On Monday, the Jets signed free agent cornerback Aaron Berry to a two-year contract, having worked out Berry and three other cornerbacks last week (including Darrin Walls, who went onto the practice squad). Jets fans might not know too much about Berry, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Berry was a free agent, so assuming he received a standard deal with little or no guaranteed money, there is no requirement to keep him on the team for any length of time if he isn't working out. He was released by the Detroit Lions in preseason after getting arrested twice in one month on gun charges. While I won't be dedicating any time to that aspect of his character, it's apparent he has some baggage. However, he might have some talent too, so if he's now on the straight and narrow, then it's plausible the Jets might have found themselves a bargain. Berry was suspended for the first three weeks of the season, so only became available last week. However, it may take him some time to get into NFL shape, or at least into enough of a rhythm to contribute on gamedays at the NFL level.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Berry's first two seasons in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Aaron Berry?

Berry went to college at Pittsburgh and went undrafted following some injury concerns. He spent preseason in 2010 with the Detroit Lions and impressed so much that he ended up in the starting lineup (as a third corner) on opening day, although he would suffer a shoulder injury that day and miss the rest of the season. In 2011, he played a pretty big role with the Lions, starting three games and receiving significant reps in most of the others. Berry isn't big - listed at 5-11, 180 - but certainly has better size than Isaiah Trufant. He actually measured just 5-9 and three-eighths at his Pro Day, where he did post good numbers, including a 4.47 forty, 36-inch vertical, broad jump of over 10 feet and a sub-four second short shuttle.

Bassett asked Ty Schalter from Lions in Winter for some insight on twitter and Ty shared this:

Very physical outside man coverage guy. Isn't all-world, inconsistent downfield, but much better than people realize ... I often compared him to Cortland Finnegan before CF became everyone's new favorite Best Corner Ever last week (?!?)


Some pretty lofty praise there, so it does sound like he has some promise to at least be serviceable.

The first thing to note about Ty's comments is that he calls Berry an "outside man cover guy". Sure, enough, in 2011, he only played nine snaps (out of 478) in the slot. However, the Jets might need someone who can play in the slot, because when they go to a nickel package, they have preferred to use Wilson in that role, rather than Ellis Lankster, so they may not see Lankster as a slot option. The good news is that all of Berry's 2010 reps were in the slot. Having said that, he only played half of one game, so it's not like he has a ton of experience there.

Let's look at his numbers from his career so far:

The Numbers

Two seasons

13 games

Four starts

504 snaps

40 tackles (39 solo)

Two missed tackles

Coverage numbers: 35-for-56, 442 yards, one TD, one INT and six passes defensed

Completion percentage: 62.5%

Yards per attempt: 7.9

QB rating: 85.6

One special teams tackle

Four penalties (one holding, one neutral zone, one interference, one offsides on a kickoff)

2010 Season

As noted, Berry started the first game, but suffered a season ending shoulder injury during it. He was on the field for 26 snaps:

Week 1 - at Chicago

- On the very first play of his career, he lined up in the slot and came up to trip Matt Forte in the hole for a short gain, showing some run stopping ability.

- Later in the first quarter, on 3rd and 20, he intercepted a pass and returned it into Bears territory. This was an unconventional play, as he lined up opposite the slot receiver, but just dropped off into a zone and a throw across the middle was tipped into the air and then batted right to him by another defender. He showed some quickness on the return.

- On the first play of the second quarter, he made another good play against the run. Again he came across from the slot to stuff a run up the middle.

- Later on in the second quarter, he was targeted on a throw down the seam to Devin Aromashodu that went for a 21-yard gain. He again dropped off into what seemed like zone coverage and Aromashodu made the catch in behind him as the safeties were backed off too far, so that may not have been his fault.

- Finally, a few plays later, he was taken out of the play by a pulling lineman on a screen pass.

2011 Season

Week 1 – at Tampa Bay

- In kick coverage midway through the first quarter, he took a step too far to the inside, creating a seam, although he did show good speed to hustle back and get the angle on the return man, who was stopped at about the 30.

- Into the second quarter, he lined up on the outside, but the Bucs motioned the receivers and bunched them together in an effort to confuse the Lions on 3rd down. Berry backed off and Preston Parker ran a corner pattern and got a step for 18 yards on an accurately delivered pass to the sideline.

- Late in the half, with the Bucs needing to go 80 yards in 1:16, his man came back for the ball and made a diving catch downfield for 14. Berry made a rookie mistake here, allowing the receiver to roll out of bounds before he touched him.

