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. Earlier, I looked at Clyde Gates but now I'm going to turn my attentions to another ex-Dolphin - Defensive Tackle Isaako Aaitui. (Note: The correct pronunciation for this appears to be Esau-arko Ah-ah-tui).

Most reports say that Aaitui - a 320-pound nose tackle with two-gapping ability - spent training camp last summer with the Dolphins, but I don't believe that's entirely accurate. They brought him in several times to try out, but never actually signed him until they added him to their practice squad in October, so he wasn't with the team in preseason. Still, Sparano would be familiar with him from that time. He did return for 2012, though, and played extensively in the preseason this year.

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his preseason performances and considering what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

2012 Preseason

Aaitui basically spent the entire preseason on the third unit, so with several veterans head of him, it was apparent they were likely to try and add him to their practice squad if nobody else claimed him. This meant that his reps varied from game to game. In game four, he saw action in all four quarters as part of a rotation. On the whole, he averaged about 25 snaps per game.

For each game, I'm going to highlight all the plays where Aaitui did something of consequence or otherwise was involved in the success or failure of the play, using bold text to highlight particularly notable plays. I'll then summarize his performance.

Week One: Tampa Bay

- Held his ground at the point of attack and the runner ran into the back of his man before being stuffed for no gain

- Moved well laterally on a run to the edge and got in on the tackle for a short gain- Was driven off the line initially by a double team, but fought back

- Repelled on his intial pass rush, he tried a spin move, but the quarterback got rid of the ball

- Was almost driven out of the play but managed to recover, getting good leverage upfield to fight back into position

- Tossed his man aside and charged up the middle for a hit on the quarterback- Got some good pentration, leaving the runner with nowhere to go

- Couldn't get off his block, allowing a meaningless 19 yard run to the edge on the last play of the game.

Already in this game, it was apparent that Aaitui was drawing a lot of double teams. He managed to penetrate a few times to affect plays in the running game and showed good effort and counter-strength whenever he was pushed off the line.

Week Two: Carolina

- Was blocked to the ground, although this looked like it could have been a hold. The runner tripped over him for a short gain

- Got swallowed up by a double team, although he wasn't driven back off the line

- Beat his man on a stunt, but the quarterback threw a quick screen pass

- Drew a holding penalty at the point of attack on a running play that was bounced outside

- Picked up a sack as he easily beat the right guard on the inside and came up the middle

- Was called for a facemask penalty on the above play

- Beat his man into the backfield. The runner was stuffed for a loss

- Missed a tackle on a diving attempt to bring down the runner in the backfield

- Was blocked to the ground by another double team

- Moved well laterally to stay in front of a run that was stacked up for no gain

- Was blocked to the ground again.

In this game, Aaitui was having some issues staying upright, but when he kept his balance his did affect several running plays and was getting into the backfield a lot. The facemask penalty was just unlucky.

Week Three: Atlanta

- Got upfield and redirected the runner inside where he was stuffed for no gain

- They ran at him to convert in a short yardage situation

- He picked up his only tackle of the game on an 18-yard screen pass that he chased down from the opposite hashmark- Was blocked to the ground once

- Got driven back and turned around on one running play.

Aaitui didn't get many opportunities in this game, which ended up in a torrential downpour in the fourth quarter. However, the athleticism he showed on the screen pass was impressive. Once again, he was double teamed a lot, including in pass protection.

Week Four: Dallas

- Got a surge and collapsed the pocket to flush the quarterback out. He ended up rolling out and getting sacked

- Came up the middle as he stunted to pressure the quarterback- Got good penetration and redirected the runner twice on one series

- Destroyed the right guard as he bullrushed powerfully and hit the quarterback- Chased down the quarterback and tackled him downfield for a seven yard gain, although there was holding on the play anyway

- Was driven way off the line on one running play, after the run had gone in the other direction, perhaps showing tiredness or a lack of effort

- Shot a gap to beat the left guard to make a tackle in the backfield- Was initially driven off the line by a double team, but fought it off and stuffed a run up the middle for no gain- Was driven out of one other play

This was Aaitui's best game in terms of impact plays, although he did show signs of tiredness towards the end. Fighting off double teams to make plays and getting into the backfield is impressive stuff. He even dropped into coverage twice, showing off more athleticism.

