This week, Bent analyzes Week 6 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide Receivers, Nick Mangold and the Offensive Line, Buster Skrine and the Defensive Backs, Darron Lee and the Linebackers, Leonard Williams and the Defensive Line the and special teams.


Todd Bowles and the coaching staff

Bent: Yesterday's defensive game plan got me thinking back to a Todd Bowles quote from before he became the head coach, when he said, "We have to make sure elephants stay elephants and giraffes stay giraffes."

I wrote about the elephant quote when I first tried to envisage what Bowles' defense was going to look like after he was hired by the Jets. However, it's been evident that he's gotten away from this - one of his core philosophies - over the course of the season so far. Playing key players out of position and giving them extra responsibilities like chipping pass rushers, maintaining pocket integrity and stepping into passing lanes prevents them from attacking as efficiently as you need them to.

Yesterday, however, with Muhammad Wilkerson out, Bowles was left with no choice but to put Sheldon Richardson back onto the defensive line and it paid off. Neither Richardson nor Leonard Williams had their most dominating of games, but it allowed players like Lorenzo Mauldin to play a more suitable role, leading to better contributions than they'd provided all season.

Also, on the back end, the Jets continued with a more assignment-based approach, playing a lot of two-deep coverages and leading to each of their five main defensive backs making key plays instead of showing confusion and looking overmatched as they had all year.

During this past weekend's roundtable discussion, Bassett and I both suggested simplifying things and getting players into situations where they can do what they do best. Whether or not Bowles was forced into making that move, it's obvious that the defense played better than it has since opening day - another game where they were missing one of their key starters in Richardson.

While it might be a challenge to keep everyone happy, this is clearly the best way forward. Believe it or not, yesterday's win could lead Bowles to an epiphany that might get the team back into playoff contention in a shaky AFC.


Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Quarterbacks

Bent: Nothing could sum up the Jets' season so far better than the quarterback situation getting even more discombobulated than before as a result of two guys actually playing quite well.

Let's not get too excited though. Ryan Fitzpatrick has set a low bar for quarterback play over the last month, so it was two statistically-sound but fundamentally imperfect displays that earn that "played quite well" moniker. Still, haven't we been saying for years that this Jets team could have a pretty effective offense if they just had a quarterback who could play competent, mistake-free football?

Geno Smith lasting less than one half of football was not a completely unexpected series of events. He's always done a poor job of protecting himself and the football, and with the Jets' offensive line having regressed significantly since he first became a starter, that was always going to put him in danger of getting banged-up. You'll recall he was briefly knocked out of the game in his only appearance last year as well.

Fitzpatrick was therefore forced to return and rode a smartly-conservative gameplan to a 24-16 win. He completed his first seven passes and ended up with a quarterback rating of over 100 (as did Smith), but also went over 18 minutes of game action without a completion in the second half and only completed two passes beyond 10 yards down the field.

Fitzpatrick's struggles this year have mostly been due to forcing things when playing from behind. The Jets were able to play with the lead down the stretch this time, which enabled him to play more of a game manager role rather than gunslinging. In that regard, it was perhaps important that Smith was in there when the Jets gifted the Ravens a 10-point lead in the first half.

Smith's 69-yard scoring toss to Quincy Enunwa got the Jets back into the game before he was knocked out. Although Enunwa did most of the work there and Smith didn't achieve much else, his contributions were still important at a time when you half-expected the game to spiral out of control.

Fitzpatrick would lead a long touchdown drive to give the Jets back the lead, although he again didn't do much of the work with the key play being a 30-yard end-around and the score coming on an easy dump-off pass. He then capitalized on two long interception returns to regain and extend the lead down the stretch.

As for Smith, he threw the ball quite well, going 4-for-8 with a couple of catchable passes dropped. A couple of his throws were slightly off-the-mark, but not drastically. It's his pocket presence that continues to be a concern though. On the first sack he took, he should have been able to check down to Bilal Powell, but waited too long and then easily could have lost the ball as he switched it into his left hand and held it away from his body. The second one, which knocked him out of the game, could easily have been avoided by being more decisive and taking off or throwing the ball away.

