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Quarterback

We all knew that if Geno Smith was going to being taking snaps in October, the season must have taken a turn for the worst. However, that was the case again here, as the Jets struggled to move the ball all day and Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for the fourth quarter.

Could the team be about to go with Smith as the starter? They're saying no, for now, but if Fitzpatrick continues to struggle, that day can't be too far off. He started off by looking pretty sharp, but was benefiting from a soft defense from the Cardinals that was sitting back and allowing the offense to take what they gave them. Indeed, Fitzpatrick himself benefited from this on his last drive. Prior to the interception, he had padded his stats by completing 7-of-11 passes for 66 yards in the third quarter.

As soon as the Cardinals applied some pressure, Smith's old issues returned on a strip-sack as he was hesistant, didn't anticipate pressure off the edge and displayed woeful ball security. Shortly afterwards, he forced a throw into tight coverage and was intercepted. It's difficult to judge Smith too harshly on such a short performance, especially with the game already over, but he hardly did much to instil any confidence in his supporters.

Fitzpatrick seemed overly cautious with the ball, perhaps reluctant to risk throwing an interception. He missed on a bunch of passes where he threw the ball out of his receiver's reach, either too high or out in front of them. He made a few nice throws and did have to deal with some pressure, but was simply too inconsistent to keep the Jets in the game.

When the interception finally came, it was in the last minute of the third quarter and, typically, saw Fitzpatrick forcing a tight throw in the red zone after having moved the team downfield against a soft zone. 

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall told the media he was again responsible for this because he ran the wrong route. With the Cardinals in a zone defense, he allowed his man to step in front of him where he perhaps needed to run or settle down in front of the defender but I believe the key here was not Marshall himself being open, but instead running a route that would draw the safety out of the middle.

A review of the film shows that Fitzpatrick had an open Jalin Marshall at the back of the end zone on a post pattern, but forced the ball to the other Marshall instead because the safety was able to stay at home long enough to make that a tight window throw. A more horizontal drag or crossing route would have forced the safety to commit and ensured that one of the Marshalls was open but I can only speculate on what the play design was.

This goes beyond grading and evaluating individual throws now. The team seems to have lost faith in the guy who last year established himself as the kind of leader the team had been lacking. Unfortunately, I don't think the team has any faith in the alternatives either.

Running Backs

Should the Jets be regretting making a move for Matt Forté in the offseason? After missing most of preseason, Forté looked sharp for a couple of weeks but since then has elicited memories of late-season Thomas Jones. In case you're not sure, that isn't a good thing.

It's difficult to lament the loss of Chris Ivory when he's gained just 75 yards on 31 carries all season and is earning considerably more than Forté, but it's obvious the Jets need someone with exceptional burst or the ability to break tackles and right now Forté is providing neither. Was this inevitable or are they just paying the price for over-using him early? If it's the latter, then could he get his legs back if they opt to under-use him for a game or two - and I don't just mean abandoning the run because it's failing and you're getting blown out.

At least Bilal Powell does show some burst and break the occasional tackle. He picked up just 22 yards on six touches last night, but that included two first downs with a third being negated by a hold. Forté had the same yardage total on 10 touches - with no first downs - and also dropped two short passes.

Can we not get a look at Troymaine Pope? He's been active, but they never use him. While he might be raw and still learning the playbook, at least he has fresh legs and could provide a spark if they create a few packages for him. Even if he gets stuffed, at least that would give Forté a rest in between plays where, right now, he would probably only get stuffed himself.

Beyond that, I'm left scrambling for answers. Does the running game miss Tommy Bohanon, perhaps? Did I really just ask that?

Receivers & TE

The Jets definitely continue to miss Eric Decker, but now that his absence has been confirmed as permanent, the receiving corps suddenly looks like a weakness rather than something that can tread water until his return. At the same time, it forces some of the younger players to try and step up, so it will be interesting to see who does.

It seems the cat might be out of the bag in terms of Quincy Enunwa now, as the Jets were unable to get him into the game in the first half. Now a permanent starter that teams are aware of and game-planning for instead of the Jets' best-kept secret, it will be difficult for him to maintain his excellent production so far. Sure enough, he ended up having his least productive game of the year in terms of both receptions and yardage.

