The Jets added three players to their active roster via waiver claims yesterday. Jets fans might not know much about these players, so I'm going to look at them in detail and investigate what they could bring to the table. The first of these is former Dolphins wideout and kick returner Clyde Gates.

Gates is perhaps the best known of the three players the Jets picked up. The speedster out of Alibene Christian was drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins last year and there was plenty of buzz surrounding his potential to help the team in his rookie season. In the end, he didn't produce much and the incoming coaching staff didn't take to him immediately. With limited preseason playing time he was unable to make it onto the final roster.

After the jump, we'll look at his performances from preseason (last year and this year) and the 2011 regular season.

2011 Preseason

Week One: Atlanta

Gates was used as the primary kick returner, got a couple of chances to return punts and got reps at receiver with the second unit. His two kick returns netted just 38 yards, but both came on short kicks, so he got out past the 20 each time, spinning out of a tackle for a few extra yards on the second one. On his first punt return he made a nice cut to get seven yards, but the play was negated by a penalty. He later misjudged the flight on a punt and almost muffed it, moving out of the way at the last minute as the ball bounced at the 15 and rolled inside the ten. As a receiver, he was targeted on two deep balls in the second quarter, burning his man by a step on the first one which was slightly overthrown. The second one was not even close. He made an impact in the third, catching a 17 yard pass on a 4th-and-7 post pattern with a defender draped all over him and then making a jumping catch at the back of the endzone for a six yard touchdown.

Week Two: Carolina

Gates didn't achieve much in this game with no catches on three targets, a rush for minus yardage, a kickoff return where he was nailed before he got back to the 20 and one punt return for ten yards. However, he did also draw a late hit penalty on that punt return after making the first man miss. On the rush, he actually did well to almost get back to the line of scrimmage because a defensive lineman penetrated deep into the backfield to blow the play up. Two of the incompletions came as he beat his man deep but the pass was overthrown. The third was a miscommunication where he ran deep but the quarterback threw to his back shoulder.

Game Three: Tampa Bay

Gates didn't return any kicks in this one, but was targeted six times. However, he caught just two passes for 15 yards. Of the four incompletions, one was just off his fingertips on a deep throw off a three step drop. The other three were inaccurate passes, although he was open on all three - one deep, one over the middle and one as he came back to the ball. His first catch went for six yards and a first down as he made a leaping catch and held on despite a big hit. The other saw him catch the ball on a quick hitch and turn upfield for nine yards. He also had a false start.

Game Four: Dallas

Gates didn't play much in this one, his roster spot already secured. He was thrown to twice - the first being ruled a lateral as he took the ball in the flat for a five yard run. The second one saw him finally catch a deep ball as he beat his man by a clear two steps for a 42 yard gain.

Summary

Gates caught five passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, rushed twice for two yards, returned three kickoffs for 63 yards and two punts for 12 yards. He was actually targeted 14 times, although many of these were downfield throws where he was open but the throw was inaccurate. When that happens, you have to wonder about the accuracy of his route running, but it was definitely apparent he was drawing attention from the deep safety.

2011 Regular Season

As the season got underway, Gates started off as the primary kick returner. He held this job for most of the year. He returned punts in week three only and averaged just under 10 snaps per game as a receiver.

Week One: New England

As a kick returner, Gates ran one kick back out to near the 50 with a great burst of speed, but it was negated by a penalty. On one other kick return, he leapt through a gap to get out to the 25.

Week Two: Houston

Gates was targeted twice - dropping a pass on a quick slant (although he felt he had been held) and drawing a pass interference flag on a deep ball where he burned Kareem Jackson and the ball was just off his fingertips. As a kick returner, he exploited a big hole to make a 39-yard runback, but also got caught running laterally and stuffed at his own eight. He also returned three punts for 32 yards.

Week Three: Cleveland

In this game, he was targeted once, going deep against Joe Haden and making a leaping grab, but coming down well out of bounds. He also caused an illegal formation penalty by lining up in the wrong spot. As a kick return man, he made a cut and spun out of a tackle for 27 yards, but that one was called back. He did get to the outside on another kick and was knocked out of bounds at the 39 with a penalty added on.