Conclusions

This looks like a move made with an eye on next year. Having added Kenrick Ellis and Quinton Coples to the defensive line rotation, it's likely that Marcus Dixon would have regularly been on the inactive list in 2012 and he would be a restricted free agent in 2013. Therefore, the Jets are clearly thinking ahead to how they address their defensive tackle depth when Sione Po'uha and Mike DeVito inevitably move on. Although they've already found one possible diamond in the rough with Damon Harrison this offseason, it makes sense for them to hedge their bets with Ellis far from a sure thing at this stage of his career.

I don't buy the suggest that letting Marcus Dixon go was a "penny pinching move" because the amount saved ($150K) could just as easily have been saved in a number of other ways. Gates over White cost them an extra $75K, as did McIntryre over Sapp, Trufant over Posey and any other number of possible moves they could have made. They could save over $100K just by keeping one fewer player on the practice squad all year. As Bassett identified a week or so ago, Mike Tannenbaum is always looking to maximize value, so if he sees greater upside at a position which will require depth in a year or two, it makes sense.

I was impressed by Aaitui, so maybe it's not even certain that Dixon would have had a better season than him in 2012. Dixon was employed primarily as a pass rusher during the first half of 2011 and did not produce much, albeit often rushing 3-on-5 or 4-on-6. It was only in the second half of the year when he was filling in on running downs for the injured Ropati Pitoitua and Devito that he started to get into the backfield and make some plays. While he was unquestionably one of the most improved Jets over the second half of the season, it's possible he benefited from the fact that he was playing alongside Po'uha and Wilkerson and they were drawing double teams to help make his life a little easier.

Aaitui looks like more than just a space stuffer. While he took on a bunch of double teams, what stood out was his athleticism. He had some nice production as an interior pass rusher and affected a load of running plays with his penetration. There were some signs of rawness and he did end up on the ground quite often, but if I put together a highlight reel of all his best moments, you'd all be seriously drooling over his potential. Yes, all his reps came against backups, which would lead me to think it's unlikely he could have the same effectiveness if called into action during the regular season, but the same was also the case for Dixon this preseason and their production was similar, with each having their best game in week four.

The most head-scratching element of this pickup is the fact that the Jets already have Damon Harrison on the 53-man roster. He's showing so much promise that they obviously don't feel they can afford to expose him to another team at this time. To persevere with this move suggests they hold Aaitui in similar regard in terms of his potential. He does look like a great prospect, but that I'm not entirely sure whether he's ready to do anything for them this year. We'll have to wait and see if he sticks around.

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

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Jets mid-season report cards 00:09:19
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at the Jets' first half of the campaign and hand out their mid-season report cards.

Former Jets LB and current SNY Jets contributor Chad Cascadden gives his midseason grades.

Tune in to the Jets Nation Midseason report tonight at 6:30 on SNY!


Offense Overall: (C)

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

When Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Jets, he was joining a backfield that included the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson. 

Powell only appeared in two games that season but the knowledge he picked up from Tomlinson in the Hall of Famer's final season was invaluable to his career...

Tags: Bilal Powell
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Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Oct 28, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) looks to pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe most important football game for New York will not take place at the Meadowlands on Sunday. It will take place 2,800 miles away at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the future of one or both of the New York teams may be on display Saturday night.

And yes, both the Giants and Jets will both have scouts in the press box watching UCLA take on USC - along with 18 other NFL teams. Their eyes will be fixed on Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen and Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold - the odds-on favorites to be the first and second picks of the 2018 draft.

