Last week, the Jets signed free agent wide receiver Greg Salas to their active roster. Jets fans might not know too much about Salas, so we've therefore been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

The 25-year old Salas is a 6'1", 210 pound receiver who was a fourth round pick in 2011 out of Hawaii. He appeared in six games for the St Louis Rams in his rookie season, catching 27 passes, but was then traded to the New England Patriots last year and hardly played. The Jets signed him off the Eagles practice squad on the same day as they signed Josh Cribbs.

After the jump, a review of Salas' career and observations from having looked at film from the last few seasons to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Greg Salas?

Greg Salas had a productive four year career at Hawaii, operating in a pistol-spread offense. He started to emerge as a sophomore and then took the next step when he moved into a slot receiver role in his junior year. He was third in the country in receiving yards and made over 100 receptions and then improved on those numbers as a senior, leading the nation and earning a third-team all-American nomination.

After running a 4.53 at the combine and adding impressive numbers in the short shuttle (4.10), vertical jump (37") and broad jump (120"), Salas was drafted by the Rams in the fourth round and moved into a backup role after catching seven passes in preseason. He made one start and averaged over 35 snaps per game in six appearances. He caught 27 passes for 264 yards, including an eight catch performance (for 77 yards) against the Packers, but then was placed on injured reserve in week 10.

After being traded to the New England Patriots for a draft pick last year, Salas made just one appearance and played just six snaps on offense (with no targets). He was then released and picked up on waivers by the Eagles before the Patriots could put him on their practice squad.

After remaining with the Eagles for the rest of the season but not seeing any action, he was unable to make their final roster this year and ended up on their practice squad. The Jets signed him from the Eagles' practice squad, which means he must - by rule - remain on the Jets' active roster for at least three weeks. He's currently injured, though, so we may not see him in action until after the bye, although he is only listed as questionable for this weekend's game.

The Numbers

Third season

Seven games

One start

27 catches, 264 yards, no touchdowns

9.8 yards per catch

77% catch rate (last five seasons only)

Four drops

One carry for eight yards rushing

Two punt returns for 29 yards and three fair catches

Two fumbles as a receiver (not lost), one muffed punt (lost)

One tackle on special teams

Two 20+ yard plays (longest = 21 yards)

Observations

Based on all the footage watched, here was what Salas brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - Salas is regarded as a slot specialist. In 2011, the Rams used him in the slot on 178 of his 197 snaps. However, in preseason this year with the Eagles, he played on the outside a lot more and was in the slot just 13 times on 126 snaps.

Deep threat - Salas has been employed mostly as a possession receiver in the NFL. In fact, only three of his 35 targets in 2011 went more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. (He caught one, for 19 yards, and dropped one). He's not entirely incapable of getting downfield though, as he showed on this spectacular play against the Patriots in preseason.

Blocking - It can't be a coincidence that Salas is a solid blocker, just like the other two receivers signed recently (Josh Cribbs and David Nelson). All the linemen the Jets added during the offseason are good on the move and fit well in a west coast style blocking scheme and all the backs they've brought in have been elusive open field runners that can thrive in space. In a similar vein, the Jets seem to be targeting very specific types of receiver to fit into their offense. Having attended Hawaii (where he was a teammate of Alex Green) Salas will have some familiarity with pistol-based blocking schemes. In particular, he did a good job of blocking down on linebackers from the slot to help set the edge and seemed to have a good understanding of timing and angling his approach correctly. I didn't see any mistakes either.

Routes - Salas catches a ton of short passes, so there's little to assess in terms of complex route running patterns. On one play he showed good instincts to leak out into the flat after a blown play and he would seem to have all the tools to run quick outs and slants, although didn't display this much in the footage watched. His one downfield catch came on a throw down the seam where he ran a go route into zone coverage.

Hands - As evidenced by the above film clip, Salas is capable of spectacular catches. His 77% catch rate speaks to his reliability too. That was the highest percentage in the league in 2011 for any receiver with 35 or more targets. While he does have four drops, one of these was a concentration drop in the flat and the other three were not routine catches. Perhaps the bigger concern is fumbles. He muffed one punt and had two fumbles as a receiver, one where the ball rolled out of bounds and another where his teammate recovered it. Perhaps more worryingly, there were two other plays where he almost fumbled but was ruled down.

Yards after the catch - This is another area where Salas has great numbers. He averaged 8.5 yards after the catch per reception in 2011 which was the most in the league for anyone with more than 20 catches. That's particularly impressive considering his longest gain was only 21 yards, so there were no big plays with easy downfield yardage to artificially inflate the numbers. However, if you look at his 9.8 yards per catch average, you realize that he caught the ball less than two yards downfield on average, which gives some clues as to how he was used. Sure enough, he caught 11 of his 27 passes behind the line of scrimmage, gaining 108 yards.

Salas had three broken tackles and showed excellent elusiveness, further evidence of which is available on this touchdown he scored in preseason. He has a good sense of how to follow his blockers when catching screen passes and an ability to squirm out of tackles and fall forward for a couple of extra yards.

Special Teams - Salas is an option at punt returner, where he fielded five punts as a rookie. He had one sensational return for 29 yards, where he broke several tackles, but did also muff one, causing a turnover. He was also used as a punt gunner and while he only had one tackle, it was a good one, as he beat a double-vice and twisted the return man to the ground on the outside after a short return.

Demeanor - I didn't see anything too significant in terms of cockiness and Salas has had no penalties in his NFL action so far. By all accounts, he is a hard-working player with a good attitude that should be fun to root for if he gets a decent shot.

Injuries - Salas had his 2011 season cut short with a broken leg and is currently dealing with a knee issue, but did return to practice this week (and has been listed as questionable). The timing of the signing was somewhat mystifying (especially since he has to remain on the roster for three weeks anyway), because the Jets were fully aware of the injury, which was no secret because the Eagles had gone out and signed another scout team receiver to replace him. He did remain healthy in college.

Conclusions

Salas didn't exactly fall into a great situation in his first couple of seasons, firmly rooted behind Danny Amendola and then Wes Welker on the Rams and Pats depth charts. Having said that, he heads to New York with Jeremy Kerley emerging as one of the better slot receivers in the league so again he seems destined to be a bit part player unless there are more injuries.

Salas' blocking is good and his open field running is outstanding, so I could see them putting him into certain packages that will best utilize his skill-set. As a rookie, he did make several mistakes which ate into his opportunities, especially early in the season. However, when given chances, he did produce and made some significant positive contributions.

While the timing of this signing was somewhat baffling, perhaps that's a sign that there was competition for his services and the Jets needed to pull the trigger. That would show how high on him they are, while also showing that there was at least one other team that was interested in retaining his rights. Of course, it may also have been timed so that he could give them some intel on the Patriots for last week's game.

This looks to be a signing with some upside, but also someone who is a good fit for the offensive scheme and with some NFL experience which will come in handy if called upon for a more significant role.

Note: While the Jets also signed cornerback Ras-I Dowling this week, he was only added to the practice squad, so you won't get a BGA scouting report on him unless and until he's called up to the active roster.

Some stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to listen

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

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

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

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

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

 

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