, where new Jets offensive coordinator John Morton was the receiving coach...

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Dont'a Hightower returns to Pats 00:02:26
The Daily News Live team talks about Dont'a Hightower's decision to re-sign with the defending-champion Patriots rather than the Jets.

Free agent LB Dont'a Hightower has returned to the Patriots, signing a four-year, $43.5 million deal that includes a $19 million signing bonus.

The 27-year-old All-Pro visited the Jets on Monday and the Steelers on Tuesday. 

There were reports that New York was among the highest bidders for Hightower's services, reportedly offering him more than $12 million per year.

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 (Daniel Powers (USA Today))
(Daniel Powers (USA Today))

Update: 

The Jets have offered free agent LB Dont'a Hightower more than $12 million per year, according to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole.

Jason La Confora reported yesterday that the Jets had offered the most money for Hightower. La Confora said that the 27-year-old was not inclined to take New York's offer.

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 (Steven Senne/AP)
(Steven Senne/AP)

In today's Jets mailbag, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano weighs in on the quarterback situation, the possibility of tanking, and the Jets' potential pitch to Dont'a Hightower...


Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Is it worth the #Jets going after a Brock Osweiler or Chase Daniel if other teams are on the hook for their salaries? -- @MiniHulk5

If you mean that's because their prices will be lower, I wouldn't worry about that. Yes, Osweiler and Daniel are already making money this season from their old teams, so perhaps they'd be willing to take less from their new one. But really, how high is their value going to be anyway? Right now I only count four teams without a starting quarterback - the Jets, Browns, Texans, and 49ers. The Texans are probably going to get Tony Romo and the other two are drafting 1-2 in April...

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Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings fullback Zach Line (48) catches a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium. (Bruce Kluckhohn)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Looking to bolster their rushing attack - which might be especially important if they end up with an inexperienced quarterback - the Jets are bringing in fullback Zach Line for a free-agent visit.

The 26-year-old Line, who played the last four seasons for the Vikings, is expected to arrive in Florham Park, N.J., on Wednesday. He had been the Vikings' primary fullback the last two seasons. In 2016, the Vikings had the NFL's worst rushing attack, though that was largely due to the absence of running back Adrian Peterson. In 2015, they ranked fourth in the league as Peterson rushed for 1,485 yards.

The Jets did not have a true fullback on their roster last season, though they still ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9.  (Bill Streicher (USA Today))
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Howard Jones (95) in action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. (Bill Streicher (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Howard Jones, a defensive end who can play linebacker in a 3-4 defense and who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will make a free-agent visit to the Jets on Friday, an NFL source confirmed.

The visit, reported by ESPN, will be a chance for the Jets to check on his rehabilitation from a torn ACL that limited him to just eight games last season. In 2015, before he got hurt, he showed a lot of promise with five sacks in 12 games, including five starts. He had two sacks that season in his NFL debut.

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Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) on the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. (Tim Heitman)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The free-agent market has thinned out a bit, but the Jets still have plenty of holes to fill. Yes, they still need a quarterback. But they have many other needs, too.

The good news is they still have a decent amount of salary-cap space and there is still help available. Here's a look at some of the non-quarterbacks still on the market who could be a fit:

CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys) - The former sixth-overall pick (2012), he was long considered a bust before he began to finally play up to expectations last season - right up until he injured his groin. He's still only 27 and as the Jets begin a youth movement in the secondary it might be worth giving him a chance to prove his start last season wasn't a fluke. They'd need to move fast, though, since word is he could soon end up with the Ravens.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Patriots still tormenting Jets 00:02:49
The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.

The Daily News Live crew discusses how the Patriots are dominating the Jets in every aspect this offseason.


Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a new podcast, and for the Jets, it's been a few weeks of out with the old, and in with the…well, not much. The guys say goodbye to Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, and Nick Folk, and look ahead to what comes next as the Jets look to re-build around QB TBD.

Click below to listen!

 

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets don't seem to be in any hurry to figure out their starting quarterback for 2017 and they are "considering all options," according to a source. At the moment there are many. None of them are great.

But Jay Cutler does appear to be up near the top of their list.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)
Dont'a Hightower (Daniel Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Updates (Mar. 13)

4:25 p.m.: The Jets concluded their visit with free agent LB Dont'a Hightower on Monday afternoon.

11:10 a.m.: After visiting the Jets, Hightower is scheduled to visit the Steelers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

 

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Cutler to NY? 00:02:51
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the latest on the New York Jets and Giants in free agency.

The Jets have called to express interest in free agent QB Jay Cutler, who was released by the Bears last week, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Cutler, 33, completed 81 of 137 passes for 1,059 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in five games last season for the Bears while dealing with two separate injuries.

He threw for 3,659 yards in 2015 to go along with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Jets sat on the sidelines during the first few days of the NFL's free-agent frenzy, choosing to avoid some of the crazy contracts being thrown around. But they have done some spending, re-signing a few of their own players and bringing in a new left tackle and a new kicker.

So what's next? Well, the biggest question of all still hangs over the Jets since they don't yet know who their starting quarterback will be in 2017. Pretty much every other question pales in comparison to that one, and they don't appear much closer to answering it right now.

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 (Matt Kartozian)
(Matt Kartozian)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Jets still haven't ruled out bringing Geno Smith back to compete for their starting quarterback job next season. But the Giants may be taking a shot at him first.

Smith, the former Jets second-round pick, is making a free agent visit across town to the Giants on Saturday afternoon, an NFL source confirmed. The Giants are in the market for a backup to Eli Manning, with both Josh Johnson and Ryan Nassib currently unrestricted free agents.

A big part of the visit, according to one source, is so the Giants can get a sense for where the 26-year-old Smith is in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last October in his lone start last season with the Jets. In a recent interview with NFL Network, Smith said he was on track to be ready for the start of training camp in July, but likely wouldn't be ready for football activities before that.

Tags: Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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