The Jets, of course, are desperate to find their franchise quarterback. And the Giants are searching for the heir to their 36-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. Right now, the Giants seem to be in the best position to grab the quarterback they desire. But a few more losses over the final six games, and perhaps a trade up, and the Jets could be in position, too.

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New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets corner back Buster Skrine (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets CB Buster Skrine was fined $48,620 for his hit on Bucs WR DeSean Jackson last Sunday, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The third quarter hit on Jackson yielded an unnecessary roughness penalty. It was the 11th time this season Skrine has been penalized, which is the most by any defensive player in the NFL. 

It is also the second time Skrine has been fined this season. He was docked for a hit on Raiders RB DeAndre Washington in Week 2. 

Tags: Buster Skrine
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The Jets have finally reached their bye week, and it's probably at the right time after a dreadful loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. The guys discuss the defeat, as well as a recap of the season so far.

Click below to listen

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 (Steve Nesius/AP)
(Steve Nesius/AP)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Friday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice on Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Jets mid-season awards 00:05:26
The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.

The Jets Nation crew take a look back at Gang Green's first half and hand out their mid-season awards.


 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

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Current state of the Jets 00:02:37
Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.

Jon Hein and Willie Colon break down the current outlook for the Jets after their recent loss to Tampa Bay that dropped them to 4-6.


NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))
NY Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff as the Jets get in practice at the Jets Training Facility during training camp in Florham Park, NJ on Aug. 8, 2011 (William Perlman (USA Today))

Mike Westhoff, who had been working for SNY as Jets contributor, is coming out of retirement to join the Saints as a coach.

The 69-year old Westhoff, who was a special teams coach for the Jets from 2001 to 2012, is joining the Saints in the same capacity.

"I didn't want to regret something I didn't try," Westhoff said, according to the NY Post.

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Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons tackles New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (4-6) are on their bye week and next face the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 26. Here's what's going on Wednesday:

Need to know

The Jets are scheduled to return to practice next Monday. Follow @RVaccianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors from SNY's Ralph Vacciano.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson, Steve McLendon
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 (Jerry Lai)
(Jerry Lai)

Former Jet Bart Scott will join Chris Carlin and Maggie Gray as the team to replace Mike Francesa on WFAN, per the NY Daily News. 

The annoucement has yet to be made by WFAN itself, but it was first reported that Carlin and Scott were to take part of the team taking over for the legendary Francesa. 

Scott currently works with ESPN 98.7 while Carlin talks for WIP radio in Philadelphia. Gray works for SI Now and CBS Sports Radio. 

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets put together their most complete performance of the season in an impressive 34-21 win over the Bills on Thursday night, rushing for almost 200 yards and racking up seven sacks and three fumble recoveries in the process.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the offensive side of the ball:

Quarterbacks

With the running game working, Josh McCown didn't need to throw much this week, but he was efficient when he did. He threw just seven passes after halftime, completing five. In the first half, while the game was still in the balance, McCown gave the Jets the lead with a touchdown scramble, completing a drive he'd kept alive himself with another third-down run.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bilal Powell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Chad Hansen, Elijah McGuire, James Carpenter, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson
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Cast your votes below for the Jets offense, defense, special teams and coaching during the first half of the season and see the results on Jets Nation: Mid Season Report on Thursday 11/16 at 6:30PM.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) drops back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets (4-6) are now on their bye week. Their next game is against the Carolina Panthers on November 26th. Here's what's going on today...

Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Unlike the previous week, the Jets offense looked stale in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday.

Consistency is what the players didn't see from the unit after the game. As the Jets tried to find a rhythm, something would halt them in their tracks. Josh McCown says it's on the veterans like him because they didn't pull the team together. 

"Myself and the other veterans have to pull these [young] guys along, help us find consistency and be better," McCown told Jets.com's Ethan Greenberg. "Because every unit, at some point this year, has played and shown that they can play with the best in the league. But we have to do that for four quarters week in and week out and we didn't do that today. We have to take these next two weeks to get healthy, look in the mirror and figure out ways to do that and be better, so we can make a run down the stretch."

