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

Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team. Today, we'll look at one of the top performers in the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions, cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Who is he?

Tags: Dexter McDougle
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Remember all that progress that Christian Hackenberg appeared to make in the Jets' preseason opener? Well, by Week 2 it was gone.

Hackenberg, getting a surprise start over veteran Josh McCown, gave an ugly and unproductive performance in the Jets 16-6 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. He was a miserable 2 of 6 for 14 yards, with both completions coming on dump-offs to running back Bilal Powell. In a full half of action he led the Jets to just two first downs and a total of 43 yards.

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Christian Hackenberg could only complete two passes, the Jets' defense failed to contain Matthew Stafford, and the Lions beat the Jets, 16-6, in the second preseason game.

Hackenberg was sacked twice and completed two of his six passes. During the Jets' opening drive, Hackenberg fumbled after he was hit by Detroit's Cornelius Washington, but the Jets recovered. Bryce Petty completed 15 of his 24 passes for 160 yards and threw an interception for the Jets, who were 4-for-13 on third down.

Myles White led the Jets in receiving with three catches for 43 yards, while Jordan Leggett hauled in two catches for 40 yards. Bilil Powell carried the ball nine times for 32 yards as the Jets were unable to get much going in the running game.

Darron Lee and Morris Clairbone had five tackles to lead the Jets on defense, while Demario Davis, Josh Martin, and Corey Lemonier each had a sack. >> Box score

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has become more of a vocal leader this season as he has taken it upon himself to fill that void in the locker room.

Linebacker David Harris was the voice in the Jets' locker room for years. Now that he is gone, Wilkerson is the next man in line and he is embracing the new role. 

"I've been here for a long time now," Wilkerson told The Post's Brian Costello, "I always looked up to older guys who are no longer here. I stepped into the footsteps into being a leader. I wasn't vocal [before], but I've always been a leader on this team. David Harris isn't here anymore, so I took it upon myself to speak up more and get out of my comfort zone." 

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets are undefeated, which at the moment is insignificant. But really, given all the predictions of doom and gloom, some people probably thought they wouldn't even end up with one preseason win.

They did, but it wasn't pretty (7-3 over the Tennessee Titans at home last Saturday), and they barely answered any of the many, many major question marks surrounding their season and long-term future. Maybe their game in Detroit against the Lions on Saturday night will provide a few more clues about the direction they're headed.

In the meantime, here are five things worth watching at Ford Field tonight:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Dylan Donahue, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daily News Live: Hack Attack 00:02:52
As the Jets get ready for their second preseason game, the panel discusses if a good game from Hackenberg can win him the starting job.

 

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JRSportBrief: NFL work stoppage? 00:01:54
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

 

 

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

While New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles did name a starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he is expected to give Josh McCown more playing time.

McCown, who did not get receive any reps at Thursday's practice when the Jets did game-plan prep, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, played the opening drive last week in New York's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, but Christian Hackenberg then played the following eight possessions.

Bowles said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes, but left the door open to it by saying, "we'll discuss it."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Detroit Lions, Josh McCown
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New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin tweaked his back and sat out practice Thursday, leaving him uncertain for the preseason game at Detroit on Saturday night.

Mauldin had been dealing with a back issue earlier during training camp, but returned to the field Wednesday. Coach Todd Bowles said the third-year linebacker was inside receiving treatment during practice Thursday.

Bowles added that he was unsure how long Mauldin would be sidelined, but said that he would likely not play against the Lions.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Detroit Lions, Lorenzo Mauldin, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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