During the 2013 offseason, there was plenty of uncertainty over the Jets nose tackle position. Not only was Sione Po'uha - who had been hampered by a back injury throughout the 2012 season - released, but the Jets also lost Mike DeVito to the Chiefs. DeVito had provided the team with a backup option at the nose tackle position while also starting at defensive end.

In order to address this, the Jets signed Chargers veteran Antonio Garay, who had been outstanding in 2011 and played pretty well in 2012 despite missing the start of the season. While the Jets were perhaps hoping that 2011 third round pick Kenrick Ellis would step into a starting role, it was actually 2012 undrafted free agent Damon Harrison who stepped up. With Ellis injured in preseason and only able to play in one game, Harrison made the most of the opportunity to start and deservedly hung onto the job all year with Ellis backing him up. An unimpressive Garay was unable to make the final roster.

After the jump, a look at some numbers and analysis for these this pairing as we aim to project where their careers could be headed over the next few seasons.

2013 Recap

Harrison, having barely played as a rookie, started all 16 games and was outstanding against the run all season. Ellis was still bothered by a back injury for most of the first half of the season, but did play in every game (although he was limited to just one snap in the win over New England.) Pro Football Focus projected Ellis as the Jets' "Secret Superstar" last month as he was also impressive against the run:

He ended up making 17 run stops on 114 run snaps on the season, which gave him a Run Stop Percentage of 14.9%. Over the last six years, John Henderson in 2010 was the only defensive or nose tackle with at least 100 snaps against the run and a better Run Stop Percentage. He was also 1.7% better than the second-best defensive tackle in Run Stop Percentage; teammate Damon Harrison.

Harrison also received plenty of recognition from them as he was named in the top 100 players of 2013:

Acting as an early-down run-plugging machine, Harrison couldn’t be moved at the point of attack and had the playmaking ability to shed blocks and make a ridiculous amount of stops around the line of scrimmage. [He] comfortably finished the year our top-ranked defensive tackle against the run [...]

To some extent, the production from Ellis is a by-product of the fact that he often enters the game in run-stopping situations and also from the fact that he doesn't play as many snaps, keeping him fresh. However, there are plenty of players out there with a similar role and only one of them can lead the league. Ellis also had the highest grade for his position on a per-play basis.

Another argument I've seen is that the run stop percentage could be higher than you'd expect for these players as a result of the other strong players on the line. That's a fair question to ask, but still there are plenty of talented defensive lines around the league. In third place was rookie Star Lotulelei who of course plays on a top-level defense with a great front seven and two excellent defensive ends. Just behind them are players from the Seahawks, Cardinals and Bills - again teams with depth and talent on the line. However, even though it's true to some extent that they benefited from the abilities of their teammates, they extent to which Ellis and Harrison were able to exploit this and generate stops was better than everyone else.

The question of whether or not certain players are being double-teamed more than others and how this affects the value of their contribution is something that fascinates me and I'm already in the process of compiling data for a multi-part series on that topic. Until that research is completed, we can only speculate about whether the likes of Harrison and/or Ellis would fare if they moved to another team, perhaps with less front seven talent.

On that topic, you can cite both positive and negative examples of players that moved from one team to another and how they fared. Garay, for example, had played well with the Chargers, but couldn't even make the Jets roster despite the talent around him. Maybe that was just due to his age though. DeVito is an example of someone who left the Jets where he was surrounded by talented players but was still productive with his new team. However, the Chiefs defense was revitalized last year under Bob Sutton, so there was plenty of talent around him. At this point you risk getting into a chicken-egg argument about whether a player makes the players around him better or vice versa.

One final thought on this could be that the strategy employed by the Jets enables the Jets' nose tackles to make more plays than usual. During preseason there was concern over the fact that the Jets might struggle to set the edge, but in the end that wasn't a major issue as both Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples held their own in this regard. However, funneling runs back to the middle was clearly a priority for the team, as I noted in preseason that they were employing safeties on the outside and even sometimes getting one of their inside backers to run-blitz outside the tackles to ensure outside contain. In fact, that might be part of the reasoning of employing a bigger player like Coples on the outside.

