This week the Jets signed running back Jonathan Grimes to the active roster. Jets fans might not know much about Grimes, so I've been looking at preseason footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Grimes was signed off the Houston Texans practice squad, so will need to remain on the active roster for at least three weeks. He's a guy they've had their eyes on for some time, as they made a conditional waiver claim on him, which they later withdrew, on cutdown day. However, it's not yet clear whether he has been brought in with an expectation to contribute immediately or is viewed as a longer-term product (or even just a shot across the bow of Shonn Greene).

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

Who is Jonathan Grimes?

Grimes was a local kid from New Jersey, who went under the radar at a small school (William & Mary), until he led the nation in all purpose yards as a senior. Entering this year's draft, some sites gave him a sixth round grade, but he didn't get an invite to the combine and would ultimately go undrafted. In 48 starts at college, he averaged just under 95 yards per game and five yards per carry, while rushing for 34 touchdowns. He also caught 136 passes with seven more touchdowns, returned kicks and punts (including one other score) and even passed for a score.

Grimes is a bit of a throwback player, who isn't regarded as flashy and is actually a talented pianist. He's not a power back in the Shonn Greene mold - he weighed in at 207 at his Pro Day this summer and is currently listed at 209. His Pro Day numbers were pretty good, although he only ran a 4.53 forty, so might be considered to lack breakaway speed. However, his 38-inch vertical and a broad jump of over 10-feet are signs of his explosiveness. He also lifted the bar 23 times, displaying some good strength for his size and ran a 4.03 short shuttle, suggesting he has pretty good agility.

One concern about young players is ball security. I've been unable to find definitive figures for his fumbles while in college, but I believe he had three each in his freshman and sophomore years, whereas I can't find any record of him having fumbled in his junior or senior seasons.

A lot of the players the Jets pick up via waivers or during the season are said to have struggled in preseason, so when I scout them for BGA I do so with low expectations (and a lot of the time they show some promise). However, Grimes drew rave reviews in preseason, having averaged 4.6 yards per carry, as he battled with veteran Justin Forsett for the third running back role. It was a slight surprise when he cleared waivers and landed on Houston's practice squad and with Shonn Greene and the running game in general struggling, the Jets have likely made this move to shake things up. While his spot on the roster is guaranteed for three weeks, there are no guarantees he will be active or get any playing time. You may recall the Jets added tight end Shawn Nelson last season, but he was inactive for three weeks and then gone. However, that was partially due to injuries/illness.

Let's review his preseason performances in depth:

2012 Preseason

Week One: Carolina – entered game at start of second half, 9-37 rushing, 1-18 receiving, one tackle

- Off a playfake, he picked up a blitzing linebacker to enable a quick throw.

- With nowhere to go, the left defensive end penetrated upfield to stop him getting outside and an unblocked linebacker hit him in the backfield, but his momentum carried him back to the line of scrimmage.

- He didn’t have a lot of room as he cut back behind his fullback, but broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, falling forward for three.

- Made a special teams tackle on the kickoff, getting off his block well as part of the second wave.

- The right defensive tackle got pushed back off the line and he showed good patience in the hole, cutting left and then falling forward after the hit for 11.

- Tried to get to the outside, but Antwan Applewhite got off his block forcing him back inside where he was bottled up for a two yard loss.

- Burst straight up the middle, almost untouched, for a three yard touchdown.

- Bad block by the fullback, but Grimes was hit a yard behind the line of scrimmage and was able to drive forward for a two yard gain.

- Followed his blocks off left tackle for three but was bottled up and gang tackled there.

- Leaked into the left flat for a screen pass and followed his blocks well downfield for an 18 yard gain, hurdling out of a tackle to tack a couple of extra yards onto the end of the play.

- This was a great play that went for a 14 yard gain on the play after his 18 yard catch. His left guard was driven back into his path, but he bounced to the outside where a linebacker tried to make a diving tackle in the backfield. He stumbled through that and made an impressively sharp upfield cut then used his speed to gain 14 yards, evading another lunging tackle downfield.