However, the fact his three receptions and 42 yards were his lowest output of the season speaks volumes as to how far he's come. Last year, he only achieved that yardage total three times and only had more than three catches six times. He made three nice catches in the second half, including two first downs.

Brandon Marshall had the biggest play of the day, but ended up with just 70 yards on three catches. He also had a penalty and took responsibility for the Fitzpatrick interception. It's clearly been a tough year for him to take and he deserves credit for at least trying to keep everyone positive. How long can that last though?

The three rookies saw more targets than usual with Charone Peake surprisingly leading the team with five catches and in terms of how many targets he saw (10). He made a nice spin move to get to the marker on one play and had a clutch conversion on a slant route on another. That pattern of him being inconsistent with his physicality continued on the pass where Smith was intercepted though and there were two plays where he had his hands on the ball but couldn't complete the catch. All the same, he's definitely progressing.

Shame on the announcers for glorifying the hit on Peake that knocked him out of the game. That was a blatant helmet-to-facemask hit on a defenseless receiver and that bothers me - not because it cost the Jets a first down, but because it makes little sense to have rules designed for player safety being inconsistently applied. I already resent Jon Gruden for the fact that I repeatedly spend ages breaking down a play and discover something interesting only for him to then mention that during the TV broadcast anyway.

The pattern with Robbie Anderson has been the same as with Devin Smith last season. They're looking for him downfield and he's almost - but not quite - coming up with big plays. The one constant variable here is Fitzpatrick, but Anderson still had a chance to come up with that underthrown deep ball. He did make a career-high four short catches though, including one where he was able to bail out Fitzpatrick with a nice leaping grab.

As for Jalin Marshall, he was only in for a handful of plays when Peake - who seems to have moved ahead of him - was being evaluated for a head injury. He had one tough drop, but responded immediately with a nice first down conversion. He also seemed to be coming open on the pass where Fitzpatrick forced a throw to the other Marshall for an interception, as mentioned. 

Even with Austin Seferian-Jenkins inactive, the Jets continue to phase out Kellen Davis, who played less than 10 snaps. However, maybe that was performance related rather than planned in advance because he had a rough game. Davis was badly beaten as the Jets were stuffed for a loss on their first snap, then later false started and allowed his man to get off his block for another stop.

Brandon Bostick didn't play much either, but fared better than Davis as a blocker. He wasn't targeted though.

Offensive Line

With a non-existent running game and Fitzpatrick's struggles at least partially attributable to being forced to deal with pressure, it's difficult to give the offensive line much credit.

The Jets saw Brian Winters return at right guard and reverted to a rotation at right tackle with Ben Ijalana starting. However, Brent Qvale was injured in the first half and Ijalana went the rest of the way. 

So far, Ijalana has done a good job of limiting pressure from the right side, but when he does surrender pressure, it often seems to be at key moments. While partially attributable to coverage and Smith's hesitation, he surrendered a strip sack and also gave up the pressure that led to Fitzpatrick's interception. Other than that, he only gave up one pressure, on a spin move to the inside.

As you can see, on the interception, Ijalana is beaten upfield, but instead of moving his feet to try and stay in front of or regain leverage on his man, he simply shoves him upfield to try and slow his pursuit around the edge. It's semi-effective, but Fitzpatrick is still pressured into forcing his throw. This is something Ijalana does quite a lot and it's a habit which might be lazy and/or poor technique, but you could consider it to be the smart thing to do in situations where the defender gets half a step on you. If the quarterback steps up and throws that before the edge rusher can get to him - something you see repeatedly around the league - that's likely viewed as a well-executed block.

Ryan Clady, on the other hand, isn't giving up big plays, but he is surrendering constant pressure off the edge and against the bull rush. He also had a bad hold to negate a first down run. Part of Clady's issue - other than the obvious adjustment involved in blocking for someone who lacks the awareness and quick release of Peyton Manning - might be that he's being left on an island and that might be influenced by the man to his immediate right.  