The Dynamic Duo

Clearly Harrison and Ellis provide the Jets with an excellent one-two punch. If a fresh Ellis can spell Harrison and produce at the same kind of rate, that's an ideal situation for the Jets. Rich Cimini had a good stat that suggests Ellis even provided the run defense with a boost when entering the game:

In a backup role, he became a force against the run. With the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Ellis in the game, the Jets allowed only 2.59 yards per rush, according to NFL stats. Without him, they yielded 3.40 -- a team-high 0.81 differential.

This begs the question; Should they be trying to get Ellis on the field more? While I would certainly not advocate for a reduction in the snap count for Harrison, it might be good to reduce the reps for Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. Wilkerson played more snaps than any other 3-4 DE in the league and Richardson was not far behind in 7th.

So, how did Harrison and Ellis fare when they did play together? This will give us some idea as to whether they could run some more 4-3 packages with them paired together inside (possibly with the weakside end standing up).

Opposing teams ran 48 times with the pair of them in the game, gaining just 103 yards. That's 2.1 yards per carry, which compares well with the numbers above. However, context is important here.

First of all, that includes seven kneel-downs for the loss of eight yards. Excluding those plays from the numbers gives us 41 carries, 111 yards and a 2.7 yards per carry average. The reason I've given you both is that it's not clear from Cimini's statistic above whether kneel-downs are excluded from the data. I believe they are, because the NFL's official site lists the Jets average per carry as 3.35 which would account for a slight drop due to kneel-downs. For the record, there were four other kneel-downs with Harrison but not Ellis on the field.

The next thing to consider is the situation. Many of these plays were short yardage plays, some of which were at the goal line. This can artificially bring down a yards per carry average because a short gain is still a successful play. Having said that, the Jets only surrendered two touchdowns with Ellis and Harrison both in the game and their goal line defense was very efficient all year. They also had some other big third or fourth and short stops with them both in there.

The other situation in which they were employed together was mainly when the other team was ahead and the Jets were expecting them to run the ball to keep the clock moving. Again, that perhaps reduces the degree of difficulty for stopping the run. However, there were two breakdowns in the Tennessee and Carolina games in this situation, leading to game clinching 20 and 18 yard runs, without which the averages per carry would have been much lower.

On the basis of these numbers, it seems like a package with both of them inside could be effective on first and second down, although they might need to look back at those two breakdowns to clear one or two things up. One concern with this lineup might be that a team could opt to attack it through the air and maybe even go into a no-huddle and spread the defense out. Harrison and Ellis have both impressed me with their ability to drive a pass-protector back, but I think a package with both of them in there would be less disruptive in terms of getting into the backfield.

One further concern, although this may just be a statistical anomaly, is that the Jets were 0-7 when the pair of them were in the game for more than one running play. They were 3-1 in four games where they just had one goal line play together each and 5-0 where they did not play together against the run. As noted, some of this work came in situations where they were losing. However, that doesn't completely explain it. 24 of the 41 carries with them both in were in the fourth quarter, only half of which were inside the last three minutes.

What can we learn from 2007?

As noted in earlier columns, I've recently been charting games from the 2007 season and some of the things I observed have unexpectedly provided some different perspectives on issues relevant to the current team. That's also the case for the nose tackle position, where we can make an interesting contrast between the two teams.

The first thing to note is that Eric Mangini's team (with Sutton as defensive coordinator) would employ a base defense far more often that the current Jets team does. Starter DeWayne Robertson actually played in subpackages too, but his backup, Po'uha, was solely employed in base. This meant he was lined up over the center over 90% of the time and mostly two-gapping. By contrast, Ellis and Harrison each played less than 25% of their snaps as a pure nose tackle. There would also have been some 4-3 reps at defensive tackle where they lined up over the center as a 3-4 nose tackle would, but at the same time there were plenty of times where they'd line up in the A or B gap. If they were in the game together, then obviously this would necessitate one or both of them to not be opposite the center.

I can recall arguing with people on TJB during the 2007 season who would insist that Robertson was "constantly on rollerskates". While obviously miscast in a two-gapping role, I felt he held his ground well and mixed in enough gap-shooting plays to make an overall positive contribution. Having rewatched these games, I stand by that and the PFF grades for the season agree, as he received a positive grade for run defense. His true value was in the passing game though, where he did a consistently solid job of being disruptive in the pocket and putting up good pass rush numbers with a few stand-out performances.