- He made up for it with nine seconds left and the Bucs at the 13 yard line, breaking up a pass in the end zone, forcing them to settle for a field goal. However, this was a terrible missed call by the officials as he never looked back for the ball and drove his shoulder into the receiver's chest well before the ball arrived.

- Into the fourth quarter, he made an aggressive play to come and tackle the receiver in the flat, but missed the tackle and allowed him to pick up the first down.

- A few plays later, he gave up another 13 yard catch on an out pattern. He was 10 yards off his man at the snap and gave him far too much cushion.

- Two plays later, he was playing press coverage at the line, got contact to slow him and drove him out towards the sideline, staying with him stride for stride as the pass never had a chance of being completed. That was excellent, physical coverage, although the receiver once again was appealing for a flag.

- With 1:40 to go, the Bucs – down 14 – had 4th and three at the five. Berry was in single coverage on his man, backed off to the goal line at the snap and the Bucs targeted him for a touchdown, on an inside route to the back of the end zone. Again, Berry didn’t do a good job of getting his head turned around. Overall, he was victimized eight times for 77 yards on ten targets.

- The Bucs did get the ball back, but were forced to attempt a crazy multi-lateral play in the final seconds. Berry himself iced the win by falling on a wayward toss at his 42.

Week 2 – v Kansas City

- Early in the second quarter, he came off the edge as the Chiefs ran a draw play on 3rd and six. Although he missed the tackle, it forced the runner inside and he came up a yard shy.

- On the next drive, he made a great read on 3rd and three and came off his man to prevent Dexter McCluster from getting outside on a screen pass, then closed well to tackle him for a one yard loss as he tried to turn upfield.

- In the second half, there was one play where Dwayne Bowe beat him for a first down on 3rd and 8. Berry had help to the inside, so was playing outside technique and Bowe ran a good route with a sharp inside cut to get Berry on his back.

In Week 3, Berry only played 15 snaps and was targeted once (an incompletion). He did not play in week 4.

Week 5 – v Chicago

- In the fourth quarter, Berry was a bit over-aggressive with his jam in press coverage and was called for a hold, negating a sack.

- Two plays later, he gave too much cushion to Johnny Knox, who cut off his route downfield and made a sideline catch for 13.

- Later on the same drive, Matt Forte lined up out wide and made a diving catch on a similar route. This time Berry closed on the ball a bit better, but it was still just out of his reach.

- A few more plays later, he broke well on the ball as Dane Sanzenbacher cut his route to the inside and broke up the pass superbly. Chicago, down 11, had to settle for a field goal.

- In the last minute with Detroit once again up by 11, he backed right off his man to give up an easy seven yard catch, but closed quickly to push his man out of bounds.

In Week 6, against the 49ers, he played 21 snaps and was again just targeted once, on an incompletion. This was on a throw to the pylon where Michael Crabtree was ruled to have come down out of bounds. Berry was in press coverage and was again pretty physical down the field and could have been called for pass interference because he had two hands on the receiver as the ball was in the air, although Crabtree kind of pushed him off at the same time. After a review, the play stood, but Berry was perhaps lucky that it wasn’t a touchdown or a penalty.

Week 7 – v Atlanta

- On an early 3rd and two, he jumped a route on a quick throw to the inside and almost picked the ball off. As he jumped in front of Harry Douglas, there was contact before the ball arrived, but on this occasion, Berry was driving on the ball and probably entitled to that space.

- Later in the first, he gave up a first down to Roddy White on 3rd and 12, as he gave him too much of a cushion and wasn’t able to close fast enough with White catching the ball in stride and diving beyond the marker.

- Into the fourth quarter, the Falcons had 4th and two and the Lions – down by four – may have expected the Falcons to try and draw them offside and then call a timeout, but they snapped the ball and White lost Berry on the outside. However, Berry recovered well and when White made a jumping catch, he forced him out of bounds before he could get both feet down. Unfortunately, this good play was negated by a penalty.

- With four minutes to go, the Falcons still led by seven and Berry read an attempted bubble screen superbly to avoid the block, close on the receiver and make the tackle at the line of scrimmage. Detroit got the ball back, but their comeback bid fell short.

Week 8 – at Denver

- This was the game in the middle of Tim Tebow’s run, where the Broncos got blown out. Obviously with the Broncos running the ball a lot, Berry wasn’t tested much but did have a play in the second quarter where he confidently sat on the receivers route and easily jumped the route to break up a pass.

- In the third quarter, he did have one play where Eddie Royal beat him for a would-be first down, but he dropped the pass as Berry put him under close pressure.

Week 10 – at Chicago

- After the bye week, Berry was beaten by Earl Bennett for a first down on 3rd and 12. This was a zone coverage and he was too far off down the middle.