James Carpenter executed well all day, but it's becoming more and more apparent that his lateral movement is compromised. He looked good on running plays where he could pull or drive and block someone straight ahead of him, but at the second level or in the open field on screens, he looked leaden-footed when trying to stay in front of his target. That must be affecting his pass protection, preventing him from being able to help Clady and likely causing him to require more help from his center Nick Mangold. It's not something that's been an issue in the past, so I have to conclude this is a by-product of being banged-up.

Mangold's effectiveness is always compromised when he has to help other players and that proved to be the case here, as he had a few low snaps and allowed his man into the backfield a few times. Left more to his own devices, Winters had mixed results in the running game but did get bull rushed a couple of times into the backfield and also had a holding penalty.

When Carpenter went down with an injury, it was Dakota Dozier, not Qvale or Wesley Johnson, who replaced him. That was right before half time and Dozier barely held up in pass protection before Carpenter was able to return for the second half. Dozier - active for the fourth time this year - played his first offensive snap of the year, as the Jets can't seem to decide who their third-best guard is. It's probably Winters.

Pass Rush

I was looking forward to seeing what the approach would be in this game after the Jets - desperate to give as much help as possible to their beleaguered secondary - hardly ever blitzed in the Pittsburgh game. That was such a failure that it was inevitable they'd cook up some creative blitz packages in this game. So it proved, but - predictably - the secondary couldn't hold up and the Cardinals were easily able to counter with quick passes much of the time.

This did generate more pressure from the line, though, with Muhammad Wilkerson generating four pressures, including two hits, and also deflecting two passes at the line.  Sheldon Richardson added three pressures and Leonard Williams knocked Carson Palmer down twice. They still didn't register a sack though.

It seemed like the Jets were making a concerted effort to give Wilkerson and Richardson some reps inside. They did this in a variety of ways, including using Steve McLendon as a 3-4 end or Williams as an edge rusher - which was how he got one of his pressures. They had begun the game in a 3-4 look but this backfired when the Cardinals had some success with short passes and outside runs.

Clearly things haven't gone to plan with the linebacker group this year. Mike Catapano, Jordan Jenkins and Erin Henderson have all missed time in earlier games, David Harris was unavailable for this one and Darron Lee went down last night with a nasty looking ankle injury.

These absences have clearly contributed to the Jets being able to play less 3-4 than they intended entering the year. It's also necessitated them using Richardson as an outside linebacker. This was something they vowed not to do this year but they've seemingly had little choice. Even yesterday, as they made an effort to use him on the interior, he ended up playing more snaps standing up than in any other game so far this year. 

One other adjustment the Jets tried to make was using one of their inside linebackers on the edge and dropping their rush linebacker to the inside. Lee and Bruce Carter each saw some reps on the outside with Richardson or Catapano at inside linebacker. I don't think that's what Richardson had in mind when he was told he'd play inside more this year.

Other than the linemen, several pressures were generated by the players who blitzed, although Calvin Pryor was the only player with more than one. Carter and Jordan Jenkins each had a hit on Palmer.  

Catapano and Lorenzo Mauldin each got to the quarterback on blitzes up the middle, but didn't have any tangible success rushing off the edge with Mauldin only getting close once. Of the three outside linebackers, Jenkins was again the most impressive and saw more playing time than Mauldin and Catapano combined. 

Deon Simon and Jarvis Jenkins both saw time off the bench, but didn't generate any pressure and, in fact, have just one pressure between them all year. 

Run Defense

What happened to the run defense? The Jets entered the game with the second-best run defense in the league, although part of that is presumably because their pass defense has been so bad. In this game, Gruden wondered why the Cardinals were continuing to run the ball, but they ended up with 171 yards and three scores so it paid off. 

Having said that, on 35 running plays, the Cardinals had 20 plays that were stopped for a gain of two yards or less, so the defensive line was doing a solid job of bottling up runs most of the time. The exception was on the first drive of the second half, where the Cardinals drove downfield to turn a manageable 14-3 game into a 21-3 blowout. On that drive, they had six straight carries that went for five or more yards, although one was negated by a penalty.

While some of the yardage was attributable to mistakes in the back seven, you can't attribute all of it to that and, while they combined to make a lot of stops, the defensive linemen were occasionally controlled at the point of attack. That might be due to their efforts to employ a traditional nose tackle less often.