It's more interesting to look at Po'uha's role though. I can freely admit that I got this one wrong. My sense on Po'uha was that he had struggled in 2007 and only really started to turn the corner in 2008. However, looking back at the games in 2007, he was really starting to emerge as a solid contributor and providing excellent production against the run. especially over the second half. Po'uha was basically playing the exact same role that Ellis played last season, usually playing 10-20 snaps a game (although he did exceed this three times) with the second unit.

Po'uha's run stop percentage for the year, with the data having been compiled by PFF since their comments on Ellis higher up was a staggering 21.2%. In the PFF era, 16.1% was the previous best for anyone with over 100 run snaps in a season.

This is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First of all, perhaps Mangini deserves more of the credit for initially developing Po'uha that Ryan typically gets. Secondly, its pours cold water on the suggestion that nose tackles who put up big numbers in that category are only doing so because of the players around them. That Jets team had no pro bowlers (apart from kick returner Justin Miller) and they struggled defensively most of the year, finishing up 4-12. In fact, when Po'uha entered the game, he usually rotated in with other backups, including the rookie DeVito. Finally, since Po'uha led the league in this category in a backup role, maybe it gives us an insight into the development path Ellis might be able to follow.

Po'uha remained a backup in 2008 as the Jets signed PFF's top DT from 2007, Kris Jenkins, with a three-down nose tackle being an obvious need with Robertson leaving. When Jenkins was injured in 2009 and 2010, Po'uha started in his place and did an outstanding job. He also played well in 2011 before his injury plagued 2012 season. Po'uha was 28 in 2007 while Ellis will turn 27 this December.

Po'uha did see his production increase down the stretch, especially in the penultimate game against the Titans, where he had seven stops in 31 snaps. Part of the reason for that might have been that he was often in the game when Shaun Ellis was moved to outside linebacker (which I referenced in last week's article on Coples). As I noted above, perhaps part of the reason certain nose tackles are productive is because runs are being funneled back to the inside and that's something that putting a bigger player like Shaun Ellis on the outside could lead to.

Contractual Situation

At the end of the season, (Kenrick) Ellis will be an unrestricted free agent, whereas Harrison will be a restricted free agent. The Jets will need to weigh up cost, potential compensation and value to the team when deciding how to approach this.

Looking at Po'uha's situation, he signed a three-year extension after that 2007 season while entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal. In that respect, he's basically in the same position contractually as Ellis. Po'uha's extension was tacked onto the end of his rookie deal, basically giving him a four year contract for $7m. If the Jets could re-sign Ellis to a deal in that ballpark, that would be ideal. However, we've got seven years of inflation and the fact that Ellis is slightly younger to factor in, so that might be on the low side. If Ellis wants to earn a decent-sized contract, he may need to show he can be a full-time starter first and if Harrison remains on the team, his best chance of getting that opportunity could be to let his contract expire and then seek a short term deal elsewhere. However, there's always a risk that you can get that bigger deal much like Po'uha did in 2012, but then end up not seeing most of the money.

It will be interesting to see what the Jets decide to do with Harrison and whether there is a market for him if he receives a high restricted free agency tender. I'm sure the Jets would like to lock up one or both of their nose tackles, but they perhaps still have to prove that they can repeat or even emulate last year's performance first.

Conclusions

The Jets are in a nice position with two nose tackles who - regardless of who deserves the most credit - were both extremely productive against the run last year. However, the clock is ticking.

It's clear there are several factors that go into nose tackle performance and numbers alone (as usual) do not tell the whole story. As the Jets look ahead to the point where they'll need to decide what to do with these two players, it isn't going to be easy to weigh up all these factors and make an informed decision.

If Harrison and Ellis both give another outstanding performance in 2014 to make that task even harder for the Jets, I guess that wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to this team.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

Vacchiano reports on Revis, Jets 00:03:25
SNY insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses the Jets' options regarding Darrelle Revis and his recent criminal charges.

Latest Update: (Feb. 17)

10:15 p.m. 

Darrelle Revis has been arraigned and was given a non-monetary bond, reports Coley Harvey of ESPN.

According to Harvey, Revis still has to attend all hearings in the case and cannot come in contact with the alleged victims or witnesses.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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What is Revis' future with Jets? 00:04:30
SNY insider and former Jet Willie Colon weighs in on Darrelle Revis' future after being charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor.

