We're experimenting today with a new feature. I've been charting games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling me to break down what to watch out for on gameday. Please let me know in the comments section if you would like this to become a regular feature...

This afternoon, the Jets face the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team who - at 2-10 - are regarded as one of the NFL's weaker teams. As Bassett's post the other day showed, they rank near the bottom in virtually every category on offense and defense. However, they are a team that beat the Colts in week three and almost took down the Texans three weeks ago, following that up with a win over the Titans, so if the Jets turn in another disappointing performance, they could definitely come unstuck. After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what the Jets do need to look out for.

Quarterbacks

The Jags offense right now obviously doesn't really resemble what Jacksonville fans envisaged during the offseason. With quarterback Blaine Gabbert and workhorse running back Maurice Jones-Drew out for the season, they're now relying on Chad Henne's arm. Henne, who Jets fans know well from his time in Miami, made some headlines when he threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in that loss to the Texans. However, he actually completed less than 50% of his passes in that game and last week's game, so he's not exactly lighting it up. Henne has played against the Jets four times and while he has a bit of a reputation as a Jet killer due to his 3-1 record against them, he basically had two great games and two awful ones. While Henne does represent an upgrade over the developing Gabbert at this stage of his career, they'll have to rely on him more than they would have liked, due to an injury crisis at the running back position.

Running Backs

With Jones-Drew already out, the Jaguars lost Rashad Jennings and Jalen Parmele over the last couple of weeks and now look set to start special teams demon Montell Owens. Owens is a 220-pounder in his seventh year and has never rushed for more than 50 yards in any one season. He was operating primarily as a backup fullback over the last couple of months. Richard Murphy - who SEC fans might remember as one of LSU's running back committee a couple of years back - will likely back him up. Greg Jones II has a thigh injury, but should play at fullback. If not, Will Ta'ufo'ou would step in.

Receivers

Another injury blow for the Jags this week saw Cecil Shorts III ruled out. Shorts has been Jacksonville's best receiver this year, but his absence means that rookie Justin Blackmon will be the number one. Blackmon hasn't been great this year, catching less than 48% of his targets, although he has been coming on strong with three touchdowns in the last five games. The Jags signed former Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley two weeks ago and his playing time increased significantly last week, so he will probably get a lot of playing time in the slot.

At tight end, Marcedes Lewis is the team's most experienced and productive target. After a Pro Bowl season in 2010, he had an awful 2011 season with no touchdowns and a 51% catch rate. However, he's having a much better year in 2012. Expect Lewis to operate out of the slot at times. Backup Zach Potter is a blocking specialist.

Offensive Line

At left tackle, Eugene Monroe grades out as one of the better pass protecting tackles in the league. However, I do wonder if that's affected by the fact that weaknesses elsewhere on the line may lead to his numbers looking better than they should because someone else gets to the quarterback before his man can. On the opposite side, Cameron Bradfield (an undrafted free agent last year) beat out Guy Whimper, who led the league in sacks surrendered in 2011, and has proved to be a slight upgrade, although he did struggle over the last couple of weeks. Veterans Uche Nwaneri (RG) and Brad Meester (C) are reliable enough, but they've had the worst situation in the league at left guard for two years now. Eben Britton should get the call this week. He started four games earlier in the year and really struggled in pass protection. Undrafted rookie Mike Brewster, who had been starting without much more success, injured his hand last week and is out.

The Jaguars use Whimper in the same way that the Jets use Jason Smith and he's been relatively reliable in that role. He'll often stay in to pass protect - perhaps along with a back - so that Lewis is freed up to run routes.

Defensive Line

Jacksonville runs a conventional 4-3 scheme and don't blitz much or do anything that unconventional. However, their worst-in-the-NFL pass rush received a boost two weeks ago when they claimed Jason Babin off waivers from the Eagles. Babin had a big game against the Jets last December and while his 2012 season hasn't lived up to his outstanding 2011, he had a couple of pressures in his first game with Jacksonville last week. Jeremy Mincey will usually play the majority of the snaps at right defensive end. He's not that dynamic, but has developed into a solid veteran who can still make impact plays.