So, has Fitzpatrick re-earned the starting role or did Smith do enough to warrant a longer look if he's healthy enough to start again next week? Honestly, it's difficult to say.

Maybe they should put in a rotation like they did at right tackle.


Matt Forté and the Running Backs

Bent: After some disappointing performances, Matt Forté finally discovered the fountain of youth yesterday, scoring two touchdowns and racking up 154 yards from scrimmage. Forté seemed to have rediscovered his burst and at last found some room to make some open field cuts.

It was far from a perfect performance though. While Forté ran for 100 yards for the second time this season, it again took him until his 30th carry to get there. At half time, he had just 32 yards on 10 carries and if the Jets had continued to trail and abandoned the running game as they had in previous weeks, then we'd probably be talking about another disappointing display. He also lost a fumble inside the Ravens' five-yard line and there were a couple of plays in the first half where he seemed to have a big enough hole to pick up the first down quite easily, only to dance around behind the line of scrimmage and end up short of the marker.

It was in the short passing game that the Jets were able to get Forté going. You may recall last year that when Chris Ivory was struggling, he finally broke out in a game where they got him going on a few short passes. When the run blocking is struggling, that seems to be a good way of allowing your back to shift through the gears and get their engine running smoothly again.

One of the reasons Forté was able to make contributions in the passing game was that he was getting plays which would ordinarily go to Powell. Once again, this was perhaps not something that was planned in advance but rather a reaction to the Smith injury. Powell was the Jets' emergency quarterback, so they stopped using him in case Fitzpatrick got hurt as well.

The masochist in me would have perversely enjoyed seeing Powell at quarterback. Jets fans with long memories might remember his one NFL pass - a wobbly left-hander over the top to Jeff Cumberland for 30 yards in Miami, but I've seen him attempt to throw a pass on a trick play at practice and it wasn't pretty. Before they stopped using him, Powell had 18 yards on four carries, including a short yardage conversion for a first down.

Rookie Troymaine Pope finally saw his first NFL action and the nerves obviously got to him as he was stuffed on his first carry and then dropped an easy catch on a dump-off pass.

Finally, the Jets made use of a full back a lot this week, with tight end Brandon Bostick playing 10 snaps there and making some good lead blocks.


Brandon Marshall and the Receivers

Bent: It might not seem like it, but Brandon Marshall played a huge part in the Jets' win yesterday. On the face of it, this was one of his worst games as a Jet, as he caught just three passes, had a couple of dropped passes and was called for a false start. However, the great ones find other ways to contribute when things aren't going their way and Marshall did exactly that yesterday.

On each of the Jets' biggest plays - the 69-yard touchdown pass to Enunwa, Robbie Anderson's 30-yard end-around and a 31-yard screen pass to Forté - Marshall had a key block down the field. Then he had one of the biggest momentum-changing plays of the game as he ripped the ball away from Timmy Jernigan after Forté's fumble looked to have ruined the Jets' chances of adding to a 17-16 second half lead. Forté extended the lead to eight a couple of plays later.

Anderson continues to show flashes that suggest he could be on the brink of a break-out. His leaping 28-yard grab over the middle in the fourth quarter was spectacular and he led the receiver group with four catches overall in addition to his big gain on the reverse.

Enunwa has struggled to get many looks over the last two weeks, with just five catches, but his playmaking ability was apparent on the touchdown run where he turned a short pass into a long touchdown. That's what happens when you get an inside linebacker matched up on a receiver with 4.45 speed and the Jets should look to get him the ball more often.

Charone Peake was only targeted once, but made a really nice play to shake a tackle in the flat and pick up a third down conversion. Jalin Marshall barely got on the field though. Watching the Packers on Thursday night, I wonder if the Jets could run some packages for Marshall with him in the backfield as the Packers did with Ty Montgomery. While he's slightly bigger, Montgomery has a similar skill-set to Marshall, who is familiar with such concepts from his role at Ohio State.