SNY insider and former Jet Willie Colon weighs in on Darrelle Revis' future after being charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor.


 (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)
(Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

As bad as Darrelle Revis was last season, he kept insisting he was far from finished. Several times he made it clear he wanted to keep playing and was even willing to see if that could happen with the Jets. He seemed to be embracing his role as a future elder statesman on the team. He hinted he might accept a pay cut to stay. He even admitted he was willing to switch positions.

None of that matters anymore.

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The incident that has surely ended Darrelle Revis' Jets career, and could land him in jail, began with two star-struck men who seemingly couldn't believe they had run into the NFL player on the streets of Pittsburgh in the middle of the night. They asked if he was really Revis. They didn't believe his answer.

And everything escalated from there.

Much of the confrontation from early Sunday morning is on a cell phone video, too, according to the criminal complaint filed with the Pittsburgh Police and obtained by WTAE in Pittsburgh. The evidence was strong enough for Revis to be charged on Thursday with four felonies (two counts of aggravated assault and one each of criminal conspiracy and robbery) and one misdemeanor (making terroristic threats)...

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Each week, SNY will put a current player, a position, or perhaps a draft or free agent target of the Jets in the spotlight as part of our regular offseason coverage. Last week we took a look at Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears quarterback who might hit the open market in the coming weeks. This week we turn inward and look at a proud Jet who is at the center of one of the team's biggest offseason decisions:

CB Darrelle Revis.

After a miserable season in which he was a shell of his former self it seems like a pretty simple decision for the Jets to let Darrelle Revis go -- especially since he's due $15 million in salary and bonuses in 2017 and his cap number is $15.3 million...

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV: 

The Jets had such high hopes for their offensive line when they acquired left tackle Ryan Clady from the Broncos last April. But the experiment is over after less than a year.

The Jets have informed Clady's agent that they do not intend to pick up his option for the 2017 season, according to an NFL source. New York had until Wednesday to make a decision before the team would owe him a $1 million roster bonus. Clady also was scheduled to make a non-guaranteed salary of $10 million this year.

Tags: Ryan Clady, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (AP)
(AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick of the NFL draft on April 27, complete with who's rising and who's falling throughout the process and as the Jets' potential needs change:

1. CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - The Jets should soon have some clarity on the Darrelle Revis situation since cuts around the NFL have already begun and he's due a $2 million roster bonus on March 11. Assuming he's not coming back - and if he does, assuming he'll come back as a safety - this position remains one of the Jets' biggest needs. Perhaps offensive line is bigger, but at the moment few scouts seem to believe there's a tackle worthy of a Top 10 pick. The big question with Lattimore? Will he even make it out of the Top 5? A strong combine or Pro Day performance could push him out of the Jets' reach. (Last week: 1).

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 (Brett Rojo)
(Brett Rojo)

Mel Kiper's second Mock Draft for ESPN has the Jets selecting LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Kiper notes that while the Jets have a quarterback problem to solve and could also draft a defender with the pick, Fournette may be the best player available and the Jets would "know they can get a ton of reps from Fournette right now, and this is a team that needs to be better."

Fournette had 129 carries for 843 yards and eight touchdowns last season for LSU, adding another 146 yards on 15 receptions...

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The Jets haven't begun to clear the salary cap room they need to be active in free agency, so it remains to be seen just how active they will be. But they'll have to do something when the signing period opens on March 9 because they have plenty of needs.

So what will they do? Last week, I took a look at five free agents who could (or should) be on the Jets' radar at several positions. This week, I'll focus on the most important position -- quarterback. The Jets will likely at least look for a quarterback-of-the-future on the market. Whether they sign one might depend on the price.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is tackled by Buffalo Bills strong safety Aaron Williams after making a catch during the first half at New Era Field. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is tackled by Buffalo Bills strong safety Aaron Williams after making a catch during the first half at New Era Field. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL offseason may be off to a slow start, but things are surely about to pick up with cuts and contract restructures on their way, and with the scouting combine just two weeks away.

With that in mind, here is our weekly look at some of the biggest questions facing the Jets, what's new about them, where they stand on finding an answer, and if any of the issues have changed.

