The Jets announced their latest signing this morning, with Chad Spann joining the active roster to take Aaron Berry's place. Berry was placed on injured reserve today after suffering a torn ACL in yesterday's practice. Jets fans might not know too much about Spann, so I've been looking at game footage to get some idea of what he brings to the table.

Spann was out of the league in 2012, but spent time with three teams during 2011 and saw action in preseason and in the postseason. After the jump, I'll be looking back at the footage from the 2011 season to see what he's capable of and assess his chances of competing for a roster spot.

Who is Chad Spann?

The 24-year old Spann is listed as 5-8 and 202 pounds and went to college at Northern Illinois. There he moved into a starting role in his junior season and ended his college career with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. In 2010 he was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the entire nation with 22 touchdowns and he ended his college career with 49 touchdowns and a 5.4 yards per carry average.

Spann ran a 4.52 forty, a 4.32 short shuttle and a 7.18 long shuttle at his pro day (which the Jets attended) and had a 32.5 inch vertical and a 120-inch broad jump. He also lifted the bar 18 times. Despite this, he went undrafted in 2011 and was picked up by the Colts, who he played for in preseason. He didn't manage to make it onto the final roster, as he was released with an injury settlement, but he got picked up by the Rams that October and went on their practice squad. He didn't manage to get any regular season action, but was then signed to the Steelers offense in the days leading up to their playoff game against Tim Tebow's Denver Broncos. With Rashard Mendenhall out for the season and Mewelde Moore dealing with injuries too, Spann was prepared for a possible third down back role, but in the end wasn't needed and featured solely on special teams.

Entering 2012, Spann was working on his receiving and route running skills with a view to a possible permanent switch to wide receiver. However, he had to deal with a second torn hamstring and after the Steelers released him in May, he was unable to get healthy enough for another shot at getting back into the league. However, he went back to NIU's pro day in March and impressed enough to earn an invite to the Jets rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. Obviously he didn't manage to win a contract there and then, but did enough that they had him in mind when a roster spot became available.

Let's look back at his performances in the 2011 preseason with the Colts.

Week One - Rams

Having impressed at camp, Spann entered this game as the Colts' number one kick returner and was also in the mix at running back, getting some rotation reps as early as the first quarter. His first kickoff return went well, as he avoided contact in the open field to run the kick back 28 yards to the 23-yard line. However, the next one didn't go so well as he let a bobbling squib kick roll through his hands and past him into the end zone. Having retrieved it, he actually did pretty well to get back to the 14. The third kickoff was a touchback, but the fourth one was another disaster. This time it went through his hands in the end zone and he booted it forwards. He was fortunately able to scoop it up cleanly on the move, but went down at the 10-yard line. His final kickoff return wasn't much better, as he caught the ball deep in the end zone and ran straight into the first man, who he bounced off, but was soon tackled at the 14 without being able to pick up any extra yardage. Overall, his four kickoff returns accounted for 67 yards and two recovered muffs. He was replaced at half time and wouldn't get another shot at the role.

At running back, his first carry didn't go so well either, as he was swarmed under for a two yard loss. You couldn't put this on him though, as a couple of players missed their blocks and he had nowhere to go. On another first quarter rep, he chipped a pass rusher effectively on a quick pass.

In the second quarter, he got another series at running back on a drive that ended with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dan Orlovsky to Taj Smith on a blown coverage. Spann ran for eight on an outside stretch run (the kind Mornhinweg is expected to use a lot this year), heading to the outside, before cutting upfield between the right guard and right tackle who were on the move to the right. The next play was an ever better read, as he picked up four and the first down on 2nd and two. He took the hand-off going right, but then cut back all the way to the left and dived for extra yardage upfield. He then set up the touchdown with a 25-yard reception. Orlovsky faked the hand-off to him and he actually stumbled on his way out to the flat, but recovered his balance just in time to make a clean hands catch on the move, turning it upfield and using him speed to dodge a diving tackle at the second level. He got nailed by the safety 25 yards later.

Spann got one more series at running back in the fourth quarter, where he carried once for no gain. On the play, he read that there was nowhere to go and tried to cut back, but slipped as he did so.