So much for phasing out Kellen Davis. The veteran played 50 snaps at tight end, with predictably mixed results. You can't say he didn't make some contributions to the success of the run game though.

Bostick, as noted, made some good lead blocks from the full back position, but also dominated a defensive back on one block from tight end. He's shown some real improvement in his blocking, but still made a couple of mistakes. Bostick also caught a short pass and should have had added an easy third down conversion but Fitzpatrick's pass to the flat was knocked down at the line.


Nick Mangold and the Offensive Line

Bent: The Jets' offensive line has been struggling to find any cohesion all year long. Who'd have believed that it would take a Nick Mangold injury for them to finally find some? Mangold was lost very early on in the game and Wesley Johnson took over at center the rest of the way.

It's the second time this year that Johnson has entered the game in relief of a key starter and the Jets have committed themselves to the run successfully to lead to a win. He replaced James Carpenter early in the second quarter of the Bills game with the Jets trailing 7-6 and they went on to win 37-31 with over 100 yards and three scores from Forté. While Johnson hasn't been individually outstanding in either of those appearances, he held his own and they were able to function better than they had been as a unit.

Maybe this was because some of the other guys will step up when a key player is lost. I almost can't believe I'm about to say this but Brian Winters looked like a really good player yesterday. Winters has shown signs of improvement over the years, but he still has frustrating lapses during each game. Yesterday, he only had a few negative plays, but for the first time showed signs of consistent dominance up-front.

In a performance I'd consider to be his most impressive game as a Jet, Winters did an outstanding job of creating holes in the running game and displayed better technique than I've ever seen from him in terms of locking onto his man at the point of attack, controlling the block and leveraging his man out of the hole. That's even more impressive when you consider he was playing between two career back-ups in Johnson and Ben Ijalana.

Speaking of Ijalana, he had perhaps his most impressive run block since becoming the temporary (?) starter when he picked off a linebacker at the second level and drove him well out of the play to set up a run down inside the five, as you can see below.



However, on the very next play, he allowed his man to shed his block and stuff the first down run. That's the kind of thing that would happen to Winters in the past. Ijalana also got beaten around the outside for a sack, although Smith arguably had plenty of time to get rid of the ball. Once again though, Ijalana held his own for the most part.

At the other tackle spot, Ryan Clady fared better than he has in recent weeks but gave up a couple of pressures. He made some good contributions in the running game, although there was one play early on where he looked totally lost and ended up blocking nobody.

Carpenter had been the Jets' most consistent lineman so far this year but he had some issues yesterday, surrendering heavy penetration a couple of times, giving up two sacks - although one should probably go down as a coverage sack - and getting called for a holding penalty. He still had some excellent run blocks to open up lanes though.

Prior to Mangold going down, the Jets had started off reasonably well with 23 yards on six carries and 19 yards on four pass attempts. However, he was driven back into the backfield for a run stuff by Brandon Williams on the first play of the game.

One wrinkle, other than employing Bostick at full back, was that the Jets went with six linemen on several plays. This enabled Dakota Dozier to get some playing time, but also allowed rookie Brandon Shell to take the field for his first NFL snap, on which he executed a key edge setting block perfectly, as you can see below. Winters' contribution - and reaction - is also worth paying attention to.



Wilkerson, Richardson and the Defensive Line

Bent: As noted, with Wilkerson out, Richardson moved back onto the defensive line full time and responded well. He led the team with eight tackles and had three tackles for loss - one against the run, one on a sack and one in coverage. He had just one other pressure as a pass rusher and there weren't many chances to make plays against the run, but his disruptiveness boosted the defense to their best performance since Richardson himself was out on opening day.

This leads us to another elephant; the one in the room. What are they going to do once Wilkerson is back in the line-up?