Week Four: San Diego

Gates made his first career catch in this game, grabbing an eight yard pass on an out pattern for a first down. However, he also got stuffed at his own ten yard line on another kick return.

Week Six: Jets

Following the bye week, Gates was once again stuffed inside his own 20, this time at the 14. His role reduced over the next few weeks and he wasn't significantly involved.

Week Ten: Washington

Something I wasn't expecting to see here - some good blocking from Gates, as he made a cut block from the slot to enable Brandon Marshall to pick up 15 on a wide receiver screen. He also added 30 yards on a kick return as he fought for a few extra yards at the end of the play.

Week 12: Dallas

More good blocking here, as he engaged with a cornerback on a downfield block and drove him out of the play, enabling Reggie Bush to gain 14 yards to the outside. Gates also caught an 11 yard pass as the defender gave him a big cushion on an out pattern on 1st and 20. He added a 32 yard kick return where he initially hesitated, but still got to the outside.

Week 13: Oakland

In the highlight of Gates' career so far, he returned a kickoff 77 yards with a great burst through two gaps, although he did benefit from what looked like it could have been an illegal block in the back. He was pushed out of bounds inside the 25. Gates also got the ball on an end around, making a good cut and spinning out of a tackle to pick up four yards.

Weeks 14 to 17

Gates had one decent kick return over each of the next three weeks, breaking a tackle on one (27 yards), driving tacklers for a few extra yards on another (30 yards) and breaking into the open field only to get tripped by a kicker on the last one (33 yards). However, in week 16 he was also stuffed inside his 20 once and in the last game it happened again as the Jets got him down at the 11.

Summary

After showing all that preseason promise, Gates had a disappointing year, production-wise, with just two catches for 19 yards on ten targets (including 0-for-5 on passes beyond 20 yards). However, he did average a creditable 24.8 yards per kickoff return, despite showing some questionable decision making.

2012 Preseason

The preseason did not begin well for Gates. Amidst questions about whether the new coaching staff liked him, he fell down the depth chart and didn't play in the first game. He did get some time in the last three games and was quoted as saying he felt confident he'd be on the roster because he'd had a good camp, only to be waived a couple of days later.

Week Two: Carolina

Gates was targeted three times in the third quarter. The first two were incomplete as he juggled the ball at the sideline on an out pattern and the timing was completely off on the second one. The third saw him create some positive yardage as he was interfered with when he easily beat the defender deep. In the fourth quarter, he caught his first pass on a quick throw to him on the outside as he broke a tackle and cut back to the middle for nine yards.

Week Three: Atlanta

In this game, Gates had a 17 yard catch and an 11 yard run in the second half. The catch saw him stop his route and make the catch, then run for some extra yards, while he had loads of room on the end around. He was targeted twice earlier on, making a leaping grab on a deep ball but coming down out of bounds on one and breaking up a potential pick-six on the other as the defender jumped the route on a throw out to the flat.

Week Four: Dallas

In his last chance to make a case, Gates didn't get many opportunities to prove himself. He was targeted once in the first half, but the ball was low and underthrown downfield. In the fourth quarter, he did catch a pass on a play where he lined up at fullback on the right side and leaked out into the flat on the left. That gained seven yards.

Summary:

With limited opportunities to perform, Gates caught three passes for 33 yards on eight targets and rushed once for 11 yards.

Conclusions

The inevitable comparison people will make is to David Clowney. Gates, almost exactly the same height and weight, is a deep threat who seems prone to mistakes, is raw as a route runner and may have minor character concerns. Like Clowney, he might not have an ideal attitude or build for a special teams role other than as a kick returner, although as least he has some experience of returning kicks at the NFL level, which Clowney did not. Another underrated aspect of Clowney's game was his blocking and there were a few flashes of that from Gates here.