Week Two - Washington

Spann wasn't used as a return man this week, but did get involved on special teams. He made a good tackle on a punt return after having lined up as the punt protector. Nobody blocked him, so he just ran down the middle of the field, but he did a good job of breaking down the return man in the open field to hold him to a five yard runback. On a negative note, he was penalized for an illegal block in the back on the punt return team after missing his block on the edge and getting beaten downfield. He hustled well to get back into the play, but shoved the tackler in the back just as the return man caught the ball and they collided, with the tackler's helmet knocked flying and a minor head injury arising.

On offense, he just got one series at the end of the game over the last 3:11. He carried once, making a decent cut up the middle for six. On another play, he stayed in to block and the announcer praised how well he picked up the blitz, although the replay did show that the pass rusher had driven him off his base and he was actually pushed into the quarterback just after the throw was made. However, he did well to stay in front long enough to allow him to get the throw off, especially since there was another player that came up the middle unblocked to hit him cleanly at the same time.

Week Three - Green Bay

Relegated to a special teams role in this one, as the starters were given additional reps, Spann did not make any kind of an impact.

Week Four - Cincinnati

Having fallen behind in the battle for roster spots, Spann saw action on just three series in this one, although he was in the game contributing as the Colts drove for the winning touchdown late. On his first series, halfway through the third, he carried the ball once, turning the corner on the outside and slipping a tackle downfield for nine yards. That play was negated by off-setting penalties (including bizarrely - and presumably erroneously - a holding call charged to himself).

On the next series, in the fourth, they faked the hand-off to him and he tried to chip a pass rusher, but didn't get him cleanly, leading to a pressure. He rushed for seven on his first carry, picking his way through traffic and avoiding contact in the hole. His next carry went for no gain, as there was nowhere to go on a stretch run outside, so he just fell back into the pile at the line of scrimmage.

On the final (game winning) drive, they were mostly passing the ball. On one play, he threw an effective cut block on a blitzer although the QB hesitated and was pressured anyway. I wouldn't credit that to Spann. On another play, he stayed in to pick up the blitz and two guys came up the middle. He dealt with the situation well, backing off to force one of them wide and then picking up the other one, allowing the throw to be made. He set up the winning score with a 10-yard run on a draw play, as he burst up the middle and twisted down to the seven gaining a couple of extra yards.

Conclusions

While there isn't much to go on, I was impressed with Spann's elusiveness in the open field. That seems to be something the Jets see as a priority in their backs this season, so he might be able to turn some heads. He wasn't much of a pass catcher statistically in college (23 career catches with a best of 10 in one season), but looked pretty smooth catching the ball on that one big play. Having said that, his hands failed him on two of the kickoffs and he sometimes didn't look back for the ball early enough when running routes. If he's been working as a receiver though, his instincts and techniques should be much improved.

Spann didn't fare too badly as a blocker in limited exposure to the role and could make contributions on special teams. Although he did not perform well on kickoff returns with the Colts, he must have shown something for them to give him that opportunity in the first place and his open field elusiveness would seem to make him a good fit there. Surprisingly, in college, he did not return kicks (other than one punt), but did contribute on special teams (including one blocked punt).

While Spann, assuming he remains at running back, is likely a project or just injury cover with Chris Ivory dealing with a hamstring issue and Mike Goodson yet to report, it will still be interesting to see if he's made progress over the last two years and whether he still has much upside.

It does make you wonder when Goodson (who likely would have also been seeing time as a return man) is set to return. They will have to cut someone when he is activated and Spann will hope he can do enough not to be that guy when the time comes.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The evidence is hard to refute. They jettisoned almost every recognizable veteran they had. They didn't add any significant free agents. The veteran quarterback they added is a 38-year-old journeyman. The Jets were 5-11 last season, and it's hard to argue this year won't be worse.

So yes, it sure does look like the Jets are "tanking" this season, with their eyes on the top of next year's quarterback-rich draft. They're not, of course. Tanking is almost impossible to do effectively, especially in the NFL. But they are doing a bit of scorched-Earth rebuilding and know they are in for a long, losing season.

There'll be a lot of short-term pain. And intentional or not, for the long run that's not so bad...

Tags: Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)
Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye run a drill during Jets rookie minicamp, (AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jamal Adams, the Jets' top draft pick and one of the cornerstones of their rebuilding project, agreed to terms on his rookie contract on Thursday night and is expected to be at training camp on time when it opens in eight days.

The agreement, announced by agents on Twitter and confirmed by the Jets on Friday, is projected to be worth about $22.2 million over four years with a signing bonus of approximately $14.3 million. The money is fully guaranteed for the No. 6 overall pick out of LSU. As with all first-round picks, Adams' deal also includes a team option for the fifth year.