1. Who is their quarterback?

They of course haven't answered this yet, but they did answer who'll be coaching the quarterbacks: new offensive coordinator John Morton and new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. Neither has an extensive resume at their current positions -- or really working with quarterbacks -- which is interesting if they're going to be entrusted with developing a young quarterback.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Eric Decker, Geno Smith, James Carpenter, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Ryan Clady, Sheldon Richardson, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Cleveland Browns free safety K'Waun Williams (36) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Aaron Doster)
Cleveland Browns free safety K'Waun Williams (36) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. (Aaron Doster)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Jets will get an early start on free agency and possibly on rebuilding their secondary when they visit with free agent cornerback K'Waun Williams on Wednesday, according to a league source

The 25-year-old former Cleveland Brown, and a native of Northern New Jersey, will arrive in town on Tuesday night, the source said, coming from Detroit where he is currently visiting the Detroit Lions. Williams also has several other teams hoping to line up visits with him in the next week or so, according to the source.

That make sense considering it wasn't that long ago that Williams was a promising young corner for the Browns who started 10 games as their nickel corner in 2014-15. But he sat out all of 2016 with an impingement caused by bone spurs in his ankle.

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Marcus Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Ryan Fitzpatrick Era was never supposed to happen for the Jets, and it certainly never was expected to last two roller-coaster seasons. In the end, though, it was a wild ride that rescued a franchise in one of its darkest moments before leading it back into the darkness again.

For better or for worse, the Fitzpatrick Era officially ended on Friday when the contract that the 34-year-old quarterback signed last summer automatically voided. All that's left is a $5 million cap hit the Jets must endure during the 2017 season. And memories - more than a few good ones, and plenty of bad.

So was it worth it? That all depends on your perspective, how much your sights are set on the Jets' long-term future, and how much you value all the fun that was had in 2015 during the Jets' near-playoff-miss.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Eric Decker, Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Each week, SNY will put a current player, a position, or perhaps a draft or free agent target of the Jets in the spotlight as part of our regular offseason coverage. This week we begin with one of the potential quarterback options for the Jets -- and one with ties to their brand new quarterbacks coach:

QB Jay Cutler.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj)
New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. (Kevin Jairaj)

Jets WR Brandon Marshall listed JJ Watt and Deion Sanders among the players he believes could be the best of all time, but one player was notably absent from his list: Tom Brady.

Marshall told NJ Advanced Media during a charity event for his Project 375 foundation that Brady is "not the best player ever," adding that his idea of the best player would be "a guy that I can put at corner, safety, defensive end, a guy that I can put back on punt return, chase down kicks." He also mentioned Reggie White and Jerry Rice as possible contenders for the best player ever, but conceded that it "would probably be impossible [to say for sure]." 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)
Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike (68) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Chris Humphreys)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Since the end of the season, the Jets have added several players to their 90-man roster. We've been looking at each of these players to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Today we're going to look at three additions on the defensive front seven; Kenny Anunike, Frank Beltre and Jeff Luc. All three are undrafted free agents but they have different roles. Let's compare their attributes, divided into categories.

Experience

At 27, Beltre is the oldest of the three, but actually has the least NFL experience. He played three preseason games with the Chargers in 2013 but has only played in the CFL since that time.

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 (Rick Scuteri/AP)
(Rick Scuteri/AP)

The Jets have signed tackle Jeff Adams, the club announced on Wednesday. The 27-year-old ended this past season on the Houston Texans' practice squad after appearing in four games in 2014 and 2015. Adams has also been a part of the Cincinnati Bengals' and Miami Dolphins' practice squads.

Adams was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys in 2012 after playing collegiately at Columbia University

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a new podcast, and they're turning their Jets frowns upside down with some positivity. As they contemplate the future of Darrelle Revis, they turn the clock back to Revis past, with a deep dive countdown of their favorite moments in Revis / Jets history.

Click below to listen!

 

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The Jets have added four coaches to their staff for the 2017 season, hiring Jeremy Bates (quarterbacks coach), Mick Lombardi (assistant quarterbacks coach), Jason Vrable (offensive assistant) and Joe Giacobbe (strength and conditioning assistant), the team announced on Wednedsay.