One thing I'm wondering about is if this is a very short term move with Joe McKnight's status up in the air for week one. Did the Jets bring Gates in to return kickoffs until McKnight gets back and nothing more?

While he showed some signs of mental errors in the return game, Gates was still pretty productive and could thrive running behind Mike Westhoff's blocking schemes.

However, Tony Sparano is obviously very familiar with him, so I'd expect they have bigger plans for him than just returning kicks. As a receiver, over the course of the two preseasons and one regular season, Gates caught just 10 of 34 passes. While a high percentage of these were deep balls, so you would expect a low success rate, that's below 30%. Having said that, on a number of these he was wide open and the throw was just inaccurate. Maybe Mark Sanchez would have more success connecting with him down the field. He was definitely able to beat starter-level players deep, so could stretch the field just with the threat of getting deep.

This is a move for a player with undoubted upside, but whose career seems to have stalled at the moment. If he gets a shot, he could be the source of some chunk plays this season, but it seems clear his game needs a little refining.

I'll be back with a look at Konrad Reuland and Isaako Aaitui later.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell participates in drills with New York Jets offensive tackle Brent Qvale during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell participates in drills with New York Jets offensive tackle Brent Qvale during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

In its latest NFL power rankings, ESPN has the Jets at 30th among the 32 teams this season. 

The Jets, who were at 27 on the list, fell following their picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. So far, their choice of QB Sam Darnold has panned out well, with many impressed by what he has shown in practice and his first preseason game. But that doesn't tell the whole story about their draft. 

ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini also gave his surprising player that could be in jeopardy of a roster spot by the end of camp. His choice was CB Rashard Robinson, who hasn't been the corner the Jets hoped him to be. Gang Green traded for Robinson last season at the trade deadline, giving up a fifth-round pick to the 49ers in return for him. 

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has been seeing a heavy workload with the first-team offense this week at joint practices with the Redskins. And that also means he's going against Washington's best on defense. 

So, how has he fared? Just ask Pro Bowl CB Josh Norman what he thinks.

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR NORMAN'S COMMENTS

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Bowles not happy with Pryor 00:00:17
Jets head coach Todd Bowles expresses his frustration with the fact that WR Terrelle Pryor revealed details about his injuries to the media.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles isn't too happy with WR Terrelle Pryor

On Monday, Pryor broke the news that he broke his ankle back in May during offseason workouts with the Jets. Bowles initially came out and said that Pryor had surgery to clean some things up in his ankle that was related to his ligament injury from last season. 

But the cat was let out of the bag, and Bowles doesn't think Pryor should have been the one to do so. 

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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Cairo Santos (5) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Cairo Santos (5) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

It isn't the most-watched competition, but the kicking position hasn't had any competition at Jets camp. 

Taylor Bertolet has been headlining the position recently, with Cairo Santos -- a free-agent signee -- dealing with a chronic groin injury, reports ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Santos needed surgery to repair the groin after a tumultuous 2017 season. He missed most of training camp with the Chiefs to start, and they eventually cut him after aggravating the injury in Week 3. Santos, then, signed with the Bears, but a reaggravation landed him on the IR for the rest of the season. 

Tags: Cairo Santos
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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) rolls out during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) rolls out during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It wasn't the biggest storyline from Sunday's Jets-Redskins joint practice, given the epic brawl that broke out involving about 30 players. But Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold saw the heaviest workload with the first-team offense. 

Darnold's competition -- Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater -- obviously saw their fair share of reps. But it was Darnold who was under center most of the time, which begs the question: Will he be the starter this Thursday when the two teams face off in Week 2 of the preseason?

"It's no indication," Bowles said after the joint practice Sunday. "Just getting him caught up on some things."

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Jets head coach Todd Bowles was upset after his team and several members of the Washington Redskins brawled and shoved each other during their joint practice on Sunday.

Reporters were not able to record video on the sidelines, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Josh Ellis, however several fans captured the fights, which reportedly involved nearly 30 players.

WATCH:

Tags: Washington Redskins
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

After getting cut by the Oakland Raiders, former Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the team announced.