- This may have been designed for a cutback to the right, as there would have been a big cutback lane, if not for the fact that the left guard got submarined by his man. Grimes reacted quickly and got outside his blocker on the left side before cutting upfield. He broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and tried to step out of an ankle tackle three yards downfield before getting swarmed under.

In this game, he had one highlight reel play and two other decent gains. There were a few plays that were bottled up but he broke several tackles and didn't seem to leave too many yards on the field.

Week Two: San Francisco – Didn’t play on offense until late in the third quarter, 2-22 rushing, 1-5 receiving

- Delayed draw play out of the shotgun, using a burst of speed off the edge to rush off the left side untouched with the defense playing back on 2nd and 23. With good speed, he was able to gain 16.

- 3rd and 16 screen for a five yard gain. Didn’t really have anywhere to go.

- Stayed in to block but no blitzer came through.

- Six yard run on second and ten. A simple one-read upfield cut over right guard.

- Similar play going left for five, but this time negated by a hold.

Didn't get much playing time and made some routine, albeit positive plays. He did display a good burst of speed on the draw play.

Week Three: New Orleans – Entered the game on offense at the start of the third quarter, 4-22 rushing, 2-18 receiving, two tackles

- Great special teams play on a kickoff as he was one of the first guys down, crashed into a blocker and came off the block for a big hit short of the 20.

- On second and four with three receivers bunched to the right, he started off to the right, then cut back up the middle, hurdling a prone defender for six yards.

- The same delayed draw as in the previous game on 3rd and 15. He read a block on the edge and bounced to the outside for 10.

- The same delayed draw again on 3rd and 15, this time from their own five yard line. Grimes gained four as the defender in the backfield got a handful of his jersey and was able to complete the tackle as the blocks in front of him didn’t develop in time.

- Sidestepped a tackle in the backfield and ran into the pile for two.

- Made a special teams tackle on a kickoff return at the 25, just as it looked like the receiver was about to break into the open field.

- Down seven with 1:55 to go, from their own 43, the Texans opened their drive by throwing to Grimes three straight times. He ran a quick-in route for six over the middle, then gained 12 on the same play, with the defense backed further off this time so he could turn upfield, breaking a tackle to pick up the last couple of yards. The next one was a pretty similar play, but thrown to him slightly later. He was unable to haul in a low throw. He was then replaced as the comeback effort came up short.

Made a minor contribution on offense with some pretty routine plays, but did show the ability to break or avoid tackles. It was good to see him catch a couple of passes.

Week Four: Minnesota – Didn’t start, but played the whole game, 13-49 rushing, 2-17 receiving, one penalty

- There wasn’t really anywhere to go and an unblocked linebacker stopped him in his tracks for a two yard loss.

- Picked up a blitz well as the pocket collapsed. Only had to hold the block for a split second, but still enabled the pass to be complete.

- Again started off-tackle and cut back up the middle. There didn’t look like there was much room, but he squeezed through a tight gap and spun forward for six.

- Same play again to the right on the next snap, but this time he had more room, breaking a tackle at the second level and powering forward downfield for 16.

- On third and goal at the five, he was a quick checkdown underneath and was hit at the two. He fell forward, but didn’t break the plane.

- On fourth and goal from the one, he went low but was unable to break the plane.

- Motioned out wide, but then flinched at the snap and was called for a false start.

- Another delayed draw on third and 14. He put the brakes on at the second level and almost broke away from a tackler by cutting back to the inside, but the tackler brought him down after being dragged for a couple of extra yards, limiting the gain to eight.

- Didn’t have anywhere to go on an off-tackle run to the right, so tried to bounce it outside but could only get back to the line of scrimmage.

- Off a playfake on 3rd and three, he leaked out to the flat and was wide open for an easy 13-yard gain.

- Gained six yards over the right side with a huge hole and was tackled immediately at the second level as he was a little hesitant.

- Bounced off contact at the line of scrimmage and picked up two up the middle.

- Stayed in to block, but the protection failed and the quarterback was sacked. It was impossible to see who was at fault, but the left guard blocked nobody as the pressure came off his side, although it may have been Grimes’ responsibility to stay back and pick up that man.