Bates held the same position with the Jets in 2005 under then-head coach Herm Edwards. He was the Chicago Bears QBs coach in 2012 but was not retained and has been out of the NFL since. Lombardi was an offesnive quaity control coach with the 49ers this past season while Vrable was the assistant QBs coach for the Bills. Giacobbe was the director of player performance at Rutgers from 2012-2015.

 

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North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) passes as Pittsburgh's Ejuan Price (5) rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) (Gerry Broome/AP)
North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) passes as Pittsburgh's Ejuan Price (5) rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) (Gerry Broome/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

As miserable as the Jets' 5-11 season was their consolation prize isn't bad. They stand to get a heck of a player with the sixth overall pick in the 2017 draft - perhaps a franchise-changing player, and maybe someone who can contribute right away.

That's no guarantee, of course, but it's a positive to focus on for a team that needs a lot of help in a lot of different areas. Maybe - just maybe - they could end up with the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for far too many years.

It's early, of course - very early - and a lot can change during free agency. But here's a look at five players the Jets might have their eyes on in the first round of the NFL draft, which takes place on April 27. SNY will be taking a weekly look at this board and charting who is rising and falling throughout the combine and Pro Day season, and as the Jets' potential needs change:

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

Former Jets' running back and broadcaster Mike Adamle revealed he his battling dementia and doctors think he may have CTE, the New York Daily News reported on Wednesday. Adamle, 67, played with the Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears during a six-year NFL career.

"It shook my world," Adamle said in an interview with NBC-5 in Chicago. "It just kind of a little bit worse sometimes every day."

Adamle is perhaps best known for his work as co-host of "American Gladiators" from 1989-1996.

 

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 (Reinhold Matay (USA Today))
(Reinhold Matay (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

With one month to go until the NFL free-agent signing period opens on March 9, the Jets have some work to do. They have to make several cuts and restructure several contracts just to get under the 2017 salary cap, which figures to be somewhere around $168 million.

How active they'll be in free agency depends on how much cap room they're able to clear. It also depends on how much -- if anything -- they devote to finding a starting quarterback on the free-agent market.

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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets have signed long-snapper Josh Latham, the team announced Tuesday.

Latham, who spent three years as the long-snapper for Sacramento State, has never appeared in the NFL.

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Former Green Bay Packers DL Mike Pennel (Mark Hoffman/USA Today Sports Images)
Former Green Bay Packers DL Mike Pennel (Mark Hoffman/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets claimed former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Pennel off waivers, the team announced Tuesday.

Pennel, 25, has recorded one sack and 40 combined tackles in 37 games over the past three seasons with Green Bay. He recorded seven combined tackles in eight games last season.

Pennel was suspended four games last season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Darron Lee, the New York Jets' promising young linebacker and their first-round pick in last year's draft, says he is OK after being attacked in a bar in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old explained the incident in some detail on Monday in a video posted to his Twitter account, in which he showed off a bruise under his right eye and what he said were "bumps all around my head." He insisted he was attacked without provocation and he had no idea by whom.

Tags: Darron Lee, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the New York Jets can begin cleaning up the wreckage from their 5-11 season and start yet another rebuilding project. Despite being on the cusp of the playoffs a year ago, they seem farther away than ever now.

With that in mind, here are some of the biggest questions the Jets must answer this offseason. We'll check back in each week to see how they're doing, whether any of the questions have been answered, and whether any have changed:

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Eric Decker, Geno Smith, James Carpenter, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Ryan Clady, Sheldon Richardson, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

The New York Jets are targeting former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to be their new quarterbacks coach, The MMQB's Albert Breer reports.

The organization had Bates, who was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in a 4-12 2005 season which featured five different quarterbacks, including Brooks Bollinger, in mind for their offensive coordinator vacancy before they signed John Morton, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Bates served as the Chicago Bears' quarterbacks coach in 2012 and Seahawks offensive coordinator in 2010.

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Licata vents after Falcons' loss 00:06:16
Falcons fan Sal Licata vents his frustrations after the Falcons' loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell of the Seahawks may forever be known for the single dumbest play call in Super Bowl history, when they called for a pass instead of a run from the 1 yard line at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, leading to a Malcolm Butler interception and handing the Patriots a championship.

But Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan of the Falcons gave that inexplicable decision a run for its money on Sunday night.