Hackenberg, whom the Jets drafted in the second round in 2016, never appeared in a regular-season game with New York.

The 23-year-old out of Penn State was traded to Oakland in May and eventually cut a few weeks later.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Philadelphia Eagles
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Jets LB Kevin Pierre-Louis has been suspended for the first week of the regular season for violating the league's substane abuse policy, the NFL announced.

Pierre-Louis can still play in preseason games and is able to return from suspension on Sept. 11, which is one day after the Jets' season-opener against the Lions on Monday, Sept. 10. 

The 26-year-old Pierre-Louis was arrested for marijuana possession in January while he was still on the Chiefs. He signed a two-year deal with the Jets during the off-season.

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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater got his first extended game action in just under two years and impressed.

Bridgewater completed 7 of 8 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. The current backup was excited just to get on the field, and unlike most other quarterbacks, was looking forward to getting hit, too.

"It was awesome feeling," Bridgewater said after the game.

Tags: Teddy Bridgewater
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

After making his preseason debut for the Jets, Sam Darnold admits he felt 'pretty good'.

Darnold earned plaudits for his performance, completing 13 of his 18 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons on Friday night.

"I felt pretty good," Darnold said. "I put the ball where it needed to be and tried to get it in the hands of our playmakers. There were a couple of plays, especially on the sack, I felt like I could've gotten the ball out there. But, you know, live and learn, I guess."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Darnold makes his debut 00:04:28
Should Jets fans believe in Sam Darnold after his impressive rookie debut Friday night?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It would've been understandable if Jets fans wanted to be only cautiously optimistic that they had finally found their franchise quarterback. A decades-long search and far too many broken promises have left everyone with scars.

But the caution around Sam Darnold is probably gone now. He looked like a legitimate franchise quarterback on Friday night in his NFL debut.

Tags: Josh McCown, Neal Sterling, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass as Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 10, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass as Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun (54) defends during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

It may only be the preseason, but Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold got his first touchdown out of the way. 

The No. 3 overall pick looked great in his Jets debut as he showcased all the skills necessary to cap a drive with a touchdown. Darnold looked calm and collected in the pocket, as he avoided pressure with his feet and made smart throws. 

And even though he should have secured his first touchdown pass on two separate downs, he finally linked up with Charles Johnson after escaping the pocket, and throwing a bullet on the run. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Teddy Bridgewater (5) Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Teddy Bridgewater took the field for his first drive as a New York Jet, and he ended it the way he probably hoped -- with seven points on the scoreboard. 

Bridgewater took over for Josh McCown, who played just one series that resulted in a three-and-out to start the game. The 25-year-old looked poised as he trudged down the field. His first good throw went to Jermaine Kearse, who made a great catch to pick up a first down.

And on third down in the red zone, Bridgewater dumped off a ball to Isaiah Crowell on a crossing route, and he absorbed contact to bust into the end zone...

Tags: Teddy Bridgewater
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: When Todd Bowles looks at the tape of the Jets' preseason opener there will probably be several hundred things he'll be watching. He'll be evaluating all 90 players on his roster. He'll be judging the competitions for a dozen or so roster spots and a few position battles too.

But nothing -- nothing -- will be more important and compelling for the Jets in their preseason opener on Friday night than how rookie quarterback Sam Darnold plays.

Maybe it's not fair to judge him on how he does in his NFL debut against the Atlanta Falcons. But he is the No. 3 overall pick and the Jets' long-awaited quarterback of the future. Every move, every throw, every decision will be scrutinized. His play, no matter how long he's in the game or how he does, will lead to pages and hours of debate.

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Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Todd Bowles Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Every coach likes to see what kind of shape their players enter training camp in. But for the Jets, the players might be the ones looking at their head coach after his offseason transformation. 

Todd Bowles has made the biggest change from a year ago, as his wife believes he lost about 50 or 60 pounds. It was back in March that Bowles decided to make a diet and exercise change, and the results are as clear as day. 