- Another 3rd and 15 draw play where he dodged one tackle and side-stepped another but only gained four yards.

- A counter play that didn’t really work. He skipped out of a tackle in the backfield and dove ahead for one yard.

- An outside run, where he cut back for three yards. Might have made more yardage if he kept going to the outside.

- Not much room and picked up two on that same play where he starts off going right and cuts back upfield on the right side, followed by a similar play going to the left with the same result.

- Stayed in to block on third down and managed to get his hands on the edge rusher. He only needed to sustain the block for a second.

There were a few negatives in this game. For the first time, he was tackled a few times without falling forward as he had done well over the first three games. He also had a couple of plays where he perhaps didn't make the right read and a possible breakdown in pass protection. It was also disappointing to see him fail to get in the endzone on two plays early on. Despite all that, he was still pretty productive, making the most of whenever he had some running room and still managing to escape some tackles too.

Conclusions

You can see why Grimes created some preseason buzz. He has a nice burst of speed, the ability to shake and break tackles and usually finishes his runs falling forward. He also looks to be a competent safety valve option in the passing game. Overall, he was probably more impressive than any of the Jets' backs were in preseason, although you should factor in that the Jets were installing a brand new system and blocking scheme, whereas the Texans - although they've had some personnel changes - are still running the same system that made their running game one of the best in the league over the past couple of years.

It was interesting to see that Houston's running game was every bit as vanilla as the Jets' was in preseason, if not moreso. Most of their running plays were pretty straightforward one-read cutback runs and they also ran the same delayed draw over and over again whenever they had a third and long. They did sprinkle in the occasional different play, but it's difficult to get a read on whether Grimes has any limitations or if he was actually held back by the predictability.

My biggest concern with Grimes would be that he apparently came from a zone system in college and that's what the Texans play too. With Shonn Greene showing signs that he is struggling to make the right reads in the Jets' new blocking system, this may be a sign that it could take Grimes some time to adjust too. In general when looking for signs of whether he has good vision, it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were a couple of plays where he left yards on the field, but he did seem to make the right decision and react quickly most of the time.

Being a little smaller and perhaps more slippery than the other backs the Jets have, Grimes brings a slightly different skill-set to the table, one which may be suited to the third down back role. However, can he pass block well enough to play that role. It was a fairly small sample size, because he usually ran a route when the Texans passed the ball with him in, but when he did stay in, he did do a good job of getting in front of his man most of the time. However, in each case, he was only required to hold his block for a short time and his lack of size would probably mean his pass blocking contributions would be limited to doing that.

One other interesting factor is that he made a few contributions on special teams on the kick coverage unit. That's a role that Bilal Powell currently plays with the Jets, but Shonn Greene likely wouldn't. Therefore, I wonder if they have plans to increase Powell's role on offense and replace him on special teams. With Joe McKnight potentially moving to corner, that could free up an active roster spot to enable this to happen.

As with any move made at this stage in the season, it's difficult to know how quickly Grimes will be able to contribute, if at all. However, he did show some flashes that he could be a productive running back, especially when the line blocks well for him. Of course, life will get easier for the other backs too if the run blocking improves. Ultimately, it's never a bad idea to bring a fresh set of legs to the running game, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what Grimes can do with his shot.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Sam Darnold optimistic after win 00:01:01
Sam Darnold is feeling better physically after the Jets win. Darnold looks to build on his start for the last three games of the season.

Sam Darnold gave Jets fans a scare in the first half of Sunday's 27-23 win over the Bills when he exited the game after re-aggravating his sprained right foot. 

The rookie quarterback eventually re-entered the game and gutted it out as he led the Jets to a comeback victory, but there was still concern over his health, especially when he was splitting first-team reps with Josh McCown at the start of Tuesday's practice that was open to media. 

But Darnold was listed as a full participant and insists he "feels great."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

Another NFL coaching whiz became available on Thursday when the Vikings fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo -- and the Jets likely already have their eyes on him.