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New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen runs a drill during their organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When safety Jamal Adams agreed to his rookie contract Thursday, the Jets finally locked up all nine of their draft picks. And that's good; given the state of their roster, they're probably going to need all of them.

There certainly will be plenty of opportunities for all the draftees on this young and rebuilding team, and maybe even a few undrafted free agents too. The Jets will enter camp next Friday with an open mind at almost every position, both for this year and in the future. Almost all jobs will be somewhat up for grabs.

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JRSportBrief: McCown & the Jets 00:01:36
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR explains why Josh McCown just needs to hold down the fort for the Jets.

Jets quarterback Josh McCown gave his new team a vote of confidence in an interview with ESPN's First Take on Thursday, highlighting the positives he has seen from both veterans and newcomers alike.

"There's still some guys there that are pros," McCown said. "When you watch how a guy like Matt Forte comes in and does his job every day, Mo Wilkerson had a great spring, came in and worked hard, and our rookies coming along, Jamal Adams so impressive coming in as a rookie out of LSU, a high draft pick."

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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Darron Lee had his ups and downs after being the Jets' first round pick last season, but the team seems compelled to proceed with the plan to build around him as one of the cornerstones of the defense. Entering his first season, everyone knew that Lee was a terrific athlete, but he still had to prove he had the instincts to play inside linebacker in a pro-style defense.

Preseason Stats: Four games, no starts, seven tackles, one sack

Tags: Darron Lee
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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

According to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, the NFL is still reviewing an incident invovling Jets' LB Darron Lee and DE Leonard Williams from early June, reports ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

The incident occured at Governors Ball Music Festival on Randalls Island in June where Lee had to be restrained by Williams after getting into an argument with a woman. An eye witness video showed Williams getting in between his teammate, and eventually, carrying him away from the argument.

Jets' head coach Todd Bowles later indentified the woman as Lee's girlfriend, and noted that the team will not be disciplining the linebacker. However, he thinks he needs to take caution in the future. 

"You don't want that stuff to happen, obviously," Bowles said earlier on the situation. "With social media going on these days, they've got to take better care of themselves. Darron understands that. I just know, from the past, any time you go to a concert, there's going to be trouble around, just as an ex-player and as a coach. When you go to a concert, a lot of things can happen. You have to be very mindful and very aware of where you are, and your surroundings -- and handle yourself better and keep yourself out of trouble."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles (right) and wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin
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New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected specialists: Chandler Catanzaro (K), Lachlan Edwards (P), Tanner Purdum (LS), Jalin Marshall (KR/PR)

Key contributors: Rontez Miles, Josh Martin, Dylan Donahue, Juston Burris, Charone Peake

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dexter McDougle, Jalin Marshall, Juston Burris, Loc Edwards, Nick Folk, Quincy Enunwa, Ronald Martin, Rontez Miles, Tanner Purdum
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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking with the New York Post, Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said he would not be surprised if the Jets have another struggling, losing season in 2017. 

"It's hard to argue [with] that," Enunwa said, "when everybody else sees all the stuff that's going on."

This offseason, the Jets have cut ties with many players, including receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Despite the possibility of another tough year ahead, Enunwa believes the players will still play hard when the season begins. 

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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Former Jets QB Chad Pennington believes head coach Todd Bowles deserves the chance to turn the team around, per Brett Bonder of NY Daily News. 

If the Jets are to tank this sesaon, Pennington doesn't think it will be fair to put the blame on Bowles as he thinks he is the right guy for the job.

"My one hope for the Jets is that they give coach Bowles a chance to right the ship, don't pull everything away from him and then make him the reason why they're getting rid of him because of the lack of success," Pennington said. "He is the right guy, I think he showed that in his first year, last year wan an anomaly and this year you can see, wow, what a task he has."

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Former Jets WR Brandon Marshall said he requested his release because he couldn't deal with the Jets not having a chance this season, per ESPN's Eric Cimini. 

Marshall was on WFAN's Boomer and Carton Show Thursday where he admitted his former team wasn't going to have a good 2017 season, and he didn't want to be a part of it.

"I wouldn't have made it through an entire season, knowing we didn't have a chance," Marshall said. 

Tags: Brandon Marshall
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 (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

USC QB Sam Darnold said last week's report that he might remain in school instead of entering the 2018 NFL Draft did not come from him, but remained vague about his future.

