The Jets this week signed another veteran player when they signed safety Dawan Landry to a two-year, $3m deal.

The 30-year old, 6-1 220-pounder figures to fill one of the Jets' vacant starting safety roles, one of which resulted from the departure of his younger brother LaRon. The younger Landry started all 16 games for the Jets last year and went to the Pro Bowl, but signed with the Indianapolis Colts last month.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last season, to review what he can bring to the Jets, focusing in particular on any differences and/or similarities between him and his brother.

Who is Dawan Landry?

A high school quarterback, Landry went to college at Georgia Tech and was eventually drafted in the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens. There he earned a starting job as a rookie, playing the first three years of his career with Rex Ryan as his defensive coordinator.

After starting 30 games in his first two seasons, Landry suffered a potentially career-ending spinal concussion injury early in the 2008 season. However, since then he's been perfectly healthy and hasn't missed a game in four seasons. In fact, he's only missed 31 snaps, including just one last year.

Landry has a reputation as an in-the-box safety, which makes sense by virtue of the fact that he was paired with one of the best coverage safeties of all-time in Ed Reed. However, Ryan's system requires both his safeties to be able to play in coverage and Landry did flash some ball-hawking skills in the passing game early in his career, intercepting five passes twice in his first four seasons. Here is a nice highlight reel showing some of that playmaking ability (and some big hitting) on display in those first few years.

Landry played for five years with the Ravens, before signing a five-year, $27m deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He played two seasons with the Jaguars, who reportedly cut him due to his high salary and the fact they want to get younger at the position.

2012 Regular Season

Let's look in detail at Dawan's contributions during the 2012 season.

Week 1 - at Minnesota

In this game, Landry missed a tackle in the flat on a screen pass that led to a 20-yard gain. He also gave up two key catches - a 26-yarder to set up the game tying field goal and a 17-yarder to set up a field goal in overtime. Both of these came in zone coverage.

Week 2 - v Houston

In this game, he wasn't troubled in coverage and had 13 tackles. There was also one play that he blew up by taking out the lead blocker.

Week 3 - at Indianapolis

Landry made a couple of good plays against the run in this game and had his only pressure of the season, although Andrew Luck escaped and scrambled for a first down. He also got beaten for this short score.

Week 4 - v Cincinnati

Landry wasn't targeted at all in this game and had six tackles including one where he stuffed a run in the hole. He did slip on one running play, missing a tackle for a nine yard run.

Week 5 - v Chicago

In a blowout loss, he was targeted just once as Jay Cutler kept the play alive and Landry couldn't stay with the tight end as he scrambled. However, that first down was negated by a penalty. He did record nine tackles including one in the hole for a short gain.

Week 7 - at Oakland

In this game, he was beaten for a 17-yard gain on a post route by the under-appreciated Brandon Myers on a great throw by Carson Palmer. He also broke up a pass to Darren McFadden with a well-timed hit, although McFadden felt there should have been a flag.

Week 8 - at Green Bay

Landry gave up two short passes in this one but did make one good play against the run. He was called for a holding penalty as he hit the receiver as the ball arrived - except the ball never arrived because Aaron Rodgers had thrown a pump fake.

Week 9 - v Detroit

Landry was involved in a couple of big plays in this one, missing a couple of tackles and not getting over in time in coverage once. He also got beaten in man-to-man coverage for an 11-yard catch, although he was in pretty good position and the receiver made a diving grab.

Week 10 - v Indianapolis

Landry made some good plays in this one - a tackle in the hole, a touchdown saving tackle on third down at the goal line and a tackle in the flat on a well-read screen pass. He also added this, his only interception of the year. On the downside, he missed a tackle at the second level on a 19 yard end around, got frozen by a pump fake that allowed Andrew Luck to dive in at the pylon and got flagged for this extremely LaRon-esque hit on Luck.