DeFilippo is expected to be on the Jets' shortlist to replace head coach Todd Bowles, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

The 40-year-old DeFilippo was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in 2009, and the team even tried to interview him for its offensive coordinator job in 2017 before the Eagles blocked him. DeFilippo helped develop QB Carson Wentz over two seasons in Philly, but his 2018 season with Minnesota was cut short due to a struggling, Kirk Cousins-led offense. 

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Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon rehash the Jets win over the Bills. Was the signature win for the rookie QB better than a potentially higher draft spot? The duo also examine the coaching carousel in the NFL and preview the game against the Texans.

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

If Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was happy about his team's first win in six weeks, he didn't show it. Instead, Jenkins had sharp words for young Bills quarterback Josh Allen and outside left tackler Dion Dawkins after New York edged Buffalo 27-23 on Sunday.

Allen pulled away from Jenkins, who was charging at the quarterback at the 15-yard line, for a 6-yard touchdown on Buffalo's first drive of the game. But Jenkins' emotional response during his postgame press conference was driven by Dawkins' chop block on the first play from scrimmage. 

The play caused Jenkins to retreat to the locker room with an ankle injury. Moments later, SNYtv's Ralph Vacchiano reported Jenkins was returning to the field, despite being doubtful to return. Jenkins finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold scrambles out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

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Until the final drive, Sam Darnold's performance in his return to the starting lineup would be defined by his best and worst play. However, Darnold's composure in leading the team downfield for the late game-winning score in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills was exactly the kind of thing the Jets and their fans had been hoping to see from him this year.

Let's look at some specific examples before we draw conclusions:

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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What to make of Sam Darnold 00:00:51
Sam Darnold returned to action against the Bills. What should Jets fans takeaway from the young QB?s season so far?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Fourteen years ago there was a young quarterback in New York who had struggled through an up-and-down rookie season. He showed flashes of his potential, but not nearly enough to convince everyone he would someday be the man to lead his franchise.

Then in Week 17, Eli Manning got the ball with 1:41 remaining and drove the Giants down the field for a game-winning drive capped by a 3-yard Tiki Barber touchdown run. The Giants beat the Cowboys 28-24 that day and it seemed like the moment that Manning arrived.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Eli Manning, Elijah McGuire, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Report Cards from the Jets win 00:02:37
Willie Colon and Bart Scott give their grades for the Jets 27-23 win over Buffalo. It's all A's for special teams but what about the rest?

The Jets crew hands out grades after Sam Darnold led the Jets to a last-minute comeback drive in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at New Era Field.

Tags: Buffalo Bills
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Jets beat Bills 27-23 00:01:17
The Jets got their much-wanted revenge on the Buffalo Bills, winning 27-23. After the game it was all smiles in the locker room.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Sam Darnold limped off to the locker room after the Jets' first series, it looked like this season was going to go from bad to much worse. This season had always been about him. But he had already missed three games with a foot injury after three terrible performances.

And now he was going to be out again?

Well, though it wasn't exactly a Willis Reed performance, Darnold returned quickly enough to give some life and hope to what's left of this Jets season. He went 12 of 18 for 139 yards in the second half and led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final two minutes to give the Jets a 27-23 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Elijah McGuire, Jamal Adams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell looks for a hole to run through during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Isaiah Crowell left Week 14 against Buffalo with a foot injury. The Jets announced he is questionable to return. 

The 25-year-old was sidelined at Jets practice with a toe issue all week, and it could be related to Sunday's injury. Crowell had three touches for seven yards before exiting. Elijah McGuire took over for Crowell as the New York's lead back.

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) jogs off the field after the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Jets QB Sam Darnold left Sunday's game against the Bills after just three plays, heading to the locker room with team doctors before being replaced by Josh McCown.

Darnold missed one drive before jogging back on the field and coming back in the game. 

He is playing in his first game since Week 9, when he suffered a right foot strain.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 24, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) and Josh McCown (15) watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

After missing the last three games due to a foot injury, Sam Darnold will return as the Jets' QB on Sunday against the Bills, the team announced. 