"I don't really have many thoughts about that," the potential No. 1 pick said during an appearance on ESPN's "The Fix". "I don't think any team should tank their season because of me. I'm just taking this every day, one day at a time. That's all I can do."

"I'm looking forward to whatever lies ahead of my future," he said. "But I'm really just taking it one day at a time."

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After a solid rookie season, Jordan Jenkins is hoping to thrive in a full-time role in 2017. The 23-year old has spent part of his offseason back in Georgia, working on his pass rush techniques with pass rush guru Chuck Smith.

Preseason Stats: Two games, two starts, four tackles, no sacks, two quarterback hits.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Projected Starters: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Projected Back-ups: Rontez Miles

On the bubble: Shamarko Thomas, Ronald Martin, Doug Middleton, Corey White

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Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh took to Twitter to take some playful jabs at the Jets and their fans, but not before Jets defensive Muhammad Wilkerson chimed in.

Tags: Justin Pugh, Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
(Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Jets' plan to build a helicopter landing pad at their New Jersey training facility has drawn objections from some who question the need since an airport is just a couple of miles away.

The borough of Madison has lodged objections to the Jets' application, NJ.com reported. The borough says that there's "no demand" for a helipad so close to the Morristown Airport.

"Any purported public benefit from the availability of a helistop for emergency uses is illusive," officials wrote. The borough also argued that the pad could introduce a safety risk.

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

Projected Starters: Wesley Johnson, Brian Winters, James Carpenter, Ben Ijalana, Kelvin Beachum

Projected Back-ups: Brandon Shell, Dakota Dozier, Brent Qvale

On the bubble: Jeff Adams, Ben Braden, Chris Bordelon, Javarius Leamon, Craig Watts, Alex Balducci, Jonotthan Harrison

Departures: Nick Mangold, Breno Giacomini, Ryan Clady

Tags: BGA
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 (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Coming out of South Carolina, Brandon Shell's size and athleticism stood out, but he also impressed with his technique in pass-protection and his discipline. He posted outstanding pass-protection numbers against some good teams and when matched up with pro prospects. That bodes well for his ability to be successful at the NFL level, although he's not the type of tackle you'd typically leave out on an island.

Preseason Stats: Four games, one start, one sack surrendered.

Tags: Brandon Shell
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New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine

Projected backups: Juston Burris, Marcus Williams, Darryl Roberts, Jeremy Clark,

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darrelle Revis, Marcus Williams
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New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Projected backups: Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Julian Howsare, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets' first round pick, S Jamal Adams, has already impressed his new teammates, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. 

The Jets were exuberant when Adams fell to their No. 6 slot in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was the player the wanted most. Participating at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Adams has shown his teammates, like CB Morris Claiborne, why the front office was so high on him.

"The things he has done so far?" Claiborne said. "He's unbelievable...He's been out here playing lights out. Picking up the defense, checking to different things, knowing what he wants to check to. He's having fun doing it, too. His spirit is awesome. He's having fun doing what he knows how to do, and that's football." 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Dec 25, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Zach Orr (54) after making a catch during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)
Dec 25, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Zach Orr (54) after making a catch during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)

The Jets are interested in signing former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr, according to the New York Post.

The 25-year-old retired during the off-season due to neck and spine problems, but he is now trying to revive his career to after receiving positive news from his doctor.

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 (Brad Mills)
(Brad Mills)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Fourth round pick Juston Burris has received plenty of buzz this offseason. He's been receiving lots of first-team reps and is reportedly in the mix to start alongside Morris Claiborne. However, what does his rookie season tell us about his chances and where he needs to develop to increase his role?

Preseason Stats: Four games, one start, five tackles, seven passes defensed, one interception

Tags: Juston Burris
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New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Demario Davis
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 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

The Jets' new linebackers coach, Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, is looking to instill more aggression and power in his players, especially LB Lorenzo Mauldin.

The 25-year-old has shown spurts of potential in two seasons with the Jets, but his 2.5 sacks last season isn't the production they had expected. Greene intends to change that, and he told NJ.com's Darryl Slater why he uses this specific approach to his coaching. 

"Everybody at this level has skill, correct?" Greene said. "They'rea ll athletic, and agility and dexterity and all that stuff. Well, what separates people initially is their physical level of play. That's always our first step, is we have to play more physical than whoever is in front of us, because we're all athletic." 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson

Projected backups: Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

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Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

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