- At the end of the second quarter, he made a good play on special teams, bringing the return man down short of the 20.

- He was targeted one other time for a short gain of seven.

Week 12 – v Green Bay

- After missing out in week 11, Berry started his only three games of the season over the next few weeks

- Aaron Rodgers went after Berry on the first play, for 15 yards to Jordy Nelson, who once again came back for the ball with Berry playing too far off.

- In the third quarter, on a dump off to the flat, Berry came up from the secondary to make the tackle, but overpursued and got beaten to the outside for a 14-yard gain.

- Entering the fourth, Greg Jennings beat him downfield for a 31-yard gain. Berry lined up a couple of yards off the line and ran alongside him instead of trying to make a jam. He ran stride for stride, but never looked back for the ball and Jennings was able to make an easy jumping catch on a timing pattern.

- Lined up at left corner for a change, Berry jammed Randall Cobb at the line and stayed with him as he ran down the sideline and Rodgers threw him a low pass at the goal line. Cobb dropped the pass. Berry was right with Cobb, but again had his hands all over him as the ball arrived. The good news was that this time he did get his head turned round eventually, but that was only because Rodgers delayed the initial throw.

- With 11 seconds to go, the Lions tried an onside kick, but Berry was flagged for being offside.

Week 13 – at New Orleans

- Early on in the game, Brees targeted Berry with the same downfield curl route that he’d been playing too far off on a lot of the time. On this play, he had inside safety support, so was playing outside technique. The receiver came back to the ball, but Berry timed his hit from behind to break up the pass.

- On the first play of the second quarter, Berry gave up his longest pass of the regular season, a 38-yarder. As with the Rodgers completion to Jennings, Brees lofted the throw downfield and Robert Meachem ran under it. Berry slowed him momentarily with a jam at the line and was right with him in tight coverage, but once again didn’t get his head turned around and this enabled Meachem to get enough separation by leaning into him as the ball was about to arrive.

- He made a good play in run support a few plays later, avoiding a block from the wide receiver who lined up close to the left side of the line and assisting on a tackle for a one-yard gain.

- On the next play, he was targeted for an 18-yard catch to Marques Colston. However, this was a zone coverage and he wasn’t really out of position because there was a receiver on his outside, so that may have been someone else’s fault.

- Late in the half, Colston gained 13 more. This was another curl route downfield with Berry playing off, although it again looked like a zone coverage and he perhaps should have had better help from the inside.

- Late in the game, with Detroit trailing by 14, he gave up another first down to Meachem who ran an out route with Berry playing off him at left cornerback. Over these two games, his only full-length starts in the NFL, he gave up nine catches on 14 targets, for 161 yards.

Week 14 – v Minnesota

- In this game, Berry injured his arm pretty early on, missing the rest of the regular season.

- In the first quarter, he was lined up on the outside and should have had an interception when Christian Ponder overthrew the receiver in the slot, but he dropped it on a diving attempt.

- Early in the second quarter, Berry’s injury occurred. He actually made a great play, tripping Percy Harvin up for no gain with an arm tackle as he tried to bounced outside.

Wild Card – at New Orleans

- Berry’s return to the line-up for this big game saw him heavily involved.

- On a play in the second quarter, he was a bit over-eager at the snap and called for a neutral zone infraction. On the next play, he was beaten by Colston for a 22-yard gain. Colston got behind him, but this again looked like a zone coverage.

- Later on, on the same drive, Meachem beat him for a nine yard catch out at the sideline on 2nd and 10. This was absolutely perfect blanket coverage from Berry, who even got a hand on the pass, but somehow Meachem still caught it with his feet inbounds.

- The Saints drive continued, as they looked to tie the score before halftime. However, they had to settle for a field goal. Berry made another key play, batting a pass away as Brees scrambled and tried to loft the ball to Jimmy Graham at the back of the end zone. However, the replay showed that he should probably have intercepted it.

- In the third quarter, he made a great play against the run, as he wasn’t fooled on an end around to Darren Sproles and pulled him down in the backfield.

- Early in the fourth, he made another good play against the run, coming off the edge unblocked and combining with a teammate to stop Pierre Thomas in the hole for two.

- On third and two later on the same drive, Jimmy Graham lined up on the left and Brees threw a quick pass to him. Graham pushed off (no call) and reached back for the ball, but Berry stood his ground and knocked the ball out of Graham’s hands as he tried to secure the catch.

- A few plays later, Berry dropped another possible interception. He seemed to have pretty good coverage downfield on Colston, but Brees underthrew it badly under pressure and Berry reacted fastest. However, his diving attempt saw the ball go right through his hands.