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The University of Tennessee has expressed interest in Jets DC Kacy Rodgers to become their next head coach, per Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Tennessee fired Butch Jones on Sunday, leaving the school to hire a new coach following the season. No interviews have been scheduled as the talks are just beginning between both sides. 

Rodgers played for the Vols from 1988-1991 was he was a linebacker/defensive end. He was also born in Humboldt, Tennessee. 

The Vols do not need permission from the Jets to talk to Rodgers about the position. 

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

After the win against Buffalo, there was a lot of hype about the "resurgent" Jets and some talk of Todd Bowles as a coach of the year candidate. However, after yesterday's dispiriting loss, the reality is that the Jets have lost four of five with their only win coming over a Bills team whose 37-point loss to the Saints yesterday suggests they have been overrated. Heading to the bye, it's probably time to reset our expectations.

Let's start this week by breaking down the performances on the defensive side of the ball...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Juston Burris, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

After playing their best game of the season against the Bills last Thursday, the Jets looked lethargic in their 15-10 loss to the Bucs on Sunday. 

It didn't look like the same Jets energy that ran all over MetLife Stadium a week prior. Head coach Todd Bowles noticed a lack of spirit to start the game, and it would last until the final whistle. 

"You've got to show up every week in this league or you get it handed to you," Bowles told The Post's Brian Costello. "We didn't show up today."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Morris Claiborne, Robby Anderson
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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick got his first start on Sunday against his former team, and made the best of it with a victory. 

"It was special to me to be able to win that game," Fitpatrick told NJ.com's Connor Hughes.

Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 15-10 win as the Jets suffered their sixth loss of the season. It wasn't his best performance as he finished 17-for-34 for 187 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. But his fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Charles Sims would be the deciding score, and the feat Fitzpatrick was hoping to achieve. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 11/12 00:11:49
The Jets Post Game crew hands out report cards following the Jets' 15-10 loss at the hands of the Buccaneers.

Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (16) reacts with a towel over his head during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

What a waste of an opportunity.

That's the only way to describe that hideous, 15-10 loss the Jets had on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets had showed so much promise in recent weeks. They were 10 days removed from their best win of the season. They were getting everyone excited as they sat on the edge of the AFC playoff picture.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles, McCown on 15-10 loss 00:02:04
Jets head coach Todd Bowles attributes the team's 15-10 loss to sloppy overall play, while QB Josh McCown credits Tampa Bay's game plan.

The Jets struggled on offense and former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucaneers to a 15-10 win on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.  >> Box score


 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Robby Anderson, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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Dr. Levine on treating soldiers 00:03:37
Dr. David Levine discusses his experience treating both professional athletes and soldiers. Demario Davis talks about their relationship.

Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan (8) runs the ball as New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne (21) comes in for the tackle during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is active and CB Morris Claiborne is set to return on Sunday when the team faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a road matchup.

Claiborne returned to practice on Thursday after he was sidelined last week with a foot injury, while Wilkerson is set to go after resting during the week.

Tags: Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (4-5) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

We'll be shivering up here in the Northeast all weekend, but not so much down in Tampa. Temperatures should be in the low 80s throughout the game under partly cloudy skies, moderate winds, and a tiny chance of showers at some point...

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacc's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:24
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball against New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon (30) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets WR Robby Anderson is only in the midst of his second NFL season, but he already has lofty goals for what he hopes is a memorable NFL career.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 34-21. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (AP)

The Jets have activated WR JoJo Natson their practice squad as part of three moves before the team takes on the Bucs on the road on Sunday.

In addition to adding Natson, the Jets waived/injured DL Ed Stinson and signed CB Michael Hunter to the practice squad.

Natson is a 5'7" wide receiver who went undrafted out of Akron and originally signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived Natson in September and he later signed with the Jets. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Darron Lee 00:01:43
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets' linebacker Darron Lee about the team's focus coming off a big win and their preparation for Sunday's game.