Darnold practiced in full on Friday, but head coach Todd Bowles said a final decision on his availability wouldn't be made until right before the game. 

"We'll decide that on Sunday," Bowles said. "Both he and Josh (McCown) had good weeks."

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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (3-9) at the Buffalo Bills (4-8) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

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Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The last time Sam Darnold was under center for the Jets, his rookie season was in a freefall.

In his last three games, he had completed just 47.3 percent of his passes for 588 yards, with two touchdowns and seven interceptions. He had a dismal passer rating of 43.2.

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manish Mehta responds to Bowles 00:02:56
Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta responds to Todd Bowles' denial of his story about tension between and GM Mike Maccagnan and himself.

Even though Todd Bowles claims there was "never any tension" between him and anyone else on the Jets staff, New York Daily News Jets writer Manish Mehta isn't buying it. 

Mehta doubled down on his Daily News report Friday, saying the head coach's denial of friction between him and GM Mike Maccagnan were "predictable" and he wouldn't expect the two to publicly say otherwise.

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New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee is chased by Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack after an interception in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets season still manages to reach a new low. 

Linebacker Darron Lee was suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the team announced on Friday. 

Lee will begin his suspension immediately and will be eligible to return to the Jets' active roster on Dec. 31, the day after their final game. 

Tags: Darron Lee
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Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy looks on from the sideline in the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz is joined by Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager to discuss why a younger, offensive-minded head coach would be a lot better than hiring Mike McCarthy and could get the most out of Sam Darnold. Lastly, The Athletic's Jets beat writer Connor Hughes goes in-depth on the Jets roster and how the losing is impacting the locker room.

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Todd Bowles denies rift with GM 00:00:36
Jets head coach Todd Bowles denies a published report that there's a rift between himself and GM Mike Maccagnan.

Todd Bowles insists everything is just fine between him and GM Mike Maccagnan

The Jets head coach denied a report form Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that said there was "friction and passive aggressive petulance" between Bowles and Maccagnan. 

"I'm not big on responding to articles, but there's never been any tension between me or anybody else in this building," Bowles told SNY's Jeane Coakley on Friday.

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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

After a 30-9 Titans beatdown on the Jaguars Thursday night, the Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention this season. 

A 3-9 Jets team had extremely slim chances of staying afloat, but Tennessee put the nail in the coffin to send New York packing after Week 17 for the eighth straight season. This playoff drought is the second-longest in franchise history. 

In turn, head coach Todd Bowles' job could be in some serious jeopardy. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano says it "seems like a given at this point" considering the lackluster performance the team has had all season long. So, while fans will be focused on the Jets' high draft pick, finding a new head coach will also be on their radar. 

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Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)
Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the sideline during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports (Stew Milne)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There doesn't seem to be any way for Todd Bowles to save his job now, which means the Jets are probably already thinking about what comes next. Most good executives always have a list of future potential coaches. Surely GM Mike Maccagnan and CEO Christopher Johnson have lists, too.

It's hard to say for sure who is on it with four games to go in the regular season. It's not even absolutely certain who will lead the search, though one team source indicated Maccagnan will have "strong influence" if not total control. Regardless, the Jets will have several strong candidates from which to choose.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Darnold looks good, could start 00:00:53
New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is encouraged by what he's seen from Sam Darnold in practice, but will he play on Sunday?

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold was back with the first team at practice on Thursday, which means the first-year signal-caller could see action for the first time in nearly a month when the Jets hit the road Sunday to take on the Buffalo Bills.

Talking on "Good Morning Football" this morning, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Darnold is "expected to exit the injury report pretty soon." Darnold took part in full practice drills, and seems to be back on track after a foot injury that sidelined him in Week 9.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles hasn't said whether or not Darnold will start across from fellow rookie QB Josh Allen. Darnold noted feeling great after practice Wednesday, as he continues to practice hard...

Tags: Josh Allen, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are looking to avenge their embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills last month, and in Jamal Adams' eyes, "It's personal.

"They came in and they whupped us," Adams continued, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. "They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle."