It's been established that two heads are better than one, but - based on the season so far - two heads are also better than three when it comes to elite defensive linemen. Wouldn't they be better off just keeping all three fresh by playing two at a time and giving them two-thirds of the reps each? And does it really make sense to retain all three long term if this is the reality of the situation? Maybe one of those Elephants is going to be a Bear or a Dolphin or a Lion in the not too distant future.

Without Wilkerson on the line, Williams had his quietest game of the year so far, although part of that was because the Ravens abandoned the running game. Williams still made some good contributions as he stopped two plays in the backfield - one as Joe Flacco slipped over in the pocket - and had one quarterback hit.

Steve McLendon blew up a couple of plays with excellent penetration and was disruptive in the pocket, but missed a tackle in the hole on one play. Deon Simon and Jarvis Jenkins only played briefly but each had a pressure and Jenkins also penetrated to stuff a run.


Lee, Harris and the Linebackers

Bent: With Darron Lee already out injured, Erin Henderson now on the NFI reserve list and Bruce Carter going down early in the game, the Jets had to rely on Julian Stanford - who had been on the practice squad until Saturday - to play a full time role for most of the game.

Stanford held up pretty well alongside David Harris with Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano and Jordan Jenkins splitting most of the reps on the outside.

As improbable as it was, this group - with Wilkerson already missing from the front three - set a franchise record by holding the Ravens to just six yards rushing.

Despite how impressive that number sounds, the primary reason was the Ravens' mind-boggling decision to completely abandon the run. They ran a few times at Mauldin and he was routinely being driven out of the lane off-tackle by kick-out blocks. Fortunately, the Jets were able to rally to the ball well enough to limit the gains on these plays, other than on Terrance West's 52-yard burst that was negated by a hold.

Had the officials missed the obvious hold on Harris, that play would single-handedly have given the Ravens a much more impressive total. It also might have not only spurred the Ravens on to keep running, but could have demoralized the Jets defensively as well. Maybe the run defense would have had a similarly impressive statistical performance if the officials didn't miss a similarly blatant hold on the long touchdown run last Monday night.

Although he struggled on the edge, Mauldin did an excellent job rushing the passer, generating a handful of pressures, including one on an inside move that led to Flacco's second interception. As a pass rusher, Mauldin obviously has burst and even displayed some power on one good bull rush, but for the most part he doesn't really seem to show textbook technique. However, he seems to be unpredictably awkward and this seems to give his blockers issues when trying to prevent him from getting off their blocks.

If Mauldin can add some technical polish to his game, I could see him becoming a really good situational rusher, but I must admit that the game yesterday caused me some concern about how well he'd hold up against an opponent that forced the issue with their running game.

Other than Maudlin, the Jets didn't get much production from their outside linebackers. Jenkins, Catapano, Josh Martin and rookie Victor Ochi all saw time, but had just one tackle between them. They didn't produce much in the pass rush either but Catapano and Martin each got close a couple of times. The most notable thing Jenkins did was to get away with what could have been called as a late hit over by the sideline. Ochi, making his NFL debut, did an excellent job on the edge on one play, driving his man back to help bottle up a run.

While they didn't produce much, this group also avoided mistakes, although there was one blitz package where Mauldin and Catapano dropped into coverage and the tight end was left alone over the middle for an easy third down conversion.

Harris had a quiet game in his return to the line-up. Drawing that hold was probably his biggest contribution but he made some good open field tackles in coverage and had one pressure. He was beaten for what should have been a first down on the final drive but the pass was off-line. Stanford had seven tackles, including a key one on third down and two close to the line.

Carter made a couple of good plays in coverage before going down injured on the play where he chased down West on the negated run. Will Carter and Lee be back soon or is Stanford going to be required to play the role for an extended period? Maybe the Jets will sign Taiwan Jones back onto their practice squad as cover or something.


Skrine, Revis and the Defensive Backs

Bent: After all their struggles so far this season, the secondary came up big with all five of the main contributors making key plays in the second half to help the Jets nail down the win.

Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist each set up scores with interceptions, Darrelle Revis broke up a third down pass in the fourth quarter, Calvin Pryor set up two third downs with tackles close to the line of scrimmage and Marcus Williams broke up a fourth down pass to ice the win,

That has to be good for the confidence of these players, individually and collectively. As noted, they seemed to benefit from a simplified defensive system, enabling them to focus on their assignment rather than blowing coverages by passing players off to one another and attempting to set traps. They didn't start off the game as well as they finished it though.

Williams gave up two bad 3rd-and-long conversions and could easily have been called for pass interference in the end zone on a long pass that he broke up, so it was good to see him defend that last play well.

I'd been wondering why Skrine has been playing on the outside more over the past two weeks but it must be because the Jets prefer Williams inside. That might be connected to their struggles with boundary screen passes earlier on in the season. Skrine blew one of these up on a great play in the fourth quarter. However, while playing outside, he again gave up a couple of easy first downs by playing too far off. The Jets attempted to mitigate this by dropping their linebackers to the outside, but to no avail.

Skrine had his ups and downs all day but the biggest play he gave up was a long bomb to Mike Wallace. However, Pryor should have easily been able to knock that down. He tried to intercept it and it went right through his hands. Other than that, it was a refreshingly mistake-free performance from Pryor, though.

Gilchrist also bounced back from some recent struggles. Other than his interception he was also in a good position on another downfield incompletion.

The Ravens seemed reluctant to go after Revis, even though he looked like he was playing prevent on an easy first down pass. He was in good position on a couple of other throws, but his effort on the negated West run was disappointing.

Rontez Miles was the only other defensive back to see any action on defense.


Special teams

Bent: Punter Lac Edwards gifted the Ravens a touchdown when he allowed a snap to go right through his hands, leading to a recovery in the end zone. The Australian showed poor instincts on the play by trying to recover the ball because the best case scenario is that they'd have 1st-and-goal (and the Ravens actually didn't run a single play inside the 25-yard line all day). The correct play there is to kick the ball through the end zone and surrender two points so that you can at least kick away.

I pointed out last week that Tanner Purdum had a couple of less-than-perfect snaps and this was another example of that. You can't really excuse Edwards' mistake though because it wasn't that bad; just slightly high.

I'd like to be able to say that Edwards bounced back from his blunder but he had a rough day in the East Rutherford winds. He had a series of poor punts, including a 17-yarder. Edwards' overall numbers weren't too bad because the coverage was good, although they didn't get down their fast enough to recover Devin Hester's muff.

Peake stood out in coverage, forcing a fair catch on one punt and bringing Hester down in the open field on another. Martin also got in on a stop.

There wasn't much room to run for return man Jalin Marshall as rookie Juston Burris had a bad missed block on a kick return and Darryl Roberts got burned by the gunner on a punt. Marshall also didn't help himself by making a couple of questionable decisions to field or run back kicks. However, he made a nice return on a punt, breaking a few tackles to gain 16 yards.

Despite - or perhaps because of - the winds, Nick Folk had a touchback on all five of his kick-offs. He also made a field goal and three extra points, but his 51-yarder that would have clinched the game with a few minutes remaining was blocked. Simon was blown up on that play.

 

Tags: BGA
Comments

Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

A lot of people sure seem certain that the Giants are going to take Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the sixth pick of the NFL Draft - or at least one of the franchise quarterbacks to become Eli Manning's heir apparent.

But there are still more than two months left and even the Giants don't know for sure what they're doing just yet. Picking something other than a quarterback is absolutely still an option.

So what happens if that's what they do? It could shake up the Top 10 a bit. Here's a look at one possible scenario:

Read More
Comments

 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in. We continue today with a look at the 2019 safety class.