Week 11 - at Houston

This was the game where the Jags built a big lead behind Chad Henne, only for the Texans to battle back and win 43-37 in overtime. After not being troubled in coverage the first time the teams met, Landry found himself chasing Andre Johnson around all day as the Texans attacked gaps in the Jags zone. There were two plays where Landry was at fault for biting on a play-fake, leading to 27 and 45 yard gains. Two more went for 23 and 19, with a 15-yard penalty tacked onto the second one for a hit on a defenseless receiver. There was also a short touchdown pass where Landry and a linebacker both ran with the outside receiver, leaving the tight end alone underneath. Landry did make one good stop at the goal line, but his day ended badly too, as he was unable to prevent Johnson's winning touchdown with this despairing dive at the 20.

Week 12 - v Tennessee

Landry had a much easier game this week, registering nine tackles. He did give up two first downs and got blocked out on a running play that went for 31, but he also made a good open field tackle on a third down dump-off pass to force a punt.

Week 13 - at Buffalo

Landry made a couple of good plays in this one, blowing up a run and reading and blowing up a screen pass in the flat. However, he did miss a couple of tackles and overpursued badly on a CJ Spiller touchdown run. The Bills also threw a touchdown pass to Scott Chandler between Landry and the other safety.

Week 14 - v New York Jets

Landry made a couple of excellent open field tackles on Mardy Gilyard and Konrad Reuland, one to force a punt and the other for a short gain. There was also a play where he was clearly picked and probably should have got an offensive pass interference call. He gave up one first down where he was too far off his man as Mark Sanchez rolled out and got driven back in the running game on two plays that netted 24 yards by Reuland and Vladimir Ducasse.

Week 15 - at Miami

Landry blew up one run in the hole to force a third and one and made an immediate tackle on a third down dump-off to force a punt. He was credited with giving up a 37-yard completion, but review of the film seemed to indicate this was the cornerback's fault. Landry was at fault when he missed a tackle downfield which turned a Reggie Bush 20-yard run into a 53-yard run though.

Week 16 - v New England

Landry was solid in this game, making a couple of good plays against the run. He did give up one first down catch in zone coverage that was negated and had a missed tackle, but it only cost them a couple of yards.

Week 17 - at Tennessee

Landry only gave up seven yards on three targets in this game, but that's misleading because he did get burned down the seam by Nate Washington, who then dropped the ball. He did make one good play in coverage, as he was in position to blow up a screen pass, forcing the quarterback to throw it at the receiver's feet. However, he got blocked off the line on a short touchdown run.

Comparison With LaRon Landry

Let's look at a few categories to compare Dawan with his brother, whose role he looks set to replace.

Measurables

LaRon, who was seven pounds lighter than Dawan entering the NFL, is now listed as five pounds heavier having bulked himself up significantly as he made the transition from a pure coverage safety to more of an in-the-box role (although it's fair to say that officially listed NFL weights are notoriously unreliable). LaRon was without question the better athlete, running an eye-popping 4.35 forty at the combine. Dawan's 4.6 forty is a reasonable time for a safety but obviously he lacks LaRon's range and closing speed. Having said that, LaRon's recent heel injuries may have slowed him down somewhat, so that perhaps narrows the gap despite the fact Dawan is now in his thirties.

Usage

As noted above, LaRon made a transition from pure coverage safety to more of an in-the-box role. To a lesser extent, Dawan has also been used in the box more and more over the past few years, as this chart (with data exclusively provided by PFF) illustrates:

As you can see, Dawan's percentage of time spent in the box (within eight yards of the line of scrimmage) has been on the rise over the last four years. Back in 2008 and 2009, you can see how LaRon was in the box less than Dawan ever was with Baltimore, but played in the box more and more as he bulked up over the next couple of years. However, as a function of the dual responsibilities for safeties in Rex Ryan's scheme, the amount he was in the box dropped back down to 40% in 2012. The good news is that Dawan has been preparing for just such a role over the last few years, by increasing his amount of time spent in the box up to just that kind of number. 2008's high percentage shows how Dawan also has experience of an even heavier in-the-box workload, although that was only one and a half games before his serious neck injury.