"You know when you've had enough," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "I've had enough. I want to be better for myself and for my family. I want to be around a long time. It's become a lifestyle."

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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Jamal Adams told Bleacher Report earlier this year that his team's locker room lacked energy last season and "it was like everybody wanted to do the bare minimum." 

On Tuesday, he expanded upon those comments after practice was over.

"I'm very passionate," he said about the comments, which were just published on Tuesday. "Coming in, I was wide-eyed. I just wanted to come in and work hard and make an impact. The things that came out, I didn't feel very strong as far as me saying that."

In the wide-ranging Q&A, Adams said everyone had a losing vibe and "didn't want to go above and beyond."

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Every moment on the field is like a dream for Teddy Bridgewater. He said "it gives me the chills" just thinking playing football again. Two years ago, the game was almost taken away from him forever, so he's grateful to be getting a second chance.

But even he doesn't know if that second chance will ultimately be with the Jets.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jetting to Know You: Kearse 00:04:29
Jets wideout Jermaine Kearse plays a round of mini golf with SNY's Jeane Coakley, as we get to know this member of Gang Green.

Jermaine Kearse plays a round of mini-golf with Jeane Coakley as we get to know the Jets' wide receiver.

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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) attempts to pass during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) attempts to pass during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Currently in his 17th training camp, Jets QB Josh McCown has seen it all when it comes to quarterback battles. So, his answer to the question of why fellow quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater getting more first-team reps isn't anything out of the ordinary. 

"I'll defer to the coaches on that," McCown said after practice Monday when asked about his low rep total early on in camp. "Obviously just like we did last year, we understand the situation. This is my 17th training camp, and I've done this for a while, and we have a lot invested in the other two guys, and as far as them learning the offense and getting comfortable with things. It's good for our team for those guys to get as much work as they can. We feel really solid with our quarterback situation, and the room in general."

McCown has a large enough sample size to estimate what he is going to give the Jets. Last season, it just so happened to be a career year for the journeyman. He notched a career-high in yards (2,926), touchdowns (18), and completion percentage (67.3) in just 13 games before an injury ended his season. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Thompson
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When will Darnold start at QB? 00:01:54
Ralph Vacchiano and Connor Hughes discuss what rookie quarterback Sam Darnold needs to do to prove he's worth the starting spot.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It was 16 years ago, but the memory is still fresh for Jets quarterback Josh McCown: the feeling of being overwhelmed in his first NFL preseason game.

"That first series it felt like they had 15 guys on the defense," McCown recalled on Monday. "There were people everywhere. I wasn't processing very good. At all." 

It's a long way from the meeting rooms and practices of training camp to the first live action for NFL rookie, and that's especially true for quarterbacks. That's why the preseason games, which begin for the Jets at the Meadowlands on Friday night, will be so important for first-round pick Sam Darnold. Everything he's done so far has impressed everyone in the organization, in some cases beyond their expectations.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets' quarterback battle has been the most-watched aspect of training camp thus far. So, it's no surprise that Vegas has already put their odds on who will win the starting job when camp breaks. 

At the moment, veteran QB Josh McCown leads the pack at -130 on the money line. Following McCown is rookie QB Sam Darnold, but not by much at +140. 

As for Teddy Bridgewater, he is the longshot at +800 to win the starting role. However, Bridgewater is considered the backup on the Jets' unofficial depth chart with Darnold as the third stringer. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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The Jets have several rookies that figure to play a big role this season. Are there any undrafted rookies who could step up and earn themselves a role by flashing in preseason? Let's consider some of the best candidates...

Fullback Dimitri Flowers

Flowers, who was a key contributor during Oklahoma's playoff run last season, will be a familiar face to anyone who gorged on Baker Mayfield highlights in the run-up to the draft. He brings versatility to the position with route-running and ball skills not usually seen from the fullback position. Flowers is also a capable blocker who also produced as a short-yardage back, so there's a number of ways he could make his mark in the preseason.

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

One New York rookie running back has already generated tons of buzz this season. But is expected for Giants RB Saquon Barkley given his No. 2 overall pick status. 