Jets Needs: Safety

When the Jets used their first two picks on safeties in 2017, that made it unlikely the safety position would be considered a draft priority for the next few years, especially since Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye had such impressive rookie seasons. However, while Adams went from strength to strength in 2018, Maye had multiple injury issues, missing 10 starts.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks
Read More
Comments

Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Jets appear ready to make a strong bid for running back Le'Veon Bell as soon as the NFL free-agent market opens on March 13.

One problem, though: Bell might not actually be a free agent.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly considering placing the "transition tag" on the 27-year-old running back, which would certainly complicate the Jets' pursuit of Bell. The Steelers have from now until March 5 to make that decision on a tag that is expected to be about $14.5 million for a one-year deal. And "all indications are (they) still intend to do that," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

If they do use it, though, that doesn't mean he's off the market. In fact, several NFL sources believe the Steelers will tag Bell with the intention of trading him. Obviously it would be easier for the Jets if Bell were an unrestricted free agent and they could simply use some of their projected $95 million in salary cap room to shower him with money. But they'd still have other options to get him.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Disgruntled Steelers WR Antonio Brown met with team owner Art Rooney on Tuesday, tweeting after that both sides agreed a trade made the most sense:

"Had a great meeting with Mr.Rooney today we discussed a lot of things and we cleared the air on several issues! We both agreed that it is time to move on but I'll always have appreciation and gratitude towards the Rooney family and @steelers organization! #CallGod #Boomin"

While the Steelers agreed to work on a trade, they have not given permission for Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to speak with interested teams, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Already boasting a ton of cap space, the Jets now have even more room to work with. 

The Jets announced Tuesday that they're not picking up contract options on safety Terrence Brooks, DT Mike Pennel and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

The 26-year-old Brooks just completed the first season of a two-year deal. His option was for $200,000 and he was due $1.6 million in 2019, so the move clears $1.8 million of cap space for the Jets. Brooks appeared in 31 of a possible 32 games for the Jets over the last two seasons, starting once. 

Tags: Terrence Brooks
Read More
Comments

Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in.

We begin today with a look at the 2019 tight end class.

Jets Needs: Tight ends

Read More
Comments

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets need all the help they can get as they try to quickly rebuild in one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. So they sure could use the pick near the top of the second round that they gave to the Indianapolis Colts.

Not that the Jets would do it any differently, of course. Dealing that pick (and two others) put them in position to draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the most important piece in their rebuilding puzzle and the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for 50 years. So there are no regrets, no hindsight and no wishing they still had two selections in the first 34 picks.

The Jets do still have two picks in the first two days, though. The NFL Draft is 2 1/2 months away and they'll have to get through the combine, the Pro Days and interviews before their draft board settles down. But here's an early look at what the Jets might do on Days 1 and 2:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Earlier this week, the Buffalo Bills announced they had signed former Jets center Spencer Long. The Jets had reportedly held out some hope of bringing Long back on a reduced salary having released him last week.

Now that Long is no longer an option, who could the Jets' starting center be in 2019?

Tags: Dakota Dozier
Read More
Comments

Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made his choice on Dec. 30 when he fired Todd Bowles, but not Mike Maccagnan. It was a signal that he believed in his general manager, bought into his vision, and wasn't concerned about his spotty record.

And though Johnson insisted he would never give anyone a playoff mandate ("Absolutely not," he said), the message from his actions are perfectly clear: This is Maccagnan's roster, Adam Gase is Maccagnan's coach, and this is the offseason Maccagnan has to turn the Jets from laughingstocks into a winner.

In other words, as one of the most important offseasons in Jets' history begins, the pressure on Maccagnan is high.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are sitting in a sweet spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. They hold a high pick (No. 3) in a draft that isn't thought of as quarterback rich. That means any team that wants a quarterback should want to move up to get their first choice, rather than wait and settle for seconds.

And the Jets are just the type of team that should be very interested in trading down.

For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback.

Read More
Comments

 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Last week, the Jets decided to let C Spencer Long go, as they declined to pay his $3.5 million roster bonus. They were, however, considering bringing him back at a reduced rate for the 2019-20 season, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

So much for that. 