As noted, Richardson was employed as a linebacker despite the fact he apparently added weight during the offseason to enable him to play on the line more. That was evident on two end-arounds and a short pass where he was too slow to prevent the runner from getting to the edge. The decision to employ him at inside linebacker also cost the Jets on the long David Johnson touchdown as Richardson run-blitzed up the middle and the run was bounced to the edge. 

There was a lot more to that play though. Let's look at it in more detail:

via GIPHY

The first thing to note is Lee on the edge. That's a blatant holding penalty that was not called, which changes the whole complexion of the game. 

Next up, Henderson - the inside linebacker on the left side of the formation - gets across to fill the lane as Richardon run-blitzes, but gets schooled by a spectacular open-field move by Johnson. The problems don't stop there though.

Marcus Gilchrist is badly at fault as he comes up far too fast and gets caught inside, Darrelle Revis can't get off a block from Larry Fitzgerald, whose blocking stood out all day, and Buster Skrine loses outside contain as he misses the tackle on the edge

How badly did the Jets miss Harris on this play? Not only were two players out of position due to him not being there, but also Henderson failed to make a play Harris perhaps would have made and the run fit wasn't ideal so there may have been a communication issue.

It will be a real shame if Lee's injury keeps him out for an extended time. If the wheels are going to fall off, at least that would mean that the team has scope to let young players learn from their mistakes. Until he got hurt, this was shaping up to be his best game so far, as he was disciplined and made a couple of plays. He may be better as the mike and therefore not ideally suited towards playing with Harris in the short term. He also perhaps benefited from the Jets not playing as much zone in the back end.

Henderson struggled, as he was constantly blocked out of plays at the second level. Carter saw a lot of playing time on defense for the first time and was in on a couple of stops.

Coverage

One silver lining from last night's game was that the Jets didn't have any major defensive breakdowns in the secondary. In fact, the longest pass they gave up all day was just 14 yards. However, it's difficult to draw too many positives from a performance where the team struggled to get off the field.

Skrine made a nice break-up but otherwise had a complete nightmare. Jerome Boger's officiating crew victimized Skrine all day long, calling him for four penalties, at least a couple of which were extremely dubious. Skrine was trying to play physical coverage, but that proved impossible with how the game was being officiated. Later on in the game, the team obviously instructed him to play off instead and he gave up three consecutive identical plays where the receiver stopped and caught a back shoulder throw.

Skrine has had issues with penalties in the past, but seemed to have fixed that to some degree. Since the NFL tightened up their rules in 2014, he had 20 penalties in the first 20 games, but only five in the last 17 games prior to yesterday night's game.

Revis was flagged once too and surrendered a couple of first downs. He was also blocked out of a couple of plays downfield and would have given up a touchdown if not for Wilkerson rescuing him by batting down the pass at the line.

Marcus Williams held up quite well, although he almost gave up a deep catch inside the 10, just about managing to prise the ball loose. He also had a big contribution as a pass rusher, jumping into Palmer's face to prevent a screen pass as he came unblocked off the edge. That play looked like it was going places.

Pryor - much like Lee - showed more discipline this week. Again, perhaps not playing zone was a key factor here. He made some plays in coverage and did well overall. He wasn't perfect though, as he was badly caught inside on an end-around.

Other than his bad mistake on the long touchdown, Gilchrist played quite well too, making one nice play in coverage.

Darryl Roberts drew some praise after his last performance, but I wasn't really convinced because he was let off the hook a few times by Sammie Coates' unreliable hands. In this game, he only played briefly but got beaten for a first down, a touchdown and a pass interference call. He also seemed to be responsible for a 12 men on the field penalty.

Rontez Miles and Antonio Allen played briefly off the bench, but did not contribute much.

Surprisingly, despite Harris being absent, the linebackers were hardly targeted in coverage. Carter gave up one easy first down though and was also late to react on a quick pass to the flat, leading to another first down.

Overall, the lack of big plays is a minor positive, but the inability of the secondary to prevent quick and easy throws when blitzing remains a concern. It's not helped by their inability to play physical man-to-man coverage without drawing a flag, though.