It's a common misconception that LaRon played more of a coverage role last year because Yeremiah Bell is more of an in-the-box safety. Bell was actually in the box a lot less than LaRon - just 26% of the time. We can expect whoever is paired with Dawan to operate more in coverage, but they will be interchangeable. In fact, Dawan's role could change from week to week if he was paired with someone like Josh Bush one week and then someone like Antonio Allen the next. Either way, he's going to play in the box and in coverage.

Coverage

Speaking of coverage, let's consider that next.

Long time readers of BGA will know that I am always skeptical of coverage numbers (and ratings in general) for safeties, so I'm going to do my best to look beyond the numbers. However, let's first look at the 2012 coverage numbers in isolation:

Yards per Target: LaRon 10.2 // Dawan 8.5

Yards per Coverage Snap: LaRon 0.92 // Dawan 0.66

Completion Percentage: Laron 59% // Dawan 68%

They both gave up 30 catches, but Dawan gave those up in fewer targets. However, more damage was done on the catches given up by LaRon, so Dawan's efficiency is slightly better.

My first observation is that Dawan surrendered a much higher completion percentage, but was targeted less often. Unfortunately, the numbers alone don't tell us whether this is (a) because Dawan was in position more often so they didn't attempt to throw his way as much, (b) because Dawan was in coverage support rather than directly covering a potential receiver more often than LaRon was or (c) maybe just because the Jags had worse talent in their defensive backfield than the Jets so it was easier to find a wide open alternative. It could be any of these, or a combination thereof and the numbers alone don't tell us one way or another.

I'd also caution that if you look at coverage grades on PFF these include tackles on passing plays, so if you missed a tackle or forced a fumble or something, you'd receive a positive or negative coverage grade despite the fact that it's not really evaluating how well the safety performed at stopping his man catching the ball or being in the right position. I mention this just as an example of how misleading those numbers can be because a sure tackler who is below average in coverage will typically end up with a better "coverage" grade than someone who misses a lot of tackles but is above average at covering receivers.

There's an even bigger reservation I have than these and that's the fact that it is notoriously difficult to evaluate whether or not a safety was in the right place on any given play if you don't know the assignments on any given play. Teams use a similar rating system to PFF, but they can grade their own players more accurately because they have this knowledge.

So, how can I go beyond the numbers to try and assess how good they are in coverage? Other than what we already know - their numbers were similar, LaRon is faster and covers more ground and Dawan tends to gamble less often to keep plays in front of him - I did make some observations about the Jaguars defensive scheme compared to that of the Jets.

What I noticed was that their cornerbacks played a lot of zone. Cornerbacks would cover receivers close to the line and then pass them off to the safeties if they continued downfield. They seemed to do this more than the Jets do, which led to Dawan ending up with a receiver in his area that he then had to pick up. On many of the catches he gave up, the pass was thrown at the perfect moment so that Dawan was too far off his man as the cornerback passed his man off to Landry. I'd say this takes pressure off the cornerbacks and puts more of an onus on the safeties in coverage. It might also be one explanation for Derek Cox's sparkling coverage numbers in 2011 (league lowest numbers for completion percentage - 32.1% - and QB rating - 44.5 - on throws into his coverage).

A look at the plays on which LaRon and Dawan were directly matched up with a player at the snap (out wide or in the slot) shows that there was not much difference between how often they were required to do this. LaRon did it 122 times, Dawan 107. (Although theoretically, on some of these plays, Landry might have played zone so he'd have been passing off his man to someone behind him too.)

All of this would suggest that Dawan was targeted less not because he was in direct coverage less, but because he wasn't often the player whose guy was open. That should bode well, especially in a scheme where there could be less of an onus on the safeties to be in direct coverage down the field.

When he was in direct coverage, Dawan did get beaten a few times for catches, but wasn't often burned for a big gain like LaRon was on Thanksgiving against Julian Edelman for example (I won't link to this one). These were more of the getting beaten by a step and the quarterback making a perfect pass variety.

For their careers, Dawan actually has twice as many (12) interceptions as LaRon. However, nine of these were before 2010, as were 20 of his 30 career pass breakups. One thing you'll have picked up from that highlight video earlier on is that Landry threw and received a lot of lateral passes, mostly with Ed Reed on the other end. Here is a play where he scored on a lateral in 2010.