The Bills, an AFC East rival, signed Long to a three-year deal, as he was a free agent once the Jets parted ways with him. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Long's deal is worth $13 million that could reach a max $15 million with incentives...

Tags: Spencer Long
Read More
Comments

Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

As the Jets consider how to improve their deficient pass rush, one of the biggest names set to become available might not make it to free agency.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who works for CBS Sports, told the Seattle Times he believes the Seahawks will use the franchise tag on Frank Clark. The 25-year-old edge rusher recorded a career-high 13 sacks for Seattle in 2018, and according to Pro Football Focus, Clark had 69 quarterback pressures.

Read More
Comments

Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

The Jets stuck to their word when it came to Kareem Hunt

The troubled 23-year-old running back signed with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the team announced. He will join the Browns on a one-year deal and become a restricted free agent when the contract expires, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Hunt was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List after the Chiefs released him mid-way through last season after a video surfaced of the running back assaulting a woman in a Cleveland-area hotel last February. 

Read More
Comments

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The high praise continues to come in for Sam Darnold. 

Despite a rocky rookie season for the Jets quarterback, the expectations for Darnold's future are still sky-high, with the latest bit of optimism coming from former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis

The former shutdown corner told TMZ last week that Darnold has what it takes to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl since 1969. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets finally announced their coaching staff for 2019 on Friday and, although many of the hires had already been rumored, there were still a few surprises. Let's weigh up some of the more interesting aspects of this new staff.

A mixture of connections

Although this has been introduced as Adam Gase's staff, a few coaches that have no direct connection to Gase were hired. However, in these instances there are connections that lie elsewhere.

Read More
Comments

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Bob Cooter was among 11 assistants new Jets head coach Adam Gase hired as part of his staff on Friday.

Cooter, who previously spent time as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, will be New York's running backs coach.

Shawn Jefferson will be an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, as he previously coached players like Calvin Johnson and Jarvis Landry.

Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets organizations don't like each other very much, which happens when teams share a stadium and a city. The Jets have long had an inferiority complex from feeling like New York's little brother. The Giants have never hid their feelings of superiority when it comes to the Jets.

So neither franchise has ever been inclined to do anything that might even appear to help out the other, which is a huge part of the reason why the two have never made a trade.

It might be time they get over those issues and their egos, though. Because a trade of draft picks between the Giants and Jets this year makes a whole lot of sense.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The recognitions keep pouring in for Jamal Adams.

After making the Pro Bowl and being named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, the 23-year-old Jets safety was revealed Thursday as the No. 20 player on Pro Football Focus' list of the Top 101 players from the 2018 NFL season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
Read More
Comments

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

To fit Gregg Williams' new 4-3 defensive scheme, the Jets will pick a defensive end, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts.

In his second mock draft, McShay believes the Jets will draft Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 3 pick, predicting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa goes No. 1 to Arizona and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen goes No. 2 to San Francisco.

"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract, so defensive end is a need for Gang Green," McShay wrote. "Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."

Tags: Leonard Williams
Read More
Comments

New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears as if the Jets want Leonard Williams to be a part of their future, at least for 2019. 

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets do not have any plans to trade the 24-year-old defensive end as he enters his fifth-year option. 

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano also reports a trade is unlikely and that the team is not actively pursuing one.

Tags: Leonard Williams
Read More
Comments

We are very excited to announce that we have a new commenting platform that we'll be launching on Thursday.

SNY has partnered with Spot.IM to bring you a more dynamic commenting experience across our web site. In the process, we migrated your current Livefyre user accounts and hundreds of thousands of comments to the new system.

The look is slightly different than before and we've added some great, new features. You'll still be able to publish comments and follow conversations in real time. You'll continue to benefit from threaded conversations. And if you have notifications settings enabled, you'll receive emails alerting you when others reply to one of your comments or mention you.