But, just a few miles away, the 204th overall pick Trenton Cannon is thriving at Jets training camp. 

Cannon has been turning heads early on as he looks to be a depth piece behind veterans Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. And it's Cannon's breakaway speed that is making the Jets smile.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Darron Lee, Elijah McGuire, Sam Darnold, Thomas Rawls
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets announced they have signed OL Alex Balducci, and waived OL Austin Golson on Monday. 

Balducci is a converted nose tackle that played his college ball at Oregon. He played in two games with the 49ers after going undrafted back in 2016. 

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Balducci was picked up off waivers last season by the Jets, and spent his preseason with Gang Green. He would eventually find himself on the Redskins' practice squad in 2017, and signed a reserve/future contract with them back in January. 

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Green and White scrimmage 00:01:37
On Saturday, the Jets held the annual Green and White scrimmage at Rutgers' HighPoint Solutions Stadium.

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold completed nine of his 11 passes for 89 yards in the team's scrimmage at Rutgers on Saturday.

Darnold, who reported to camp later than others as he continued to iron out the details of his rookie contract, led the Jets on offense for four drives. McCown started the game and played one drive, going 3-for-3 for 69 yards and a touchdown. Bridgewater completed all seven of his passes for 53 yards.

"He got a lot of work with the third group," coach Todd Bowles said of Darnold, according to the New York Post. "That was our plan, to play a lot of the young guys tonight. It's part of catching him up to speed. We'll look at the film, and we'll see what happened. He's grasping the offense pretty well, and we'll go from there."

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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams forces a fumble by Buffalo Bills tight end Nick O'Leary as free safety Marcus Maye reacts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams forces a fumble by Buffalo Bills tight end Nick O'Leary as free safety Marcus Maye reacts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The young nucleus of the Jets defense is known for their energetic, hard-hitting style of play. Will that change this season due to rule the NFL has installed for this season?

In short: no. Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will continue playing just as they did during their rookie seasons. 

"I'm not going to change the way I play," Maye told Manish Mehta of the Daily News. "And I don't expect the other safeties around the league to change the way they play."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Kendall Reyes (98) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Kendall Reyes (98) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Jets made a defensive roster move on Friday, signing DL Kendall Reyes and waiving/injured DL Shaneil Jenkins.

Reyes, a former second-rounder by the Chargers back in 2012, last played for the Chiefs and Redskins in 2016. He began the year with the Redskins, but was eventually cut before heading to Kansas City. 

Overall, Reyes totaled 20 tackles, one sack and one pass defense over 12 games in 2016. 

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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Jets LB Dylan Donahue pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in Montana stemming from an arrest that occurred in May of 2017.

Donahue was sentenced to three months in jail, with all time suspended upon payment of a $1,000 fine and abstaining from alcohol and drugs.

The 25-year-old Donahue still has one existing DUI charge, stemming from when he was arrested and charged with drunken driving early on Feb. 26 after police say he drove the wrong way in the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey and collided with a jitney bus, injuring four people.

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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Aug 31, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Aug 31, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA;Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Prior to playing each other in the preseason on Aug. 16, the Jets and Redskins will have three joint practices leading up to the game. Proceedings may get interesting. 

Former Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor is ready for whatever his former teammates have to throw at him-- he didn't leave Washington with a glowing reputation behind him.

"We're there to practice and get better," Pryor said, via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "If I wanted to put my shoulder down and hit one of them -- and get chippy, too -- I'm sure I could do that. But that's not why we're there. If they take dirty shots, I'm sure we'll handle that accordingly. You start trying to make it an individual thing, it takes away from our team. I don't want to individualize myself." 

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Throwback Thursday: Rex Ryan 00:01:27
In the latest edition of Throwback Thursday, SNY travels back to 2009, when Jets head coach Rex Ryan was a media magnet for good quotes.

In the latest edition of Throwback Thursday, SNY travels back to 2009, when Jets head coach Rex Ryan was a media magnet for good quotes.

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