Run defense

Over the courses of their careers, LaRon has been the slightly more productive tackler, by a margin of 6.0 to 5.7 per game. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean he was making all those tackles in the running game. In fact, Dawan made more tackles than any other NFL safety on running plays in 2012.

Their contribution in this area is pretty similar. They can both come up into the box and blow up a play and don't get blocked out of plays too often. Dawan usually reads plays pretty well based on what I saw from him last season, but he is prone to the occasional mistake. Witness how he takes a poor angle here and overpursues leading to a CJ Spiller touchdown.

Tackling

Missed tackles are another area where stats can sometimes be misleading. Dawan had 10 missed tackles in 2012, which no doubt hurts his run defense grade. However, because he was so productive, he was actually the 9th most efficient tackling safety in the league (again per PFF). He won't have got credit for a positive play on many of the tackles that occurred downfield, but the fact he does that at a high percentage when compared to other players has value that the statistics don't take into account. Look at it this way. If Dawan was in position to make 100 downfield tackles and missed 10, he'd likely end up with a worse run defense grade than someone who only got in position to make 50 tackles and missed eight. Had that second player been on a defense where runners got to the second level more often, his contribution would have been a lot worse.

Dawan's ninth best tackle efficiency in 2012 was no fluke - he was 7th in 2010 and 22nd in 2011 - so he is a reliable tackler despite the high missed tackle numbers - 37 in four seasons. That does compare favorably with LaRon, who despite missing half of 2010 and half of 2011 missed 38 in four seasons.

Pass Rushing

Both players have 5.5 sacks in their careers, but Dawan got three of his in his rookie season and LaRon has always been a much more productive pass rusher in terms of pressure generated. Having said that, LaRon didn't register a sack with the Jets last season, so maybe teams are more prepared for a safety blitz against teams like the Jets and Ravens with their exotic blitz packages than they would be against a team like the Redskins, where LaRon was more productive. The Jags rarely rush their DBs - Dawan did it just 17 times last year, getting just one hurry.

Discipline

As you'll have seen from some of the plays highlighted above, Dawan does have a streak of recklessness in him. The good news is that he will still bring some of that presence over the middle that fans appreciated from LaRon, but the bad news is that Dawan may from time to time make a mistake or give away a penalty like his brother. Having said that, I'd go along with the prevailing notion that Dawan is slightly less reckless than LaRon and the footage I saw together with some of his numbers bear this out. For the record, they each had eight penalties called on them over the last four seasons, but LaRon did of course play 16 fewer games than Dawan.

Special Teams

Like LaRon, Dawan hardly plays on special teams any more - not unusual for a 30-year old safety. I mention it here for completeness, but don't expect much of a contribution in this area.

Conclusions:

I was really enthused by the Dawan Landry signing, which I thought would represent good value on the basis that Dawan would bring many of the same things to the table as his brother, but for a fraction of the price. Dawan might not be quite as good as LaRon, but he's almost as good and the slight downgrade is worth it when you're also saving $2m this year (based on last year's salary for LaRon) or $4.5m per year over the next two (based on his current contract). Hopefully, Dawan also represents less of an injury risk too - and should pick up the scheme faster than his brother did, by virtue of his three years of experience playing Rex Ryan's system in Baltimore.

Having said that, watching footage of a slightly worse version of LaRon Landry - a player I felt was overrated last year anyway - was a little depressing in places. However, in the days running up to the Dawan signing, I had started to think that maybe the Jets would have been better off if they had just paid the $6m to retain LaRon after all, so getting Dawan for a fraction of the price was definitely a move I endorse. He's a definite upgrade, a solid veteran presence and someone who can help the younger players.

My hope is that Dawan will be a better scheme fit than LaRon as he will play with more discipline which is something this defense lacked at times in 2012. Couple that with the fact he's good value and a good bet to stay healthy and this is a move I am extremely hopeful will pay dividends.

Unless the Jets make any other signings in the lead-up to the draft, I will return to looking at some of the long shots at the other end of the roster.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, 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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