- The drive ended with a 17-yard touchdown run by Sproles. Berry was easily blocked downfield by Devery Henderson and didn’t seem to make much of an effort to get off the block at the five yard line.

- With just under four minutes to go, Meachem – who you’ll recall beat him for a 38-yard gain in the regular season – beat him for 41, setting up the clinching touchdown. Berry, on the left side again, was in pretty tight coverage and made the tackle at the goal line, but Meachem comfortably made the catch with Berry, playing outside technique, on his back. Berry looked like he was expecting help on the inside, but Brees froze the safety with a pump fake.

- On the Saints last possession, they ran a pump and go, Berry was called for pass interference, surprisingly for the first time in his NFL career. He had his hands all over the receiver downfield, but that had been the case on several other plays over the course of the season.

Conclusions: Berry definitely lives up to the billing of a physical corner. He seemed pretty comfortable on the big stage of playing in a postseason game and wasn't really picked on or embarrassed badly even on the big plays he gave up over the course of his two seasons in the league. It's not difficult to draw some very straightforward conclusions about his strengths and weaknesses based on the footage:

- The first thing that stood out was a negative and that's the fact that there were several plays where he just didn't get his head turned around. That's a criticism that's justifiably been thrown at Kyle Wilson since he's been in the league. In Berry's defense, he actually seemed to improve in this area over the course of the 2011 season, so we'll have to wait and see if that's something he'll continue to struggle with at times.

- Berry is very physical, almost to the point of being too physical. There were several plays where the pass was incomplete and the receiver wanted a flag and certainly a couple where I'd expect a flag to be thrown more often than not. Physicality is a good thing, but I'd be worried that he could become a bit of a penalty machine if given significant playing time, even though he was lucky not to have been hit with too many penalties so far in his career.

- There were several plays where Berry gave up too much of a cushion. Obviously it's good that receivers aren't getting behind him and maybe in some cases it was by design, or he was a victim of his teammate not giving him help at the right time, but that's something that elite quarterbacks will always be able to exploit at this level.

- He did give up some catches in zone coverage, but on the whole I'd say that his positioning was generally good. It's always difficult to attribute blame when a receiver finds a gap in a zone, but I didn't see any obvious missed assignments from him.

- Berry showed a willingness to help out in run support, making a couple of nice plays. He only missed two tackles, which is a sign that he's a pretty sure tackler, and wasn't taken out of many plays by blockers.

- On special teams, Berry didn't make much of an impact with only one positive play and one where he made up for his initial mistake with good hustle standing out. With his athletic ability, you'd think he could contribute well in this area, but maybe his build isn't ideal.

- In terms of ball skills, Berry seems to have pretty good timing and closing speed and when he gets there, he did break up or deflect some passes. However, based on his NFL career so far, he can't catch, as he has dropped several possible interceptions. He did pick off one pass, but it was abnormally easy.

- Berry's physical play translated well to him playing press coverage. In this week's BGA, I noted how Antonio Cromartie finally seems to be heeding his coaches' advice to play more physically at the line and get his hands on his opponents. Berry does a good job of this, usually slowing his man at least temporarily at the jam. He was penalized once, but I don't think I ever saw him give up a completely clean release.

- One nitpick I have about Kyle Wilson is that he has a tendency to celebrate incomplete passes, even when he was beaten and got a bit lucky. Berry's demeanor is somewhat similar to this at times. He did also seem really frustrated when he gave up a first down in zone coverage, so at least he seems passionate, which might be something this team needs.

- Obviously, given his lack of size and the number of games he's missed so far, durability may also be a concern.

- Finally, I noted that even when giving up receptions, Berry was usually in pretty tight coverage. His numbers for yards after the catch confirm this. In 2011, he was third in the entire NFL, giving up just 2.0 yards per catch. As a point of reference, Cromartie was 5th with 2.7. Only Keenan Lewis and William Middleton did better, but neither played as much as or gave up as many catches as Berry.

In watching this footage, I was trying not to fall into the trap of comparing him with Darrelle Revis, which would only ever make him look inadequate. Instead I was trying to make a direct comparison with what we saw from Wilson on Sunday. On the basis of his performance last year, there's no reason why Berry shouldn't be able to push Wilson for time, as long as he (a) gets his head screwed on, (b) gets in shape and (c) learns the playbook. While I still have reservations about him avoiding getting flagged all the time on key plays, this is a move that should have a lot of upside for the Jets. Let's hope he is ready to make the most of this opportunity.

Tags: avsny, bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

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

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

Who is he?

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

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

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

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

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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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