Their brain-frozen play calling with four minutes left in Super Bowl LI snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and gift-wrapped a championship opportunity to the Patriots again. In a span of three mind-boggling plays, they went from being well within range of a game-sealing field goal to punting the ball away and putting it back in Tom Brady's hands...

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 (AP)
(AP)

The Jets have opened at 75/1 odds to win Super Bowl LII, according to a list released by Bovada sportsbook in Las Vegas.

Among the Jets' AFC East rivals, the Patriots -- at 5/1 -- have the best odds in the NFL. The Dolphins have 50/1 odds, while the Bills opened at 66/1.

Only the Bears (100/1), Browns, and 49ers (both at 150/1) have worse odds than the Jets.

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 (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

The Jets and their fans have endured 48 years of pain without a Super Bowl, made worse by 12 years without a division title and now six straight years without a trip to the playoffs. It has to hurt more that the dominant team of this era is from their own division, led by a coach (Bill Belichick) they once had for one day in 2000 and a quarterback (Tom Brady) they, like everyone else, passed over in the 2000 draft.

So watching the Patriots' epic comeback and 34-28 overtime win in Super Bowl LI on Sunday night had to be especially painful.

But don't worry: There's a good chance the pain is going to get much worse.

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas)

Many current and former Jets took to Twitter to react to the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI...

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Marcus Williams, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on SB51 00:04:53
The guys on FNNY discuss what went wrong for the Falcons in the second half of the Super Bowl, as well as Tom Brady's place in NFL history.

What went wrong for the Falcons in the second half of the Super Bowl, and what is Tom Brady's place in NFL history?

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 (Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)
(Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)

Ronald Gasser, who shot and killed former Jets RB Joe McKnight, pleaded not guilty on Monday to a second-degree murder charge, according to the Associated Press.

The 55-year-old Gasser, who had initially been charged with manslaughter, was indicted last week, NBC Sports reported.

McKnight, who was 28 years old, was killed in a shooting in Louisiana in December.

A witness said an argument took place between McKnight and the shooter before the shooter opened fire multiple times.

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GEICO SportsNite: Super Bowl 00:01:31
Former Jet Chad Cascadden joins GEICO SportsNite to discuss the Patriots' exhilarating comeback Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Despite trailing 28-3 in the third quarter, Tom Brady and the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points, ending with James White's 2-yard touchdown rush in overtime as New England beat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, to win Super Bowl LI.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Here's a look at Super Bowl LI …

NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons (13-5) vs. AFC Champion New England Patriots (16-2)

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LaDainian Tomlinson played the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Jets. (Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE)
LaDainian Tomlinson played the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Jets. (Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Jets center Kevin Mawae is passed over in this year's vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but LaDanian Tomlinson and Jason Taylor, who played briefly with the Jets, made it in.

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Deshaun Watson in New York? 00:02:37
The DNL panel debates the idea of the Jets drafting Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson after stating he would like to play for the Jets.

New Orleans Saints wide receivers coach John Morton against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas)
New Orleans Saints wide receivers coach John Morton against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas)

The Jets' decision to hire John Morton as the team's new offensive coordinator was endored by future Hall of Famer Drew Breesaccording to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Brees has known Morton for over a decade, as the two spent three seasons together in New Orleans - 2006, 2015, and 2016- while Morton served as the team's receivers coach. 

Over the last two seasons, the Saints have scored more touchdowns and produced more yards than any team around the league.

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Erik Coleman talks Super Bowl LI 00:03:31
Former Jet Erik Coleman joins DNL to discuss the top storylines heading into Super Bowl LI from Houston.

Former Jet Erik Coleman joins Daily News Live to discuss the top storylines heading into Super Bowl LI.

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Former LB Mo Lewis at Jets House 00:04:37
Former Jets linebacker Mo Lewis chats with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

Former Jets linebacker Mo Lewis chats with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

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Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Jets quarterbacks Bryce Petty (9) and Christian Hackenberg warm up before a preseason game. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

A year after lobbying the Jets to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall may be "retired" from offering his quarterback suggestions, but that doesn't mean he won't offer his thoughts on the Jets quarterbacks.

And when it comes to the two young ones on the current roster, the veteran receiver apparently likes what he's seen.