Read More
Comments

Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

It was the first Super Bowl that people outside the state of Nevada could bet on, and New Jersey was among them. But it wasn't a profitable Sunday for the state. 

According to the Associated Press, sportsbooks operator in New Jersey saw $34.9 million in wagers, but they lost $4.6 million after having to pay out $39.5 million to winners. That means there were a lot of Patriots fans in New Jersey, who beat the Rams 13-3 with a -2.5 spread. 

Despite the pay backs, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US which runs three total sportsbooks in New Jersey, saw the day as a success. He said Sunday "was by far our biggest day ever in New Jersey in terms of handle. It was really good."

Read More
Comments

Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Jets are letting Spencer Long go, but they may try to bring him back.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that the Jets are declining to pay Long's $3.5 million roster bonus, which will make the center a free agent. The move clears $6.5 million in cap space and leaves no dead money.

While the Jets are interested in bringing back Long at a reduced cost, Vacchiano reports he might first sift through the market to see if he can get more money.

Read More
Comments

Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months until the NFL Draft, which means draft boards are only in their early stages and there is much scouting left to be done. Only a blurry picture has emerged of what the Top 10 looks like. It will come into focus after the scouting combine in late February and the Pro Days throughout March.

With both the Giants and Jets picking in the Top 10, though - again - it's never too early to take a peek at what the Top 10 might look like...

1. Arizona Cardinals - DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Read More
Comments

Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
Le'Veon Bell (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams has not been shy about his recruiting efforts for Le'Veon Bell, going as far as having lunch with the running back's agent last week. 

The Pro Bowl safety has said he's tried to contact Bell himself but has not been able to reach through. 

Well, it appears Adams has gotten Bell's attention now. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's offseason is now underway it's going to be one of the most important in the history of the Jets' franchise. They have a new coach, they have a franchise quarterback, and they have about $100 million in salary cap room to spend on a relatively barren roster.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan can turn things around quickly. Or he could turn the Jets into an even bigger mess.

He's already begun making his plans to reshape the roster for the 2019 season, of course, and beginning Monday he can start to put that plan into action. The big day for the Jets will be the start of NFL free agency on March 13, but there will be plenty of cuts, restructured contracts and other maneuvers in the next few weeks as they get ready.

Tags: Brian Winters, Isaiah Crowell, Jamal Adams, Jermaine Kearse, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa
Read More
Comments

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates after a Patriots touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

Sony Michel scored the tie-breaking touchdown with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII, the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history, on Sunday.

Michel's 2-yard rush capped a five-play, 69-yard drive orchestrated by Tom Brady to break a 3-3 tie.

Julian Edelman totaled 10 catches for 141 yards, while Brady threw for 262 yards and an interception for his sixth championship in his career. Stephen Gostkowski's 41-yard field goal with 1:12 remaining made it a two-possession game.

Read More
Comments

Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

Armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make free agent RB Le'Veon Bell one of their top targets. But the Steelers are still considering doing something that could throw a wrench into things for the Jets and any other interested team.

After Bell sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, the Steelers are still considering using the transition tag on him for the 2019 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

If the Steelers place the transition tag on Bell, it would give them the opportunity to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team...

.

Read More
Comments

NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)
NFL former player Kevin Mawae during the NFL players association press conference at the Super Bowl XLVI media center at the J.W. Marriott. (Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

Kevin Mawae thought his might be the year... and he was right.

The legendary Jets center was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

"It's unreal, surreal right now," he said from The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. "We're in the green room right now, getting ready for the start of the awards show. I'm just so excited."

Read More
Comments

AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
AFC safety Jamal Adams poses with Genesis sedan after being named most valuable defensive player in the NFL Pro Bowl football game at Camping World Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets safety Jamal Adams doesn't just hope to recruit football stars to New York.

Adams believes the Knicks will land three big-name NBA superstars: Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and Anthony Davis.

Tags: Jamal Adams
Read More
Comments