So much went wrong for the Jets on Nov. 11 that it was fair to question of the players quit. The heat under head coach Todd Bowles' hot seat was scorching; owner Christopher Johnson did comment on Bowles' job status after the game. 

Tags: Buffalo Bills, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold
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Get to know Jonotthan Harrison 00:02:19
Jonotthan Harrison would be a homicide detective if he wasn't playing football. He shared a lot of interesting facts with Jeane Coakley.

Jets C Jonotthan Harrison is something of a Renaissance man.

The 27-year-old University of Florida product revealed to SNY's Jeane Coakley some of his varied interests.

Harrison said football came later in his life because he was simply too big to play in his youth. That put the sport on the back burner until around halfway through college, he said.

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, right, talks to the team's latest addition, wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the team, as they conversed during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, at Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Mark Sanchez seems to be taking his "Butt Fumble" saga in stride, but Plaxico Burress is still firing his shots.

The former Giants receiver caught Sanchez in his crosshairs Wednesday, two days after the quarterback added another butt-centric fumble play to his repertoire in his debut with the Redskins.

"I can't wait to see this QB play for the Washington Redskins for the rest of the season," Burress tweeted. "@mark_sanchez Let me grab my popcorn. #comedyfor3hours #checkdowning Yup I said it!!"

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New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
		
		 (John Minchillo/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (John Minchillo/AP)

It has been six years since that infamous day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Patriots were pitted against each other in a division matchup on Thanksgiving, and New England was the obvious favorite. 

But it was one play in particular during this blowout loss for Gang Green that would be cemented in history -- and it wasn't good. Jets QB Mark Sanchez wanted to hand the ball off for a fullback dive, but miscommunication forced him to run himself.

Well, Jets fans know what happened next...

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Bowles and Darnold on QB status 00:00:57
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Sam Darnold talk about the rookie QB's health, and Jamal Adams talks about his desire to beat the Bills

Jets QB Sam Darnold spoke Wednesday about his ongoing recovery from a strained foot and how he feels about his chances to return Sunday against the Bills.

"I'm really excited about this week and where we're headed," Darnold said. "Really excited about how I felt today, so as of right now I'm really excited about hopefully getting the chance to play Sunday."

"I like to take everything one day at a time, especially this injury that I had," he added. "I'm really just trying to practice hard every single day. And when Sunday comes and I'm healthy, I'm really looking forward to going out there and playing well."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) runs against New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said S Marcus Maye underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair his shoulder injury that placed him on the IR for the remainder of the season. 

When asked about his expected recovery, Bowles answered with "a couple months," which is a good sign for the second-year player.

Maye, a second-round pick in 2017, is the seventh-leading tackler for the Jets in 2018-2019. He tallied 34 tackles, a half-sack, a forced fumble and one interception in six games this season.

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With a 3-9 record, the Jets are currently on pace to make the third overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

But their road to the No. 1 pick remains complicated with four games left in the 2018 season.

The 49ers and Raiders are the leading contenders for the top pick with a shared record of 2-10. In the event two or more teams are tied for the worst record at the end of the season, the team with the lowest strength of schedule is awarded the No. 1 pick.

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Should the Jets pursue McCarthy? 00:01:03
Ralph Vacchiano defends Mike McCarthy as a good option to be the next head coach of the Jets over the likes of Lincoln Riley.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is no more accomplished coaching candidate on the market right now than former Packers coach Mike McCarthy, and there isn't likely to be one when this season is over. His record is stellar. He's coached a string of top-10 offenses. He even has a Super Bowl ring.

He could be exactly the coach the Jets need to turn around the star-crossed franchise.

Of course, that might be what they're thinking in Cleveland and Tampa Bay -- and maybe Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver and a few other cities, too.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) causing a fumble during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Is this what redemption looks like for Mark Sanchez?

Taking his first NFL snaps since Jan 1, 2017, the former Jets QB came in for the Redskins Monday night against the Eagles after Colt McCoy left the game with a season-ending leg injury in the second quarter.

And it didn't take long for Sanchez to inadvertently remind the football world of the most infamous play of his career.

Tags: Washington Redskins
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