Marshall, speaking again on WFAN from the Super Bowl Media Center in Houston, Marshall had nothing but praise for second-year pro Bryce Petty and rookie Christian Hackenberg. He stopped short of endorsing either as the Jets' starter in 2017, but he made it clear he believes the potential in both is there.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Since the end of the season, the Jets have added several players to their 90-man roster. Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at each of these players to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

We start by looking at the three wide receivers: Deshon Foxx, Darius Jennings, and Myles White. All three are undrafted free agents with similar skill-sets. Let's compare their attributes, divided into categories.

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Ex-Jet Walker talks current team 00:04:33
Former Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker speaks with SNY's Jeane Coakley at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

Former Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker speaks with SNY's Jeane Coakley at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

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Willie Colon on Super Bowl, Jets 00:04:37
Former Jets guard Willie Colon offers his Super LI predictions and discusses Brandon Marshall and the Jets.

Marshall criticizes Jets 00:03:35
The Loud Mouths discuss recent comments made by Jets WR Brandon Marshall, declaring the locker room a "toxic environment" last season.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

\Brandon Marshall's numbers took a big dip last season and, at age 32, it looked like the beginning of a late-career decline. But the Jets receiver apparently doesn't agree with that sentiment.

In fact, he guarantees that next season, at age 33, he'll be right back up at the top of the charts.

Marshall vowed that he will be a "top-five" receiver again while making an appearance on ESPN's First Take during Super Bowl hype week in Houston on Wednesday. He acknowledged the misery of his 2016 season, in which he had just 59 catches for 788 yards. But to him, that was a blip on his radar, not a sign of diminishing skills...

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE)
(Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY:

Head coach Todd Bowles turned to an old friend to help fill out his coaching staff when he hired former Arizona Cardinals assistant Stump Mitchell to be the Jets' new running backs coach on Wednesday.

Bowles and Mitchell worked together in 2013-14, when Bowles was the defensive coordinator on Bruce Arians' staff in Arizona. The 57-year-old Mitchell helped develop David Johnson into a dual-threat star in Arizona. He also had success earlier in his career as the Seattle running backs coach from 1999-2007, when he helped develop Shaun Alexander, and again In Washington (2008-09) with Clinton Portis...

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Becht discusses 2017 Jets 00:07:27
Former Jets tight end Anthony Becht chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

Former Jets tight end Anthony Becht chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley at the Jets House event in Manhattan.

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 (Jasen Vinlove)
(Jasen Vinlove)

Brandon Marshall clarified his comments insinuating he would take a pay cut to remain with the Jets, reports Daniel Popper of the NY Daily News.

Following the Jets season finale, Marshall remarked that he would "play for free" and that his "bills were paid" when asked if he would consider restructuring his contract.

"I didn't say I'll take a pay cut," Marshall said Tuesday, referring back to his previous statement. "What I said was I love football so much that I would play football if my bills were paid. I wasn't talking about the New York Jets, or any other team for that matter. I was talking about my love for the game, and how I'm at a point in my career, too, where it's not about the money."

Marshall is owed $7.5 million in the final year of a three-year deal. However, none of that money is guaranteed and the Jets can free themselves of Marshall's contract by releasing him at no expense this offseason. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets new OC 00:01:46
Ralph Vacchiano discusses the Jets hiring John Morton as their new offensive coordinator.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The New York Jets found a big piece to their offensive puzzle when they finally hired an offensive coordinator on Tuesday. But nothing they do really matters until they find a quarterback -- which remains the biggest piece of all.

That piece is going to be the real key to the success of John Morton, whom the Jets hired as offensive coordinator. Morton has never been a coordinator in the NFL, though he held that position at USC from 2009 to 2010. He was a wide receivers coach in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014 and again in New Orleans for the past two years.

It's somewhat alarming that he's never called plays in the NFL, but it's really surprising that the Jets had to go with an inexperienced coordinator to replace veteran Chan Gailey, who retired after two seasons on the job. The Jets' job wasn't exactly an attractive one, considering head coach Todd Bowles enters the 2017 season on the hot seat and the Jets don't have an obvious quarterback

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Bryce Petty, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have hired Robert Nunn to be their defensive line coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Nunn, who was fired by the Browns after one season and replaced with Clyde Simmons, would be taking over for former defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, who was among several fired Jets assistants at season's end.

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