Special teams

Once again, the Jets' renovated special teams unit didn't get many chances to influence the game, positively or otherwise. Only one field goal was attempted by either team, with Nick Folk's 39-yarder accounting for the only Jets' points. In the return game, every kick-off - by both teams - went for a touchback. Jalin Marshall also opted to fair catch four of the Cardinals five punts with the other one being downed.   Only when the Jets were punting did anything worth discussing happen.

Lac Edwards had a disappointing game with a few short kicks including one that was shanked out of bounds. His one good punt was basically meaningless as he landed the ball inside the 10 with just seconds remaining in the first half.

It's worth pointing out that Tanner Purdum had an uncharacteristically poor game though, with Edwards having to reach for four less-than-perfect snaps in the first half alone. The snap was to his right on the one he shanked - also to the right.

That's the trouble with a struggling team. Even if you manage to fix some of the issues you've been having, you can't guarantee that the things you could usually rely on week-in and week-out won't have an off-day and end up costing you anyway.

For someone with a supposedly booming leg, should we be concerned that Edwards hasn't had a gross average of 44 yards or above in any game since opening day? Perhaps not, because at least he's getting enough hang time that the short kicks aren't getting returned.

In this game, Juston Burris - who didn't see any time on defense - did a good job of getting downfield in coverage. He made one terrific tackle after blowing past the vice on the outside and blew up another punt even though he missed the tackle. On another play he drew an illegal block in the back penalty, one of two penalties he drew on the day.

Peake also did a good job of getting downfield and blew up a punt return for a loss. He was well-blocked on another play though.

Even with the Jets getting downfield well, one of the punts was close to being broken for a big return, but Bruce Carter made a solid open field tackle after four players (Burris, Miles, Henderson and Josh Martin) overpursued.

Final thoughts

Mercifully, the Jets finally made it through the tough part of their schedule. They now face a slate of games against the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins and Rams which seem winnable and could enable them to get their season back on track before their first meeting with the Patriots.

Unfortunately, those four games aren't actually as easy as they once seemed. The Ravens were 3-0 to start with and even though they've lost three in a row, all three were games they could and probably should have won. The Rams also had three wins in a row, including two against teams that beat the Jets, and could easily be 4-2. Even Miami just beat the Steelers and the Browns might still be the Browns, but perhaps they are due or something.

Moreover, the Jets don't look capable of competing with anyone right now, let alone beating them. It's difficult to remember a season where things looked so bleak at such an early point. Even in 2014, where they also began 1-5, there was a sense that they'd been unlucky in some games against good teams and might be on the brink of a turnaround.

Hopefully I'm overreacting, but things don't look too promising right now.

Tags: BGA

Bowles talks Hackenberg 00:00:32
Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks about Christian Hackenberg being traded to the Raiders, and why the QB struggled with the Jets.

The Jets have traded QB Christian Hackenberg to the Raiders for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019, head coach Todd Bowles announced on Tuesday. 

"We did everything we could," Bowles said about working with Hackenberg. "Sometimes it just doesn't work out."

Bowles added that Hackenberg was held out of OTAs on purpose on Tuesday in case a deal involving him was reached. Hackenberg had been lost in the shuffle in the Jets' QB logjam, with Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater ahead of him on the depth chart. 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Darnold in action at Jets OTAs 00:00:37
Check out Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Quincy Enunwa and more in action at Jets OTAs on Tuesday in Florham Park.

The Jets took the field in Florham Park on Tuesday to kick off their first OTA session leading up to training camp in June. 

Of course, the biggest storyline heading into the new year for Gang Green is what will Sam Darnold's role be in his rookie season. Here he is already getting work in as practice begins.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE VIDEO

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Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
		  (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Washington Redskins' Terrelle Pryor carries the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Jets WR Terrelle Pryor was one of the most notable players missing at the team's first OTA on Tuesday, and it wasn't because he didn't want to show up. 

Pryor, who had ankle surgery last November, has reportedly suffered another ankle injury this offseason, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

The 28-year-old converted receiver played in just nine games last season with the Redskins before a season-ending ankle injury ruined his one-year, "prove it" deal in Washington. He signed another with the Jets this offseason worth $4.5 million.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed fourth-round pick Chris Herndon, a tight end out of Miami (Fla.), on Monday, leaving first-round pick Sam Darnold as New York's only unsigned draftee.

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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