On the inside, Jets fans will be familiar with CJ Moseley who was a backup lineman in 2008. Since leaving the Jets, Moseley had become a reliable run stuffer. The Jags famously over-reached for Tyson Alualu a couple of years ago, but he's not bad against the run either.

The Jags have some interesting backups, most of whom get the majority of their reps on passing downs, although that could change now that they've added Babin. Rookie Andre Branch hasn't made much of an impact, but watch out for John Chick who is a situational rusher that generated pressure at a decent rate last year and has just returned to the lineup after missing the first half of the season. The Jags also have Terrence Knighton to back up on the inside. Knighton lost weight during the offseason, but still boasts one of the NFL's best nicknames: Potroast.

(EDIT: Chick is on the inactive list, perhaps indicating that Babin will get more playing time this week on passing downs).

Linebackers

The Jaguars' linebacking corps took a major hit earlier this year when Daryl Smith was injured. Smith is one of the league's best kept secrets and I'd consider him to be one of the best all-round linebackers in the league when healthy. Under the new injured reserve rules, he is eligible to be activated next week, but for the Jets game, they'll have to continue to rely on Paul Posluszny and Russell Allen to pick up the slack. Although Posluszny is the better known of the two, Allen has actually been more statistically productive so far this year. With Smith in the lineup, that's not a bad three man group, but moving everyone down a spot hurts them. Julian Stanford and Kyle Bosworth have been taking it in turns to man the third spot, but that player would come out of the game on passing downs anyway.

Defensive Backs

Another familiar face mans the deep center field for the Jags - Dwight Lowery. He's having a pretty good season, mostly playing deep, although he does put his cornerback experience to good use at times to pick up receivers in the slot. Alongside Lowery is Dawan Landry - LaRon's brother and a guy Rex Ryan coached in Baltimore. Chris Prosinski will enter as the third safety on some passing downs.

Kevin Rutland became the sixth different cornerback to start a game for the Jaguars on Sunday, as that's another position that's been in flux. Aaron Ross, who had started seven games in a row, is out this week, but Derek Cox - who I would rate as their best corner - looks set to make his return. Former starter Rashean Mathis - now 32 - has been bothered by injuries recently and played just eight snaps on Sunday. Mike Harris might be their best slot corner, although he was also getting reps on the outside over the last few games. In view of Mark Sanchez's issues with blitz recognition, watch out for Harris blitzing from the slot, because he did that eight times against Tennessee, collecting a sack and two pressure.

Special Teams

As often seems to be the case with struggling teams, the Jags' kicking game is really good. Josh Scobee has made 20 of 21 field goals and Bryan Anger is in the top ten for most punting categories. Unsurprisingly, with all the injuries, the Jags have had a series of different kick returners. Shipley's college teammate, Quan Cosby returned punts and kicks last week.

>>>

I'll be back tomorrow to recap the game!

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to listen

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

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

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another tough day at practice Wednesday, throwing two interceptions during team drills. It marked the second straight day that Hackenberg threw two picks during 11-on-11 drills. 

The second-year quarterback had not thrown an interception during his first eight practices of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles is still confident in what Hackenberg can do on the field, regardless of what has happened the last two days. 

"It's practice," Bowles told reporters Wednesday. "The defense has got to get turnovers. I'd be concerned if they weren't. They got two today, but we're cleaning some things up, and we're learning as we go. It's going to be up and down every day, so we'll just go from there."

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Though the Jets lost WR Quincy Enunwa for the rest of the season, the other receivers are not viewing it as a setback, per Newsday's Kimberly A. Martin.

Leading the wide receiver corps now is WR Robby Anderson who saw limited time in his rookie year last season. The 24-year-old viewed the situation entirely different than the reporters asking him questions after practice Tuesday. 

"It's not a challenge," Anderson said, "it's an opportunity."

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' offense 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp in Florham Park to discuss the Jets' depth chart and how the offense can stay competitive this season.

 

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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 | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Todd Bowles has had more than enough of the Sheldon Richardson-Brandon Marshall feud.

After 11 months of sniping back and forth between the two of them, and one day after Richardson reignited the war by ripping Marshall in a radio interview, the Jets coach made it clear he's had enough of their fighting. Bowles even grew testy with the media when asked about Richardson's latest remarks.

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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